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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Mother Nature's Reset Button



As I was walking on a trail yesterday, I was making a conscience effort to look at the trees and the fields and capture that picture in my head. The yellows, reds, oranges, and even subtle beige colors. It all felt so alive and virbrant. If you look at the colors of Fall and don’t feel something inside you, then you need to be looking a lot closer.

The leaves are taking a final bow. Soon they will all fall to the ground. The crops have been harvested, the fields all lay flat. The forest will soon give the appearance of being dead. Quiet. Still. The sky will turn to gloom and it will feel as though a wave of sadness has cast its shadow over mother nature.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Mystical Magic of the Falls...

                                   
Trickling water cascading down the falls. Hope spilling over and over again as nature makes all pure. I stare at the Falls wondering where the water has been and what story it could tell. What secrets can it reveal to me about true purity and life?

We walk against a narrow pass. I have our youngest strapped to my back as I carefully balance uphill to the top of the Falls. I can see where this could make some people feel uneasy...as if this isn't 'safe'. But not to me. This moment feels raw and exciting like getting a drug of euphoria IV'd into my arm. My soul shouts "Yes! Yes! HELL YES!"
                                  


After we spend moments staring at the beautiful falls and admiring what we accomplished we slowly begin the journey back down the mountain. With each step down my heart hurts just a little. I'm not done here. I want to hang a hammock here or camp next to the waterfall. I don't want to leave her yet (yes, the waterfall is a beautiful she). I want to keep going. What is beyond that damn fall? I want to jump into the fall and let it clean me.  Then, as we are walking and these thoughts race through my mind, my 7 year old exclaims that this is his most favorite hike EVER. He tells me a few more times and I know in my heart that what we are doing is right.

That quote by John Muir touches my soul so deeply. "In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." It's 100% true. For Mother's Day I simply wanted an adventure. I wanted to get up early, grab our thermos of coffee and drive up to the mountains and see something beautiful. I have two kids so my expectations were low (with family hikes one can anticipate a certain level of complaining, snack needing, 'carry me cries', and so on...) but this exceeded it all for me. It only filled my cup even more. It left me dreaming of other adventures to take. It solidified thoughts I have been having about the need to take away the 'stuff' or at least the focus on the 'stuff' and place that focus on being together and putting ourselves in the way of beauty as often as possible.
                     

So if you're thinking about doing something a little wild. Or maybe just exploring that trail or creek nearby...but for some reason or another you've given pause..just do it. Go. Explore. Do.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Pay Bills & Die? No Thanks!


I have decided that this illustration perfectly captures how I feel about life right now. Or rather how I'm seeing the world for myself. I have often found myself stressed or worried about where I am on the career spectrum of my life every now and then "I thought I'd be at this point by now.." "Maybe I don't make enough money" "Maybe I should go back to an office but then I'd lose the freedom and time I have with my children". Endless internal discussions with myself about career and handful of other things.

But here's the thing...what if the big picture in life is not centered on career but rather experiences??The job foots the bill for the love of everything else in life; travel & adventure.  I've never been a huge 'career focused' person. I'm happy to have one.I work. I do my job. But I don't think about it all of the time. It's not my driving force. It's about what I want to look back on when I'm older. I'm the type of person who is multi-passionate about things. I could probably be happy doing a handful of different occupations...but at the core of that all is that I want my life to be exciting. Full of adventure. Travel. Trips. Memories!!!! (and yes...I know life can't always be exciting...)

I understand that this is not how everyone feels or views the world. But RIGHT NOW I am sitting here at my desk looking out my window at changing leaves, gorgeous color unfolding before my eyes. I've been outside hiking and sitting around fires as often as possible. I love planning little adventures for my family and that FILLS my soul like a job will never be able to do. We aren't meant to pay bills and die. We are meant to live this life we have been given the best way we know how....and when I'm old and sitting in a rocker I want that peace of knowing that DAMN...I lived...and it was AWESOME!


Monday, October 10, 2016

Welcome Fall!


I don't know if there is anything quite as inspiring as Autumn. Something about the cooling of the air, the colors among the trees, the energy that comes from escaping the humid heat of summer.

I'm already lit up in a way that I find hard to describe just based on temperature alone. We haven't even gotten to the changing of leaves. I won't be able to handle it. Last weekend we escaped back to Chicago and I received my first taste of the crispness. I can't tell you the joy that I felt wearing jeans and a jacket and actually NEEDING them. In Georgia, we tend to force ourselves into Fall clothes even when the temp will hit 80 that day.  Gloomy skies make Fall colors come to life and make me feel extra cozy.

Being back in the city I realized that I'm equally at home walking city streets as I am hiking the trails of North Georgia. It's the middle/gray area where I struggle the most (i.e..suburbia).

I hadn't been back in what felt like forever. The last time I walked the streets of Chicago Piper was so tiny. My head was fuzzy from newborn life still and general lack of sleep. This time I was clear headed and the energy lit me up. That feeling. The feeling of belonging. Of comfort. It felt so good and I felt so alive. I was starting to lose hope for Georgia...but then....this morning we woke up to 48 degrees which is HUGE for Atlanta...let me tell you. Windows were immediately thrown open, candles lit, diffusers replenished and Bob Dylan blazing on my speakers. I took my Berner to the woods after all the kids were tucked into school because I knew that she would relish in the feeling of that breeze just as much as I would. We ran. We walked. We stood still. We breathed in fresh air and the possibilities that come with Fall. She ran through the tall grass and was practically galloping.

And that feeling was felt. Here. Of comfort. Of belonging. It's so confusing to me...that you can feel all the feels in two very different places at once. So I am choosing to settle into this season for now. To just be. To be okay with my confusion and take life one glorious fall day at a time.

Welcome back old friend! Here is to an inspiring season of hope, love and newness.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Creating an Awakening!

Lift arms over head. Deep breath in. Exhale and let it all go! LET IT ALL GO! I walked into that studio this morning feeling judgy towards myself, blah, and overall not at my most awesome. It's been a rough'ish couple of weeks. Sick kids. Sick Adults. Traveling Spouses and just an overall depleting feeling. It happens. So... I listened. I breathed. I set an intention. Breath in self compassion. Breathe out self doubt. Breathe in love. Breathe out tension.

What it comes down to is a choice. A choice to determine how you are going to react to your day. Love. Peace. Encouragement. Or... Doubt. Bitterness. Judgement. For me, it took one class and some deep breathing to remind myself once again that I am steering this ship. I can create in myself the love I need. The awakening of my soul..I left lighter, happier and ready for my day.

The class was HARD. Really hard today. I had been doing my home practice during the 'sickness and traveling spouse' time the last couple of weeks so I knew I was in for a challenge. I had a few times I thought I was going to drop to my knees and just stay in child's pose the rest of class. Leave. Throw in the mat if you will....but you know what else I was reminded of this morning? That it is when things are TOUGH that change and awakening happens. When you decide to push. Step outside of yourself and admire that you are accomplishing something even through your tiredness or bad day.

We all have a choice. And I choose lightness. What will you choose today?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Voice

It occurs to me that I've done myself a terrible injustice. You see, when you're young there is a voice that whispers to you and invites you to delight in your natural talents. It's the voice that encourages you to listen to the same song over again, make up a dance for the heck of it, spend hours digging in the dirt for no apparent reason other than you like it, build elaborate towers of Legos or draw inventions that your future self will invent.

As we grow and begin 'adulting' our ways through life we have a chance to listen to the whispers and heed the call of the voice; Go. This is what you're meant to do. You'll be happy and satisfied with this work. It's not about paycheck or class or what you could own. The money will come when you're doing something you're truly great at anyhow.  However, you also have a chance to not listen to the voices. They never really go away for good...you'll occasionally hear them from time to time. You may even take some time out of your day to enjoy a bit of what you once loved. But they've stopped working so hard to get your attention. You chose to go another route. They folded.

Here I am. 36 years into my life and I just now am REALLY understanding what a fool I was for not taking the advice of those voices, my core, my gut. Because they were right. Here I am a skip and a hop from 40 considering a complete shift in direction. I'm planning on creating a whole new reality for myself because the manufactured one isn't working. It is not my authentic self. When your mind wanders constantly and always veers back to those same concepts as a child something is there.

Monday, July 25, 2016

MORE


MORE...

More staying still...

More snuggly mornings at home with hot coffee

More saying no to things

More time with friends

More looking at faces instead of screens

More self motivation

More kindness towards one self

More lifting others up

More dream catchers

More hikes and time in the woods

More yoga

More nothing....because sometimes nothing is nice

More random acts of kindness

More LOVE

More music

More savoring of small things; a clean house, a delicious cup of coffee,etc..

More gratefulness

MORE of the good & simple.