Saturday, December 28, 2013

Keep choosing joy.

f I could bottle roads and the moon, snowfall and hills, constellations and night, I'd wrap it around every broken, weary or heavy heart that beats alone tonight, and name it "infinite."

Wishing everyone a beautiful holiday wherever and however you find yourselves. 

Keep choosing joy. 

Modern day musings.

Modern day musings: The thing about Facebook is it's primarily a highlight reel. Weddings, new homes, engagements, new loves, graduations, announcements, new babies, new puppies. We see the glamour shots, the smiles, the vacations, the nights out with friends, and the end of people missing other people. It's all fantastic. We share and spread joy.

Yet, what we rarely see is the blood, the sweat, the tears, the pain beyond the smiles, the doubt, the longing, the quiet desperation, the death of dreams, the hangovers, and the actual life costs of what it took for someone you think you envy to make money. Everyone is human with universal struggles. I constantly hear people making judgements and assumptions, often creating unhealthy illusions due to their newsfeeds. You cannot compare your entire inner life to another's meticulously edited outer life or you will never feel content.

This is why most of us are so drawn to music, writing, theater, film, etc. Art keeps it real and behind the scenes. It unveils what lies beneath the carefully compiled exteriors.

In general, I believe over time we all realize and recognize that magic often occurs in tiny moments rather than major life events, money is not the definition of real wealth, security is often elusive despite taking all avenues to achieve it, when you live authentically you have no competition, the relief after reaching a goal is fleeting and that you can dramatically alter your life without drastic decisions because small steps will eventually bring about dramatic results and the sooner you step into what works best for you without stressing about what other people are doing or saying, the sooner you will create peace within your own life.

Also remember that Facebook never tells the entire story, so when you find yourself on the comparison train, and feel a little lost, get off of FB and seek out some art. It's more truthful there.

photo source: here

As we let our own light shine.

I am not a motivational speaker. I don't have an MA or MFA in creative writing. I just love images and words so deeply I've never been able to stay away. All through my childhood, I carried journals with me every second of every moment, taking notes, writing the thoughts that came, writing from places of hope and fear and lust and love.

I remember in my early twenties, I mentioned to a friend that someday I would share my writing. She told me, "you need an MFA to be a writer." Or this paper or that paper or this meaningless homework or time put in at an official place.

But what about the studying of poetry for hours on my own, the hearing of syllables, the passion for the flow of it, the books of literature I came back to over and over again?

Fast forward ten years later, I've been published in quite a few places now, more than I'd ever dreamed. I've been a ghost writer for political bloggers to surgeons to life coaches to companies, I've done children's books various websites, newspapers and a couple of magazines. I have an article that's been shared over 250k times and I've had quite a few other opportunities appear just because I stuck with my passion.

This is not to brag or boast or shame anyone. This is to simply encourage others. If you are a musician, play. If you are a painter, paint. If you were born a writer, then write your heart out without a darn care about ridiculous paperwork and red tape. Because if you hear the music when you write, if you are lifted into the wonder and alignment, and universal force when you sit down to write, then you are a writer.

And if a thought comes to your head when you look at an image, share it. This world is starving for realness and truth.

If you are not yet familiar with Marianne Williamson, you should become familiar.

"Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

You can listen to the cynics and the downers all you'd like, but I'm here to tell you that 

none of that matters. Stand up and radiate.

Walk often.

I walk often. Mornings, evenings, alone, or with others- people, dogs, the scattered shuffling in weeds beside the road, or the light in the sky's current mood. I'm often asked, "Where are you going?" I reply, "Nowhere, really," but should be saying, "Everywhere."

When i walk, I can no longer feel fear or weight of worry or pressure, as they vanish beneath the rise of movement, breath and creative fire. To me, walking is recharging my life.

Meditation can be found in movement, and serene stillness can be achieved anywhere. Find what reignites you and go do it often, because that inward fire is what will lead you to 

everywhere and everything that's possible in this life.

photo by me

If you don't feel the words.

I hear so many people talk about finishing chores and wanting a calm mind and meditative environment before they sit down to try and write.

Not me. I need anxiety. Grit. Intensity. Energy. I want to feel like a hurricane about to rock the darn ocean before emptying out spiraling, twisting rain all over the page. I won't write unless it grips and pulls at me, demanding to drop all else until it's done. I've pulled over into parking lots with my iPhone. Stood against buildings with a notebook. Ducked away from crowds with paper.

If you don't feel the words coming, ready to physically explode out of your own raw experience, walk away.

Walk away until you're ready.

photo source:

Friday, December 27, 2013

To be youthful.

You can take all kinds of routes to try and exhibit a vibrant youthfulness. Makeup. Botox. Hours tackling machines at gyms. Days in a heated yoga room. Juice cleanses. The highest priced eye creams, the latest laser treatments, the best airbrush tan in town. Yet, you can still feel the dull sluggishness and tired weight of passing years.

In my 11+ years of energy healing (bodywork modalities such as myofascial release, reiki, trauma healing, old injury work and also skincare), people are often (understandably) surprised if I hardly recognize them on the street after I've worked with them directly, one on one for an hour or more for one or many sessions. It's because I work with their energy. Not their muscles, or body type, or face. In fact, I hardly notice a single physical trait at all. It's all 100% energy based.

As an Esthetician, I'm not so interested in the exact products someone is placing on their skin. I want to know about nourishment (both obvious and subtle) such as their food, their work, their sleep, their unresolved emotions, even input right down to the location of their home, and aromas they take in. Again, energy based.

As a private health coach, I'll never ask a person how they'd like to look. One can look incredibly toned, fit, and fine-line free and massively lack basic desire and life. All I care about is how someone feels, such as their energy level, their aliveness meter, and their enthusiasm. How do they feel when they wake or go to bed? How do they feel mid-day? How do they feel when they're cleansing their face, doing chores, stretching, or working out? Is the pain still there? The sluggishness? The drain?

All that is relevant is energy. Dwelling in the expansion of it. Once that's in place, the physical being will then radiate it's beauty as the desire to truly take care of one's self will arrive naturally and finally thrive.

The expression shouldn’t be, “I want to look and feel younger.” It should just be “I want to feel younger.” Once you FEEL youthful, you’ll exude youthfulness in an effortless way, and you'll feel so fantastically good, you won't even notice your magnificent physical light that others will be so drawn to. You'll simply thrive on and glow from the energy alone. The rest will easily fall into place.
photo source

Friday, December 13, 2013

Let it go.

Clear it out.
 Let the last cycle, the last season, 
the last drain- inducing, weight-bearing, neck tensing clutter go.
 Rid yourself of toxic people, toxic energy, toxic environments, 
and places and spaces where you cannot be yourself, cannot rise up, or shine.

 Listen to your body. 

Your body always knows how to do it. 
All you need to do is halt the mind and follow its lead.

Friday, December 6, 2013

About winter.

After raving about the heat just a few days ago, I now find myself hibernating indoors under three blankets after a massive cold front with a candy cane. In Texas. 
But it's ok.

Things to love about winter:

Soft foods that heat you from the inside, ethereal silver skies blending with the hazy blue and white; longer nights, darkness, fire and moonlight; the scents of snow, sage, cinnamon and pine; sparkles, twinkles, frost, wood burning, the solstice, and slower feel of time; candles flickering and dancing across walls and floors, hallways and doors; gathering, baking, making, reflecting, contemplating, stillness, and the quiet uninterrupted beauty of silent frozen landscapes, stretched far and wide.

We're watching the earth go inward once again, resting and gathering strength while planning what's to come. Welcoming the inevitable arrival of it.

"I could see for miles and miles and miles."

Snapshots on a string.

As I watched my mom decorate her tree last night, I was thinking that "home" is never a specific town or house or room where the tree resides. 

It's instead a series of moments we gather- like snapshots on a string, of the times spent with people we love most. The quietest moments that hold still the longest and echo the loudest in a quickly turning world. If you could collect one crucial thing in this life, let it be the moments, the snapshots, the collection of still points that make up "home", and hold them close in spaces that remain open when you need to return.

Photo source: here

The sky unleashed.

I've missed the ocean madly. The shifting waves and the rise and fall. The "serene brutality." But when you've left the ocean, the sky will do. Water touching the earth. The sky unleashed. Because storms, much like the sea, the moon and the night, are magic.

And this one slays me: 

"A steady, wind-driven rain composes music for the psyche. It not only nurtures and renews, it consecrates and sanctifies. It whispers in secret languages about the primordial essence of things."
-Tom Robbins

photo by me

Friday, November 22, 2013

November roots.

Wrapped in night and november rain while wondering why the whoosh of wet wheels on distant streets is so surprisingly soothing. 

                                                          ....And Rumi

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ten random things.

10 random things for those who asked.

1. As a a child, I'd live in books. I'd twirl around with them in my hands thinking one day I might be able to fall into them, immersing myself in their colorful pages like Alice in Wonderland or Mary Poppins.

2) I have a terrible habit of wanting to accelerate over speed bumps while driving, and attribute this greatly to having jumped horses for years. In english equestrian, slowing before takeoff can be disastrous, because in those last two seconds if anything, you need to build more momentum.
By the way, I adore the word, "momentum."

3) I fall in love with landscapes and cities the way I do people, taken with their light, their triumphs their darkness and complications. Sometimes after leaving a place, heartache moves through me like pieces of broken glass that I'll choke for months. When I left San Francisco, I couldn't stand to look at a photo of the city for a long time as it gave me a nearly unbearable sense of longing.

4) Favorite things: maps, rooftops, cabins, mountains, typewriters, letters, and trains. Also, road trips. Ask me to go on one, anywhere. We'll stop in every small town and learn the history and stories, feel the ground and capture the spirit. Then we'll turn in it into our own story that will live inside our history to carry with us, always. Because stories are more important than things:)

5) I prefer to exist in the land of creativity and imagination so much that I end up lost and frustrated over superficial things, practical steps, and technical details. I prefer to call them "writer problems" rather than "blonde moments."

6) I think dogs and children are magic. One day I'll have a blue Great Dane and live somewhere between the mountains and sea in a place with extended springtimes and autumns, a garden, a guitar, a camera, and a room full of bookshelves. Children may or may not be included.

7) I try and learn anything and everything I can about the body. It's beyond earthly, brilliant, spiritual and beautiful. I can only hope that one day everyone will see that we walk around in these immensely awesome, energetic structures.

8) I'm primarily an introvert but of course, this doesn't mean I don't love people deeply. You likely fascinate and intrigue me. Tell me your story:)

9) I think pain (physical and otherwise) is incredibly important and telling. Stop hiding, masking and shutting it down. It always comes around in another form.

10) Writing is my comfort, my exploration, my adventure, my thrill, my sanctuary, my home.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hope like an ocean.

Cool sheets, an unfolding night 
and the scent of southern storms. 
Tired eyes and shoulders.
Hope like an ocean.

Don't mourn moments.

Don't mourn memories, people and moments for long. 
You may think they're gone, 
but they have stayed inside your body. 
Stories are the maps we've drawn,
 rolling alongside breath,
 strung around our tissue,
 pulsing with our heartbeats.

Night conversations.

I love the silence between two people.
 The quiet acknowledgement, 
the falling into knowing, and comfort between words 
as we lapse into our own minds, 
simply breathing and being while sharing space and time. 
This is the most powerful type of companionship: the kind when sentences flow, and then drift into silence when the need to be wrapped in that becomes greater.

Night conversations are also the ones I love best. 
Bonds grow deeper in the dark, 
our stories climbing to the surface to be seen.
These moments will live the longest in our minds; 
conversations by candle and moonlight 
with our sleep deprived eyes.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The breeze here.

"Here’s what our parents never taught us:
You will stay up on your rooftop until sunlight
 peels away the husk of the moon,
chain smoking cigarettes and reading Baudelaire, 
and you will learn that you only ever want to fall in love 
with someone who will stay up
 to watch the sun rise with you.

You will fall in love with train rides, 
and sooner or later you will realize
 that nowhere seems like home anymore.
A woman will kiss you 
and you’ll think her lips are two petals
rubbing against your mouth.

You will not tell anyone
 that you liked it.
It’s okay.

It is beautiful to love humans in a world 
where love is a metaphor for lust.

You can leave if you want, 
with only your skin as a carry-on.
All you need is a twenty in your pocket and a bus ticket.
All you need is someone on the other end of the map, 
thinking about the supple curves of your body,
 to guide you to a home
 that stretches out
 for miles and miles on end.

You will lie to everyone you love.
They will love you anyways.

One day you’ll wake up 
and realize 
that you are too big
 for your own skin.
Don’t be afraid.

Your body is a house 
where the shutters blow in and out
against the windowpane.

You are a hurricane-prone area.
The glass will break through often.

But it’s okay. I promise.

Remember,a stranger once told you
 that the breeze here is something worth 
writing poems about."

— “Here’s What Our Parents Never Taught Us,” Shinji Moon

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Harvest moon.

A harvest moon should almost be accompanied 
by the sound of violins 
as it leads us into the beautiful last burst
 before the downhill decay-
 a sweet and soulful song of what's to come.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Delicious autumn.

I love all seasonal change but this is somehow different. I'm a sponge for autumn, soaking it in with certainty that I could live a thousand autumns in mountains full of golden leaves and bonfires, sipping cider and chai with pumpkin everything and still never have enough.

Maybe it's because I'm a Halloween baby. Maybe it's because when the earth is ripe and peaking everyone feels and inhales it; that heightened sense of aliveness celebrated with so many festivals, fairs and traditions, our collective energy rising alongside cooler winds.

I hope my friends in the northern hemisphere celebrate somehow this weekend. We have a harvest moon tomorrow, autumnal equinox on sunday, and some perfect days arriving soon. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The shift.

I adore shifts. Shifts between seasons like summer and autumn, shifts like dusk between daylight and dark, the shifts of tides and moonlight and cycles and the sort of shifts before stiff muscles soften or stories gather speed. The shift is the movement, the momentum, and the very reason why maps and memoirs were born, and best moments remembered. The shift is the journey which is always where the magic lives.

photo by me

When you stand still and wait.

Sometimes, when you stand still and wait, beauty pours in like a river, flooding your senses with some grand display of absolute mastery; a cinematic type of film scene that suspends time for seconds, then speeds away as fast as it'd arrived.

You're suddenly left with goosebumps and awe and all the answers to questions you've never known you were asking about the nature of all things, the coming and going of cycles, seasons, searching and staying.

That is the time to write. Those answers are as elusive as dreams, as sleep, and as the stunning moment itself.

But they are your truths. Write them. Record them. Read them. Remember.

photo by me 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Drawn to rocks.

I've always been drawn to rocks. All forms of them: mountains, caves, canyons, cliffs. They are perfectly wild, ancient art, familiar and serene, and the closest we get to the heart and belly of the world.

Adore this song....

"Sometimes I lay down
What more can I do
But then I go on again
Because you ask me to."

photo by me and pinterest

The best Children's Books of all time: timeless lessons on love, life and magic.

I wrote this for Rebelle Society a month or so ago and wanted to share it here :)

“There is no such thing as fantasy unrelated to reality.” ~ Maurice Sendak 
Looking back upon my girlhood self,  what I can recall most was my hunger for imagination — so, naturally, books became my food. 
Books were made from the same substance of dreams, I was sure. They were clouds of creation and color, with moods and creatures and characters to adore. They were companions and friends with worn out pages that mimicked hands, reaching out for mine. Whether I was happy or sad, courageous or afraid, I’d take comfort in knowing I could step back in, anywhere, in any place, at any time.
Hence, there is magic in children’s books, and I’ve been chasing that magic ever since.
One may think that reading children’s books as an adult is rubbish, yet it’s quite the opposite. Leaving such wise books to childhood is actually a mistake, because when you don’t revisit your children’s book, you forget some of the deep existential truths residing in the words.
Picking up a children’s book is also like seeing an old friend — both hold up a mirror so you can see yourself as you are: the same. Yes, you’re the same as you’ve always been, dear child: a being shaped of wonder and dreams, wandering about, bright-eyed and in love with this world.
“Your head is a living forest filled with songbirds.” ~ e.e. cummings
Here are a few classics, forever untouched by the hands of time.

“If you are kind to helpless things,
you don’t need a Wishing Tree to make things come true.”
The Wishing Tree by William Faulker
“Here is my secret. It is very simple:
It is only with the heart that once can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
The little Prince, by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely.”
The Twits by Road Dahl
~ Unknown book by Dr. Seuss
“‘Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’
You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
Charlotte’s Webb by  E.B. White
“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.
You find the fun, and the job’s a game.”
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
“And it’s no use to go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
“And Max, the king of all wild things,
was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him, best of all.”
Where the Wild Things are by Marice Sendak
“‘Sometimes,’ said Pooh,
‘the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.’”
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
“‘I don’t need very much now.’ said the boy.
Just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired.’
‘Well’ said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could.
‘Well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting. Come, boy, sit down and rest.’
And the tree was happy.”
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
“‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily or heave sharp edges or have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
“Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.
If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”
Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
“The Rainbow Fish shared his scales left and right.
And the more he gave away, the more delighted he became.
When the water around him filled with glimmering scales,
he at last felt at home among the other fish.”
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
“‘You have plenty of courage, I am sure,’ answered Oz. ‘All you need is confidence in yourself.
There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger.
The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum
“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over
to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you,
you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.”
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shell Silverstein
“The moment where you doubt you can fly,
you cease for ever being able to do it.”
Peter and Wendy by Lewis Carroll
~ Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go,
So be sure when you step.
Step with great tact
and remember that life’s
a great balancing act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft
And never mix up your right with your left.”
Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
“Piglet siddled up to Pooh from behind. ‘Pooh?’ he whispered.
‘Yes, Piglet?’
‘Nothing,’ said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand.
‘I just wanted to be sure of you.’
Winnie the Pooh, by A. A. Milne
Guess how much I love you by Sam McBratney
So maybe the next time we go browsing though a bookstore in search of some sweet soul comfort we should bypass the endless self-help sections and make a beeline to the corner, where the children’s books reside.
It’s much sweeter there.