Fighting Change Since 1979

Sometimes it’s realllly annoying when the Universe keeps throwing lessons at you that you know you need to learn. (Yeah yeah yeah, I get it already.)

My favorite yoga teacher is leaving my studio, and I feel absolutely gutted about this announcement. (I’ve feared it for a long time, actually, and deep down I worry that I squash out things I rely on/cling to too much.) And because of this, I know there is a greater lesson in this all. As one smart friend consoled, “Change is hard. I’m pretty sure that’s why we do yoga.”

I know my devastation might sound silly/overly dramatic to those who don’t *get* it, but to me, C is so much more than an instructor of yoga. She is a wise guru, a sage mentor, a steady constant in times of flux and unknown. Her classes are my therapy on some days, my church on others.

And I know that life is all about change and transitioning and evolving and growing, but man is this lesson hard to live out time and again. So I’m just going to sulk over here for a wee while longer. But don’t worry, I’ll adjust, adapt, re-acclimate. After all, we always do. (What’s the alternative?)

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Hello/Goodbye 2015/2016

I absolutely love end-of-the-year recaps. I enjoy reading what people learned, what they listened to, what they loathed, what they loved.

I always feel great pressure to create my own Year in Review, not because it’s a pesky “should” I feel obligated to complete, but because I think it’s a valuable exercise—a great (and rather fun) excuse for pausing, assessing and celebrating, too.

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This year for me was CHOCK-full of travel. My freelance career took off in newfound directions, for the first time (in a long time) making me feel blessedly unworried about money. I met wonderful people, reaffirmed exquisite, can’t-be-captured-in words bonds with family members and lifelong friends, went to two of the most fun weddings I’ve ever been to, delved even deeper into my yoga practice, got really good use at using Viber and FaceTime audio (hi, fam!), had sweet reunions galore in sun-kissed climates and carefree settings, welcomed fun, go-with-the-flow visitors to my welcoming PNW city, consoled friends in moments of heartache and loss and then this spring said goodbye to my sweet, funny, wonderful grandfather (my last living grandparent).

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I met friends’ cuddlebug babies and bonded with new favorite wee ones and watched some relationships quietly soar to exhilarating heights, while others quietly slipped into the backdrop. I dealt with great disappointments—the pendulum eventually swinging back (as it always does), launching me into smooth periods where it all seemed to perfectly click into place like a well-oiled machine–moments where I wanted to confidently shout, “I’ve got this!” I let out huge gasps of relief when hearing others’ positive health reports; I prayed (and continue to pray) for those still waiting for the tides to turn and for that good news to (please, please, please) roll in.

I used my passport several times (yeeha!), and packed/unpacked my suitcase more times than I care to count. I dipped into the world of glamping by sleeping in a fancy fabric tent and a cozy vintage trailer, I propelled myself down ziplines, and I hovered in a helicopter high above the rainbow-dotted cliffs of the Napali Coast, a couple-minute stretch of magic emblazoned in my memory bank forever. I went on my first international press trip (a huge personal goal) and had several inspirational travel moments—*those* moments, you know the type—that remind me why it is exactly that I continue to do what I do.

Many times, but especially this November, I felt terrified by our world…petrified by the potential evil lurking within the human race.
Then, I felt in absolute awe of our world…uplifted by the potential for love and kindness and triumphal goodness, plus the resiliency of the human spirit.

I had high highs and low lows, euphoric epiphanies and epic meltdowns. I felt utterly alone; I felt fantastically loved and supported. I leaned on the loyal pillars who hold me up when I falter; I listened more intently to that inner voice that alway seems to *know* when I allow it be heard.

For the first time, I went to Memphis, Nashville and Oxford, Mississippi, Hawaii (incredible Kauai), Spain (delicious San Sebastian!) and Costa Rica (Pura Vida). I returned to Austin, San Diego, Whistler and lovely London (seen through a brand-new, local-living lens). I saw new parts of awesome Oregon and the stunning Olympic National Park, and I watched concerts beside beach bonfires and under Happy Valley’s tranquil forest canopy — mystical musical moments that feed my soul in a way I cannot sufficiently record on this page.

I learned a lot and also remembered a lot that I already knew. I am still navigating my way through some decades-old patterns and “stuff,” as we always will/should be I’m finding, and it’s abundantly clear that the journey continues. I am staying curious and non-judgmental, and old stories are slowly chipping away.

For now, though, here are some pearls I know to be true. (More than anything, I write these down as a future reminder to myself.)

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~The bad doesn’t last. Neither does the good. It’s all fleeting. Savor, relish, but don’t cling. It’s all fluid, ever-changing.

That is the bad news. But this happens to be the very, very good news, too.

~Gratitude changes everything.

~ “You can never go wrong doing something nice for someone.” Mom knows best:)

~There are few places more magical on the planet then a Pacific Northwest beach or lake on a radiant, pastel-tinged summer evening.

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~Music makes life better, always.

~As a dear Seattle friend says, you have to follow the “POP.” If it makes you smile, if it puts that pitter-patter in your chest, if it feels right, do it. There doesn’t have to be a logical “why.” If your gut moves you in that direction, by all means, FOLLOW.

~If you’re not sure, sit on it. Silence and space are wondrous tools. Don’t react rashly; step away, wait, view it from a new angle in the morning.

~It’s not personal. Don’t make it about you.

~As humans, we are often terrible predictors of our own emotions. It is silly to preemptively dread a feeling or reaction I am convinced I will have. My emotions are not always logical, and they are certainly not always predictable, but they are what they are. So why waste the time assuming I know? Why not just wait and see? (Heck, perhaps I’ll even surprise myself. In fact, I find that I often do.)

~I am brave. (We are all brave, in ways we forget to acknowledge.) I may be an absolute baby when it comes to doing certain “adult” tasks (ahem car maintenance and calling Comcast), but I am stronger than I often give myself credit for. I went to Pickathon alone (again). I drove with my cousin and her four kids from Chicago to Virginia (again). I spoke some public words at my grandfather’s memorial service. I’ve been self-employed for 4+ years. (Perhaps bravery meets naivety with this one…but I’m going with it:)) I’ve traveled alone to locations near and far (nothing new for me by any means, but a nice reminder that that—a defining characteristic of who I am and who I want to be—is still embedded within me. The adventurous spirit of curiosity burns bright).

~The only constant thing in life is change. I am slowly processing some Seattle goodbye(s?) I’ll have to say in 2016, and while it guts me to the core to even admit of their imminent arrival, it soothes me to know that I’ve done it before, and that—in time— I/we will adjust, adapt, recalibrate. No, it won’t ever be exactly the same, and yes, that makes me really sad. But it is what it is, and when we fight it, we suffer. We must flow with the currents, ride the waves, trust trust trust & simply carry on.

~I can be my own worst enemy. But I can also be my own best champion. In 2016, I want to (continue to) work on championing myself—being big and bold and getting out of my own way a whole heckofalot more.

What do you wish for your 2016?

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Thank you, 2015, for your ups and downs. For your predictabilities, your consistencies and your wild surprises, too. For your many miles, scattered longitudes and latitudes, your countless planes, trains and automobiles that led me to stunning landscapes around our beautiful world. For the people who continuously enrich my life and so often make me feel like the luckiest lass alive.

Bring it on, 2016. I am so excited to see what you have in store.

On the Go

Sometimes I have {internal} freak-outs—even if subtle ones—when I feel things are going really well. I overload easily, and I realize it doesn’t always have to be over bad/sad/stressful situations—sometimes it happens when there is also a surplus of good, of excitement, of movement in general.

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Does this make sense? Does this happen to anyone else?

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Recently, there’s a lot going on, and a lot of it is really fricking amazing. (I mean, like certain things just seem to have dropped into place super-duper flawlessly. I am amazed!) And I am so grateful.

But why do I always feel the need to simultaneously find some wood to knock on as I marinate in the delivery of such goodness? What do I need to do to just trust, to simply believe that it’s possible and deserved and true?

I’ve recently been having to work really hard to remain even-keeled and grounded in the midst of this swirl of activity—wisely gearing up (mentally and physically) for a travel-heavy next couple months, while at the same time trying my best to balance deadlines, relationships, quiet time here. Staying in the moment while wisely prepping and planning for what’s to come.

If you have any tips on how to stay in the HERE (in the midst of the promise of the later and the holding on to/honoring of the then), I’d love to hear ’em.
Thanks, friends.

Welcome, September. I have a good feeling about you!

Cresting

I’ve been in a funk recently, on and off feeling sad, lonely, oversensitive, flat. I know much/most of it comes from sifting through the multilayered stages of grief. My grandfather’s life is in its very final act, and my parents are stoically standing by his side (an exhausting roller coaster ride), helping him ease his way out, onward, upward…(How is it possible to miss someone so much who’s not even yet gone?)

I feel far, far away and yet constantly connected all at once, and my emotions change with the hour—cresting like waves. Seeing my parents’ amazing strength and togetherness through this, though, is the biggest blessing and inspiration. In moments like these, it’s stripped down to the basics. All that matters, ever, is kindness and love.

Despite the impending, inevitable sad news that I know is soon to come, I feel myself rising out of this lil rut I’ve been stuck in, and I am reminded how wonderful these moments feel, like stepping out into fresh, new air after a good, hard rain. It’s OK. It’s always going to be OK. I am looking for the beauty in the midst of life’s sadness, because if we look hard enough, it’s truly always there.

We love you so much, Grandpa, and we’re going to keep living and *laughing* in your honor. I know you wouldn’t want it any other way.

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Happy to Report, WANDERLUST Alive & Well Around These Parts!

I loved our Memphis-Oxford, Miss.-Nashville road trip so, so much.

I have oodles more to say—and a million jumbled words drafted—but, for now….photos!

Feeling emotionally grateful for these experiences, these adventures, these friends, this life I get to lead. Sometimes things feel like they’re moving a million miles an hour as of late, and I’m trying to take moments to pause, process and savor it all. I feel in the midst of big things, and I want to remember to be here—truly here—for every step of this unfolding journey.

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Thanks, South, for your warm hospitality! “Y’all come back now” shouldn’t be a problem for this traveler:)

Wild

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“…To believe that I didn’t need to reach with my bare hands anymore. To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough…”

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“…How wild it was, to let it be.”

Foggy Mornin’ Fuel

Jet lag had me up WAY earlier than planned (OY), so I’m trying to embrace the early start, fueled by warming coffee and the sweet, soothing voice of Anderson East. Have a good day, friends!

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