Reflections // Welcome, New Year

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Sometimes, if I’m honest, all the movement makes me dizzy. The on-the-go aspects of my lifestyle lead me to feel frazzled, unsettled, disconnected and wondering what I’m missing, having not pursued a more rooted, stationary path.

But then, other times—most of the time, thankfully—it makes me feel lucky, wowed, inspired, alive.

This year followed a few unexpected themes like Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland…I love them all!) and glaciers (climbing around inside of one and sleeping at the base of one—alongside frolicking mountain goats—in the awesome Cascade Mountains).

My work peaked, then plateaued, freaking me out and making me question. (Five years in, it’s a cycle that’s prone to repeat, this I should know.) Then, again, toward the end of the year—it picked up yet again with exciting opportunities on the horizon for 2017, reminding me to have faith in this unconventional route I’ve chosen to somewhat blindly, yet intuitively, walk along.

I saw my family tons, which makes me exuberantly happy and fortunate-feeling, and I reunited with friends in all corners of our country (and European hot spots, too). My travel roundup is nearly embarrassing to list, but something I am working on simply appreciating and taking credit for, instead of feeling the need to justify or excuse away… (In North America alone, there were trips to: Chicago, DC, Hawaii’s Big Island, Vancouver Island, Wenatchee, the Tri-Cities, Austin, Denver, San Diego, Osoyoos, British Colombia and so on.)

I saw some live music that moved me to the core—most recently, a broody Gill Landry on a local neighborhood stage … this summer, a gracious and genius Swede named Daniel Norgren, who poured every ounce of his soul and voice into the magical canopy of trees towering above my favorite Pickathon stage. Some other surprisingly special 2016 concert experiences included Joseph, I Draw Slow, Good Old War, Half Moon Run, Cobi, Blind Pilot, The Augustines, Third Eye Blind, Death Cab for Cutie, The Head and the Heart and—the biggest shocker of all—STYX.

Things changed, relationships shifted. Some remained as steadfastly solid as always, others strengthened in beautiful ways, and a few petered out in natural evolution. I feared some changes that never came; I felt the effects of other transitions more deeply than I may have expected. I worked hard to cultivate a stronger sense of “home,” I discovered the cleansing practice of hot yoga (which I always assumed I’d hate), and I tried to delve deeper into inflammatory flareups my body tends to suffer from more often than I’d like.

I celebrated several friends’ amazing accomplishments and exciting milestones, dancing and dining and wining the nights away, as we remembered what life’s really, truly all about. (When the comparison game snuck in, as it’s wont to do, I assessed ways I moved along with them and worried about parts of my life that make me feel “stuck.”) I continued to love the city I call home, and I challenged myself on a couple nature adventures that were hard, dirty and really, really cool.

I saw bears, marmots, sea lions, orcas and a nasty brown house spider I won’t soon forget. I failed miserably at squashing certain patterns etched in my psyche, while I made strides with other habits, reflex reactions and communication modes that I simply feel it’s time to drop.

In November, in light of the election I cannot yet discuss, I felt despair like I’ve rarely known—flattened by such deep-seated shame, embarrassment, confusion and sadness over a catastrophic decision that somehow (HOW? WHY?) sends the message that racism, sexism and disrespect of our fellow humans is blatantly OK.

I still don’t understand it, and I’ve had to work very hard to quiet the anxiety of what this all means … to believe that good and light can still triumph over an undercurrent of evil we’ve somehow given the go-ahead to surface and seep. During this disheartening, regressive period of history, I have felt so grateful to live in an evergreen-dotted bubble, where I’m surrounded by like-minded people, and I continue to seek out folks who champion the causes, mentalities and ways of life that I, too, admire and hold close.

All in all, it’s been a really, really good and blessed year, capped off by one of my most favorite Christmases on record. It took place in my parents’ cozy house on a hygge-tinged suburban street. We flew, trained and drove in from London, Seattle and Ohio, filling that welcoming home to the brim with laughter, cookies, games, movies, twinkly lights and easy conversations decidedly more adult and reciprocal than ones we might have had just a few years back. We downed mug after mug of daytime tea, and sipped on cider and wine as we gathered in the family room each evening, smashing together on a chock-a-block couch, to bask in the glow of a festive tree.

On my last night in the house before flying back to Seattle, I couldn’t sleep. I replayed the events of the visit over and over in my mind, feeling positively overwhelmed by the friends and family I get to call my own (and feeling that aching twinge I experience every single time we have to part ways). I full-well know that these highs don’t last forever—and that life ebbs and flows in ways we cannot control—so I increasingly take care to sit in the waves of gratitude when I feel them rushing in at speeds I cannot slow.

I am so thankful for all I’ve experienced, learned and felt this past year—even the times I’ve picked myself up when feeling low, combatted a loneliness that threatened to drown and trudged on through periods of scary unknown, working hard to maintain a blind faith that it’s all unfolding as it absolutely should.

I hope to write more in the New Year—a passion I’ve let somewhat slip into the cracks—and in the meantime, I wish you and yours the peace of letting go of the past, looking forward to the future and sinking whole-heartedly, attentively and appreciatively into the delicious, awe-inspiring present.

Happy 2017, friends. Let’s make it a great one. xo

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New Year, A Not-So-New Me

I’m trying to be gentle with myself as I transition from a beautiful, carefree, three-week holiday abroad to homebound, “back-to-reality mode” (which, admittedly, is actually pretty dang good). Overall, it feels nice to be back here in the PNW—amongst these trees, these mountains, these cozy venues and these fabulous friends (whom I’ve missed!)—but man, this jet lag is killer. While I’m feeling far from rested, I will admit there’s something awesome about rising long before the sun and, consequently, enjoying an especially extended and full morning routine.

I’m back into yoga, but definitely not back into eating healthfully. I’m back into working, but definitely not back into working efficiently/non-distractedly. I’m back into brainstorming on 2015 goals and hopes and wishes and dreams, but definitely not into putting anything into practice just yet. Oh well. All that will come. Slow ‘n’ steady…right?

In the meantime, I’m indulging in too-pricey caffeinated treats and buttery scones in a coffee shop that’s currently blasting 80s throwback tunes. Whatever works:)

What’s pulling you through this first week of 2015?

Caffe Ladro sweet potato & sage scone splurge-y decadence

Caffe Ladro sweet potato & sage scone splurge-y decadence

Thankful November: Day 6

Day 6 * I’m thankful for: YOGA. My favorite, wise, funny, playful instructors & my beloved studio—a warm, inviting space even when, outside, the rains pelt & the winds howl. Steadiness and strength and community even (especially) in the midst of semi-off-kilter days & weeks.

Halloween happenings with the lovely yogini Jessica.

Halloween happenings with the lovely yogini Jessica.

Keepers

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Monday was just one of *those* nights.

First, an invigorating dose of hot (well, warm) yoga, then a lakeside picnic with the perfect light, finally an early birthday celebration with the perfect company.

It was one I won’t soon forget.

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“Forget not that the earth delight to feel your bare feet and the winds linger to play with your hair.”~Khalil Gibran

So It Goes (& Friday Tunes)

It’s been an interesting, roller coaster week. I’m excited it’s weekend. There have been a lot of shifts going on in my world (talk of people coming and going, money strains, thoughts of a future plan, etc.), and much of it has my stomach in absolute knots. I have a hard time accepting change with grace.

I’ve been up since 6-something. In this town, when the sun streams in and splashes forcefully against my bedroom walls, I just cannae miss a single minute of it. I want to bathe in its warmth. I hope to make today light and airy, to not get bogged down in the heaviness of anything. Yesterday, at the end of class, Claudette treated us to a serenade of this Irish-meets-yogic song with her ethereal voice. It was beautiful. This morning I listened to it while I ate my oatmeal, determined to not multitask (for once!) and simply taste my food and feel the sun.

Yesterday was a very USA/Uncle Sam-themed day. First I got BADdddd news while filing taxes (ARGHHH! Such exorbitant self-employment taxes!!) and cursed our government the whole way home. Then last night, I enjoyed some welcomed laughs with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages at an improv show based on the inner workings of the White House. Yin yang, happy sad, so it goes.

How have your weeks been? I leave you with some feel-good tunes—Edward Sharpe & the gang, one of the bands I’ll be seeing in the Colorado mountains at Ride Fest this summer-yeeha! I’m SO excited. Happy weekend, friends.

Silence + Chatter

There are days when I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing—how I landed here, why exactly I am here, how long I should stay here, whyyy the heck I’m self-employed, whether I’m living enough/traveling enough/helping enough/trying enough. At times I frustratingly feel like I’m forever seeking, always on a hunt, perpetually off-schedule—while some people seem to so contently glide through the routine without so much emotion, without so many stinking questions.

Some days I lose perspective, and these queries and concerns play tag in my head, and I feel exhausted. The chatter: it is tiring.

Other days, I see so clearly that these questions don’t so much matter. That whatever the heck it is I’m doing, it’s okay; I’m onto something. I’m aligning myself, bit by bit, that much more with those things and those people and that music and those experiences that resonate with my soul. Some days, I am just so beautifully tuned in.

I am getting better at listening. To the chatter and to the silence.

My life is so full, and during certain, packed weeks, there is too much to even record. When I pause and push aside those nagging lacks, those voids that occasionally rise to the surface and ‘ping!’…. I am blinded by the light of all that is already there, of all that is already GOOD.

Here’s just a mere sample of the past couple weeks (great waterside brother time, awesome press events with AFAR Media, birthday celebrations that keep on giving, a VERY impromptu Lake City Dive concert—her voice!!, kitschy tea time, stress-releasing sun runs, St. Patrick’s whimsy, and through it all….some really fantastic company).

p.s. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! What’s making you feel *lucky* these days?

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*yoga*

More and more, I’m a believer!

(One day soon, I’ll tell you about the kooky cast of characters that comprises my favorite class and how these fellow yogis have become  such an important community for me here. Whodathunkit?)

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