Happiness is

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Cease trying to work everything out with your minds. It will get you nowhere. Live by intuition and inspiration and let your whole life be Revelation. 
~Eileen Caddy

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{Me, Saturday, Golden Gardens, post-paddleboarding adventure—seals!! Pure Pisces bliss.}

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So deliciously often recently, my days include:

Being by/in/on the water.

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Barefoot, unkempt lake hair, bathing suit, sundress cover-up, sand and dirt and sweat and sun seeping into me and everything I own.

For me= this is true happiness. 

Surf, sun & sand (sprinkled with doses of other stuff)

My weekend snapshots provide glimpses of attempts to soak up every second of this glorious season. (And not to boast too much, but these past days, I’d say I’ve been doing a pretty darn good job of it:))

You will see water (and more water! Pisces heaven), city skyline views, reunions with friends, lazy park sits, exquisite sunsets and sensational scenes that suggest that ALL is right in the world. I belly-laughed with an old friend as we caught up over a picnic on my favorite Seattle mound. (We got goosebumps as we witnessed a petal-strewn marriage proposal under a fire-streaked sky.) I rode my bike, carefree, down the canal trail; I wandered the Sunday market; I heard music from guitars and a violin and the nostalgic drone of bagpipes.

*Pause: I do think it is sometimes important, however, to acknowledge that these snapshots only tell part of the story. There is some danger in this odd existence where social media and the vetted-for-public versions of our daily lives prevail. Clearly, these pictures don’t capture a few weekend lowlights, like terrible Sunday morning listlessness and a serious WHAT-THE-EFF-Universe moment Friday afternoon that had my emotions running rampant and my mind/heart feeling lightyears away from Zen. Although these moments were brief in the grand scheme, they were real, and they stung…..Like Susannah cleverly confesses, we shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that others’ lives are always “all rainbows and unicorns over here” (despite what highlight-reel-recaps or colorful slideshows tend to suggest).

But the main point, I suppose, is that there WAS (and remains to be) so much amazingness, and this is where we must focus the lens. Sometimes it is too easy to get hung up on the hurt or the scared or the sad, or whatever threatens to plague. But, as always, I practice (and practice some more) shifting the emphasis. On bringing to light what is really, really great–on the billions of small (and big) ways I continue to be blessed.

On Saturday morning, I went paddle boarding (so fun!), where four of us drank in surreal mountain and lighthouse views. We spotted a regal blue heron, bobbing, iridescent jelly fish and a playful seal splashing his way across the sound. We saw a rainbow arch its way around the midday sun (so in this case, in that moment, it actually was all rainbows).

On the journey back to the shore, I really got in the groove-pushing meters ahead of my fellow paddlers-feeling steady and strong as I slid along atop the water. For a wee while there, I lost myself in the rhythm of my strokes, the repetitive swoosh of the oar, visions of hypnotic, dancing light beams below. Afterward, kissed with sun, plastered with seaweed and sprinkled with sand, we rewarded ourselves with JUICY Paseo Cuban pork sandwiches on picnic tables next to the bustling surf shop. Bliss. Like a child just in from a day at the beach, I felt tired and sore and joyful and alive. In moments like this: LIFE. IS. GOOD.

Me Vs. The Gut

From time to time, I get mad at my gut. I want things to feel right that just don’t. Sometimes it involves situations, other times people. Logically speaking–these things, these connections, these projects, these whatever they are–for all intents and purposes, they should work. So why don’t they then?

The gut can’t always know, can it??

When I first come to this realization, I often feel disappointed and let-down. I want to fight it. An inexplicable sadness descends; I’m inclined to cower inside my shell. (It’s as if I’m mourning the loss of something that never even was.) I waver in an uncomfortable zone of confused indecisiveness. And limbo-land, we’ve all learned, is never a nice place to visit.

I know that not everyone can relate to this, perhaps only us ultra-sensitive souls. (Maybe it’s my two Pisces fish forever swimming in opposite directions:)?) To some, life is more clear-cut. If something isn’t working, if it doesn’t feel right, then why on earth do it? Pull the plug; cut it off; move on. No big whoop.

For those of us in the other camp, it’s a bit less definitive. Just know that we’re trying.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned up till now, it’s that guts don’t lie. And you can force and finagle and make do all you want, and perhaps it’ll work for awhile. It’ll probably be fine, maybe it’ll even be good.

But in the end, the gut always wins. Things that felt “off” snowball into feeling, well, awfully “off.” And arriving at that place is not something I wish upon anyone.

So it’s simple, right? I should just learn to listen to that trusty gut early on. I’m getting there. Slowly.

** “Listen to the whispers and you won’t have to hear the screams.”~Cherokee proverb (often reiterated by our gal Oprah)

Luck Be a Lady (@Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort)

I am long overdue a photo essay about a 24-hour, decadent escape I took with one of my college amigas last month. On December 9th, in a post titled “Stillness,” I wrote:

The past 24 hours with Alli at a Leavenworth resort called Sleeping Lady were pure magic. The second we entered the winter wonderland, I felt my heart rate slow and my breaths deepen. We dipped in a steaming hot tub tucked beside a snowy hill and afterwards warmed up by a crackling fire, chatting for hours over indulgent plates of food and glasses of wine. We met kind people (the few that were there), and I slept more soundly than I have all week. Completely decadent and spoiled. I am so grateful.

I will write more soon, but for now I am relishing the quiet that I found out east in that serene, special place. Happy weekend, friends.

‘All is well. You did not come here to fix a broken world. The world is not broken. You came here to live a wonderful life. And if you can learn to relax a little and let it all in, you will begin to see the universe present you with all that you have asked for.’~Esther Abraham-Hicks 

Here’s how our trip looked~

Roadtrippin’: does a soul good!

Blue skies, snowy peaks, open road, ahhhhhh. More of this in the near future, please!

The grounds of Sleeping Lady (near where I was treated to an hour-long massage). Spoiled!

View from the steaming sauna @ sunset.

Our room. Rustic-chic! Cozy, warm ‘n’ very comfortable. I was ready to move right in.

Enjoying a multi-course, multi-hour “buffet” (think organic goodness) in the friendly, lodge-style dining hall. Scottish chef  Kenneth MacDonald provides visitors an unforgettable dining experience. We closed that place down, unable to tear ourselves away!

A in her private loft: happy as a lil’ clam:)

Tree art! All eyes on YOU.

Delectable brekkie spread.

Chihuly’s only permanent alfresco sculpture graces the Sleeping Lady grounds.

I am a Pisces, and I love many things about this image! So tranquil.

On-site music center.

Riding home, feeling very lucky indeed.

If you ask me, this is a sure one for the bucket list:)

Horoscopes

This morning I’ve been tidying up and preparing for the arrival of one my oldest and absolute best lifetime friends and her fabulous husband. My mom just rang to give me the latest Pisces prediction:

Someone with a similar background is the most fun person to be around today. No matter how far away you are from where you grew up, you’ll feel as if you’re home.

Spot on:) I love it when pieces of home come to me. It’s the best. Hurry west, friends!

What’s your sign?

I recently found these pages my mom had Xeroxed for me out of a horoscope book  a few years back.

Yep! It’s official.

Still a Pisces, through and through.

More water, please:)