Fancy-Free... well that is just a way of life, being, a frame of mind. It is the idea that we are each responsible for fulfilling our dreams and desires. The knowledge that we can each do whatever we want, and recognizing the courage it takes to go after it- whatever It may be-

About Me

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A writer, a yoga enthusiast, a trail runner and real food junkie. I am constantly exploring new experiences, new challenges and new concepts.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Change of State

Almost two years ago, I found myself in a new spot. Even though I had become fairly adept at navigation… I was lost. I woke up one day, found myself in a heap of self-doubt, self-isolation and debt. I was on my way back to Ohio, to visit family for my nieces first birthday. I was already in a place where I knew I needed to slow down. I had been on the road continuously for a year and half and had been running at an ever-increasing rate for the last 6 months. Crossing the country from the Midwest to the west coast about 6 times during that time. My thoughts were that I would spend a week back in Ohio, and drive across country again, this time heading to Moab and stay put there for awhile. I had passed through that area a few times and thought it seemed as good a place as any for me to try on for a while. Unfortunately, or rather, fortunately, life had other plans.  What I thought was going to be another short visit, turned very quickly into something else.

To back up a moment, I woke up and realized I needed to slow down. To change my pace of searching to one of settled. I needed to reconnect to what I wanted and to be completely honest, to pay off that heap of debt that I had stumbled into. I had no idea what life back in Ohio would look like. I hadn’t lived here for more than 6 months at a time since my 3rd year at Ohio State. To put that in other terms, it had been about 10 years since I lived anywhere without having an exit strategy. I was used to going, to planning, I was used to movement. So feeling a little lost and disconnected maybe shouldn’t have been a surprise, but it was.  Because it meant that I had to look at things I thought I had known about myself. I had to look at the why’s of my decisions of that past couple of years and face some harsh realities. Like... Perhaps I have a tendency to grasp onto one idea and run with it, past the point of it working. I took to the road and ran it out.

So as I settled into my new life of being still. Words like structure became used in my language in a non-negative format. I began to realize that sometimes it can be a useful tool for giving yourself boundaries when you feel ungrounded. Now don’t get me wrong. I have never been a huge fan of words like restrictions or boundaries.  In the sense that I never want to feel as if I am living the type of life I do not want to live, that I am compromising myself. But recognizing the benefits of things, placing them in your toolbox to pull out whenever something needs a little adjusting is just another way to create more freedom in your life. Once you become aware of the usefulness of something, you now have the ability to use it whenever you see fit. To reconnect to those goals that ultimately are leading you to the life you want to live.

For me, that life involves being debt free. Being connected to my beautiful family. And ultimately to be completely location independent doing things I love.

So would my right now life be a surprise to the me of two and half years ago. You bet. But sometimes you may just need a change of state…

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

For The 10,000th Time

I know we have heard it. I have heard. Most likely you all have heard it too. That listening to what serves you most will not lead you astray.

Let me start here, with where this came from. With my writing, I have hesitated. I have gone through periods of self-doubt. That doubt would stem from wondering if what I was saying was original. It is a hard question to ask.  Because honestly, few (if any) creations are original, so I asked myself… Was I wanting to say anything that hasn’t been said before? The answer is almost unanimously no. Very few concepts, ideas, even if I have thought them for some time, have not been somehow influenced by someone I have met or something I read, so I would keep coming back to… are these thoughts necessary to share. Or have they already been put out there.

Honestly, Not likely. Necessary they are not. But I just spent the weekend at a workshop. Not a writers workshop, but a yoga workshop. And what happened during that first hour of the entire weekend was that I heard something inspiring. Was it a new concept, no. Even new to me, no. Did it still have an impact, Yes! So I started to think about this. For the entire weekend… so I wrote to a friend about the need for a constant reminder…

The mental block. How many times do you have to hear the same thing, intellectually believe the same thing, before you live it? Some lessons are not satisfied being learned once.  And then…  you have to acknowledge The Out. The notion that following your passion can mean you have to refocus everyday, because there will always be easy things… easy things that present themselves in such tempting ways. Which is ultimately ways to justify doing something else. The Out… there are so many.

…The night I return home, I stop by my sister and brother-in-laws’. They had made this delicious GF pizza and their children were being crazy lovey, so I stay. We are sitting there at dinner and Emily starts to talk about something she is reading, about how they are focusing on the idea of no longer compromising the life you want to have. That this book, this concept of leading your ideal life was really resonating. Her husband, Alan, and I just look at each other. I have to say it… “You mean the same thing we have been saying for years”

And it is true. You will hear things that sit really well with you. But if you hear them just once… there is a good chance the impact will fade. Even if intellectually you know them, the trouble lies with experientially knowing… living these ideas. And so I am going to continue to write, my take and my words. Because sometimes you need a different perspective. And sometimes… it takes 10,000 times. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bursting the Comfort Bubble...

Yes I know. It is all too easy to settle into a nice routine. You get comfortable and live to your means.  You are fine, things are proceeding smoothly, but it isn’t quite where you thought you would be. And it isn’t quite what you thought you would do.

Yes I know that thought when you actually get inspired by someone or  something, by yourself and your own dreams, that you think YES! I can. And there is a smile on your face and excitement in your blood. That inspiration came from something new. Something new that you allowed to happen.

…And then a week goes by. You kind of - sort of - stay at your job, you rationalize this dollar amount… this date… this criteria and then…then you will try this something new that will make you happy. 

…And then a month goes by. And all you can kind of – sort of – remember about that essence of inspiration is that it felt good.  Something about it felt light and fun, and maybe a little scary. You start to think less about it, taming your mind into being “realistic”… The more time that goes by, the easier it is to forget that rush, that excitement, that truth that we can do whatever we want... and we slip back - nice and easy - into our comfort zones.

Can you remember it now, in this moment, the last time you felt that flash of life zip through you and your excitement beaming through you and in that moment you felt fully yourself. And fully alive.  
Perhaps you can remember. Perhaps you followed and things went ideally. Perhaps they didn’t.

Honestly… either way… my response is, who cares. Now, lets do it again. And again. Why not? We are evolving beings and we need to step outside of are comfort zone on a continual basis. We need to promote self growth above stagnation. To be proactively alive rather than allowing our lives happen to us.

It is as easy as you want it to be. Or it can be drastic. Seriously, every time I try something new. Read a book with a new concept. Or fly a plane, increase my running mileage, attend a new workshop, or let a friend convince me it is best to get out of bed at 5 am to hike up a mountain... For the sole purpose that it REALLY is fun to run down it! I am always left better, more open and with a better understanding of what I am capable of!
Zorbing! - maybe stepping out of your bubble will lead you into another one. If you find yourself on the North Island of New Zealand please try this!!
As a friend states during most of our conversations... "Make It Happen".   As you approach that comfortable edge, you can feel it. When we burst that comfort bubble we are open to new perspectives. And I will be honest. It is fun. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

To Thine Own Self Be True

Running through the woods today. Aware that the birds have left. The leaves no longer rustle.
The only thought that rings through. “To thine own self, be true”. –Shakespeare

I was introduced to this piece of writing about 7 years ago. I have read it so many times over the years. And it is currently on my wall. Handwritten from another.

The Invitation

Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

And of all the lines, the one that stands out the most to me… now…. And again… “If you can be faithless. And therefore… Trustworthy.”

Can you be aware of you choices? That wherever you are, it is a choice. That we are each choosing our situation. Sometimes… It definitely feels externally enforced. I know that… society, family, life, the situation, the position… But ultimately it is our decision to rise to the occasion. To say yes, I am here. Or not to. We are responsible. So you can trust that I am here because I want to be. Not because I am obliged to be. So therefore… I am trustworthy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Shades of Green

So this is a reflection on a previous article. That post “Is That Grass Greener” being written over a year ago – I did still want to share it – as most of you could tell, you know.. by my posting it. So it was a long minute ago when I first wrote it. And I suppose I haven’t expanded on the idea because I am still wrapping my head around my current thought process. I am working on it, daily, trying to blend views, trying to reword and sort out how one can take advantage of a frame of mind that has a negative connotation, and turn it into a useful tool for living fully… I have to admit that however much I may have liked how I wrote the previous post, I may not 100% agree with what I wrote.

To start, let me say that cultivating gratitude on a daily basis is such a beautiful and rewarding practice. I know this, I have seen the magic of it, the transformations that can come when someone shifts their view from one of lack to one of abundance. From the victim to the heroine.  I adamantly respect the process of becoming proactive in how your life unfolds.

That being said, emotions are important. I have always thought so. Good emotions are so easy to except. However, I  strongly feel that negative emotions have their role. On some occasions, negative emotions can be a great indicator that we need to make a change. But that should be it?! Make the change, realize that you should be happy, and let the past go. Life should not be a struggle. 

I know that sounds great. For me, I am totally on board. When something does not feel quite right – When you are not excited about life. Check- got it – make a change. No problem. I should be happy. Hell yeah I should. We all should. We all can be.. Ok check. Now let go…hmm… For me this is where the challenge arises. As it probably does with most people. So once again… I have to remind myself… 

“The grass is greenest where your awareness is directed most.”
                                             -Amber Spear (Yoga instructor)

So as we work out the shades of green… as we all give our input as to where our awareness is focused.  Where we are letting our hearts settle. Let us keep in mind that we can be, create and do whatever…. So why not?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Vulnerability... And the strength that lies therein.

“If you persistently seek validation from others, you will inadvertently invalidate your own self-worth.”
Self-validation begins with being open to vulnerability.  Finding courage through your own inner strength. I think I have decided its time for me to become vulnerable. Time to create the life I want to live. In order to do that, you have to go after it… whole-heartedly.  

A few years ago a friend of mine was about to purchase land, start building a home, start an organic farm and continue to build this with someone she had known for less than a year. This particular gal, that I have been fortunate enough to know for the past 5 years, is the sort of gal that doesn’t dip her toe in first. My intuition tells me she has always been a whole-hearted person.  Jumping in to whatever she does fully. When they first started looking at land, and discussing this whole joint operation, I remember her pulling me aside at work one day, excited, to tell me about it. I remember being awe-struck. Here she was embracing the vulnerability of going after a dream. Unsure of the ending, even unsure of the beginning, but taking that first step to the life she knew she wanted. 

For years, I have repeated what I realized when I saw her in action. It takes courage to go after your dreams. Whatever they are.  And to manifest the life you want, you have to be okay with the unknown, trust yourself, and be okay with the idea of failure.

“What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.”
So what is this life I want. Well like my friend, I am a bit unsure of the beginning. What I have used as an excuse for too long is the dilemma of the “it”. Whole-Heartedly going after “it” would be so much easier if “It” was clearly laid out. But you have to start somewhere. So over the next few months I am going to be writing and sharing, simply put…about my interests. I would love to be able to say… my interest is this ______. Then everything would fit nicely into it. I mean, I have seen a path forming constantly in front of me, I have become more and more aware of the interest that have stuck around and that have become passions. I thought at one point they would all come together to fit into that nice package. So I could just present it, myself, with a ribbon and just say … here you go.

When I started writing about my experiences, I wanted to use this as my travel guide. For those that may like to travel like me. It was about sharing my style of exploration. As I have remained grounded in one spot over the last year, I found that there are so many thoughts I want to share, and my exploration has turned inwards. I want to explore the boundaries of optimal health, endurance and community. So, I am going to.

A Bold Experiment begins. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Is that Grass Greener?

Why is the grass always greener? Or better yet, is it? If you are one of those people that realize the beauty in what you had – post having it, are you doomed to never being happy in the present?
As one of those people, I prefer to think of it as a constant re-evaluation of your self. Often enough those affirmations of the past are usually me recognizing that my current self isn’t exactly who my old self thought I was. For some reason holding onto out-dated convictions is a hard thing to let go of.  At just shy of 29 I am looking at all of those absolute statements I have made of myself, my likes, my dislikes and trying to see what still fits and what I need to let go of. It turns out, it would be easier to let go of them all and start over. Fresh.
Easier said than done.
So, is it that we all want to jump the fence? Or are we just becoming better acquainted with ourselves? And if that is true, for me, for you, what is the point in preferences at all? If I can look back at the last 10 years of my life and already see so much change in who I thought I was, how am I going to form ideas of what I will like, and be like in the future?
Maybe preferences have there space in the here and now. Perhaps it is as short as… today I would like coffee, without the notion of tomorrow at all… And that’s it. What suits me in this moment? 
Because the only thing I can deduct from staring out over yonder, is that I really have no idea if I will even like grass at all when I get over there.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Strange Encounter - previously mentioned Lazy Lizard Hostel - Moab, Utah... Feb. 2011

So I walk into the co-ed bunk last night. Set my stuff down and set out to make an amazing dinner of rice and carrots and celery and beans and tomatoes and lettuce and avo and hot sauce and asiago cheese and ceasar dressing all wrapped up in these wonderful locally made wraps*.
*that I purchased when I immediately found the health food store when I came into town, and it was open for another 30 minutes

Anyway.. I made my dinner and head up to the room. I sit on the bed and there is one other man in the room. I am feeling good and being friendly. He does appear to be homeless (I use -less because it doesn't necessarily seem to be by choice). We start chatting and very quickly, we start talking about crazy stories and sleeping outside. The stories roll out with locations all over the place, with people popping in. Then astrology starts popping in. He used to read charts. I happen to have mine so he takes a look. Talks of being aware of deception, making special note of self-deception. Talks of being trouble-makers.. but that since I have so much Jupiter influence that I can probably get away with it.

Then he asks if he can give me a card reading. And so he does. It is interesting. It mentions a lot of a significant other. But in no way does it describe anyone close. It said I made a bad choice, to watch out for male chauvinism, someone wanting to control me and so on. It was strange. And we talked about it for awhile. I need to watch out for bossiness, in me or in those close to me for the next 6 months. My intuition is going to be failing me for the next few weeks, I will have trouble connecting with my inner self.

His name was Charles.

Very soon after I discovered I had walked into the wrong room.