Sunday, April 23, 2017

we came here to be liberated, we came here to be freed

The greatest transformations happen when you step out of your comfort zone and away from your phone.
We have a tendency to fear the unknown, but that is when change within us occurs. Fear at times holds us back. The reason we feel anxious and a little bit worried about how things will turn out is because we are going on a path of unexpected experiences.
When my dear friend asked me to go to Okeechobee Fest for her birthday, I denied her quickly out of reflex and fear. After marinating on the idea, I realized that there was truly nothing holding me back from going other than the exit from my comfort zone. I skimmed the line up and purchased the ticket without a second thought. This was an opportunity that had presented it self and I knew I must take it.
This would be my first camping experience ever! I had no idea what to expect and I decided that was the best way to go into this, with absolutely zero expectations. Everything happened so easily and swiftly. We met as a large group of seven cars with twenty-three people and caravanned from here to the festival. The second we pulled in, without words being said we all unpacked our cars simultaneously and started setting up camp.
The first night after we watched the sunset over the property of the festival, we made our way to the stage to watch Con Brio. 
During his set, he looks out to the audience and says “we came here to be liberated, we came here to be freed”. No truer statement would be spoken the rest of the weekend that could epitomize the entire experience.
Leaving my phone at home was going to help liberate me from the world and be fully present with my surroundings. I wanted to be able to inhale each moment for what it was and not be focused on anything else.
Days began and we energized ourselves with peanut butter and bananas sandwiches with granola. We packed our snacks, toilet paper, water, and flashlight because we had no inclination of when we would return. That was the beauty of it, bringing what you needed for the entire day and not knowing when you’d be back to the cozy campsite. Our entire camp family broke off and we headed out with our backpacks making our way to the different stages of the musicians we wanted to see.
I truly did not realize how much I would completely love being at a music festival. Dancing barefoot upon the earth I could feel the music underneath my toes. Allowing the vibrations to come through the ground into my legs. As I felt the sun blazing onto me and shut my eyes, I felt the rhythm of the music wash over me. As I opened them I could see the sun flickering and dancing upon the horn instruments. You could feel the funk taking over.
As the days went on you could feel the love of all the people attending the festival. People were all there to let themselves be free and to enjoy the music. We were all there for the music. There was no judgment and people could dress and express themselves in the way they chose.
All of us were here to be love, see love and create love.
Time seemed unreal. We had no place to be be, nothing we had to do and no where we had to go. You had full capability to just do you.
By the fourth day, exhaustion slowly started to take over my body. The amount of walking and dancing with inadequate rest periods caused my legs to hurt. But I did not let that stop me from dancing for every single show I went to. Regardless of my leg aches I danced for all the musicians I saw because I came for the music and to let it take over me.
I was the dirtiest and grimiest I have ever been in my life, but I absolutely loved it! No electricity, no showering and only port potties, can truly test a person’s limits and their level of getting dirty. 
I didn’t look at my appearance in the reflection of a mirror for the entire four days. When we finally made it back home in the middle of the night, I peered at myself in the bathroom mirror I saw life and beauty covered in earth.
We came to the music festival to be freed in so many ways. We came to move and groove within nature, just trying to survive and enjoy all the music.

Step out of your comfort zone and away from your phone.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

coming full circle

Life has a funny way of coming full circle.
Sometimes we don’t even realize that we have circumnavigated in time back to the exact same spot.
A few weeks ago I attended a bluegrass show that I had attended exactly a year ago; same artist, same venue, just a year in between and a whole different me attending.
We evolve and change so much that we never take time to actually reflect on that change.
JJ Grey and Mofro are not your typical blue grass band. They are full of life and energy, and their lyrics can be felt.
When we first got to the show I noticed the singer had aged. He is a musician that uses all of his soul to sing and wants you to feel every emotion through his words.
He had become a little grayer over the time since I had seen him last. The year that had passed was apparent. It wasn’t only in his appearance that he had grown but in his voice. You could hear the time and the growth he had made in this past year, you could feel the energy of him growing wiser.
Slowly leaving my group and making my way to the front of the audience I wanted to get a better view of the show. As I excused my small self all the way to the front and center of the crowd, I stood there right in front of him allowing all the instruments and words to wash over me. As I stood in the grass and gazed up at the stars brightening the sky, it hit me. 
A year ago, I stood in the exact same spot. Recalling that I departed from my group last time and made my way all the way to this location.
As I stood there taking in all the music and dancing, I realized the growth that I had made over the past year. I have completely evolved from the girl I was a year ago. All the strides forward to bettering myself had taken me very far from my unhappy self a year ago. My voice and my appearance have changed. The growth in me was apparent probably to everyone else around me but myself.
It took me dancing in the crowd front and center of a bluegrass band to realize. I had made it full circle over the time of a year to the same venue and the same show. But the person I am now is far happier in every moment.
Once I realized my impeccable growth, I just stood there and grinned as I danced alone.
Sometimes we need to take time to reflect on the progress we have made. Maybe it takes coming to the exact same spot over a period of time for you to notice the change.

As I come full circle, I have never been more proud of myself and the woman I have become.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

You are allowed to change.

You are ALLOWED to change.
Regardless of what society or others have forced you to think, you can change your mind.

You can decide on an entirely different path than the one you thought you were meant to take.  
Changing how you feel, or who you are is entirely acceptable. We are not meant to stay the same.
Changing and becoming someone different is the plan.
It is how life should be lived.
Changing is evolving into the person you are meant to be.

So follow the drifts in the current, they are guiding you.
The universe is trying to tell you to go to the next step.
Listen to the change of tune.
Realize the universe is sending you signs.

The belief that you do not deserve better is what holds you in this complacent unchangeable world.
Out of fear, you compromise which in turn will not allow you to go to the following chapter.

You can NOT compromise or settle.
It’s just a matter of listening to your instinct.
& deciding that YOUR happiness matters.
We will change. We are not meant to stay the same.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Why being single is not the worst thing to happen

I don’t think I have ever felt happier, more confident and completely thriving in life then I am right in this moment. I have almost made it to a year of being single and I have loved every single minute of it.

Once the toxic relationship that brought both partners complete unhappiness and repeated nights of tears and rage completely full heartily ended, the real me was allowed to immerge.

The best me yet was being shunned by the pressures of the person I was told to be. The person I thought I had to be to remain in the relationship. We all think that maybe we won’t get another chance, maybe this is what we get and we have to make the best of it. This is not true! You are allowed to be happy, and there will be other opportunities to find love!

Once that chapter had fully concluded, I woke up the next morning and decided I would be the greatest version of myself and nothing would stand in the way of that. Falling deeply in love with who I was had to be the most important thing to finding my true happiness. I needed to fall in love with all the dark places of myself, forgive the painful past and let go. It began by separating myself from situations that would steer me away from the self love path. My constant unhappiness was my motivation and kept me going throughout the whole process because I finally knew I deserved happiness. The stories I had grown tired of telling myself about not being good enough were not true. It was time to change the story and it was time to be the most real and authentic version of myself.

Being single provides a lot more time to do WHATEVER you want. The time and possibilities become endless because the most important person you have to focus on is you and you can give yourself exactly what you want. You no longer have to be forced to go to things that don’t bring you joy. Finding old hobbies and interests you once used to enjoy that you no longer could have made time for become a daily ritual. Friendship bonds are reconnected and made stronger than ever. The love in your tribe is what supports and keeps you going forward.

Adventuring to far away places alone becomes possible because there is no one limiting you not to depart. The freedom of opportunities and chances to be had, make living life more liberating.

The thing about being single at any time in your life is there are no longer any excuses to not be everything that you have always wanted to be. You have no reason to play small any more. The scary thing is that you now have the chance to face the grim and dark places in your mind, and to begin to heal them, but only if you are brave enough to do so.

Many will shy away from the opportunity to uncover who they truly are, because change is uncomfortable and unknown. The road is rocky and harsh. Unlearning self-loathing and replacing it with self-love takes practice, patience, and sacrifice. But, if you are bold enough to take the first step, the end game will be like nothing you've ever imagined. It is your service to the world to be the truest expression of yourself.

For the longest time I did not believe you could wake up every morning excited for what the day brings. When I look at my reflection in the mirror now, I see myself no longer pretending to be anyone else. I never knew what happy was until I was this happy.

A version of this was modified & published here: Why You Shouldn't Be Scared To Be Single On Valentine's Day

Monday, February 6, 2017

adventure is out there!

We need to keep the adventure soul alive. Sometimes we forget that there is a wanderer inside all of us. We go on with our days in a ritualistic way forgetting the journeys that can be had. It is not about where you live or the job you have that will limit the wanderer within you, it’s your lack of curiosity and drive. You must keep the curiosity alive; you must allow your inner child to remain active.

Whatever sparks interest within you, dive in and learn more. The greatest discoveries all were created from a flicker of curiosity.

Find inspiration in every day moments that can ignite the exploration. Finding beauty in your days will allow you to be grateful for each one you are given.

You don’t need to travel far to explore. Destinations are everywhere. Just go explore areas you’ve never seen. It’s about who you are with and the journey you take together, not so much about the actual location.

Spontaneous adventures with good friends can lead to pure bliss. So plan a day with your crew. Go to locations you have not seen in years with fresh eyes. Be outdoors and appreciate what this earth has to show us. Look up as the sun dances through the trees trying to illuminate the forest.

Be present. You are surrounded by so much life around you. Appreciate all the shades of green and shapes of leaves around you. Be thankful for your companions on this crazy journey we call life.  

Life is art and you need to appreciate the masterpiece that is illustrated in front of us.

Each day is beautiful. Each day calls for adventures.
So go outside, explore where your heart guides you.

Monday, January 23, 2017

you are not stuck

You are NOT stuck. I feel as if I have to state that because we all have a tendency to forget or feel so trapped in our current state that we don’t realize a way out. We continue in committed relationships because we think that’s the best we are going to get. We consider that we were only given this one person and that I am messing it up, so we need to continue until we can fix it. That’s not the case. If you are in a toxic relationship that doesn’t make you feel excited and happy for every single day then you don’t have to stay in it. Be that a relationship with your significant other or a friendship. If you don’t feel supported, loved, appreciated and just simply happy with this person, you CAN leave. You have the capability to get up and walk out. It is mustering up the courage to do so that takes so long.
At times we know it. We know in the back of our mind that the person we are with is not the one we want to marry. We feel it deep in the pit of our stomach that they are not our forever. But we still remain hopeful and trying to force it. We change ourselves to make it work because we think that the time accrued from this relationship is more valuable then our own happiness. We put our significant other before us to the point that we lose our self. The fights continue and the blame is always placed on you. To the point where you start to believe it yourself, believe that you are unworthy and you alone create the chaos and disruption in the bond.

It’s a trap. A trap to make you believe you can not leave. To make you believe that THIS is the happiest you will be. A trap that has been forming far before you can even remember. The idea of inadequacy planted deep within you as a child and grown into adulthood to make you believe you are not enough. Which makes you strive to make friendships and relationships last because of the complete lack of self.
You feel entire disconnection from yourself because you know what your gut is telling you but you are having trouble facing it. To actually admit defeat that the relationship is not meant to remain will be the toughest part.

But slowly, once you surrender and walk away. You start to realize who you are.
The happiness within you that you forgot existed begins to reveal itself. The shining light that you had that was put out by the relationship returns in full brightness. Because you have finally did it! You did what you knew from the beginning that you had to do.
There are so many people that do not know their beauty or worth, that remain in relationships and settling for unhappiness. They don’t realize the fact that they deserve happiness and they can have it.

You have the strength and the courage to do things that make you happy. You’ve had it within you this whole time. Now you must follow your intuition and allow the person you have always meant to be shine through.
If you are crying more than smiling and you can feel your gut instinct begging you to make a drastic move. Do it! Because at the end of the day, if you two were not meant to be together then maybe you were both meant for another.
There will be someone out there who will appreciate every thing about you. Who will find all your quirks and oddities, are what makes you who you are.

But until that time, you must fall in love with you and the freedom of singledom.
You must realize you are enough and you have always been enough. Fall in love with you and be fully yourself, because truly there is no one better to impersonate.
Why waste anymore time being unhappy? Don’t allow a fearful story you’ve told yourself for over a century continue playing out in the present.

You are not stuck!

& you deserve happiness.