Wednesday, December 26, 2018

year of discovery | new year upon us

This year has been a year of discovery. I realized that I haven’t wanted to share as much because I am realizing things on my own that I am not fully ready to express yet.
My writing has become my solace in my journal. My creations and my art are therapy for my being. I feel connected to myself even more when I take time away from my computer and phone. I’m giving myself time. For feeling emotions, being in my body & dreaming with eyes wide open.
I am learning to speak my truth and value myself in ways I never knew.
This year has taught me SO damn much.
Maybe one day I will tell you all about it.
It just doesn’t feel right for me to share yet.
Each person is different. Which means each discovery of self is different.
It is not linear. It is a journey.
The timing is their own.
It is no race. No rush. There doesn’t need to be force either.
But it is work towards your happiness. For your dreams and goals.
To release blocks within yourself that have kept you from FULLY loving.
From FULLY believing.
Becoming aware of habits and narratives that need change.
You have the capability to create your life.
Embrace each moment.
Especially during this week before the new year.
Take time to evaluate the growth this past year has provided you.
The learnings that have occurred throughout it.
Accept it. Accept all of it.
Forgive those that have hurt you.
Forgive yourself for mistakes or wrong turns you have made.
All of them. Every one. Led you here.
To this moment in your body approaching a brand new year.
Accept the past.
Accept the present.
Focus on what you want this new year to provide you.
Get clear. Connect with yourself to know the next steps to take.
No one knows.
Only you.
I’m not hiding from the world.
I’m just being part of it more.
May I continue to be filled with love & happiness.
May I continue to be guided & trust my intuition.
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Paris is not just for lovers | Together in Paris

I ended up staying in Paris for about a month, and was able to immerse myself fully into the heart of the city. Staying with someone who’s heart beats for me. She wanted me to see and experience all the things I love and could love.
Food from the earth, fish from the sea, freshest of flavors being combined for what my mouth has never experienced. Kendall guided my tastebuds to be able to feel happiness through my belly and into my entire body. For her culinary creations is her art. 
She appreciates art in all forms and supports creation. Picking out ingredients in the market to create her masterpiece, seeing her eyes bolt from one ingredient to another as she sees all that she wants to add together. Watching her touch and smell to see what would work all together. Saying it all out loud to entice and excite.
Paris is not JUST for lovers. 
It is for that & so much more. 
Paris is for cosmic connections, orgasmic food & universal signs. 

Finding people you connect with that you never expected to meet. 

Spending time with your friends in a deep present way. 

It’s for solitude and learning to love yourself. 
It’s for enjoying life fully and appreciating each moment you have. 
The French sit by the Seine sipping in their evenings with friends. 
They appreciate their time and connections they have.

It’s the city of art and artists. Kendall’s friend came to visit her and arrived on my birthday. An artist, an empath and soon to realize once meeting destined friend. We had journeys that led us to be in Paris.
Artists wanting to discover more. We went to all the museums our heart desired to have our eyes stimulated with inspiration. Seeing art from all the masters who came to Paris to discover who they are. They painted this city to depict the way they saw and felt it. A place full of inspiration and creation, for me to discover who I am even more. Creating what I see and feel.
We three have an artistic understanding of the other. 
Our art forms may not be the same but we appreciate seeing what the other likes.
I am meant to be here at this time with these two women. We have brought clarity to each other. Through tea sipping passionate rants, underwear dance parties, roaming art museums, and praising BeyoncĂ©. We explored the city, tasting, hearing & seeing what this moment here is trying to show us. 

All the amazing coincidences in our lives lead us to where we are now. 
Together in Paris.
We brought clarity to one another. 
We understood the passion and love felt. 
We recognized each other’s pain and transformations of self. 
Appreciating each variation of art we form individually. 
 Revelatory connections with artists who want to express in food, art, clothing & life.
There was another friend who relocated her life to the city from home. My moon sister who had moved to Paris with her love. I got to witness her in a new element; in love and happy. Her joy to be in a new world, embracing and learning from it all.
Hearing about her journey from when we last saw each. Years ago, we were sitting on Sanibel watching the sunset. We never expected that when we reunited together, we would be celebrating each other’s birthdays and doing yoga in Luxembourg Garden. 
Old friends, new friends, and all the growth of being together. 
There was many cosmic signs and moments. 
Everything flowed. 
Just as the water in the Seine, 
Paris is always dancing.
Au revoir

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

digesting all the experiences | trusting in each day

I am lucky, insanely lucky & loved. I couldn’t have traveled all that I did for as long as I did if it wasn’t for those who housed, fed, and loved me for the past three months. I am back stateside but I’ve spent time digesting all that my body and soul have gone through across the 4 countries in 80 days.
There were no prior plans. All that was known was Paris. Intuition and love led me to the next locations. Buying a one way ticket is pretty wild. Trusting in my gut to make such a large leap. It can be very unsettling, not having certainty if I made the right decision at times. Those moments didn’t last too long. Guidance appears to reveal what I need to experience. Being fully present to feel the direction, I was witnessing fully what I am meant to see.
Traveling can show you yourself in all those around you. The world mirrors you in the connections, situations and hearts you touch. It removes you from your routine, your surroundings and those you know. To reveal to you what you may not have been aware of to grow in completely different ways. The world is large, we are all entities experiencing life in the way we feel suited for us.
Traveling can leave you uncomfortable at times. I learned how to be okay with the uncertainty of my days. Being in a new place of lifestyles that you don’t understand. It can render you speechless and overwhelmed. You absorb all that is around, taking in all that your eyes can. Learning from all the people you see and come in contact with. Admiring different ways of living that you haven’t been able to witness Devouring all the different and the new. Listening to your body when there is too much stimulation. Taking in each day as it presented itself.

We have no idea where we are going. Or where we will go. 
I just trust. Trust in each day and all that it provides me.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Where in the world is Natasha?

Short answer: I have made it to the motherland, Lebanon, after months of traveling through Europe. 

Long answer: I’m still working on processing how far I have come through it all. For I have transformed and learned far more than I ever expected to. Constant movement, being led where I’m meant to go, following the signs as they have led me. No plans and working on limiting expectations.

Explorations of self, falling in love with the world and discovering who I am more as I let my soul and heart lead me. Adventure and learning through 4 countries. There has not been time to digest, and share everything with the world just yet because I’m still processing this journey of discovery.

All roads and paths allow me to learn more about love, and to find home within places, people & situations. Home may not be a place, but instead home is where you feel the most alive and happy.

“The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to.” -Alain de Botton 
I have stayed true to myself and evolved along the way. At times I have felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Following the signs and my heart as it directed me where to next. Traveling alone can be exhausting and not as fabulous as the world perceives. By the end of it all I will have traveled for 80 days, having loved ones meet me along the way.

I will tell more about each adventure after I have had time to recharge in my home. I am fully present through what I am experiencing. No social media on my phone and lack of wifi has me feeling grounded exactly where I am.

Where in the world is Natasha? She is with her mind, body & soul soaking up the Middle Eastern sun. Eating dates, figs and all the watermelon her heart desires. Touring the entire country to see all the Lebanese that are related to her (it’s A LOT). 
Until my next post, I’ll just be floating on through this adventure (at times a top the Mediterranean Sea).

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

happy birthday to me from Paris

This is the least amount of loved ones around me on my birthday ever. I have always been surrounded by love ever since I was born. Summer time and July have always been a season to celebrate. My birthday comes the day before the independence of America so it has always been a large festivity and I typically make it a week long palooza of sorts. I plan for it for months ahead of time and end up being more stressed by the time it rolls around. But that doesn’t feel like me anymore. 
I have no plans at all or expectations. 
We change. We evolve over time. Experiences, life, people, the journeys, they either change us or keep us stagnant. For me I continue to evolve into something different (like a Pokemon). Something more aligned to my truest self. I am finally letting myself be the person I’ve always secretly wanted to be. 
Connected, happy, & me. 
I have sought solitude. Being alone allows me to feel, recharge, and go off into the world ready. Being in a foreign country is an entirely different form of feeling alone. Instead I am observing, absorbing & seeing how others love and live in all their forms. Witnessing all the love around me. A city so in love with love. I am loving just being in the moment. I love love. I love seeing it, hearing about it, and feeling it. Even just being around it and this city is full of it! Public displays of affection are everywhere. Full on make out sessions by the canals. Ass grabs walking down the street together. I may not have loved ones are all around me physically but I can feel the love from them. As I read words sent from the states to me here. I can feel love afar consume my body. I don’t feel alone at all. 
Now I am on the other side of the world. Celebrating life, love & myself. I feel calm and at peace. As I celebrate my 28th trip around the sun, I am going to trust myself from now on. For I am love. Life, love, and inspiration all comes from within. Nothing is outside of me. 

Flowing through, feeling it all, and being exactly where i am meant to be. Savoring each moment slowly. Feeling the connection with myself, with the world around me & with love.

Monday, July 2, 2018

we learn | we evolve | we become |following my gut to happiness & realizing the love within

I follow my gut. It’s what I do. Or what I began to do a few years ago when I realized how unhappy and depressed I had become, I was so disconnected and far from my true self. 
Focusing on my wellness and my happiness became my priority. It has been 2.5 years of not drinking. 2 years of being single. Which has helped me realize my happiness and my truth, for it gave my the time I always needed to truly hear what I needed. My life that I am living is my own. I am doing what brings me joy. When I realize something is not aligned with my best self, I revaluate to realize what it is I need. I tune in to hear what what my gut is trying to tell me.

Before I quit drinking I was wary. Many around me didn’t support me and a lot didn’t think it was capable. A few months in I realized all my inner demons that I had numbed over time were surfacing, I had to finally face them. To be able to truly feel them, so I could release the grip they had on me. My body started to feel lighter and happier as time passed. I was treating my body like a temple. Giving it exactly what it craved and needed to thrive.
After a few months I realized I still wasn’t as connected with myself as I needed. A toxic relationship had to end for me to be able to learn to love who I was. My gut told me months before this that the time had come but I was scared. Scared I would never be loved again. Terrified that if this was my only opportunity for a man, that I might end it and be forever alone. Being single was what I needed the most. The fear of being lonely was better than pretending I was happy. I didn't want to escape to a man to be my happiness. I needed to be my own happiness. 
I needed true introspection of myself to love every part of who I was. When I ended it, I committed to not dating anyone for at least a year. I didn’t want to prevent myself from focusing on anything other than the relationship with myself. I wanted to give myself time, something I had never done before to be able to love. To fall in love with myself. But also to learn to love my body, my mind, my interest, my life, my family and my friends. To love in such a way that I could appreciate every moment. My friendships grew stronger. True connections where I was able to put my all into them. Hearing, feeling, and appreciating them for all that they were. Learning about love from all of them. We love in different ways, giving love, receiving love, and showing love. I saw how people loved who they were, loved those around them and love different things in their lives. We all love, appreciate and are amazed by so much. I wanted to learn and see through all their eyes. For all these friendships I had were supportive and kind. True friends who love, and love with all their heart. Each friendship its own. Each love its own.
I dedicated so much of my time to loving myself. Learning all forms of self love. Any and all forms of self care that I needed to feel my best. Cultivating a stronger yoga practice by doing it every day and through teaching classes. When I taught, I was able to share the movement that brought my body happiness. I could see and feel an entire room of people able to give themselves an hour to listen to what their bodies need. Breathing in inspiration and exhaling what no longer serves them. Yoga helps to release the grip that anxiety, fear, sadness and pain have on us. It forms in our bodies and when we breath, move and sweat it out, we are able to release its hold on us. We can recognize that it is not who we are or part of us. When we become aware of it, it can show us so that we can learn and evolve from it. But it does not have to continue grasping onto our hearts and minds.

I started to release my anxiety. Whenever I felt it coming on, I would face it. I stopped pushing away the pain so that I could figure out the true cause of it all.

All that past pain. All the fears. All the feelings of inadequacy. There was no way to numb, no relationship to escape to, there was me. I stopped over two years ago shoving those emotions down to avoid them. It resulted in me within a room of all my emotions and each day one will come up for me to learn from. By learning where it comes from I am able to work to release it. I listen to what it tells me. 
I went into what I thought was my dream job at a company I worked for a few times. From the first day I knew that I had made the wrong decision but I kept telling myself to give it time. I gave it a year. As the months came closer to the year mark my mental health and my happiness were diminishing. On Monday I would go to work ready to defend myself and shield myself from the toxicity of the environment. I did yoga, worked out, self-cared my ass every single day for me to be able to make it through the week without falling deep into sadness. Not appreciated for my talents or even valued as a person, it became draining each week. Breaking down by the end of the week and riddled with anxiety, I spent the weekends decompressing from the negative feelings to prepare myself for the poisonous combat I’d face every Monday. A company of women who bullied, harassed, and belittled, instead of being a force of empowerment. This was not my dream. This was not what I wanted to waste my vital energy and life doing. My happiness mattered more to me. I quit with no prospect of a job, because I finally listened to the screaming voice from inside that had been telling me for the entire year to leave. I realized my worth. As much as my environment tried to make me feel less than, I knew who I was. 
I left the job at the company that I kept returning to for good. I ended the chapter knowing I would never return again. This time with certainty I was doing what I am meant to.

Situations, experiences and life toughen you and allow you to feel emotions you don't want to feel. The low points, the uncertainty of yourself, and the anxious times can all lead to a place of you being true to you. Stop making excuses for yourself. For your unhappiness. Change what you need to. What you know you have to but avoid. Stop the awful habit that you feel destroying you. End shitty relationships that bring you more sadness than happiness. You don’t deserve to be crying more than smiling. Leave the job to pursue something that brings you more joy. Listen to what your gut tells you. As the anxious thoughts come up, as fear tries to creep in, I face them full on to see them for what they are. To be able to learn from them and release them with time.
For life is all a lesson. These opportunities, people, distractions, are all meant to teach me. They are bringing me closer to myself, and living my life for me.

My body is a temple. My life is my own. I will live it to the fullest, following my gut and listening to my heart. 
I don't move through life aimlessly with the past pain weighing me down or trying to escape emotions or feelings. I am able to live my life for me. 
Lessons are learnt. 
We learn. We evolve. We become.

Monday, June 25, 2018

dreaming with eyes wide open at the masterpiece in front of me & my wildest idea yet

I’m living and dreaming with eyes wide open. Seeing everything around me for what it has to offer. 2017 I fell in love with myself. 2018 I wanted to discover who I was even more. To be the very best version of myself, I have to challenge myself and get entirely out of my comfort zone. Internally I have been doing the work on myself. Learning more of what I want. 
Now I can go to find what I want from the world around me. There are so many things in this world that I love. There are so many more things in the world for me to fall in love with still.
I took time away from social media because when I finally was brave enough to quit my job, I was given what I always wanted. Time for the deepest introspection of myself. Time to learn more. Time to feel alive. And to create. 
I deleted all social media off of my phone. The more my face was glued to it, the less I was able to witness each moment in front of me. I wanted to be able to feel all the time I had. Every moment I was given. To be fully present so that I could experience it all.
For all moments eventually come to an end, nothing will last forever. I want to feel every one that I can. Especially after I finally was able to remove the things in my life that were taking away from my flow. So I felt each day. I didn’t plan. I let things unfold. I surrendered to the process. No need to rush or force. Knowing that everything that is meant to happen will.
I created. I felt all that I needed to feel and made art. All kinds of art. It flowed through me. Inspiration is all around and I was able to finally see it. I put more intention into my actions. More purpose into my art. More dedication to becoming.
I learned more. Reading, researching, writing and being curious about whatever made me feel something. I wanted to absorb all that inspired me. Art comes from creators trying to express what is inside. The time had come for me to allow all my insides to come through in paint, pencil, pen, photographs, words, connection, experiences, creation in every form. 
Life is art. When it is fully lived it becomes your best masterpiece.
A few days into a brand new year I had my wildest and craziest idea. I told my mom my thoughts and she responded without hesitation, agreed and told me what route she thought I should take. She knew just as I did that this chance would never happen again. I will never be this young, single & have the time to roam. An indefinite amount of time to discover who I am and create along the way. 
My wanderlust nature itched at me more and more as the days went on. But I knew I needed to surrender. It did not need to be rushed or forced. I knew I was going to eventually go. I felt it. Just the way to get there and how would be slowly figured out when the time was right. I just let the excitement brew inside me.
I've dreamed about it ever since I was a child. I assumed it would be with a love, but I think with where I am now it makes more sense that it is not. Slowly signs began appearing to lead me there. Last year I roamed around the Art Institute of Chicago, admiring all forms of art. Standing in front of the “Water Lilies” by Claude Monet admiring the serenity of the colors next to each other. A stranger standing close saw the way I was looking at it and said “if you ever have a chance to go to France, there you can see the painting in a panorama”. In my heart as she said the words I knew I would go. I had never felt more certain about something said by a stranger. 
Things began appearing. It kept becoming mentioned. I knew I would go to Paris. I felt it in my heart. It has always been a dream but I wasn’t meant to go at any sooner date than now. Than today. To see the art of all the greats. To be in the home of fashion, love & creation.
So as I am writing this from my friend's apartment, steps away from Notre Dame. I bought a one-way ticket to Paris. With no plan. With no expectations. All I am certain about is I am meant to be there. I am dreaming with eyes wide open. Seeing life in its true form, as it is the masterpiece around me. Finally, able to realize that I am art myself. I am a masterpiece trying to master peace. Bon voyage!