Rise Up

August 27th blogedit

Isla de Barú, Cartagena, Colombia. 2018

“Ready or not, here I come, you can’t hide.” That’s what the storm says. That’s what time says. That’s what nature says. (That’s what The Fugees say).

Well, we can try to hide, but not well enough. Sometimes it’s better to just stay out in the open, where we find ourselves vulnerable and forced to face the changes. Hiding from these changes will only make us feel small, because we were afraid. Also, because we’d be left with a mountain of “shoulda, coulda, wouldas.” In hiding, especially from the storm, we lose out on the universe’s offer to cleanse us of anything that no longer serves us. All it wants to do is lighten our load. Free us of conscious and subconscious burdens. It wants to condition us to become fearless, and embrace change. The storm; the change in weather is just a metaphor otherwise, of the possibilities in life.

The oceans run deep, and at times they rise up. They become stormy, because there’s a sort of tension that needs to be released. We, as humans, have oceans of emotions. They run deep. They become stormy, because there are sorts of tension that have a need to be released. We have to face those storms to move on, to grow, to become stronger.

It’s all temporary. The weather, our feelings, our circumstances. When we embrace that, it’s likely because we have not forgotten about our sunny days. We have not forgotten the rainbows. We have not forgotten how clean the air has become after the storm. We have not forgotten the pleasure of breathing easy.

We can’t expect the sun to shine on our days, and not have the water rise as well. It’s a responsibility. We all have rhythm, we all move. It’s in how we interpret our experiences, that transform our livelihoods.

We are the ups and downs, the ins and outs, the comings and goings, because we’re alive. We are supposed to dance. We are living art. So, whether the weather is stormy, sunny, or sorta funny, be fearless. Weather, the weather. Rise up.

 

Everything is Everything

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Cold Spring, NY. 2018

“What is meant to be, will be. After winter, must come spring. Change, it comes eventually.” – Lauryn Hill

I’m so ready for it. I feel ready for a lot of changes. Especially now that I’m sitting still. The fast-paced life I was experiencing, moving from country to country has come to create a greater sense of stillness within.

I went hiking on Sunday. Left the city scene, to become engulfed in nature. I needed that. It was a dose of medicine. The feeling I have right now can be metaphorically compared to a caterpillar. I’m in a place where something is happening, I feel a shift coming – but I don’t really know how or in what way things will change. My hike through the trails, up the rocks, walking swiftly pass the trees, I would see caterpillars every few feet. They were symbolic of my stage of life. I am getting ready for a transformation. Some people would confuse a time like this for the end of something; complete darkness and uncertainty. I’m more hopeful. I can feel a beginning of something new about to occur. I feel ready for whatever it is. I can see myself embracing the new experiences and giving my all, doing my best, and showering each moment with an abundance of love and appreciation. I’m in my caterpillar phase, and I don’t feel worried at all. I’m just going through it. I am in the moment. Always. Feeling appreciative. Feeling grateful. When I reached the top of the hill, I felt so free, like a butterfly. Whatever is coming, just know, I’m ready to fly.

“What if that change you’re avoiding is the one that gives you wings?”

“A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings. Remember that, next time you feel alone.”

“Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she began to fly.”

“I wonder if the caterpillars know they’re gonna fly some day, or they just start building a cocoon and are like, ‘why am I doing this?’”

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.”

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.”

“Your time as a caterpillar has expired. Your wings are ready.”

“Within you is the power to rise above any situation or struggle, and transform into the brightest, strongest, version of you ever.”

“How does one become a butterfly?” she asked. You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

“Trust the process.”

“Like a butterfly, I am growing and changing and finding my true colors in life.”

Change, No Coins.

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2014.

Inevitability. My hands are up, embracing the one thing I can’t control. Change. Along with it comes opportunity for unlimited growth. As much as I’d like to prepare for growth, it’s not as effective as it is to simply go through the changes. There’s not much power in preparing for it, because I have no idea what it will do to me. All I can do is pay close attention to what evolves and dissolves as it’s happening.

I go with the flow. I don’t try to force anything. It’s a feeling of empowerment to embrace change entirely. The experience of growing as changes naturally occur can be compared to a raw, unfiltered immersion that produces a sometimes painful beauty. It’s all about perspective. Something within myself changes with every experience. Change lies within all of the little tiny intricate things. I love how it’s not always recognizable right away. Change is the planting of seeds.

I’ve changed. I’m not the same person I was last year, last month or even yesterday. There are many things and people I care about, and different levels to which I care. There are levels to everything. I’m all for the significance of balance. If I’m feeling off, then I have some shifting to do. One of the four agreements shared with us by Don Miguel Ruiz tells us to not take anything personally. I’m embracing that. My flow through this world has everything to do with what moves my spirit. If I am not moved, then I will not move. I am my first priority, so I have to pay my attention to what has the potential to affect a change in me. Change is a currency. Change is a reaction. Change can be a choice. Change has inspired me to no longer take anything anyone does personally. There was a time I did, and I’m a greater person for now knowing better. To take things personally is sort of like taking a drug. That feeling would metaphorically place me “under the influence” causing a delusional belief that I could have influential powers over other people’s actions. I do not take what you do personally.

My change is reflected through my actions. My change is expressed through love. My change is presented through words and colors. I love and appreciate the universal law of change; a promise to the living that nothing is forever.

I will practice congratulating others when I notice their growth. It’s worth celebrating. It means we’re awake. Listening and learning. Sometimes when I write, I feel as though I’m rambling. What I appreciate most about my blog posts is the fact that they change over time. My mission to share my opinion about this life on earth doesn’t change, but my delivery does. There’s more value in personal change, than the kind I use to exchange currency for product. If I were to strip naked of material possessions, what do I really have. A woman evolving. Change, no coins.

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2018. 

Bloom.

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Chiang Mai, Thailand. 2018. 

“Life is a journey, not a destination. There are no mistakes, just chances we’ve taken. Lay down your regrets, cause all we have is now. Wake up in the morning, and get out of bed. Start making a mental list in my head of all of the things that I am grateful for…Early in the morning, it’s the dawn of a new day. New hopes, new dreams, new ways. I open up my eyes and I open up my mind and I wonder how life will surprise me today.” -India Arie

The Chiang Mai Flower Festival is hosted every year during the first weekend of February, displaying colorful chrysanthemums, damask roses, and so much more. Just near the city center, the streets are filled with vendors of plants, flowers, orchids and garden decorations. Overall, the city is beautiful, and has the rich vibe that speaks to my soul. The flowers that fill the streets is life’s way of reminding me to laugh, smile, and keep things simple.

Nature in general, always finds a way to gently tap me on the shoulder and whisper how magical it is to carry on organically. In translation, I typically hear a drawn out whimsical tone, with the following words recited, “Just be yourself.” Whenever I hear that, a weight is lifted, and there becomes less pressure in understanding the particular reason of why I’m here. Just a soul aware of the possibility in having a spiritually satisfying human experience. The idea is to gracefully learn from all that enters and exits my life, and see how those things contribute to my wild growth. For that reason, I’m grateful for the variations of my surroundings. With each clarifying day, I’m inspired to remove anything that I  consider “clutter,” by focusing on what is essential to my growth.

“She is like a wildflower, beautiful, fierce and free.”

Often enough, there’s so much that distracts us from keeping life simple, and I find the presence of flowers to be one of many stimulating experiences that gracefully gestures organic beauty.

The next time you stop to smell the roses (when you look at yourself in the mirror), remember:

“Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.”

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

“Happiness blooms from within.”

“She sprouted love like flowers, grew a garden in her mind, and even on the darkest days, from her smile the sun still shined.”

“Like wildflowers, you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.”

“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms.”

“You are not your roots, you are a flower grown from them.”

“May the flowers remind us why the rain was so necessary.”

“Like flowers, we can also choose to bloom.”

“The earth laughs in flowers.”

“Advice from a sunflower: ‘Be bright, sunny and positive. Spread seeds of happiness. Rise, shine, and hold your head high.”

“Live wild, flower child.”

… and most importantly, “Bloom baby, bloom!”

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Flow

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Split, Croatia. 2017. 

This is a collection of poems I wrote, all inspired by the spirit of water.

As we embark on this new year, may we cleanse our spirits, may we be unpredictable, may we be immeasurable, may we be a source of power, may we be the flow, may we ride the wave, may we be simple, may we be divine, may we be peaceful.

May we too, be as new, as the day, as the year, as the stars and the moon.

Happy New Year!

BLUE
Blue, the way you mend
The way you heal
The way you send signals
Signs of protection in your reflection
Thanks for teaching me how to be
How to flow
How to see
How to blend, freely
Thank you, blue
BIRDS OVER WATER
Bird’s eye view
You see me
I see you
Near or far
Wherever you are
Over the blue sea, under the blue sky
Low to the ground, or up real high
Flowing with grace
Soaring with gratitude
Peace, you see me? I see you
With my bird’s eye view
HOLY
Baptize me in the deep blue
I want to become the closest thing to you
Take me to your nature
Give me the characteristics of its beauty
Allow me to flow with grace, everyday
The ripples will carry throughout time, effortlessly
Questions will dissolve
Life will be magnified
Baptize me in your blue sea
When I am brought up, I will be cleansed, free, flowing through time as you, because you are me
NATURE FLOW
I’m sensitive
After her water broke, I sensed the ifs
I was alert, aware, and know only to ever go with the flow
I sense the vibes and know that all things in the moment is just exactly the way it’s supposed to be
Just carry on with the steam young grass hopper, and you’ll have all that you’ll ever need
SPLASH BLUE
Cleanse me of anything that is not true
Free me of my burdens
Bring all things to the surface
Good, bad, bubbly blue
I like the way you look, I admire you
I like the way you sound, your vibrations are sweet, nothing new
You are the purest of pure, the surest of sure, the most gorgeous without ever trying
Everything that meets you, complements your flow
So much peace, so much beauty, you don’t even know
There’s envy in your presence
Others want your grace
But you are just as unique as all the others, yet you’re smart enough to know your place – and with just that, you’re more than ok.
Splash me with your blue
WHEN IT RAINS
Pour down
Be so strong, so magnificent, so raw
Rinse worries free of time
To no longer exist
The curiosity of the what-ifs
Don’t change your mind
When nature calls, and the winds flow, the trees grow, don’t question the blue waters that show their true colors
LIGHT UNDER  WATER
I can see through you
My flesh is the same, only buried in your grace
You simply move around me
There are subtle bubbles
Huddles of puddles
Yet, no one complains
There’s a light under you, confirming that you are indeed real and true
There’s no super light needed to change your hue
Just a sparkle, a twinkle, and little star in your waters, reminding me of how simple and special you certainly are
STILL
Still like you
Easy, like you
Beautiful, like you
Simple and true
Light without and within
Illuminating all the same
Wavy, like you
Deep and shallow mysteries, like you
Troubled and unbothered, like you

Grapes to Wine

 

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Portugal. 2017.

Go outside. Find a wide open space. Imagine there are no people around. Everything in sight is a part of nature. The colors are rich, and beautiful. It’s quiet. Clutter-free. This space you are in, becomes your state of mind.

Listen to your heart, and pay attention to your body. How are you really feeling? Emotionally. How are you really feeling? Physically. What are your thoughts? You’re alone, so it’s okay to be vulnerable with yourself. It’s okay to take out a pen and notebook and write down whatever it is that you need to release. Sometimes, there are feelings that can’t even be expressed or processed in thought, but once the writing flows, surprisingly, words form to help make sense of all that is happening. Sometimes, these feelings are dormant burdens. They’ve been asleep for so long, you forgot about them, but they didn’t forget about you. Figure out what they are, acknowledge them, and drop them off in this space. These are burdens that cannot continue on with you in your life journey. They must evacuate the premises. As these feelings are released into the universe, you are then engulfed by a sense of liberation. Something amazing is about to happen.

Okay, so you’re outside in nature, writing, reflecting, and lightening your load. Now what? Well, what are your desires? You got rid of something, so now what would you like to attain? Write that down. The best part about the things in life that you may want, is that it’s either already lined up for you to have it, or there’s something better waiting. Sometimes, you may not allow yourself to want certain things because you’re too busy looking at all that you already have going on. There’s beauty in that. It’s not that the life you currently have doesn’t matter, it’s changing the perspective and realizing that you, as the sculptor, can shape your peace.

You are in this world, as one tiny person, out of billons. You can live very simply, and yet still make a major contribution to life on earth. You can make an impact. You can do this by tapping into your personal dreams, goals, and desires. You can become inspired by the peace and beauty found in nature, allow it to seep into your soul, and reap what you sow.

You’re outside, in this wide open space, in the middle of nature, surrounded by a clutter-free and quiet beauty. This has become your state of mind. Therefore, this will become your life. It doesn’t have to remain in this phase, but the transition is necessary for you to gain perspective on what in your life will change. This is the space where you become focused on unity, clarity and manifestation.

Taking time in this space is about the break. It’s the matrix. You’re watching your life play on an imaginary screen, in slow motion. The plot is either thickening or twisting. The shift is coming. In this moment, in this space, during this transition period, you have the power to reach in and change directions, or to simply say, “I am okay with this. I approve. I am ready for what’s next.” Taking time, in this space, is about returning to your roots. It’s about remembering where you’ve come from, where you are now, and where you are going.

The way grapes travel through various stages to become wine, discover your life’s main ingredient and create something special, something only YOU can offer. It can be anything! It can be many things!

While you’re outside, in this open space, embracing all the things you need it to be, pour yourself a glass of wine. Think about the grapes, and the journey they took to get to you. Think about the process; the steps they had to go through to end up in your glass. Think about how the wine makes you feel, the impact it has on your life, in that moment. Reflect on the journey of the grapes. Then transition those thoughts, and reflect on your own journey… It’s not necessarily about the grapes, or the wine, it’s not necessarily about where you were and where you are now, it’s simply about the possibilities.

Cheers.

 

 

 

Beauty Mark

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Kerid Crater, Iceland. 2017

We all remember the day of the incident that scarred us, and changed our lives forever. Some of us remember the exact time, the scent, the words, the sounds. We remember every tingle and every tear. In the moment, the unexplainable was happening, the unimaginable, the unattainable, the inevitable. Not only was it happening, not only was it real, but it was present with a force, assuring we felt every ounce of pain, and it wasn’t leaving quietly. It was preparing to leave a mark. It was forcing a dent, a scar, a blemish, a distinguished feature, a crater, and ultimately, a distinct memory. Selfishly, this experience becomes the center of attention, and maybe not necessarily the preferred topic of discussion, but most certainly the elephant in the room. This new scar is uncomfortable, because it’s impossible to hide. It’s too large, too foreign, too complicated to explain. Yet, in nature, when we come across a crater of some sort, we find these “scars” to be “beauty marks.”

Nature’s scars become National Parks and World Wonders. We write articles and books about them, we rave on social media, we spend lots of money to see them in person, we travel the distance and make sacrifices, we take lots of pictures, tell our family and friends, we promote and advocate, and we become their biggest fans. At what point, after observing and obsessing, do we self-reflect? At what point after exercising all of those activities do we stop, sit, and have compassion for ourselves?

Similar to Earth, we too have experienced some shakes, quakes, rumbles, punctures, and blemishes; pain that has created scars, but aren’t they beauty marks as well? Why aren’t we turning our craters into wonders of our own worlds? Why are we not viewing them as art, taking photos, writing articles and books, telling our family and friends? The pain becomes beautiful, because it’s a part of us. It becomes something to talk about, study, discuss, observe, document, appreciate, share, and maybe even something we turn into profit, but let’s not keep our craters to ourselves. Similar to Earth’s natural wonders, we too, have scars, that become beauty marks.

After the storm – the sun shined, the rainbow appreared, the clouds were like candy, the flowers blossomed, and everyone thought you were so beautiful, but you thought it was only because of the sun.

 

Split Did It.

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Split, Croatia. 2017.

Right now, in this moment, I am no place other than where I belong. Right now, in this moment, I feel an extreme sense of gratitude. Simply for the now. With worries about no one thing. Love gives me that courage, to move about as though I am floating through, as butterflies do…just being. Not missing an opportunity to simply feel.

The morning wake up, to the orange sun, shining through the glass doors of the balcony, high over the Adriatic, within a blend of light blue sky, and deep blue sea, I am alive, and I am grateful.

Connected to the way the sun and the moon share their light at varying points of the day, and knowing that it doesn’t last forever. Adoring the precious timing of when their light becomes paired with bodies of water, and the revelation of that glistening “path-like” reflection. The sparkling, glittering effect, reminding me of diamonds – it’s that type of experience that has become my best friend.

I’m constantly finding myself so “at home” in places that bring me closer to nature. It is within those times, I’m given hope, inspired to have pleasant thoughts, discovering a sense of purpose, encouraged to have a sense of awareness, paying attention to the when’s and the why’s of life, understanding the questions that go unanswered, the reasons that remain unknown, and the sweet, sweet possibilities.

So, right here, right now, from the lands of the Adriatic Sea, that cool breeze is telling me, to always stay in the moment. Listen to everyone, all the time, with intent to understand. Listen to self, and stay true. I wouldn’t be where I am, if I were living a life of trying to please others. So, during these continued months, of my 30th year, I will cherish the moments, and create news ones, in foreign lands, meeting new people, gathering new outlooks on life, and the world, and spending as much time doing as I please, with a heart of compassion.

I’ll judge less, and embrace more. I’ll keep my heart open. I’ll keep my mind open. I’ll allow my senses to heighten, soar to a new level of life, and take in what is meant just for me. I will not forget, that my experiences, are just that, mine! I can share what I wish, yet the reasons are not for everyone. I’ll keep in mind the boomerangs, the ricochets, the karma gods, the flower bouquets, the aisles chosen to walk down, the patterns, the trends, the smiles, the frowns, the habits, the words, the voices unheard, the activity, the lack-tivity, the signs and symbols in between, I’ll keep them in mind.

Learning lessons every which way, and recently, in the last few days, I am constantly reminded that everyone has something to teach, and everyone has something to learn. Remain humble, and know when it’s your turn. 

In this moment, I know for sure, I am not all that I’ll ever be. The Split, Croatia experience will shape me, reveal me, and maybe even heal me. Like separated puzzle pieces, of the bigger picture, seeking where they fit. At the end of this month, in the ways that I’ll grow, there will be many thanks to Split!

Soft Pink Sand

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Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda. 2017

This is the way I choose to live my life, as a wanderer. To wander, is to explore. “I  have places to go, people to see, and things to do.” I remember my mom always saying that, and it still sticks with me. I’ve got things to do! Bermuda was next up, and just a direct flight from NYC. I decided to put Horseshoe Bay Beach as the number one place to find. This is the beach that has soft pink sand. Let’s recognize the parrot fish for all they do to create beautiful white and pink sandy beaches. Keep on pooping! So, as I write here, toes in soft pink sand, I’m feeling pinkfully peaceful. The water is gorgeous, with layers of teal, aqua, mint, and sea blues and greens. I’m a beach gal. No matter where I travel, there’s got to be a beach within some walking distance. It’s one of the places I choose to use for meditation. It’s my place of peace. At this moment, I’m too distracted to write, because the way the aqua blue water is crashing onto the soft pink sand… I’m feeling very ready to paint! I also have this thing with having “been there, and done that.” I’m just very preferential, with no apologies. Once I’ve done something, that’s it, on to the next. There’s so much to do and see, and I’m all for mixing things up, all for giving things a chance, all for spreading the love, and all for living with an open mind and heart. Although there’s so much to see, I came to Bermuda for the soft pink sand. Now that I’ve seen it, buried my feet in it, tried to get photos of it, I can carry along. I love making lists, and not checking things twice, but checking things off! Bermuda, the place known for being a volcanic sea mountain, the place known for the triangle, and so much more of whatever else, but please excuse me because, I only came for the soft pink sand. Oh, and when I say pink, I mean the lightest hue of pink you can imagine!

Abstract Nature Girl.

 

 

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Vinales, Cuba. 2017

Far beyond anything we can see with our eyes. Until infinity, as long as we believe. Take care of our minds, and our hearts, and exist forever. Keep a healthy self. Keep light. Keep love. Be light. Be love. Declutter and detach. Flow freely; be whimsical. Have a clear understanding on how to embrace and release all that comes and goes. Be still. Connect with the trees. Study nature. Become its reflection. Listen to the birds when they sing. Reject fear, judgement and discomfort. Welcome courage, and be courageous. Watch the changes right before our eyes. Don’t deny them. Pay attention to the evolution, within and around us. We are spirits. Let our spirits direct our steps. Trust in that, because it feels right. How much do we have to cover up? Layer up? Dumb down in make-up? Do not hide. Do not die. Do not subside. Awaken! Let’s get centered, balanced, lifted. Disconnect from “things” and get charged up! Find purity, and value that. Find innocence, and capitalize on that. Find radiance, and become drenched in that. Find the light, and never lose it again. Sing and fly as wild as birds. Grow strong and deeply rooted. The sky is beautiful. The ocean, so soothing. Let’s get back to nature, so much, that we become it.

 

What are we feeling?

What are we thinking?

What are we doing?

What are we saying?

What are we eating?

Is it all natural?

Does it come from nature?

What’s the energy like?

 Be still.

Peace.