The Stream to Success

photo-1545933165-945eb24d50a4When we are not getting what we want, sometimes it feels like we are trying to get it by paddling upstream after a downpour. People can be so hyper focused on reaching success, that what they do becomes more important than how they feel. We are conditioned that we must fight tooth and nail, and if we do so relentlessly, our dreams will come true. But at what cost?

If we’re miserable the whole way there, I think it’s safe to say we won’t have very many happy campers with trophies in hand. Rather, we’d have people wishing the trophy was different, bigger, or better. That is because how we feel now is predominantly based on the culmination of what’s already happened, and how we’ve already been feeling. And yes, there is value in the struggle. We learn and grow there. But we can struggle and follow the flow, or struggle in stagnation.

A stream does not stop flowing when a big rock gets stuck to the bottom. The water flows around the rock and continues its journey downstream. Yet, there I was, like Moses, blocking the flow of my stream so I could try to remove the rock I had named “Single as a dollar bill.”

The rock that we think we want to get is better left untouched. Maybe we think we want that rock, but that rock is there to tell us to move forward in another direction, or have a new perspective. Maybe if we kept flowing, that rock would naturally loosen.

This is not to say give up. This is to say let go of the rock. If you flow in other ways, what you want unfolds naturally. When you’re anxious about not getting what you want, rather than trying to rip the rock out of the ground, find a way to flow downstream.

 

5 Musts Before Going On a Road Trip

photo-1469854523086-cc02fe5d8800Five states, 10 national parks, tons of car singalongs, and a lot of takeaways from the experience that I’m ready to give out. I could probably write a list of tips longer than a CVS receipt, but for time’s sake, I’ll give you five.

1. If you’re going with a travel buddy, have “The Talk”

I’m not talking about the kind of awkward talk you might have had with your parents as a preteen. I mean the travel talk. Set aside some time to go over your preferred way of communication. Talk about what could potentially get you stressed while traveling, and the best way your travel buddy can respond. Express pet peeves, potential triggers, etc.

Not only is it helpful, but it keeps you mindful and makes for a better companion and experience. It may also make you understand why the week prior, you got a mildly furious death glare for eating a bag of peanut butter pretzels. Apparently hearing someone chew can be someone’s biggest pet peeve, and they won’t choose to let you know until you ask them.

2. Budget and round up

Between eating out, spontaneous detours or activities, or staying at nicer hotels than you planned, you can’t be 100% accurate on what you’ll be spending. Therefore, I suggest budgeting beforehand, and rounding up. You think you’ll spend $300 on food during your trip? Round that shit up to $450. That’s not to say you can now blindly buy a  gourmet, gold encrusted, four course meal at a 5-star restaurant every other day. Intend to spend $300, but have that extra cushion to keep you at ease when changes come.

3. Get THE RIGHT gear, and no matter when or where you go, bring a bathing suit.

It’s not about getting the items you want. It’s about getting the appropriate gear. Unbeknownst to me, I brought a summer sleeping  bag on a trip with temperatures that would drop lower than my self-esteem when trying to pitch a tent. It wasn’t until I complained I was cold, and my friend felt my tracing-paper-thin sleeping bag, that I realized how ignorant I was in regards to anything wilderness related. Just because you have what you want, doesn’t mean you’ve got what you need. Also, even if you can’t foresee a single reason you’d need a bathing suit, bring it anyway. Trust me.

4. Have backup food with you

Have some food in your bag just incase. Protein bars are your friends. You never know what will be around, or if you’ll stay somewhere longer than expected. The last thing any human wants to deal with is someone else’s hangry ass. Do yourself and your neighbors a favor. Whether its a bag of nuts, or a bar, so help me god, take it with you.

5. Be open to plans B through Z

Be open to spontaneity. I find that the less that is booked and set in stone during a trip, the more you are able to be open to all sorts of new ideas and opportunities. You meet strangers who rave about a place you haven’t heard of, and because you’re schedule is flexible, you can now experience a part of the world you never would have been able to otherwise. Avoid getting too set on plan A. Let life take you on the journey.

So, ta da! There you have it, five musts. Needless to say, these are only some tips that can help you down the road(trip). Tell me some of your musts in the comments below!

We Do This Shit To Ourselves

photo-1527018609937-2ab6154b7197Have you ever thought someone or something else was the cause of your pain and suffering? If you said no, you’re a supernatural freak and I want your number. If you’re a different kind of freak and said yes, you may be surprised to know that noone or nothing can be blamed for the state of your being other than you.

If you were karate kicked in the face by a grown man wearing Doc Martens, your pain is valid because that probably is going to leave a mark. Much suffering however, is created by your own thoughts, which can only be created by you. Most thoughts are about the past and future, which further proves my point that we often do this shit to ourselves.

For shits and giggles, I’ll give you a personal story as an example. For anonymity, I’ll call the guy I was seeing at the time Joseph Gordon Levitt (I wish). I had been talking to Joseph for months, consistently, every day. My rose colored glasses were on my head more securlely than a seatbelt on a rollercoaster ride. Lord knew, I was about to be on one.

One week, what was once a consistent stream of communication, was a sporadic sprinkle of content. I put myself through hell and back worrying about what I could have done, or what could have happened, to create the change in communication. Next thing you know, my naive inexperienced ass sent him a text out of concern and desperation to get answers and clarity. It wasn’t cringe worthy, but it certainly didn’t deserve an applause. The response and series of events that preceded, resulted in my mom referring to him as the devil because he acted about as mature as the boy in my first grade class who made chronic fart noises with his mouth.

It’s easy to point the finger at Joseph for my sadness because he acted like a douche, but really I did it to myself. My thoughts created the unnecessary worry and insecurity. Those thoughts were the catalyst for an unnecessary text. The text made me come across as needy, and insecure, which is the equivalent of me waving around a giant red flag right in front of Joseph’s face. I chose to let his immature ways make me sad, rather than learning from the situation and thinking “Boy bye. I need me a man. This is the stepping stone to something greater. Onwards and upwards.” It takes two to tango, and we need to own up when we step on someone’s toes.

If you point one finger forward, three are pointed back at you for a reason. You are the actor, director, and editor in the play called your life. To be able to make a 5 star romantic comedy, you have to take accountability for your feelings and the creations in your life. If you want a box office bomb, keep pointing your fingers at other things.

 

The Rush Of The Butterfly

pexels-photo-219938Have you ever looked at a Catapillar and thought “What the hell is taking you so long you maggot looking blob with legs? Why aren’t you flying?” I don’t think so. You understand there will be a transformation, and time needs to take place. Yet, oh so often we have these unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others. We demand and assume things from us and people we know that make as much logical sense as a cocoon hatching a unicorn. 

I’m so guilty of being dat bitch who is like “Law of attraction blah blah blah I can get whatever whenever if I try hard enough.” Before any fellow spiritual folks get riled up, I believe in the law of attraction and our ability to attract what we want based off of what we think and feel. However, it also can be detrimental because we don’t see the bigger picture. There is a larger party at work, and maybe a longer transformation needs to ensue to create that reality. Expecting it in a certain way and time frame can hold us in an unwanted pattern too.

I’m not writing this to be all high and mighty like I know what the fuck I’m doing. I’m that girl yelling at a freaking caterpillar that doesn’t even understand me. Deep down though, I know I need to stop trying to control this crazy simulation called life, and let the caterpillar enjoy its time on land. 

The Excellent Choice

Before I get into the nitty gritty of it all, I want to preface that I’m a bit of an Oprah groupie. Not really, but I think she’s the bees knees. Anyways, I was listening to a speech she gave where she told the audience three tips to follow. If you abide by them, you’re basically golden. 

The final tip, which may come as no surprise considering the title, was “Always make the excellent choice- Do the right thing.” Now before you say “Duh” and roll your eyes like a conservative talking to a millennial about anything progressive or current, hear me out. 

Was it an excellent choice for me to have that entire bottle of prosecco last weekend and say regrettable things?(Knowing very well that I hadn’t had any alcohol for several months prior to that night) Obviously not, if I’m being candid. However, unlike that example, the excellent choice isn’t always clear as day, or as obvious as my drunken shenanigans and hangovers.

The excellent choice may be to lean back and not say anything even though you feel the need to explain or defend yourself. Maybe it’s to not do what everyone else is doing so you can “fit in” or feel good temporarily. Maybe the excellent choice is to sign up for that class or workshop even though it scares you. The excellent choice may be to leave a toxic relationship, even though you still love them….pexels-photo-236287 The list goes on and on. Keeping that tip in mind has certainly made me think twice in many (though I wish all) situations. Hopefully next time you have a choice to make, this will inspire you to think about if it’s the excellent choice, and perhaps change your plans accordingly. 

It Took Having to Leave Everything to Realize What I Had

 

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12/12/17

Air as thick as the minds who don’t believe in global warming. Ash falling from the sky like confetti on New Years Eve, covering the pavement like a carpet of snow. Everyone walking around with masks as if we were MD’s, and are about to save a life. That life however, is our own.

I tried to pack minimally, but my ego did most of the work. Within 30 minutes, I was sitting on top of my third massive suitcase trying to tuck in my lingerie that was way too expensive, and did not get nearly enough use, to leave behind. I heard the sound of a siren, put my mask on, and left my cottage. Clumsily dragging some of my suitcases behind me, I got to my car and opened the trunk. Ash rushed into my car. “Shit…”  I thought as I immediately began to hurl my belongings carelessly so I could close the door ASAP.

Not long after I got on the road, I saw the mountains surrounding me engulfed in flames. Tears began to fill my eyes. Truth be told, those tears rolled down my cheeks, and I cried. I’m used to shit happening, and me staying tough and moving on with life. This was different. This brought me back to September 11th. The stuff that stays ingrained in your mind for years to come.

Fast forward several days later, and here I am in LA at a Starbucks feeling somewhat guilty for using their wifi without buying a coffee. Ugh, fine, I guess I will.. Anyways, yesterday I did yoga at a park, bought some yummy food, took a bath, and did all of the generic self care crap. Today I miss Santa Barbara. I know it was amazing there, but I can’t believe how much I took my life for granted. Where I live, the city, my work, my friends, like why the fuck do I ever think my life is anything but extraordinary? … Minus the fact that I’m a little bitter about this guy still not texting me to see if I’m okay. He’s incompetent in the realm of communication. I’m over him. Next.

Moving right along… I just want to go back home. I feel so helpless. I want to help stop the fire, but all I know how to do is stop, drop, and roll, and I feel like that would be pretty counter productive for what they’re trying to accomplish. That being said, I’m alive and everything is working out.

I appreciate what this catastrophe has instilled in me. An immense amount of gratitude for the life I had, and will have again, and an appreciation for what I have now. I’m looking forward to continuing this adventure called life. This fire may have taken my breath away in the literal sense, but figuratively, my life does, and that’s the greatest gift I could ever give myself this Holiday season…. Now let’s see how long this lasts before I start bitching about how I’m not getting any younger or thinner.