release 

l e t go. release. surrender 

|the upcoming full moon paired with Venus retrograde asks us all to slow down, to carefully review our lives-old patterns and behaviors to discover what can be shed that is no longer serving our TRUE growth. it asks us to practice supreme self love and care while we come clean about which fears, doubts, people, jobs + life circumstances are holding us back. You KNOW what your heart desires most, what dreams you’d give anything to see realized, where you’d go if you dared to venture off the grid and who you’d most like to support you on this journey toward a more authentic life|

you deserve this all. {release} return home to yourself. 

#highvibetribe #soulspeaklife #belongingtobliss #puakaihealing #release #review #renew

recognize

|that other person is you. In some way, shape or form every s i n g l e person sent your way, put on your path is there for a reason. Sometimes it is to teach a lesson-hard learned or easily accepted. Other times it is to be a mirror to you-to show you something about yourself that may need adjusting. Then there are those who remind us of the magic of life and forces beyond our understanding. They show up, reach out or bump into us literally to relay a beautiful message. To keep believing. To stay the course. To know we matter.

there is a divine order + plan even when pain seems to be your teacher| #tbt #balibabies #recognize#streetsofubud

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile” {Mother Teresa}

permit

|At their very c o r e most people desire and seek two simple things in this life “Permission” to be themselves, to let their guards down, to be completely authentically who they know themselves to be. And “Acceptance” to be loved, acknowledged, supported and experience camaraderie because of it.

The greatest secret they’ll come to know is that immeasurable {divine} support comes from self acceptance only WHEN you learn that the only permission ever truly needed was your own|

fits

In 2010 my girlfriend Dana was tying the knot in Newport, Rhode Island. Newly single and clear that I wanted to attend, she encouraged me to bring my sister, a friend-so long as I showed up. Half way through the white glove service, Astor mansion-set wedding on the cliff walk, Dana dashed to my table on a serious mission with a tremendous grin across her face. I can still see and hear the conviction in her voice. “Lisa you have to meet my friend Tommy. I don’t know how I never thought of this before. He’s here with his whole family-they are amazing people. He is super successful on Wall St. and lives in Tribeca.” She squealed in excitement. “He thinks you’re so beautiful”. I wasn’t sure how I actually felt about it since I was very much raw from the split with my ex. The handsome, charming, drunk fool never did make his way over that night. When I look back at photos from the wedding 5 years later I can tell why.

It took him 4 days to write but he eventually did-via private message on Facebook. I was on a cruise ship with family and friends when I got his note. Introducing himself he mentioned the wedding and not getting to talk to me in person, some standard “good things” he had heard about me and an offer to take me out. I remember smiling but again not feeling ready to date. I politely answered that I appreciated his reaching out but I didn’t see it working for me at the time. Since Tommy is Tommy he met the note with confidence. His reply was short and sweet-“No worries. Just so you know the offer doesn’t expire if you change your mind.” That handsome, charming son of a bitch-he won when I caved in two weeks later.

Our first blind date on the Hudson river lasted 3 hours-a bottle of delicious white wine and fluid conversation I easily agreed to date 2. A movie and dinner in the city on his turf I remember heading back to see his place. His room had exposed brick walls and his dresser had expensive designer jewelry strewn around. I remember everyone’s comments about how successful he was-young money, fast money, but duly earned. Apparently he was the “man to be” at the time. Lucky for him I never cared. I remember the strong attraction sitting on his bed-but he was a gentleman. He walked me to my car and gave me a short, sweet kiss at the door.

Date 3 another wine-induced, seductive dinner later we were making out at some bar on the Hudson River-the halfway point between where we both lived.  In between kisses he asked me to an upcoming wedding upstate in a few weeks. I remember agreeing but being unsure if this was the right answer. By the end of the night, all smiles and a bit tipsy he pushed me up against his car and we made out there too. As delicious as it all was I just, wasn’t convinced. Two days later I wrote him to say I was sorry but I still had unfinished business to deal with my ex once and for all. And so the story goes [according to Dana’s inside] that Tommy was insulted, upset or downright confused by the idea of a girl turning him down. Apparently our handsome, charming successful lacrosse superstar turned wall st. golden boy was not used to being turned down.

2 years later and no interactions between us I sat in the oncology wing of White Plains hospital in April 2012. My stepfather had been diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer 3 weeks after the heart warming wedding he and my mom had shared. It was gut wrenching and honestly nauseating in every single second we lived it. Intubation, biopsies, colostomy surgery and chemo was their honeymoon. In the wake of sitting in shock and bitterness I logged into Facebook to distract myself and there he was. The picture posted was of three dolphins perched above crystal clear water around his fishing boat. A tan, glowing, thinner and seemingly happier version of the man I had dated in 2010. I remember wiggling a little in my chair while smirking. I was so taken aback by the photo along with the other 20 people who had commented on it. I wrote “This cannot be a real picture”. Within minutes he sent another private message, teasing that he hadn’t heard from me in forever and had to look several times at my profile picture to figure out who it was. It probably didn’t hurt that I had recently changed it to tan, toned photo sporting a sexy dress from my trip to Vieques, Puerto Rico. He asked how I was. “HA-oh I’m great, ya know just sitting here in the cancer unit of the hospital-per usual, what else?” Part sarcasm part actual jealousy to wherever he was. I told him what was going on and teased that clearly his life was a lot more exciting it seemed.

He was traveling-with no end in mind. He had chosen to leave the desperate and collapsed version of Wall St. by 2012 to reward himself for the hard earned money he worked the few years prior. For his 30th birthday he would travel far and wide to ski, surf and fish-do all the things you promise yourself you’ll do when you retire. Very intrigued, we began flirting and it continued for weeks. Surfing in Panama he ventured daily to a café for wifi and we’d talk. After three weeks I mentioned that he should really appreciate where he was because I would have done anything to be with those dolphins at that point in my life. He, like Tommy does, responded point blank “So come see them”. And just like that little miss rule-book, straight A student, oldest, responsible sibling decided to take an adventure for the first time ever.

The night before flying to Panama City he called me to say “Don’t be mad I promise it will be worth it. I need you to repack your bag so that its less than 20 lbs-we are going to a private island off the coast and we need to go by boat.” What the hell do you possibly argue to that? You bet your ass I got it under 20lbs. I still remember his face picking me up at 2 am in the airport. Ecstatic and bewildered he asked where the rest of my stuff was-to which I replied…”I listened”.

My family and friends back home were like cheerleaders rooting for our tropical jaunt to turn fairytale come true. We were barefoot for days-we chased sunsets, swam, read, tanned and made love. I was crazy about him and the idea of a second chance. As much as I wanted this to be my fairytale something inside me worried again. It was June of 2012 and he claimed the end of his journeys would be in August.  It was a feasible amount of time to wait to be together stateside but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The voice inside me whispered a very real truth. He’s only ever been two things well-an incredible athlete and a finance hotshot. The impending identity crisis upon his return home would certainly not be easy for him and I knew, in turn I would become the second victim behind his ego.

The last place he journeyed was to Indonesia stopping in Bali. During all his travels he collected local treasures for me. Days before leaving he bought me a handmade, white lace Balinese dress.  He told me it reminded him of me because I was his “angel.” When he returned and gifted it to me for my birthday he was pissed, I mean really pissed when it didn’t fit. There stood my mother, grandmother and aunt all beaming with excitement and wanting to rectify it-quickly. ‘Ok well we’ll just have to hem it and take it in here and adjust that and it will be fine!” I laughed. You don’t trim and tuck a handmade Balinese dress. They meant well wishing it were a prelude to a wedding dress. We later we went online, chose a style, wrote the company sending cash for them to send the dress that fit. Yet somehow it came back across the world-untouched with tags and money.

We split in April 2013 when Tommy left to herd cattle across Australia. (No, I can’t make it up). And so the dress stood hung in my closet. I always looked at it partly in anger and otherwise sadness for the fact that we hadn’t stood a chance at that place in our lives-while he waded in indecision, confusion, anger and uncertainty about how to rebuild his world-what to do and “be” next all the while I tried to remain a loving, supportive girlfriend for him. I was broken over it-ego badly bruised, pride sucked dry and heart shattered in what felt like rejection. The only way I could cope was to self soothe.  One night, that I now can never forget-I looked at the dress and said out loud-‘Don’t worry Li-someday, somehow when you get to Bali, even if on your own accord you’ll get a new dress. A new dress that fits.”

And so there I sat November 2014 in a café named Olive-in Seminyak on the southwest coast of Bali sipping a Mosquito mojito cocktail, working on my first book. I had just returned the dress 2.5 years later, even though the shop had a 7-day return policy. I left with a gorgeous, updated, silky white lace version of the one Tommy originally purchased.

I now have a form fitting dress and 50,000+ word draft of a book and he has a profession that fits-a business that allows him to travel the world scouting locations for adventurous missions for clients to escape and explore on. Nearly 5 years of history on and off, global travels and worlds between us, somewhere in between a modern love story was woven.

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the struggle to stay

As I walked to Tunjung’s office I was filled with excitement, anticipation and guilt. I wanted to record our session but worried about the karmic consequence of not revealing the whole truth to a psychic healer. “If you don’t mind I’d like to tape this hour so I can play it back and obsess over every connection and prediction you make.” Don’t act like you haven’t been there 😉 But I surrendered to the ethical side of my brain and went in without it-totally stripped of my ego, heart wide open, eager to meet her fully in the room. 

Her smile was sweet and her spirit strong. She had shoulder length, dark, wavy hair sweeping ’round her neck against mocha colored skin. She had a presence for sure but it wasn’t the threatening kind. Some have a very penetrating stare that causes you to shift in your chair uncomfortably, wondering what it is they actually see-versus what they know you’re able and willing to hear. There were tarot cards on the desk between us and yes, it may seem cliche, but a big, round clear quartz crystal ball to her right. (for those of you who associate this stereotype with psychics/intuitives I must admit- I’ve been to several people throughout the past three years and never actually had the experience of someone reading their crystals for deeper guidance) She greeted me warmly, we smiled, I shuffled and off she went. As did I-hook line and sinker into awe of her accuracy. 
_________________________

She told me this would happen-that I’d be having a hard time right about now. I knew that day I trusted her but as I put myself back in that room and recall her words, I’m sure of it.  ‘Oh Lisa. What comes next is going to challenge you every day. You’ve walked through the gates honey, you know the path you’ve chosen. The gifts that are coming through stronger, the feelings you feel-you have to trust them. It’s going to deepen-the knowing, the psychic tendencies. You have to stay in the now. You’re human you have a habit of looking back and with all that’s to come you’ll want to look forward, even far ahead in hope. But you have to trust the now. You must stay here.’   

Oofa. We’ve all heard it. Psychologists, authors, gurus, teachers, talk show hosts. “Now is the only reality-it’s all any of us actually have.” In an ever shifting world people are becoming more and more in need of coping strategies. Although the only constant is change-the safest, healthiest place to stay is in the present. Even Anderson Cooper’s making it cool. He just covered a story on 60 minutes about practicing mindfulness in today’s day in age. Mindfulness-a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.  

Here’s the breakdown-you’re driving in the car and you catch your mind racing toward the next five errands you need to run, an overwhelming schedule for the rest of the day. “Pick up this one, be here by that time, make dinner, ugh I hate making dinner. Why must we eat? God I could afford to lose ten pounds anyway. Wasn’t I supposed to join the gym last week? Shit I forgot that too” I’m exhausted just typing it. But isn’t it true? I for one, sure as hell am guilty of this-a repeat offender in fact. And it’s terrible. Seriously time consuming, draining, dangerous thought patterns. Instead the experts claim you should focus only on the task you’re physically doing. For example: “This is me, driving a car. My hands are on the steering wheel, it’s leather wrapped. I have a ring on my left hand. It’s pretty-I haven’t actually looked at it in a while. The sun is out. I like this song, what a great song.” 

I know what you’re thinking. It may seem oversimplified or even worse for those of you skeptics, like a page out of a proverbial version of “Thinking For Dummies”. When truthfully, it’s not a dumbing down at all. It’s goddamn brave- an assertion of your power to bring yourself back to the truth-the moment you’re in. It means deciding to comfortably exist in the flow and be carefully protected against unwarranted self doubt and judgment. This kind of conscious thinking helps prevent us from an unwelcome, lurking ego always ready to shove us down a slippery slope of comparison, guilt and other defeating behaviors. 

I’ve been giving it a shot. And yes, sometimes it feels silly the self talk. But I promise you it’s much better than the other bullshit I’d be allowing fear to tell me instead. ‘Why haven’t you done more work on the book yet? When are you moving? Have you checked your accounts? And by the way shouldn’t you be in love by now or something.” Imagine that friggin’ bully. Sorry but not only is she unwelcome, she’s been uninvited to the party altogether. There’s no room for that here. My mind is mine to make of as I wish. 

More often than not we allow ourselves to listen to that chatter. To allow it to override our confidence, our charm, our sense of humor and wit. We let it seep in and cause havoc. We’re left with panic and sometimes even physical symptoms all because we’re creating a false version of reality based on fear of the unknown. Scientists prove what the brain is capable of, priests will tell you to hand those troublesome thoughts over and Buddhists would suggest you sit with them only in recognition that they exist.  You politely acknowledge their presence but know that your divine knowledge and being is bigger than any worry. You allow them to pass like clouds drifting overhead.  

The struggle to “stay” can be interpreted in several veins. Many people struggle to stay in their relationships, marriages, jobs, happiness. They may not recognize the work it takes to be content and instead become comfortably numb. They may physically remain but they’ve opted out emotionally.  Because the struggle to stay is less messy than the trouble to go
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She was right about all of it. The book I’m writing, concerns I have, family members background and health, partners past and present. It didn’t scare me one bit-instead provoked a real emotional reaction. A true physical release. It’s amazing how much we walk around holding even when we don’t acknowledge it’s weight. “You’re going to have to do the work every single day. This year is all about the new road, the next chapter, your life’s calling. It won’t be easy. People will leave, you’ll be tested. You can do this though. It’s actually what you’re meant for”. And I’m thinking, oh trust me, that’s old news in my book. “Somehow you’ve got to find a way not to take it personal”. I’ll get back to you on that one because I have a feeling that’ll be a lifetime’s challenge. 

People ask me all the time how can you always write such positive, uplifting stuff? I’m here to assure you, it’s a choice. I create other outlets for my disappointments and anger.  I am no saint, I also have doubts. I don’t only dream in technicolor rainbows. I worry and suffer and question the plan too, but only sometimes. Because the moment I recognize those emotions, the fear, the impending doom I tell them to stop. I assert my own power. I made a choice to get off antidepressants after my dad passed and my therapist insisted on them for awhile. I made a choice to leave a wonderful guy way back when I was close to an engagement others wanted for me because I trusted a smart, begging voice deep down who knew I had a different course in life to travel. I made a choice to leave a job that was lucrative but painstaking for my spirit. I made a choice to live more fully engaged. It’s what I pray for you too-to live in your fullest existence and greatest potential.   

I make a choice every morning to thank my angels before I step out of bed. I choose to believe in good and a common thread/force that actually is all of us combined. I’ve been embarrassed and even fooled by others yet I choose to believe they weren’t acting from a place of clarity but instead their own ego and self doubt. We’re all struggling to stay in our power. Even in the most benevolent form we’re afraid of it’s strength. 

Tunjung was right- my feelings and experiences are deeper and some things are presenting harder than before. People have left or never showed back up since I’m home. I’m reinventing work, a brand, and translating words to healing tools. I find myself repeating the practice of centering back to the moment often. Repeating phrases of reassurance. And as hard as it is to stay there, it’s a blissful break from the alternative. But guess what? On the other side of this struggle is sanctuary. There’s a tribe you belong to-waiting to welcome you warmly. There’s a great shift of energy in your favor when you believe wholeheartedly. When you trust.  The truth is I’m struggling a bit, but I’ve never smiled more.  I’ve never been clearer on the truth or the experience of love, compassion, brilliance and a collective spirit.

The struggle is real
But when you really stay, there’s no struggle at all

shine

how will you shine this day?

though the widely accepted meaning behind the hand of fatima or [hamsa] is that of protection against the evil eye-this gorgeous brightly encrusted replica reminds us to truly live our purpose and passion we need only shine brightly, powerfully in our own light. Be not concerned with protecting ones energy but strongly standing in it to emit its essence gracefully

#wishesintentionsprayers #seminyak #w #soulspeaklife

A list to live by

Things I’ve learned in southeast asia 😉

In order to embrace (survive) in Bali…

1. Give in to your pores-be one with the sweat. You never have and never will again perspire like you do here. It is not a sign of weakness-it is a physical means to survive. (get some good deodorant. PLEASE)

2. Live amongst the lizards. Get down with the geckos-they are EVERYWHERE. They will leap and wiggle and shoot across walls, doors, floors and you will not be prepared. lol They could care less about your level of comfort with them by the way.

3. The sidewalks are NOT even. This is one of terrible evil times where you wish there were candid cameras hanging out on the sidewalks of Ubud. You had better watch where you’re stepping because you will fall, at least once when you didn’t take the time to look.

4. Your new scent (besides deodorant) is bug spray. These insects, like the geckos DO NOT mess around. They are hungry little fuckers or horny or bored or whatever the reason is they bite you. Forget Chanel No. 5, Bulgari anything-you will smell like insect repellent and you will be grateful. Because the 17 bites you had the first day you arrived were not cute..or comfortable.

5. TAMUs beware. “Tamu” is Balinese for whitey-as in, the color of your skin. Act like it. If you’ve ever experienced a sunburn you know how horrific the recovery is…and here-in 90 degree nearly 100% humidity, you are whiter than you ever imagined. LATHER UP. If for some reason you forgot yours-fear not there are 19299930 varieties here and the salespeople watching you carefully select which one to purchase are proud of you, TAMU.

6. The roads go on…forever. I think if I had 6 months here I’d still never see even half the city of Ubud let alone the surrounding towns, villages, beaches and neighborhoods I want to. What looks like a street front has behind it great depths-rice fields and valleys lined with palm trees beyond that. I’ve marveled and kept walking many days. It feels like a constant treasure hunt.

7. Roosters not only rule the roost but they reign the kingdom. I kid you not the cock-a-doodle-d0 you hear in your brain right now-magnify by 10 and repeat it for 4 hours beginning at 4 am. I have been hysterical since the day I arrived at how freakin loud and EVERYWHERE they are. No set of earplugs will help-so don’t bother.

8.You are on their turf-that is the animals of this island. I have became a zoologist and botanist while here. You cannot imagine how many varieties of species there are..and the COLORS, omg. You have never seen so many kinds of birds, butterflies, flowers, trees or such vibrant hues-naturally. You will hear sounds, calls, songs from animals you never knew existed. It is humbling really, to know that albeit bigger, we are surrounded by nature constantly here and its beautiful.

9. Everyone is HAPPY. They mean it. They are grateful and humble and beautiful happy people. In the morning when you are their first customer they will make most any bargain with you because they say it is “good luck first customer, please”. They bow in gratitude and each and every shop has an offering on it’s street front and perhaps an alter in the store. They refresh these offerings several times per day-for good luck, blessings and in devotion to their gods. Every several store fronts is a temple or a shrine of some sort. They are in constant prayer and live in their beliefs and gratitude. They are some of the most talented artists I’ve ever known and I’m sure of the fact that it is their divine inspiration. I am inspired by them and have felt very much at home in my heart to watch their daily rituals. *Learn a few Balinese words-their faces light up from ear to ear with smiles to hear you say thank you in their language.

10. Learn to unplug. There isn’t always wifi-and sometimes if there is, it will fail you. Some days it will cooperate and others it won’t-at all. This is a third world country. You’ll be frustrated and annoyed not to check your email or stocks or what have you but, it may be on purpose. Go outside and walk 3 feet in either direction-I guarantee there will be something to marvel at-many things in fact. And the best part of this place is the wellness, the wholeness, the organic, raw, real life they offer to you whole-heartedly to reconnect, rebirth, reinvigorate yourself with. You will be tanner, lighter, happier too when you finally settle in. I hope for you it’s way before you have to leave.

You will return-because once you’ve seen and felt and tasted this place, you’ll never be the same. And thank God for that-for creating this sacred, spiritual “island of the gods” in the sea glass colored seas of Southeast Asia.

suksma-thank you xx

newborn

As the ocean pulled me to its soothing serenity I was asked to surrender my own. It is there that I pray for those I have once carried-over my back, under my arms, by hand or by heart. It is with the gentle waves I feel whole and fully supported to be free. 

When in the presence of that kind of beauty it is no wonder you are heightened and aware of the miraculous. In the very moment I fell into the waters arms I came to prayer. This time and this piece are devoted to my two new earth angels-Natalie & Madelyn. It is like them that I have newfound hope in my heart, belief in my belly and newborn eyes. I recognize that, just like them, I am learning to see in color- at this point of my life it is a choice and the hues are even more so brilliantly bold. 
I have never been one to keep quiet and in this quest across the world it has become more clear that my voice finds joy in justice. Many of my new friends have complimented that they are in awe of my ability to speak through the heart from the mouth, only truths and the delivery of my words seems to wrap love around whatever I’m saying..typically in affirmation and acknowledgment of others own light. I am both honored and humbled to hear this and of course, having to relearn accepting a proper compliment. (sigh) The bottom line being that love IS my language-albeit and regardless of others comprehension. I choose to reside only here because it has been my therapy, my grace and my poise  to this point. “I am beautiful, I am whole, I live to serve a greater purpose.”
Here I am working on acceptance of all kinds but mostly-honor, worthiness and love. To continue to honor others and make them feel fully accepted when they have asked-with or without words. To honor the beauty, sanctity, sacredness that is this island, that is the planet, the earth. To honor myself for all I am, all I believe in, do and will. To honor even those I don’t agree with, understand or even frankly, like-because it is in discomfort and discord that comes growth. I accept this challenge with a light heart and always in pursuit of justice served. 
I embrace my own worthiness. It is evident and time tested that from within is most gratifying. From within it is crucial, from within it is found. Only true devotion to this belief and harnessing of one’s power will provide the source for survival. “You are worthy, worthy you are-of worldly things and so much more”. Allowing your own aching desire to be worthy to sit with you, is brave. It is a courage not many will honor up front and a road not easily traveled. Honor your worthiness carefully, slowly and with love. Take care to recognize the child within, the newborn spirit and wholesome heart that is the only truth amongst many distractions, obligations and lies. Trust your knowing if something is missing-it will be the greatest gift you can imagine to live and move through from opinion and ego to essence. 
Love. I am living to prove that it is all knowing, all encompassing, all righteous and fair. It is first, it is last, it is always. It is big, it is brave, it is scary. It means existing wide open with abandon of fear and neglect of pride. It is all, it is one, it is then, it is now. IT IS. I am love, love is me, love I am. I am learning and growing in the lessons to protect my light. I have teachers and mentors and friends alike who stand guard while encouraging this bravery-they celebrate its challenges and whisper emphasis to keep going- and only bigger in belief. Keep showing up fully to myself to my heart to my work. Those I love need not love me for it is not a selfish act. I am blessed and protected by it regardless of others conformity and being, breathing, walking truth by living and shining its light. “I am beautiful, I am whole, I live to serve a greater purpose”. It is in the steadfast commitment to myself that a deserving partner with eventually pursue. I need not chase, worry, or give priority to its timing because it is not my interest to do so. I am here to be present to myself-in honor in worthiness and in love. It is, as anything else, in the hands of divine timing and I undoubtedly, supremely trust. It is in this devotion to my glowing heart that I am whole and happy. It is in love that I am home to myself and all there is in this wild and precious life. Love is all there ever was and will be.
In coming to know them embodied and loving these newborn girls I am replenished. I am braver for them, I am stronger too. It is through them and their innocent, beautiful presence that I see love. I hold it and know it by heart. They are the answer, the truth and the light. And I only hope they see mine as a source for their life as they grow. Of the many things life will soon teach them I pray these few things of many. That they:
Knock not for the answer but the courage. Ask and soon receive. Trust & know. Love beyond measure, comprehension and kind. Break boundaries, rules, hearts and barriers. Beat fire, breathe deeply, show grace…And to dance in their breathtakingly, beautiful, own unique light.

To my two newest loves-thank you for being the miracles I need to keep believing. 
Natalie Marie & Madelyn Yvonne