inspire

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

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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 

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
IMG_0117.JPG

carry

In the last two weeks I have experienced tremendous proof of the light we each carry. Whether you consider it happenstance, fate or serendipity I have gotten to meet mere strangers at a soulful level. I’ve received their emails, read their stories, felt their greatest desires through simple words. They’ve trusted me with their vulnerability and I’ve never been so humbled and honored. I’ve watched their faces light up with hope when I tell them about carrying their prayers to Bali. I’ve simply shared an idea yet their hearts feel me asking more deeply to believe and it is literally, instantaneous magic. They just know….

I want to share something I wrote some time ago on my original blog begun 3.5 years ago. God am I blessed to see how life has unfolded in “divine timing” to give birth to this journey, to take these people with me.

“I have a light it’s also yours
I carry it to long off shores
I beckon you to hurry home
To find you safe and not alone
I have a light I know you see
I feel it when you look at me
It burns inside and seldom dims
You’ll find me glowing from within

I have a light it’s also yours
No counting faults or setting scores
I offer it without a thought
It warms me calmly when I’m fraught
I carry it through every day
I use it as I find my way
She sees it too and so does he
They need a light as do we

I have a light it’s also yours
I use it when I find closed doors
I offer it with open heart
If you’re here or far apart
I have a light inside of me
I let you in and hope you see
I share it though it wavers some
It won’t go out until I’m done

I have a light it’s also yours
I took mine from those before
They whisper not to be afraid
To give my light to brighten shade
To use it where it may be dark
It’s there it may ignite a spark

I practice it and focus in
To light each day as it begins
You smile and I know for sure
I have light it’s also yours”

This experience sits so perfectly in my soul. It is what I am meant to do…and so fitting of my favorite quote:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
-e.e. cummings

beat

Something urged me to find a new place for my mat-to make room to heal my shattered parts instead of continuing to drown in the mayhem that was everyday life. I listened. When I entered the studio I could feel just the slightest bit of air moving deeper down into my lungs as though to lengthen my body, which had given in to personal neglect and self sacrifice for the sake of others’. It isn’t uncommon for me to put most before myself but this time, after this heartbreak-I was hardly able to move about life without thinking and hurting for it. This was the one that unearthed all the others and made me so deeply sad remembering how they each hurt. This one made me carry the burden of being the one who loved more yet again. And as heartbreak normally can it brought forth pain, anger, confusion and perceived rejection to torture me-relentlessly it blew me over with doubt and spoke fallacies to my mind and heart. So I went to the mat to find the medicine I ached for. I sat and I focused on the light coming in through the windows, spilling from the ceiling all the way to the hardwood floors I sat on. I listened again. That very first time there I was sure that my greatest lesson would be to reawaken to my worthiness. “And as the light poured in, it washed me with warmth and it begged me to believe I was worthy. You are worthy, worthy you are of worldly things but so much more”
I moved through the poses, spoke the mantras as best I could understand them and I let the music in, every single last lyric speaking to my forgotten, poisoned, sad stomach. And it was home. So much so that my body vibrated in connection to this practice. By the end of the class I was crying hard. At first it came as a long, long awaited release but quickly then it was a self soothing and prayer of gratitude for the safety and love in that room. One last time I cried the thoughts “but I can’t just let go, I love them. I loved them both, in different times, for different reasons and they each gave up..they absolutely break my heart even still to this day because my feelings are so genuinely real. what am i going to do dear god someone help me know what to do with myself.” and my answer was the loudest whisper and clearest phrase i’ve ever heard. “so love them” It was so matter of fact and plain-“so go on and love them. it’s who you are and what you do no wonder its so hard to disconnect from what you felt was so real.” I am not easily moved to love like this. It’s become a point of contention for some who don’t understand me…the good news is that I’ve long given up interest in justifying my feelings or lack thereof for romantic partners. If I stop and I love, like that- it’s an out of body experience and one I’ve chosen carefully to take part in. I make no secret about it. I am a madly passionate person when it comes to something I want or believe deep in my belly about. You walk a line when you’re this person-being so widely open and sure of what you feel. It isn’t for the faint of heart.
So love them. Accept that although you no longer share a relationship you choose to think of them in love, like how you found them. Because it will hurt much, much less than the fucking searing pain you’re walking around in right now recounting every blessed second you spent together. Rereading conversations & playing scenario after scenario in your mind with the “absolutes” you’ve imagined that are truthfully, lies. If they chose to love you back with the same fervor and commitment there would be no fraction of room for doubt. But they don’t love you the way you want them to. They love you the way they can.  Maybe they do to the best of their own ability and understanding of love. Maybe what the pain really is about is coming to the realization that you don’t and maybe never will love in the same language. Because that’s the hardest thing to know. To be sure that there is love and insanely, otherworldly passion when you meet each and every time, but it doesn’t work between the two of you. That’s the most pain a heart can know. And why would you choose to love him when the chips were down and he attempted to rearrange his life or when the wrath of another woman lay freshly as his wound? Because to me, it is real. I’m not afraid of many things in life and certainly not of love. I don’t believe in dipping my toe to test temperatures. Yet I don’t just leap with abandon. If I’m sure I want to feel a body of water I prepare myself enough reserves to flirt with drowning. I am all in-sink to the bottom, fight your way up, barely make it out alive, pant at the break of air-in. And I’m not sorry for it. As far as I’m concerned it’s the only way to live.
Choosing to exist like this sometimes means you’re alone in your conviction because others might want for you to settle down and hurry up toward your ‘life’. God I’m not interested in settling- not just anywhere or ever for just anything let alone hurrying up for the sake of a timeline. Instead I settle in. I work to settle inside myself, to create the calm and peace that everyone quietly desires. I choose to heal the old wounds while acknowledging and forgiving my faults and the growth which that allows. And truth be told I don’t need to hurry at all. I owe myself all the time the world has to offer because it’s due me just as it is you. For those who feel as though that’s when life truly begins, I just can’t relate. If I hadn’t trusted a much younger version of myself to walk away from a beautiful, strong, healthy relationship at nearly 24 years old I wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t have gotten what I need long term. No way I’d be sitting here, writing this piece, loving myself as deeply as I deserve to, being so sure of my life and what’s in store. God has it taken a really long road and numerous beatings to say that. It’s taken the lowest of lows and darkest of places to know the light that exists in my heart-even when it’s felt like the flame was so dim I could hardly believe it was there. Only when you’ve had your heart ripped open time and time again because you were brave enough to use it fully can you say you know love. And whatever you do…keep at it. Put it in every waking moment of every day. Suffocate people with confusion as to how you still can. How you won’t accept their realities or suggested versions of happiness. Cry on the mat, in the car, scream into a pillow if you have to. Know that you will know love by your own choosing. That there is no wasted kind be it past or present- that it resides for a reason and sometimes rationale isn’t needed. You will love as you are meant to and only as deeply as you allow. 
Let yourself go so you can come home to your heart. Trust it without a single question more-because it will never be anything but the truth. It’s missed having you safe in it’s presence-living simply and steadily by it’s all knowing beat. 

beat

Something urged me to find a new place for my mat-to make room to heal my shattered parts instead of continuing to drown in the mayhem that was everyday life. I listened. When I entered the studio I could feel just the slightest bit of air moving deeper down into my lungs as though to lengthen my body, which had given in to personal neglect and self sacrifice for the sake of others’. It isn’t uncommon for me to put most before myself but this time, after this heartbreak-I was hardly able to move about life without thinking and hurting for it. This was the one that unearthed all the others and made me so deeply sad remembering how they each hurt. This one made me carry the burden of being the one who loved more yet again. And as heartbreak normally can it brought forth pain, anger, confusion and perceived rejection to torture me-relentlessly it blew me over with doubt and spoke fallacies to my mind and heart. So I went to the mat to find the medicine I ached for. I sat and I focused on the light coming in through the windows, spilling from the ceiling all the way to the hardwood floors I sat on. I listened again. That very first time there I was sure that my greatest lesson would be to reawaken to my worthiness. “And as the light poured in, it washed me with warmth and it begged me to believe I was worthy. You are worthy, worthy you are of worldly things but so much more”

I moved through the poses, spoke the mantras as best I could understand them and I let the music in, every single last lyric speaking to my forgotten, poisoned, sad stomach. And it was home. So much so that my body vibrated in connection to this practice. By the end of the class I was crying hard. At first it came as a long, long awaited release but quickly then it was a self soothing and prayer of gratitude for the safety and love in that room. One last time I cried the thoughts “but I can’t just let go, I love them. I loved them both, in different times, for different reasons and they each gave up..they absolutely break my heart even still to this day because my feelings are so genuinely real. what am i going to do dear god someone help me know what to do with myself.” and my answer was the loudest whisper and clearest phrase i’ve ever heard. “so love them” It was so matter of fact and plain-“so go on and love them. it’s who you are and what you do no wonder its so hard to disconnect from what you felt was so real.” I am not easily moved to love like this. It’s become a point of contention for some who don’t understand me…the good news is that I’ve long given up interest in justifying my feelings or lack thereof for romantic partners. If I stop and I love, like that- it’s an out of body experience and one I’ve chosen carefully to take part in. I make no secret about it. I am a madly passionate person when it comes to something I want or believe deep in my belly about. You walk a line when you’re this person-being so widely open and sure of what you feel. It isn’t for the faint of heart.

So love them. Accept that although you no longer share a relationship you choose to think of them in love, like how you found them. Because it will hurt much, much less than the fucking searing pain you’re walking around in right now recounting every blessed second you spent together. Rereading conversations & playing scenario after scenario in your mind with the “absolutes” you’ve imagined that are truthfully, lies. If they chose to love you back with the same fervor and commitment there would be no fraction of room for doubt. But they don’t love you the way you want them to. They love you the way they can. Maybe they do to the best of their own ability and understanding of love. Maybe what the pain really is about is coming to the realization that you don’t and maybe never will love in the same language. Because that’s the hardest thing to know. To be sure that there is love and insanely, otherworldly passion when you meet each and every time, but it doesn’t work between the two of you. That’s the most pain a heart can know. And why would you choose to love him when the chips were down and he attempted to rearrange his life or when the wrath of another woman lay freshly as his wound? Because to me, it is real. I’m not afraid of many things in life and certainly not of love. I don’t believe in dipping my toe to test temperatures. Yet I don’t just leap with abandon. If I’m sure I want to feel a body of water I prepare myself enough reserves to flirt with drowning. I am all in-sink to the bottom, fight your way up, barely make it out alive, pant at the break of air-in. And I’m not sorry for it. As far as I’m concerned it’s the only way to live.

Choosing to exist like this sometimes means you’re alone in your conviction because others might want for you to settle down and hurry up toward your ‘life’. God I’m not interested in settling- not just anywhere or ever for just anything let alone hurrying up for the sake of a timeline. Instead I settle in. I work to settle inside myself, to create the calm and peace that everyone quietly desires. I choose to heal the old wounds while acknowledging and forgiving my faults and the growth which that allows. And truth be told I don’t need to hurry at all. I owe myself all the time the world has to offer because it’s due me just as it is you. For those who feel as though that’s when life truly begins, I just can’t relate. If I hadn’t trusted a much younger version of myself to walk away from a beautiful, strong, healthy relationship at nearly 24 years old I wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t have gotten what I need long term. No way I’d be sitting here, writing this piece, loving myself as deeply as I deserve to, being so sure of my life and what’s in store. God has it taken a really long road and numerous beatings to say that. It’s taken the lowest of lows and darkest of places to know the light that exists in my heart-even when it’s felt like the flame was so dim I could hardly believe it was there. Only when you’ve had your heart ripped open time and time again because you were brave enough to use it fully can you say you know love. And whatever you do…keep at it. Put it in every waking moment of every day. Suffocate people with confusion as to how you still can. How you won’t accept their realities or suggested versions of happiness. Cry on the mat, in the car, scream into a pillow if you have to. Know that you will know love by your own choosing. That there is no wasted kind be it past or present- that it resides for a reason and sometimes rationale isn’t needed. You will love as you are meant to and only as deeply as you allow.

Let yourself go so you can come home to your heart. Trust it without a single question more-because it will never be anything but the truth. It’s missed having you safe in it’s presence-living simply and steadily by it’s all knowing beat.