My Life Lesson of 2014

November 22, 2014 — 1 Comment

Sometimes I sit in front of this screen and just stare at the empty WordPress box taking up my view. Just like with my yoga practice, when I fall off the blogging wagon it can be extremely intimidating and frustrating getting back on. In all honesty, I don’t know why I fall off in the first place. Do I get bored? do I get writer’s block? do I feel uninspired or am I just so scattered and distracted that I can’t keep my focus on this amazing platform that I should feel blessed to be using? I could ask the very same questions with my practice. I guess as long as I keep getting back up and keep getting back on that wagon, nothing else matters.

Now that I’ve gotten that random thought out of the way…

Our second week of road tripping will be ending tomorrow and the start of the third week will begin. We’ve spent the last week in Portland, my first time here and now I get it. I get the hype on Portland. Aaand I’m a bit disappointed in myself. Let me explain.

That’s a river, guys. A RIVER!! || Columbia River

In July of ’13 when we went on our road trip to the west coast, our plan was to do what we’re doing now. Drive through Cali into Oregon, Washington and Vancouver (BC) and then make our way back down to Santa Fe. We made it as far as central California. There was no Oregon and there was no Washington (so naturally there was no Vancouver). Why you ask? because I have a problem. My problem is my honeymoon brain. I get too excited about places too quickly. Just about every place we’ve traveled to I’ve talked about living there. Brazil, Costa Rica, Seattle, Hawaii, California, New York. Every damn time we go somewhere, I put on my reality blinders and drag poor Freeman through my mental handicap of dreaming way too much. I’ve been in denial about it until now and it’s honestly the first time I haven’t been called out on it by someone else.

An epic waterfall, naturally. || Horsetail Falls

The reason I’m saying all of this is because the truth is, our year in California actually ended up being really tough for me. Freeman doesn’t know this (I’m sure he does now that I’ve posted it) but I cried a lot throughout this past year. It was no one else’s fault or doing; I cried a lot because I was learning a really hard lesson. A lesson about love, sacrifice, patience and tolerance. I was learning a lesson about my ego and about my soul and if I didn’t know any better, I saw it all coming years ago when we went on a spiritual journey in the Amazon jungle. Not everyone learns a hard lesson when they move away from home for the first time, but I did. I didn’t take into consideration just how lonely I would feel. My love had his girlfriend as well as his best friend (a SoCal native) to keep him company and keep him occupied. All I had was Freeman and all I could do was watch in envy as his new found friendship and social circle bloomed.

Murals galore because this city is just cool like that. || Downtown Portland

Sure I could have gone out and found ways to make friends. But it didn’t take long after moving there that I realized Orange County/SoCal wasn’t the place I wanted to make friends. We went to social gatherings, events, special occasions, restaurants, yoga studios, coffee shops and to be quite honest, I can’t name a time that I really felt someone was on the same vibe as me (I clicked with one person once but it never went beyond that initial introduction). What I was really looking for I just didn’t feel like I was going to find there. But I dealt with it because that’s how I was raised. I was always taught that you deal with the repercussions of your actions, no matter if they’re good or bad. Not to mention, a part of me wasn’t doing this for just me. I had witnessed with my own ears and eyes that Freeman was creating a friendship that could potentially be very good for him if we moved to SoCal (thank goodness I was right) so I completely encouraged a move to California so him and his friend could work and create together. Fortunately He ended up having an amazing year. Maybe not in all the ways he expected, but he definitely benefited greatly.

A foodie’s paradise, what more could I ask for? || Helser’s on Alberta, Alberta Arts District

I’m not saying my year was bad by any means. It was just a tough lesson learned. Making that drive up the Oregon Coast, making our way into Portland, was the final touch to my lesson learned. It was the cherry on top. It was the universe bringing my lesson into a full circle. Seeing what I should have seen over a year ago, seeing what my options could have been instead, seeing how at home I could have felt even though I was so far from it, was humbling. Beyond humbling. Which is why I felt disappointed in myself. My habit of jumping into things without really thinking it through or giving it time hit me hard. It just might be the first time I really felt the pangs of regret and the shame of selfish behavior. I always try to justify my actions with excuses but I can’t do that anymore. Not with a habit like this and not when I share my life with Freeman. The idea of moving to California required me to constantly be working at convincing him. Who does that?? That’s such a dick move. Granted I saw the potential of his new friendship, but if someone isn’t really feeling something, who am I to force it upon them even if they could benefit from it?

Restaurants+art=restaurant art…and Lil Wayne? || Boxer Ramen, Downtown Portland

With that being said, I love Portland (he always knew I would). I really do. I could easily live in this funky little stump town, my hobbies would be passions, I could spend time in forests as much as my heart desires, still go to the beach just about whenever I want and I would make friends easily (lets just say I’ve already encountered people I could totally be friends with and even already have friends who live here). But never again will I do to Freeman what I did in regards to Cali. I feel like a selfish jerk right now and I’m trying not to beat myself up about it (the past is in the past, as they say) but I’m thinking it’s a good thing I feel this way. It’s a part of that cherry topping. It’s the result of my lesson learned.

My Portland friends. We’ve all known each other for 8 years!

Tomorrow we drive to Seattle. We’ll have Thanksgiving with my dad’s family and then we’ll stay in Vancouver for a bit. Following that, we’ll make our way back down to Santa Fe. THEN we’ll discuss and decide our next steps. Then and only then will we decide where we’ll live next and with level, unbiased minds. And when we do so, there will be no coercing on my part. I’ve joked around about living here, but I refuse to make it a solid and serious statement. If Freeman doesn’t feel stoked about living here then we don’t have to.

You hear that, Freeman? You have my word. I love you to the stars, my sweetness.

OMG he looks so cute here, I could just die. || Multnomah Falls

You can never regret anything you do in life. You kind of have to learn the lesson from whatever the experience is and take it with you on your journey forward. ~ Aubrey O’Day

<3,
Josie


My meditation candles and a mini Ganesha

I wanted to have this posted yesterday, but as I started typing it out, I realized I was monotonically just typing out what I did that day. I didn’t go into my feelings are what I gained from it. So I’m posting it today just so I could sit on my thoughts about my day without social media.

In all honesty, it wasn’t what I was hoping for. That may sound a little entitled or spoiled, but I think what I’m trying to say is I probably could have been better at how my day played out. I’ll start from the beginning.

The day started out great. I got up nice and early, meditated for 15 minutes, did an hour of candlelit yoga, made a cup of chai tea, and got to work on blogging. Almost immediately following were a couple curve balls from the universe, one of them being the accidental deletion of the entire blog post I had just typed up and the other being something that I don’t care to go into detail about as it would take a lot of extra explaining and I’d just rather not. Either way, my speed bumps combined were big enough to throw me into a funk and I was awful at recovering from it until I finally made myself go for a run and do my leg day. Yes I felt much better after that but I had half a list of things that I had wanted to do for this day. Not things I HAD to do, things I wanted to do. I really wanted it to be a day of self love and taking care of myself and instead I let my emotions get the best of me and spent most of the day fixing my baditude.

I understand the lesson in this, I do. The lesson being that sometimes the universe doesn’t give us what we expected, but what we needed. In this case, it was brought to my attention how I need to get better at this whole letting go thing. And maybe start planning my days out a little better.

There were bright sides from this for sure. There were only a couple times that I struggled with avoiding social media and that was during down time and and moments of stress. Which really is like another lesson… instead of turning to social media and getting distracted from the task at hand, I need to start taking a different approach. Maybe focusing on my breathing or meditating for a few minutes? anyway, I digress. I kinda liked a day without social media. For me, social media is my bad habit. Since moving to California it’s gotten worse because I don’t know anyone here and when a place doesn’t feel like your permanent home, you’re not as willing to go out and make friends so I turned to facebook and instagram to make up for my extreme lack in social interactions. The great thing about my social media free day was that it let me see just how much I truly need social media… it’s not much. It was pretty nice being so present in the real world. I’ll definitely be doing social media free days more often. I don’t want to completely take it out (hello, traveller here who wants to keep in touch) but I’m happy to start reducing it. A day free of it was in truth freeing myself. I want more of that.

My plan is to have another one of these days. Soon. But without dwelling on petty situations. And with less technology and less chores. I want this day to not have plans. I want this day to involve pampering myself with a warm lavender bath, massage, reading, journaling, being out in nature and going on adventures with my love. I want to completely disconnect from technology. No emails, no blogging, no social media, no movies or videos. I can’t remember the last time I had a day like that. Maybe my childhood? I believe I’m overdue.

The great part about this realization is the timing. In exactly 30 days, we’ll be leaving this crazy place we’ve called home for the past year. We’ll pack up our car and head North. The first 2 days and 2 nights will be spent in the overwhelmingly beautiful Big Sur. By far my most favorite part of California. I won’t be getting my warm lavender bath, but we’ll be disconnected from technology and connected with each other. We’ll be hiking and exploring and enjoying each other’s one-on-one company in nature. That’s only the very beginning of our epic adventure. And I’m so ready :)

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for every thing I do. ~ Robert A. Heinlein

<3,
Josie

Finding Balance

October 8, 2014 — Leave a comment

Purple Peacock Harem pants by Bohemian Island crop top by American Apparel

As of yesterday, I have been working out 4-5 days a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are running days with a workout after and Tuesday and Thursday are leg days (ouch). This has been such a drastic change in my life, it practically took away my menstrual cycle (TMI? let’s face it, it’s the truth). I’ve suffered little to no symptoms and little to no cycle. Honestly I’ve loved every minute. I feel like a new woman with more energy. And while I’m really proud of myself for having actually started a solid fitness routine for myself that I’m actually seeing progress in, there is a downside…

I haven’t done yoga in 2 weeks.

Ok, technically I did yoga for about 15 minutes the other day but there wasn’t even a Savasana. What’s yoga without Savasana? yoga is nothing then. Savasana is yoga because Savasana is meditation and that’s what yoga is. The whole purpose, the reason you do asana is for savasana. And there was none. Because I was distracted by everything going on in my life. I shouldn’t have stopped after 15 minutes because I obviously wasn’t finished.

That brings me to today. This very moment. I still have a lot going on. I still feel overwhelmed and scattered and behind. But today I’m going to center myself. I’ve been running and pumping and moving and sweating for two weeks without nearly enough yoga. Today is being dedicated to yoga. I’ll still do what workouts I have planned for myself (how else would I keep up my routine? ;)), but I’ll be spending every other ounce of my time, energy and focus on the practice of yoga. MY practice of yoga. I’m going to meditate, do some stretchy movements, a yummy and long savasana, I’m going to listen to my breath, eat some cleansing foods and I’m going to love the hell out of myself. I’m going to love the hell out of my man too because today is a special day for us.

Today I’m going to heal.

Maybe even tomorrow too. I need to reconnect.

You must know what you want to find what you want. ~ Lailah Gifty Akita

<3,
Josie