Awaken

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Awaken

Awaken my soul to this new day.

As the sun crosses the equator,

I rise with a new-found energy for life.

Soften my heart from this cold winter frost.

Open my heart to new beginnings;

bursting with growth,

filled with abundance,

cleansing,

expanding,

embracing change,

exploring a fresh perspective.

Let my heart lead me forward

being of service to the Earth and the world around me.

Speaking my truth with new found clarity.

Sharing my light as the sun shares its own.

Planting the seeds of my intention,

and nurturing them until they blossom with purpose.

I am whole.

I am breathing.

I am grounded.

Rooted deep within the Earth.

A fresh start.

Full of boundless possibility.


Om shanti shanti,

Namaste


Happy first day of Spring, you beautiful beings! 

Take a moment to reflect and bask in the sun.

You are apart of something bigger.

You have purpose.

find it // share it

BE A LIGHT.


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Travel Alone // Where Your Heart Takes You

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Travel Alone // Where Your Heart Takes You

Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.
— Elizabeth Gilbert

Solivagant

a solitary wanderer


Since our last blog revolved around self love, it seemed fitting to finish with this.

Wandering alone, surrendering to a journey with just you and you alone. I can't say I've made a conscious choice to book myself a trip and head out with just me, myself and I. It seems thrilling, yet for some reason I have a block. I've traveled on my own from airport to airport. I also spent most of time in Los Angeles by myself, exploring, trying to battle the crazy streets of Hollywood (huge undertaking.) Lately, I've had the urge to grow beyond my comfort zone - an itch to pursue something more than my own backyard. Funny thing is, I remember watching Eat, Pray, Love (haven't read it) wondering what it would be like to to embark on a self seeking journey with just one ticket in hand, to a new state. Maybe even more out of my comfort zone - out of the United States. I'll admit, it does scare me just a tad, more because of the logistics and having the safety of a travel buddy. But beyond the fear that comes rushing in to greet us, what happens beyond it, I bet you it'll be something ground breaking. Knowing ourself on a deeper level can be the most beautiful journey we can embark on. I think as humans, we get comfortable (same time, same place, same area.) I find myself not thriving to my full potential in these environments. 

One of the books I read in high school was called Into The Wild - based on a true story. It was about a man that ditched the confines of his home (money, family, and job) to embark on a journey with himself. I want tell you - it's a must read. Here's a quote from the book:

So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
— Jon Krakauer, Into The Wild

So imagine if - come Monday - you decided to start saving or planning the journey of a lifetime. Big or small. We can learn so much from ourselves in the silence of nature, away from society and the world, that so often influences our every move, thoughts, and decisions. We could learn to find comfort within ourselves and no longer hide from our own thoughts. I remember watching Super Soul Sunday as I do every Sunday, and Cherry Stray was on talking to Oprah regarding her one woman travel on the Pacific Crest Trail. How empowering! 

It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era, or even with getting from point A to point B. It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.
— Cheryl Strayed

Do you find yourself freaking out with the feeling of being alone with yourself? I feel you. As a fellow extrovert, I feed off of other peoples' energy. So when it's left up to me, I find that being alone needs to be part of a healthy balance. So I'm challenging myself this year to - again - practice self love and choose to enjoy the company of myself. Traveling alone will be one of these things.

I leave you with this thought.

Why the hell not?

We can be the hero to our own story. We hold the pen. Through these very experiences, we can see ourselves through a clear lens, see the world in its raw space, learn about different cultures with an open heart, new relationships, shake ourselves out of our comfort zone, move freely on our own terms, etc. You are the pilot of your life. Tomorrow can be different. It all starts with a choice to steer in a different direction. Open skies. 

Our intuition is our GPS. Listen closely. What is it telling you?

Let's get clear with ourselves. This vessel you've been granted. This breath you've been given. Use the hell out of it.

Walk miles. Seek more. Wander with no intention. No plan. Just be. 

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Blue Ridge Mountains

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Blue Ridge Mountains

What we are doing to the forest of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and one another.
— Mahatma Gandhi

There is something so pure about the early morning hours, the sun rays peeking through the trees, the watercolors in the sky with dashes of blue purple, orange & yellow. It gives time to find stillness before the chaos while bathing in the beauty of nature. I feel pure rising with the sunset. I used to not enjoy the early morning, I wanted to Nama-stay in bed all day everyday, slapping my alarm into snooze to idle away my cares. Rising earlier has been the greatest reminder to honor each day as a gift connecting me to the one thing that gives us life here on earth; that bright sun. I must say this ritual has given a lot of my days purpose. I wish I came to know it sooner.

Recently, I spent a weekend with my lovely discovering the Blue Ridge Mountains (this a bucket list must.) Here, I had the urge to wake up at 5:15AM, nudging Jared to wake up every morning. We had plans to drive to a lookout five minutes away. We jumped in the good ol' Chevy Aveo that decided to strand us with a dead battery at the top of the mountain. Car troubles aways seem to creep their way in to our lives. But we trudged on, deciding find the next best location. With success, we ran to an overlook spot within walking distance, made it in time, and watched the sunrise slowly creep its way over the skyline. Suddenly, life gave way. The birds started to chirp with joy; the groundhogs poked their heads. Nature started to hustle once again. Blessed with another day to live. Our car trouble faded from our mind, the sunrise reminding us of the bigger picture of life. 

Take a peek at the iPhone pic we captured!

Photos don't do it justice, that's why I urge you to go see for yourself, before it's too late. Dominon has decied to ruin this creation by placing a lifeless piece of metal through the mountains, a pipeline that is ensured to destroy the lively hood & purity of this land. I wonder that morning, if I was looking out on something that future generations will only see in a history book. This pipeline will threaten our very life source, the trees that clean our air, the forest that provide life & the clean water that streams through every crevice of this godly place. I urge you to explore what's happening in Nelson County, Virgina. This sunrise could one day be stolen with construction, cold machines & a treeless skyline. No amount of oil is worth stealing the glory of this place. 

From the time we started our trek up the mountain, we immediately were met with signs from locals, refusing to allow this abomination to happen. I asked check out what action has been taken to stop this. The kind lady proceeded to explain to me how it would effect everyone's daily life & how scientists were doing everything they could to prove this area worthy of being untouched. People are crying out to be heard, they honor the land they walk on & their own representative turns a blind eye. Why - in 2016 - do we still allow people to tell us a pipeline is the most effective way to supply our world with energy? Why is this still even a choice? I'm puzzled at the lack of respect we have for the Earth as a whole. Beyond this outrage, I have a purpose for writing this. We need to spend more time watching sunrises, walking in trees & coming back to nature. We're so disconnected from the world, the very thing that brings us life each day. Living each day blissfully ignorant is a luxury. I don't want to lose that sunrise & I hope we can look beyond ourselves to keep the skylines pure.   

We are aware only of the empty space in the forest, which only yesterday was filled with trees.
— Anna Freud

 

I leave you with information & the choice to raise our voices. Below are several links to inform yourself of what's going on in our own backyard & around the world. Please know I write this blog from a kind place with the hopes to spread awareness. 

Peace to all

 

RESOURCES:

http://www.vawilderness.org/dominion-pipeline.htm

http://standwithstandingrock.net

http://racingextinction.com

https://www.beforetheflood.com

http://www.mrmrsvegan.com

 

With a humble heart, Namaste

 

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Tour of Annapolis

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Tour of Annapolis

Annapolis. 

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A charming little city that finds itself on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay.  Growing up 30 minutes from this city, I have fond memories of going to Navy football games, grabbing smoothies at Juice It Up! (closed now) & my dad taking me to the Naval Academy obstacle course (which has been torn down since). My favorite season here is Fall. The changing of leaves, crisp November air & Sunday farmers market. From the architecture to the 18th century laid brick, this town is deep in history & plenty of seafood (crabs.)  So if you find yourself passing through, I share with you: Annap's gems.

 


Naval Academy 

One of Jared and I's favorite places to run. A prestigious school rich in history, that prepares students for service in the military or Navy. If you're in town visiting, you can take tours & catch a sneak peek. Fourth of July fireworks are amazing when on campus, plus there are a ton of fun activites happening during graduation week. All in all, a great place to explore for those visiting Maryland and to learn more about the history. 

 

Rutabaga Juicery (West Annapolis)

A locally owned craft juice place that will bring a smile to your face. This location is my go-to for smoothies (I get the No. 397.) From cold-pressed juice made in house, to wheatgrass shots & seasonal food options, you will be left feeling ready to take on the world. Plus, did I mention the people who work there/own Rutabaga are the sweetest ever? They take so much care in providing the community with locally grown goodies. Good vibes & the best juice. 

 


Ceremony Coffee (Russell St)

This review may be a little biased, since Jared works here, but seriously. For all you coffee-crazed folks out there, this is your spot. Ceremony does not hold back on quality. They all have one mission - to serve you the best coffee experience made with care & love. I'm pretty basic with my choice of almond milk latte...but they may convince you to only drink black coffee. It's that good. The location itself has a relaxed industrial vibe with a roll up garage door that is the perfect location to unwind. Plus, you can learn about the process of roasting coffee by Maria and Caleb, or pop in on a Friday cupping (slurping is a must.) 

Pictured: Nathan, Eryn, Patrick

 


 

Bakers & Co (Eastport)

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Located over the bridge in Eastport. This local neighborhood bakery has homemade pastries,  treats, and coffee drinks. The atmosphere is quirky & the air is always filled with fresh baked goods. Check out the blueberry green tea. Game changer. Grab a drink and take a stroll around the picturesque neighborhood. Fall time is my favorite time to stroll.

 


 

Downtown Annapolis

 

 

Hope you enjoyed this little virtual tour.

 

Have you been to Annapolis? What's your fav spot?

 

 

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Adventure Is Upon Us

 

"The Purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience."

-Eleanor Roosevelt 

   
     A little bit different from my previous blog posts BUT I thought I would share a spontaneous fun-filled adventure we had with friends in September. Jared and I had a free weekend to head up to the north east to good ole New Hampshire, the place where maple syrup dreams are made, for some much needed TLC with some rad friends of ours. Our time to relax but also slow down. I always realize when I pack for trips that I pack way too much. Like literally my whole dresser, it's a problem. I knew that we would be on the lake and it would be colder than Maryland, but my mind goes crazy and starts to prepare for the worst case scenario. Like we'll never come back to MD and I'll be living there for the rest of my life so I must prepare. After Jared saw the mountain I packed, he helped me bring it down a size. I love this guy, always finds balance. We grabbed some essentials from our local Whole Foods the night before and we were ready to hit the open pavement the next morning. 3:45AM we woke up, felt like zombies, but met the crew. Our drive was long but time goes by fast with crazy friends. Now let me tell you, these dudes don't play around in the coffee game. My boyfriend works at a roastery with Caleb (head roaster) and Tash, so we had to stop to check out the shops. One place that stood out was Sip. It was a breath of fresh air to get out of that jail of a car (I hate sitting for long periods) and grab some much needed espresso (almond milk latte for me.) Good times! Nothing could stop us now...until TOLLS! We should have taken out a loan for them honestly, they ended up being the theme of this drive. Toll after toll; it was insanity. Almost 40 dollars and some change later we made it to Hillsborough, NH. The place of crazy ass dirt roads that have no business for a Toyota Yaris. 10 minutes of butt vibration later we got settled into our cabin filled with memorabilia from the 1700's. Can't say I wasn't slightly creeped out.

 
 

     The lake was breath taking, the air was crisp. Kayaks and paddle boats at our disposal. Oh and we were one step away from being knocked out by falling acorns. The army of chipmunks were here to stay (the wonders of nature.) All jokes aside it was what we needed. We grabbed our other essentials from this random grocery store. Felt like true city folk when we stepped out into this country town. That night consisted of great conversation by the fire, dinner made by Caleb and Tash, and risking our lives eating old marshmallows left in the fridge. Also, crazy acorns being chucked at our heads. We were really a part of nature. Peace had set in. 

     Next day we woke up in what felt like the arctic. Grabbed some breakfast and gourmet pour over coffee by master barista Caleb, and enjoyed the morning dew. Our mission: to go to a maple tree farm. But first, some Dunkin Donuts (something this crowd wouldn't usually get but you gotta work with what you have on vacation.) After some milk and sugar drinks (I think coffee was in there) we headed through the vacant town ready to get going. Let's just say things took a turn when a local accidentally hit the back of the car while talking on his phone. Long story short, no damage. But this guy I'm not so sure of. He got out of his car wearing two different shoes (a free run and a loafer) and thought it was Tuesday when it was Friday. But that didn't stop us. We moved forward. Driving through the mountains, the trees were beautiful but still had not changed color that much. The way of life was a slower speed which was nice. After no success with the maple farm (had a sign that said "retired from the maple business") we made our way back. Now was our chance to kayak and we loved it. It's so freeing and no one else was on the lake, so we didn't have to worry about wake knocking us over. Let me tell you, people should start guided meditation on kayaks.

     That night Jared and I cooked up some sun dried tomato pasta, made a huge fire, and retired for the night. Time was almost lost on this trip, it was awesome. On Saturday we woke up to even more arctic air (toes and fingers numb.) I attempted sun salutations in the morning; it helped me get my blood going and set the pace for the day. We spent the day on the lake in paddle boats, which is an insane leg workout. We kayaked and attempted to do a headstand on a floating island dock to no avail. After being on the lake all day, more relaxation by the fire. We ate leftovers, more stories, and more death by acorn. 

     The next morning was time to head home. Jared and I got up early to see the sunrise on the lake. We didn't make it before sun rise (couldn't get ourselves out of bed) but we made it in time to see mother nature at it's finest. The sun was almost completely hidden behind the clouds and fog, which was thicker than I've ever seen it. As we walked down, a herring was standing still in the shallow water. It was beautiful. Truly something I don't get to see everyday. We took nature in for a moment there, time stood still. That is what we were there for. Tash and Caleb came down and took in the view, then we packed up, and hit the road for home. 

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     It can be surprising how much you can take away from a four day weekend. Away from technology, away from a schedule, away from what we refer to as our daily lives. It puts things into perspective. How things can be, should be. Days feel so cluttered and short in Maryland, and here in this weekend, the days were so long. It felt as if we had no time constraints. I tried diligently to put off this trip; to cancel or postpone it because we didn't have the "time" or money, but it was empowering. I gained peace of mind and reminded myself that there is so much to live for. Our jobs consume us, yet we never enjoy what we work for. I didn't know from the time I woke up what the outcome was going to be, but maybe that's something I needed to realize.  Be present and LET GO! Life happens for a brief moment, and in the blink of an eye our lives can change.

     

Life isn't meant to be mapped out 24/7. So let yourself live out your desires. Make those promises you hope to fulfill a reality. 

     

I can only hope that everyone gets a chance to experience a weekend like ours, off the beaten path.

 SO TAKE THAT VACATION you've been putting off. Make time for yourself, make time for memories. (Planes, Trains, and Automobiles)

I came back a better:

human
teacher
student
daughter
girlfriend
creator

Adventure is upon us...cease the day!!!

Thank you to Caleb & Tash for inviting us along.

 
 

Good friends make for a healed soul.

xo

Let's encourage each other to get out of the norm!!!!

Sending positive light your way,

Namaste.

 

Feel free to comment below about dreams or adventures you plan to take.  

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