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.


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. 

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

 

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?