Listened to the waves of the ocean while weaving grass into a flower headband :)

I just braided 3 long pieces of grass and wrapped a bunch of grass around it. In different sections, add grass shaped into bows and flowers. Let the ends stick out so it looks unfinished and natural. Ta da!

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Costa Rica! I love it here. So much wildlife, warm beaches and the area we’re in seems to be empty so it feels perfectly remote. We are at a yoga retreat and it has been a beautiful experience. Wonderful people, healing yoga, meditation and days full of sunshine. I am so grateful!

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Those things in the sand are baby sea turtles that had just hatched. When they hatch, most of them get eaten by hawks but the hawks wont come near if humans are around. We released these adorable creatures into the sea today. 💙

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Just been having some fun!

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The past couple months I have been slowly re-decorating the house — one of my favorite pasttimes. :) The design is “desert chic.” Eventually we will move to a house that has all white modern interior, beautiful old grained wood floors and concrete aspects, with pieces of nature all around. My dream is to take a house from scratch and design it from the floor up! But for now.. here is what I’ve done with our place.

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Got this dining table custom made by Oak & Hammer and it turned out beautifully. We still need to get dining chairs next.

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August 2014.

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“The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.”

patonthehead

Sometimes I wonder if we are aware of how much approval we crave from our peers, our friends and our families and, ultimately, how this seeking can be our undoing. How much of our satisfaction is based on the responses of others, instead of coming from our own soul and spirit?

At times, I catch myself, more than I’d like to admit, sharing a personal achievement, a moment of elation, and instead of focusing on that pure moment of celebration, I’m more aware of how the listener is responding rather than how I feel. I am noticing their words and actions. I am out of my own body. I am judging their thoughts and behavior as inadequate (why didn’t they reciprocate with a high-pitched, dork-tastic YAY?). I come to the conclusion that they are not happy for me or they don’t understand.

We can ask ourselves: do I have unrealistic expectations of others? Do I truly need others’ approval or affirmation? Am I filling an empty jar of others’ applause instead of my own?

Sure, who doesn’t want some appreciation from the ones they care about? We can treasure it but ultimately it should not negatively color our own sense of accomplishment nor the true hearts of others.

Giving yourself the kindhearted acknowledgement that you deserve is a steady process of care, self-love, commitment and patience. This part of us, hoping for more Facebook likes and pats on the back, is not truly a present part of us unless we allow it to be. I spent years seeking the validation of others because I never received it from the two people I thought mattered most.

Four weeks ago, my grandmother passed away and, at the funeral, I saw my mother for the first time in four years. I saw her clearly for the first time: a sad, fragile woman who was not capable of filling anyone’s jar, let alone her own.

I saw myself clearly for the first time too. A woman who is struggling but growing more aware and empathetic towards the world around her, including those who don’t have pats to give.

Wounds took shape from my childhood and left scars that still echo through my being. Scars leave their mark. I choose to let them be part of me, only they are not indulged any longer. They are not kept hidden in the shadows, along with other ego-self creations. They are recognized, accepted and no longer fed by fear—which is how I now experience my mother.

I know that I am an individual with many lights, darks, cracks and those rippling scars—they make me a complete person. And for that, I give myself a pat on the back.

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This is what I’ve always believed a true soul partnership is. I want to know not only my lights but especially my shadows. We will always challenge each other to be better people, not just for each other but for the world and the rest of our lives.

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It’s Fall! Which means lots of dishes with butternut squash:  risotto, ravioli, tacos, or just roasted with sea salt, crushed pepper and olive oil.

Aaand this recipe for Butternut squash & Spinach Risotto is always amazing.

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