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Hi everyone! I have a new project called WTFrenchie. You could call my frenchie Weston my muse and inspiration to my little art pieces I am making. Right now we have handmade ceramic vases, stickers, hand knitted pillows, water bottles and our charity keychains. 100% of proceeds from the keychains go to Lucky Puppy Rescue! There are so many more products that will be added throughout the year–tote bags, clothing, etc…
Please check it out and share it with anyone you think would enjoy :)
www.wtfrenchie.com

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Last weekend, my friend and I attended a life changing Abraham Hicks workshop. We had been anxiously waiting for the event, getting more excited with each passing week. And finally the day came! We LOVED it.

I love Abraham. They say what I’ve been feeling for years. Happiness is our natural born right. We are here to thrive and to get everything we desire. Sometimes we pick up old beliefs along the way that don’t serve us–I realize that those are not our true selves or from love. I don’t believe when people say “no one’s really 100% happy in their relationship” or “it sucks getting older.” Those are not my beliefs. SPARKLE!

I remember this moment in my life very clearly.

I was in 7th grade (age 12 or 13) and I suddenly had the urge to want to fit in. I never really had that before. Being the observer I am, I learned that the more you deemphasized and gossiped about somebody or a situation, even if it wasn’t true to me, the more interesting you became in others’ eyes. So, I tried out this behavior, practiced it and it became.

I remember a feeling of conflict. It was distressing but I pushed it aside, in favor of being liked and accepted.

As I got older and began the process of stripping away habits and finding who I am, I realized this behavior stuck like wallpaper that wouldn’t completely come off the wall. Many of our behaviors are like that–leaving something leftover, never thoroughly back to that clean state.

I would have dinners with a certain girlfriend or two. There is this strange air with these girlfriends sometimes, that we are here to vent, to not overly talk about the good things in our lives as that would be deemed “bragging” and to share freely the things that bother us as that is considered “bonding.” There were two sides fighting in my mind. Anything I said about my traveling, I would be sure to add a comment about something else, something less happy. As to appease the jealous eyes that were staring back at me. The awkward silences. The forced happys. Anything said about boyfriends, I would not really have much to include to the roast, no complaints but I made sure to find something. Anything. Something miniscule and turn it into a story we could all laugh about. Inside, I knew it was wrong. I knew I wasn’t being myself. Then I would come home and feel anxiety that would last all night to the next night. An anxiety I thought was from social anxiety, that I had said something wrong, that I had been awkward.

Share something happy with someone and in many people’s minds the wheels are always turning, looking for the “But…”

But it is only learned behaviors that become like second nature. Unaware. They protect us. Until they don’t.

I’m realizing I am at a point in my life where I finally feel closer to FREE than I’ve ever been. I can choose happiness without guilt, shame or unease. And those who dare stomp on that? They can leave. They don’t hold space in my head. We should never feel ashamed for being happy! Seeking happiness is why we are here! Not everyone will understand that and that’s okay. Don’t ever lessen your desires or who you are because of others who are only in an unaware state of mind.

And dropping friends? It is hard. But it becomes easier and easier when you realize that YOU come first. YOUR happiness. What YOU want. And you start to realize, “Oh maybe this is easier than I thought–because they weren’t even a true friend!” True friends are the ones you want around you. The people that cheer with you, who lift you up when you’re down, who see the good in you when sometimes you forget, who celebrate with you (but who can also let you know when you are being a brat :))!

The others? They were needed. They needed to reflect back to you what you believed about yourself. Once we see, then they easily fall away. Just a traveler on the same path as you for a little bit of time as you keep walking, skipping, RUNNING towards your happiness.

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I have been searching for the truth since as long as I can remember. It has been a burning need in my soul–what drives most of my decisions and actions.

Growing up with family and people around you who tell you what you know is not true for you. Family who do not question and have no answers to “why?” These are the outside factors in my life that were planted for a reason. So I could strongly question what felt wrong to me and figure out what would be true to me. I realize now I am truly grateful for that..

Countless books, teachers, healers and guides I have sought and I have learned plenty. But I have realized something else too. No matter what someone tells you and thinks is true for you, nobody knows you but YOU. Nobody truly knows your thoughts, desires and needs than yourself. I have had many guides tell me who they think I am and what I should do and inside I knew that they didn’t know and it’s okay for me to feel what I feel. It doesn’t matter how many followers or accolades a writer, guru or teacher has. Take what speaks to you and leave the rest. After all, it is already all inside each and everyone of us. Perhaps we needed that person to spark something inside us, to remind us and put it into words and other times, it is a reminder that we already knew. And that reignites us in a completely different way. To add the contrast of “hey thanks for your opinion but I dont agree with that” and decide your own preference. It is a blessing to have an experience where it shows us where we really stand–and in that, carves out our likes and dislikes.

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Twirling, tumbling and flying, around and around, full and empty at the same time. Lately, this is my mind. I don’t know when a thought begins or when one ends. I grasp at emptiness. Sometimes it feels like paralysis.

We fill our cup, empty it, fill it back up. This over and over for eternity. I don’t want the cup anymore.

Today as I’m hunched over my table cutting, pasting and working on projects, I get a text from my partner who is lying just outside on the patio in the warming sun.

It was just what I needed to hear. Sometimes it’s much needed, no matter how many times it’s been said or known. It is needed.

I feel peaceful today. Just being. Breathing. And knowing I’m near you. Sometimes doing nothing- or not knowing what to do- is the greatest gift. There are no starts, no finishes, no prescribed paths. So enjoy that you are simply alive, with nothing to prove and, for today at least, nowhere to go. Love you- after all, that’s really what it’s all about!

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My spirit animal.

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I met an amazing travel blogger named Olivia Christine while visiting Costa Rica and we really bonded. We had so much fun doing our beach photo shoot and now Liv is a guest on my blog, sharing insight on travel, growth and following your dreams. Read her inspiring story here!

By Olivia Christine

They say travel gently peels away at one’s surface, helping to reveal your soul. I say travel harshly strips away your facades and makes you face yourself. Whether you like it or not.

Or maybe it’s both.

I began traveling in search of feeling like I belonged somewhere. It’s ironic that those who feel like they don’t belong often run away to even more unfamiliar places in search of “home”.

But after years of traveling alone and facing myself, I realize: my soul is home.

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My latest destination along my journey of enlightenment is Costa Rica: one of my favorite countries. This time I have been living at a yoga retreat and I must admit, the experiences have been life changing.

Every week, new retreat groups come to strengthen their practice amongst the crashing waves and soothing silence of the Costa Rican jungle.

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And lately I’ve been deeply meditating on where I am in life and where I want to be.

Although I feel like I’ve been down this road many times before, this one is different.

I am happy.

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I find joy in the happiness of others and bask in the light of all other living creatures and organisms.

I find myself seeking nature, clarity, truth, and love in all that I do and with those that enter my life.

When I first started traveling it was because of school. I went to a boarding high school that pretty much required international community service to graduate, so I went to Alsace, France and volunteered in a school.

Unfortunately, I also got very sick that year and within less than two years I found myself in chemotherapy fighting a nasty autoimmune disease that was killing my kidney function. It was during that time that I decided there was too much to see, be, and do in life and I hadn’t done enough. My promise to myself was to live, live, live and never look back.

So, I started traveling through every connection I had, initially working as a national conference planner and marketing professional. And I burned out within just a few years.

It was as if I forgot the point of that promise and got caught up in corporate expectations and the fast life of New York City, and became stressed out and miserable.

So one day, I stopped.

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I loved writing and was good at marketing and other jobs that would be easy to do remotely, so I cashed out on my savings and thought, this is enough for two years, and I’ll figure the rest out later.

Oh my goodness, how uncharacteristic of me! Perfectionist, meticulous, Virgo Olivia just took a leap with no safety net.

I was shitting my pants.

But the moment I quit, I literally felt my shoulders relax and the heaviest weight ever felt on my chest, release.

It was magical.

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And here I am. I’m living in Costa Rica temporarily: travel blogging, managing international clients remotely, while bartering my stay at a luxury jungle yoga retreat in exchange for my writing and digital marketing expertise.

I spend my days waking up at 5:30 am to the sunrise and falling deeper in love with people and animals living here. I eat farm to table meals that are primarily vegetarian with the occasional chicken or mahi mahi for dinner, and practice (or sometimes teach) yoga 1-2 times, daily.

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I’m not rich, and am surely not living a life of big spending. But my decision helped me shave away the unnecessary distractions in my life, helping me embrace minimalist living and appreciate the beauty of giving and exchanging, and most of all: loving.

Because we all have gifts, and sharing those gifts with the world through love is self fulfilling.


More about Olivia Christine: Olivia is a Travel Writer and Photographer consulting in writing + content marketing while exploring the world through bartering, volunteering, and adventure discovery. She spent a few months at Blue Osa as a blogger, marketing volunteer, and private yoga instructor.

Read about her adventures and travel advice in her blog and connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram!

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