Putting into practice — trusting my heart.

Why do we 1st-worlders insist on making so many plans? It seems I’ve made plan after plan my whole life, which has probably prevented me from taking advantage of many opportunities I may have enjoyed more than the original “plan.” So, despite months and months of planning and saving for this Costa Rican adventure which would so matter-of-factly be followed with an early April move to the West Coast (Portland is where young people go to retire, right?), I’m tossing aside that plan and letting my heart lead the way.

So… Universe, I’m open to whatever you have for this point in my life. I’m open, and I’m listening to my heart.

I still do want and “plan” to move to Oregon sooner than later, but because I’m feeling pulled to extend my time in Costa Rica, I may have to delay the move until I can save a bit more. Or, I may move without as much backup money, which could very well be fine, too. As long as I keep my eyes on the road and my hands on my heart, I’ll be just fine.

It’s a strange feeling — this confidence I have that every little thing is gonna be alright (thanks for putting it so well, Mr. Marley). Historically, I’ve felt this need to prove something to somebody at all times. If I say that I’m going to do something and then decide to change my mind, I feel as if I’m letting someone down, or that I’m not good enough to follow through with the original goal. This is not ok.

It’s totally fine to make goals which can help keep us moving forward, but to limit ourselves from other opportunities simply by planning our lives away is not ok. I’m done with this attitude.

So, Oregon is still there, and I’m hoping that the Universe will pave a path for me to get there if it’s what’s best for me, but… if that happens later than originally intended, that’s fine.

For now, I’ve got my feet on the jungle floor, the sun on my back, and a smile on my face, and life is perfect. I have no need to plan the next step just now…

Looking forward, but being present. It’s possible. And I’m doing it.

Let’s get back to the way life is meant to be.

I’ve been blown away lately by beauty. Almost daily I tear up just from a gorgeous view, or bird, or river… This world is so beautiful!

The fact that we’re alive and able to witness the beauty and life unfolding all around us is something to be grateful for. We’re beautiful and a part of the sacred cycle of life like everything else. The plants need the earth, we and all animals need the plants, and the earth needs us and the animals. We’re all connected, and we’re all tasked with taking care of each other.

I’m not sure where we all went wrong… Living a full life without taking too much or exhausting ourselves is really quite simple. We need to move away from what we “think” society needs from us, and instead look at the earth and feel its energy, and then use our intuition to determine what it needs from us. Apart from human interference, everything has a natural cycle that is respected. Animals take from other plants and animals only what they need, and usually, this is quite sustainable. The animal kingdom doesn’t participate in overconsumption; animals don’t drink too much water, and plants don’t take too many nutrients from the soil if they’re able to live and grow naturally. Everything in nature has a way of balancing itself out, and there’s no reason to have it any other way. We’ve found ways to commoditize everything. Plants, animals, water… all of it is viewed as a way of making money and spoiling ourselves, regardless of who or what is harmed in the meantime.

But why? Why did we ever (or do we now) think this is ok? Humans are just a natural part of nature’s cycle as well, and it seems like such a no-brainer that we should act as a part of it. We are intelligent beings with the ability to grow and utilize the soil and the animals to help us along, but that also means we have a duty to do it respectfully.

I’m not sure where on the evolutionary trail we diverted from this respect. Hunter and gathering cultures did (and still do, for those who remain) respect the natural balance and the sacredness of all beings. Using each bit of an animal, treating it fairly, and honoring the life it lived and provided for us… How can we get back to that? We’re meant to live like that, NOT the way we do.

Most of us couldn’t tell you where our food comes from. Where our water comes from. These are the two things we cannot live without, but yet we have no idea how our food was grown, where, how it was transported, preserved, processed… We expect everything to be handed to us. Somebody else can take care of the details and we’ll just consume. Well people, this isn’t ok.

In communities, each person has a role. Each person pitches in and each person partakes in the “profits” (in this case, the profits are the food, water, and pleasure items created by the hard work of everyone — each consumer included). This is how it’s meant to be! I may plant some seeds and water them each day until they’re ready to go in the ground. Then someone may transplant these seeds into the ground and water them and weed the soil until they’re ready to be harvested. Then someone may harvest and process the crops and turn it into something we can use for food, clothing, shelter, etc. This is the way it’s meant to be! Everyone has good intentions and everyone does their fair share.

In today’s modern, western societies we are primarily concerned with buying and selling. This consumeristic mindset is not beneficial for ourselves and our communities, and definitely not for the planet. It pins each of us against the other, always in a constant battle to have more than our neighbor… never taking cautions to ensure that all pieces of the system are in balance and thriving… And it destroys our planet. Piece by piece, by having commoditized everything, we’re throwing away the balance that was in place far longer than this new attitude was. It breaks my heart to know that the path we’re on leads to disaster and there’s no way around it, unless of course we change paths.

There are people making it their lives’ work to protect this consumerist attitude. There are people who are silencing voices against this.

Every day it seems I’m finding more energy and drive to fight the good fight and to bring more attention to the big issue at hand – the destruction of our planet and positive communities. Living a sustainable, balanced life creates happiness and contentment. Being mindful of our decisions inevitably leads to respect and balance (in my experience at least, thus far). If we make it a point to think before acting, with both the little and big things, we’ll surely revert to a more natural and beneficial way of living.

So then how… How can we change the course we’re on?

Recently I’ve heard several people say that creating community and togetherness is the only way to do this. By joining together with others who believe in a better, more positive and whole way of life, we’ll be able to share knowledge that will change the planet one person, one day at a time.

At my last job I learned about spheres of influence. By spreading a message with one person, and that person sharing that message with one person, and so on, our influence can be huge. Each of us can share what we know to be true and good, and then eventually almost everyone could be in the know.

… it can happen. But will it?

The only way to know for sure is to try, and we’re in no worse shape by trying. So, let us try! Each of us – let each of us share the good news with our friends and family, our coworkers and neighbors, even a random stranger on the bus or in line at the grocery store! Even if one tenth of those people share the news, our spheres of influence will grow wide and before we know it, we’ll have informed the masses.

Game on, everyone 😉

Taking back my baby-maker and cleaning out the drugs.

The final baby killer pill…

I’ve made a decision to no longer take birth control.

For many this may not seem like a big deal, and to others it may seem quite silly in the first place (the taking or quitting). But for me, it’s a decision that’s been long coming. For years (the past four or so especially) I’ve discussed quitting with my partners and doctors and have faced plenty of resistance. I’ve also been assured time and time again that there aren’t and won’t be any long-term side affects from taking the pill; it’s 100% safe for long-term use and it won’t affect my fertility in the future.

My intuition tells me otherwise. Ten-plus years of pumping daily hormones into my body with hopes of preventing my reproductive system from doing something it’s intended to do? No, I don’t think that can be healthy or without consequence when continued for that amount of time. And, as I’ve just written about, one of my goal’s for 2013 and beyond is to fully listen to and honor what I feel inside. So, that’s that. Enough of the birth control for me.

Just another step toward authenticity

I’ve recently cut out prescription drugs for my panic attacks and anxiety issues; I’ve stopped relying on Ambien as a nightly pacifier for my over-thinking mind and underworked body; I’ve drastically cut back on my use of Xanax and other prescription downers; And, I’ve slowed down on the drinking and caffeine. It hasn’t been just the obvious external stimulants things either — I’ve gone 100% vegetarian and choose vegan more often than not; I’m eating organic and locally grown whenever possible (which is super simple while living here obviously, but even back in the states I made this happen); I’m making time for silence, yoga, and meditation; and, I’m tuning in with my senses and my body’s needs to help guide my nutrition choices and energy use.

Basically, I’m making conscious efforts to make my body and mind as centered and healthy as possible. And now, I’m getting the opportunity to remove yet another major roadblock to being the natural me — birth control.

I’m also at a place where I feel ready for the responsibility of loving with intention. It might be time to say goodbye to one-night stands (let’s be real — these things happen), or relationships with men I wouldn’t dare raise a child with. Sex is a big deal, and it’s totally ok for it to be a big deal. I’ve had many moments in my life where I loved the freedom and fun that can come with sex and, having that safeguard of birth control definitely took the worry away and let me jump in (the sack?) whenever I wanted. Yes, as I grew older these moments became fewer and much, much farther inbetween, but the possibility was always there. I’m ok with squashing that — no more free love from me.

Prepping for the process

While I was withdrawling from the Lexapro I took for over two years (I completely finished this process about two weeks before I left for Costa Rica), I deliberately made myself focus on the fluctuations in my mood, reactions, energy, and physical health and sensations. I tried to never push myself into doing anything — if I felt up for it, I’d do it; if not, I wouldn’t. I ate meals intentionally prepared for what I felt I needed at the time and I chose physical activities and exercises that would compliment my energy stores.

I was tuning in, and that’s exactly what I plan to do over the next couple of months.

What better place to go through this process than in a jungle sanctuary where I can make time for whatever it is I need? And, who better people to be with than those who are willing and wanting to help me transition into a healthier, happier girl! I mentioned to several people tonight during dinner that I was finally stepping away from the pill and it was so beautiful to hear the words of encouragement and feel the love and support from the group. If I get crazy for a couple weeks, I won’t be judged. They’re here to help me with whatever I need, just as I’m here to help them… That’s what community is all about 🙂

So, goodbye little pink pills. I’m taking ownership of this piece, too 🙂

Update — found a great blog post about why we should pack away the little pink pills for good! http://culinarykarma.net/birthcontrol1/

My intentions for 2013

Closing of a year… Opening to a better life.

This past year was full of confliction. About half the year was spent worrying about what the hell I was going to do next (or trying to forget about the inner urge to figure it out), then about a third fretting about and gearing up for the final third which would require action and change (which scared the shit out of me), and then the final third was spent cleansing my life and laying some groundwork for some longterm lifestyle alterations.

It was a good year, but it’s been a year which could have been lived better.

So what about 2013? What do I want to happen in this year? What is my intention?

I’ve spent several months asking the question, “What is it I’m meant to do in my life?,” and then in the most recent couple of weeks, I’ve started asking, “What is my gift that I can offer the world?” and have been hoping that this kind of phrasing may lead to a more direct answer.

So far I have many ideas, but not so many decisions.

However, during a recent energy surge session a few nights ago (it was my turn as the Fairy again), I felt I received some answers.

Instead of worrying about the greater plan for my life and struggling with whether or not I’m on course, I need to focus on doing the things that bring me happiness and that I know are positive, sustainable, and energy-sharing. Things that I enjoy, but that are also geared toward the greater good.

So what does that mean? Well, for starters, working on this permaculture farm is definitely something I “should” be doing. And, taking care of people and animals, creating gardens and tending to nature, designing and writing for myself, for those I care abou,t and for causes I believe in are positive and make me happy. Lending my ear for others who need someone to hear them out, creating understanding and facilitating compromise, cooking, making things more beautiful, participating in communities and music and literature… so many things! There are so many things I genuinely LOVE to do that are GOOD for this planet and the creatures that inhabit it! I can do these things, and I will be happy. That’s it!

Just do what makes you happy, and you’ll be full!

So, no more fretting. No more confliction. No more self-doubt and insecurity about whether or not I’m fulfilling the greater purpose for my life. My life’s natural flow, lived happily and with intention, IS the greater purpose.

My best friend wrote me a special, secret letter in a journal she purchased for me just before I left the states. She said, “I want you to remember that the purpose IS the journey — not the result.”

The purpose is the journey.

Words of wisdom, right there. (Thanks again for that, Annie! I love you.)

The process of traveling through life wherever my heart leads me IS my purpose. I’ll have experiences and encounter people along that path that will help me make this world a more positive place. To achieve my purpose, all I need to do is live in the now and trust that my gut will lead me exactly to where I’m supposed to be. Everything meant to happen is happening and will continue to happen and long as I trust my heart to lead the way, and to respect and honor the ebb and flow of life. There will be ups and downs. There will be moments of greater confidence and lesser confidence, but no matter what, I need to listen to my heart and make time for reflection and honesty within myself. If I do this I’ll always know when to stay, when to go, and where to walk.

This may not align nicely with the way I’ve always anticipated living — at some point, I’ve always thought I’ll “settle down,” and maybe I still will, but when asked, “So what are you going to do in the long run?,” the answer may not be as cut and dry as I’ve thought it would eventually become. Instead, the answer may be more like “I’m going to keep on traveling through life with a hand on my heart and an eye on the road, and we shall see.” This will be met with some criticism and people may think I’m non-commitable or flaky, but really, it takes all types in this world, and there need to be people who are flexible and open to flow with the changes and go where they are needed. I can be one of those people. There’s no reason not to be if I feel like that’s my role.

So, for 2013 and beyond, my intention is to live in the present, to trust myself and to honor and take action on the callings from within, and to fully live with myself as the only one able to place expecations or criticisms on me and my choices.

We’re given one life to live, people, and it’s up to US to live it, each and every day, exactly how we want. And as long as we’re living with intention and conscious effort, we’ll be doing great things for ourselves, for those we love, and for the greater good of this planet and all beings on it.

Bring it on, 2013. I’m ready 🙂

Happy New Year!