Let’s start with three little things.

How can we all embrace the beauty of living and make this world a better place? Each of life’s many facets is absolutely perfect if lived the way nature intended. Peacefully, tending to the earth and ourselves, acknowledging balance, honoring cycles, and appreciating the awe-inspiring majesty of the Universe. The majesty of absolutely everything from humans and our emotions to the Earth’s land and creatures, the weather, the sun and moon… everything!

We can start by living a bit more intentionally and respecting the balance all around us in nature. Each bit takes what it needs and gives something back, never draining too much from the harmony preexisting it. When we do this, we live our lives happily! Beautifully! Just as nature intended.

Let’s each do our part. Starting today.

Let’s each do these three things. Today.

First, let’s start with being mindful of our next meal. Choose foods that were grown locally, without chemicals, and prepare them with gratitude and love. Then when we eat, let’s give thanks first. The Earth grows everything we ever need to survive, and we should be thankful for this incredible gift.

And then, the next time we need to go somewhere, be mindful of the resources consumed. This is obviously easier in some locations than others but if we can, let’s choose a method that drains as little resources from the Earth as possible. We’ve already been given the gift of food, so let’s try to take a little less of something else, like gasoline, if possible.

Take time to care for yourself and to find solace and peace on this precious planet.

Take time to care for yourself and to find solace and peace on this precious planet.

And then, when we’ve finished our worldly obligations for the day, honor ourselves. Take time for YOU, because you are also a beautiful and perfect piece of the planet. We each have a purpose and a place here, so take quiet time and let yourself be. Don’t turn on the television or go to a movie. Don’t play games on your iPad, chat with friends on Facebook, or mindlessly browse the web. Choose to be still. Go outside and look up if you can see the stars or clouds, look ahead if you can see trees or flowers or hills or grasslands, or look down if all you can see is soil. Find some way to root yourself to the Earth, and then, just be. Breathe and let go of everything you’re holding inside. Just be. And just breathe.

Little by little, small bits of intentional living like this can help make the world a better place. She will become happier and more gentle, slower and more peaceful, and overall, we’ll all see a shift in our existence from one consumed with money and the gaining of tangible objects to one of symbiosis and love. It will take time and conscious effort on the part of millions and millions of people, but we can start with ourselves today. And then after some time, we may choose to share our truths with others and our circles of knowledge will grow.

Piece by piece, we can better ourselves and the planet because we truly are all one and all connected, and therefore each bit makes a difference. Now go forward, kind soul, and do what you know inside to be good. Go live life fully, freely, beautifully, and happy. And never, ever look back.

This view…

I want to borrow the eyes of everyone on the planet for just a few moments. For just these few moments…

I see layer upon layer of green, brighter in the foreground and fading to a steely gray blue as my gaze meets the horizon. Each layer is jagged and uneven, peaks and valleys shaped from the Earth’s inner movement over thousands and thousands of years. Trees of lime green and chesnut brown, of forest green and a bright, bold emerald, and even a red the color of Costa Rica’s clay soil. I see the occasional cow pasture or coffee field, and even a handful of paths cut from the mountainsides for us humans to traverse. A swallow-like bird descends, then rises and glides gracefully across the heavens. She meets two others and together they fly. A breathtaking and tear-inducing dance intended for no one but themselves, but gratefully, I watch.

In my 26 years, I’ve never seen a more beautiful place. I am on top of the world at around 1,500 feet, observing Mother Earth live and breathe all around me. We are one, and we are together just as we were meant to be. This is truth. This is life. And my friends, this is paradise. Welcome.

Mountaintop paradise.

Mountaintop paradise.

Just do it! Taking chances and living fully.

What is it you want to do?

Many of YOU reading this blog post right now have let me know how impressed you are that I tossed aside the path I was on and made a change… made things happen. From so many people over the past several months, I’ve heard these words: Oh I’m so jealous! I wish I could do that.

Well, guess what? YOU CAN!

“That” doesn’t have to mean living on a permaculture farm in the Costa Rican jungle (although it very well could!), but “that” could mean putting aside all the “have tos” and “need tos” and just doing what your heart is calling you to do.

Big or small – whatever it may be, it’s what YOU want to do or where YOU want to go. Travel to India, write a book, practice yoga, learn to cook, plant a garden, become a pilot, open a boutique, volunteer in a hospital, protest against the man… anything YOU want to do!

This world is full of possibilties and opportunities for genuine happiness, but the only way you’ll ever feel truly full is when you dive in, headfirst, and trust the Universe to make the path. But you have to decide first. Then, move foward, and it will happen.

It’s not easy, but it’s worth it

I’m not one of those people who lives without responsibilities and physical and financial obligations, so I understand how easy it is to feel like leaping into the big unknown is impossible.

I have loads of college loan debt and credit cards and three pets in the States. I have ties to life “back home” which made the decision to follow my heart against all odds quite tough — it wasn’t easy and it took planning, saving, and sacrifice. BUT, had I not decided to work against that adversity, I wouldn’t be sitting in the sun, drinking watermelon puree, and watching the world go by in a Costa Rican beachtown.

I knew inside my heart that there was MORE I wanted out of life than what I was experiencing in my mitten state. My life was perfectly well and fine, but inside of me, I knew I wouldn’t be fulfilled if I continued on the road I was on. Yeah, I may have had some cash, and eventually a house and a family, but I wouldn’t have bright, glowing, full happiness! So, I decided enough was enough and I made the decision to change.

How I changed my life

Week after week I sat in my therapist’s office (yes, I’m one of those people…) and gushed about my need for something more. And week after week she’d encourage me to make a change — to listen to my heart and to do what I wanted. And, week after week, I’d fill her ears with “buts” and “what ifs” and unnecessary doubt. She’d laugh a bit and tell me that there is nothing to be scared of and that the Universe will always make a way. She’d tell me that I have all the skills to make my life as perfect as I can imagine. She’d say that a life lived without risks isn’t really lived at all (my translation of course).

And one day, she encouraged me to own my dreams and to tell the Universe exactly what I wanted. She told me to SAY IT OUT LOUD. Put my intentions right out there!

I cringed. I couldn’t. I giggled nervously and told her that I just COULD NOT speak the words.

She smiled, and told me to do it anyway.

So… I did.

I said, “I’m quitting my job and in three months, I’m moving. I’m doing it!”

In that instant, I felt a huge wave of relief rush over me. It was happening! That’s all it took, and I knew deep down that things were changing for me. I was taking back the control of my life I’d lost in the few years prior. I was finally going to own my destiny!

And that, my friends, is all you have to do. …And then tell a couple people who you trust will help keep you accountable and who can share in your excitement. Because taking back your life is sooooo very exciting!

Making it happen

After I made that proclamation last summer, I started generating idea after idea. I decided to move west, so that’s where I concentrated my energies. I knew I was going to need money, I was going to have to tell my job, my roommates, my boyfriend… I was going to have to get things in motion if I was actually going to make a change. So I did. Piece by piece and bit by bit, I started fitting together pieces of my puzzle.

And then, along the way, Costa Rica came to me. Somewhere inside of me I knew that I had to come here, for some reason. It wasn’t the main destination at the time, but it was a stop along the way that I had to experience. I put very little thought into this piece because the majority of what I was saving toward was moving my life to the ocean.

Here I am. Now. Happy. Grateful. Blessed.

Here I am. Now. Happy. Grateful. Blessed.

However… For now, for this moment, Costa Rica IS the key point for me I think. I need this place — Costa Rica is helping me figure out some pretty life-changing things: staying in the now, letting plans help guide the path but not letting them rule out opportunity, loving myself first and foremost, trusting my heart…

And so, here I am. Living life happily. Not knowing exactly where I’m going next, but being fully grateful to be where I am NOW, and being perfectly peaceful knowing the Universe has a pretty great plan for me, as long as I keep going with the flow…

So, friends, if there’s something tugging at your heartstrings, do the world a favor and explore it.

Take a chance. Risk it all. And don’t look back. 

And then along the way, change the path if you feel like it. Let yourself listen to the wind of your soul (Cat Stevens said it well this time), and let yourself flow with it. If you’re not happy with any aspect of your existence, OWN it, and CHANGE it for the better. Make your life yours and live it your way.

You can be happy. NOW is the time.

Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself what it is you want. And then, make it happen.

…just do it 😉

A week on the beach – grooving with the good life.

If you’ve never done morning yoga on the beach, nearly each morning, just after waking, I suggest you do it. And then, after a good yoga session to get the blood flowing, go for a swim in the ocean. Clean your suit and your soul, and then waltz back to breakfast of fruit and agua dulce (hot water, splash of milk, sugar = yum). Relish in this beauty, and then start your day.

Life is amazing! 

This life is possible, and being lived by so many people in this beautiful little Costa Rican city (Uvita). There are plenty of Gringos living alongside Ticos, and everyone seems to be living the good life. Flowing with the sun and moon, we’re living with the heat by staying out of the sun mid-day, by taking naps if we need to, by going to bed early and waking up early… and by simply taking it easy.

Everyone finds a way to work here and get by — some more successfully than others. But everyone seems to live the same way — happily.

Once I’m done with farm life I just might come back to stay for a while. As in, indefinitely.

xxoo.

Some shots from Uvita:

Recognizing our body cycles

“I’ve been thinking a lot about waves and cycles lately…” -Casper, the Dutchman.

Energy, moods, attitudes — everything has its own cycle. Before I left the states I wrote a note to myself reminding me to honor and appreciate all that my body is. To love the ups and downs and to listen to my body each day to help guide my actions and if possible, my thoughts.

There are days when my energy is low and there are days when I’m in a bad mood and can’t seem to shake it. There are also days when I’m a grump toward the world and feel like I need to isolate myself, separating my mood from the moods of everyone else. Instead of becoming frustrated with these less than pleasant realities, I’m learning to embrace them.

Our bodies and minds are truly incredible — they can tell us so much about ourselves, like when we’re out of balance and something needs to be put back in check. Our diets, our actions, who we’re surrounding ourselves with… When we’re anything less than ideal, we can listen to our bodies and figure out what to do to re-center.

Take, for example, that few days every four weeks that us women just feel off. We’re not quite our normal, happy, productive, light selves. We’re a bit moody, agitated, or sad. We’re PMSing, but that’s ok. In these days, I’ve found that giving my body the love it needs is all it takes to make these off days a bit better. I may not regain all the goodness from a couple weeks prior, but I find a way to appreciate the swings and the energy loss by treating myself with nice food, lots of tea, writing or yoga or swimming if I feel like it, and probably the most important thing, lots of alone time.

Alone time can do miraculous things if we let it. Put me by myself for a few hours and I’ll almost always crawl (or gleefully skip or hop) back to my center point. When given the freedom that comes with alone time, I’m able to naturally flow into an activity that my body craves.

In all times, be kind to yourself.

If it’s just impossible to rid yourself of a bad mood, the worst thing you can do is beat yourself up about it. Being frustrated that you’re frustrated isn’t going to kick the frustration now is it? Having a sense of humor about our moods instead really does help. If you’re pissed off at the world, take a moment to remember that you’re not always pissed off at the world, and that the world is still revolving just as it did before and that at some point, sooner than later, you’ll stop being pissed and you’ll move on to a different emotion — and if you’re lucky, maybe it will be a good one for a few days.

Emotions never last too long — any emotion, even the good ones. So, be an observer of the emotions and appreciate them all. The ups, the downs, the swings, and the lulls. Everything is cyclical, and trust that it’s all ok, and that this too shall pass.