Broadcast Your Essence

ipadmini768x1024Yesterday my favorite guru, Danielle LaPorte shared this gorgeous #truthbomb and I just fell in love with it, but I wasn’t quite sure how I’d go about following the message. Granted it can probably be taken however you want, as these things go, but the thing that rings true for us all is that it’s telling us to put our unique essences out into the world however we choose to do so.
And I dig it.

This morning, as I drove home from bringing my husband to work, I was catching up on Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Magic Lessons” podcast when my friend text me with one sentence that made me grin from ear to ear. It said, “We should have a podcast.” It wasn’t just that I was listening to a podcast at that exact moment that had me smiling, it was also because she was literally suggesting an idea that would BROADCAST our essence.

It was like she was in my mind this morning, hanging out having a cup of pumpkin spice coffee and flipping through my thoughts. Her timing was crazy cool and even though I’m not usually one to put myself completely out there in this way, I actually like the idea of creating a podcast with her. It would undoubtedly be fun, especially since I’ve always felt that our every conversation should be recorded, although every single episode might just amount to endless bouts of laughter. Haha!

Who knows if we’ll actually do it, but I’m putting it out there here and now that I’m interested in what we could do. So, thank you Danielle LaPorte for sharing your essence with us (AND for liking my post about this subject on Instagram earlier today.) And thank you Universe for plucking random thoughts right out of my mind yet again. You know how much I love sweet, sweet synchronicity.

Happy Friday, friends. Have a joyous weekend. ๐Ÿ˜€

The rise and fall of resolutions…

IMG_5046When 2016 began, I was filled with as many positive intentions as the next person, but I think that is the curse of the holiday itself. See, the problem is that although the world is busy making us all believe that this one day holds the promise of a massive renewal button being pushed at midnight, the reality is that it’s just another day in our lives. This is why most resolutions don’t stick and the whole thing is a model for failure.

That may sound negative, but I assure you I am not trying to squash any good intentions here. My point is more about the reality that we are free to press our own renewal buttons anytime, anywhere during the course of our lives. This one holiday should not be the beacon for change because that makes everything stagnant and life is constantly changing with the wind. So, why do we limit ourselves to this way of thinking?

Generally speaking, I believe that we do this because we are creatures of habit and such things feel “oh so right” with booze colored glasses on. We wake up on January 1st and feel really excited to get things right this year (even in spite of that pounding headache). This day is magical because we can clearly envision each thing on this list coming true by the next time we break out the champagne and noisemakers, thus having even more reasons to celebrate then. Nothing can possibly get in our way on that day. Our yearly resolutions live on and on…until that hangover subsides and we realize that the holidays are officially over and life is still the same.

Like everyone else, I made a big list of things to start and stop in 2016. I pinned it up right next to my vision board because that felt like the most logical place for it and I even dubbed 2016 my rose gold year. Yeah, I went big and fluffy this time around. I told myself that this would be my year to make big moves and leave the old, lifeless things behind. In many ways this has been true, but it wasn’t because of the holiday. No, the changes in my life are happening because that is the natural progression of life.

The good, the bad, and the oh so ugly happen regardless of our goals just like when people say “you’re never ready to have a baby” and you brush it off because you have a plan. Everyone has plans, but when we actually ask others how they’ve worked out, it is almost guaranteed that those plans have been altered along the way somehow. The only things we can actually control is how we behave in every single situation we’re in.

When resolutions don’t work out as we envision them, we end up feeling like the air has been let out of our tires. It can be soul crushing because, while more often than not our thoughts become things, sometimes that mantra is just a mantra. Resolutions are like that too. They are within our grasp 100% of the time, but we also can’t predict what life has in store for us. By limiting ourselves to a one time shot at renewal in every 365 day cycle, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Instead let’s grab a spoon and dig in today or tomorrow or any other day after that where we feel inspired to make a change and let’s release this heavy burden of only being able to renew ourselves once per year.

Happy new year, friends!

In Pursuit of Magic

11910458_1485378118459165_1850452787_nHave you ever come across something that has completely knocked you off your feet and made you sit up and say, “WOW!”? It can be anything: a book or a quote, a photograph or a piece of art,ย  or even witnessing an intimate moment between two people that you just happened to notice while the rest of the world hustled by unaware. I believe everything that inspires us is a direct communication from the universe and these little nuggets of magic become part of our own histories, even though we may not be involved in the origin of any of it. By simply being a witness to such things, the fabric of our lives are forever altered.

I’ve been finding inspiration like this in massive spoonfuls lately, especially after reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic. One chapter in particular stood out in regard to the subject of synchronicity where she wrote about a moment in her life where her writing was concerned. I found it to be so in tune with where my mind has been in recent months and I recently wrote a post about the power of synchronicity HERE, which might tickle your fancy. But I digress. As I quickly devoured Big Magic, I felt the inspiration walking across every inch of my skin as so much of it resonated with my life. This section was about her friendship with fellow author, Ann Patchett and how synchronicity played a significant role in their union. They met during a panel talk they were involved in and immediately Liz fell in love with Ann’s spirit as she spoke. An instant bond was made and because neither of them care for talking on the phone, even considering that they live far apart, they instead decided to become pen pals. Handwritten paper and ink letters in the 21st century, how cool is that? In my mind these letters are similar to ones from Jane Austen novels with all the whimsy and romance of old school beauty, which may be bonkers, but a girl can dream right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, prior to meeting Ann, Liz was struggling to develop an idea for a novel about a woman lost in the Amazon. It was an idea filled with adventure and danger and chaos, but above all, it was a love story. Unfortunately, because she took too long to write it due to unexpected life events, it left her. It essentially felt free to move on to someone else who would give it the attention it demanded. Here’s the cool part: a while later, during one of their visits, Ann mentioned a new novel she was writing and it turned out that it was Liz’s story, with her own spin of course, but the similarity was undeniable. Ann said that she got the inspiration for it right after they met and Liz believes it was transferred when they hugged that day. I know, you probably think this all sounds a bit “woo-woo,” but I think it’s crazy beautiful big magic! This story gave me chills and I am just the reader, I can’t even imagine how they felt, but it must have been a profound moment. This made me realize something about my own writing, in particular a novel concept that I’ve been toying with for years, and I realized that this is perhaps why it feels so difficult to write. That particular story has clearly moved on to someone who is better equipped to write it and I’m 100% okay with that. Big Magic gave me new inspiration and I am excited to see where it takes me.


“Inspiration is allowed to do whatever it wants to, in fact, and it is never obliged to justify its motives to any of us. (As far as I’m concerned, we’re lucky that inspiration talks to us at all; it’s too much to ask that it also explain itself.) In the end, it’s all just violets trying to come to light…

Work with all of your heart, because — I promise–if you show up for your work day after day after day after day, you just might get lucky enough some random morning to burst right into bloom…

Defending yourself as a creative person begins by defining yourself. It begins when you declare your intent. Stand up tall and say it aloud, whatever it is.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic


*Stands up tall, clears throat, and speaks*

I AM A WRITER.
I AM A PHOTOGRAPHER.
I AM A CHEF.
I AM AN ARTIST.
I AM A SPIRIT JUNKIE.
I AM A CREATIVE PERSON
…AND SO IT IS.

A night with the original Spirit Junkie: Gabby Bernstein

10611023_929158793838840_461945542_nLast night my spirit sister, Megan and I went to see Gabby Bernstein talk in Boca Raton, Florida. She was giving a lecture paired with a group meditation that all centered around growing in faith and in our life purpose as a whole. Following the event, she was in the lobby signing books and taking pictures with anyone who wanted to meet her. Obviously we were interested in this idea, especially after having just listened to her inspirational talk and feeling the good vibes permeating the air in the entire building. So we got on line, which was surprisingly short (maybe 50 people?) and waited for our turn with only one person in line behind us. By the time we got up to her, the place was pretty empty so it felt like we were having a private meeting and that is hella awesome! We snapped pictures, had her sign our books, and she said, “Thank you for coming, babies” and we thought that was so adorable. She is this tiny person with the most infectiously giant energy that pours out of her. Much like Elizabeth Gilbert, who also appears small until she expands her angel wings of knowledge, Gabby is a life force that just demands to be heard and seen.

1168504_1848174848761487_144161469_nIt was both a privilege and a blessing to be in the same room as her and I am so grateful to have been able to have the experiences that I have in the past few weeks. First Liz Gilbert, now Gabby…next I would like to meet Danielle LaPorte (or even just see her speak in person). This is an open request to you, Universe. Thanks in advance! ๐Ÿ˜€

Here are some amazing truths that Gabby shared with us (I totally had a notebook and pen with me, by the way, soaking up that knowledge):


  • SEE THE LIGHT! LIVE IN THE LIGHT! BE THE LIGHT!

  • The light within you is a reflection of the light within me.
  • We are a congregation of our own – a Spirit Junkie church, so to speak. (LOVE!!)
  • Our connections to our community is a spiritual one of common mindsets. Lean into this shared consciousness. We must focus on oneness in order to live in the light. When we don’t feel connected to our community (which can be made up of anyone you feel connected to), we are preventing ourselves from living our truth and finding our purpose in life.
  • Our false perceptions of ourselves take us away from the light and keep us grounded in fear.
  • We must share our stories in order to get into the light. When you live in your purpose it is awesome and authentic.
  • We gotta walk our talk – tap into your community and create oneness by showing up for the commitments you make every day.
  • Be in JOY. The greatest gift you can bring to the world is joy. Speak your truth – we are blessed and privileged – and lean toward your joy. It is the highest calibration of energy that you are capable of bringing into the world. Lean toward joy and you will be led.
  • In all situations, especially those that make you uncomfortable and upset, you must bring your light into them. Don’t ever let the darkness of those around you or the experiences you live through to weaken that light. Pierce that darkness with it and take it over. Bring them over to the light side. HA!

And so it is. ๐Ÿ˜€

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A magical night with Elizabeth Gilbert

IMG_1367Merriam-Webster defines the term “idol” as a greatly loved or admired person, which essentially sums up what Elizabeth Gilbert is to me. While I have amazing women that I look up to in my everyday life, I think that it is perfectly acceptable and expected to also resonate deeply with artists who touch our souls through their work.

My friend and I both read Eat, Pray, Love back in December 2011 and together, we fell in love with this inspirational woman. At the time, I was going through a particularly trying period in my life as I had just ended a five year relationship. My friend was also going through some heavy emotional things in her own life and so we found commonality in this memoir where Gilbert was also aboard an emotional roller coaster. Her story deeply resonated with both of us, but it was her vulnerability in sharing this story and her determination and positive attitude going forward that truly inspired us. For me, the book profoundly changed my life and it is a treasure I will hold onto forever. Just seeing it on my bookshelf gives me comfort whenever I need it because I know that our soul friendship is tucked away in those pages. So, when I found out that Liz was going on a book tour for Big Magic, I was ecstatic, especially when I saw that one of her stops was in the county next to mine. Immediately I bought two tickets before even asking my friend if she wanted to join me because I instinctively knew what her answer would be. When I text her about it later, she replied with, “Heck yeah! This is like Christmas morning!” And it totally felt like Christmas morning to me as well.

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Our date was set, the tickets arrived in the mail shortly after, and this past Monday we finally got to be in that concert hall as Elizabeth Gilbert walked out onto the stage in front of us, only four rows away. Surprisingly, two other girls that my friend worked with were also going, one of whom already lives down in Miami, so she was able to get there first and she snagged a killer spot on line for us, hence the amazing fourth row seats. But I digress. When Liz came out, I felt like a blubbering madwoman. My tears of joy and gratitude and love were unstoppable. This was a moment that was put into my life for a purpose to let me know that my journey onward and upward is the right one for me. Here I was sitting a few feet away from one of my idols and the positive energy in the room was palpable. When she began talking, the first things out of her mouth were to say how self-conscious she felt about her outfit. That the dry cleaner didn’t get her clothes back to her in time so she had to wear her travel clothes. This made me laugh and appreciate this person even more because not only was she completely adorable in person, even more so than I’d ever imagined she could be, she also was entirely real now. She goes through the same annoyances in her day to day life and has insecurities like any other person and that alone is incredibly comforting and humbling. We aren’t so different after all.

Later in the talk she reflected on meeting your idols in person and how she generally doesn’t want to meet hers because she fears that in doing so she might lose the magic of who they are in her mind. Her favorite poet, Jack Gilbert (no relation), was someone that she idolized and even has a tattoo inspired by his work on her arm that says “Stubborn Gladness,” but when someone tried to tell her once that he wasn’t the man she thought he was, she shut the conversation down immediately. Damaging her soul friendship with her poet laureate wasn’t going to happen. (You can read more on Liz’s views on Jack Gilbert’s writing and the impact his work made on her life here. When I read the article, it was so amazing to see that her love for this man is exactly like my love for her. Maybe someday someone out there will feel the same way about me. What an incredibly moving thought.)

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This revelation made me grateful that although I was that close to her, she still remained my personal champion because the bond we shared was an emotionally soul driven one untainted by anything else. I am sure that I would love her as much as I do now, if not more, should we ever meet officially, but I am also sure that I am completely content with things the way they are. Hearing and seeing her speak in her openly vulnerable way, seeing the charisma exude from her like beautiful golden honey dripping off the comb, it was an experience I will cherish forever. And, for the rest of my life, I can also say that I got to sing with Elizabeth Gilbert, because I did. We all did. As a giant group of like-minded women (and the five guys who were sprinkled into the mix), we belted out John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads as a farewell to an enchanting evening of big magic and love…

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong,
West Virginia,
Mountain mamma, take me home
Country roads
Take me home, country roads
Take me home, country roads

[I was swept up in the moment so this video isn’t the best, BUT it’s still awesome to hear it.]

NaNoWriMo: Ponder & Prep

544ec7a81779e.imageFor years I have wanted to take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) but fear and self doubt have always held me back. For starters, this event is a massive undertaking for anyone, but it is also really intriguing because the idea that thousands of people worldwide will be laboring over their novels for the entire month in unison is super cool. As a born creative, the desire to write a novel has pulled at me for as long as I can remember. I have notebooks and computer files filled with ideas and other things casually jotted down for possible stories but nothing has ever come of any of them. It’s not that any of my ideas were bad, it’s more that none of them resonated with me in those moments enough to force the stories out of me…which really translates into writer’s block/me not thinking they were good enough to pursue. After listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast, Magic Lessons, and with her latest book just coming out on the exact subject of “creative living beyond fear,” it is pretty much in my face every day that all of this waiting and excuse making is getting me nowhere. The time is NOW! So, with that said, I have signed up for this year’s NaNoWriMo event and I am currently spending as much time as I can prepping for it. With my school schedule completely draining me lately, I have no clue how I will accomplish this feat, but Liz has motivated me to look beyond such things and to instead face my fears and desires head on.


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  • Annual Event – Free to anyone who wishes to participate.
  • Word Count: 50,000
  • Event Dates: November 1st – November 30th
  • Qualifications: Commitment to write as much as you can within the allotted 30 day period.
  • Join a community of other writers for support, ideas, and general conversations.
  • Write with freedom: no editing during this time, just write it all out.
  • SIGN UP HERE!

Some writers seem to be blessed with free-flowing brilliance whenever the mood strikes, but for the rest of us, writing a novel is a big undertaking. It can take years to produce a completed rough draft, let alone a polished manuscript to send out to publishers. The folks who run NaNoWriMo laugh in the face of this laborious time frame though. They have zero interest in allowing participating writers the freedom of years to cultivate their stories because the intentions here are to just get people writing. They want writers to hit the ground running at full speed in order to get the most of their time and that’s awesome. It can be so easy to get bogged down with over-planning and second guessing every single choice we make, so I absolutely see the value in this method. I’ve read some articles that weren’t too keen on the idea of NaNoWriMo because a lot of garbage writing can come out of it, but why should that even matter? Don’t all writers have to produce junk at some point in order to uncover the gold within?

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My work may not be something that everyone loves, hell it may even be hated and thrown in trashcans, but I know that I must put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) as much as possible to satisfy the need inside of me. I have allowed excuses that I would create in my head to stop me from participating for far too long. Things like “I don’t have the time” or “I’m not a good enough writer” or “my ideas are terrible.” These thoughts were attacking me and causing major productivity slumps. Thankfully I have come a long way in this area but, like anyone who creates things knows, insecurities are always present because putting our art out there for the world to see is the same thing as laying our hearts on a chopping block and hoping that the butcher knife is dull. There will always be critics, that’s the nature of the beast, but the thing I have begun to focus on more than the fear of my writing being hated is that it could actually touch someone. Even if it is only one person in the whole world who reads my story and feels a deep connection to it, then I will have succeeded in my efforts. So I am jumping into this crazy writing event with both feet and seeing where it takes me. Hopefully by the end of November I will be able to declare myself a winner of NaNoWriMo and even if my story sucks, I know that this is only the beginning of my next chapter in life. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m really excited about it and my Starbucks card is loaded and ready to go…bring on the long nights and caffeine filled days!

Below are two short videos of Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talks. In them she talks about writing, the fear of failure, and finding your way back home in whatever drives your soul. Check them out because she’s amazing…PLUS I am seeing her speak live tonight about her latest creatively brilliant book, so including her in this post (numerous times) was absolutely vital. ๐Ÿ˜€ ENJOY and get your butt over to NaNoWriMo’s site to sign up for the month of madness!

Synchronized Swimming: We’re in this together

[Image from Tumblr]I am a huge fan of synchronicity. I know that is probably an odd thing to be a fan of, but I promise you it is not strange at all. In fact, once you begin to take notice of the synchronicity in everyday life, it will blow your mind. The magic of synchronicity is so apparent in our daily lives that once we begin collecting these intertwined moments, everything in our developmental journeys feels predetermined, fated. It is the feeling of internal rightness within the universe and that is the magic of it. For example, lately seemingly unrelated things have been aligning in perfect time with where my thoughts are and, while I’d usually just label this a part of the law of attraction belief system, that isn’t quite what it is.

These little things that have been happening fall under the larger concept of synchronicity, and that is the thing that is holding the law of attraction by the hand as they walk together down the streets of my mind. See, as with the law of attraction, you put out what you want to receive in your life. It is as much of a mindset as it is a course of actions because you must do the work in order to achieve the things that you want, but by approaching everything with the right mental intentions is a huge benefit too. Synchronicity is different because it applies to the things in our lives that aren’t expressly thought about, but they are still completely in line with whatever journey we happen to be on. I’ve heard it referred to as “a wink from the cosmos” andย “meaningful coincidences,” which I like but that doesn’t quite capture it all.

11008359_842822149123373_1857364120_nSynchronicity is the subconscious level of our core desires, whereas the law of attraction usually deals with our active manifestations. We must believe in these unexpected things that happen to us because they mean something; they are messages from the Universe. Now this might sound a bit woo-woo, and that’s perfectly fine because we will never all be aligned in every thought and/or belief we have, which is part of our awesomeness as a diverse species, but I definitely believe in it. Below are some things that have felt like universal messages.


SPIRIT ANIMALS: For the past couple of years I have been seeing peacocks all over the place, in my dreams and while I am awake. With this being such a regular occurrence, I had to know what it meant so I looked it up and discovered some interesting things. First, the peacock is said to be a relative of the mythical phoenix, which is another bird that deeply resonates with me for other reasons. I believe that the peacock connects to my other connection to the phoenix in a big way. I also read that the peacock is related to God. Earlier this year, I had a profound moment in my life that made me shift a bit in my views on God/the Universe. It was during a time when I felt sort of lost and as if I had no idea why I was even here and since then, I now believe that I am meant to leave my mark on the world somehow. Perhaps the peacock is my spirit guide toward doing that.

SPIRIT PEOPLE: For a long time I have wanted to meet some of the people who inspire me with their words. It seems that whenever my favorite authors are on a book tour or speaking somewhere, the timing is just off for me to see them. It’s either in another state or if they’ve been close by, tickets have been too costly. With all of my constant attention given to these women and their incredible work, I feel a sort of connection to them personally, which is major admiration and inspiration intertwined. So, recently I was discussing this with my husband and I said that I wanted to make it a point to meet some of these ladies in my life, some how, some way. I didn’t know how it would happen, just that it would. I guess the universe was listening because a few days later I got my usual email from Elizabeth Gilbert’s website and it said that she was coming here, less than an hour from my front door. Then, only a few days after this news, my friend sent me information on Gabby Bernstein coming here too. Finally it is affordable to see the people I want to see and they are coming to me. I am friggin’ stoked!

SPIRIT HOME: My husband and I keep talking about our need to get rid of some things in our apartment. We’ve been procrastinating far too long with doing this because when we are actually home, we have zero desire to do anything lately. The past few months have been so incredibly busy that this doing nothing mindset has become a serious luxury, but now the weight of useless stuff in our space is beginning to suffocate us. Throughout these months I have also been seeing this little book about decluttering the home all over social media and in stores. The message was practically smacking me in the face and so we finally began going through each room and making piles of stuff that no longer serves our highest purpose in life. When I flipped through that little book, it made me realize that by having all of this useless stuff, it is actually robbing our home of joy. So, little by little, with a massive nudge from the Universe, we are creating a space that accentuates positive energy flow, AND our clutter is being donated so that it can find someone who will value it all. You know “one man’s garbage…” and all of that.

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[Top graphic from Tumblr, uncredited original source]

The Spirit Junkie Diaries: Volume 1

[Image credit: http://yogafrog.co.uk/]Along the journey toward my best self, the pathway isn’t all snowflakes and pumpkin spice lattes. While it is an incredibly awesome experience cultivating the life that I envision for myself, it is also realistic to expect roadblocks to present themselves. That comes with the territory of any sort of growth in life and most of these blockages come in the form of other people. Unfortunately, not everyone we encounter will be able to understand and/or take part in our journeys toward our desires and that’s okay, it is a reality of life, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that those people are bad for us either. The way that I am seeing it these days is that everyone we encounter, regardless of the circumstances, are put in our path for a reason. Whether we are meant to learn from them or they are meant to learn from us is the truth that we must determine.

As a self-professed Spirit Junkie in training, it is up to me to stay focused and on task with my own purpose, but as a daughter/spouse/friend/peer/student-of-life, it is also my responsibility to think beyond myself at times and lend myself to those around me. I’ve always been the type of person who is all-in when it comes to my personal relationships. For example, if a friend needs to vent about the things going on in their life, small or large, I am there to listen and weigh in should advice be what they’re seeking. The same thing goes for my family. Or, if anyone needs me to come to their aid at any time, day or night, I will travel wherever I can to be by their side. I am that kind of friend. However, sometimes this absolute readiness to help others can stifle my spirit and that is when I need to take a moment and reevaluate the situation. I am no good to anyone else if my own flame is dwindling and so “me time” is vital for my continued expansion and my ability to support and love those who are important to me. I soak up my time alone like a paper towel absorbs water; these moments alone are the times when I am able to recharge my batteries and come back to a peaceful mindset. It is sort of like when I cleanse my crystals and stones, the purpose of that is to remove all of the energies that they have taken on from outside sources, including from me. It refreshes them so that they can help to radiate the vibes I need once again. My alone time is essentially recharging the battery of my life, so to speak. I suppose it also isn’t a coincidence that I’m a Krystal too, right? Haha! (I know, bad joke, but you know you at least smiled!)

But I digress. Currently I am in need of hitting the refresh button because lately the energies of a friend of mine have weighed on my mind probably more than they should have. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily because that’s what being a friend is all about, but it has been difficult to remain neutral in my advice to her. The ease of giving in to the negativity of her situation is all too real and in doing so, I’d be useless to her and to myself. Unfortunately, she is at a crossroads in her life and things have been pretty tough for her for a while now. Because I want to be there for her in the best way that I can be, I know that I must maintain some level of distance so as not to absorb the negativity in her life. As people I think that we forget how vulnerable we all are to the elements around us at any given time. Some of us are more sensitive to such things, but even if you’re not as sensitive, energies affect everyone and every thing. As I navigate my own personal growth game, I have come to learn that sometimes, regardless of the loud voices in our minds saying that we aren’t doing enough for others, we must take a step back and merely observe for our own well being. I have listened intently to her, provided all the advice that I could, and now I am sending loving thoughts and hope that my friend will be able to make the right choices for herself going forward. I am comforted in the knowledge that I showed up for her, as I always do, but this time I am remembering myself as well because self care is an essential part of life.

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[Top Image Credit: http://yogafrog.co.uk/%5D

Podcast Junkie: Dear Sugar

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“Dear Sugar Radio: Listen to your heart – Radically Empathic Advice from Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond.

The universe has good news for the lost, lonely and heartsick. Dear Sugar โ€” the cult-favorite advice column from The Rumpus โ€” is back, but this time speaking rightย into your ears. Hosted by the original Sugars, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, the podcast fields all your questions โ€” no matter how deep or dark โ€” and offers radical empathy in return.” (For more info. click here.)

Have a burning question for Sugar? Email dearsugarradio@gmail.com


In my ongoing love affair with podcasts, I have recently discovered the Dear Sugar show and it is wonderful. The hosts are Steve Almond (how awesome is this guy’s name, am I right??) and the amazing Cheryl Strayed, author of the incredibly successful book, Wild, which was also made into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon last year. The funny thing about this discovery is that I have actually never read anything written by Cheryl before, not that I haven’t seen the book all over though, and I also haven’t heard of Dear Sugar either, but while listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcasts (blog on that soon, I promise!), she had Cheryl on as a guest and I fell in love with her immediately. I mean, not only is one of my all time favorite people friends with her and singing her praises, but she is also mega talented and admirable in her own right. So, win-win, and after a quick search, I was subscribed to the Dear Sugar podcast and the rest is (recent) history.

The cool thing about the Dear Sugar podcast is that it is based on Steve and Cheryl’s old column of the same title. Steve was the original “Sugar” but then he began to realize that he just wasn’t the authentic fit for the role so, enter Cheryl, who came in to replace him. The column had the same vibe as Dear Abby where anyone can write in about virtually any topic and the answer would be written as a letter back to the person in the next issue. Well, the column is finished but these two people knew that the following wasn’t so they decided to bring it to life with a show instead. Now those letters that people send in to Sugar are read on air and answered on the spot. Where this column was once anonymous, listeners can now engage with the Sugars on a more personal level as they discuss their own lives in relation to the letters they receive. This new way of running an advice column is so clever and it gives people the ability to listen on the go, which is what we all love to do right? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m hooked and you should be too.

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[Steve Almond & Cheryl Strayed: The Sugars]


Because I am a new listener, I am slowly making my way through the series and episode #5 is my favorite one so far for two reasons. First, the Sugars called Elizabeth Gilbert, and second, because it was about something that’s been on my mind for a while now: having kids. The letter writer is about 31 years old and she believes in her gut that she doesn’t want to have kids. She has also recently begun dating a man who feels the same way, but she can’t shake the nagging feelings as to whether this decision is the right one. Will she regret not having children later on once it’s too late? Will she end up changing her mind after she is already committed to her current decision and budding relationship? And, if she doesn’t become a mom, will the people in her life ever be able to truly understand and respect her decision?

This really resonated with me because I am 32, married, and am currently at the beginning of changing every aspect of my life as I know it. When I think about my future, I can clearly see myself as a mother and my husband as a father, so I differ in the choice of the letter writer in that regard, but my dilemma over it is still the same. My possible future life feels so clear that I can describe every detail of my child’s face and the sound of their laughter and running feet filling our home; I can see the home we’re in too. But even with such a clear picture that feels like I’m looking into a crystal ball, it is sometimes impossible to believe that this will be my reality when I return to the present and remember how old I am getting or how far we still have to go to reach our career goals, and etc. The reality of the “American Dream” is no longer true for my generation as things are much harder today than they were back when my parents were chasing their dreams. My gut feeling is saying that this life that I am envisioning is absolutely for me though, but when I think about the “what if’s” and the “when will this happen” questions, I hit a roadblock.

I’m happy right now with the path that I’m on and I’m so beyond blessed to have the people and things that I do, but I know that I need more. The “more” is in my visions of the future for my husband and me. It’s as real as the keys that I am typing on to write this blog, so that has to mean something right? I think that the main problem is that time seems to be moving faster than we are and I’m not sure how to catch up or even keep the same pace. I know that I’m not supposed to be in that vision of our future yet, and that’s perfectly fine, but it doesn’t stop me from wondering whether any of it is going to happen at all. It also doesn’t stop me from comparing myself to my friends who have already surpassed me in these areas.

I know that anything can happen and I know that I am far from being too old to accomplish my dreams, there are 90 year old people in college for goodness sake, I’m just unsure about where my life is going. It’s a terrifying and completely exciting chaotic ball of emotions but I have faith that we will have a great future regardless of what happens, and I love coming across things like this podcast that make me take stock in my life. Our emotions are so important and they must work together in order to have balance, which reminds me of the movie Inside Out. With this thought so fresh, I also mentioned to my friend a little bit ago about how her own sadness must be loved as much as any other emotion she has because each one makes up the whole of who we are. In the movie, Sadness is the ultimate hero, where everyone originally thought Joy was, and it was the most beautifully organic truth that the movie writers could have come up with. We must trust ourselves enough to know that we can get through the merry-go-rounds within us, one up and down horse at a time. So ride on, my fellow Spirit Junkies! Ride on…and listen to some awesome podcasts along the way!

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The most magical time of the year…

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[Photo credit: The Magic Puddle by Tara Turner]

It’s official, we are heading full steam ahead toward my absolute favorite time of year and I am thrilled! There is a sort of magic about the Fall and Winter seasons, even for those of us (like me) who are sadly not able to truly experience the true seasonal changes. But the infectious quality of the season is still heavily present and that alone is worth smiling about…PLUS pumpkin everything! ๐Ÿ˜€

So, as you all know from my recent changes to Unabashedly Poetic, I have been growing in all sorts of ways and pursuing different writing avenues as well. It makes me think about the movie Field of Dreams and how Kevin Costner keeps hearing the voice telling him, “If you build it, he will come.” It is that voice that propelled him into an incredible future because he leaned into it and allowed himself to believe in it. Well, I am doing the same thing. With this being my final semester of college before getting back into the working game, it has been an extremely scary thought but at the same time I am so completely ready for the next chapter. I believe with every fiber of my being that certain things are going to happen for us (my husband and I), although I don’t want to really get into any of that here because we’re still in manifesting mode where those goals are concerned. But I digress. Lately, as I continue to put out good vibes for my own personal growth game, awesome things have been popping up and I am just so excited that I had to come here and spill that joy all over my blog.

DESIRE PLANNERFirst up, for the past few months I have been scouring the internet and local stores for a new planner. My 2015 one ended in June and it has been super irritating trying to log information into my phone until I can get a new one. Now you may be thinking that this is kind of silly because there are planners all over the place, and you’re right, but none of them felt right to me. I am a very particular person about my organizational tools and because 2016 will literally be a brand new start for my life, I have just had this overwhelming feeling that my planner must be on the same level. Enter Danielle LaPorte and her amazing new collection of 2016 planners. I should have known that she’d be cooking up something (especially considering she put out planners last year but I didn’t love them), but I was actually taken by surprise by this release. These beauties were put up for pre-order last week and I immediately snatched one up. Because desire and because it is friggin’ gorgeous! This is exactly what I was looking for – I am ready to devote my 2016 to my core desired feelings and continue rocking my growth game. (You can check out the full lineup of planners here.)

IMG_9612The second thing happened a few days ago and it might be the most exciting news of all. Oh who am I kidding, it totally is the most exciting news! Elizabeth Gilbert, you know the queen of badassery herself, is coming to Miami in October to give a talk and each guest in attendance is also receiving a signed copy of her upcoming book, Big Magic. (a new Podcast Junkie blog post coming on this by the upcoming weekend.) After the talk, there will be a follow up conversation across the street from the center at a little bookstore/cafe. Now, given my complete tendency to go completely fangirl in all situations IMG_9626where my favorite celebs are concerned, I am more than excited about this. My adoration for Liz’s work began years ago when her book Eat, Pray, Love came out and it had such a profound impact upon my life at that time. It was literally a life changing experience for me and I shared that growth back then with my dear friend, Nicole so it felt totally organic to ask her to accompany me in this moment as well. Her response was, “Heck yeah! That lady is incredible. I’m very stoked AND a book! This is like Christmas morning! I am really glad you thought of me and I would have thought of you too!”ย If that doesn’t explain why she was at the top of my list to go with me, I don’t know what will. ๐Ÿ˜€ Oh AND Liz also liked a picture I put on Instagram this week of my vision board (top pic: my killer vision board that is accompanied by my statues of Ganesha and my guardian angel pig, Raphael…yes, after the archangel of healing…bottom pic: the legit Liz like on my IG feed). That was also a super duper big fangirl moment. I’m totally shaking my pom poms this week! RAH RAH!

Third, and equally amazing, came from my spirit junkie sister in training, Megan, in the form of an invite to see a little blonde guru who has inspired us so much recently…Gabby Bernstein. She text me and was like, “This is our year!!! Let’s go!” and obviously I almost fell off of my couch before replying with a massive “YESSSSS!!!!” Like Liz Gilbert, Gabby is also coming down south to my hood this November which calls upon the amazing magic of synchronicity, but there’s a post in the works for that subject later on. Anyway, this event will include an inspirational talk, group meditation, a live Q and A with her, and a book signing. Seriously, can someone get me a fan? I am going to pass out from all of this supremely hella awesome universal synchronization! When I said that 2015 would be my year, the Universe listened intently and said, “YOU GOT IT!” I’m ready for more, secret agent lover guru…Bring. It. On! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

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