OK, so *technically* this is not really "published"....but it's my goal/dream so I can tweak it any way I want, right?
This morning I woke up to pretty awesome news. Gabrielle Bernstein is a NY Times Bestselling author/motivational speaker/general bad ass chick and creator of a cool site called her future--it's a networking, mentoring, empowering site for women. I started re-posting a few of my Grateful Life blog posts on her site recently and just today I was notified that one of my posts was chosen for their weekly "Blogs We Dig" email blast!! There are a few THOUSAND women on this email blast---which means a few thousand women will have access to my post!! I am so, so excited and just had to share with you all.
Pretty much since I was kid I knew for sure I wanted to be 2 things in life; a person who gave a damn, and a writer. (I also wanted to be a dancer, a baker, an advertising executive, a teacher, a vet, a dolphin trainer and for a small stint of time I was convinced I should be a knee model since my knees are so cute....but mostly just the first two). This blog and all of you, my readers, have continued to push me over the past almost year (!!) to keep writing and I am so genuinely thankful for your support.
One of the many reasons why I love Gabby's "her future" is because it's geared towards women mentoring women. I've never been much of a bra-burning feminist (though I do hate bras and still own all the Spice Girls CD's) but I've learned over the past few years that women truly operate on a frequency quite different from males. I've learned that when women come together a powerful force is set in motion. I believe that when we love, we love big...huge, heavy...and when we are fully present with one another--when we encourage, support and teach each other--we send out vibrations that are more than just "girl power". Take me and this very scenario for example; I posted a blog that was in response to a wonderful reader and *her* response to another blog post. Our connecting, communicating, helped inspire the post that is now sitting in a few thousand in-boxes...which is an honor and a dream for me. I'm sorry, but this is not all a coincidence. This is proof of just how wonderful it is when women stop tearing each other down, stop competing, stop judging one another and choose instead to lift us up to our full potential.
In short, when we put aside the petty, women are awesome and I love being a member of this species. "Who runs the world? Girls!"
I keep checking in with myself today saying you doing OK, kiddo? And what it boils down to is this; I am happy. I am so, so happy. I am happy and humbled from my head to my toes. I am more motivated than ever to keep pursuing my dream of being a full-time writer, one step at a time. This Wednesday knocks my socks off.
There are a zillion reasons why it's awesome having Jenny as my SF best friend (thank you, Universe!!) but at the most superficial level, she is a built in stylist! Her shop, Heritage Row, has been in business for one year (happy birthday, HR!) and I couldn't be more proud of how hard she's worked building her brand (or her "empire", as she likes to call it).
I've never been big into fashion. Sure, I've gotten hooked on a fabulous pair of shoes or two, watched make over shows and ooh'd and ahh'd over celebrity style...but in general I tend to cave to comfort above all else (wool sweaters/turtlenecks = my skin's absolute nightmare). Jenny has helped me see I can have both comfort and style (on a budget!) and I'm excited to share some of her tips and tricks with you in this new weekly Grateful Life installment :) Basically, I'm a total wannabe and Jenny is my ticket to lookin' good...
A few weeks ago during our trip to Tahoe we stumbled upon the Sandra Bullock movie "Hope Floats" on TV while relaxing around the hotel room and couldn't help but watch as we napped. There is a scene in the movie where she is at a barn dance of sorts ("hoe down" does not seem appealing) and I completely fell in love with her look; simple, light, feminine dress paired with cowgirl boots. She looked effortlessly adorable. As I often do these days I turned to Jenny and said "I want that outfit.".
Luckily for me I already own a great pair of boots and left the rest up to Jenny....
How awesome is the back?!
Jenny has a handful of simple and easy to follow go-to fashion rules that I love repeating in my head as I'm getting ready in the morning.
Rule #12: Belt it.
Perfect example: This dress is cute (and comfy, major bonus) but it wasn't doing much for my frame.
Add an ADA leather wrap belt and all of a sudden you've got yourself a winner!
Jenny is also great at being told an "event" (i.e. wedding, date night, baby shower, lunch meeting) and creating a look to go perfectly.
I tested her with "date night". (Guess I should probably get myself a date now?)...
It's hard to tell in this iPhone pic but the top is actually leopard print! She then added a bad ass leather jacket and cute pop of color via the clutch and although I look super awkward in this photo, I was feeling pretty cool.
My closet is due for a major purging soon so I've recruited Jenny to gut it, mix and match what's left and recreate my wardrobe. We've decided to document the event with before and after pics to showcase what a little bit of imagination and reorganizing (and perhaps a little bit of wine, too) can do to a wardrobe. Get excited, ladies!
For any styling help feel free to contact Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org. She's a doll and I'm sure you'll love her just as much as I do :)
I love receiving "Notes from the Universe" in my inbox...
"Living in time and space, Tricia , just might be the scariest, most heartbreaking, and lonely path an angel could ever choose.
Until, of course, they realize that being scared doesn't mean they can't make a difference, broken hearts can still love just fine, and that feeling lonely doesn't mean they're actually alone.
Then they'll laugh an angel laugh, fluff their wings, and dare a new dare all over again.
Love your halo,
Want these kinds of notes to brighten your day, too? Check out www.tut.com.
Love and Light and happy Monday thoughts,
I woke up slightly before my alarm this morning (a rare phenomenon that only seems to occur on days it would actually be acceptable to sleep in). I recently changed the iPhone alert from "Alarm" to "Wake up little lady!" because really, who needs to start their day off in a state of alarm? Certainly not me. After perusing the usual messages in my inbox to help wake up my brain (I secretly believe Groupon/LivingSocial/bloomspot are conspiring to make me go bankrupt), I came upon your email. To say that I was touched is an understatement. If I'm honest, after reading the last line, "You are an amazing writer/blogger and if you are not getting paid to write in some way, shape or form, I hope someday you do. " I felt the warmth of tears running down my face as I let out a relieved chuckle to my otherwise quiet room. Even copying it here, now, has caused the prickling of tears to reappear in the corner of my eyes (note to self: you work with all men. do not cry at desk). Just yesterday I posted the blog you so kindly responded to and I went to bed feeling a tad vulnerable. I always feel this way when I post something of personal sentiment. Will anyone even care to read this? Have I divulged too much? Am I making any damn sense at all? Your words instantly lifted my spirits and provided the necessary encouragement to log in again.
When we share with one another something remarkable happens--we connect in a way I believe human beings were designed to be connected. We are united in both our joy and our pain; our differences and similarities. We are joined by that fact that we are all doing the best we can with what we know...and most of the time, we have no idea what we're doing! People just want to feel like they count. That they matter. That they hold space in the world. Hell, sometimes I think people just want to feel like they exist. Have you ever noticed that? How saying "thank you" to a bus driver before exiting at your stop or making eye contact with your neighborhood Starbucks barrista while you order seems to shift a frequency between us? How the simple act of acknowledging another person, of essentially saying "you are, just as I am", can elicit an almost tangible change in vibrations, mood, energy? It's a powerful thing, human connection. It is, in many ways, the only true form of magic. I'm afraid our world sometimes forgets to cherish this art.
Thank you for trusting me with your story; for being open and honest and vulnerable. Please know that you are not alone and in reaching out to me you helped me remember that I am not alone, either. I deeply appreciate this.
So today, sweet friend, my Food For Thought is for you. It comes from one of my favorite books, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky.
Let's make a pact, shall we? A pact to show up, to be present and grateful. With or without us, life moves forward--it is always flowing and changing. To feel fully alive and infinite all we need to do is really be here. Trust the process. Be true to you. Excercise patience and forgiveness. The Universe will take care of the rest.
Sending a you a million good thoughts,
My sweet and darling best friend (Aubs, did you realize this September we will have been friends for 17 years?! AHH! Major best friend anniversary celebration is needed, I think.) sent me the following awesome video yesterday before she posted it on her blog, which you can check out here. Like any true soul-mate bestie she sent it at the most perfect time, as the night before I had been mulling over some thoughts on loneliness while lying in bed reading before sleep. This poem-brought-to-life is a beautiful reminder to me that this chapter in my life can be used to great advantage; I can choose (because I am oh so blessed with the power of choice) to find peace and calm in the quiet moments with myself. I can choose to be a friend to me. I can choose to enjoy my own company while trying new things, meeting new people, exploring, adventuring. I am free to sing and dance and play and create if for no other reason than it feels good in my soul. I am simply free. I can even, and bear with me on the cheese factor of this thought, choose to be romantic with myself. I can buy myself fresh flowers, fill my home with colors and scents and photographs I love and that make me feel happy. I can make my apartment a sanctuary of peace, joy and love. I can take this time alone to continue building a foundation of authenticity to who I am and what I desire out of life; to build a foundation of trust that my inner self knows exactly the right path, if I have the courage to listen to her.
In my wellness coaching session yesterday I was reminded of a saying I once heard a few years ago that stuck with me; there aren't many true "I can't" 's in this world, mostly just "I am unwilling to try" 's. Think about that for a second. How many times do we let fear or timing or insecurities or financial situations tell us that we can't do something...when really we are just unwilling to try? Part of being alone, for me, is pushing aside "I can't" and giving my all to be willing to try. Failures only define us if we let them and I for one don't see the sense in that.
I also came to the realization that each of us builds our lives as if standing on a foundation; a platform of sorts. We build it up with pieces from a multitude of sources; family, friends, love, work, spirituality, location, health, etc. All of these things fit together like quirky little puzzle pieces to form life as we know it. If I'm honest with myself, my foundation, my platform, was most often built with the opinions of others; with pieces of validation I felt or craved from the outside. The approval. The acceptance. The means of defining worth. So much of my foundation was designed by anyone but me. Which means, of course, it was designed to inevitably fall. As hearts were broken, relationships ended, disappointments or failures were met I would find my whole foundation crumbling. My whole being felt as if it was plummeting into the abyss. It felt serious, consuming and painful.
Our foundations will take hits throughout our lives. Pieces will be added and removed continuously as we grow and change, evolve and adapt. But what I'm learning is that if I build the majority of my platform from an inner source of love and acceptance then it will be...well...strong. It will be secure. It will be safe. Sure, there will be times when it shakes a bit--when I feel a tad unsteady on my feet. But I know that it can most easily withstand any and all blows tossed its way if I take this time alone to reinforce it with the unfailing beams of love, faith, gratitude and kindness.
So thanks, Aubs, for reminding me that being alone does not have to be scary. By trusting the process and making the most of my time alone I know there is much beauty to manifest. And thanks also for reminding me that we are never actually alone, so long as we continue to give out love and let it come in (in big and small and in between ways); that this ol' world and the folks who inhabit it are deeply connected.
“Lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it.”
Love and Light,
Foster the People's album "Torches" is so fun it nearly made me miss my bus stop today (I was jamming in my seat making music videos in my head, naturally). Pretty sure I scared the crap out of a tiny Asian lady or two when I lept out of my seat at the last minute...
Anywho, care to join me in a bit of desk boogey-ing?
Buy the album. You won't regret.
Bon Iver's new cd is stunningly beautiful from start to finish, but ever since my first listen this song in particular, Holocene, really captivated me. It's the perfect soundtrack to a bubble bath and red wine evening--which I gratefully indulged in just this past weekend. Nothing soothes me quite like the combination of warm, swirling bubbles, full-bodied, but firm and gripping cabernet sauvignon and a heavenly voice carrying my thoughts to a serene, care free place.
The video is equally captivating. The landscapes are breath takingly beautiful to the extent you can almost feel the crispness in the air; smell the mix of salt water and green mountain side. It doesn't hurt that the little boy is cute as a button, too :) According to the comments accompanying the post on YouTube it was shot in Reykjavík Iceland.
Yea. You can officially add this to my list of must-see places.
Love and Light,
After picking up a ton of great fruits and veggies at the farmer's market, Chris let me try out his juicer (much to my extreme delight) to make us a healthy snack.
The sequence of photos and video below truly captures how amazed I was/am at the gloriousness that is juicing (they are also proof of how awkward I can be). I'm officially addicted and need to save for one of these bad boys myself!
I had the great fortune of meeting up with a college gal pal, Kelly, who lives in Portland for coffee on Sunday morning and I just have to say--it's so refreshing to catch up with people you haven't seen or caught up with in years and find you enjoy their company just as much as you did in the past. I've found that extraordinary women operate on a frequency that is contagious; their energy is so nurturing and inviting to be around. My dear, if you read this, you are truly as lovely as I remember...I wish I'd remembered to snap a photo of us!! I guess that just means I was super present in your company :)
Sunday was then mostly spent on a beautiful hike around the Gorge. Once again I found myself feeling grateful for the guys keeping to my pace and encouraging me to keep moving--even when my very out of shape muscles were hating me big time. The air was invigorating, the views were beautiful and the exercise was oh so needed. Even though I thought I may die on the way up at one point (and admittedly considered saying oh screw it, I'm plopping myself down here and reading until you 3 get back) I was really proud of myself for sticking it out and finishing.
This next photo cracks me up because the woman who volunteered to take it insisted I pose in that position and kept saying things like "oh yes, perfect, now I've got depth...". The boys think I look photo-shopped in (but I promise I'm not!).
After the Gorge hike Chris drove our sweaty group to Multnomah Falls for even more spectacular sights.
Then we wrapped up the day with a quiet bbq in Chris' back yard.
What else can I say besides...
In Gratitude for a wonderful trip,
People have been telling me for the last few years (pretty much since I moved to the west coast) that I would love Portland. That if I loved San Francisco (hmm, let me think about that. yep, I love it here) then I would really enjoy Portland.
So, when (sparked by a random conversation on Twitter) a few elementary/high school buddies and I decided to trekk from our respective corners of the world to stay with another old friend who now lives in Portland I was pretty excited.
To summarize, it was awesome. The people, the food, the energy; everything was right up my alley. Our host, Chris, was incredibly generous with his home, time and tour guide skills and I'm super grateful for all of his efforts to ensure we had a really great time.
To save you from a long winded explanation of the events, I've decided to tell the story in photos, broken up into a few different posts....(a mix of iPhone and Nikon Digital SLR).
I knew it was going to be a great trip as soon as I saw this little addition to the SF airport:
So eco and wallet friendly ($4 for a bottled water = barf)! I was happy to have my water bottle with me and filled up ASAP :)
Don't you just love puddle jumper planes you have to board from outside? It feels kinda vintage (and romantic, especially at sunset).
First stop after being picked up from the airport--food trucks!
Clam strip po'boy, fresh from a food truck. Nom nom nom.
Since Ben was the first to arrive he generously volunteered to wait in line at the famous Voodoo Doughnut to snag us some of the crazy concoctions.
Breakfast at The Waffle Window the next am...(a window that serves waffles? I love everything about it).
A healthy way to start my day. Ha. (Oh hush, I was on vacation).
Next up was biking around the city, to the farmer's market and to the Saturday market. I accepted that safety first also meant me looking like a dork right from the start.
The guys were super patient and supportive of me and my rusty biking skills. I really appreciated that they kept to my speed, never rolled their eyes and made sure to never let me fall behind. Considering I managed to sustain only a minor injury from a stray piece of metal on the bike (i.e. I managed not to die), I think I did a pretty good job :)
Portland, part 3 to come tomorrow!!
your life is your life
don't let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods offer you chances.
you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
These girls seriously rock separately...but together? oh my gosh. beautiful. bad ass. heavy. filling.
And I love this cover too much not to share:
Once again I find myself thinking how much I freaking love music.