Thursday, August 29, 2013

Check That Off The Bucket List: Dinosaurs

I must be pretty good at breaking up stories to keep you coming back for more. Remember that time I wrote about Part One of my Palm Springs trip and then later wrote about Part Two? Well, today it is time for the third and final part. Let me first begin with a little story:

Years and years ago, I was a young little lass who watched lots of quirky movies. Maybe because I'm a quirky girl. I had a love for movies like Adventures in Babysitting and... PeeWee's Great Adventure. That movie is so odd and one-of-a-kind that you literally can't forget it once you've seen it. Well, I always thought it would be cool to see those dinosaurs. You know, the "life-sized" dinosaurs on the side of the road where PeeWee gets dropped off after riding in the tractor trailer with crazy "Large Marge."

I thought maybe, just maybe I might drive by the dinosaurs on the drive out to San Diego from Virginia but sadly, we took a different route. However, little did I know at the time, the opportunity to see those roadside beasts wasn't too far away in the future. On the way back from Palm Springs, Ashley and I made a stop in Cabazon for two things: 1. To see the Cabazon Dinosaurs so I could finally check that off my bucket list and 2. To get date shakes at Hadley's!

There are few things I love more than quirky places [maybe that explains my love for roadside attractions] so when I had randomly read one day on Yelp about the "date shake" concept, I knew I had to partake. It wasn't a strawberry shake or a chocolate shake. It was a date shake. A shake with dates. And it was amazing. If I could have taken a picture that would have portrayed its deliciousness I would have. So, if you're passing through Cabazon, California... you MUST stop for a date shake at Hadley's. 

Now, on to the most important part...

It was everything I've dreamed of and more. Okay, maybe not, since I didn't run into PeeWee nor did we go up into one of the dinosaurs (how many times do you get the chance to say that in life?) but it was still pretty darn cool after all this time.

Can you believe that thing would have been even larger in real life? Rawr.

I'm glad I can finally say I've been there and seen the dinosaurs in real life. I'm sure one of these days, I'll be back again and I can say, "Large Marge sent me!" (Insert PeeWee laugh here!)

What quirky bucket list items do you have?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I have a dream that...

We will live in a world of love, no matter your skin color or who you love.

Every person will have the freedom and opportunities to find their purpose and live it.

A cure for cancer and AIDS will be found.

Animal abuse of all kinds will end.

Every child will feel safe in the presence of strangers and in the arms of family.

Our planet - its air, water, and land will be cared for and kept clean.

Peace will be found.

Living today in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
For his March on Washington.
For his courage, strength, and example.
For his dream.

What do you dream?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cherishing Home

As I write this, I lie in my childhood bedroom. A room that has changed as I have, yet always welcomes me despite which country, state, or lifestyle I am returning from. I felt the same way as I landed at Reagan National Airport this morning in DC, with the Washington Monument being repaired in the background. I felt as though I had never really left.

I was home.

Although San Diego has been made into my home now, my DC suburban town will always be my hometown. These streets will always know my name. And I will always have the stories to cherish and memories to reflect back on during the times when life leaves me feeling alone.

I am home.

And for the first time ever, I feel homesick while here in my hometown. I miss this being my house. My room. My bed. I miss the colors of the wall and the sound my feet make as they race up the hardwood stairs. I miss the memories of Mom throughout the house. I already feel the pain of having to say "see you later" to these things in just a few short days.

But while I can, I shall cherish them. And what ever it is that you have today, I hope you cherish it too.

I am home.
I am home.
I am home.

Wishing a Happy Birthday today to the most amazing man I know, my Dad!

Friday, August 16, 2013

August Gratitude

August is halfway over and I've blogged four times [not including today!] Life has been busy, yes, but instead of forcing myself to stay up late every night to make sure a blog gets posted each weekday, I've just been stopping to observe life instead. If I'm tired, I go to bed early. If I don't feel like writing, I don't. As simple as that sounds, I think more often than not, it can be a struggle for many of us.

Through my stopping and observing this month, I was feeling gratitude in the least expected of moments. You know, that deep, out-of-this-world feeling in your heart that comes out of nowhere. The one that makes you hum while you walk through the store. Or makes you just want to hold the door open for everyone, or let every car over in front of you no matter how much longer it will make your trip. Here are some of those moments of gratitude:

+ For the ocean in front of my own eyes. Everyday.

+ For the people who wave when I pull over in my neighborhood so they can pass me and for the people who pull over so I can get by. [The streets here are pretty narrow.]

+ For the memories I have of my mom and for how strongly I felt those memories and moments this week.

+ For the freedom I have to work toward my dreams.

+ For a wonderful family I get to see in 5 days.

+ For the love of people who've known me and loved me through my many stages and phases of life.

+ For the smell of eucalyptus mint.

+ For the vitality I feel from the raw foods I've been eating.

+ For the tenderness in my shoulders as new muscles develop.

+ For the chance I have each morning to make that day better than the last.

+ For the view as I drive over the 8 and look out at the sun setting over the valley with all the palm trees and the ocean out in the distance.


And that's just this week :)

As Friday wraps up, I'm preparing to leave for Las Vegas and less than 12 hours after arriving back in SD, off to DC I fly! Life is about to get even busier but I have a feeling that might mean more opportunities for gratitude!

What are you grateful for this week?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On Finding My Purpose

Life. It's short, it's precious. It's full of twists and turns and detours that we never saw coming. But I just can't say it enough - those detours are what brought me where I am today and for that, I am so grateful.

Through the pain that comes with burying the relationship I once thought would last forever and the pain that comes with letting go of my mother's hand as she slipped into the next life, I truly found myself. At a time of loss, grief, and heartbreak, I am often still surprised I didn't fall to rock bottom. Instead of breaking down, I chose to break upward into enlightenment. I see the events that took place in those 13 months as a gift.

"It is often the trials we go through that make us the person we need to be in order to live our dreams."
Mastin Kipp

The dark nights escalate the process. They allow us to see the true reality; life for what it really is. In those moments, we have to choose whether to grow or go. Experiencing tragedy in life showed me the importance of living a full, loving, positive, enriching life that honors my true self.

I fully believe in being a dreamer and a doer. Be in tune with your dreams and work hard to accomplish them. However, I wanted more than just to live a life of my dreams. I wanted to live according to my soul's calling. My purpose. My dharma. I quieted the outside noise of life and focused inward. I turned to reading, writing, listening, taking notes, prayer, meditation, breathing. And I was guided. The Universe guided me and before I knew it, miracles and synchronicities were all around me. Yet, "Action is the bridge between dreams and reality." We must act.

Yesterday was a big day for me, although not many people knew it. It was the day I officially made the next step and took action toward my purpose. It is really happening. It is. I can't believe it but I am already one step closer to the best years of my life. The years where I am living my purpose. There's no backing out now :)

In the next couple months, as the time grows closer, I will be ready to openly write about this new chapter of my life. It's one of the most important chapters to me. One that I feel so absolutely sure of. So connected to. So passionate about. For now, I can only imagine what you all are guessing ;)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Build A Life. Don't Just Live One

I don't quite know how it happens but apparently The Teen Choice Awards are the only awards [okay, maybe other than The Oscars] that I end up watching every year. It's not about The Academy, a panel of judges, etc. It's just about the fans. And I think that's pretty darn cool.

So, last night, after tearing up while listening to Lea Michele talk about a precious life that was lost and rewinding the part over and over when the Pretty Little Liars cast accepted their award for Best Drama, I was pretty moved by another speech. It was Ashton Kutcher's speech. He shared three points about what he's learned regarding:

1. Opportunity
2. Being sexy
3. Life

And in his last point, he said something that really resonates with me:

Life is a mix of acting and allowing. While you can't force things to happen or dreams to come true, you can start to live a life in harmony of those things and dreams. It takes courage to make your dreams come true. But the way I see it, wouldn't life be more worthwhile if you build the way to your dreams no matter how many falls it takes rather than to just live along the line of the status quo?

Nowadays, I see so many peers of mine settling for the life they think they're supposed to live instead of making the life they truly want to live a reality. Mainly because it's what everyone else is doing. Don't fall into that trap. If you want to take the road less traveled, do it. Now. Start today. Start building.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Take One Step and Breathe

You may have been wondering where I've been lately. There are several reasons I haven't been blogging thus far this week. The first reason is that I lost track of what day it was when I was on about day nine of a fifteen day work week. Yes, I spent my weekend at the beach with Bethany Hamilton (working) but it was a physically and mentally draining weekend. I needed a break (and still do.)

The second reason is that, well, I need a break. The only things on my mind lately have been work work work work work work work and how to better myself when all I'm doing is working and not having time to live. And the last thing I want this blog to turn into is a blog about work. So, I've just had to keep reminding myself to breathe...

I know that for the next month or two, work is going to dominate my life. Then, slowly but surely, as the peak surf season starts to dwindle away, balance will start to creep back in. For now, it's one step at a time as I continue to embrace what good and joyful things I do have until there will be time for more.

Each day I've been:

+ Enjoying my green juice that I can't go a day without!
+ Unwinding a little bit earlier in bed.
+ Looking out at the deep blue Pacific as it glistens in the sun.
+ Remembering Mom.
+ Reminding myself that life is bigger than any temporary struggle.
+ Reading The Daily Love.

Speaking of The Daily Love, this message from Mastin yesterday was just what I needed. So, let's end with:

"If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and breathe. Don’t try to solve everything all at once. Instead, just take the next step. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by our dreams and all the things that “have to” happen, that we never start. One step forward is better than none. Persistence pays over time. Take one step a day and pretty soon you’re well on your way." - Mastin Kipp

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Wrong Paths of Life

Today, I need to take a moment to write about something that I'm grateful for, especially recently. I know I wrote about something similar not too long ago, but I guess that just proves how grateful I am right now. I am grateful for all the detours life took me on. All the wrong paths I walked. All the wrong relationships. All the wrong friends. I'm grateful for the bad times I had to go through.

Because I know, had I not gone through those bad times with the wrong choices and the wrong paths, I wouldn't be on the path that I'm on today. They led me where I am now. Yes, there were many detours and bridges that broke as I crossed over them. There were barren riverbeds and forests so heavy with foliage, I couldn't see ahead.

Yet, no matter how brutal or lonely or exhausting or heartbreaking it was, I needed it.

Most importantly, I'm glad my consciousness has evolved.

I look back at the paths I used to be on and gratitude fills my heart for no longer being there today.

I'm grateful that I've moved onward and upward far away from those paths. I'm grateful for the tools I have now to help me on this new path of mine. It's another path with detours and bumps but I'm better fit for it. And as I continue on, I'll continue to learn. I'll see new things along this path. And slowly but surely, I'll start to feel it more and more; that this is the path home.

The above quote is taken from the book that I am currently reading, "A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life's Purpose" by Eckhart Tolle. I highly recommend it. So much wisdom!