Sunday, May 26, 2013

Open your eyes, listen, and feel

It's amazing what you can hear when you stop and listen. A hummingbird's wings beating against thin air, actively defying gravity. The weighted thud of raindrops hitting a broad thimbleberry leaf, heavy when falling alone but melodic and orchestrated when accompanied by millions.

It's amazing what you can see when you open your eyes and explore the details around you. A colony of mushrooms actively decaying an alder, extracting life from death. A blackberry bush displaying a delicate blossom to attract the fat bumblebees so that it may become a juicy summer berry.

It is amazing the joy and love that you can feel when you allow it into your life. Lazy Sunday morning puppy snuggles whilst sipping coffee and being lazy. The company of a friend, laughing to the point of tears. Joyriding in her crazy van, aka the Adventure Shark, with hip hop beats providing the soundtrack to an activity you haven't done in years. Enjoying a meal and catching up on life.

All in a single day while never getting out of your yoga pants. Bliss.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Simplicity and Bliss on a Saturday

Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.
                                                                 - Groucho Marx

I love that moment right before you open your eyes, when you're first returning to consciousness from a nights sleep. I wiggle my toes to feel the cool sheets across my skin, bringing awareness back into my body as I descend down from a dream state back into my bed. Grounding myself and bringing the mind and body back into one. Nestled into snug little pile, I feel a soft but heavy weight above my head on the pillows. It's moving. And there is another weight pressed up against my back. This one is a little less silky and a lot more still. My brain awakens and without opening my eyes, I am instantly familiar with my position in the center of a silken furry golden snuggle-puddle with Farley and Lola. I feel their gaze laying across my face waiting for the slightest sign of life. A deep inhale, a twitch of the eyelid, or a shift of position alerts them that I am about to awake and their party can begin.

That is precisely how I wake every single morning rain or shine, like clockwork with two devoted golden retrievers ecstatic that another morning has arrived, like a gift. Today wasn't unlike any other morning, except that today I woke up feeling exactly as they did. That this morning came to me as a gift and an opportunity to create my own bliss, revel in the little things, enjoy each passing moment.

So with a smile on my face and light radiating from my heart, I chose to bliss out. I buried my nose in the golden retriever fur, sent a love ripple far off into the aspens and ponderosa pines to be intercepted by mi amor so far away, and brewed a cup of coffee in the french press. Perfect. Even better, it's Saturday so with the coffee hot in my hand we headed into the forest for a little walking meditation. For me, being in the forest walking in silence, listening to the world awaken, and mindlessly following the wooded path to get lost in my thoughts, wander, explore, and breathe is pure bliss.

Here are some photos of the gifts which filled my bucket today, because I chose to accept what was sent down my path. I hope you choose to do the same. xoxo

Sword Fern
Farlesworth the Wonderdog - trail guide

Downy Woodpecker male and female

Bracken Fern

Post yoga sushi sesh with two amazing ladies

                                                       1/3 of a complete snuggle-puddle

Another 1/3 of the snuggle-puddle

Friday, May 24, 2013

The resurrection of the blog

Somehow over the past couple of years I seem to have misplaced a part, or pieces of myself. I hesitate to say lost as I don't think I've truly lost those pieces, I've just misplaced them. Tucked them away on a bookshelf and forgotten that they existed as I concentrated on doing what was right, what was expected, what I expected of myself. To get a job that I love, bring a little stability into my life, and try to be happy. Well I think I can honestly say that I've been successful in achieving all of those goals. Kind of. I have a job I love. I have a super stable existence. And I'm pretty happy, generally, most of the time, somewhat, sort of, kind of.....errrr....okay, I'll be honest. Something is missing. I'm lacking inspiration, passion, a spark. Wait. No. I definitely have spark. I'm lacking a flame that endures. Everything feels a little dull. Lackluster. Boring. God I hate that word.

So why am I so bored? You wouldn't know it from the outside looking in because I seemingly fill my life with adventures and non-stop action. You'd think buying plane tickets was a favorite pastime of mine! It is, but that's not the point. The point is that I rarely stop moving long enough to sit down and think about what is missing. Because when I do think about what's missing, it spins me down into the rabbit hole of self-doubt, insecurity and depression. And I know that the only way to fight off those horrible feelings is to find inspiration. Something to grab your hand and pull you through the mud when you're face down. Don't worry; I'm not face down in the mud right now. I'm sort of like knee deep but I know that if I don't dust off that bookshelf and look for the pieces of me that are hidden back there I'll be buying a ticket down the rabbit hole.

So here I am. Sitting. Thinking. Being still. Doing a little dusting. Seeking inspiration. Attempting to gather a bit of fodder for my spark. This stillness inevitably leads to a state of reflection. Looking back at where I've been to get a bearing on the direction I'm headed in. Funny enough, this desire to remember where I've been often leads me back to this blog. I first started blogging during a time when I was supremely happy, peaceful, and experienced moments of pure bliss on a daily basis. I want to reconnect with that person, that time period, and draw from the wisdom of experience. I want to be present in the moment, feel life in every breath, and be grateful for each second that passes me by. I yearn to be inspired yet again, to capture and enjoy all that is life. There are a few different reasons that I've decided to return to my blog and I'll likely touch on those in future blog posts but my true inspiration comes from my friend, Emily. You may remember her as The Butcher of Costa Rica (she's now the Sea Cucumber Queen of Saudi Arabia and you should follow her blog).

Emily's blog is inspiring to me. She blogs about the simplest of life's pleasures such as making banana pancakes, watering her plants, and Science on a Saturday as well as the grander of life's adventures and travels she's known to embark on. I admire her wise perspective that if you live life waiting for the next big adventure you'll miss out on all of the small magical moments that collectively make up an unforgettable existence. She's brilliant. She reminds me that sitting on a terrace, enjoying a coffee in the early morning whilst listening to birdsong and feeling a croissant melt on your tongue is pure magic. It is a moment that will last forever as long as you let it. Those experiences are gifts from the universe, or depending on your perspective maybe you'd consider it a gift from your local French bakery but regardless it doesn't matter. It was a gift and as long as you see your life as a journey where all you have to do is collect gifts, you're fucking stoked.

So here is my attempt to focus on what matters in life, enjoy the sweetest moments, let the sour one's pass me by, and be wise enough to accept and appreciate the gifts that are sent my way.