how an honest relationship with yourself can change the world…

As long as I can remember, I’ve had an open relationship with myself… what does that look like, you might be wondering? For me, it’s an open conduit to the voice of my heart; not the voice that sounds and feels like defeat… but rather the calm, and often more curious voice that chimes in when I allow it. I spent a lot of time alone growing up, so I would walk out in nature and sit, look around, explore… and spend time thinking about how I thought life should feel and become for me.

 

The time I spent seeking and looking inward gave me my moral compass; I could never stray off my path for too long or far. Shame and guilt have always played big roles in my life, and I almost let it become debilitating; I let my past choices define me, and I shamed the hell out of myself. It hurt, but I knew that the truth could save me; that and a deep understanding of my worth and footing on my path. That actually is something I hadn’t given much stock until the years proved my experience to be based on THIS VERY SAME TRUTH GUIDING ME BACK.

 

Call a spade a spade… do not waste your time, and don’t be scared to move on. Listening to your strong subtle voice is your insurance that you will be ok; so have faith in you. The absolute opposite of what we teach our kids.

 

As I see it, it is now time to cut out the bullshit from our lives, and not only in our personal lives but out of our corporate ideals and consumer driven lives… take charge and breathe your way to the better life you have always been walking towards. It just requires a little remembering to pick up the pace; and allow your breath to do what it does best… renew, and carry out the bad. Breathe in your truth and breathe out the lies. Whether it’s the untruth you berate yourself with on a daily basis, or the bullshit you fell prey to along the way… push eject!

 

My hope is to start a conversation, allowing people to take a real look at the low rumble that has been getting louder this past decade. What is the true motivation behind your actions? For example, a good friend of mine (who is lovely in every way) told me she was a bit stressed about the list of things to get done before heading out to visit her family for the holidays. On this list was getting her son to the gym more often, and her daughter running more with her. My heart broke just a bit because I remember my experience growing up, being told I’m not good enough. I was told that a lot, and definitely believed it until not too long ago.

 

I credit my newfound self-worth to trust, I finally trust myself to know what is best for me; my voice guided me places I never dreamed was for me. Maybe age helps a little bit, a secure checking account, strong support, and lots of love around me… I know I am lucky, and I am now walking the walk and talking the talk; making my way to the best me I can be.

 

I got off track a little bit, but it all comes back to clearing out the rubble and letting the light shine on the beauty around you. The stories we tell ourselves are not beautiful, in fact, they are cruel and hurtful. With our very own thoughts, we are our own worst enemy: if only my hair was two shades lighter, my nose a little shorter, my pants a little looser, my shirt a little lighter, my feet look fat, I wish I had a boyfriend, I wish I had a date, I wish I could laugh better, I am so stupid, and undeserving of anything, it’s all my fault that I am sad.

 

Instead, take your power back! The voice of lack is not the voice I am speaking about, and not the words to live by… that voice is fear, and it will serve defeat to you every time you listen to it, every time. It may feel comforting to know where you are headed, but you will never find joy there. There is a truth to life that requires you to open up, and be honest about where you want to take a stand, and I think it is time to go for strength and honesty. This requires listening to the calm voice in your head, that stable whisper of a voice that puts your body in alignment, and engages your heart.

 

How did you feel after the last big decision you made? Ideally, we would want to walk away standing a bit taller and feeling joy radiate warmth from our heart. Sounds a little like a romance novel, but life can be that obvious when we allow ourselves into the subtle body, and can feel the truth of a situation physically.

 

Now feel how your body responds when you think of the reverse decision; the heart sinks into your stomach and you feel a bit nauseous; your head looks down, shoulders slump and either a nap or a good scream sounds good. Our heads get in the way because we learned at a very young age not to trust ourselves, and that we don’t know what is right and wrong. We have been told so many lies about our history, our very lives, that we have become more comfortable following the rules, and chasing the elusive carrot than wanting to align with the truth.

 

This same problem is pervasive in our government, our schools, welfare, mental health, prisons, and any other situation involving human lives. The institutions we have built around these lies have become so big, we can’t imagine a new way to govern. We can’t even allow the idea of discounting this Presidential Election due to Russian involvement because it would destroy our lie of democracy being for the people. It has become all too obvious that our government is mostly for the people with money. Now I’ve really gotten off topic, but it makes for a great example of the silly stories we tell ourselves.

 

Another good example is how Christopher Columbus was among the last to discover America… the Vikings are now considered the first to discover America. But really, why can’t we simply admit we stole America from the Native Americans; they did not need to discover what was already inhabited. Hundreds of years later, and we still can’t tell the truth.

 

This brings to mind another area of lies that gets me all the time. The propaganda advertising that pervades our culture, telling us what to wear, how much to spend, and how often to trade it all in. This story will knock you down, or it should. Remember the “Keep America Beautiful” crying Indian ad that ran in the 1970’s? It focused on plastic bottles littering our planet, which is a sad reality and should be taken seriously. The problem was that the ad and the whole campaign was created within a secret meeting between top level soda companies (yes, Coca Cola and the other big ones were there). They didn’t want to go back to glass soda bottles and again have to incur the cost of collecting, washing and reusing their bottles; instead, they wanted Americans to be responsible for the littering and garbage creation that using plastic bottles created. So, they made us Americans the bad ones, and not their own greed. Which brings it back to institutions being too big to handle responsible, full-cycle productivity when all they care about are profits.

 

When we support these gross oversights, we encourage more bad behavior. We cannot overlook the importance of honor and truth in our world any longer. I think it has come time to decide that we have enough, and to take care of those who don’t. This beautiful planet can provide enough for all of us… we just have to decide we are enough. No more self-hate, no more living in lies; stand tall, open your heart and let the light in for all to see.

 

We are free to be… real, to be loved, to give love, and to live without fear. There is no fear in the truth, it will set us free!

  TahoeBoHo.com

 

 

 

 

 

the power of momentum…

waterfall-photoshop  Photo & Blog by Carla Cook Sakrison

If I walked up to you, and told you I have the secret to escaping your crazy mind, would you believe me? If I added that simultaneously, your body will begin to heal, and your problems will dissolve into plans, would you think I was the crazy one?

Before I got sick with ovarian cancer, a couple years ago, I sure would’ve thought the idea was crazy. At the very most, it could be a “made for TV” item for sale; maybe the magic elixir could be sold at gas stations, next to the candles and neck pillows. Haven’t we all been gifted one of those lavender neck pillows? They are good for car rides, but I never seem to have mine in the car!

I have had to make peace with my anxiety, I worry a lot about my kids, and I fight off worrying about not being around for my kids as they grow up. These thoughts creep in; however, like a meandering river that finds its way around big boulders and small dams, I have found the way to keep these thoughts from taking root for too long. Something I never thought about before, is the river’s progress isn’t so much the result of the power of water… but rather the power of momentum.

The power of momentum literally keeps the river’s intention alive. A river defies stagnation, nature has far better plans for her day. The same goes for keeping our bodies and minds clear of toxins and toxic thoughts, and the best way to do this is through yoga (and drinking lots of fluids). It is through the routine practice of hitting your mat, staying hydrated, and focusing on your breath that one can keep clear site on their intentions.

As I age, I use the benefits of hindsight to move my goals forward. Looking back on my life, I see where my true-self grew from moving and stretching to reach alignment not only with my body, but with my mind. Your breath will literally bring your body, heart and mind into alignment with your quest; it creates momentum to stay on your path towards inner peace. And this momentum will bring you back to your mat each day, bringing more and more of your life into clear waters.

Calm, beautiful, clear waters to carry your dreams to fruition… but if my practice stalls, and my mat stays rolled up tight, it is not long before my body follows. My muscles will tighten, my shoulders round and my breathing stalls. Often the anxiety comes first, and then everything gets worse; such an easy fix to a rather annoying list of problems. The American Osteopathic Association put a succinct list of the physical benefits together:

  • Increased flexibility.
  • Increased muscle strength and tone.
  • Improved respiration, energy and vitality.
  • Maintaining a balanced metabolism.
  • Weight reduction.
  • Cardio and circulatory health.
  • Improved athletic performance.
  • Protection from injury.

It is from experience that I know my head and body improve, and everyone else who is committed will share the same. I now keep my momentum going with yoga, and find breathing to be the best elixir around. I keep the pressure off, and do what I can, even if it’s simply a sun salutation (a simple series of moves that lights up over 95% of your muscles).

The best part is how easy it is to access yoga nowadays; I do most of my practice online at home (Gaia, Wanderlust TV and Yogaglo). There are as many online resources as there are studios; in fact, yoga in my pajamas is becoming popular in my house, and your pets will love to join in the fun.

So, stop standing at the river’s edge, and get in… breathe the water, and make your body flow with the momentum of your intentions.

PeaceLove&EtnernalGroovinessB&W www.TahoeBoHo.com

 

stronger together…

I registered independent a long time ago, I didn’t want to be associated with either party as they are both too mean in their fighting… some people feel strength by pointing fingers and denigrating half the population, some do not. My heart was broken when Bernie lost his battle, so the recent election results, although surprising, did not break me as it has a lot of my friends. My heart goes out to those who worked hard for their beliefs and for those that are now living in fear… but you will rise and you will find peace again.

 

Half our country is happy and half our country seems to be angry, but the angry half is the side that has put “stronger together” on their banner and shouted “love” trumps war for more than a year. These are great goals and moral stands but their power is in their action, not in the words themselves. It takes great strength to stand strong, to join hands and to work together to make this country better. The candidates we voted into the House of Representatives and Senate are there to represent us, so let’s talk to them… not yell, but speak our minds. Sign petitions, make those calls and truly use our democracy; that’s right, we have power all throughout these four years and not just at election time.

 

Turn your anger and frustration into some real good and volunteer for your local political leader and make that change happen locally, if you are so moved! The vitriol is a turn-off and destroys all hope for our future, we have simply had enough in this country and we have so much more important work to do.

PeaceLove&EtnernalGroovinessB&W TahoeBoHo.com

the lucky ones…

when something moves you

it is time to stop and notice

what it is that made your heart stop

what it is that made your mind focus

what it is that took your breath away

look at it

 

most of the time

it is energy that is ignited,

a connection remembered

 

energy moves mass

but when denied

stagnation and disintegration appear

 

your heart wants creation

your mind wants creation

your breath is made for creation

 

so take your time

to notice what moves you

 

what it is that made your heart stop

what it is that made your mind focus

what it is that took your breath away

 

the lucky ones notice

 

PeaceLove&EtnernalGroovinessB&W TahoeBoHo.com

 

What do goats, carnivals & earthing have in common…?

GOATS photoshop photo & blog: Carla Cook Sakrison

Our neighborhood has an annual tradition every May, a herd of goats move in and clear-out the tall grasses in our local park… this spectacle is also en route to the local K-8 grades, so everyone starts walking to school and hanging out with the goats. It’s a fun time in the spring sun, lots of smiles and photos, giggles and hand-feeding (oops!). The goats are the herald of summer vacation and the end of school, from that week forward, the energy in town starts to vibrate at a slightly higher pitch each week until it bursts forth at the start of summer where everyone in town celebrates at our town carnival in early June. This has absolutely become one of my favorite months of the year, one of those core memories in life… thank you goats!

Then comes my favorite month of the year, July, once best known for my birthday (on the 13th), because what kid doesn’t love her/his birthday?!! But times change as we age and I am now lucky enough to be able to enjoy my summer vacations with the kids; even though I work, my hours are flex and I can venture for weeks at a time (with the kids) during the summer and Tahoe is my refuge, in case my photography on socialreview.org didn’t give it away already (haha)! Since I am reveling in traditions… one of my favorite summer traditions is to review the past year of my family’s year; nothing labored just a visceral summary of what we accomplished in the past school year, where one might need to keep a little focus over the summer to help the upcoming school year (tends to be reading), then a group focus, examples of previous years:

  • summer of fun
  • summer of love (repeated twice)
  • summer of getting along

I begin the first week with many proclamations to the kids, “this is the summer of love”; while we drive, before dinner, I just keep throwing down verse, “can’t wait for the summer of love – yeah!” I love these memories, they’re golden; kids cringing in the backseat threatening to jump from the car – but instead they burst into giggles – aaahh mom!!

Then the summer progresses, about mid-way through I realize I dropped my mantra two weeks into summer, about when one finally lets down their guard from the work-a-day-grind and settles into vacation mode… no time for verse! A couple more weeks go by with a couple tweets that land on deaf ears and that’s when you know that summer is in full-swing.

This year, this summer, this year’s verse has been set and I am announcing it here on this blog even before I share with my family…

THIS IS THE SUMMER OF GROUNDING… I want us to practice grounding this summer and not only within the most recently found “earthing” (explained in a few paragraphs) health improvement realm, but also in the simple things of life: to bake/cook, to plan, to not plan, to walk barefoot, to grow/chop/eat a lot of produce, to lay on the grass, to lean on a tree, to dance and just be.

So, cheers to the summer of grounding… and to make this even more fun, I am sending this out as an earnest INVITATION FOR ALL MY READERS to share some of your grounding stories/photos from the summer of 2016 on my Facebook page “Peace Love & Eternal Grooviness”. I plan to share my summer via Facebook (for the first time in my life) and I cannot wait to get inspired by all of your summer fun as well!!

Time to share a little something from the Earthing Institute, Reconnect to the Earth!…

Throughout time, we humans have sat, stood, strolled and slept on the ground — the skin of our bodies touching the skin of the Earth.

And throughout time, such ordinary contact served as a conduit for transferring the Earth’s natural, gentle negative charge underfoot into the body. You see, we are bioelectrical beings living on an electrical planet.

Modern Lifestyle has disconnected us from this primordial charge.

Earthing, also known as grounding, is the landmark discovery that the disconnect may make us more vulnerable to inflammation, pain, stress, poor sleep, and illness. Ongoing research is demonstrating clearly that reconnecting with the Earth upholds the electrical stability of our bodies and serves as a foundation for vitality, health and healing. In an age of rampant chronic inflammation and disease, “grounding” ourselves provides a natural, simple yet powerful path to better health.

PeaceLove&EtnernalGroovinessB&W  www.TahoeBoHo.com

feeling life…

I thought it would be fun to get my personal numerology done, so I paid an online service to provide my analysis… it’s a fun little book to read and I honestly felt as though I learned a little about myself because I really connected with some of the descriptions. Although there were many fun characteristics I could share, the one in particular I want to explore here is the overly sensitive trait; the idea that I am too aware of other people’s expectations and then suppress my own desires in order to avoid feeling conspicuous. This hypersensitivity can cause fear and a lack of self-confidence, often leaving me feeling paralyzed by my emotional turmoil.

Just amazing how one can go through life feeling a certain way, relating to the core points of your personality and knowing this is your broken wing you’re carrying around… yet doing nothing to fully understand its root until you read just the right passage and find yourself joining a sensitivity group on Facebook. Only then did it hit me… I am different from other people in this area. I am extremely sensitive; I can sometimes walk in a room and feel completely flattened by the energy – actually scared to talk to some people because they are frightening (not nice) people at their core energy level.

My parents often wondered why I cried so much when I was young, and back then it was just easier than finding words when uncomfortable or feeling sad, just too overwhelming when you feel everything. Now in my forties, I consider myself a fairly accomplished, creative person that has a lot to offer, so it never made much sense to me when I was struck by huge insecurities or fear. Now I can see how these negative aspects of this sensitivity challenge actually spring up (in part) from these equally positive characteristics, especially acute awareness and intuition. I am an antenna for other people’s feelings; I know before a word is spoken how someone feels; we “sensitives” are understanding, compassionate, and have enormous empathy for the inner turmoil of others.

All this is interesting on its own, but my numerology carries it just a bit further into how this “sensitivity challenge” in this life is to maintain my own center rather than conforming to the prevailing emotional atmosphere. Until finally the reading gets to the root of my purpose in life, even more important than all the awkwardness and feelings of being different is this overwhelming sense of having a purpose or a message to reveal that will make other people’s lives happier, healthier, and more at peace.

I often feel like a foreigner here on earth and have written about it for over twenty years; here’s one example:

Since birth the world has seemed a place of rules to live by. Someone else’s grand plan has been set into play for us pawns to move around in. What race, class and model we will breathe from – what values, goals and morals we will fight for.

The time has come to accept each other, to be able to free ourselves from the distinctions that continue to divide us. I am fighting the attitude that sends us off to war in majestic prowess, that denies aid to the truly needy and that keeps our focus on financial success. We need to love, care and devote ourselves to our world.

We are all in this together! Don’t keep the blinders on in fear and anger, we can cure the world with focused effort and delight.

The time has come for us to reject the violence… it does not help and is purely destructive. Take control of our society; compare it to a person, the world is a living being: earth is the body, countries are its characteristics, natural forces are its soul. The planet and its inhabitants need to be nurtured in order to survive

Remember what it was like to be a child… enjoying the simple things, curious amazement, feelings of freedom and safety. Now smile openly and rid yourself of the negativity. Why fight nature? Why fight each other? It makes no sense!

I am not speaking from any fancy, store-bought soapbox; I am speaking from my heart. You cannot debate my request, my foundation is unshakable. You cannot destroy this fantasy, for it is reality!

This year’s commitment to finding my true north is all about finding and ultimately maintaining my center as I heal from my cancer battle and move forward in my new life. This new beautiful life that I am committed to sharing with whomever will listen/read/share/care is one I hope will help others to see their light. Gabriel Bernstein often mentions how ultimately in life “one teaches what one must learn most in this life,” and this seems eminently clear in my situation. Finding and maintaining my center is key to being vulnerable; I know my soft-underbelly is always present, I now honor it and use my toolbox of tricks when needed (yoga, meditation, music, walking, loving my family, laughing with good friends). In a nutshell…. LOVING BY NATURE!

As a last bit, I wanted to share something from Shatki Gawain’s book, Living in the Light. “There are no such things as ‘negative’ or ‘positive’ feelings – we make them negative or positive by our rejection or acceptance of them… all feelings are part of the wonderful, ever-changing sensation of being alive.” She continues by defining “some emotions that people seem to be most afraid of, with a suggestion of one way you might handle them:

FEAR                     It’s important to acknowledge and accept your fears…if you accept  yourself for feeling afraid, and don’t try too hard to push past your fears, you will start to feel more secure. Take risks when ready but don’t force it.

SADNESS              Related to the opening of your heart… allowing yourself to feel sad, especially crying, your heart will open further and you can feel love. Reach out for comfort and support from someone who accepts you to just be for now.

GRIEF                   An intense form of sadness, related to death or ending of something… our way of releasing the old so we can open to the new. Very important not to cut this process short; it comes in waves and gradually disappears. It’s necessary to accept it and give yourself support whenever it comes up.

HURT                    An expression of vulnerability that we tend to mask with defensiveness and blame. Important to express feelings of hurt directly and in a non-blaming way (i.e. I felt really hurt when you didn’t ask me to go with you.)

HOPELESSNESS  This can be the result of not trusting ourselves or taking proper care of ourselves; we may need to be more true to ourselves and more assertive. Hopelessness can also be a stage we go through when we are letting go of our old patterns of control and learning to surrender to our higher power.

ANGER                 When we disown our true power and allow others to have undue power over us. If we start to get in touch with our power, the first thing we feel is the stored-up anger; find a safe place to allow yourself to feel &/or fully express it – whether alone or with a therapist… rant, kick, scream & throw pillows. If you are a person who has felt and expressed a lot of anger in your life, you need to look for the hurt that is underneath it and express that. Do not use anger as a defense mechanism to avoid being vulnerable. An important key in transforming anger into an acceptance of your power is learning to assert yourself.

 

We are all feeling beings and the key to maintaining center while riding out our emotional storms is by separating what we’re thinking from what we’re feeling… then embrace our soft under-belly and enjoy “this electric thing called life.”

PeaceLove&EtnernalGroovinessB&W www.TahoeBoHo.com

my A-HA moment…

I got my A-HA moment… what I was yearning for a couple weeks ago (a particularly hormonal week); if you read my last blog, you already know I’ve been questioning my worth, my rationale, my sanity. Sticking to my rekindled spirituality, I saw the fear my ego was sending out and like a fan to flames, my hormones stoked that fire. I allowed my thoughts, my defeatist thoughts to flow through me, acknowledged and then released them. I re-committed to my goal, my one-year goal, and kept my head up and heart aware, as I continued on my true-north path.

Sounds good, right? Then it just kept getting better; found myself at my favorite yoga venue, Wanderlust in Squaw Valley, enjoying an upbeat class with a new teacher (new for me). Must admit, I am always a little disappointed when my favorite motivational teacher isn’t leading class (shout-out to Meg McCracken) but I have an open mind. As I mentioned, class was going along well, she presented our mantra, “I AM (wait for it) COMPLETE”, and as we repeated this in our breath-work throughout the practice, the tranquility of this mantra fell over me like a cashmere blanket. I was riveted and then brought to tears when she shared a quote from an unknown author:

“The two most important days of your life are first, the day you were born and second, the day you discovered why.”

As if that wasn’t enough to bring me back to joy, I received an even bigger universal hug on my walk later that day; was pondering my back issues, nothing serious just a bunch of hang-loose vertebrae that like to break-free from the chain-gang. I was lamenting how I always gauge my well-being by lack of ailments and perfection occurs only when nothing hurts. The interesting part is when you are approaching 50, there is always something out of sorts, and if I don’t change my mindset, aging is going to get in the way of my LIFE’S JOY factor. Instead, I must consider each day complete and perfect regardless the drama. Then the A-HA hit me… stop questioning my motives, my goals, stop waiting for anything to occur – I am complete, NOW!!!

            Today, yesterday, tomorrow,

            Every day I choose joy

            And any day I am grateful

            Is a day I live free.

This brings to mind a quote from Daniel Quinn’s book Ishmael, “It is simple, we are all captives of a civilizational system that more or less compels you to go on destroying the world in order to live… The ‘60’s offered an ingenious and disorganized effort to escape from captivity.  Failure came due to failure to find the bars of the cage. If you cannot find what is keeping you in, you get confused and ineffectual.” Applying this quote to my recent insecurities it becomes so clear how my lack of CONFIDENCE are the bars to my cage; it is far too easy for me to get lost in the noise the world amplifies without concern.

All and all, a brilliant day I wanted to share with you…xo

PeaceLove&EtnernalGroovinessB&W www.TahoeBoHo.com

been thinking lately…

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, the kind of pondering that starts out in modest dissolution and winds up shaking your whole being if you’re not resolute in your goals. I have truly been questioning my motives over my new-found spirituality this past year. Seems I found strength in the words of Wayne Dyer and the quantum physics paradigm; the beautiful stylings of living with love, with light and honoring our inner voice as our most mindful guide through our daily lives.

This is not to say that I lacked an intuitive nature or never danced in the moonlight before last year, it’s just I had let that side of me go unnoticed while the details of motherhood swooped in and coated my life in fear and business. I like to call that my “shellackered” time; I still remember the moment I stepped away from my values, from health, from caring and I became focused on just getting through the end of the day with my sanity intact!! When the dot.com bubble burst, we made some big changes, bought our business, moved back from the mountains and into our San Francisco home. Buying a business is expensive and we had to cut some serious corners and went into six-figure debt. Then the economy tanked and we had to cut-back our expenditures even further and I had to work longer hours.

I’m not going to complain about my situation, but I do see how I made the wrong short-cuts and never should’ve stopped shopping at Whole Foods Market and should’ve found organic produce for the dirty-dozen at least. Hindsight being what it is I will always wonder if my cancer would’ve been there had I taken better care of myself?!! Proud to say that I now practice a healthy life-style and am a happier person because of this intentional work on a daily basis.

For the first time since having kids, almost 15 years ago, I have the opportunity to do what I would like for at least 2 hours of every day. That’s AWESOME and exciting, and I am thankful to my husband for not giving me grief for not going into work anymore. I could get massages every month, a facial, lunches, whatever I wanted with this newfound time… yet, what do I choose to do instead? I choose to explore the culinary arts, create my website (socialreview.org) and blog. I spend a lot of time on these projects and I love every minute of it; after working over twenty years at the same job, I am overdue for a little more creativity in my work day.

All this said, I still wonder what I am doing, even with all the beautiful days I have created. I feel the stress when I don’t feel “on track” with my writing; I honestly don’t see much progress in my writing talents and I really don’t understand why I am writing. So, why don’t I stop? Because I made a one-year commitment to this project… even created a commitment necklace (choker) I wear almost every day; only times I have taken it off are when my writing waned, so it will dutifully remain on my neck through August. I am grateful for that commitment I made back in September of 2015; I know I would’ve stopped this project had I not promised myself to “remain calm and carry on.”

So, when stuck… keep digging! Which is what I have done, I am looking back at some of the projects I started long ago to see what I can extract, because my flow needs some mojo!! What I found is quite a full essay trying to answer exactly what I have been searching for this past month.

“To seek one’s passion in life sets the wheels in motion for pursuit of the intangible, and for most… the challenge to satiate their soul’s deepest desires. Life’s gifts unfold as slowly or as completely as one perpetuates their own personal design; the pride and devotion that come from this path will one day become an adornment of sorts.

What naturally follows is a very basic question… without creation, where would we be? Regardless of religion, race, class or gender, we have all found ourselves in awe of this gift of life we are each destined to experience individually. Try as we may, we have yet to define our existence, and even more curious, what came before and what lies ahead? Even our most celebrated thinkers have found only one agreeable truth- the answers are debatable.

When my husband and I sit with our kids in our arms, and feel the love and contentment we are so lucky to share, then turn on the evening news to see destruction and hate just outside our door… how can I deny my responsibility for the pain, and the faith that we are worthy of so much more.

An amazing quote from an anonymous writer seems appropriate now:

‘Our battles within are so strong, it takes an intense external battle to combat it. And isn’t this what we’ve always been fighting for – to remain ignorant.’”

This is best exemplified by the current political campaigns led by Donald Trump. He feeds all headlines with his outrageous and unapologetic behavior; there is no room or time to report on any real issues or agendas when Trump is so damn quotable. “Again confronted with my burning desire to extrapolate all I can from my earthly pursuits, I am made aware of the challenge conspicuously placed in my mind, whether by propaganda or politicians — what game are we playing, what roles do we fulfill, and for whom?” This question seems so interesting as we watch political debates this year and worse, see how divided this nation has become since I wrote this almost ten years ago.

“What is tangible for ME is that my grounding force is found in my value of love. This icon of truth, for me, forgives all before us and all that is now; but in my mind, the challenge lies within our future. When we awaken and finally find ourselves responsible for our own creation… it will be the love in our hearts, minds and foremost, our future, that will overwhelm our planet. Until then, I write…

Two days ago, I was me –

Two months ago, I was me –

Two years ago, I was me –

 

I am proud, strong and passionate.

 

Two days from now, who will I be –

Two months from now, who will I be –

Two years from now, who will I be –“

 

(repeat for YOU)

Cue:   Sara Bareilles’, BRAVE… haha, couldn’t resist!!

PeaceLove&EtnernalGroovinessB&W www.TahoeBoHo.com

having fallen…

I was talking with a good friend the other day and she gave me some advice about my blog.  It mostly came down to me writing about something I have specific knowledge about, something I can share so others can learn &/or appreciate.  She also focused on one area in particular, she felt I had not only survived cancer, but I thrived.  She then repeated my own words (spoken just moments before), “it’s been lovely this year,” she couldn’t believe how positive I was throughout my treatment and even more so, one year later!!  She wanted to know what I did, so maybe she could use the tools I used to make a bad situation into something nurturing and empowering, and she felt other people would be interested as well.

Although good advice, it juxtaposed my desire to not write about my cancer, it was too raw six months ago; so instead, I wanted my writing to come from where my passions took me, more of a living, breathing page (and less like a sales call).  I also wanted to get as far away from cancer’s door as possible… and definitely not relive chemo and my fears.  But here I am almost one year later, much stronger; thinking I can revisit my experience, even celebrate it in a way.  I certainly want to celebrate my anniversary, didn’t think that year could come fast enough.  I am proud of how hard I have worked to keep the disease away, and I am feeling really good — really, really good!

It was easy at times to fall into a pit of fear… but I couldn’t stay down for long (kids don’t allow for that), although I think it is genetically impossible for me to see the worst in a bad situation (unless flying).  That is something you learn on a hard journey, how do you really handle a crisis?!!

I tend to be an optimist, and I did have what I thought to be some good news at the start, I found the cancer at stage III. If diagnosed, everyone would rather be stage I or II and no one wants to be stage IV!!  Regardless what stage, you are scared shitless… and you will come out the other end a different person than when you started (a topic worthy of its own post).

Another positive factor was the connection and respect I felt for my Doctor, mostly on a level that cannot be easily explained.  I wanted to work with him and felt quite confident that he was going to cure me.  Although many people in my life shared their fears of Kaiser Health Care, I found them to be accommodating and precise once we found my cancer in the emergency room.  I left that day with an appointment with my Onc-Doc for the very next day and he started my chemo within the week. I didn’t want to waste time finding multiple opinions, I had researched enough to know my best plan and I was drawn to that chemo-battle.  Regardless, my naysayers soon fell in line and we haven’t looked back since!  The one piece of advice regarding your doctors & health insurance is that you must be your own advocate; I researched everything until I felt satisfied and that is very important for your piece of mind.

I absolutely knew that chemo needed to happen fast and continuously for the next three months; I refused to get sick and risk missing a week’s treatment, I wanted my body blasted with poison aimed to kill that black mass.  Voldemort’s black cloud tendrils falling from the sky in Harry Potter was the closest looking and second scariest thing next to my MRI scan.  My house became a sanitary and green-product war zone; no one entered without using EO Hand Sanitizer from Whole Foods.  I wore a mask when in large public places, so obviously avoided going out in public much.  My kids were not allowed in my bedroom if they were sick and I slept a good ten hours a day.  Adding other life-style changes including a reboot in how I looked at food and nutrition, and you have the start of a good cancer battle.

Basically, the largest facet in my healing toolbox was ME… I wanted to live and I fought for it with an athlete’s focus.  Then of course, I was (and am) fully plugged into the Tal Ben-Shahar theory of individuals who have life threatening illnesses & suddenly (and permanently) change their lives – “creating meaning and happiness that hadn’t been there before that moment.”  He feels we already have all the wisdom we need, but weren’t living it until we got our spiritual slap in the face!  My big take away is that it’s far easier to lead your brigade of change than it is to be dragged alongside kicking and screaming; so pick your fight song and build a playlist for your daily walks and honest soul-searching.

I found myself dropping years of built-up insecurities and issues, I actually felt light filtering into my soul, slowly awakening a rebirth that I whole-heartedly nurtured. Brene Brown said it best, “let go of who you think you’re supposed to be; embrace who you are.”  I am thankful for my new life and yes, I get nervous, but I am far too happy living my life with intention and way too busy doing the fun things I’ve always wanted to start.  No longer insecure about falling on my face, it seems far worse to never have tried… because baby, I’ve fallen and as it turns out, a lot of good can come from being scared.

PeaceLove&EtnernalGroovinessB&W www.TahoeBoHo.com

helloooo…

If you’re not thinking of Adele singing after reading this title, you are a living miracle!! I cannot get that song out of my head… and if by chance I happen to forget that heartbreaking tune, the radio reminds me almost immediately!!!

To be honest, I like saying “hello” to 2016; I have a lot of optimism about this upcoming year, and not only within my little world, but for this whole planet. I think we are due for a sign of progress, for a reprieve from the ever-maddening news stories, and the insane bickering within politics. Maybe adding a meditation love-in should be added to my New Year’s To Do List (aka Resolutions).

It’s funny, because last year’s ad nauseam song, is pretty much how I feel about 2015… “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen rings true for my year’s adventures. Like feathers in the wind, I sent last year’s memories off and away. Rooted in today, with a smile across my face, this is how I started my New Year. Inspired by my confidence to make life what I wish it to be.

HA! Just caught myself wondering what 2017’s ad nauseam song will be?!! Will spare you from anymore of this, and instead, move on to New Year’s Resolutions. I actually just watched a Webinar with Marci Shimoff & Debra Poneman, “3 Secrets to Living in the Miracle Zone”, that offered good advice for opening up to receiving miracles. I’m thinking their strategies could be the turbo charge to your own New Year’s Resolutions. Their strategic and simple plan for “Living in the Miracle Zone” is a good reminder of the basics:

  1. Desire from your soul, not your ego
  2. Be mindful of the company you keep
  3. Know your worth

The more concise and pure you can make your point, the easier it is to digest and make real… these three points should be our directions for life. Who needs a full ten commandments, three seems fine to me!! Actually, I must add two more good points:

  1. Live in a state of gratitude… (thank you, Wayne Dyer)
  2. Peace begins with me… (thank you, Gabriel Bernstein)

“Five Alive” seems like a good nickname for the list above… a solid affirmation that can only point due north.

Since I have been living rather mindfully this past year, instead of making any New Year’s Resolutions, I simply chose to recommit to my lifestyle and maintain my one-year blogging adventure. And I also resolved to rid my life of the little irritations I HAVE control over; for instance, I got rid of an almost full jar of daily vitamins, instead of berating my family to eat what they hate. This might sound silly, but for almost two months, I got annoyed every time I looked at that bottle… and every time I got annoyed with the bottle, I would try to make someone eat a vitamin. No one won this battle, but I didn’t want to waste the money. Needless to say, we are all happy I chose to surrender, and this is a prime example of struggles we have control over!! I need to reserve my frustrations for improving my writing this year, not picking silly fights. What are your resolutions? Will you keep “five alive”?

My year of practicality and discipline… should be a fun ride, like the feeling you only get when walking alone and an overwhelming smile comes over you, one of those from deep in your soul. That’s what this year is…

Go whisper this to the trees

and let the wind set us free!!

PeaceLove&EtnernalGroovinessB&W www.TahoeBoHo.com