RETREAT TIME! SO TREAT YO SELF

 

Hi Sweet humans!

I know I typically use this space to talk story, but in my humble opinion this too is sharing a different kind of story. A story where we come together in one of my favorite places, and share in an epic week of all my favorite things. Surf- Yoga and Travel.

By joining me in El Salvador the week of April 18th-25 2020 you can get an in person experience of all the love and light and sparkles I share on here =) Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have or if you know you are in, to reserve your spot!!! All the details to join us on this epic adventure are below!

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Join us in El Salvador!!

The tropical land of right hand point breaks, sunny skies, warm water, pupusas and paletas is waiting for you. This  *ALL INCLUSIVE* trip is a perfectly balanced week of adventures and relaxation. Waves,  waterfalls, nature excursions, daily yoga, journaling and meditations are the very best way to shift with the seasons and effortlessly transition from winter to spring! We are so excited to host you for a week of all the magic El Salvador provides. 

Pricing:

**EARLY BIRD SPECIAL – Before End of Year 2019

Cost per person:

  • Triple Occupancy: $1300
  • Double Occupancy: $1475
  • Private Room: Request Additional Info (if Available)

*** $300 Non-Refundable deposit secures your spot!

After Jan 1 2020

Cost per person:

  • Triple Occupancy $1450
  • Double Occupancy $1625
  • Private Room: Request Additional Info (if Available)

*** $300 Non-Refundable deposit secures your spot!

PAYMENT TO BE MADE IN FULL BY APRIL 4TH

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Trip Includes:

  • 7 Nights at the luxurious One Wave Surf House.
  • Transportation to and from Airport and to all activities
  • Daily yoga, meditation, and journaling sessions from the yoga deck with ocean views
  • A/C in rooms
  • All the waves you can surf!! Literally surf till your arms fall off!  (Sunzal, is a rolling dreamy right hand point break, just down the hill, a 5 minute a walk from the house)
  • 3 freshly prepared meals a day + smoothies, juices, snacks and non alcoholic beverages
  • 1 full body therapeutic or Swedish massage
  • 2 surf excursions to near by waves with photographer (or) 2 lessons with local surf instructor
  • Full day mountain excursion, complete with 3 of the following: A coffee plantation tour & tasting, A local food festival / colonial town tour, natural hot springs. **An optional zip line through coffee mountains ($35pp).
  • Volunteer beach clean up with local community and kids
  • Half day adventure with hike to waterfall
  • Local tour to La Libertad market with shopping and local fares
  • A night out on the town
  • And heaps of fun! =) 

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*Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase 

*Additional add on’s:

  • full day : Volcano Lake and hot spring  day (3 hours travel) ($70/person, min 3)
  • 1 full day : Mayan ruin (3 hours total  travel) ($70/person, min 3)
  • 1/2 day tour: See San Salvador ($45/person, min 3)
  • 1/3 day tour : Surf Excursions or lesson ($50/person min 2)
  • Surfboard Rental only $20/Day
  • Additional Full body Therapeutic Massage or Swedish massage ($50, one included)

Fear and Freedom in the land of Pura Vida

Time spent traveling invites us to be a different version of ourselves.  It gives us an opportunity to do new things, rad things, to experience life outside our bubble, to live beyond our comfort zone, to meet new people and learn about our strength of character.

On Monday I left the town of Liberia and set off to the jungles. I cruised along familiar roads for an hour or so, and then I felt tingles of excitement as I took a left into unfamiliar territory. The excitement left as quickly as it arrived when I realized I was about to leave the land of paved paradise and enter into savage landscapes. The blissful free feelings turned to oh shit feelings in a fast heart beat. And of course, I had to pee. No bathrooms on the horizon or any sign of humanity – aside form the casual construction worker or massive tractor along the way I was mostly alone.

Maybe the best part of this whole incredible 1 hr of life was the great little spot I found to pull over and relieve myself,  I hopped out of the car, enter here the vision of naked muddy feet, and an Austin Powers epic pee. It was so peaceful outside of the car, with the pause from  the rubbing and jumbling, squishy, mucking noise of  mountainous terrain battling with the car below me. Then, back to it. A bit more thrilled about the drive at least knowing I’d solved one small problem.

So I’ve driven through many potholes and rainy jungle roads before, but this day wins in the competition of driving adventures. It was rainy and wet, and for about an hour I was on a muddy, slippery, rocky construction site of a road defined by steep inclines, declines, and blind turns… By myself, with out cell service, not in a truck or vehicle that gave me confidence or the support I wanted in this kind of terrain. The sides of road often lacked railings and muddy tires slide going down hills, and rocks below the tires often slip on the way up… 

Anyway.

I think you get the point. 

It was and incredibly beautiful jungly drive aside from that, just terrifying.

When I finally returned to the safely of normal roads, I definitely let out a big breath of sigh. As I navigated these roads I found a sense of confidence and assurance that I am brave and capable. None the less, as I drove away from this stretch of road I was definitely relieved to see paved roads and resemblances of little towns. Ironic part is remember saying to myself, with a mental check “that was cool, don’t ever need to do that again” and as I’ve tried to brain storm a different way to leave Santa Teresa, I have found no better option but that hellish road. It is actually the best way to get out of town. Joke is on me. As the rain pours down right now, my heart smiles, and cries at the same time, how wonderful the rain, but how extra fucked the roads will be tomorrow. ha ha ha…

It’s funny though, I’m not looking forward to it – But when we do things that make us feel scared and get through them, we learn, of our own resilience. We get stronger sense of self every time we persevere. 

Experience like these help me understand the importance of trying new things and keeping an open mind towards moments that may feel awful. These moments are here to teach us something. How do we ever know what we can do if you don’t ever chart away from our routines and do something that makes us scared ? 

I arrived in safety in Santa Teresa just in time for birthday lunch with the sweet brilliant queen of http://www.tarantulasurf.com. Tara. We became friends when I slid into her DM’s on IG. Lol sound familar. Yep, that’s how I met you too right ;). When I was living in Costa Rica I’d always see her posts, full of gorgeous images and pared with heartfelt captions to match. Words, stories and poems of women, nature and empowerment. I knew we needed to be friends, so I reached out, we made attempts to connect in person for a while but a tender sisterhood began to grow. We met in Nicaragua two years ago, the friendship has continued to bloom in such beautiful ways since then.  

 

Friendships like Tara’s and adventures like this validate my belief of the reward that comes when we go beyond our comfort zone.  When we make ourselves vulnerable, sometimes there is rejection of loss, but from these places we are able to transform, we create our own recipe for infinite possibility. The adventure it’s self it the reward, and everything else gained along the way it just the bonus.

The last three days here unfolded into complete magic. Surfing. Check (biggest waves I’ve paddled out in since the injuries – little victory dance for self here- they were breaking pretty far out and overhead) yes I was scared, yes I stepped on a bee and got stung on the way into the water and yes, once I was able to silence the self doubt and enjoy the majesty of the jungle lined tropical ocean I was floating in,  I scored some killer waves. The lightening storms, beachside-palm tree-waterfall lined jungle roads, home made dinners, conversations about love and light and consciousness have been full on. I’ve laughed non stop. I’ve made flows to beats (watch out- little miss lyricist here- haha- white girl can jam) perched on the hillside, on the porch of a perfectly place jungle cabin, with an epic million dollar view of the pristine jungles and uninterrupted sprawling beaches. Talking story has spanned the spectrum of heavy and deep and playful, but the mood has remand light. Life, just as it is, is really sweet. Real connection away from cell phones with people who are on a similar path to mine is something I’ve been missing. I feel validated, like my dreams, aren’t so wild or far out there, but, that naturally this is what people like us do. We choose the mud, and the nature, and the lack of amenities because we feel so much joy without it. Life full of modern luxuries often feels overwhelming and full of distractions away from the peace of simplicity.

My life in the states is so blessed, and so abundant, but sometimes I feel like I have to do as much as everybody else to keep, up or else I’ll get left behind. And I find the pace of life absolutely exhausting. Are we living if we are working all the time? For me, the answer is a hard no. I don’t desire to have things, I crave experience my wants and needs walk a different road.

So, to be here, around people who live, and breathe, and move at the same gentle pace as myself; People who want to spend the days engaging in life, enjoying good company, savoring books, and adventures, and the bliss of the warm sea, well,  feels like home.

We all work, but we don’t live to work. Our emphasis is different. And I think that’s the whole point. When we finds what sets our soul on fire. What bring us peace. We should stop at nothing to live that life. It looks different for everyone. I can’t emphasize enough, the idea of “many paths, one truth”. We all end up in the same place, but how we get there may look different, and that’s the wonderful part, the journey of finding your own magic way.

To me it feels and looks like this. I am so inspired by being here, my heart beats more fully in this environment. I’m so happy to be in communion with the people and places that make me feel so whole and complete.

My point of writing it to inspire you to follow your heart. To find your voice, your song, that you create, and could play on repeat from here until forever and never get sick of. My wish for you is to fall in love with life. My wish for you is to seek. Seek your deepest desires, travel, embrace newness, find adventure, live your truth, and if you don’t know what that looks like, don’t stop searching. Dedicate yourself to you, and everything you find along the way, no matter how scary or challenging the way, will deliver you the greatest rewards. I can’t promise it will be easy, or always good, but it will be worth it. A million times over again, it will be worth everything you compromise to live your hearts desires, life is out there waiting for you to embrace it.

Tomorrow I head back on the road, and to another place that feels like home, and actually was for a while. Nosara. A place where I encountered countless waves, enduring friendship, and the biggest broken heart and deepest debt I’ve know to this day. I love this place, and if I could go back and do it all over again, I’d do it the exact same.

So tomorrow awaits – through those damn hills of mud and rock and slippery sludge. Also hills, of magical jungle trees, fresh air, and the excitement I seek. And I’m scared. But the hour will pass, white knuckles and all and I will be fine. I suppose if I asked life for adventure it is giving it to me. (ON a side note, know this, be clear in your intentions and what you ask for, haha. Cause you will get it. We are powerful manifestors in that way. Suppose on this path to enlightenment I too have a lot to learn.) 

And in an attempt on playing with perspective, if this “horrific” hour of my day tomorrow, driving through the beautiful jungles of Costa Rica  is as bad as it gets, this week, or even this month, then my life is pretty damn good…

Off to enjoy the songs of rain. Sleep sweet my loves, I’ll talk to you soon

Xo

Katie 

Back to the Jungles and the Sea.

Everyday we tell a story. Just by living our lives we are  these living breathing walking stories in motion.

So what is the story you are telling today?

This is mine.

I woke up in my cozy bed, in a suburban city before sunrise. I peek out the window and the muted gray first light sky, and reject the urge to pick up my phone. And instead spend the next few moments in my gratitude practice. 

I begin with everything immediately around that I am touching or feeling or seeing, and I expresses gratitude for these things. I let the practice extend far and wide, beyond the physical and tangible. Once I’m done with this. I usually feel satisfied, connected, at peace with all that is and I am ready to start my day.

This has been a new habit. But one that serves me (and I think most of us) far greater than the draining world of the Inter web. A place where I’d often feel my day starting with comparison and feeling of lack. And I’ve recently decided I can do better, I deserve better, and my gratitude practice has been that. 

These are my attempts to feel more connection by “disconnecting” from things that aren’t a part of my life and returning to what is actually real in this time and place.

Today was special though. It was a travel day. These are my favorite days. These are the ones where I get to move through time and space in ways out of the norm. Change my location, my air I’m breathing, my routines, and set off to what excites me and scares me all at the same time. It’s in searching for these moments, we get to meet ourselves in new and wonderful ways. And of course so many others on this planet.

Somebody recently told me there are over 7 million people on this planet. And with that, so  many more square inches of earth – it’s a bit mind boggling to think about it. What a privilege to travel about and experience as much of it as possible.

Our connection to one another and our experiences is something important to me, and hopefully something my writing can share with you. It’s important because I believe it’s these experiences that define us and make us who we are. It’s also this connection and realization about people who we may have perceived as different. It’s learning that we are all inherently the same. It’s promotes the idea unity and makes it easier to love. 

Some travel days are jam packed with all kinds of wild unseen happenings, but today was mostly uneventful. Aside from a few calls to a credit card company to mediate a phantom reservation, the TSA lines, the traffic and the flight went on without occurrence.

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I got a direct flight from LAX to Liberia where Im staying for the night  at the Hilton by the airport: basic and bit pricy. yes.  But to know the next few weeks are abound with unknowns, bugs, and all kinds of adventure, for this evening I went with what’s was safe. Yes even as a wild child. With choices like this I hope I can give you permission to allow yourself to sometimes play it safe. These choices deplete your free spirit none. Perhaps it actually gives you depth. 

Earlier today on the plane snacking on cheese and grapes I was pondering why the airline industry can’t do better with plastic. And as I travel to places that fill my spirit with amazement, inspiration and wonder my brain was churning with questions about what I’m here to do, and how I can live my fullest life through the things that I’m passionate about. Surfing, yoga, travel and service to others. My business plans for Surf House Nicaragua, seem on the edge of coming to fruition as continue to fine tune the details with every trip. Being down here, always makes the dream seem more real, and tangible. And on the plane today as I  listening to the water people podcast, (https://waterpeoplepodcast.com/episodes/)  hosts Dave Rastovich and Lauren Hill  indefinitely inspire me to keep living my dreams. Of life with sea. A must listen to if the ocean, inspiration or podcasts are your thing. 

Tomorrow, I’ll wake up slowly, get my rental car and set out across Costa Rica. Surf board and yoga mat in hand. Seeking waves is the beginning of adventure and to finally actually be healthy enough to surf these waves, despite the lingering fear of falling, is the most soul filling feeling I know. The allure of the ocean is a hard to explain kind of love. I am unbelievably exciting to return to friends and the jungle. That’s one of the best parts about travel, getting to visit familiar loving faces and places that feel like home, even when they’re not.

Talk to you soon.

Xo

Your mermaid

To those who like to wander…

To those who like to wander,

I hope you know what a treasure you are and how brilliantly rare your free spirit is. In a world where comfort is often found in the security of routine and the known, you unapologetically seek the mystery of life. You move with fluidity that sets you apart, and in this motion, you often flow, to oceans and pastures away from the herd.  I hope you know to endlessly nourish this untamed spirit. I hope you know what a gem you are and how truly bright you shine.

Your ideals that rest and waken in the discovering the depth of self, is a quality to cherish. Life for you is a continued exploration of what exists beyond the edge of the visible eye. You sweet soul, finding comfort in the solitude, and joy in the lonely;  you’ve learned through it all, this is where you grow. You love the way new places and foreign culture can snuggly tuck you in at night. Your passion to experience the totality of existence is not be ignore.

In your endless pursuit to truly feel alive you’ve humbly come to know rejection as the hand that holds success. In this vulnerability you’ve learned what a powerful force you are. There is no stop to what you can dream sweet child. There will be no denying your radiance, your dedication to love, forever prevails. Even if sometimes you feel sad or alone, you continue with dedication to creating a greater fabric of inspiration.  To be knocked down is only an opportunity to get back up. You’ve learned that kindness and a smile can soothe even the angriest of hearts. You know now that your laughter is the pulse on which the tradewinds blows. There is nothing a sense of humor cannot solve. 

You sweet child are pure and vibrant. Your failure has come to teach you, that failure is not what they say, but simply a nudge in a different direction. Success lives in the breath and energy of how you believe you can. Infectious is your wild spirit that refuses to behave in any way but free. The way you bravely embrace the unknown with curiosity love is an endless ray of sunshine. I hope you know to never diminish the fire that burns inside of you. Because with your audacious capability to abide in a journey that satisfies your deepest truths, you give others permission to do the same. 

With love,

Someone who understand your wild urges

 

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Nicaraguan Spring 2019

 

Hi Guys, I figure I’ll give you little introduction for those of you who don’t know me personally =) My name is Katie. I am lover or life. I am a Yogini, both a practitioner of Yogic lifestyle as well as an instructor of yoga and peace practices. 

Loosely translated, Yoga in its literal meaning from Sanskrit is “yoke”, which means, joined, connected, or unified. This idea of unity, is one of the main principles that drives my life. I believe we are one, one humanity, we are all the same despite religion, skin color, or physical demographic. In this belief I am guided to choose love over fear over and over and over again. I am a human being, and so are you, and this sameness unifies us far more than any perceived separateness. I have found in this inclusion of all beings (trees, plants, fishes, etc,) it becomes easy to love.  In addition to my yoga practice and the beautiful tools & philosophies of love and harmony it continues to teach me, travel and the eye opening, humbling, widening of perspective that I receive from my experiences abroad are another of the greatest teachers. Travel, for me is a source of inspiration, knowledge and joy. Travel is a place to nurture my adventuresome spirit and grow to believe in myself. Finally I love the ocean, and this magic mother Earth. This planet that we live on is the greatest nurturer and teacher of all. We can learn all things from her, as I believe are are her. We are stardust. Little insignificant moments in time, trying to make the best of this human experience.

Now with all that being said, let’s head back to my recent trip to Nicaragua. I feel this wonderful country to partly be a second home to me, and one day in the near future I will be lucky enough to call it home. I own property there and am in the beginning stages of building a dream, Surf House Nicaragua. This space will be eco, bohemian surf and yoga bungalows. It will be an extension of my heart and soul, a place where people can come and share in my joys, feel loved, and cared for. It will be a space to heal and play and be inspired and fill your cup with goodness of life. I’m excited to be a part of the community in Asseradores.  I love the people and the land and the waves of Nicaragua. I also really LOVE to surf. Like as much as I love to breathe. The ocean is my first home. About a year about I had a gnarly fall, blew out my knee, snapped and displaced both bones in my arm and smashed all the cartilage in my wrist. The accident resulted in two major surgeries and I am still healing my knee. I’m in physical therapy (which is amazing) twice a week, and although it’s continually getting better I am still a few months away from what will be considered physically 100% (the mental aspect of this healing process I will save for another day.) Any who, typically my journeys to Central America, or anywhere, are wave focused, in a healthy body. SO this most recent trip was a challenge for me to find these same joys, by doing new things, in a place where I’ve always done the same things. Challenge accepted. This last trip, although wonderful, was not nearly as exciting or “soul fulfilling” as the ones previous.  But I’ learning that’s sometimes what life is all about. Taking the moments that aren’t drenched in sparkles and finding the spots where they shine.  The trip however was exactly what it needed to be, a learning experience full of smiles and fun. This blog is mostly about that. The places I visited, and perhaps a bit of tourism plug, in the sense that I want people to know how absolutely fantastic I find Nicaragua to be despite what our government says. 

Here it goes.

The land of 1000 smiles. People there are so friendly, and so kind, and in many of the communities I visited have a genuine interest in taking care of one another. Just about everywhere I went I found myself greeted with smiles and waves, from the Abuelo sitting a chair in front of his house, to the playful curious children dancing and laughing in the street. I was hard pressed to pass anyone with out some kind of genuine greeting. 

Last year beginning in April 2018, Nicaragua did experience conflict and  violence that lasted for several months, and although during these times parts of the country were unsafe due to riots and roadblocks, the conflict in general was different than what we saw on tv, and certainly no a civil war. The conflict was a result of the people, mostly university students, coming to a peaceful protest in the streets. They were protesting for their basic human rights, social security rights, and rights to be respected by their government. The violence that resulted was armed militias and the military attempting to silence thousands of citizens who were standing up for their democratic right. During the time of these conflicts, there was indeed  horrific violence but  these things currently have passed. And the people, for the most part, (with the exceptions of over fifty thousand who are no longer employed by the tourism industry) return to daily life with hope for a fair election and future. Unfortunately, many of the institutions built around tourism’s and job creating industries lay dormant. Non of this however stops the people from smiling and greeting you as you pass in the street. In my opinion, and statistics may agree, Nicaragua is no more of a dangerous place than the wrong part of LA or NewYork on a late night.

It’s unfortunate that we have government policies in place that continue to lead people to believe it is a dangerous place to visit.

After my most recent trip it’s become apparent that the country is safe as ever and we can and should return, to surf waves, go on tours, enjoy the majestic abundant natural resources and provide well deserving people with means of economy.

I started my my most recent journey in Costa Rica enjoying friends and the Pura Vida vibe. What a wonderful life to have so many places to call home, and people to wrap you up in love. That’s one of the most magic parts about travel, as you move about the planet, widen your circle, and weave more webs, the connections and friendships we make don’t ever go away, they just expand.

After my love fest in lush Costa Rica its off to Nicaragua I go,  as usual I had a smooth border crossing. When crossing, remember you have to play to play and visit the ticket office for an $8 or so exit fee, then you walk. I stood in line for maybe 10 minutes, had my passport stamped and passed through the gate. Once in Nicaragua, my driver picked me up and the border and we were off! Depending on your budget and how you like to travel, their public bus system, though slow, hot, sticky and crowded is an option. The ride is always long than expected, but the bus terminals are vibrant and bursting with sights and sounds. I have used this option in the past, and it is a lovely cultural adventure. Lately however, finances allowing, I’ve opted for rental cars, which are quite affordable, or drivers. Drivers being the most expensive option, but if you are on a long one way adventure or you are headed to a specific destination I’d highly recommend finding a trust worthy company. I love cruising in the safety and comfort of a nice vehicle. Driving through the beautiful country side as a passenger, taking in the massive volcanos and rolling hills, maybe even sipping on, as my friend Chung loves to say a  “super toña fria”, (a really cold beer) is not a bad way to move about.

Once in Nicaragua, I first stopped at the central coast, Puerto Sandino, specifically La Barra Surf Resort. I know many people opt for the party vibes of San Juan Del Surf, and the tropical hills or Maderas Village. I have been here several times, and to the Popoyo area as well, and those places, as different in what they have to offer are, do not speak to me as much as the Central to North Part of Nicaragua. Popoyo, Santana and Colorado’s  are also popular tourist destinations ,the waves heavy barreling beach breaks, and perfect for some. In these places there is more to do and definitely more of a “touristy” vibes, which is rad and exactly what some people are in search of, I’m just not one of those people. As I travel I often seek out more secluded or less “touched” communities. The picturesque cliffs, of Puerto Sandino, that at times evoke the mystique of Baja that so many of us southern Californias have come to love, alway offer me the most profound heart opening space, and the greatest uncrowded waves. The town of Miramar is quaint a fishing village. One road runs through town and an afternoon adventures finds muddy pigs, roosters and turkeys, as well as friendly children roaming the streets. Many of the houses and structures that line the street, also sit on the shoreline. Some are abandoned and others have been nicely and recently renovated to beautiful homes with a million dollar view.  There are several pathways where the fisherman roll out their boats to the ocean, and if you wander just 50 feet west down one of these you find yourself greeted by vast, sprawling, majestic black sand beaches. Everyday to the movement of sunrise and set, the fisherman navigate the breaking waves to head our for their nightly fish, and return when the sun returns early in the morning hours. They provide money and food, for their families and the community. It is  powerful & humbling to watch these men, maneuver the oceans coasts with such patience and mastery. 

Now if your hunting waves, there are a few options for surf accommodations perched along these pristine tropical cliffs, but in my humble option, La Barra Surf Camp is unarguably the best. MiraMar Surf camp, owned and operated by a few Brazilians has a variety of rates, and sits on the main point at MiraMar. PSSR sits a little further south down the beach and provides cozy accommodations in front of a rampy beach break. Sirena surf lodge, is absolutely the best option for travelers seeking killer waves but on a budget. 

This leads us back to La Barra Surf Resort. Their rooms and property, recently remodeled, are impeccable. Their location offers a breathtaking view of three (+) of the main waves here. You can stand next to the sparkly pool, or in their air conditioned bar, or under a palapa, and see the rights peeling of the newly constructed jetty, the point at miramar, the sexy playful left of chicken bowls, as well as the beach break to the south. Typically being considered the land of the lefts, this newly constructed jetty to the north offers and right that barrels with uniformity just like the rest of the waves in this area. La Barra’s property actually peeks right into the barrel of the perfect peeling wave of chicken bowls. One of my favorite waves here. It is epic, to sit cliff side and watch the tide change, the wave start to turn on, and if you’re surfed out, or enjoying rum or margarita land, you can to relax, into bliss and with a birds eye view watch your friends get shacked over and over again. Or you can grab your board and go out there and join them! There is also a river mouth that pumps waves that is about a 5 minute boat ride away. Having the choice is what makes it so extra great. Here, at La Barra Surf Resort, you are treated like a queen or king. No need ever goes unmet, they offer tours of Leon, fishing adventures and service second to none. I always leave here feeling stoked and can’t wait to return. There is something to be said about the way people make you feel and the energy Alonso and his crew provide is absolutely wonderful.

It’s always time well spent at La Barra and then time to move on. North, sleepy villages, secluded beaches, and empty lineups are calling my name. A girlfriend of mine has flown in from Cali, we say our goodbyes to the crew at La Barra,  hop in the car – and on the road we go. The skies darken, and being rainy season we are greated by massive, juicy tropical rain drops, slapping the windows with a beautiful rhythmic song. Hot rain showers have a magical way of stirring me, and I’m so grateful to share this experience with my friend Kyla who is taking it all in for the first time. We stop at the gas station for the obligatory cold Toña, an ATM, and my personal favorite snack from this part of the world Sal y Limon plántanos.

TOñaCAr

After a quick 2 hours we are into area that has my heart Asseradores. It’s sweetly tucked by the beach about 30 minutes out side of the nearest city of Chinandega.  The lush trees, endless rolling hills and vast farmlands are so beautiful. There is dynamic stillness about these agricultural driven farming towns. My eyes and spirit light up as we roll past rows and rows of Maracuya. Passion fruit!! Ah my mouth is salivating. Sugar cane’s stand tall and assertive and the pastures for grazing cows shine with the richest and most vibrant shades of green. Rainy season is alive. 

For this trip North,  we choose to stay at Chancletas. In the past I’ve stayed at a handful of other accommodations, but for this trip Chancletas seemed to be the best option. I’ve got 3 friends from costa rica and said girlfriend from Cali joining me.  In addition to having an all inclusive resort style package, Chancletas rents out houses that have been built on their property. As far as location is concerned, if you are looking to charge out to the boom as much as possible and get tasty poundy barrels, Chancletas is the place for you. It is located directly on the beach in front of the main wave at The Boom. Having rented a house we were a few hundred yards walk from the beach, which wouldn’t have been SO bad, except we tagged Nicaragua right about the first week into rainy season and the misquotes were extra savage. Point being, bug spray =) I don’t love it, especially because I try to live as plastic free and natural as possible. I make my own bug spray out of Doterra Essential oils mixed with alcohol or an Avocado oil style base, and for me this works pretty well. The vibe at Chancletas is mellow, their staff is friendly but also relaxed. It’s a great place if you are looking for privacy or have a large group where you all want to be together, but still have your own space. If you choose the all inclusive package meals are provided, but we got a super sweet option of hiring a cook for the week! She was amazing. She cooked us three incredible meals a day and kept our house and rooms sparkly clean. She could prepare a fish with mastery of top chefs, and make a drool worthy chicken soup from scratch. We did have to bring our own food in from town which is about 30 minutes away so if you don’t plan on having a car, I’d recommend taking advantage of the all inclusive package that also provides transportation to and from the resort. Another great thing about surf trips, or trips in general, are photographs. If you are going to get the waves of your life definitely want pics. So again, the all inclusive package come with a photographer, but we hired, and perhaps long term adopted a local photographer names Marvin. He’s a hard working humble dude who helped us find our way to boats, and waves, and happily and smiling joined us anywhere we wanted to go. You can find him on instagram @oviedo_marvin1790. ( Chancletas can be found @Chancletasbeachresort, La Barra @casa_la_barra_surf_resort, and me if you want more of my shenanigans @mermaid_gypsy_ )

Knowing surfing wasn’t going to be huge part of my trip, and having a healthy appetite for Nicaragua rum, as well as more cultural knowledge, (so I can, in turn, one day be the hostess with the most-ess int his area) I planned us a trip to Flor De Caña rum factory. Hehehe. Maybe one of my fave days of the adventure. The factory is Located in town called Chichigalpa. It’s about a 1.5 hour drive from Asseradores where Chancletas is, and a rad way to spend the day if the waves aren’t working. It’s modest $10 for entry and the tour lasts about 2 hours. You get to see the whole process of where rum comes from, how it is made, watch the barrels being pounded into form, smell the massive warehouse of rum in the fermentation process, and naturally no rum tour would be complete with a visit to the Family’s tasting room accompanied by a few samples of their finest rum. A really impressive part of this massive company, as one of the largest exporters of rum in the world, is the their dedication to environmental and social responsibility. Their commitment to recycling, producing as little waste as possible, and taking care of their community around them was a powerful take away form me. I also left with a bottle of rum and super geeky floppy beach hat, I can be  a sucker for some gift shop finds. I also had the pleasure of catching my first proper wave in over 10 months with my girl Kyla Party waves and cheering for me the whole time. No matter where you go or what you do in life, outfit your self with a tribe of loving supportive people who are there for you in both the good times and bad. Kyla, sweet girl, I love you. Thank you for the endless laughter and kindness you have shared with me at home and abroad. I look forward to more adventures of every kind, and days sharing waves and stoke that linger long after the session ends. Not just in Nicaragua, but everywhere.

Although Nicaragua is a country with economic struggles, and to be blunt many are financially poor, the people are rich with spirit. The conflicts with the government over the last year really crippled their growing tourism economy. One special part about Northern Nicaragua is their massive emphasis on agriculture. I am a big fan of tourism and the way it can drive economy, but to see a part of this country, that is very self sufficient on the land and what its own natural resources can provide was both humbling and refreshing. Maybe it’s a selfish way of thinking, that my dollar, is not something they need, but I felt a bit relieved when my chauffeur told me that the people of the north were not hit as hard by the convict because their main source of industry and income is agriculture, not tourism. This is not to say the people of this country don’t face challenges many of us living privileged lives know anything about, but what is remarkable to me, is a general sense of nurturing and caring for one another, and an ability to laugh and smile regardless of life circumstance.  This is another reason I find the North of Nicaragua SO beautiful. The generous, abundant spirit of the people and how the countryside is decorated by sprawling farm lands and pastures. Knowing that Nicaragua has been labeled as an unsafe place to visit I’d like to reiterate the comfort and enjoyment I had on my recent trip. In this current moment, moving through the country was easy and effortless, (they do have a major election in the end of 2020 that may possible cause shift in political climate). With that being said however, and the not happening for over a year,  I would absolutely recommend Nicaragua as a safe and wonderful country to travel to, for surfing, for culture, for nature, or all of the above. 

Love and Light from me to you, Namaste

Katie Mermaid.

Honor Yourself

Honor Yourself

Life moves in continuous motions. There will be times of inner conflict and times of inner peace. So honor yourself, dear one, as you flow in and out of these phases. When you find yourself in moments of question. Moments where the wrong thing feels so right (or the right things feels so wrong) and life has you questioning your own morality. 

Know that you are okay.

Stand strong in yourself and honor the divine being that live inside your skin. You are so human, so divinely perfect, so divinely flawed. You are learning and growing in all the ways you need to in all due time. 

I understand that it may not always be easy to stay on course of choosing correct actions. And as I recently stood in solitude, surround by deserted beaches and stoic cliff sides, under the sticky air, on the jagged jutting rocks, below the stormy gray salty skies; I stood in stillness, watching the waves crash with reckless abandon into the black sandy shores. And there I knew. I knew the ocean was telling me struggle is okay, and I am not alone. And neither my friends, are you. On the days where the salt is as decadent as the sweet. And questions and answers do not feel aligned. 

Honor yourself in this space.

It is this space that is gently molding you into the being that you are meant to be. A beautiful complex being that is transforming and growing right as I speak. On these days or times when emotions can run unsettled like stormy seas…

Close your eyes and gently inhale into the mystery.

And with your eyes closed release the uncertainty as you empty yourself of breath. 

Let the tension ease out of your body and be absorbed by the earth below. There are things that are beyond our control. You are here and happening, and living and breathing with the orbits of the planets and the pull of the moons. If you want to slowly settle in the comfort of your infinite endless eternity, then I give you permission. I give you permission to honor your deep conflicts as well as your flickers of peace and know that in these fluctuations, that you sweet soul, are perfectly whole, and perfectly complete. IMG_2036

Humaness.

I can’t tell you how many times over the past months I have asked myself

Who am I?

As I look down and my nikes ( yep,  haha, not only has life gotten me into shoes, but nikes…woah)

My no longer sun kissed skin (white as a ghost, uhhhhgggg the crime…

Or my sad salt-less hair (these mermaid locks have not tasted the salty sweet waters of the sea in months…) 

And, ya know, it’s funny.  Because in this journey of living and loving – healing and growing I have realized that these things outside of me like shoes or clothes (or no shoes and bikinis) do not define who I am. Life is happy regardless.

On the inside I am the same.  We are all the same. 

I am not these clothes or these circumstances.  This accident and the injuries have essentially forced my life to go in one direction (at least for the time being) and defaulted me to a (short term) stagnant place. A physical place of not allowing me to choose the activities of surfing or yoga or traveling, or walking down the street or driving, or so many of the everyday things we are able to do when our bodies are healthy and well, this experience has violently shoved me in a direction, a direction that has led me to like myself even more than before. Even pale, and in shoes, and clothes, and layers, and broke… but smiling, always smiling.

So who I am has as nothing to do with anything external. I am someone who has seen a bit of a detour, a setback as some may call it, and learned to love myself even more. I am now, deeper, kinder and more compassionate. And that’s that thing about life. We have no control over what happens to us. Only how we choose to respond. We are truly not a reflection of our outside circumstances, and I don’t say this from preaching – I say this from my heart. I say it to remind you that if you find yourself faced with a challenging times, you yourself have to power to shape how you experience it. My hope for you is that you find the tools and see the benefits of taking the path of positivity. I’m not saying be happy all the time, cause even I lose my shit every now and then, but it’s about more than that. It’s about finding a way to enjoy life.

 

Speak to me only with your eyes…

Oh the ways Robert Plant can sing to my soul. I love this set of lyrics from Led Zeppelin. It’s always stirs a visceral reaction from me, but even more so now, that I have been pushed to  examine life from such a different perspective. For me it alludes to the magic mystery that exists beyond the physical – beyond the surface of clothes and shoes, skin color and accessories… it awakens our awareness to a Self that lives deep within. Words like this, and a seeking for greater awareness, that sparkle that lives in the eyes of awakened beings – is an invitation to find and  to live with joy. A joy that is so available in all of the everyday things we see – to me that’s exciting part about self discovery and a spiritual journey. Nothing has to change for this to happen, only the way you look at things =) 

And when you begin to look at things differently, the things you look at begin to change. You just have to be willing.

 

As FDR said. And which I know in my life to be very true.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” 

Music, wisdoms like the one mentioned above, and the mystery of looking into someones eyes evokes so much meaning,  if we let in these vulnerabilities in we arrive in places of empowering awe and wonder, places we can only arrive to if seek what is beyond the surface….

There are so many things In life we can and will miss out on because (or if) we are afraid to look beyond the flesh. It is a fear. A fear that we will find something we are afraid of within ourselves. Fear of inadequacy, of unworthiness, of self doubt, or maybe the fear is even bigger than we can comprehend, so instead of diving in and finding out what vastness lies beyond, we choose to stand safe on the surface and wonder, but that unsatisfied wonder, only leads to more fears. We fear limitations, or perhaps the opposite, we fear the enormity, of the spirit, or the soul of life in its entirety –  it can be crippling. Or mind blowing. To really begin to imagine how very small yet simultaneously powerful we are. 

When we look within and see wounds to unwrap – know that these traumas are there to guide you to the parts that need to heal- they are not going to kill you, they are challenges that live has given you  to help you grow. They are there to teach you. Life is a students game. 

A quote I found through my spiritual studies, a quote that I return to often when I am feeling overwhelmed by the unknown is this. 

“In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, in the experts mid there are few.”

Shunryu Suzuki

To me this quote offers a perspective about not knowing, a perspective that says in the not knowing the possibly to learn is endless, and that potential is where all the magic of growth is waiting for us. Perspective is powerful. And there is another yogic practice called pratipaksha bhavanam. (That I’ll talk about soon, but its about our ability to cultivate the opposite of a situation when we don’t like how it is going or making us feel) =) …. Soon, i’ll share that soon – OR – ( The beautiful people at http://www.rebelandmuse.com have recently invited me to be on their podcast, and we chat quite a bit about this idea there….. go check it out! ) ANywho

We will only benefit from the continuous exploration of self. This injury, in my perspective, has only been good. Painful and life changing, yes, but ooey gooey dripping in epiphanies that take place driving on the freeway or by way of the hot steamy shower, at the gym of all aweful places, or sitting in my car in a parking lot in the rain…kind of good. Pain is a part of life, choosing how we respond to this pain is what dictates the quality of our lives. I absolutely had moments like this before the fall, but these are different. These come on the dawn of a cold dark night, and for some reason to me that makes them more profound. Maybe I guess then, the way I see it is, this experience has deepened my understanding of things that only have light shown on them by looking over the edge of darkness and sinking right into it.

And then coming up smiling. Because well, it’s fascinating down there, deep in the depth of our wounds, it’s a vast majestic an if we dare to go there (with an open and positive mind set, of what can come from this situation)- anything is possible. I believe now more than ever in the power of our minds. This power is the same way people like Nelson Mandela survive lock up or humans survived the holocaust. And although I am no comparison to these kinds of hero’s maybe my journey can be an inspiration to other ordinary people like me and you. Maybe I can be a reminder that we are all capable of greatness, and that “greatness” doesn’t look the same for any two people. That’s the greatest part. As we change and grow our best also transforms day to day, and season to season. But believing in a bigger something, anything, the possibilities to overcome, to create, to learn, to forgive (ourselves and others), to grow, to let go, to thrive are literally infinite.

Being injured has given me an opportunity to be with myself. It has given me time to explore me. My thoughts, my feeling, with out interruptions to the things we as humans normally do to fill our days. And this opportunity has allowed me to fall even deeper in the love with with who I am. It has showed me parts of myself, sad parts, strong parts, injured, humble, simple gentle unadorned with life’s decorations parts…

(Below, the documentation of my knee’s sweet journey =) I am proud of what a healing machine it is!!)

 This essence of self, of life that maybe is only revealed in times of challenge , of woundedness, is what makes us strong. This injury has been a beautiful opportunity to see my body broken and in pain, but capable of healing, capable of finding the light, the positive, and what a miracle it is to see the body heal. To see myself in my lowest time, and still find the beauty in who I am, this my friends, is a truly humbling and empowering  lesson to learn. And for that, this process, this experience, maybe I will go as far as to say this gift of a different and deeper, more simple (even more simple than I already was) approach to life – well for that i am extremely grateful. I

Diving head first into the belly of injuries and recovery is honestly anything but cool. It’s not glamorous. But it is real. It is a process, it is a time to really sink my teeth into all the things I preach when life is healthy and thriving. It is truly a time to digest what exists beyond the physical world we live in. It is a time of letting go, of surrendering, of shifting the energy away from negativity and back towards gratitude. It is a time of patience, of acceptance, of love. Of looking myself in the eyes, and loving what I see. It is a path of gentleness towards self, of not judging the days when I want to be anywhere but here. And knowing that as a human, a spiritual beautiful divine being, but a human non the less, that it is okay to struggle. I am not any less of a yogi, a teacher, a leader a light bearer or a guide because I too face demons, demons that can paint even my light and sparkly  sky with darkness. And you sweet person are the same. Remember that with impermanence comes happiness and sadness and if you can just stay afloat when the seas are the roughest then that is enough. Not only is it enough, but it is a sweet victory when you rise to meet the new day, maybe naked, and battered but resilient, stronger and ever so beautiful 💙 so I send you this message,  to you inviting you join me on this humble journey to discover the limits of the universe, a reality juicy with life’s subtle joys, full of adventure and full of  love.

This idea of the mind and greatness and how no two things are the same from person to person, has been a duality I have been applying to the idea of success; and how it’s come to look and taste In modern society but that maybe that’s not actually what “success” is at all…

I feel good about it:) got that coming to you nexts

I hope my story inspires you of what greatness you have within you – as a human – as a divine magical being living inside a bag of flesh, stacked with bones, wandering freely on this planet. Trying to make sense of this wildly joyful life experiment.  Life’s great mystery is our prize.

Be well my friends. Be kind, Be love.

xo

Mermaid

ps. im also helping host an epic event tomorrow. here in the link =) if you are in town, come join us!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/yoga-daytreat-live-music-soundbath-energy-healing-vegetartian-lunch-tickets-52180804190?aff=ebdssbdestsearch