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

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

 

Bliss is simple. The simplicity is the bliss.

The lines we draw, the paths we take, the simple joys, a simple life, I’m learning isn’t always (or at least completely) about the ocean. I’m learning that the simplicity of the ocean (in all its complexities) is the joy itself ✨ 

Try this idea on, it came to me a week or two ago, and it’s been sinking in really nice. I realized last month was one of the best months of my life (yes- injured and out of work, out of money & landlocked), I didn’t surf, of practice yoga asana once…

One morning, on a gray, glassy beach walk adventure, watching the waves crash into the rocks, feeling full of peace and joy I realized 

“Bliss is simple-The simplicity is the bliss”

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As one of my favorite authors put it “Samsara is Nirvana”

(If you haven’t read books from Jaimal Yogis – the Saltwater Buddha, and All Our Waves are Water, i would highly recommend it)

It’s funny, you see, when everything I thought I wanted was taken from me, (traveling, surfing, yoga, making $$, “progress”,) I learned that sometimes life is better than the waves. 

It’s wild really, how life gives us moments, moments that may seem bad, (like breaking your arm, blowing out your knee, being out of work for 9 months, being laid up in bed, and having the days full of surgeries, physical therapy and doctors appts) are really not so bad at all. If we trust, we surrender & we are open to the possibility that things are unfolding as they should, that it could actually keep getting better then it currently is, or was, then it does. When everything you –think– you want is taken from you, and the direction of your life path is shifted, somehow, magically you, are given –more-, (than you could have imagined or dreamed you wanted) and the path you are walking on becomes more abundant…

 

Life is cool like that. 

The waves and I will reunite. But in the mean time, life has given me a love (yes I’m talking about that wonderful man again) and many other lessons from healing as well, that only makes my connection to the sea, and my adventure in this life, that much sweeter. When you practice gratitude, and believe in the laws of attraction, of the power of positive thinking, of life without adornment being truly abundant, then your life simply becomes that; A beautiful manifestation of things always being right. Even when they are wrong. That my friends, is the secret. To stop worrying, stop forcing, let go, recieve, and love. Oh so much love. And then show up and let life rain down on you it’s wisdom, and it’s bliss, and allow yourself to dance in the the pure golden sun shine glowing in the sky. It might seem silly to you, or cosmic, or daydreamy, full of fantasy like fluff, and maybe it is, but if our real lives can take the shape of these daydreams, then doesn’t it seem logical, to do whatever it takes to make that happen? I’m not any better or different than any of you, and I just wanted to share this story, because those of you who do know me, know surfing, and yoga and travel are my “everything” so to come to a place in life, where I can say I have had the best month of my life, and none of those things have been present, is a powerful statement. That realization propelled me to examine a lot of things within myself, and have helped me come to the realizations I’ve shared above. (Obviously finding love helps 😍😍) but that’s part of it!! Cultivating a mindset, and attitude, a way of living, that brings joy and healing from the inside, that trusts and surrenders to the “obstacles” of life, is what will transform the ordinary to extraordinary. So when you do find yourself in challenging situations, they are nothing more than opportunities, to learn and grown and become a better version of yourself.

Cheers my loves. I hope your weekend is full of sunshine and the things that make your heart sing.

Xoxoxox

Katie Mermaid 

– some of the fotos above are just captures of stoke that have filled my days up on the  path to healing. There is most certainly a new “normal” of resting and healing, but I am beyond excited to get back into routines of working, and surfing, and yoga, and travel. This time for reflection and rest is lovely, but I’m ready to move forward away from the inertia and begin to take on a bit more action 🙂 Surgery on my knee was a success and as I lay in bed, knee elevated, and crutch bound for a month, I’ve definitely began the 183 days countdown to return to the surf. I hope you’ll join me on that epic day of my first surf in 10 months!! (Projected day I believe is April 6th…) All jokes aside I’ll probably sit in the line up and cry like a baby. Tears of joy of course. Ah, but what a sweet reunion is will be. Playing in the waves is one of the best feelings in the world 🙂

A Monday to Love.

Three months ago I had an accident that has largely shifted the course of my life. And honestly it’s been a blessing. Surgery sucks, being injured and being unable to work or  teach and practice yoga sucks, not being able to  surf sucks. But these are not the things that define our lives. Happiness in not attached to external circumstances. It comes from within. So although I have, and will continue to miss the ocean with every fiber of my being, I have been able to find bliss in my life, because life it’s self is the bliss. Not every day is like this, but today I was reminded of  a few sweet things.

Tomorrow will be 3 months of no surf, with a projected 6 more to go… I’m awaiting knee surgery that will “set back” the progress I have made, (so once again, no driving, no mobility in my knee, crutches for a month.. but hey, at least i’ll have ligaments back in my knee and FINALLY on the road to being recovered). And yes, of course, it could always, always be far worse!!

In the mean time I have chosen to make the best of it. My wrist has healed enough and my surgeon has said I am free to paddle. Its certainly not surfing the waves, but oh dang, the water and all it’s healing powers. SO SO GOOOD.  So, today I took my longboard to the lagoon and set off for the horizon. The salty water instantly satiated my dry mermaid gills. My heart is so full of stoke for all that I do have, that when I get to return to the activities that make my soul truly sing it will be icing on the cake.  As I floated around the lagoon, I came to the realization of how following my heart and my passions in life and finding my way via what sets my soul on fire is one of the things that makes this whole journey (of being injured, of being put on pause, of being “detoured” so to speak) okay. I know how surfing makes me feel, and whatever it takes to get back to that I will do, with humility and surrender. I know not all of you surf, and maybe you haven’t found your passion. But I’m here to encourage to keep searching. Try to new things, enjoy the fruits of being healthy and well. Because when things shift away from that, you will still have that feeling, and that feeling, of knowing that A- my life has been fulfilled just by the search of that, and I am happy regardless. But B – one day again I will get to return to the joys of surfing waves.

THEN, to top it all off, when I got out of the water and was drying off, feeling all floaty and high like only the oceans waters can make me feel. I got a a call from my guy! Yes, Ive got a guy.  Holy heart shaped eye emoji, over and over and over again. My friends, I am smitten. Love is one of those things. You can’t plan it, and the more you seek it out or “wait” for it the more elusive it becomes,  but here I was just living my life, learning about me, and in walks this handsome, funny, insanely talented, humble surfer guy, with the sweetest brown eyes, and a gentle strength that makes me melt like a popsicle in the tropics. (we did actually meet a year ago, buuuut- we never really had a chance to spend time together until last month in Utah) SO, had this injury not happened, I wouldn’t be sitting here today, or in Utah last month, and currently gushing over him and how magical it is to connect with  a love of the cosmos. With that being said, my post lagoon stoke was only amplified a gazillion fold by getting a call from him. =)

After last weeks doctors appointment I was feeling a bit discouraged by my news from the surgeon that yes, my ACL, MCL and meniscus all need fixing, and that a second surgery was also possibly on the books, but after spending a few days down, I digested the info and returned to my positive, motivated, inspired self. Its easy to get stuck in a “pity party” mood, but life is too short to let what happens to us dictate our happiness. Crappy news can get us down, because we’re human, but then its up to us, to rise above it. We have so much to be grateful for, and we are so powerful because how we CHOOSE TO EXPERIENCE life is completely up to us. And that power, and that knowing and recognizing this inherent wisdom born into all of us, is everything. When you think about it, everything is temporary. And whatever we are going through at any given time can’t be THAT bad, if death is as bad as it gets, we are all headed there anyways, so lets celebrate what we’ve got while we’ve got it. We could all always find something to complain about. But why? Choose the opposite, focus on the positive, and watch your life transform around you, and not because anything has changed, because you have changed. ( and then believe it or not, things do actually start to change, because you have changed and the law of attraction is real, and all the goodness you are putting out there is coming back to you. I didn’t make it up. You reap what you sow? I know you’ve heard it before, I’m just here to remind you=))

Today was a beautiful reminder of what a gift the simple luxuries of life are. Of how present opportunities are to experience happy feelings, and how very blessed we are to get to be living in these bodies, no matter how broken at times we may be, we have more positive than negative all around us flowing in and out with every little breath:)

This past Sunday I attended a friends Memorial Service, he was a nurse and one of the most wonderful things about this friend was his ability to share compassion.  One of his cousins was sharing a story about him and how he was saying that from his time working in the ICU and listening to patients stories he learned the importance of love, and how when people are in their most vulnerable moments, the one thing they reflect on the most is the quality of love they had in their life. Living and breathing, loving and being present, learning how to be better – experiencing the moments as they come, is what life is about. So thank you today, and my dear friend Jeremy. May you rest in peace, I know your ashes are out there in the ocean, and as I write this now, perhaps that was what made my day on the water even more special than it usually is.

Love your tribe hard, and tell them as much as you can. Our time here is truly precious.

Namaste my sweet friends. Life is always looking up!

Katie Mermaid.

 

Cultivating positivity- even when life gets all kinds of crazy. Staying humble and grateful amidst the madness.

Hello loves!

What a wild life it is. More delightful and beautiful everyday.  I’m not really sure where to start, so maybe that is exactly where I should begin. Over the last few months, since I was in Nicaragua frothing over life in the tropics, everything has changed.

But let’s backtrack a bit.

First and foremost, Nicaragua is in the midst of the worst political violence (and devastating oppression) it has seen in the last 20 years. I could go on for a while about the heartbreak and injustice happening to these beautiful people in this wonderful country. The reality is that when I bought my property, I could not have known that within two weeks of my signing date, the country would experience an uprising and peaceful protests that have resulted in over 300 innocent civilians dead in the streets and caused an exodus of expats and travelers alike. As the people push for a democratic solution, the economy has tanked and the tourism industry, in which I had hoped to thrive through my boutique surf bungalows, has crashed. My heart goes out to my friends and the Nicaraguans fighting this fight. I am fortunate to have other options and places to shift my focus and energy, as I hope and pray for a quick and peaceful solution for our neighbors down south.

After the realization that my Nicaraguan dream was on hold for a while, my mind shifted back to a free, gypsy lifestyle. I’d accepted, and quite frankly, was feeling stoked about traveling to new parts of the world, (South East Asia, Australia, Maldives, here I come) scoring waves, teaching yoga, and working in boutique hotels across the globe. In the meantime, I was trying to keep up with the American machine, working all the time, squeezing in surf when I could, and trying to grind out the summer months as I planned my next move.

My birthday was in June and if you asked me how I thought I’d spend the summer of my thirty second year of life, I probably would have shrugged and let a little grin dance across my face – let my eyes illuminate a little extra twinkle, as I fantasized about the limitless opportunities of where I might find myself on this gypsy trail, traipsing about this beautiful, magical planet.

Fast forward to now. (how about the “knee-kini” and the one piece?! lol

(and now meaning this time period form Accident unit today…Things have finally  started to heal a bit and I’m feeling like I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I visit my knee surgeon Tuesday- Ive been charging the PT hard just trying to regain mobility prior to surgery, fingers crossed we’ll set a date for incisions and things this week. As for the wrist, its on the mend. Casts are off, and Ive been graduated to being allow to carry what they ca;; “coffee cup weight” haha. Big things are happening! As for the smiles and this lovely salty hair!… I got I the ocean yesterday- first time in two months and if you know me- that’s like, LIFETIMES… (by getting in, I mean I sat in the shoreline with my arm above my head and let the waves wash over meeee. but oh the sweet giggles and  bliss of magic mama ocean. I feel like I know who I am again. Its certainly not surfing. But it will do =)

So I know for a fact, when musing about how I’d spend this summer, I wouldn’t have predicted surf-less days, left handed teeth brushing, complete immobility in my knee, lizard skin hands, torn ligaments, 7 screws in my wrist, family Costco adventures (I, for one, am not a Costco fan), puzzle night as my Sunday Funday, and for icing on the cake, sitting in the bathtub singing Al Green and Sade laughing so hard I can’t stop crying, as my mom washes my naked body. Yep, humble pie, served up whole. I told my mom it was bathtub music. Haha. A sense of humor is certainly a sweet medicine. And something I’d recommend you never leave home without. It’s been comedy hour around here… But check out these.. eeeep

 

In my dream-world/part-time reality, I spend my days surfing, teaching yoga, working in restaurants, traveling, playing my ukulele, painting, blowing bubbles, hula hooping, dancing, staring up at the clouds, writing blogs, and poems and short stories for my upcoming book (that will be published soon!), creating future surf/yoga retreats and last but not least, planning my big move to Nicaragua where I’ll be building those boutique surf bungalows. Whew… and when I say I’ll do all these things it mostly just boils down, once again, flirting with complete burnout and too much work. When I’m spending my days in Central America, time, freedom and play consume my soul. However, here in the States (even as a yoga instructor and restaurant server- fun right?), I often find myself overworked and uninspired. I would imagine that many of you can relate? 

As of recently ALL OF THIS (play and work) has been sidelined. For the short term, life has a different plan for me. LESSON ONE COMING IN HOT: we have no control- so let go. Release your grip on life. Whatever I thought I was going to do took a bit fat detour.  Plans are great, but sometimes they change and it’s far better to let the currents take you where they want rather than fight them all the way to shore. Cool?! =) I have learned, and am forever learning, that we don’t have control over what happens to us. We only have control over ourselves and how we choose to respond. And with this new found free time I’ve been enjoying, said activities (from Central America days…)

So I had a gnarly “skateboarding” (and when I say skateboarding, I mean I was trying to ride a one wheeled motorized skateboard thing) accident at the end of June, resulting in a severely displaced, broken arm requiring surgery, screws, plates, learning to move my wrist again and lots of recovery time. In addition to injuring my arm/wrist, in the same accident I completely blew out my knee, tearing both my ACL and MCL (on which I am still currently awaiting surgery, fingers crossed it will be soon.) I’m out of the water for up to 9 months, when it’s all said and done. No surfing, no yoga teaching, no working, no dancing, no driving, not too much individual freedom at all.  Though at least I can use the toilet by myself- hey- it can always be worse right? And, as I sit here and type this, I realize despite all that, one thing I have continued to do non-stop, is smile. If you know me, you know this to be true.

I suppose all those little whispers life was giving me to slow down should have been heeded. But being a believer that everything is unfolding exactly as it should (assuming you show up and do the work- which I do), should have, would have, and could have, are not parts of my vocabulary. Had said accident not happened, I would not be sitting here today, writing this to you. =)

Nobody wants to be injured, but injuries aside, life has given me a gift. Yes, I said gift, and again, I default to focusing on the positive, returning my awareness to all that is -good- in my life. And occasionally breaking down into tears, but if you want the rainbow, well…you need the rain!

Injuries are a beautiful time for growth, self-reflection and discovery. Right? (And what I really mean is more time for selfies and wine?!?! haha…) Jokes aside though, because now I do have more time to spend in good conversation, painting, making music, creating all kinds of projects, and enjoying friends and family. Everyday I am more aware of this opportunity to enjoy a different path that life is taking me on. A path, that I would have not chosen for myself, but here I am, embracing all the madness with a happy heart and an open mind. Humbled and awed by the magical mystery of this human experience. The blessings and lessons that continue to reveal themselves are abundant.

Obviously injuries do suck, but how you choose to experience life, the injuries, the heartbreaks, the ups and downs, is completely up to you.

LESSON NUMBER TWO

(Maybe a bit more subtle with this one, but your mind is a powerful tool, so use it. =) )

With that being said, and I say this a lot, we -always- have a choice. And you can choose to be grumpy, or the opposite. My mom used to always say “choose your attitude” and as a sassy, stubborn, know-it-all adolescent, this drove me nuts, but she’s absolutely right. If a situation isn’t ideal to begin with, why choose to make it worse with a shitty attitude. Instead, I encourage you to find the blessing. And it’s wild, and at first I thought, weird, but it’s not weird, it makes perfect sense. Where you focus your energy is where your life flows. So in looking at this accident as opportunity, in graciously and humbly receiving, surrendering to, and trusting what life is giving me – my mind has been blown by what has come in my direction. (Once again, coming back around to the power of positive thinking.)

In case you missed it, I’d like to say, I would not have chosen this for myself. But the lesson, one of many here, is that life is what you make it. And less than awesome things happen everyday, so it’s up to you how you choose to experience these situations. In yoga well call this Pratipaksha Bhavanam. Cultivate the opposite (If something is bad, your mind and attitude CAN make it better.)

But if that’s too far out there for you…winky face, kissy emoji…I get it.

I just wish you all were close enough to come to some of my yoga classes (and not the extreme pretzel, literally make-you-sweat-your-face-off classes, but the body, mind and spirit, slow-it-all-down, enlightening breathwork classes) so I could shower you with the  ancient wisdoms I have learned, that make my heart feel happy, my soul feel peaceful, and my face smile. But for now, one-handed and chicken-pecked stories on my computer will have to do. =)

I’m aware this might sound like being positive is easy for me, but it’s work, it’s a daily practice, one that I absolutely love and is as necessary as breathing. I’ve come to learn that the practice is the reward. If I can advise you in any way, add some tools to your tool box, help you cultivate a better attitude, might I recommend meditation, some restorative yoga, a slow walk in nature, a self-help book, listening to music, painting, ecstatic dancing, cooking yummy meals, trying a new hobby, whatever it takes. But you deserve a life that makes you feel drunk on the delight of both the challenges and the rewards. A life full of joy.

So, if I can sum it all up with a little lesson number three, it would be to emphasize an awareness around the importance of slowing down. Live a mindful, conscious life. Society moves fast and our time here is precious. Enjoy where you are at. Embrace the moments as they come. Make happiness a priority- and whatever road that is to you- take it. Listen to your heart; the longings never stop. Greet yourself and others with compassion and love. Everyone has a story. Focus on the positive; it is forever present. We are beautiful beings on a cosmic journey, all doing the best we can to make sense of this incredible human experience.

Namaste. Aloha. Pura Vida. Blessings.

Your Mermaid,

Katie

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On a side note, my friends, these beauties above (you can find them at) http://www.thiscolorfulworld.com have brought me on board to help them out with all kinds of fun communication specialty tasks and I’m just beyond stoked to be a part of their powerful, uplifting, conscious lifestyle community. They run a video production company, and have an have a beautifully amazing youtube channel as well! So wether you have video production and photography needs, or just enjoy learning about life hacks for topics ranging from relationship maintenance – self care- mental health –  and so many more… check them out! xoxoxoxo

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7oNjpoRhx2OY0VTGGHEsFQ