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

 

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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

 

Travel.Surf.Yoga.

Travel.yoga.surf.

A few days ago as I was winding through the mountain roads of Guatemala en route to the magical lake I felt a smile grow across my face as everything began to slow down. The essence of why I travel. Which is the same reason I surf or practice yoga. It brings me peace and joy of the tender bliss of living in the moment -In my proper Cali beach slang, it makes me stoked 🙂 It takes me out of my comfort zone and brings me into present- it is the opportunity to savor and enjoy life as it’s unfolding. It separates me from the agenda that is conformity and creates an experience that represents all of eternity. It is in these moments that I feel most alive. They are without a time stamp -these moments deepen the perspective of relativity. And confirm the reality that life is happening all over that planet- and you are only relevant, only important, only as connected, complete and whole as you choose to show up. And these
moments are what life is all about.

 

The more I dive into my yoga practice, the more I learn- about love, about life, about spirituality – the more I learn to let go, the more able I am accept and adapt to all facets of life. Yoga, my friends, has very little to with the shape of your body- and everything to do with the vibrance of your soul….

Yoga -surf -travel – and not in any particular order have shaped me more than anything else (with the exception  of my wonderful goddess of a mom of course)

These 3 things also have also been especially relevant to different phases of my life.

Travel
When I was young the wanderlust was infused into my being. I spent quite a bit of time with my mom (and/or/solo/brother) on the road; headed out to nature- new campsites, fun adventures to hike mountains or across continents to the ghettos of Brazil and Mexico to learn about others, and the value of service and loving one another. Receiving the gift of perspective and learning that barriers are man made and we are all inherently the same.

Surfing.

Surfing has been the newest adventure – Its a passion I have learned later in life but has no doubt profoundly affected my plight of my existence on this planet. It is unquestionably the single most task I have dedicated my time to over the last 3 years. Honestly, as soon as I found a surfboard everything else took a back seat and I’ve genuinely not spend too much time doing anything but chasing waves and warm water since then ….Knowing the ocean and waves have such a consuming effect on me Im actually quite happy that I didnt find surfing Until later in life. i feel confident in saying I would not have done the amazing things I have done, had I grown up with the ability to surf. The ocean has always been a constant in my life, the salt is in my blood but a powerful love affair with waves is fresh. It’s crazy actually how everything works our just the way it’s supposed to, and Im so grateful for all the landlocked experience, that lead me to the salty sea, that have lead me to here (which is currently the Tijuana airport waiting for a red eye to Guatemala ) which has become a palatial lake side estate perched aside lake afilan. Before all this tho, the love of surf…

 

Around June I realized the tropical jungle daze and salty Central American adventure had to be put on the shelf for a bit. It was time to come back to San Diego to explore my own landscape: the wild universe of my dreams. It was time To create more magic, to get grounded and rooted, to reconnect to self. Although returning has brought so many challenges my simple minded self didn’t anticipate, after quite a bit of stubborn resistance I am now accepting. I’m learning being grounded does not mean stuck. It simply means growing deeper roots to grow a bigger tree to spread my love as far and wide as possible, all while staying connect to the nurturing earth, but allowing the wind to float the seeds where it may. My time is San Diego is a wonderful opportunity to feel safe and secure. To manifest and plan ways to finance this wanderlust, this gypsy mermaid lifestyle. Cause wether I like money or not, seashells I love to discover I the sand are not a currency that will pay for my dreams.

On a side note and the more I think about the period of my life ( Los Angeles living) where none of those things 3 things were present, I realize that was quite possible, the most shallow and empty times of my life. That’s not to say I wasnt growing or learning, I just perhaps wasn’t fully present. And I believe whole heartedly that time period, that pain, that lack of substance or depth despite the excessivess of “things” needed to happen in order to be here today, it’s just an interesting realization to come to in Hindsight. I doesn’t negate how grateful I am for that time, just like all the others…

Getting back on track-
let’s talk about yoga-
Yoga which is most dominant in my life right now is a teacher of so many things. When I began to learn about yoga philosophy it shifted the paradigm through which I see the world and how I experience life. It opened up Pandora’s box to vast exsistence I was unaware of. It compliments my already positive disposition by teaching this….
Yoga philosophy is magic- it says that everything is good. People are good, experiences are good, pain is good because in traversing all of these things you become the best version yourself. And all of these things the highs and lows have to be present in order for you to learn and expand and experience bliss. Even the bad is good- because it is. Experience can be neutral. Yoga encourages you to be a witness. Feel every moment as fresh and new and it allows life to be as tender. so perfect. Full of abundance and oozing with gratitude. I don’t mean yo dumb it down. But it really can be that simple. If you are looking for some books that share this info 2 of my faves are Bringing yoga to life by Donna Farhi. And The Yama and Niyama book by Deborah Adele. These two pieces of literature take yoga practices that you may have seen as peculiar or outdated and apply to our lives right here in the 21st Century. The qualities it teaches of how to live the largest life available are something that are times. I mean really, who doesn’t want to experience a life with as much joy and as little suffering as possible.

So that brings me back to now. My skin is no longer brown. I’m slightly sunkissed at best. And When the waves at home are good. They are FIRE. Like 4-5 straight days of pumping barrels, but the air is crispy, the water is cold, the tan lines form around the cozy edges of a wetsuit. And then, the swell passes and magic mother ocean goes flat. Knee highs waves, singles fins, and wavestoms. After the spoils of the tropics Im still challenged to percolate enough stoke to charge early mornings with booties or frozen toe nugglets. For a girl who believes life is better in a bikini, or naked at that, all this necessary neoprene is a serious task. I’m learning though, my need for the ocean is greater than my distaste of the cold. Im also learning however, the beauty of balance and less surfing is an opportunity to dive into other things that feed my soul. Perhaps this is the universe telling me balance is possible as she gently grabs my hand and leads me into an energetic, spiritual and physical place where I can surf, travel, do yoga, teach yoga and profit from it all at once. I know Nicaragua is not far away. And when the times comes it where I will be.

Patience. Trust. Surrender.
I’ve got some exciting business (surf-yoga-service retreats) and some bi-country living in the works.
Although leaving Costa Rica felt devastating at the time. I’m now able to see it was necessary. All the growth I went there to do was done. And it was time to return.

And so I will let the winds blow me south again. Even if it’s just for a short while. My heart feels excited for the adventures Guatemala continues to offer. For me on this trip no waves. A little bit of yoga. But mostly a gypsy soul in search of the unknown – traveling to new countries, with artisan food, deep culture and beauty that extends beyond the visible eye.

 

Ultimately the lessons from the ocean, the breath and traveling the planet have all been the same, they have just come about in different ways. These lessons confirm my belief in benefit of living beyond our fears. That there in fact a plan a greater matrix working beyond our control- but we have to show up. Buy the plane ticket, paddle out, sit still in nature- whatever “it” is to you that brings your right smack into the center of it all.

In my modest experience I have learned to follow my heart, stay humble, practice gratitude and live with love. lifeand from here life continue to reward me for being willing enough to take the risk, to embrace the challenges and live the life I dream.
With all my salty and sunkissed love
we’ll chat soon 🙂 complete story on Guatemala travels will be up next week!

xo
The mermaid.

Buddhist Monks, Boxing Classes & Babes

A trifecta of sorts.

Yep:) it’s been quite the week or two..

Writing stories is always a wonderful opportunity to re examine all I have to be grateful for-

So check it out,  I believe in lots of things:)

like fairies and rainbows, mermaids and unicorns

-Believe it or not actually been to the place where the unicorns arrive at the salty sea and enter the ocean and become mermaids for a while- I’ve also sat on the thumbnail moon as she floats in the sky and let my legs dangle over the edge but that is a whole different story to tell 😘😘(and no. in case your wondering acid is not a part of my diet)…I’m high on life 🙂 🙂 🙂 and maybe a bit weird, but life is short, fantasies are fun, and weird is never ever boring. If I dare invite you to walk with me on the wild side, you’ll like it – my only warning is that your face might hurt from nonstop giggles and smiles.

But Back to beliefs. Nothing written in stone, just practicing things I have learned along the way- Defining things that dictate how i live my life- my own personal truths of sorts.

I believe we all are here because we have a story to tell, lessons to learn, love to give and wounds to heal. It has been a big week spanning the spectrum of experience. It’s cool how life comes at you if you stay open. I’m no longer staying in a close minded space or entertaining the idea of feeling “stuck” here- Ive come back around and am open to receiving the opportunities to get grounded, connected and enjoying the blessing of a space to manifest and create- feeling stuck is only a matter of attitude, not a physical manifestation. My life in California has begun to unfold in the absolute perfection of something only in proper alignment with the flow of nature could reveal…
Whew.

Here it goes.
Building on this idea of “perfection” that i was talking about last time. The power of the mind is strong and where you focus your energy your life with follow. This has rang true in my life over and over again- and I’m sure if you create an awareness of your thought and patterns you will see a similar flow in yours. The power of positivity might sound annoying- oh but it’s so real. And SO juicy good—

As I feel the need for a softened heart- I also feel a calling to harden the muscles. Not being able to surf 4 hours every day has left me with an appetite for more fitness and a desire to return to a boxing/kickboxing routine.

After my healing journey and blessing with The llama-
yes- i was fortunate enough to spend some time in the presence of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk who chanted mantras, rang bells, lit incense and preformed a sacred ritual using figurative sparkly effervescent light which he then wrapped up in robes and sent off any negative energy to far away place where it can no longer reach me. Powerful to say the least. Although it may sound far out there to you, it seems to me that any opportunity for growth and healing is worth experiencing- isn’t that what is life about anyways?

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Also being a yoga teacher and reiki practitioner, this was a chance I couldn’t turn down and anyone who had ever had/received energy or body work knows what a wildly powerful exchange this is…

After leaving the monk I found myself drawn to return a distant yet familiar place. The gym of a friend and who I believe to be a legend. Higley fit. Alex Higley is a local man, professional fighter and creature of love, light and positivity. His passion for life and commitment to share his dream is contagious and super uplifting. Often a gym or fitness class can be intimidating, but I would recommend trying out Higley fit to anyone who has boxed for years or is new to the sport. Check out his craft at http://www.higleyfit.com

From there the good vibes ensued, and of course, within the next few days after stopping in to say hey, I found myself w my gloves back on and elbows deep in the bag and mits. Smiling and sweating and stoked to surrounded by other people with the same positive attitude.

Part three of this trifecta is where the babes come into play. Traveling has shaped me beyond most other influences in my life. Not only the places you get to see, but the magical beings you meet along the way. Something special happens when you step outside your comfort zone and Into the wild vast unknown. I met Maya in Costa Rica, but I have known her for millions of years-she has recently returned to the states for a bit and was on a cosmic adventure to Cali:) Being mermaids and lovers of all things it was only natural to host her in my home. Surfing and andventures with the ladies is always rad. Sharing love and light, and stories of adventures and heartbreak and waves never gets old. I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again, life about accumulating moments that make your soul sing- and time with mermaid friends and wine and waves is certainly that. Maya Luna love has since left and our lives continue to journey on…

And that’s really all it is. A journey. Not a destination, but appreciating all we have in any given moment and the joy that comes from simply being alive and well… as I posted on my IG yesterday y-

“These flesh suits we wear sure can be deceiving. The universe keeps sending me angels all dressed up a humans. From the grind of LAX, to the grind at the coffee machine at Frazier Farms, to the grind of waves at the beach, and all the way back to my heart with a good old fashioned phone call with a cosmic friend living on the other side of the globe- Authenticity- inspiration- and love. Give love. be love and witness and experience the opening of portals unimaginable by a limited heart or mind. Stay open my friends 🙂 Do not find excuses to shut down or close off- we are all so very connected. The energy and pure love that has come my way in the last 12 hours is mind blowing, humbling and magically beautiful:)✨ Unlimited amounts of love and bliss are everywhere- in the depths of the seas, the space of the galaxies, the vast eternity of every moment- of every sunset- of these magical October skies.
Live with love
Pura Vida.”

salty and sunkissed besos-
Katie

 

Mermaids and dolphins 🐬☀️💦💙

 

Mermaids and dolphins.🐬🐚🐚🐙🐙

Gratitude and Abundance.

🙂

Pay attention to the words you use and the thoughts you think, these are things that dictate the happiness and love in your life and energy that exude. These are things you have control over. Do you choose to react when something doesn’t go your way? Or perhaps you may want to seek out tools that allow you to pause, and respond instead?

One of my favorite sayings, is…

“Let go…Or be dragged”

A beautiful simple truth. Remiding us to go with the flow, be easy and trust that things always work out the ways they should- even if we can’t see this at the time.

As I move about on this Gypsy trail I find it very hard to stay inspired when confined to the normalcy of routine…

Its quite suffocating actually-

Crazy right?😳😛

But, to each his own.

We all have different talents and bring different gifts to this world, so the point is to find what makes your heart sing and do nothing but that. For me, organized chaos, as some call it, the unknown, the unregulated, forever in motion, yet still, and free to roam is the space I thrive

The more time I spend in Costa the more I am able to love, delight in the nature, connect with others, surf, teach yoga and share reiki…💕🌱🌎🌊🌈✨

Everyday here I become a bit more grounded, rooted, expansive, in tune with the pace of nature and the vibrations of love and life.

Yesterday was epic, a day off of work, because I was moving, turned into a perfectly magical day of all things salty and sunkissed.

Point being yesterday, I mixed it up a bit, and universe unfolded a flawless day.

So I was supposed to move, and that would have been the “responsible” thing to do, however, I’m a believer of going with the flow…. Its not everyday you are invited on a fishing adventure, and the reality is that, all my things will still be waiting there to be moved at the end of the day, and opportunity to play in the ocean would have passed…

Morning starts beach side in Garza, 7 am, air is fresh sun in shining, pineapples and rum in hand, hangover lingering…..

None the less, face is smiling, heart is full.

We cruise out on the boat and immediately start catching black fin tuna as bait fish.

🎣🐟Cool=)

There is a certain peace, a silence, a stillness, despite movement all around, about being on a boat in the ocean. The horizon is infinite and the clarity that presents itself with the gentl lull of the waves and the kiss of the breeze, is actually quite hard to describe, possibly one of those things you can only feel…

We then head out a bit deeper and the fishes are abundance and generous with their lives. We get some Yellowfin, and Pargos. The energy of the day is mellow, and happy. Bellies at this point are starting to get hungry and the guys begin to filet the fish with impressive skill and perscison. We then eat sashimi.

Que Rico 😋

When it comes to food and going to the source I don’t believe it gets any better than this. I am humbled by the gifts of the ocean, of breath, of life. And really freaking stoked cause fresh yellowfin is well, like heaven.

A few more fish find their way onto hooks, and the guys grill it up and we grub on the best tuna sandwich I have ever had in my life. Time for nap # 2, I crawl onto the bow of the boat, and rest as the motor hums and the waves splash with the sweet sounds of a mermaids lullaby. The captain is headed out west as the guys are ready to “graduate” from tuna in search of a sail fish.

Alas, after trolling for a while the sail fish remained elusive. I wake up from the sleep and climb up the tower on top of the boat and chill with the captain enjoying a birds eye view of the magical sea. We talk about life and families, we see flying fish, manta rays, all kinds of super sweet birds, and then after a few radio calls, we take off fast….

On the horizon a large group of animals are breaching, splashing, swimming. At first I think its blue fin tuna, cause that’s how they move, so magical- glistening, circling, wild…

If you have not had the opportunity to see tuna (or dolphins) might I recommend doing so… any animal moving about un caged, in their element is a enlightening experience… but upon a second look, and the captains re- assurance, these are not in fact tuna, but thousands of spinner dolphins. He tells me if I go down and lay on the bow they will be below me. Without hesitation, I go and do just that. Although I have had the opportunity to enjoy dolphins similar to this in San Diego, I have never seen the spinners, extra playful, extra amazing.

For the next 30 minutes or so I am enchanted, in awe, transfixed, speechless, aside from the pure whole hearted giggles, I am in a moment of all things love and pure.… What magical bliss. Uninterrupted joy. I love dolphins, and as they swam, danced, sang with the movement of the boat, I feel happy, amongst friends and in my element. My outstretched fingers just inches from their bodies… my face being splashed with the release of every breath with saltwater from their blow holes. I swear a few of them even go as far as looking up to me, so say, hello miss mermaid, we see you…

And then, as quickly as they arrived. They are gone. But I am not sad. I am at a perfect peace. My face is smiling, my soul- calm. The sun continues to sparkle off the vast blue sea, so many shades of blue the mind feels drunk with its magnificent hughes… As the boat cuts through the ocean I am hypnotized by the foam splashing around the bow, the sun catches every droplet creating magical saltwater sparkles.

I believe in magic, I believe in love. Moments like this are reminders, that although there is much hate, and much suffering, there is also beauty.

It is living and breathing and up to us to recognize it and celebrate it. With an open mind, an open heart, the right attitude of humility, gratitude and abundance the ordinary truly becomes extraordinary.

From here the day continues on with ease… Three quad trips to and from, a glass of wine at the new pad in between trips, and I have relocated “all” my stuff. By “all” I mean, a surfboard, bikinis, clothes, a few books, a yoga mat and some shower produts… =)

Now, since I chose not pack properly my belongings have exploded… haha and my room looks like a rainbow barfed (my new house mate commented on what vibrant colors the mound of things on my bed contained.) Quite the compliment if you ask me. Vibrant is good. Real good…

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🤦🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️💕

But if a mound of stuff and a messy room is the worst part of my day I feel confident that it was a damn good day, there are things in life that really matter, and it seems that this cluster of unorganized things is not one of them.

I enjoy delightful company at the new digs snuggled beach side in the jungle, lights strewn across the yard, surfboards resting near by, the smell of sweet sensi floats throughout the air, love is being shared and all is well….

Everywhere on the planet, there are happy and sad things happening everyday. Hearts break, people fall in love. Nothing is perfect, but it is up to us to see these imperfections, the pain, the sorrow as part of the journey and as an opportunity, to love harder, deeper, to grow and expand. I am grateful. Oh so grateful for this day and this life and all that is….

Lots of other cool shit going on in life, waterfalls, love, waves (epic waves.. maybe the best of my life in my short time surfing on a board), a new ukulele, karaoke to spice girls,  days at the gelato shop, reiki, yoga, a magical merman descending from the stars and captivating my heart… but not finding time, or inspiration to write those moments have passed.

I was able to recently share a beautiful week teaching yoga with a few magic ladies on the Mad To Live Retreats. You can check out their stories about adventures in Costa Rica and their lives abroad on a the Mad To Live Retreat blog at http://www.madtoliveblog.com or on Carly’s at http://www.carlyrowena.com. These women are a spectacular inspiration and an example of people on this planet living and thriving. Truly explifiying what it is to be in love with life and Mad to Live.

Always more stories to come…

Always more love to share…❤️

Your salty and sunkissed Mermaid,

Katie💕🌸🦄🌞