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 

Honor Yourself

Honor Yourself

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

Know that you are okay.

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

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

Honor yourself in this space.

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

Close your eyes and gently inhale into the mystery.

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

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

Humaness.

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

Who am I?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Speak to me only with your eyes…

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shunryu Suzuki

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be well my friends. Be kind, Be love.

xo

Mermaid

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

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

 

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.

 

Yoga-Life-Water-Love

Yoga- Life- Water- Love

My heart is bursting with gratitude. Like the way lava lurches from within a volcano and devours everything in its path. Completely consuming and changing life as it moves towards the sea – love flows from me in this very same way. It is subtle, but it is a mighty an undeniable force to any who witnesses it’s movement. The seeds you cultivate and water in your life become the jungle that grows around you. Its simple in theory but life brings all kinds of challenges, and my yoga practice has taught me that that practice is indeed the reward, and we are undoubtedly mirrors of those around us. 

No matter the day I am having- time with self, in yoga practice, in meditation, silently dancing with the great expanse of everything, always resets my heart and mind. Yesterday, after a morning of great coffee talk, and inspiring creative brainstorming, I headed off to serve tables (and share smiles) at the restaurant. Days of waiting on people hand and foot can be rewarding but also an “energy suck” and after such a super charged AM of “big dream” stuff, that became a day of “work” I was feeling depleted, a bit unrewarded and in need of tapping back into  the sweet vast source self. The 5:30 pm class at YO (Yoga Oceanside) with amazing teacher the amazing teacher, and friend, Rick Worthington always ends in happy fuzzy yoga bliss. Come join us if you are in town! http://www.Yogaoceanside.com =)

So.

I am a woman with dreams and ambition. My wild heart calls me to rouge parts of the world, and although it may not be the most “safe or secure” path of life, I can not turn off the call of the winds that lure me to Nicaraguan Tropical Paradise. Its a simple life I crave, but in creating this vision, first I get to put in a lot of work. I am building Surf House Nicaragua http://www.surfhousenicaragua.com (check it out, just a basic page now, but so much more to come)  through this Boutique Surf style Accommodation I am creating   a community to spread the seeds of love (from my tribe here in oceanside) to people and travelers across the globe. 

For now, and a temporary now, I’m living in my hometown Oceanside, CA. I work at the   a super fun spot called Local Tap House (which I do love) but it’s not my passion or how I want to live my life long term. I am also blessed enough to teach yoga and give reiki in the amazing Yoga Oceanside yoga studio. 

 

For the last few days my friend Caroline has been in town visiting me.  She is a boss babe, full of fire, passion, ideas and an work ethic second to none. Her thought process I so different than mine and she only challenges me to think about things from a different avenue than my natural thought process; not to change my way of thinking, but to simply expand my mind to consider other possibilities.

In our relationship, being the yoga teacher and energy healer, I am the “yogini” but her ability to understand this power of mind makes her a yogini in so many ways she doesn’t even know. One of my favorite yoga quotes that I teach often in class  is this “As the mind so the man – if you believe you are bound you are bound, if you believe you are free you are free” Its a quote from Patajanli’s Yoga Sutras a book loaded with all kind of amazing esoteric wisdoms. Its a great read even if you don’t have a physical asana practice i’d recommend gibing it a read.

 My point to this story is I have gotten comfortable, “bound” perhaps, to limiting thought and beliefs about how and when I can make my dreams happen- and as I write and reflect I’m becoming aware that maybe thats  the reason I’ve been feeling stuck. I’ve adopted a routine for the first time in my  life, and it’s a beautiful routine, but Im  now feeling it’s time to shake it up.  In life we go back and forth from protection mode to growth mode. From times of getting grounded and rooted, (feeling safe and secure) to times of radical growth and change. When I returned home from living in Costa Rica, a year ago today, I was in big need of this nurturing, I had massive emotional healing to do and was in need of finding stability and happiness within in myself. So this “groove” here been 100% necessary and everything I’ve needed for the past 12 months but its not the place I can stay if I want to live the biggest, and most vibrant version of my life. It’s perfect for right now, but that’s no excuse to get complacent. If you have dreams, that have found their way in to the back ground maybe it’s time to shift all your energy into these dreams, manifest them and create and work them into fruition. Or maybe for you its time to slow it down a bit and continue to water them and wait for them to grow- either way having awareness around this cycle and process makes you a powerful being. 

This awareness leads me to a  big lesson that continues to present its self to me in big and small ways. Im a believer that is that life is about learning to wait. This “wait” I’m refering to is not sitting back and doing nothing. It’s embracing the pause or grounding phase of life that has to happen in order for things to grow.  When we slow down long enough and listen to the space between what we thing we know, that is where the answers are revealed. Jimi Hendrix said “knowledge speaks but wisdom listens.”  To me this quote implies that to arrive at wisdom we need to slow down, turn off our own ideas and truly hear whats being said by those around us, and to our self within.

Turing my attention to my root chakra has been not so glamorous, but where I lacked in “glamor” it has made up for in power, and connection to source. Growing deeps roots creates the foundation for a sustainable and fulfilling life. As I started writing this last night I  realized that today is my year anniversary from moving home from Costa Rica. (a place where I was lusciously, flippantly and superfluously living in my heart space, which is a good place to be as long as proper roots have been grown, which they hadn’t which is maybe why the tree fell (me) the way it did- but it was what was needed to happen for the seeds to spread and grow as they have… Ah, the joys of trusting and surrendering, embracing what comes our way as opposed to what we think we know or want. Ive said it many time but heart break is a fucker. But I am only greatful for the deeply satisfying lessons I have learned  as a result. As I reflect on how much my heart  has softened, but also my soul empowered, and the growth that I have traversed in the last year, it’s incredible. We as human beings are capable of great feats, physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. Everything I wanted to happen continues to. Maybe not the exact way I’ve imagined, and not to say Ive gotten everything I “wanted”. But life unfolds everything we need. When you are able to get specific about what you want and let go of how it comes about, it always, always always comes. This is where he power of a yoga practice becomes the best tool. I can only speak from my own experience but my yoga practice is the reward. Despite the ups and downs this last year has contained my Yoga practice has given me tools  to know that everything is not just okay, but perfect, even when its not. Life isn’t happening to me its happening for me. And although the jungles and in a bikini is where I want to be, and where I will be, through a devoted practice I have arrived in a place of the sweetest contentment within myself regardless of life’s external circumstances. Not to mention, a life here in San Diego cocooned by so much sweet sweet love is blissful. To keep it all in perspective if surfing in a wet suit is the worst part of my its really not so bad hey?

Life is cyclical indeed. So this positive, unattached, loving, humble, vulnerable, open free life style and mindset  does not deny or negate that bad things can and do happen, it’s just a shield, or tool, to constantly remind me to stay in the present, to let go, to trust and surrender to forces beyond my control. It is a knowing that  sun sets, and it gets dark, but then the sun rises and it is light again (not to mention the magic of the moon while the sun is away). This way of living to protects me from unnecessary struggle that could lead to drowning in the same currents that float and pull me safety. We can let go or be dragged. We can work hard for what we want, as I have, but in this hard work and of following my dreams am in constant flux, remembering to stay fluid, and let things happen as they should- finding a perfect balance between working your ass off, and going with the flow. (Of being in that place right where the tide changes, it goes from a dead low beings to push in, the winds switch offshore, and what looked like shitting conditions, transform into an epic session of pumping waves.) Sorry… haha, couldn’t got a whole explanation of life and love without some kind of ocean reference, default I suppose of being a mermaid =) Anywho, Letting go of what we think we know, and accepting what is, this is  Aparigraha. Aparigraha is a yoga philosophy that teaches abundance and recognizing the blessings off all things the come our way. Embracing its wisdom has saved me many many headaches, and soothed many heartaches in reassuring me that despite external circumstances that everything is going to be fine, and in clinging to an outcome I desire and not accepting what is only causes more suffering.

As Im nearing the completion of my 31st trip around the sun I feel so grateful, so empowered and so excited to share with you the secret powers of a yoga practice that I have been fortunate enough to receive. None of these wisdoms are my own.  Im am however a believer in myself. My wild passion and free spirit are viscously infectious, and as I get to know myself more everyday I I feel more honored to share my stories and my sparkle with you. 

I’ve got a few poetry books I hope to be publishing soon full of inspiration and yogic wisdoms and short prose about nature, travel, and love. Some beach cleans ups in the works and if you follow me and my merbabes at the _mermaidmafia_  on intsagram and FB we are always filling your days with positive ideas about how to live a more mindful eco conscious life.  Also always promoting, check out Avasol. They are skin safe, reef safe sun protection product and Avasol is a company I endorse who heartily.

As for my big dream, my big vision – Surf House Nicaragua is reaching its dawn. Its a bit scary, but I’m stoked for the adventure into business ownership and the opportunity to create something that has a positive lasting impact. Any one who has ever watched the sunrise knows what a moment of great magic this is. 

In addition to building an epic space to host travelers and share my love of yoga and surf, In the next year I will also be hosting a Yoga and Surf and Volunteer adventure to a tropical Latin paradise not far from here… Hope you can join me =) =)

I am a woman on fire, inspired, in love with my self, with life and engaged in this magic mystery as it unfolding all around. I can only thank the people closest to me who continually uplift me, guide me, love the heck out of me, remind the importance of following your dreams and teach me to live a full vibrant life.

So many blessings and so much love-

The mermaid.

Surf House Nicaragua When dreams become reality 😍

Traveling is one of those things- you can never know what to expect. I suppose this can apply to life in general- but specifically when you travel. The possibility of what can happen when you are away from home, not in normal routines, on the road, is exciting to me. I like the unknown- I feel so comfortable moving about- it’s weird. I almost feel more uneasy when I’m only in one place for too long. I find the growth and insight that comes from constant change is profound. For me, it seems that maybe the secret is finding consistencies- routines- normalities- within the change. By this I mean, findings constants, the things that keep you grounded and secure, within the comforts of your own (magical, divine) self. I am always pretty stoked to spend time with myself. I can only speak from personal experience but the allure of the unknown, of the potential challenges, what I learn from new people, places, things, is what drives me to move, to expand, to create and to love. At this point in my trip (which is now the end- haha since it took me a month to finish writing anything) I’ve been all over the place. Costa Rica to Nicaragua, Nicaragua to El Salvador, El Salvador to Nicaragua, Nicaragua to Costa Rica, and currently back in Nicaragua. And lots of cities in between. Playa Grande, Liberia, Asseradores, Managua, La Flores, La Libertad, Puerto Sandino, Leon, Playa Negra, Nosara, Garza, and at this particular moment I’m in laying in my bed in a hotel room in Granada thinking how silly it is that I haven’t wrote yet. Although I do use my social media to share, it’s not the best avenue to actually tell stories- and I believe it’s our stories that tie us together. These stories allow us to realize that we are all human beings with the same basic need of food and shelter- to love and be loved. We are citizens of planet earth and that is why it is so very important to be kind and spread love to one another.

**Quick disclaimer- now that I’m reading all this after a month of non publishing it’s eh- average, but I wrote it, so here you go. Hope you at least enjoy the pictures:)

 

Up until this point I’ve taken a hiatus on finishing this blog (twice) and have spent a day and a half in the town of my future home, could 9 is floating all around. (Yes- one more writing break to come before I actually finally finish this story, but it’s hard to be inspired to write on my cell phone especially, when I can lay in a hammock and watch nature and be endlessly entertained- clouds and animales, trees and waves… absolute uninterrupted stoke)
So I’m dreaming. But I’m not. And it’s bliss. I’d found myself speechless with a silly smile plastered to my face, and for those of you who know me, the smile is normal. But speechless, haha- pretty special moment in my life. Ive never been so excited for so much hard work. Yes rad- to find something you are passionate about sharing and want to do nothing but enjoy the path of that dream. I can’t help but feel excited and inspired by everything around….

And then haha- took another hiatus from finishing this story yet again, cause life continues to happen and the “distractions” of nature and waves and naps has been keeping me busy- still (was, until this morning) in this same town, still in love with everything I see in front of me, but just a few days away from finishing up this month long adventure..

Let’s rewind a bit. I started this trip In Costa Rica-

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because sometimes I don’t know what the heck I’m doing and let’s be real- i didn’t plan this one well at all… all part of the journey. Se la vie. And when you have no specific “plans” you go with what you know- so I flew into Costa Rica. Less than 24 hours later, a quick trip to and from the beach at playa grande, a random encounter with a friend of a friend of a friend in and from Costa Rica (yes it’s a small world), and back to Liberia I go. So back in libera I’m pumped to head north, buss ticket in hand, El Salvador bound, via Nicaragua…

 


But In Liberia is where I stay, holding true to the idea of is something can happen it will, even if you actually properly planned (and for once I did). Well the bus never came. Prepaid ticket in my pocket, i waited for that damn buss for 3 hours. Long story short, I caught a cheap cab to the border scooped up some Imperials on the way and wondered what the heck am I doing from here. As I’m walking across the boarder from Costa Rica to Nicaragua I hear a voice holler at the back of my head “katie! Is that you?!?”

 


Ha. Yes only me. And from here the long way home continues. I took at ride with my friend 4 hours out of the way north and 4 hours all the way back south to Managua the very next morning. Being a “yes” girl gets me in some funny situations, but I always end up with a good story to tell. My detour oddly enough took me Into the town I’m moving to, I met some new friends, caught some waves and then continued my journey north, with another 12 hour travel day Into El Salvador.

El Salvador-
What a beautiful country. Everyday we have choices to make. And if I listened to the things people said to do, to play it safe, my life, I feel would be boring, unsatisfying, and average. I believe I am not here to be average. I’ve been here before, I’ve learned some things and it’s my role is this life time to share this inspiration, this passion to live life fully, with others. Code orange. Says the president. Code love says Katie. El Salvador is a little bit sketchy, but at no point did I ever feel unsafe. I planned a week Tour with a rad company based out of LA called AST. First stop in El Sal, was the location at the “east” of the county called Las Flores. Anywhere the jungle meets the sea is absolute perfection for my salty soul. Add in a Birdseye view of a fun playful right hand point break- Cherry on top:) Oddly enough, El Salvador is a country on the pacific coast of the americas that actually faces East. So every morning the fiery blood red sun levitated into the still, calm sky. Absolute Bliss.

 

I’ve got a whole blog on AST coming up next, but go visit these people:) I then stayed at their Punta Roca location. The hotel is perched on the edge of another epic right hand point break, I saw some waterfalls, ate delicious food and I am hoping to be hosting a surf and yoga adventure here next year!:)

From El Salvador. I go back to Nicaragua. In addition to my life being a gypsy trail of places it is also a wild journey of love and heartbreak. If you follow my shenanigans, you know my transparency about feeling the feels, loving hard and my practice (of yoga, a practice goes much deeper than the physical poses) – it’s trusting, surrendering and learning to let go of things that no longer serve you. This part of the path is sweet. A love story, tender and pure, it’s softens me to the edges of everything.

 

I found my way back (to an epic little reef in central Nicaragua) and really, the important part, into the arms of a man, (the vibrations of a soul) I have loved for millions of years. I do believe we are from the same star. And although our time together always seems short, I’m learning with this kind of love there is no hurry. And I’m also learning the graciousness and humility and peace that comes with acceptance of things as they are, regardless of how you want them to be. My soul needed to see him and touch him after 10 months of “exile” from one another, it felt like…
One of those things, that’s leaves you staring up at the stars for hours in comple awe of things you can’t explain, and this is one of those things- I don’t have words to explain…and maybe it would cheapen it it if I did. I feel at peace to know one way or another he and I have reconnected. AND to know all the wonderful things I feel in my heart, despite our physical distance we had- are true.

From here pura vida time:)
Yew!!!
Oh how I love Costa Rica. I can’t afford it. But having so many magical souls there I get to call my friends, and so many fun fun waves to surf- no price tag can keep me away indefinitely.

 

So I crossed the boarder (again) and rented a car this time right at the border. Epic. If you travel to Costa Rica and find yourself on not too tight of a budget- I would recommend this entirely. So easy. Almost felt too easy. This simple process sure beats busses and dragging around my stuff (surf board bag included.) My heart and soul are pleased to the heavens with my decision to splurge a bit. Fuck it, it’s just money right? I love Costa Rica road trips. Well, any road trip for that matter, but especially ones through the wandering, winding roads of this magical place- something special, particularly reflective, healing, and wonderful always happens to me as I move… especially solo, especially in this part of the world. First stop. Playa negra- good friends- bright shining love friends, always bringing me the best little unassuming moments and conversations. Moments that fill my soul, that make life worth living. These are the times I live for, connection to others. I believe it’s one of the things we are all really searching for. I’m so grateful to have this “home” my body, my soul, that I get to move about in and with all across the globe and connect to others. The very best way to experience life is through the lens of your true authentic self. I spent the next morning surfing a secret spot, an outer reef tucked somewhere in northern Costa Rica. Then having coffee, doing jungle yoga, and enjoying the company with one of the most generous, brilliant beautiful souls I know. Woohoo, positive vibes pumping, and off to Nosara I go. But first a poem inspired by the blessing of true friendship and a handful of morning spent like this that always seems to linger long after the moment.

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-Friendship-
Can be better described in flavors…
Like Morning coffee talk.
The sweet organic taste of
::Fresh roasted smiles::
Straight from the mountains
And into my heart.
Porch hangs.
Chats about love and life.
-All positive everything-
Time well spent
Doing nothing but indulging.
In our stories, in our dreams.
Sharing our secrets with the trees.
Laughing like wind
Celebrating this simple bliss.

 

Nosara.
Welcome home.
I never realized what beautiful words these are to hear. It’s weird to you go back to place where your heart broke, and you haven’t been since. But it’s also powerful to be able to return to that place and be reminded of those emotions that used to be so painful…and no longer feel pain. I have done so much self work since I left this place broken hearted and broke- its wonderful to come back and to be in such a positive, grounded, inspired, loving physical, mental and emotional space. I am now able to greet these feelings with nothing but peace and gratitude for the growth and lessons they have given me. I encourage you to not let life not make you bitter. I instead encourage you to stay humble and try to receive the high and lows as they come, search for the blessings. Embrace the sweet mystic joy of life in its entirety. The journey is indeed, the destination. Final stop….

Northern Nicaragua.
Asseradores. Santa Maria Del Mar
Surf House Nicaragua.

From Costa Rica back to Nicaragua I go and finally to spend some time in the place I get to call my home. Oh man, smiling heart shaped eye emoji. It’s perfect here. Perfect is relative. But it’s perfect to me. As David Henry Thoreau so nicely put it-

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

And I see beauty all around. It’s amazing actually, I’ve been here just a little over a week- and even though time moves slow here, in the best kind of way, it seems like so much has happened. For this part of the journey I randomly scooped up an Aussie friend of a friend on the way, and for a woman who loves to go
solo, having a side kick to share this huge week of my life with was a very special gift.

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Did I mention I bought property in Nicaragua?… No big deal. Holy everything… Non stop, puppy wiggles, super happy, stoke fest, little kid on Christmas kind of dance party…
But first- Waves, nature, conversation, and latin men, just a few of my favorite things:) Then there was Saturday. Saturday was super special. I went on a beach walk- into the black sparkly sand and past all the broke down palaces lining the palm tree shores. I saw a mama and baby horse grazing in an abandoned yard.
Then as I continued on to the beach two more beautiful wild horse crashed through the jungle trees and paused to look at me from afar. They proceeded in my direction and joined me for several minutes and we wandered down the sand and through the waves together. It was magic- so pure. The most raw level of energies, horses and human, nature and human- finding a place together on a secluded beach in Northern Nicaragua. Something happens when you slow down enough to receive and witness the miracle of life coexisting, breathing and thriving as one. The flocks of birds living in the trees graciously celebrating and announcing every sunrise and sunset. The chickens, little baby chicks, and roosters roaming around the yard. Pelusa the kitten, who I’m convinced thinks he’s half dog – sleeps, plays and snuggles with religion, he loves to chase toes, frogs and spiders at night, and snuggle in my lap purring with delight.
The yellow chested birds baithing in the pool. The sweet gimpy puppy who adopts you for half the day to join you on your afternoon walk about, panting and smiling the whole way. The goats and cows gently grazing and passing the time in sweet innocence. Life here is simple. The man with his 3 daughters who lives in the beach side property and is kind enough to let us walk through their property to enter the waves. These precious little girls told me the want to learn English and I asked them If they also wanted to learn to surf. With sparkles in their eyes and giggles in their bodies they said yes. I am beyond grateful life has brought me here, to live and share, and teach. To empower and uplift and ultimately to learn as much as I get to share. Life after all is one big give and take. It’s reciprocal, cyclical and forever full of endless knowledge. From books, the sea, to the poor family living in peace, there isn’t a soul or thing from whom we cannot learn.

 

So now- my property. Daaaaannng. Boss babe things in full effect. My property is perfect. I feel so happy when I stand on it go near it and envision what a place of conversation, connection, and love it is going be. Surf House Nicaragua is a dream- my dream- that is now a reality- in the making. I’m full of humility and happiness to be living this life. Inspired. Humble. Excited and even scared. Fear is good. It’s in this space I am finding we learn and grow.

I left this magical paradise this morning and am now in Leon, feeling moderately assaulted by over stimulation of a busy city. Honking horns, loud music, cars and motos zooming by. But as the sun began to set I was naturally drawn west and made it just in time to a Euro vibe room top bar called el mirador. 🙂

 

It’s not the beach, but still special to watch the sun fade away, off shores blowing solid, sweeping the sun below the roof tops and shadowed city scapes. As my trip comes to a close it’s nice for once to actually be looking forward to going home. Every other time in the past I have felt so sad to go back to the states. This is the first time ever I have been so content with where I am, and where I am going, and where I have been. I’m stoked to work, and keep the ball rolling as I stay focused in my dreams. I guess my point for all of this, and it’s not something I’m preaching, but truly living, is to believe in yourself. And to believe in your dreams. Yoga and the breath, and my practice in mindfulness, daily intentions and positive affirmations continue to shape my life and my dreams exactly as I imagine. And when things don’t go my way, my practice allows me to accept and understand that this too is all part of the plan. So live your life my loves. And remember, keep smiling, be kind, be patient (life is about learning wait). Take your sense of humor with you every where you go, and go with love. The law of attraction is real. What you seek is seeking you, and the people crazy enough to dream the dreams are the people who actually see them come true.

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Have a beautiful day 🙂
The mermaid gypsy