To those who like to wander…

To those who like to wander,

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

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

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

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

With love,

Someone who understand your wild urges

 

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Nicaraguan Spring 2019

 

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

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

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

Here it goes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOñaCAr

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

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

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

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

Love and Light from me to you, Namaste

Katie Mermaid.

Honor Yourself

Honor Yourself

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

Know that you are okay.

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

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

Honor yourself in this space.

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

Close your eyes and gently inhale into the mystery.

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

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

Humaness.

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

Who am I?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Speak to me only with your eyes…

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shunryu Suzuki

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be well my friends. Be kind, Be love.

xo

Mermaid

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

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

 

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