RETREAT TIME! SO TREAT YO SELF

 

Hi Sweet humans!

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

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

surf-el-salvador-retreats-travel-central-america-yoga

Join us in El Salvador!!

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

Pricing:

**EARLY BIRD SPECIAL – Before End of Year 2019

Cost per person:

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

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

After Jan 1 2020

Cost per person:

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

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

PAYMENT TO BE MADE IN FULL BY APRIL 4TH

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Trip Includes:

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

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*Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase 

*Additional add on’s:

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

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

 

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