| July 28, 2017 |
Oh, the beauty of Plan B. I teamed up with one of my favorite adventure buddies, Sarah, for a weekend of good ol’ Pacific Northwest explorations. We booked a yurt in Idaho, with the intention of snowshoeing and visiting an area we both had yet to visit! Since Sarah has been based out of Olympia for a while (she also has been stricken with the PNW, and can’t seem to leave, after being a travel PT for some time), she’s seen a lot of the state. So, we intended to cross somethin’ off each of our lists together.
But… Weather was looking rainy in Idaho, so Sarah and I said ixnay on the road trip. Sarah had more than enough rain in Olympia (no complaints about sunny Yakima), so we decided to flow with a new idea: Palouse Falls State Park. Sarah drove to Yakima around 10am on March 25, I handed her a quesadilla and coffee, and we piled into my Forester for an eastern Washington adventure! We had tons to catch up on, and she ignited my adventurelust with her adventurevan plans. Conversation flowed effortlessly, and the eastward drive seemed to fly by…
| July 20, 2017 |
I look at the bowl below me. It’s milky white, untouched, and vast. The intricacies of the landscape lack contrast; I merely see a surface of flowing, powdery sugar. There’s no clear path to follow, so I know I must pave my own. As I edge forward, I can feel its gravitational pull. I see the tips of my skis jut over the edge, and I release all resistance, surrendering to the blanket of snow. My poles drag beside me, as I carve into the landscape. My heart races, my legs and hips flow with my skis, and I move in sync with the varying grades. The contrast becomes clearer, and I begin sensing the variance in the landscape. I respond to each intricacy with intention. I may let out a sigh of relief, a “WAHOO” of exhilaration. Breathe in, cut right. Breathe out, cut left. Edge to edge, tip to tail. This awakens me, enlivens me.
And this? This is winter.
| April 11, 2017 |
Happy Full Moon! Today I’m reflecting on what brought me here, to the state of Washington again: all the support and love of my family and friends on the East coast, the endless development of my connection to my heart’s calling, and the power of manifestation.
My brain that was overloaded and confused (therefore “stuck,” and “attached”) finally let it go. Through some intense dark-room meditation with Alan Watts, I got real with myself. I allowed myself to proceed into the next natural step in my life, and started exploring some options. With a ton of meditation and self-reflection, I reached a state progress and clarity. It all seemed to come together so fast, yet I wasn’t overwhelmed. It all felt so natural. I was free within the confines of my mind to control my destiny.
I decided I would head back out to the Western United States to get back in touch with the mountains that had inspired me so grandly in 2016. I came to terms with my areas of weakness, and sources of attachment (to people, places, and ideas) that were detrimental to my psyche. I realized my undying enthusiasm for EVERYTHING sometimes disconnects me from my goals. And so, on January 24th, I made the well-thought-out decision to return to the state of Washington to work with children and I still had so much I wanted to learn, and knew I’d be ready for all that would open up to me back in Washington.
But first? Some more quality family time, sunshine in Florida, and big purchases.
| April 10, 2017 |
Well, now that things came together, and I’m back in Washington, I’ve started dealing with all these emotions of feeling the need to “catch up.”
Now that I understand I’m meant to be in the mountains, I have all these new dreams surfacing. Dreams of summits and multi-pitch climbs and backcountry ski routes–it’s all out there, waiting for me to explore! But, I feel so under-experienced and far away from some of these dreams. I haven’t adequately been in a rock climbing gym in some time (and there’s not one in Yakima), I’ve never done any lead climbing, I don’t have any technical skills to do mountaineering, and I don’t have skis that allow for skinning and backcountry routes…
I’m just a girl who loves the outdoors, and wants to dive into it in every possible way, and embrace all that I can learn. I can’t help it. I’m overly enthusiastic for everything outside, and overcoming any barriers to get there. I’m sitting right outside my comfort zone most of the time, and that’s where I want to be. In fact, I’ll go as far from my comfort zone as I can, thank you very much.
I have to sit quite often, close my eyes, and visualize myself feeling natural with the things I feel so uncomfortable with. I want to be confident in situations that are unpredictable, and somehow feel the mountain therapy I am pursuing is shifting my view of life and daily frustrations/struggles. I feel that, by venturing into the unknown of Mother Nature and all she encompasses, I am venturing deeper into my soul. By pushing my limits, I am connecting so profoundly with myself and the world around me.
And sometimes, this connection is so damn frustrating. I feel myself shift sometimes, when I see a photo of someone doing an activity I dream to do. I feel my brain putting limitations in my mind, telling myself that I will “never be able to reach that level.”
Bullshit, brain. Don’t feed me these obscene thoughts.
If there’s one thing I learned form Alan Watts, it’s that we are limitless. We are always expanding and growing and proceeding in our natural path.
If my natural path is the mountains, with ski touring, mountaineering, and rock climbing in my future, then I will let it proceed in this way. It will continue to unfold naturally and beautifully, and I will let go of my desires. By thinking about all the things I am NOT doing, I am not grateful for what I have accomplished. I have certainly pushed myself out of my comfort zone a good amount, and am doing so many new things (upcoming reports on snow camping, snowshoeing, and a little preview of backcountry skiing).
I don’t want to put pressure on myself. So many times, I’ve realized that I beat myself up over the little things in life (and they’re all little things). So many times, I overextend myself. I tell myself I need to do MORE MORE MORE. Well, maybe less is more. Maybe what I have right now is enough. I have the support, mountain friends, and access to the places I can play with my dreams. I can (and will) continue to grow and learn, exponentially.
Right now, I just need to be happy where I am. I’m in a place surrounded by natural beauty and mountains with three National Parks, an upcoming volcano season where I can start ski touring, and mountains that need summiting.
I love that I don’t know much about everything I dream of, because I know I can only expand more in the future.
I can’t wait to see where I am in one year. This will be fun.
The mountains are calling…
| April 6, 2017 |
I spent a good chunk of time in January laying in a dark room with ski goggles covered with cardboard on my face, excessive tearing from my eyes, and pondering the complex thoughts expressed by Alan Watts. I listened to almost 15 hours of Alan Watts’ Out of Your Mind while recovering from PRK laser eye surgery and *woah* was it awakening. The lectures were recorded in the late 1960’s in Alan Watt’s home, and the voice of the ‘self-proclaimed spiritual entertainer’ was my sole source of entertainment as I literally sat in darkness for three days straight. After that time, I slowly re-integrated back into the world, without the need to stick contacts into my eyes in the morning, and no more glasses in the evening. FREEDOM!!!!
After my surgery on January 20, I went through one full tissue box in one night as my eyes were uncontrollably tearing. They were literally running down my face, and every time I blinked I felt like there were teeny tiny grains of sandpaper in my eyes. When my eyes were closed, it felt like I had a bandaid over my eyes, yet when I opened them, even the smallest light was like daggers through my pupils. Even the tiny green light on my Mac’s charger was like a laser beam. I could barely stand it.
So what’d I do to stay sane? Get out of my mind with Alan Watts.
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