I am connected to my heart and intuition, allowing them to guide me on my life’s journey. I recognize the power of the Law of Attraction and embrace many spiritual practices in my daily life. I believe in the mind-body connection and that we should rule our minds, or our minds will rule us.
| February 21, 2018 |
[drum roll] Long-awaited “New Year” post. Ha… ha… haaaa… Kristen, it’s been 2018 for basically two months. I know, trust me. Can I say I’ve been busy? How about… tired? Can I make excuses? Nope. I won’t. Quite simply, I’ve been a lazy writer, and my creative self is very mad at procrastinating Kristen. [I forgive me.]
Honestly, I love writing these reflective posts. Not so much because you really want to hear all about my year, how much I changed, the good/bad/ugly… but because it’s so revealing to myself. I love looking back to see where I’ve been, even if some of the moments in the past were painful. It’s like looking in the rearview mirror while driving on the highway: you just kind of peer back every so often, just to be aware of what’s going on behind you. I try not to let this metaphor get too far though, because then I can justify making decisions in the present based on what’s in the “rearview.” I don’t let the past affect me. Instead, I just… let it be (thank you, Beatles). So, I guess I wouldn’t be driving on I-5 (WA!), the Southern State (NY!), or I-95 (FL!) in this instance… instead, I’d be on the Seward Highway (AK!), taking the scenic route, just kind of curious about what’s going on around me.
In all seriousness (why so serious?), life is oh-so-curious to me. I love how the unexpected often comes from within. It’s not always external circumstances that keep me guessing, but my own heart and intuition that make me go “woah!” at times.
One year ago, I returned to Washington state to work in Yakima for my second job as a Traveling Doctor of Physical Therapy. I planned to stay for three months. Then, I was off! I was going to Wyoming, Colorado, Alaska… anywhere! I was only going to be in Washington state for a short time (again).
Well, turns out, this was the second time I lied. I couldn’t leave Washington.
2017 was a big year for more self-discovery and learning opportunities in a variety of colors and flavors (oh my gosh now I’m thinking about ice cream… mmm, mint chocolate chip…).
Okay, I need to get on with this post before I take the metaphor game way too far…
| July 31, 2017 |
In one of my earlier posts, I dove into the idea of creationism for oneself – of being true to nobody but OURSELVES in our creative endeavors. I noted how I don’t want my art to be tireless. I don’t want to create to make you happy. Instead, I will create to connect to myself, to others, and to the higher self that lives inside my soul. As Elizabeth Gilbert so eloquently put it in Big Magic, “Be the weirdo who dares to enjoy.”
And so, I’ve been on a mission to stay true to myself (whoever that is), free myself from comparison, and focus inward for my creative inspiration.
I feel it’s appropriate to again enter the forever perplexing conversation about social media, especially after Delightful Pursuit’s workshop with six photographers in the Pacific Northwest. I also would like to respond to the questions Jacob Moon recently posted about social media. He asked the following challenging questions: What do you see as the biggest problem facing our wild places caused by Social Media? Are Outdoor focus social media influences in general doing enough? When you read through all the captions that people write do you often here messages of conservation and protection?
Let’s dive deep, Fellow Dreamers. I truly hope you comment below on your thoughts. Let’s open a conversation, together.
| 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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