Just Jump

Who ever said growing was easy? I don’t think anyone ever has. I’m constantly reminded that growing actually feels pretty uncomfortable – and that discomfort is therefore something to be celebrated. What a weird way to make sense of it all, right? But so true.


Recently I was challenged to make a list of all my deepest desires – the things I want to accomplish, my dreams and ambitions, what I want to create during this lifetime. At first the prospect of such a list was daunting, I thought I’d have hundreds of bullet points or not enough paper to fill all the to-dos. (Maybe not so) Surprisingly I arrived at a list of just around fifteen – including things like this:

  • Become a yoga teacher
  • Start a nonprofit
  • Travel the world, volunteering for causes I care about and connecting with new experiences and cultures
  • Start my own business that allows me to create my own schedule, help people in a meaningful way and use my creative energy on a regular basis

There were a few others but the above are figuring prominently in my mind, especially after just visiting one of my favorite yoga classes where I was wishing I was the one teaching (someday). After writing a list of my desires I was then asked to write the fear preventing me from fully going after each goal. The question I had to earnestly answer was: what is the fear preventing me from doing this and what, ultimately, does the fear want for me? Nine times out of ten (maybe more like 10/10 to be real) my fear is financially based or rests upon the thought of losing what I have – and how awful it will be to lose it (way to get ahead of myself – it’s like stopping before even starting).

Even more interesting is how the fears read so similarly, basically boiling down to the exact same pattern over and over. I’m afraid I won’t make money doing what I love. I won’t make enough money to support myself and meet my financial obligations (aka hellaaaaa student loans and credit card debt, lots of which was incurred while trying to pay student loans). I won’t be successful. I won’t be happy because I’ll be worried about financial stress the whole time. It won’t work out. Who am I kidding?

What does the fear want for me? Every time the fear just wants me to stay still. To not grow. To be stagnant. Because stagnation would be safe and familiar and – at least we’ll know what’s going to happen. You get the same result from doing the same things. Why is that more comfortable than going after my dreams? I’m learning that my mind needs to undergo some major re-wiring, it’s that simple. I have no reason to be afraid when I really think about it, the fear is never actually real. False Evidence Appearing Real. 

The fear is rooted in maybe something I grew up with, maybe from a past life (yes I’m taking it there) and certainly from a whole lot of subconscious conditioning growing up in American capitalist society (not being successful is like basically being dead). I’m sensing that by going after my deepest desires and putting the fears to the test I’ll actually undergo some major healing in the process – because I already know that I’m not going to evaporate if I’m not successful. I’m not going to die if I can’t pay Sallie Mae. People I care about won’t disown me if I’m not self supporting. There are always so many options, even if my mind just wants to focus on the one least common denominator aka worst case scenario manifesting. Getting jobs has never been hard – it’s the doing what I really love and fully putting my heart and energy into it all that’s been the most trying.

I’m sensing some major shifts going on this month, marked especially by a lot of heavy energy that feels to be pushing me forward, pushing me out of my comfort zone and encouraging me to grow and go for it. I’m practicing being really patient because another part of me wants to be super reactive and impulsively change every single thing over night. Remember: last week I wanted to move and even looked at a pretty [sketchy] studio in my neighborhood to momentarily qualm my interest. Lesson learned: turns out that getting some new books and maybe scheduling a hair appointment and getting a manicure actually help qualm the antsy feelings too, and don’t require the logistics of uprooting and moving apartments.

I’m excited to talk to my astrologer tomorrow and get some more support around all these fun ideas floating around my mind. I’m feeling very validated by some of the opportunities that have come my way recently and it feels like the universe is saying – go for it, you’re ready, just jump. 

Epic Adventure Time

It was all a dream..I used to ready WordUp magazine..is the song that comes to mind! But in truth, it wasn’t all a dream, even if it still feels like it. I love vacations where you just miss 7 days of work but it feels like you’ve been gone for months. It’s like time traveling or close to it. I just got back from a magical adventure to Spain (for the second time) and France (new country in Europe for me!).

Let’s just say, I ate pretty amazing food every day, got used to a weird schedule for waking, sleeping and eating and saw some of the most beautiful beaches and countryside imaginable. Meat and cheese are serious endeavors in both countries – like professional grade serious. Breakfast on most days consisted of bocadillos, AKA fresh baguette with squashed tomato spread inside and jamon serrano with brie or some other kind of decadent queso (translation: cheese). No wonder the siesta is so necessary (siesta: an afternoon rest or nap, especially one taken during the hottest hours of the day in a hot climate).

Here are some snaps from my adventures – picture yourself full of delicious cheese, pastries and fresh coconut or mango juice or cafe con leche (only the best espresso, always), then snorkeling, hiking, dancing, eating some more and waking up to do it all again. For fully immersive experience, try listening with this on in the background: my new favorite song <3

Barcelona Night
View from the terrace – Barcelona at night <3

Carcassonne River
Carcassonne River, strolling through this super ancient Medieval town on the way to explore a castle.

Carcassonne
This castle is possibly one of the oldest structures I’ve ever seen

Dali Arte
The Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain.

Dali Chillin
Hanging with my homie Dali in Cadaques.

Cadaques
Cadaques – beautiful Catalonian seaside town with all white buildings, delicious seafood and perma-summer in the air.

Cala Futadera
Actually #nofilter. See-through water plus we saw a live octopus swimming beneath us while snorkeling! Then this older dude came into catch it, possibly to cook for dinner?

Barcelona Lurking
Love getting lost in the Gothic Quarter’s old windy narrow streets.

Cala Futadera
More Cala Futadera, close to Tossa De Mar – so beautiful.

Blai tapas
Necessary. Lots of Tapas in Poble Sec – super cheap too and amazingly delicious.

Cala Syd
I was really there!

Secret Cala
I was really there!

Borne
I was really there!

Cap De Creus
Cap de Creus – a tip top point in Catalonia with views for days.

Via de Canes
At Ferias (party night) in Via de Canes – a bit south of Barcelona. Check out the jamon leg – gimme some of that!

Cadaques
More Cadaques – hiked out to a ridge view and couldn’t get enough of this beautiful ocean inlet.

Sant Feliu de Guixols
Walked around the entire border of Sant Feliu de Guixols and Sa’ Agaro – beautiful beachy towns with cute seafood spots and of course old medieval fortresses/castles. There were Cami de Rondas all around the coast – little staircase paths to go down to swimming holes (calas) all around the town. So breathtaking.

Dali Museo
Dali Museum courtyard.

Dali Surreal
Super surreal at the Dali Museum

*As originally seen on the Praytell Blog <3

Pinch Me: Looking Back to Look Forward

You know what the best feeling is? Getting a much needed reality check in which you realize you’re a completely different person from who you were five years ago, three years ago, even one year ago. I don’t know about you but sometimes I get antsy and caught all up in my present day life thinking, you know, I’m not doing enough. Am I really on track to accomplishing all I want to accomplish by 30? Am I successful? Am I where I want to be? Then suddenly I get a nice reality check that puts it all into perspective. First of all, no one has it together by 30. I don’t care who you are – late twenties and early thirties still seem like growing up time to me. In fact, maybe we keep growing up forever? Maybe we’re never actually adults, how about that? I had a nice reality check last night that reminded me of where I was 5 years ago and for the sake of reflection slash  nice dose of humility, here’s a snapshot. Five years ago to the date I was:

  • UCSC grada month into living in Santa Barbara, CA
  • living with my boyfriend I had met in Brazil who was from So-Cal (hence the move)
  • working at Citrix Online as an assistant in the purchasing department, not even in Santa Barbara but in a part of town called Goleta across the way from UCSB
  • commuting 2o minutes to work each day on the freeway
  • working in a cubicle amid hundreds of other people, taking lunch breaks to chain restaurants in strip malls or escaping to the wild preserve by hiking down the freeway to walk around, making phone calls to all my friends in the Bay I missed so much
  • joining Rotary Club in SB because I was so lonely and yearned for connecting with people I could relate to and share interests with
  • considering getting an evening cocktail waitress job at Wildcat (locally coined the Shitty Kitty, seriously the name speaks for itself) because it would be a fun way to meet people and occupy my time while my boyfriend worked at a neighboring bar
  • planning lots of visits to SF and LA where I was comforted by diversity, culture and familiar city sights and sounds

Needless to say I didn’t stay in Santa Barbara for much longer. I was there for about 6 months total, during which time I actually did make some great friends while also acquiring some valuable work experience. Mostly I finally got courage to LA In and Out, per usualmake a move for myself, once and for all. At first I made a list of all the grad schools I wanted to go to – thinking I’d apply ASAP for a MPP or MPA since I was no longer interested in pursuing law. To my surprise all the schools with my desired program were in NYC with the exception of one in Chicago (sorry Windy City, wasn’t feeling it).

I thought, maybe I should move to NYC first to see if I like it before going ahead and applying to school. So I gave myself a month to sublease my apartment, bought a one way flight to NYC and started hustling to get a job and apartment for when I’d touch down December 1st, 2010. And everything worked out better than I could have possibly planned or imagined. There’s no way I would have believed you if five years ago you told me my life would look like it does today. I don’t regret anything that’s happened along the way, its all, for better or for worse, experience that’s made me more into the person I am supposed to be. But I have to remember where I came from, even just a few years ago – first touching down in NYC with no idea what was in store for me. When I get caught up in the here and now wondering if anything is off since I don’t yet have my own multi-million dollar company, haven’t been on the cover of any magazines and haven’t yet invented a product or idea that has single handedly changed the entire world, I can remember to take it easy. No one has saved the world over night. These things take time and work, and the work isn’t always obvious. And from what I can tell so far, the hardest work of all usually starts within.

SF