January 13, 2013

wherever you go there you are

Karen-fucius say: "Life is like a crab...pretty and interesting but can pinch if you're not paying attention."

Nearing our two-month mark here in Costa Rica and noticing a couple of things:

1.  Life is life.  No matter where we spend our time.

  • Gotta get the groceries.
  • Kids pick and poke at each other.
  • The toilet needs scrubbed.
  • Your spouse is still the imperfect human you married.

2.  Given the fact that we are in an entirely new and unfamiliar country, the four indented points above have now become even more complicated, adding layers to already (perceived) unpleasant situations.

I'm so grateful that we are here, don't get me wrong.  I recognize what a luxury this is and that it's something that most people only dream of doing.

It would be easy to carry on like all is peachy and it's just a dreamy, dreamy life all day every day.  I could simply post beautiful pictures of smiling faces and amazing scenery and paint the picture of perfection.

But that would only be 1/2 of the story.

Some days suck.  Some days we're all big assholes to each other and carry on like a bunch of snot-nosed-mean-spirited-brats.  Damn that thing called being human!

I find that if I can let go of my expectations, I have better days.  We certainly all came here with plenty of expectations.  I think (I hope) that will end up being the greatest thing we take from this experience; letting go of our own expectations.  Life is better without them, this I know for sure.

Expectations = Resentments.

No doubt about it.

Thank you, Life, for bringing this experience to me so that I may learn ... (and re-learn and re-learn!)
... that I can let go.

That it's safe to Let Go.

That life is so much better and more beautiful and easier when I remember to LET GO.

December 15, 2012

Adaptation & Children

This has been quite a change, obviously, for everybody.

New country, new culture, new home, new foods, new climate, new friends...  Lots and lots of changes happening.  It got me thinking about the benefits of pushing myself out to the edges of my comfort zone.  Why that might be a really good thing.  

What happens to ones spirit when we stay safely tucked away in our cozy little spot?  What might we be missing out on if we choose to stay there?  Maybe for some people, staying in their "safe spot" works really well, and that's truly what brings out the best in them.  Or maybe the thought of leaving there scares them enough to keep them in place?  

Of  course, the answers to those questions will be very personal, but allow me to share mine...

I think it's a really good thing for our children to watch us struggle and challenge ourselves.  This experience has provided many invitations for both of those things!  The struggles haven't been dangerous or life-altering, by any means, but even the little things like figuring out which store to shop at and how to get by (living in the country) without a CAR gives us opportunities to practice our adaptability skills.

By watching us try - and fail...  and try again -  and succeed, they see how the whole process works and that they can roll along through it with grace and gratitude.  That's what I want them to know and carry with them as they encounter their own challenges throughout life.

I want them to know it's safe to jump out on a ledge, take a risk, leap without a net.  That they can follow their hearts yearnings, even if it's a little on the scary side.  That they'll survive and conquer whatever bumps come between them and their dreams.  That they might even thrive doing just that!

There are many families who would love to do something like this, but their excuses get the best of them:

"... that would be so fun, but we don't want our kids to miss school..." -- ugh. ;)

"... that would never work for us, because our kids really love their neighborhood/school/house/friends"

"... what a great experience, but it would be so hard on our kids to be away from (insert person/place/thing here)"

"... we wouldn't want to change things up for our kids so much; that would be really hard on them"

THE reason we're doing this is for our kids, and what this journey can offer them!!!  This is an opportunity to learn about so many other options, people, ways of life, critters and on and on.  This is a beautiful opportunity for them to learn about themselves.  I don't know how this experience will impact them, but I do know that it will.

Isn't that what life is all about, after-all?  Experiences.  What's the point if we're not up for something new?

November 11, 2012

Transition and Tears

We're just over 24 hours away from walking out of our home and life as we know it; into a journey of people, places and things unknown and unfamiliar.  And the tears are coming.  From me.  The rest of the tribe seems to be moving through it nicely, and in their own way, and I'm thankful for that.  I'm not hiding my tears.  I wondered if I should, but then thought that wouldn't be fair to keep that part of myself from them.  So, they see the tears coming, and they offer me love and empathy and smiles.

I feel silly for not being anything but over the top with Joy about what we're about to do, but I cannot deny the feelings that come, so I will welcome them, feel them, release them, and keep moving...

It's natural (for me at least, when I finally give myself permission) to feel a small sense of sadness about what it is I'm leaving behind.  There are so many things I could mention here; the people (oh YES! the people... I love my people), the places around the community that wrap themselves around you like your favorite old blanket, the things that become your favorites.

And yet, despite all of that, we've chosen to Leap.  Leap into a far away place that we're only slightly familiar with.  I know we'll create a space there that's just as wonderful as the one we have here.  I know we'll meet kick-ass people that make my heart feel like it's returned home.  I know we'll get all the details worked out that one must work out to live a full and magical life.

I am filled with Gratitude that we've chosen this adventure.  I believe there's much to learn about each other and ourselves through this, and *that* is why we're going.  It'd be easy to stay right here in our safe little place.  But I'm not looking for easy.  I'm ready.

Still ... a little piece of my heart will remain right here.

October 21, 2012

Essential Self

"We are like actors, turned loose in this world to wander in search of a phantom, endlessly searching for our lost reality. When others demand that we become the people they want us to be, they force us to destroy the person we really are. It's a subtle kind of murder. The most loving parents and relatives commit this murder with smiles on their faces. " Jim Morrison

I would be lying if I said in the last couple of years I have reinvented or found my true self. I think I have been on a journey for many years and if you believe in reincarnation then maybe many past lives. Our daily lives shape us in who we become but it's the time of awakening in which you truly come to life. It's a moment of ah ha, there may be many of these times throughout ones life and I welcome and love them it keeps things real at least for me. Just recently in my most conscious mind I have recognized something powerful and magical in my life and that is to accept that I can chose my path whether it be negative or positive. So I have taken the power in to my own hands to get what I need to be happy. I used to think it was pretty typical, fall in love, buy a house, have children, and don't forget the stuff, gotta have stuff, and when you get it get some more stuff.

Somewhere something in me snapped and a realization occurred that if I can get all these external desires fulfilled, Why can't I use my power to gain something bigger and better.  For me I began to process what was important to me and honestly answer them with no judgements. It was a hard process because I had old childhood and societal records playing in my head saying, Stop feeling sorry for yourself, You're a man don't be a wimp. There is a point at which we have to take responsibility for our misery as well. It is not others alone who commit murder to our dreams but kind of a suicide, it's easier to put blame on outside sources than to look within. Happiness is what I desired. Who in the hell doesn't  want to be happy you idiot. I want to stay happy, not the feeling of buying a new car happy but eternal happiness. I knew that even in the most sad and undesirable moments I surely would encounter I still could attain happiness, to not suffer.

For me this meant a shift of being in the moment, to find beauty in what ever predicament I was in at the time. Be content. I remember something the Dalai Lama said "calm mind happy life" I carried that quote in my wallet and pulled it out when I felt stressed. I could start seeing the beauty in what surrounded me. That's when my reality started to transform. I began to let go of feelings of resentment of outside sources. You know stuff your Dad did or didn't do, or 'god my boss is an ass hole'.

Once I found peace, my mind opened up to the possibility that I don't have to march to the beat of someone else's drum. After 16 years of working construction out on the road I put in my two weeks notice . I didn't have a job lined up - the only thing I was betting on was that in mindfulness and positivity, your inner strength can provide your every need. So my amazing journey began. 

September 30, 2012


Today I participated in a day-long educational and training event to learn more about the Body Talk healing modality.  The class I took - Body Talk Access -  taught me 5 quick and easy techniques that I can now use on myself, my family and others seeking energetic, non-invasive, intuitive, whole body healing.

But let me back this up just a bit.

Earlier this summer, I'd made the decision that after the Access class, I would take the "next step" and go for the more (much more) intensive training that Body Talk Fundamentals: Part 1 & Part 2 offer.

Then, I wavered.

I spent a bunch of time up in my head (oo.. I hate it when I do that!) telling myself all the reasons that wouldn't be a good idea.
"you're going to Costa Rica 9 days after the class... you'll never be able to retain all that information... you always do this, Karen, jump into things and then lack the follow through... it's such a pattern of yours to get all excited and bite off more than you can chew... and on... and on... and on..."
Well, that's just not serving me at all, now is it?!?  I am willing and wide open and READY to embrace with my whole heart this new experience.  Attending the Access class today has given me the courage to move forward and trust the process.

I'm excited (nervous, scared, hopeful, and lots of other describing words here!) about this new chapter.  For 13 years, I've been playing the Mom role very heavily.  I've been interested in all things alternative since bringing our first child into the world, but raising my children has been my priority.

And so here I go.  Very much looking forward to watching this new journey unfold for me and taking an even more active role in our health.

I'm ready.

April 24, 2012

And the Garden Grows...

Today we planted:

raspberry bush
rainbow chard
serano peppers
red bell peppers

We have 3 trees to put into the ground, hopefully tomorrow before the rain falls:

cherry, tart
cherry, sweet

So excited to grow our own food.  This is our first real attempt at it, and I'm super anxious (as in, not in a good way) ... always thinking I'm doing it wrong.  So, here we go, I guess.  Fingers crossed :)

August 21, 2011

Our day in phrases, cuz mama's too tired to think

coffee with the one I love
picnic packing
waking children
yogurt, fruit, pecans and chia seeds
mcgriddles - yep, you read that right :)
1.5 hour drive through the gorgeous hills that we call home
VW westie cruzin'
happy children
peeing on a gravel road
exploring the hilly slopes, weeds and creek after the pee
sanctuary with UU's
Pathways Spiritual Sanctuary
meandering hike
babies and snacks
picnic lunch under a shady tree
sleepy stroller ride
Buddhist water ceremony
carrot eating horses
sun and blue sky
ice cream with beloved friends
playing and falling more in love with ZJ
lots of nursing time 
giggles and funny faces, enough so to warrant picture taking by passing bikers
pitiful fire pit fire
but hot enough to burn little fingers :(
snuggles with my biggest boy
sleepy time