Today is the first day...

... of the rest of our lives. Every. Single. Day. The adventure begins. again. and again. and again. This is one thing I have learned to be true through this lifetime of adventures. However, today feels a bit different. A bit bigger. A bit more significant. In just a few hours we board the plane, stepping into a nomadic life that I wasn't sure I desired. I'm still not certain that this is a way of living that will suit me, but I will certainly find out. Each day, along with our gratitudes Michael and I send out this prayer, "may our lessons be gentle". We know that we will encounter many lessons, that we be challenged, pushed, and be invited to grow. With anticipation and butterflies fluttering in our bellies we enter the unknown. And in this, we trust. We surrender. With our hearts open and our spirits tethered to Father Sky and Mother Earth we commit to allowing ourselves to unfold, to undo and to un-know the people that we were yesterday.  To shed self and connect to Self. To allow ourselves to become. To REmember who we are. 

This adventure will carry us to Bogota, Columbia for a few days followed by nearly 6 weeks in Peru where we will be completing our 300 hours Yoga Teacher Training then a Facilitator Intensive with The Kula Collective. Then we head to San Marcos, Guatemala to work with Keith, The Cacao Shaman followed by going on retreat at the Yoga Forest. The day after we arrive back in Tacoma fall programming with Pierce County Juvenile Court begins as well at the beginning of our nationwide cacao tour in our van home, "Nesha." Though she is not completely built out the progress is substantial and we feel confident that she will be ready to hold us when we hit the road late October! Please take a look at our "offerings" page to see where we will be and when. And share with others as we love meeting more beautiful people connected to you, our incredible community.

As we transition to the next part of this beautiful journey we want to acknowledge each of you. Thank you for being a part of our journey. It is your support, encouragement, teaching, guidance, enthusiasm, love and inspiration that had made this possible. You are light. You are love. We are forever grateful.

 Super grateful for this amazing man who grounds me and continues to say, "yes!" over and over again. I couldn't ask for a better adventure partner!   And to our dearest sister Katy Leet who captured this amazing photo!

Super grateful for this amazing man who grounds me and continues to say, "yes!" over and over again. I couldn't ask for a better adventure partner! 

And to our dearest sister Katy Leet who captured this amazing photo!

#Vanlife

Welp. We are doing it. We recently got a van, are building it out and will soon be calling it home. We knew that we wanted to downsize, live simply, within our means and experience freedom from  all the "stuff", but we didn't know exactly what that would end up looking like. We are clear on our long term plan of being caretakers of land and creating sanctuary for people to experience rest, respite and restoration, and wanted to created space in our lives as that plan works itself out. So we began the process of letting go and allowing. Much was possible. Much IS possible. WWOOF, Work-away, simply traveling and allowing the winds to carry us. Van conversion has been a lively conversation since we met and this possibility continued to show up as we explored what we were being invited into. Our vehicles were not selling as easily as we hoped so we decided we would just go look at the van that we had scoped out a few weeks prior. The 2017 Ford Transit 250 Cargo Van was the one we knew we wanted if we ever did decide to step into #vanlife. Windows, extended length, high roof, completely gutted. And, as you see in the video, and read in the opening sentence of this post, we brought her home. 

We quickly noticed that every other person/cute couple who gets a van, converts it to a home and enters #vanlife has a blog and obsessively hashtags #vanlife we thought... we'd officially join the club. And since we are reading every website, Instagram feed and blog that shares the secret to being a digital nomad, (as a break from reading the heated debate about how to insulate your van) we figured, even if we don't get a single affiliate, sell memberships for information in our niche, or teach online yoga classes, at least a blog would serve as a digital journal. We do believe wholeheartedly in the power of storytelling. So this... this is part of our story. Please note, this is unedited. We will not worry about grammar, sweet drone shots, or looking like we know what we are doing... because we don't. Our goal is to be lifelong learners, students and humble recipients of the love and grace of spirit, the earth and our community. So forgive us for our hot-mess-ness, our fuck-ups and our failures and encourage us into our many bloopers and lessons. May they be gentle.

And can we say... HOLY SHIT. We have a YouTube Channel. That is wild! In order to upload a video it appeared we needed a channel. That may not be true and may not be a big deal for any other human in our generation but for Michelle, who can barely make a phone call on her technology, this feels like a big deal. ENJOY! We sure are!

 

 

Staying doesn't always have to hurt (revisited)

On February 4, 2016 I wrote the content below as my first post for a blog I was writing during my time working for Apple in China. At this exact moment 2 years ago I was battling with a brutal bout of influenza very, very far away from "home". Today, I sit at "home" in Tacoma, WA again with the flu (though much less brutal thanks to learning my lesson in China and not "toughing it out" this time) and wonder, what is it about the feeling of exhaustion, weakness, cloudiness and heaviness that comes with this illness that gives me a boost of courage, desire and commitment to write? What is it about the winter that helps me know with certainty that I am supposed to travel? That exploring, wandering, discovering is a significant part of who I am? What is it about this season that supports my discernment, that affords me the clarity to see that though I may explore, wander, discover... I choose to return? To root in? To come back... to the center. May this initial blog be a preface for what is to come. May it be an invitation to join me... to join us, on the next part of our journey. 

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Nearly a year ago an opportunity started to develop for me to go to China to support the expansion of an incredible organization. The possibility of heading to Asia for 2+ years to continue my work with the most incredible company in the world was exciting. Of course it was. THAT is what I do. That is what I have always done. Seek. Search. Since the age of 15, I have been moving. Moving towards a new opportunity to venture to a new place, meet new people, experience new culture and hopefully find myself. 

     Around the time that Chinese residency started to become a real possibility I was also going deeper into my spiritual practice and had completed an intensive study of Kali. My work with this fierce warrior goddess was leading me into the darkness of destruction. I was taking significant risks. For the first time in my life I was really setting boundaries and exploring what it meant to love and nurture myself. The destruction that Kali brought to my life was powerful. The risk created an intense fear of loss and the awareness of an unhealthy level of attachment. An attachment to a certain way of knowing myself. I had been identifying myself in relation to my family, my marriage, my community, and my body in a way that bound me to beliefs that were no longer serving me. So I let go. I let go of a certain knowing of myself. I shed the beliefs that were no longer serving me and opened myself up to receiving. I allowed myself to be gutted. I was empty. Empty in a beautiful, pure and raw kind of way. Empty in a way that allowed space for abundance to overflow and that is exactly what happened. I started to see all of the love and beauty that surrounded me. Healing began, with my family, my husband, my community, and my body. I discovered that I am worthy. I discovered that I am enough. And I discovered that I no longer have to seek, to search. That I have everything I need inside of me now. That I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

     Through this process I learned that the thought of staying was more terrifying than the thought of moving to China for 2+ years. If I stayed, what if I failed? What if I was abandoned? Rejected? Betrayed? What if I didn’t have the capacity to grow into my fullest potential? Moving to China would be easy. Be in one place for a short amount of time, do good work, have a positive impact, then leave and start over. and over. and over. That, afterall is what I had always been good at. Then I started to wonder, what would happen if I stayed? What possibilities existed? What may develop if I allow myself to be fully present, for the long haul? What if I commit to myself, to my family, my community, my friends and actually see what growth is possible when I create space for it to be sustained over a long period of time? Yes, it was more terrifying for me to stay. Thankfully, this fear did not have power over me. Instead, it led me to the realization that it is time for me to root down. To stop running. To stop hiding. I decided to allow myself to be seen. To grow myself, to grow my family, and to grow my community. I realized that “grasses go high and so have I”. It has become so very clear that, “where you stand is where you belong. THIS is the place I have been looking for all along.” 

      So, instead of moving to China, I am visiting China for three months then, I am going home. I will deeply love, nurture and witness my family. I will continue to deepen the work that I am doing within my community. I will allow my roots to grow. I will raise dirty babies and goats. I will continue to experience the most true and unconditional love with my soul sisters. I will show up for others and allow others to show up for me. I will allow myself to see others. I will allow myself to be seen. I now know that, “staying doesn’t always have to hurt.”