Sunday, August 05, 2018
I am SO FLIPPIN' THRILLED to announce that after more than a YEAR (I know...the internet and webdesign are like my Kryptonite)....I have FINALLY found a new alternative to this ancient Blogger platform. I used to be able to easily manage this blog from my iPhone...but technology whizzed past me and now I can no longer do that...so we have built in a NEW BLOG app on our website.
Please click the link below and you will be taken to our website, where you can enter your email address in the box at the top to RESUBSCRIBE and continue receiving the blogs that we share with the world.
You will NOT believe the amount of backlogged writing creativity that is oozing from my mind....stay tuned for some entertaining and educational blog posts!!! YAHOO!!!
Let's get that all-time blog counter to 1,000,000 views! Thinking HUGE!
(I had to start the NEW Blog counter back at 0 again, which my ego didn't like, but I laughed at myself and realized it doesn't even matter. Numbers are just a made up thing anyway.)
Thank you and I LOVE YOU!
Kristin (and Tanner says hello too!)
PS. OH! Tanner has started writing CACAO BLOGS about our journey on the path of cacao ceremony facilitation and has lots of great stories to tell you on our https://www.cacaoconnection.info/blog site.... you can subscribe to them too!
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Tuesday, January 02, 2018
|Sunset Cacao Ceremony in our beautiful palapa|
|Russet-Crested Motmot (fun name right?!)|
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Where to begin...well, to be perfectly up front and blunt- it appears that most of western society is in the midst of utter chaos and desperation for freedom, unity, connection and health of body, mind and spirit. I really can’t say what the status of the other side of the planet is, but because we are one continuous network of hearts and minds, I sense that it’s at least somewhat similar elsewhere.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
I committed to completing all of the requirements to receive my official yoga teaching certificate for the 200-hour program that both Tanner and I completed this summer. I did it (and Tanner is almost done too!): 30 days of consistent meditation and journaling plus 12 hours of practice teaching and full evaluations of the clases taught. It required a lot of perseverance for the last few months. I have some pretty hilarious accounts of my first summer as a yoga instructor. I learned so much about myself. Simply priceless. I may turn it into a short story...someday.
If I don't follow through and cheer for myself along the way, I sure can't expect that someone else should. (Of course, love and support from others never hurts!) Life isn't always easy or simple. Or fun. But sometimes we just have to follow the path that is laid before us. Complete our dharma. Question anything that seems unclear or untrue. Gather more information. When you have done all of the research and there are no more questions left unanswered and nothing remaining unconsidered, there is only one way to go: forward. Push..push...push through. Just do it, as you may have heard.
Advertising our new big commitment.
I committed to continuously writing this blog 4.5 years ago! Sometimes I think to myself, "I cannot understand why anyone reads these random ramblings of mine. I'm not anyone special and I certainly don't have some magical answer to the mystery and challenges of life". Nearly 16,000 visits to this blog later, and here I am writing another entry.
I needed a break from my more "serious" work to get some of my thoughts out in writing. I am lying on a bed, where we are visiting my father in the house where I grew up. In the background I can hear the nocturnal summertime crickets and cicadas singing and chirping in the darkness of a strangely warm mid-October night in rural Pennsylvania. Autumn, again? Hmmm. The remnants of a Gulf Coast hurricane blew through here today, bringing a feeling of turbulence and mystery...
Roughly 18 years ago (longer than this but in my conscious mind, this was the actual turning point) I don't think I realized it at the time, but my soul committed to walk a different path than the one I was shown as a child and a young person. That early path was strange, scary, dangerous, dark and unkind in many ways. When I decided to sharpen my machete and clear myself a new path through the metaphorical jungle of life, it was a massive and terrifying leap of faith. I have turned around many times to see what I have left behind me, but the wild jungle grows over the past very quickly and I have no choice but to persevere and press forward. Sometimes the way forward is bright and inviting. Sometimes it's tangled and rough and makes one cringe. Those moments when I just want to sit down and throw in the towel are the moments of TRUTH. I now know that these most challenging points along the path are also the ones that can launch me to new heights and most importantly, a deeper truth within myself. Spiritual growth spurts.
These days, I am steeping in a brew of mixed emotions. I feel blessed to be me and to feel well-equipped with a toolkit of experiences, intelligence, wisdom and wit mixed with a sprinkle of humor. I feel thrilled to be offered so many amazing experiences and adventures.. I feel like Harry Potter mixed with Aladdin and Peter Pan and like I'm in and out of Oz! Wheeeeee!
At the same time, this path often feels extremely lonesome. Tanner and I are so damn grateful that we have each other. The world around us (especially here in the USA) seems to be bubbling up with fear and turbulence and we strive to keep a blanket of peace and groundedness draped around us. The winds of change whip our blanket around and we hold it tighter. Braving the elements, we sail our magic ship out to sea, not knowing what tomorrow will bring. All we can do is keep going. We have all come too far to stop now.
Together, the two of us have committed to taking another huge leap of faith and said YES to an unexpected offer. We have been offered the use of a small retreat center near the ocean in southern Mexico. The owner has never met us, but is trusting her place in our care. Our Spanish is mediocre at best, but we are practicing every day to improve our ability to communicate with the locals. We JUST completed our yoga certification program, but we know how transformative a daily yoga practice can become and we want to share that gift with others. We all need community. Now more than ever. We can not successfully create this community vision alone. We are striving to create something larger than we are to call in those who need this too. Like a beacon. A lighthouse.
We are taking a significant risk, and we are trusting that through this commitment to creating a safe space to nourish and support ourselves, and invite others to join us on this unscripted journey, that we will, in turn, be supported.
Sometimes the universe knows just the right amount of push-risk-challenge-gift-adventure-magic to throw across our path. Scary. Exciting. Terrifying. Exciting. Crazy. Exciting. What are we thinking?! Exciting.
As I was writing that piece above, my father walked in to give me this piece of paper that he found in a pile of stuff he was sorting through in his office. It's an email that I forwarded to him almost exactly 3 years ago, to share with him a pivotal moment in my life. I faced one of my biggest fears: public speaking. I commited to speaking about being a Highly Sensitive Human to a packed community hall of 60 people. I was invited to speak to the group and I resisted so hard but the elder couple who invited me would not take no for an answer. Thank goodness. I had no idea where to even start. However, once I finally commited, I just woke up one day and the information literally downloaded through me and I turned it into a visual presentation using PRESI. The presentation went so well that I could barely wrap my mind around it. The next day, I received this beautiful note from the host:
It has made me wonder why I am not still sharing this information with the world. I know that there are many, many people struggling to make sense of a world that feels overwhelmingly complex and intense. People are seeking truth and striving to find purpose and meaning in everyday existence. Some are so crippled by the pressure that they can barely function (Been there. Many times.) If you're one of the many, have faith. Together we can encourage and support our sensitive siblings to rise up to this occasion of our incredible evolution on this planet. Reach out. Do not hide your gifts. Do not stay small. We all need you.
I don't have the answers for each individual person and their unique set of challenges and circumstances. That has become deeply evident to me and has been a very tough thing to accept. What I do have is a deep sense that everything is perfectly in order, for all of us, as chaotic as things may appear on the outside.
On the inside, I know that all is well and that if I keep listening to that calm and grounded inner teacher, and just breathe, take one step...and then another...
Eventually, someday, I will return to the point where I began this wild journey, and hopefully I have some good stories to share with you along the way.
Oh. And PS. EXTRA sleep is something I have also felt the need for lately. The earlier nights of autumn are bringing earlier tiredness. And many people have been sharing about their extra need for resting. I feel the energetics are really taking a toll on people all over. Some are aware of it and some are not. It seems like the springs keep winding tighter for humanity. Like many people are metaphorically (and some literally) holding their breath in anticipation of what is unfolding on earth...give yourself the nurturing and kindness that you need to be ok in each moment.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
"Are you more concerned about appearing consistent or following your heart?" This is a question that Ram Dass asked in his 2005 audiobook called A Spiritual Journey (I recommended it) We listened to it recently on a road trip. I replayed the question several times because he made it all seem so simple, and I knew that was a very potent and potentially transformative question.
In fact, this question sums up the reason that so many of us are afraid to take a leap of faith or to change our lives in some big way. Most of us have a deep fear of looking uncertain, confused or "flaky" to our families, coworkers and friends. It's been engrained into our culture from a young age that we must decide who we are and what we believe and then stick to that. There is not much encouragement to explore oneself or ask deeper questions about our own experiential existence as the years of changes wash over each of us and inevitably reshape our realities.
The two of us ripped that bandaid off a while ago and let me tell you how incredibly liberating it is to simply not mind what anyone thinks about our choices (someone still manages to strike a chord...occasionally, but even then it's a learning opportunity for us). We have been questioned so many times that I couldn't even begin to count. We have also been referred to as careless, ignorant, dreamers, not living in reality, drifters, gypsies, hippies, whatever. We laugh because it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. That is their perspective and we laugh because we know that we are happy with the choices we have made. At the end of our lives, what else matters? Live a life of passion, love and truth and you cannot go astray.
Tanner working on the foreword for his mama's new book called Vibrant Living
We recently joined some friends at a beachside vacation home on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We have been fortunate to find ourselves near the ocean many times over the last 4 years. Mother Ocean is a powerful reminder that we are so small and that nature has the last word. It also reminded me that each day brings something so new and so unpredictable that we must simply learn to surrender to the changing tides of life. Change and float, or get swept away in the neverending waves.
One evening at sunset, Tanner was instructing me through a yoga sequence, and at the end, I laid back on the beach in savasana. He led me through a systematic relaxation process and I soaked in the crashing rhythm of the waves along with the laughter of the sea birds. He concluded the exercise by saying "breathe as though every cell in your body is breathing". The ocean went silent for several moments that felt eternal. Like all time and earth's animation stood still. Then the sounds became powerful and deeply rich as a huge wave came crashing onto the sand behind us. If you need a spiritual recharge, nature can be like a solar panel for the soul. It is so incredible what taking a few minutes in the sunshine can do for my optimism levels. Actually, I'm soaking in some morning rays as I write this. I'm also enjoying the colorful flowers that we planted a few months ago on the front porch of my childhood home. We chose red and white to remind us of our home base in Canada. We are visiting with my dad here for about another month and then we will head south for the Mexican frontier. (Hmm. That garden is also Mexican colors...)
While we were down at the coast, we stopped through Virginia Beach and were directed to the ARE (association for research and enlightenment) center, founded by Edgar Cayce. Cayce was a mystic and was known for his intuitive medical readings of thousands of patients. The center was three floors and was so full of incredible books and catalogues of his work that I just felt overwhelmed by an invisible thick energy. I haven't felt that too many times and it was tough to explain, but I said to Tanner that I couldn't stay in there for long. We left with a book based on his channeling on Reincarnation and Family Karma. Of the hundreds for sale in the gift shop, that one jumped out at us. I look forward to diving in when some time opens up for that.
The day that we left North Carolina, there were thousands of Floridians fleeing hurricane Harvey. The roads were super full of cars with Florida license plates.
On this road trip, we listened to another audiobook called "The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down" by Haemin Sunim. If you listen to only one audiobook this fall, I suggest THIS ONE. It is packed full of beautiful reminders and little bits of inspiration.
Yesterday, I was out for a sunny stroll in the heat of an extended New England summer. I had one earbud in and I was relistening to this audiobook. I wanted to write down a few of the gems that I had heard the first time around. Here are a few that I thought were worth sharing:
"No matter how powerful the medicine, when one is forced to take it, it can become poison." A great reminder for all of us when we think that we have the answer to someone else's challenges. We all need the freedom to choose what feels right for us and to go through our own stuff.
"Do not try to control those around you. If you cannot even control your own mind, what makes you think you can control others?" Yup. Good one! We have witnessed many couples unconsciously attempting to control each other and that is never a good thing.
This part I paraphrased because I listened to it about 5 times and still don't think I got it down verbatim: If you are truly committed to spiritual awakening then the whole world becomes your teacher. Your spirituality does not deepen because of those who praise you. It is the people who challenge or insult you that are your true teachers in disguise.
This is so true for me. Those moments where I question my core values and intentions based on someone else's version of who they perceive me as are the moments where I have to journey deep into my being and check in with my core intentions. Sometimes it's a dark and murky journey, but I have never failed to come out the other side stronger and shinier. Gotta explore those shadows!
"Transmutation is the key word here. The shedding of old skin and emotions and transforming them into something bigger and better. If Snake winds itself into your life know that change is in the wind and that you are at the center of it all as the catalyst. Make sure that your intentions are clear and that you have a clear sense of the direction that you need to strike out in. Snake is letting you know that these changes are safe and that there is no need to fear them.
You are also being reminded to stay connected to the self through of both the tiny vibrations in the earth, and the warmth and smells of the air and sky. When we learn to connect with our surroundings, we can continue on the path of growth, and discard the trappings of the past."
Yup. Great reminder in the form of a giant serpent in my path. Roger that.
I will end this blog post with tidbit that I paraphrased from Ram Dass's book:
The newly awakening are like a tiny tree. They need shelter and nurturing to keep growing. They then grow and become shelter for others who begin to awaken." And the process goes on and on...
We are each a tree in the forest of galactic changes. Be that shelter for someone else and remember to seek it when you need it most.
Los Milagritos Guest House is the quaint Mexican retreat space that we will be managing for three months at the start of 2018. We intend for it to be a safe and sturdy tree for those who wish to find a supportive and transformative space to further their own growth and self-unfoldment this winter. We will provide plant-based meals and yoga everyday, as well as weekly ceremonies and community circles. Come join us for a reality reset. Go back to basics, and then grow from there. Find our retreat info on our Facebook pages: One World Wellness (link at the top of this website) or on the Los Milagritos guest house Facebook page!