Sunday, August 05, 2018


Hello friends.

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 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 site.... you can subscribe to them too!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Never Before...

"The One World Wellness retreat has been a life changing experience for me. I booked with the intention of learning to meditate and got so much more. Kristin and Tanner are fantastic. Their incredibly positive healing energy and deep understanding of holistic wellness has enhanced my life in ways I will forever be grateful for. They were able to offer support, information, guidance and everything in between without expectations or trying to push anyone into doing anything they were not comfortable with or ready for. Not only was it a transforming experience, but also an awesome vacation because they facilitated that. The only negative thing I have to say about the entire experience is that Kristin and Tanner live in Canada, which is really far away from Utah. They are the kind of people you meet and hope to keep in your life forever. If you are ready to find yourself and get to know yourself on an entirely new level you should definitely book with One World Wellness. We might even run into each other because this is definitely not my last retreat with One World Wellness. " - Jess, Utah, USA - Back to Basics Retreat

Our epic winter/spring 2018 Mexican yoga and wellness retreat adventure has come to a close. We have learned so many volumes of things that it will likely take some time to allow it all to sink in. Overall we will simply call this venture a wild success. Just, perhaps, not in the same ways we could have EVER imagined.

Never before in a 6 month period of my life had I met so many humans on similar paths and journeys. Never before had I met so many magical people from all around the globe. Never had I been pushed so close to the edge of my own mental and physical capabilities, and all while in a leadership position. Never had I had a tooth pulled from my mouth before this Mexico trip (a 2012 root canal needed to be taken out). Never have I had a partner by my side through the wild crashing waves of it all and at the closing ceremony, we are stronger and happier as a couple and as a team than ever before.

Never before had I received *and accepted with grace* so many thoughtful, loving words and gifts, tangible and intangible. Never before had I given and received so many hugs and sweet soul-witnessing smiles. Never before had I taught so many yoga classes and guided and supported so many busy minds into deeper surrender and inner peace (especially my own). Never before had I eaten so much tropical fruit (mostly mangoes, avocados and coconuts) or come into contact with so many insects and my bedroom. Geckos poop SO much. We even found a gecko skeleton under our suitcase on moving day. Yikes.

Never before had I spoken so much broken Spanish and been able to laugh my way through it all. Never had I rented an entire retreat center that I had never laid eyes or feet upon prior to our arrival day. *HUGE lessons there*
Never before had I sat around so many beautiful circles and campfires and witnessed the releasing of old beliefs, blockages and patterns that were smothering the magic within each person (myself included).

Never, EVER before have I felt so strong in my own heart and soul.

Never before had I enjoyed my time playing in the turquoise ocean waves so deeply. Never before had I spent time in the tropics with so many friends who are dear to me and who left their routines to come and play with us. To laugh and cry (and SWEAAAAAT) with us.

Never before had I offered such incredibly powerful Reiki sessions with my partner to so many willing and grateful recipients. Wow. Just wow. We will now be offering this as part of our magical, yummy menu!
Never before had we gotten to hang out with the majestic Theobroma Cacao Trees in the forests of Mexico AND share their amazingly tasty fruits with lots of grateful taste buds.

Never before had I experienced an earthquake swaying the foundation below me while lying upon the earth next to a river...during an Ayahuasca ceremony. Then all of the harmless aftershocks at the retreat center that literally shook me to the core all week and resulted in no sleep and a constant feeling of tremors day and night.

Never before did that get coupled with our next door neighbor moving in with a pack of riled up dogs who barked day and night. Which resulted in someone poisoning some of them. Which resulted in not only dead dogs but a dead cat of the retreat owner that went missing and a dead iguana rotting under our tiny casa. That week was the pinnacle of the universal testing! Finally that phase seemed to come to a close another week later with a midnight pick-axe sound below our bedroom window while the man buried yet another deceased doggy. What a mess THAT all was. (Yup, it really happened.) Hopefully NEVER again.

Never before had I given and received so many smudgings. SO MANY. Never had I seen Tanner paint perfect sacred art on a wall. Never had I watched a tarantula cross the road. Never before had I heard a daily orchestra of dozens of roosters- EVERY. Damn. Morning. Way before the sun was even thinking about rising. Never before have I felt so strongly that I never again need a pet dog. Or cat. I had about 99 of them in the neighbourhood all winter and spring. Stretch that out and it will last one a lifetime or more.

Never had I hired two vegan cooks who both said “I don’t really cook. Especially vegan. But I’ll learn!” And never before had I seen such a rapid transformation of two non-cooks into magical food art wizards. Um...see for yourself. All of our kitchen helpers were superheros. There is NO way we could have done all of this without you all.

Never before now have I felt such a strong push in the direction of my deepest purpose and the blissful flapping of my wings with great anticipation of what might be coming next.

Never before have I felt like I accomplished with flying colors such a massively challenging assignment from the universe. A clear beginning and a clear end. Checkmark. Where will One World Wellness Retreats in Canada happen? We are ready for our summer assignment! Bring. It. On. WhamO! (Oh, and in English please.)

PS. Mexico we LOVE you and all of your mysterious and hilarious humor and powerful yet loving lessons! See you soon.  Until then...Adios. Also, we are so grateful to everyone who was the behind-the-scenes support team for US. Wow. What an amazing web of people we have in our lives. xoxoxo

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Moments of Grace: 2017 in Review

Daily Sunset view from our rooftop this winter season!

This blog post is a landmark post for me. It is the 100th time that I have written my thoughts and feelings on this blog site to share them with the infinite ethers of the universe. (I must also point out that I have recently lost the ability to use the Blogger App on any Apple product...and thus I am using the web version and it is just no fun and I cannot get rid of the white boxes behind most of the text. Sigh. If anyone can suggest a new blogging platform that has an iPhone App, and is able to swap it all over for me, that would be to ideas!)

There is a deep and expansive magic in not knowing whose eyes read these words each time that I share. I do not know who’s life may be affected by my sharing. All that I know for sure is that through these blogs, I have been able to observe myself shifting and expanding and reaching new levels of self-awareness and compassion for my own life and all of existence. I know that this journey is far from over and I want to thank you for being a part of it. No matter how large or small, every soul encounter matters to me. I know that we all merge and swirl in and out of one another’s lives for cosmic reasons that we may or may not understand. What a magical ride this is!

So as some of you may know, for just over a year, Tanner and I and some friends and family have been studying and contemplating the Gene Keys system of self-transformation and unfoldment. It is the most powerful concept that I have ever worked with, alongside the yogic path, by which the Gene Keys are heavily influenced.

We are currently working through a section of the Golden Path study program called the Venus Sequence. It is all about how we show up in our relationships through this lifetime. It is so powerful that it is hard to describe.

In one of the steps, we dove deep into the concept of Divine Grace. I suddenly had a recapitulation of 2017 through a lens of Grace. I jotted down all of the moments in the last year where I was stopped in my tracks by something or so deeply moved that I felt a deep shift in my life. I will share these magical occurrences with you and I hope that you will take some time to recollect your own moments of Grace from each of us can only experience what Grace means for us as a unique individual soul.

Here we go- in a roughly chronological order:

Obvious first stop Is the Gene Keys themselves. They launched me into 2017 from a space of self-awareness that I had never known before.

Song downloads: I have had several songs come to me this year and I am reminded of my deep lifelong passion for using my voice to transmit love and magic through song. It’s been a loooong time coming back so I look forward to sharing. I used to be in the school choir for 11 years and when my family became church-goers in my high school years, I made the most of it by joining the church choir. In my early 20’s my former partner and I recorded awesome upbeat cover albums for his mom each year for her birthday. My love of singing had gotten lost in the seriousness of life and is slowly returning to me.

Speaking of Music: Oliver Swain. Something about this guy and his musical channeling ability is simply magical. I will let you look his albums up yourself. Folky funky charming melodies. He has a brilliantly co-created Leonard Cohen tribute album also. Amazing. Sitting in a few live performances was completely hypnotic for me.
Nahko and Medicine for the People: This group of guys has a deep and beautiful connection with each other and such a smooth flow amongst them. We were blessed to be at two of their live performances in July and October in the USA. Four times in two years and I look forward to the next. Their album HOKA has been a soundtrack for my life over the last year and a half. Enjoy.

Sunset Cacao Ceremony in our beautiful palapa
Cacao ceremonies: Sooooo many moments of Grace have occurred at these beautiful gatherings of human hearts and souls. One group of moments that stands out was in April this year. It was our final ceremony in our home community on Vancouver Island. I was so caught up in the planning of where we were heading out on road trip of undetermined length...that I was really touched deeply when our friends shed tears that we would soon be leaving the tribe and the uncertainty of when we might return left a void that night. I knew that all I could do was feel it and know that there was nothing I could say or do to change that deep tethering of human hearts and auras. I still feel all of those beautiful people with us on this journey. You know who you are!!!

Yoga teacher training at the Himalayan Institute in Pennsylvania: I returned to my roots and my original yoga home and family after 14 years of being away. It was so powerful to return to my hometown and dive into the depths of my truth and beliefs about life itself. I went through such a powerful shift at those 22 days of yogic metamorphosis. I will be eternally grateful for witnessing the change in myself and the other 16 students who shared that priceless time with me. Including Tanner. Wow. What a gift to have shared such a powerful and graceful experience.

A single conversation with a soul mate: That day was so pivotal for me. I don’t even think he knows how profound it was. I didn’t make it about me though. I knew there was a message that he needed to receive directly from me to unravel our karmic past and free us both up to move forward on our separate paths. This person and myself have had a powerful soul connection for 16 years and we will remain connected into infinity. However, the day this summer when I told him that he was one of the most incredible humans I have ever known and that he was doing the world a disservice by not sharing his whole heart by avoiding deep, beautiful relationships, was so profound for me. We have had a beautiful sharing and clearing over the last few years and Tanner has been such a big part of allowing this karmic settlement to unfold. We are soul family from the same tree and it feels as though it is our role to support and encourage one another to fulfill our individual destinies in this lifetime. With or without each other. What a blessing the people in my life have been. It continues to amaze me. 

Being offered management of a retreat center on the beach in Mexico for the winter months: Didn’t see this one coming. I could write 10 blogs about it so far after four months of planning, and the retreats still don’t start for two more weeks. It’s been one of the more intense schools of life so far (probably in my top 5) planning and preparing for holding these powerful retreats for supporting human transformation. The universe is making sure that we are fully rooted and prepared for this!

Connecting with my uncle after 23 years: My dad asked us to swing by my aunt and uncle’s place in Dallas on our way to Mexico to deliver some priceless vintage family photos that we had just sorted and labeled with great care. I was highly reluctant but I knew it was part of my dharma to make new impressions on a wounded family tree. We only visited for one evening but it was a super powerful evening. I asked him many questions about his life and about my dad (they are brothers) and about their childhoods. He told me how grateful he was to discuss his ex-wife and his children who are now grown and how these things are not normally discussed by his family. He just turned 80 years old and he is one of millions in that generation who have had little or no opportunity to work through and come to terms with the core wounding that has been passed on through countless generations. He said to me something like: For someone who never went to university for a degree, you seem to have an incredible view on life and your experiences are so wonderful to hear about. Keep doing what you are doing. He has a PhD in something. I don’t even know what. They wanted us to stay for more time but Mexico was calling and a short and potent visit is often the most profound.

A 3 month old Mexican baby with huge blue eyes: His whole family operates a coconut tent on the side of an extremely hot and sweaty stretch of highway between Puerto Escondido and San Cristobal de las Casas. We met them twice. Once on each end of a two week trip to Chiapas in November. I don’t know exactly what it was about this baby. But his 11-year-old cousin handed him to me while I waited for a cold fresh coconut water. We stared into each other’s eyes and his smile was so huge that it lit me up on the inside. I told him he was welcome to visit us in Canada someday when he was old enough. We paid for the coconuts and I jokingly asked how much they wanted for the baby. I don’t think they thought it was funny. Cultural humor gap. Also a moment of slight awkwardness. Mostly Grace though, mostly Grace.

A magical waterfall that we visited in rural Oaxaca: The power of falling water and the rhythm of the waves at the impact point, combined with the constant roar and the misty rainbows at the pool below created a deeply moving experience for me. Twice. We will return again before long.
On Christmas Day, we trekked up into the wild hills to spend our day there.
A beautiful song came to me and so I wrote it down. When I work up the courage to record it, I will share it with the world. The title of the song is “This is Life”.

Russet-Crested Motmot (fun name right?!) 

Lastly, on New Year’s Eve morning, I was preparing to hand-wash some laundry and hang it to dry when I stopped in my tracks. There was an incredible rainbow bird the size of a crow sitting on the clothesline on top of a purple towel that was hung out to dry. I watched him intently as I slowly stepped closer. His head was a reddish and the tip of his long tail was blue. He was the most magical wild bird I have ever seen. The rainbow gradient of colors along his body just dazzled me.

I knew this moment of Grace was a very good omen on the last day of an incredibly powerful and transformative year. 2018 is sure to be full of Grace beyond measure. I look forward to telling you all about year from now.

Please share these blogs with anyone that you feel may be inspired by my stories. 2018 is going to be amazing. A vast ocean of possibilities lies ahead of all of us and we must simply clean up our boats and surrender to the waves of life. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Can you open up to a more magical life?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

El Camino del Corazón

This blog used to be called “Along the Heart Trail” when I started writing it in 2013. At the time, it was how I felt I was living my life- following my heart. A couple of years ago I decided to align it with our then-new business, so we changed the name to the one it has now. I was recently moved deeply to hear this phrase in Spanish at a beautiful cacao ceremony. “El camino del corazón”; the Road/way/path/trail of the Heart. It was the first time we sat in a ceremony that was completely in another language. It was so touching. The setting was a beautiful home here in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. When we finally found the location (sometimes Mexican addresses are so tricky!) we were welcomed warmly by the hosts and a small crackling fire warmed the ceremonial space. Gorgeous local flowers covered the floor in vases and various forms of cacao decorated the room. We brought a fresh cacao pod from the mountains of Oaxaca as an offering for the altar.

The facilitator of this ceremony was our friend, Izaias, who is a Guatemalan medicine man and a lover of cacao. We hadn’t seen him in over two years so it was very special to meet again. He also came bearing a suitcase full of cacao medicine from Guatemala, which was a beautiful thing for us to receive. We haven’t had access to our favorite Guatemalan cacao for nearly a year. The Guatemalan postal system basically dissolved in September of 2016 and so going there to get it was the only option. When we asked for a special favor of him, to bring the cacao to us in southern Mexico, he said he had been thinking of hosting some ceremonies here anyway. So it all worked out beautifully.

I have been avoiding writing this blog post for several weeks. And the longer I have waited, the crazier it feels to sit down and write because each day that has passed has seemed like a whole blog post in itself!

San Miguel de Allende at sun up

So I will try to compress a month and a half of amazing experiences into a reasonably concise post here...

It took us about a week to get from my hometown in Pennsylvania through the Midwest and down south to Texas where we crossed into Mexico. On Halloween night, we swung through St. Louis, Missouri to catch a Nahko and Medicine for the People performance of their new album. It was incredible. Go see/hear them when you can. They keep getting better and better. 

While crossing the USA, heading west and south, we visited my brother and then we met my brother’s half-brother for the first time as adults. We then carried on south to Dallas, Texas to deliver some antique family photos to my dad’s brother, who I hadn’t seen since my grandmother’s funeral in 1994. We had a profound visit. 

Ancestral connections have been slowly lost since humans have been able to traverse the earth so easily. Just the other night we were discussing having mixed European ancestry back several generations and having no knowledge of the sacred ceremonial traditions of our own ancestors. We intend a tour of Europe in the next few years to go dig deep and learn from the elders there. Until then, we are traveling North America’s terrain and gathering all of the wisdom that we can find, especially in the realm of ceremonial practices for healing and inspiration. 

I just realized how cold I am. It is about 5-10 degrees celcius at night in the highlands of Chiapas this time of the year. The buildings are mostly concrete blocks and there is no heating in many homes (including the hostel we are staying at for these two weeks). So I am under a fleece blanket and a Coleman sleeping bag and I’m wearing a wool hat, hand warmers, a sweater, hoodie and down vest with wool socks. And I’m still cold. In a few short days we will head back to the west coast in Oaxaca where it is sweaty and tropical. A huge contrast.

"Free On the Road" with a Quetzal, which is a very rare bird
- one of many excellent VW's we have seen

So I want to talk about the retreat project we are in the midst of.
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.

What can we do about this epidemic? Ultimately, we need to each help ourselves first and foremost. Begin by healing any and all emotional traumas to the very best of your ability (yes, this is an ongoing lifetime project because new things will arise, but it gets easier and easier). Say YES to whatever you need to (even if it seems really far out and kinda crazy) to heal the parts of you that are wounded, fearful, judgemental, ashamed, guilty or angry. None, I repeat NONE of these things will help you or anyone else to create a better world. So drop them off, bundled in forgiveness, and choose carry on lighter. If you are not willing to face your own dark side, and become BFF’s with it, then do not pass GO or collect any other workshops or courses etc. Seriously. You can NOT avoid these issues and detour around them forever, and think that you can truly help our society to become a more loving place. If we do not love and respect ourselves, we cannot truly know what it is to love or respect others and to feel true connection and unity. You can change careers, move to a new place, have a new partner, etc, and YOUR personal core wounds, patterns and challenges will still be inside of you when you lay your head on your bed each night....until you meet them and greet them and dissect them and make them your allies. I would like to hear an argument against this that can prove otherwise. I have never heard one that stands up to this assessment that can prove that there is any other way to truly thrive and LOVE LIFE DEEPLY. It is amazing how people want to make excuses and tell stories about why they are an exception to this concept. So here is another tip: There are NO exceptions. Admitting that it ALL starts with ourselves is the hardest step to take...try it. That is a dare.

Angel of TRUTH

Two of our friends are offering a two week Sacred Medicine Journey that will be one of the most life-changing experiences one could intentionally sign up for. It is happening from February 4-18. These ladies (with the support of myself and Tanner) are offering two things that go hand-in-hand: week 1 with Dr. Ariel Jones, ND is a week of deep detoxing of the body through juicing, a couple of days of water fasting, and then some simple, clean meals to help your physical body to flush itself out and to prepare to stage two: a week of shamanic plant medicine journeys and integration time with the magical and fun medicine woman, Christina Sol. She has over 15 years of experience with these sacred medicines. 

Having participated in all of these pieces, I can confidently say that these experiences have catapulted my healing (on all levels) and overall state of existence to a place that I couldn’t imagine was even available. Wow! If I could personally pay for everyone I know to attend these two weeks, I would do it in a heartbeat. I can’t do that at this moment, so I will leave that part up to the magic of the universe. I can’t wait to see which 7 people are the ones to undertake take this two week journey with us. 

In addition, from January 14-21, we have a week of diving into the Gene Keys book and it’s philosophy of self-exploration. It has been an integral part of our lives over the last year and has deeply inspired us to stay our own unique course in life. To each our own and in our own way we will blossom and grow toward true awakening and bliss.

We are offering 3 separate weeks of cacao intensives that we are calling Spirit of Cacao. We will share multiple ceremonies, workshops and daily yoga classes to open up and grow both individually and together as a community. January 21-28February 25-March 4,  April 1-8

The Wisdom of the Chiapaneco OWL

Tanner’s mama, Cori Ellingson, just released her second book called Choosing a Vibrant Life. She shares a lifetime of her trials and tribulations with SO many great tips for living a vibrant and joyful life. Most importantly, she is reminding us that we all have choices and that we each must claim our individual power to create the lives we want to live. Her retreat from January 28-February 4 will be amazing!

Our friend Kelly-Ann La Sirena is a pharmacist by trade and a mermaid-yogini when the sun is shining and the waves are just right. Her passion for movement and ocean medicine combined with her humor and upbeat vibe will surely wrap these retreats in a bubble of fun! She teaches yoga, surfing and stand up paddle boarding. We will be there creating beautiful plant-based meals and making sure that everyone is enjoying their time with us. Her two retreats called Mermaids in Mexico are March 11-18 and March 18-25.

Last but not least, we have 4 weeks of rest and rejuvenation time that we call Back to Basics Retreats. One in late February (right after the Sacred Medicine Retreat) , one at the start of March, one late March (following the two weeks of Mermaid retreats) and mid-April, which will conclude our 13 weeks of retreats. These are the perfect thing if you want a little yoga, nourishing clean meals and a lot of downtime. Ahhhh.

ALL retreats are listed in more detail here: 

So, I just want to wrap up this mega-blog by saying that, although it may appear that the two of us are just kicking back and having nothing but jolly good fun, this is not entirely true. We have been working our butts and our fingers, eyes and ears off for 4 months (and we have nearly 5 more months until we have seen this project to completion) organizing and detail-tweaking this experience for...YOU. With excitement and passion for positive change. Sure, we are super stoked to be able to offer all of these amazing retreats, and we are doing it for not just ourselves, but for humanity
For healing. For community. For connection. One World. One race. One Love. One heart divided into 7 billion tiny pieces. Together we walk the path of the heart.

The coat of arms on the Mexican flag is derived from an Aztec legend that their gods told them to build a city where they spot an eagle on a nopal cactus eating a serpent, which is now Mexico City. 
Watch for the signs....

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Keeping Commitments on this Unscripted Journey

Virginia. It's for lovers.

It seems as though being non-committal has become a strong current trend with the easy-to-hide-behind facade of the Internet and social media. Who is holding us all accountable? No one. It's all on us to be the best we can be. How can I go about this you might ask?

Stating commitments out loud creates an imprint in the ripples of life that somehow leads us down a road of magic. Our latest commitment feels reaaaaally big and so I also thought, "what better way to lock it in than to write about it for hundreds to witness?"  Here are some of the things I have commited to in the recent past and some that are ongoing.  Please be a Cosmic Witness:

We have learned to continually commit to the things that reflect our deepest truths. (This was me all excited at a recent cacao ceremony).

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...

Some more creative advertising! Shine!

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!

Rainbow soles. Gather together!

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. 

Ok that's the last one. For now. 

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. 

(Oops. I just found this and it kinda fit here perfectly.)

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.

Join us at our Mexico Retreats in 2018:

Here is our Cacao Connection website:

And our New for 2017 YouTube channel:

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Los Milagritos aka Little Miracles

Join us at Los Milagritos in Puerto Escondido, MX January-April 2018 for our Back to Basics retreats! Community. Yoga. Ceremonies. Plant-based meals. Connection. Ocean.

"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.

Graffitied inspiration in Burlington, Vermont

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.

A reminder along a walking path in Burlington, Vermont

"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!

I got out of the car and walked down the block to snap this one. It's on point.

So then...a few moments after typing this above bit of wisdom from Haemin Sunim down on my phone, I came upon the largest snake I have ever seen in the wild. It was as long as I am tall and had the girth of my wrist. It laid all wavy across my path and it just stared at me without even a flinch. I watched it for a few minutes and then walked around it while keeping a good distance away. I knew it was there to tell me something I needed to hear. It was surreal like a dream. So I looked up snake spirit animal medicine to remind myself what the message might be:

"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!