In search of that open door

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At the end of last year, a yoga teacher whose class I had grown accustomed to found herself in a bind. Most of her classes at the studio were being cut from the schedule and, like so may of us, she found herself dangling on that precipice of one door closing with the ever burning question of ‘would another open’? Yet, unlike the first thoughts that might have popped into my or many of our heads, she was heading in search of that open door on the other side. You know, the one so many of us try to get to but the one that often seems stuck, locked or out of reach? What’s your perspective? Are you a witness to the ‘door slamming’ or a seeker of that ‘open door’?

“Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day” – Dalai Lama

For me, awareness was a big part of 2016 and I’m hoping it continues onward. That aspect of noticing things, observing actions and finding what works for you trickles into far more than I ever expected. Whether it was saying yes to a client, saying no to an opportunity, letting in a new idea or changing a decade long thought-pattern, awareness was present. In the wake of the madness of 2016, for me, 2017 must be about kindness and joy. Finding a way to embrace the positive, create a forcefield to repel the negative and open up to the space where learning happens – that’s how we’ll grow, that’s where the good stuff happens.

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There’s wisdom in change – some I refused to see, others I refused to acknowledge and still others I refused to process. That’s over now. I’m continuing to see the world through a new lens. One that deflects negativity, disregards the ‘everything’s a crisis’ approach, welcomes the holistic view on wellness, incorporates the alternatives and deflects the crazy. Noticing things, seeing opportunity where I never before did and becoming aware of more plays a role in the general demeanor of happy and that’s the one I want as often as I can get it and in the other times, will continue to strive to reach it.

I have a friend from Long Beach who changed her career goals. She needed to leave the place she knew where she was thought of in one light to have the time and brain space to cultivate this new part of herself. Upon return to the old stomping ground, it’s taken awhile, but most can now see her in this new role while noticing that she maintains a lot of the person she has always been. That’s the stage I’m in. A shift in geography opened up a new environment in which to cultivate something that was always there but might not have had that need or push when living in my comfortable bubble of the east coast. A shift in profession and finance opened up opportunities to see different ways to save, give and spend. A shift in the medicinal mindset opened up a possibility to work on health changes in a different way than solely the prescription kind. And a shift in acceptance opened up room for new friendships, new ideas and new additions to a wellness and workout regimen.

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” – Carrie Fisher

Growth happens when you least expect it, but what you notice or observe afterwards tilts the playing field. Those who strive for happiness or fun in their lives don’t like the feeling of life without it and are constantly finding ways to extract the giggle from ordinary situations. Once you’ve tasted it, why go back? I find it to be the same with growth. Channel that inner guru and focus on generating goodness, growth and gratitude. Find a way to let it in and you will never be the same. Whether you’re channeling your inner child, focusing on meditation, jumping on your trampoline, finding solace on your yoga mat, climbing up a rock wall, giving back to community, trying out a new tea, laughing with a friend or sharing a smile with a stranger – if you let it, it can light you up from the inside. Head towards that open door and find your joy – you’ll never see it as out of reach again.

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New year, new opportunities

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We’ve turned the page on the calendar, made it to 2017, managed amidst the food frenzy of December and have gotten to the next rotation of the earth around the sun. How do you feel? Amidst the barrage of sale emails, cleanse products, impending inauguration, weight loss programs, gym freebies and resolution insanity – we’re here. With one foot in front of the other – we’ve made it to January…now what? Read the rest of this entry

January to December to January

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2016 is ending. Through what seemed like a constant supply of gut punches and salt-filled tears, the world said goodbye to more cultural icons than we can count, sat stunned in the wake of political insanity and stood gobsmacked as the world seemingly continued to fall apart around us all. Being a global citizen isn’t always easy. Finding your smile isn’t always easy. The year ticks away from season to season and somehow turning the pages or clicking ‘next’ on our calendars is meant to change things. But there was good, there always is, it only often gets overshadowed by the surrounding and much louder ick. Syrian children are fighting for their lives. Refugees are trudging through awful to wonder if they’ll gain entry somewhere with the promise of a welcoming community and better life. There is a homeless epidemic. I got a yoga wheel for the holidays and promptly busted a rib. I found a new yoga teacher I liked, her class is getting cancelled. I voted for the first time in California and wound up in the fetal position on the couch the next morning. Ugh. The universe feels like it’s spinning out of control…but, is that really the whole story? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Read the rest of this entry

Travel…a shift in the everyday existence

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A friend of mine used to tell me that I loved travel because I didn’t like reality. She swore that was the reason I loved laying on a beach in Cancun or seeing the sights of Europe. Perhaps part of that is true, but most of life was pretty great. If you’re healthy and have the ability of choice – what’s the problem, right? I had another friend who told me that if I loved ‘summer Stacey’, wouldn’t I want to try to embrace that person all year ’round? I imagine, in a sense, they were both right. Travel and summer, for me, have always provided a lifestyle involving freedom, possibilities, smiles and endless optimism. They’re the chocolate ice cream for toddlers and the glitter for crafters rolled into one. Read the rest of this entry

Journey, change…forward

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Do you know if you’re on a path? Have you felt stuck, in search of a new goal, or have you realized that there’s something else you can do or learn in this world? I’m not sure how much stock I ever put in all of this stuff. For years, it wasn’t for me. I didn’t need a path, journey or any of those what I once thought were ‘life coach moments’, I was living, enjoying, being – that was enough. I can’t tell you if there was a specific ‘aha’ moment or that I read this thing on @Pinterest or saw it on @Oprah® that seemed to click, but somehow, this mindset has entered my existence and it seems it’s here to stay.

“No matter how hard the past…you can always begin again” – Buddha Read the rest of this entry

Adventures in sand

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In the mind of a former New York teacher, Labour Day weekend means only one thing…back to school. Since this September baby is also born around the same time and lived in Long Beach where that Monday is the unofficial close of the summer season – it already means something else. And then, this same girl moved west and now, Labor Day weekend also signifies the USA Sand Sculpting Competition held annually in San Diego, California. This year, I not only got to attend, but spent the first day of the event volunteering and learning some of what goes on to make those incredible pieces of three dimensional artwork come alive. Read the rest of this entry

Giving Back

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Like everyone else old enough to remember, I know exactly where I was on the 11th of September 2001. I was sitting on hall duty in Farmingdale High School, New York when the first of a few letters was delivered. Like everyone else who tried to get through, I found the mobile phone lines weren’t working. Kids were pulled out of class, teachers rode the busses with elementary school kids and we all sat in silence for hours glued to the television. Later, I found out that my sister, who traveled on the subway through the Twin Towers station every morning had made it through and a co-worker of hers provided shelter on Staten Island for the next few days. My Dad was in Europe at the time and eventually, through the kindness of strangers, coworkers and embassies made it home from Belgium a few days later. In the years since, at school, we had no morning announcements aside from a moving tribute coupled with a talented singer serenading the school with the chorus of Sarah McLachlan’s, I Will Remember You. Read the rest of this entry

The aftermath of adventure…returning home

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Travel. A gift, choice, calling, vice – whatever you call it….when one travel journey comes to an end…it affects you. Our most recent long travel adventure took us across two continents, three countries, seeing friends and two sets of family, planes, trains, trucks and automobiles, a cross country road trip and over two months of travel. Then it ended. Don’t get me wrong…being ‘stuck’ in sunny San Diego, is no place anyone would ever use the term ‘stuck’ – nevertheless, a journey that took months to plan and weeks to execute, was over. Read the rest of this entry

Growing through change

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Have you ever had one of those experiences where you’ve been fully changed? Something experienced, transpired, or happened and on the inside, you no longer feel like the same person, yet on the outside, to the world at large, you’re still you? It feels so obvious to you yet this new you is foreign to those around you. It seems you now react differently, respond differently, make different choices and have different insights to the same old questions or actions of those you’re around. To you, these changes seem positive – almost as if you can’t imagine going back to the way things were – but to others in your life who can not understand what’s happened, they’re frustrated. What happens now? Read the rest of this entry

Learn Things

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Mat and I don’t watch a lot of shows – we don’t even have a television. Of the few we try to catch, one that often brings a smile is NCIS New Orleans®. Scott Bakula’s lead character sends his agents out into the city to, as he says,  ‘learn things’. We seem to have adapted this idea to our life, and no matter the situation, that has become a goal. Perhaps all of our travel together has had that as a backstory, but it is quite apparent these days in life in San Diego. It’s been a year and a half in a new city, with new career goals, new people, and new adventures and ‘learn things’ has become a constant. Read the rest of this entry