How did you move to Costa Rica? How did you start your business? People always ask me how I make all of the big, scary decisions that I do. My answer is simple: I choose to LIVE!
For all of my 20’s, I spent all of the money I made on traveling. I always had. Traveling the world has and will always be one of the things I value most in my life.
I come from a family split in half — one part was well-off, the other one not. I know how to live on both ends.
Growing up, we were only allowed to eat cereal at my mom’s house once a week because it was too expensive. And we were always last to be picked up from school; she worked hard to keep us afloat.
On the other end of the spectrum was my dad, who also worked hard (he came from nothing and made a whole lot of something), but he lived in another country. He’d swoop us up for school breaks spent in different parts of the world, always in luxury hotels.
I know both sides of the coin. From living this way, I learned the value in standing on my own two legs, as well as the blessing of being able to sit back and relax. I’m proud of both of my parents — they gave me the perfect upbringing by teaching me these contrasts.
Most of all, they gave me a zest for life and a deep longing to explore the world.
When I was in high school, I worked like crazy on the weekends and sold the little scooter I had so I could buy a ticket to Costa Rica for the first time. Once I was in the jungle, I stayed at hostels. I shook cockroaches off my sheets every night. I hitchhiked to get around. I spent a year waitressing and making one dollar an hour. And I slept in a dive shop when I couldn’t make rent.
I always did things that way: save up, make friends and work my way forward. Moving to Aruba was no different; I had absolutely nothing.
How did I do it? I simply trusted that life would always take me where I needed to be.
I travel a little bit differently now because I can, and because traveling with a child isn’t so easily done in dirty hostels. You need money to stay at luxury hotels, yes.
But you don’t need much to travel.
You don’t need much to walk this earth, to explore the world! Even if it’s your own country, your hometown, your backyard, there is always an opportunity for adventure.
What’s the easiest way to add more adventure into your daily life?
Break your routine.
Take a different route to work or around the grocery store.
Try something new.
Choose to see your surroundings from the eyes of a child; like it’s your first time discovering everything around you.
Open your eyes, and you can’t help but see the abundance of beauty that’s all around you.
Want to know the real reason why people don’t go on more adventures?
They choose to focus on all of the “What if’s.” They let their minds fill their heads with all of the reasons why an adventure is too risky. And they never take that first step, which could have gone beautifully!
Trap yourself this way and you’ll never get anywhere in life!
We aren’t here to be immobile, to let every beautiful and exciting moment pass us by. We are here to move! To grow! We’re here to connect, create and use what we learn to leave this world better than we found it.
You can’t do any of that if you never take a chance.
So, instead of seeing everything that could go wrong, focus on all the magnificent possibilities that are out there.
Trust. You’ll always, always be okay. Good samaritans, guardian angels and signs from the universe cover this earth, ready to help you.
Everything I have in my life has come from taking chances, stepping into the unknown and trusting that I would be okay. Today, sometimes I still can’t believe it’s all real — the husband, the daughter, the business, the community.
It’s all the result of taking leap after leap. It’s all because I choose to LIVE.
And this...this is the photo of someone who’s LIVING.
It’s one of my favorite photographs of myself. Look at my eyes in this picture. They’re so alive.
My eyes don’t look like this when I’m staring at my phone. Sometimes they light up from beautiful words, or a photo, or a comment, but it’s rare. Eyes like this you don’t get from scrolling down the feed of a smartphone app, or watching sitcoms on TV or from sitting in front of a computer.
Eyes like this don't come from watching other people go after your dreams.
Eyes like this come from letting your heart open to the simple magic of this universe, and with that, falling utterly in love with the exact moment you’re in.
I’m blessed with so many of these beautiful moments. So many. And I love sharing them with you all. But sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s healthy to experience something without taking a photo of it.
One day, I had a bad moment that led to an unexpected 30-hour break from all technology. First, I had a moment of panic.
Then I meditated.
Two friends came over, without my knowing (when people can’t reach you, they have to stop by). We spent all evening talking. We pulled our angel cards, and they were super transformational for all of us.
I went to sleep with all of my dogs in bed, and I felt calm.
The next morning I woke up and felt calm, still. I didn’t check my email. I didn’t turn on my phone. I rolled out my mat and practiced. I cleaned the entire house, unpacked and cooked.
Then Dennis came from the airport and we went and got a fixed phone line installed in the house. I wanted to — needed to — be able to keep everything switched off when we were home. So, we had a phone connected to the wall, like when I was little. If there was an emergency, our closest people could reach us. That was all.
Sometimes I need to disconnect from screens and to-do lists to reconnect with my heart, my dreams and my loved ones. I know I’m not the only one.
When was the last time you unplugged? If you’re feeling foggy, fatigued or disconnected from your source (whatever or whoever that is), if you know you want to make some kind of change in your life, but you can't put your finger on it... TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. Go outside. Look people in the eyes and talk about something other than work.
Make space for clarity, and the clarity will come. The trick is noticing when you’re running low on fuel, and choosing not to fill it with more busyness and screen time.
That isn’t the energy you need more of.
What you need can only come from other organic matter — the ocean, the forest, animals, a warm shower, essential oils, unprocessed food, your friends, your children.
Allow yourself to be filled up by this kind of energy, and you’ll find yourself more than ready to go on an adventure and manifest every single one of your dreams.
Then...go after those dreams!
What do you want to experience in this precious life of yours? What would make you burst with happiness?
(Hint: what gives you an undeniable zest for life, like my parents gave me for travel?)
Listen, it’s up to you to make it happen.
YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW.
That shit is so absolutely true. You might not be able to fix everything that needs fixing or heal everything needs healing, but you can get up off the floor and make a major change in your life right at this moment.
Not when it’s more convenient, not when it’s easier, not when everything has suddenly aligned or when the time one day will be better for it, but RIGHT NOW. The time is now. Not tomorrow, now.
What that change you’re looking to make in your life is exactly, I can’t tell you; only you will know. But stop waiting for the perfect time. Take action today. Get up and move.
Book those flights!
Voice your boundaries so you can stop draining yourself and use your energy toward things that leave you with more, not less.
Write that business plan. Apply for the job you really want. Ask that person you like out on a date. Start that blog, write that book, build that website. Leave that toxic person behind. Get out of your comfort zone. DO THAT THING!
Life will always take you where you need to be, but you have to show up for the ride.
Magic is happening all around you, all the time. Look up, or you might miss it! Let today be the day you look back on as the one when you actually changed your life.
“Be not afraid, but let your world be lit by miracles.” - Marianne Williamson
How are you going to shake things up this week? Where are you going to take yourself that’s outside of your norm? How are you going to light your own fire? Share, share!
Let your heart lead the way, and you can never go wrong.