Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Category: Uncategorized

Joshua Tree Overnight (Part 2)

You can read part 1 here.

After a full day of climbing, we ate pizza, drove to a lot in Joshua Tree park and piled all of our gear on. We took the students and hiked out into the back country. H’s colleague, who runs the trip every year, had a choice spot he was seeking.

Amazingly, the site was open. We all staked out spots and set up tents. Then we roasted marshmallows over the camp stove burner and sipped hot chocolate.

H and I set up our tent so we could lay with our heads out of the door and stare up at the sky. We love looking at a starry sky, far from light pollution.

We slept in the tent, bundled in lots of clothes and our sleeping bags. It probably went down to the 40s that night. I was so cold, I hardly slept. My breath condensed on my sleeping bag making my sleeping area all wet. Ugh.

We both got up to go to the bathroom around 6am. H found the hand warmers we’d packed and gave me two. He got up to hang out with the students, and with the hand warmers doing their job, I slept another  45min or so.

We packed up the tents and sleeping bags and packed up our packs for the hike out to the car. From there we drove to another spot with picnic tables and ate oatmeal, Pop Tarts, trail mix, left over Halloween candy and sipped more hot chocolate.

Then we were off to another site to do a 7 mile hike.

At first, the elevation change of the hike was tough. H’s colleague is a serious outdoors guy and his pace is much faster than I am used to. I was dragging for the first hour or so. When we stopped for the view above, where H and I took our traditional vacation photo, the break helped. I fueled up on an Awake energy shot and trailmix and finally got going.

The hike gave me plenty of time to chat with H’s coworker and listen to the stories the high school students were sharing. I had such a mama bear moment of getting to be a part of these kids’ senior year trip to the desert.

It made me think a lot about how I was at that age, and the things I wish I did differently. I can’t believe I was there age over 10 years ago. It seems like just last year but also like the memories get fuzzier and dimmer each day.

On the drive home, we stopped at a Sonic. It felt crazy that we’d camped and hiked all before noon. The female students opted to ride in our car over the two days, and I loved that. One girl was sitting in the back seat and I asked, “Having a zen moment?” and she said, “It’s just so much quieter in here than the van”.

I had a flash forward of the type of parents or family life H and I may create for our kids and their friends. It only made sense that the quieter students would want to ride in our car – hopefully we can always create that calmer, quieter vibe for people. I know I cherish it.

I was sad to go home too. I love being outside – I could’ve stayed another 2 or 3 days. We have plans to be in Joshua Tree for Thanksgiving and I can’t wait.



We know I love dogs (see above). If you’ve ever met Carter Cash, you know he knows a ton of tricks. Sit pretty, speak, hit the bowl, up, off, wag your tail. I kid you not. H claims he’s “the most trained dog” he’s ever owned. I’ve sort of run out of things to teach him. But this is a new bar – I could teach Carter to DRIVE A CAR. Also, videos like this, where animals are loved and proud break my heart in the best way. I want to adopt them all.

On a sadder pet note, my sister-in-law lost her bunny last week and I felt terrible hearing the news. She wrote this sweet little post about her bun and the Postagram I sent her and her boyfriend. RIP Ellie xo.

Sarah Von Bargen (of consistently blows my mind with awesome blog content. I loved this post of innovative blog ideas. Can’t wait to try the shortest travelogue one on our trip to Alaska in T-2.5 weeks!

Jillian at The Noisy Plume takes the most spectacular photos, and writes posts that pull me into her world of nature and adventure. Check out her photos of a lightening storm in Taos.

Found Walking On My Hands via Lindsey Mead (who also recommended All The Light We Cannot See, which I’m loving) and this post, One, got me.

And getting to hear Jill Salahub speak about her creative journey on Creative Living with Jamie was a total treat. Congrats Jill.

Hope your weekending is splendid xo

See more Piqued posts here


Something Bubbling (a bud of a thing)

Today I had the pleasure of a call with Heidi Taylor. She and I met through an online class and hit if off via the topics of self-awareness and HSP.

See, the past two weeks, I’ve been thinking about the following:
– My innate abilities
– Being an INFJ, and using diplomatic empathy
– What my definition of success is
– How coaching is a skill, not necessarily a business
– My own through-line
– What my niche could be
– The emotional experience of life as opposed to the concrete / logical experience of life

I shared some of the above with Heidi. She called me out on self-sabotaging language with a smile. And suggested the word strategist.

It comes jumbled. I’m feeling the need to dig down, to study, to follow my nose… about what exactly, I’m not sure yet.

Do I want to register for coaching certification? Do I want to hire a life-coach? What freebies can I create that will draw people in? What steps does it take to move forward? How do I expand my blog into a website? Who are my right people? What am I building?

And basically, how do I get paid to do what I do well, with the people I want to work with?

All of this comes from the past 6 months of living, from turning thirty, and I’m sure the impending shift of Saturn from Scorpio to Sagittarius.

A small voice says, “you can take the next 2 years and build this.” (“But what is this”? another asks)

I’m feeling the need for flexibility and a back-up plan. I’m feeling the need to pursue something for myself again.

I throw ideas out to H and he helps as he can – from a teacher viewpoint of ideas for series or lessons. I’ve started a separate notebook for blog ideas. I’m keeping a list of sites that inspire me, ones I’d like to emulate.

I’m sharing this here, with you. Placing the marker, putting up the sign post. So you can say, I heard it here first.

1 of 52, Year of Ocean

“She walks along the edge of where the ocean meets the land
Just like she’s walking on a wire in the circus
She parks her car outside of my house, takes her clothes off
Says she’s close to understanding Jesus
She knows she’s just a little misunderstood
She has trouble acting normal when she’s nervous”
~ Counting Crows

Sunset Beach, Malibu – a week ago.

That Counting Crows song haunting me for a few weeks now. Love that record, perfect for winter. H and I went to the beach after spending a few vacation hours working. I wasn’t watching the waves though – I was searching the breaks for dolphins.

We spotted a small pod, maybe 3 to 5 of them, their gray fins lifting out of the waterline the way Ferris wheel cars sail up into the air and glide back down. Watched them move up the coast until they were small specks. H said his colleague saw a whale the other day.

Wow. To see a whale…

We only stayed for an hour, but it was worth it. I’m thinking it’s going to be worth it every time.

**See all of my Year of Ocean

If Nothing Is Permanent, Then Anything Is Possible

If nothing is permanent than anything is possible.

This concept came to me via the podcast How She Really Does It where Koren Motekaitis interviewed Kelly Rae Roberts. Kelly Rae was exactly my age when two major things came into her life – a running program for a 1/2 marathon and being swept up in art making. At the time she was a social worker, burning out on the job and in the past 7 years has left that career for one where she is a full-time artist.

Now I know there’s no silver bullet, but don’t you think that’s interesting the Universe popped that podcast into my ears this week?

Because I’ve been thinking about my job and my life. I am feeling like I’ve grown too big, like my shell is too tight and it’s time to find a new home. Like I want to do something new. And I feel like I’m suffering from “impostor syndrome“. Did I dupe everybody? How could I want to move on from a job that I basically fell into? Do I ever deserve this gig? And aren’t I being horribly ungrateful to look this gift horse in the mouth…?

I mean, the pay, the flexibility and the network I’ve built – that would be a lot to give away to start over. Starting to feel a scarcity approach from myself – like I need to hold on to this position in almost a desperate way, because what else would ever beat it? What if it disappears?

At the retreat, someone mentioned that that you can grow up (bigger) or down (deeper). I’d never heard it put this way, but it resonated with the images I had for my year – that I not only wanted to grow tall like a tree, but I wanted to grow roots, a solid foundation.

Then a colleague called me up with an idea for responsibilities I could take off his plate. Responsibilities that could expand my role. And I thought up a very simple series I could create to spotlight my clients, which I started on today.

So, maybe it’s not about going bigger but deeper.

And as Kelly Rae said in the podcast – if nothing is permanent, then anything is possible.

Have you ever thought about growing *down*? Is there a place in your life you’ve gone deeper instead of bigger?

Shedding Time Again


What Sundays Are For (Week 1)

Thinking of starting a weekly post: “Sundays are for…”

Walk to a my favorite coffee shop with my husband (still can’t get over that)

Blackberry & thyme muffin for me

Almond croissant for him

Lattes like these are why I love this place

And this guy, joining us

Looking for more? #sundaysarefor (instagram – Leonie Wise may have started this. Also @postcardsfrom )  | #sundaysarefor (twitter)

And then there’s also this for Ms Wise – Weekends Collected

How was your weekend?


Tenderly Blessed

One of the primary relationships in my life is a tenuous one. I don’t write about it here out of respect – for offending, saying the wrong thing, being disrespectful and mostly to avoid stirring up drama. Not that this person reads my blog.

They don’t even know it exists.

Which is quite appropriate since I feel they don’t recognize or acknowledge most of what makes me the person I am. The challenges I’ve overcome, the growth spurts, the self-awareness and general pleasure I’ve built into my life. My relationships, especially the one with my fiance, and the fact that I choose to live in southern California, where I can ride a bike along the beach or hike a trail or walk the beach.

Randomly, the miscommunication will come to a peak in an explosive phone call – where I’m left depleted and exhausted, continuing the feel that I am not heard and worst of all, that my reaction has only confirmed their suspicions… that I’m unhappy or something is terminally wrong in my life.

I know I’m being vague. Since I was 17, I’ve felt it useless to share the truth of these stories. It feels so pointless. “Nothing I say matters” I think, and so I don’t say anything. But that burying of feelings, the grief, the struggle… it shuts a person down. And I’ve work so hard to unpack my own baggage the past two years that it’s even more upsetting when I’m back in square one this week — screaming my feelings, crying hysterically, shouldering the guilt of my actions, and trying to process my rage.

The emotions sent me to bed for a 2 hr nap today, which helped. I see my therapist tomorrow. And these yellow roses from a supportive friend brought me back to my awesome life each time I passed them. Regardless of how this relationship develops, I know I am blessed. Tender, emotional, but blessed.