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F E E L I N G S. Feelings are quite a foreign concept to me. I grew up in a home where I was only really allowed to be happy-- we didn't talk about anything else. I wasn't even shown the normal and healthy ways in which I could be loved. Now, at the age of 30, I'm realizing how harmful that mindset has been for myself and the people around me. Lately, I seem to oscillate between one of two extremes-- 1) allowing myself to feel absolutely nothing, avoiding any emotions-- good or bad; 2) allowing bad emotions to swallow and encompass my entire being and spending too much time there. I thought I was ready for real, honest love, but I don't even know what that looks like or means. One step forward and six steps back. Six steps back. #lcdsoundsystem
Posted: Oct 17, 2017 6:40 PM
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The first time was someone I knew and trusted. Someone I had even had consensual sex with before. But he was wasted, forceful, and determined. I didn't even realize what was happening. I just knew it didn't feel right. The second time was someone charming and seemingly ok. But I allowed myself to be put in a bad position and I wasn't forceful enough in my "NO". But that's the issue with all of this. Rape isn't always like it's portrayed in the movies. A woman shouldn't have to tell a man multiple times that she isn't interested or ask him repeatedly to stop. A woman shouldn't feel shamed or like she did something wrong. And if she has enough courage to come forward, a woman shouldn't be asked, "well why didn't you fight back?" or "were you drunk?". My brief stories are just the two instances of rape I have experienced. This doesn't include the patient at my work who asked me to sit on his lap (where then no actions were taken and he was allowed to continue in the study). This doesn't include the countless unwanted looks and comments from men at work, on the street, or really anywhere. Read through the other posts - #metoo or ask your friends if they want to share their story. This issue won't change until men take some responsibility as well. The conversation needs to shift in several ways before these things can disappear. And I also know several men who feel pressured to act this way because our society is a mess or they feel helpless and don't know where to turn to talk about these things. So men (and women)-- start speaking up to someone who says something or acts inappropriately. Think about your actions and words and how traumatizing they can be. Women-- please have the courage to share your story-- it doesn't have to be public but talk about it. The more you talk about it, the less power it has over you. And remember, that is just one story of your life. It doesn't have to define you. You are beautiful, smart, and strong as shit. 💕
Posted: Oct 8, 2017 4:43 PM
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Life is pretty fucking great.
Some days are really exciting. I get to drive up to the mountains mid-day to hike, photograph, and do yoga. Most days look like this though- checking emails, reading text books, planning and writing out yoga classes. This was just 45 minutes of work. Is it boring? Absolutely. But this is what most of my days really look like. I think it's easy to get caught up in social media and the lives people portray. I'm guilty of it too. So here's to an incredibly mundane video and a very average Tuesday! Music by the Lumineers
"Wherever you go / Well, I can always follow / I can feed this real slow / If it's a lot to swallow / And if you just want to be alone / Well, I can wait without waiting / If you want me to let this go / Well, I am more than willing" --Damien Rice
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I spent the afternoon in the foggy, ominous mountains. Just driving. Appreciating the beautiful scenery so close to "home". I took some photos. I did some yoga in the rain. The perfect songs played at the perfect times. My heart felt so happy. I have spent the last several years running away from my problems and changing everything externally without ever stopping to look inward. I moved across the country to avoid the pain I felt in Charleston. And when that urge crept up again here- to just run away and start over- I decided to sit with it instead. Yes, I've made some big external shifts these last few months (new job, new house, etc) but even more work has happened inside. Life becomes so much easier and much more enjoyable when you are really clear on what you want and why you do the things you do. Is it for approval of people you don't even care about? Is it what your parents expected of you? Is it what society tells us is "normal"? Where do your real desires live? What makes your heart happy? Creating a life that allows me to finish work at 930am on a Thursday is fucking sweet. I can take a trip to the mountains, I can watch tv and do nothing, I can do what ever it is I want! Build a life YOU are proud of.
Posted: Sep 14, 2017 6:02 PM
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"There's no equation where taking risks, braving uncertainty, and opening ourselves up to emotional exposure equals weakness." [Brene Brown] A meaningful reminder to continue to be open and honest with myself and with others. To ask if you want something. To work hard if you want to see change. To soften certain places of your heart and mind to let more light in.
Water: Cleansing. Renewing. Pure. That's what water means for most people. A symbol of new life. However, growing up in the south has an added meaning to the word. Hurricanes. Destruction. Loss. Death. Twelve years ago today, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast. I was in Baton Rouge at the time but my family all lived in and around New Orleans. I can still vividly remember huddling around a handheld TV to watch the news. The power was out. No phone or internet. All that was visible of my grandparents' house was the tiny tip of the roof. The damage was unreal. Unthinkable really. I still couldn't grasp how bad this one was. Until months later when I returned to Chalmette to clean my family's homes. The smell. The mess. The mud. The mold. The trash still on the road side and cars still stuck in trees. Cars. In. Trees. I didn't realize until recently that storms actually make me quite anxious now. Driving through intense rain brings back scary moments of commuting between BR and NOLA. Some very close calls. Waking up one day to find my car flooded uptown. I never fully realized this about myself. It's a part of my life I never fully felt. But I experienced something so surreal a few nights ago. I went to a sound meditation and the teacher used a sea drum, a simple drum filled with beads-- made to sound like crashing waves. The moment he started I froze. My breathing slowed. My body tensed. He made his way over to me to play the drum above me. It was like I was drowning. I remembered all the horrible things I had seen on the news. The smell of my grandparents' home. Stories from friends who had to be rescued from their roof while watching a neighbor's dog drown. I've spent so many years trying to not feel anything but it always comes back to haunt you. I'm thankful my family was safe. I'm thinking about all the poor, drenched souls in Texas and now my home state of Louisiana. Sending good vibes, safety, and a fast recovery.
A long weekend here was just what I needed before this crazy new journey begins. The air was clean and crisp. The leaves were so brightly green. The company was even better. 💕
I'm always astonished when you meet someone at the exact right moment and they say exactly what you needed to hear. That happened not once, not twice, but three times last night. All in the same place. Thank you Beth for sharing your life story with me. It's wild to meet someone whose life is paralleling yours, but 20 years ahead. Thank you Joy for reminding me that I'm on this path for a reason. I don't believe it's God necessarily but I do think there is a reason for everything. And Lauren thank you for the laughs and encouragement about teaching. And also the insight that new experiences can lead to great and new creative endeavors. I'm so glad to be back here in Redlands and so pumped for what the future holds!
Bali highlights 😍 I'll be posting edited versions of my favorites later
My Siem Reap Airbnb was too pretty to not take a video in 😝
Day two in Siem Reap! Phnom Kulen Mountain (reclining Buddha) and waterfall-- we got to witness a Hindu blessing ceremony... It was so neat! Beng Mealea temple and the Kompong Phluk floating village
Siem Reap, Cambodia!! Day one was a tour of the temples--Angkor Wat Bayon Ta Prohm Banteay Kdei and Kravan!
Krabi was an absolute dream. I wish I had spent more time there but now that just means I have to go back! 😍
Motor bikes, bat caves, hot springs, waterfalls, stuck in the rain, and so much sweat! Had a great weekend in Pai, Thailand! Currently in Krabi! 💕
The Elephant Nature Park was one of the most amazing and surreal things ever! I got to play with, feed, and bathe the elephants! They have been rescued from the circus or logging industry and now roam free in this beautiful national park. Such a fun day!!
Oh man I've been slacking editing and posting Thailand photos!! Here are some recaps of the markets and temples in Chiang Mai 😍
Y'all. I'm having an extremely hard time adjusting to the time change here. I've fallen asleep at 8pm and been up around 3am the past two nights. Gotta stop that! Yesterday I wandered around the Grand Palace and the Museum of Contemporary Art. I made the mistake of staying close to the airport so getting around had been... challenging. I'm ready to leave Bangkok and head to Chiang Mai!