‘Wild’ – All of us Have a PCT Story to Tell.

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Have you done yourself the favor and picked up the book ‘Wild’, By: Cheryl Strayed? If not, do your being justice by reading this compelling, and in many ways, life changing book. I have been reading this work for a while now. I like to take my time when writings such as this one speak to me on a different level, and reach down into the depths of my being.

Have you ever hiked the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail)? Me either. However, the reading of this book and the multiple viewings of the movie depicting the powerful journey of Cheryl Strayed’s solo trek along the PCT has not only inspired me, but it has reminded me that we have all hiked the PCT in our own way.

Somewhere within ourselves are the things that have created physical/mental/emotional barriers. They are pieces of ourselves that are standing on the precipice of personal growth. The hikes on living’s trails with our lives strapped on our backs. Part of this journey came to fruition, for Ms. Strayed, when she put herself on the quest of hiking the PCT. For me, that PCT journey represents many things, and on this day it’s how I spent three nights and four days as a volunteer ranger at a campground in a yurt.

When I arrived at the campground I suddenly realized that this was happening. I began to wonder, “What did I get myself into?” Was I going to be able to do this?

The most challenging piece of this experience has been the night. Spending most of this experience alone, being required to roam the woodland trails at night while doing rounds of the camp sites and trying to sleep with nothing between me and the night but a slim canvas wall. It has been such a push on my being/soul, and a test of so many things around personal vulnerabilities stemming from a lifetime of sorting things out from my growing; being here as a female, the dark-the dark-the dark, wandering the woods at night with only the light I could carry with me – I have pushed myself in ways I’ve never done.

I didn’t do it like the backpackers you see on the cover of explorer magazines, or the hikers who have spent a lifetime of not fearing the unknown – let alone the noise(s) of twigs/branches breaking in the night. My anxiety was consistently elevated when that bright ball of orange went down and the dark skies with pinpoints of light rose up. However, you want to know what? I am doing it, I did it!

There were times when my insides were a tangled mess, but I kept going anyway. I may have slept (or lack there of) with three lanterns remaining lit all night and the sounds of white noise from my phone, but I kept going anyway. I may have had three light sources attached to my being while doing my rounds on the trails at night (essentially looking like the full moon blazing through the woods), but I kept going anyway. When my being felt uneasy and not able to settle, I kept going anyway. I may have slept most nights in my clothing vs pajamas (because in my mind it felt safer and more comforting), but I kept going anyway. I may have had pieces of my life quilt constantly resurface when my mind wanted to settle but the night not allowing it to do so, and yet – I kept going anyway. My anxiety and personal trauma history never fell completely silent, but I kept going anyway.

You would think with so much that often felt like an unbearable weight it would be difficult to be present with what I was here to do, but – there was the magic. The undeniable magic that can come from such moments of living and pushing yourself. The Milky Way soaring overhead – over my yurt – across the lake, the big blue beautiful lake that represented such tranquility, sitting in the middle of that lake in a kayak and a canoe, an owl silently drifting overhead as it left one pine tree to perch in another, brilliant meteors soaring through the sky and piercing the night, turtles, stars, spending time in a yurt for the first time, camp fires, hiking, waterfalling, meeting great people, capturing the night sky for my photography business, the dragonflys – every time I had a thought of a particular someone who has recently entered my space of living – they’d appear, and this time they landed on my hand and sat upon my pencil.

When you allow yourself to be the magical human that you are – your personal vulnerabilities; the shades of pretty/the shades of scary cannot deter you from the magic if you allow yourself to see what it is there/in the moment/in the now. You just have to let it in – scary and all.

On my last night in the yurt there was the rare occurrence of a group of campers choosing not to be respectful of the grounds or those around them in the sites nearby. They were checked upon once by a campground staffer before leaving for the day. When I started my rounds that night, a campground staffer came back to check on them with me as they were concerned. I asked if they would like me to go back into the woods later in the night to check upon them one more time, and they asked me to do so. When that later time in night arrived (around midnight) I tried to talk myself out of doing what I said I would do, but then I reminded myself of who I am as a human and that my word means something – so, I adorned myself with lanterns and off I went. My anxiety was through the roof, but – I did it anyway, and I could not have been prouder.

Each morning that the light came = I did it. The lack of doing it pretty does not matter, the fact that I simply did it, does. And, you know what? I may just do this all over again. And, maybe this time; I’ll only need two lanterns instead of three.

 

 

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Queer/Proud/Not Silent

While I can appreciate and understand the sentiments of how this horrendous moment that occurred in Orlando is an attack against humanity I just need to say something as a gay/queer woman – this was a hate crime. This was a purposeful attack on members of a community that are my brothers and sisters. This was an attack at a place where so many for so long have deemed a safe haven because we knew being in such places was safe, and we didn’t have to be invisible both in who we are and our love.

Yes – humanity has an unbearable sadness affixed to it once again, but those of us in the Queer community are (as we’ve done for so long) walking with fear and unsettled feelings on our day to day goings. We are shaken to our core because there are those who hate us, want to erase us and wish we didn’t exist simply because we do.

Growing up as a young queer girl in a small Vermont town I didn’t have havens to hide away in. I didn’t have places where I could go and feel a part of something bigger than myself and not feel alone. Places such as Pulse were where I wanted and needed to be. I would leave my small town on any given Friday night to go to places where I could have this safety, this security, this feeling of knowing that I was with others who were just like me, and all we wanted to do/have was the freedom to just be.

Those for me are some of my fondest memories in my young queer days. Piling into a car, driving the nearly 2 hours to a destination with friends and having the freedom to be for hours and hours without cause for worry or concern. You’d be amazed to hear of all the unusual things we would do there – we would dance, we would talk for hours, laugh until our sides hurt, enjoy breakfast at the local diner after being out all night long, and relishing – relishing in the feeling(s) that these moments were defining our beings, reminding us that we are beautiful/lovely humans whose only incriminating crime was being who we are.

For those who were at Pulse – this is all they were doing. Being who they are in a place that had been a safe space for so very long. They were creating memories and laughing. They were dancing to the sounds of musical beats that made their bodies explode with freedom. They were celebrating life/love/happiness. They were simply; being/loving/relishing.

It has been many years since the beginnings of understanding who I am as a human. I used to feel that being gay was only a part of me, but actually – it’s more than that. IT IS ME! I am a beautiful queer human who wants nothing more than to live/love/be loved/enjoy the time I have on this earthly domain. I will never understand how love/kindness is not the vehicle of motion for any/all with each day that we breathe in and breathe out. Love will win. Love is what we need. Love will bring us together. Love is how we should be.

 

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Your Song – The Universe is Listening

Each human gracing this earthly plane has a talent. Sometimes those talents are discovered during your youth, and we spend a lifetime cultivating them. And, other times, they are discovered later in our living years and days are spent experiencing this joy we ignored for so very long.

These talents we are given are what I like to call our Heart Songs. Each of us has one, and we should make it a priority to discover the music and play it for the world.

When we ignore our music we are hiding a piece of ourselves. And, when we do this, our beings feel unfulfilled and in many ways not completely born regardless of how long we have been here.

I remember growing up and wanting nothing more than to be the next musician or singer on stage like so many artists I admired. I also remember being told that I needed other plans if I wanted to make it in life. This crushed me and my young world.

So, for years, I quietly spent time doing pieces of my first heart song, but I never really shared it with anyone let alone the world as a whole. I figured there was no purpose in sharing because it wasn’t how I was, “Going to make it in the world.” I even traveled the world performing and doing community service projects, but when I returned, I fell silent again. I did however allow my community piece to become louder by volunteering.

Years passed and I started to discover other pieces of my heart song, and these pieces were fighting me because they wanted their music to be heard. It then came in the loss of one of my siblings and one of my nephews. I too, fell victim to the wake up call, but I am glad I finally listened.

I realized that my time with nature and how it heals my being is something I wanted to share and sing loudly, and so my nature photography business was born. It started very quietly by only sharing my music with friends and family, but then my song grew. I began listening and learning – my being was smiling, and I was finding fulfillment.

Every time that another human stops and chats with me about my work I sing, and my light grows brighter and brighter. I am listening to my song, and I am realizing that others want to hear it.

I don’t speculate that I will become monetarily rich from my gift sharing, but I have and continue to become rich in so many ways. The story sharing, having my work on display, being contacted by organizations to use one of my captures and most importantly – the discovering of my being’s joy/passion and not allowing anyone/anything to silence it. This makes me feel alive, and that is not only my gift to the world but a gift to my being and light.

So, I encourage you to share your gift. Do not let it be silent. Do not keep it to yourself. It is your Heart Song, and more than likely you have many. Sing them out, and share your music with the world.  Your being will feel brighter and fulfilled. The Universe is waiting to hear your song(s). Nature Lover – Photographer – Writer – Human Service Worker. Who are you?

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Natural High Photography – Photo By: Heather Babcock

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Love and Care for The Self

In this hurried world of constant go and often overwhelmed feelings placed upon our beings, we often forget. We often forget that the pressures, weight and energies of outside forces and beings can stand upon us like a heavy stone placed on soft and gentle moss.

As the gentle moss, we try to convince ourselves that we always spring and bounce back moving on with living and ourselves. However, there are times when so many stones have been placed on that same patch of moss that an indentation is left behind. A visual reminder of all the heaviness that has been put upon that gentle being.

It can be habit forming, to continually allow stones of various weight and sizes to be placed upon that soft spot over and over again. In time, with the neglect of our own self-care and self-love it becomes a scarred patch, a baldness upon our beings.

As we travel through and along our journeyed paths we cannot always be prepared for what will transpire. There will be moments of happiness and joy, but there will also be moments of heaviness and sadness. Happy is happy – hard is hard – love is love – pain is pain. Instantaneously we verbally throw these moments onto others. Sometimes we’re looking for comfort, sometimes we’re looking for answers and sometimes we’re wanting to harness both. Even in the act of acquiring those moments we often go back and continue to neglect ourselves. We tend to forget that self-love and self-care should be at the highest planes of our energetical beings.

This does not mean that we should not allow ourselves to offer our own light beings to others in times of difficulty or goodness, but it should mean that we as beings are taking care of the self. Standing by a lake this afternoon while doing some reflection I started thinking about all of the things that are happening when my being feels that life is going well. Everything that came to mind from relationships to creative passions, for me, fell into two categories; self-love and self-care.

When either of these areas are being neglected in my day to day living I recognize that my being of light is off. I’ve noticed that in those times I can feel like a planet who has gone out of orbit. When I do me and take care of the self (my light being) not only am I in a place of feeling light and goodness, but in turn I can have that energy mutually exchanged while in the presence of others.

Life is not predictable and there are many times that the unpredictability can bring fantastic new pieces to our star beings, but it’s important to remember that the brightest light and the most awesome star explosions manifest from the self-love and self-care that we nurture and sustain within and from our own beings. There is no star brighter than our own light, and no love greater than the love we give ourselves.

 

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Photo By : Heather Babcock – Natural High Photography

 

 

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Share Your Creative Being

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Be who you are. Try your best not to compare yourself to the living existence of others. You are a unique being who can bring something to the spaces and places of this world that no one else can, the gift of you.

Tap into the gift of you and find your creative passion (your uniqueness) to share with the world. It’s living within you, and you must allow yourself the bravery of vulnerability to gift it out to the universe.

The universe instilled this creative being within you, and the universe wants you to let it sing. It makes no difference what your song is; painting, sewing, writing, photography, growing gardens….what matters is that you allow your being – your soul to sing it. This is your heart song.

It’s a song that only you can hear, but in turn becomes a symphony of music – color – light when shared. You are a part of the universe’s creative palette. A palette of so many colors and unique strokes with each movement of your being’s brush.

Do not let anyone tell you that you do not have a gift to bring. Do not let anyone tell you that you are not a creative being. Those are moments (if and when they happen) when your being can exclaim, “Fuck You!” You know your inner light is there, and you know how it makes you feel when you start to sing it out.

The world is waiting, but more importantly, your inner being is waiting – waiting to express, share, and shower this universe with the uniqueness that is you. What are you waiting for?

Pick up that pen, paintbrush, sewing needle, camera, stick of glue etc. Let your heartsong burst from your being like a giant supernova exploding overhead. The universe is ready for you, I promise, and the winds are ready to carry your song.

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Today’s Wish

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Memories are like little time capsule vestibules. They bury themselves within the neurons of your brain space laying silently until awakened by unplanned moments.

The moments that occur do not realize that they are effecting you. The moments are just taking place and going on about their day. They are completely unaware of any experiences in your life that internally are being set off like a million bursting fireworks. Little explosions that you feel surging up, releasing and then raining down on your insides like a fire burning up a mountainside.

Sometimes, sometimes you wish these moments did not occur. The feels that can be associated with them can feel heavy like an over-sized coat of suited armor. The tears you wish to cry do not always find their way to the surface, but instead, surge through your being like a flooding river washing away the bank.

As much as the feels can be heavy, and as much as the feels can feel draining on your being – feel them anyway. Feel them for all that they remind you of. The humans you are missing, the risk(s) you did not take, the things in life you allow to be barriers to following your heart song. Feel them – honor yourself and the memory. Remind yourself that you are among the breathing and that you have the ability to make today what you wish. The wish does not have to be grand. It can be as simple as taking a walk and gazing at the stars. What is your wish for today?

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Being of Light

There is a light within you. At times it illuminates your being and radiates like a thousand blazing suns. On occasion it sits quietly and offers whispers in the dark so you are not alone.

This light is yours and yours alone. How you feed it, and how you choose to ignite it is only matched by the journey you are on, choices you make and entrances into your being that you allow.

Healing and releasing, taking on lessons that are not always the easiest to endure and breathing in while at times all you wish to do is remain silent can feel cumbersome and tiring. Take them all in. Breath them deep into the depths of the places within you that have been long forgotten.

When you allow yourself to sit in silence and be with your light – you can hear it, you can feel it you can see it as it projects from the pores of your soul and you can share it with the vastness of the universe around you. Offering this gift and sharing it with others provides for vulnerability, but it also allows for other beings of light to find you – walk with you – share with you. Light never dims when it is shared. It grows and illuminates the darkest places.

There are moments – places – people – spaces that you will encounter on your journey. With many of these traveled portions of your journey you will find a connection – a peace – an understanding. Allow yourself to honor these occurrences, they are here to guide and join you. Honor the emotions and feel the surge in your circuitry. These are special moments and they beg to be remembered – honored – visited again.

When you are a being of light you feel and connect with the magic. You come to an understanding that the light of which you carry will not diminish and will grow exponentially like pinpoints of light in a deep velvet sky when it is nurtured…when it is shared.

In the silence of night you can hear and feel your being, it’s connection to the earth’s breathing and the somewhat uncomfortable comfort of your own self awareness. It’s in these moments when we align with the universe and acknowledge it with our gratitude.

Such moments allow you to reconnect, and they allow you to breathe deeply to a space that gives you permission to relax and be at peace. Sometimes it’s the little moments that bring us a slight feel of ease.

Feel – Connect – Breath – Illuminate

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