A Solo Mushroom Journey – The Only Way Out is Through

Last week I did something epic. I went on a solo mushroom journey. Meaning, I ate 3 grams of mushrooms, out in nature, all by myself.

In other words, I went on a vision quest 👁️

This was something I’ve been thinking about and calling in since October. Something I had put in my calendar THREE other times, but had backed out of because I was a little bit scared.

Alright, I was a lot scared. Solo mushroom experiences are a big deal.

Last week, on Monday, I woke up, did my morning breath work and meditation, wrote in my journal, and called in my experience. The main things I asked of the mushrooms were for them to guide me, teach me, show me; take me deep but please be gentle with me. Most of all, help get me out of my own way.

What I Packed:

A journal, one pen, two markers

Earbuds (in case I wanted to listen to the mushroom album from East Forest)

Toilet paper, because, well duh.

Baseball cap

Sunglasses

Large towel, sweater, and cozy shawl

2 water bottles with filtered water and OmniBlue minerals

2 mushroom chocolates, 1.0-1.5 grams each

Exposition

The most difficult part of setting up this experience was finding a place to be. I had a general idea of where I wanted to go, somewhere in nature, secluded from people, but also in a place that was easy to access (in case I got into trouble), close to my house, where I felt safe. I ended up on the American River bike path in Fair Oaks 🌳

As I left my house, I called a friend and told him what I was up to and where I was going. My boyfriend was out of town and it’s always a good idea to have the buddy system in place (even when you’re on a solo adventure). 

I parked my car, put on my backpack, and set out. The sun was shining, the air was warm for January, and as I walked along the river, feeling nervous and excited, I munched on two mushroom chocolates. The chocolates were from a friend, someone I trust, and each chocolate had approximately 1-1.5 grams of mushrooms in them. I had two of them, which means I ate between 2 and 3 grams of mushrooms…. I think this is the most I’ve ever eaten in one sitting, I usually dose between 1-1.8 grams, plus, as I’ve said, I was ALONE. 

It took me a while to settle, which I found to be very symbolic of the way I move through the world. I walked this way and that, watching myself change direction, walk back to where I started, and finally settle into a little cove. I almost ended up on a sunny, exposed river bank because I wanted to be in the sun, but after what went down, I sure am glad I settled across the way, on a private, slightly muddy beach that I had all to myself. To get there, you have to walk pretty far down a dirt path, through a big patch of reeds, and wind your way down to the water. 

The entire time I was there, no one else made their way down.

Thank goodness 🙏

Rising Action

For me, the beginning of a mushroom trip is usually nice. All I desire is to close my eyes and BE with myself. Laying out a large towel on the ground, I took off my shoes and got comfortable. I wrapped myself in a sweater and placed a hat over my eyes to block the sunlight.

Swirling behind my closed eyes were colorful, dancing patterns. Motion and movement, designs, lines, and colors began to deepen and grow more intense. Ahhh, I thought, here we go. 

Having a mushroom experience is this incredible mix of inner and outer worlds. A lot of time is spent with closed eyes, allowing you to journey into yourself, into your own psyche, into your past and present, your relationships, memories, thoughts and experiences. Everything is happening WITHIN you and you go to places you barely remember, but that are so profound they feel as if they happened yesterday and that your entire world is built around them. 

It’s vulnerable and leaves you feeling raw and exposed.

For me, the effect is nice. I felt relaxed, surrendered, allowing the mushrooms to take me wherever I needed to go. There were moments that were uncomfortable, sure – it’s not easy to look deeply at your life and relationships, the ways you behave and think and feel – but for me, these psychedelic experiences where my heart is opening and my ego is falling away, are pure gold.

After some time had passed, (maybe five minutes, maybe forty-five), I turned on my side, experiencing the outer world, and let my gaze fall across the top of the river. The water sparkled and the sun shone down on me, warming my skin. I was in my mushroom trip and everything was all right. I became hypnotized by the steady pulse of energy pumping from water to earth, from earth to tree, and back again. The side of my face touched the earth and my view of the world was tipped on its side. The trees growing on the opposite river bank became charged with green, purple, white lights. Everything was illuminated, connected, pulsing with energy.

I watched this incredible scene before me, mesmerized, for what felt like a long time. How long? Who knows, maybe a minute. Maybe twenty.

And then I felt things change, intensify.

Climax

I sat up quickly, straight back, every cell in my body tingling. The atmosphere had changed. The sun had gone behind dark clouds, which flooded across the sky, blocking out all warmth and light. I heard music coming from across the river, weird music, eerie music, music I somehow sensed wasn’t quite…right

The only way I can describe what I felt is that the dementors had come. All my fellow Harry Potter readers out there (readers, not viewers, because the HP series are books people, not just movies) will get this. 

The dementors had come and ALL of the light and happiness had been sucked out me and out of the world. I squinted my eyes to see where the music was coming from but everything was blurry, breaking into fractures, shapes and patterns that dissolved the moment they were formed. I couldn’t see.

Immediately I thought, I’m out! I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m ready for this to be over. But even as these thoughts came to me, I knew they were fruitless. There was no way to make it stop. I had no control, no one was coming to save me, the only way out of this was through.

So, what the hell did I do now? I called my friends. Duh. I wanted to be saved.

I called two of them, in fact. Two people I trust and love and knew would understand my situation. I’m scared, I told each of them. I’m having a solo mushroom experience and things just got really dark and weird and I’m scared.

Although neither of them could come and save me, they both offered me love and support. I was told to put my bare feet on the earth and to breath. You’ve got this, they told me. We love you and you’ve got this.

I hung up. Scared, desperate for help, all the while knowing that no one was coming. I was on my own and the mushrooms had just gotten started with me.

During these darkest of moments when I was utterly terrified, I talked to the mushrooms. I asked them to please stop, to ease off. I told them it was enough and to please go easy on me. I think they listened and eased back. I think they gave me exactly what I was ready for. 

No more, and definitely no less. 

When I opened my eyes and looked down at my hands, they had completely dissolved. Worms were eating through my skin, crawling into my hands, eating away at any substance that I thought I was. I saw and felt snakes, worms, and insects taking over my body. There was no difference between myself, the earth, death, life, skin, mud, compost. It was all one and the same.

The next thirty minutes or so were some of the most difficult of my life

What am I afraid of? I kept asking myself. WHY am I SO afraid?

I wrapped myself in a large shawl. I pulled my legs in close to my body, hugged my knees, and buried my head in my lap. All the while, my head was echoing with the thought, I am so scared, I am so scared, I am so scared. 

I am scared of myself, I realized. Scared of being alone, scared that no one was coming to rescue me. Scared that I am the only one I can rely on. I was scared of other people too, of what they would DO to me, what they would THINK of me if they saw me over here, sitting all alone on the edge of the river, rocking back and forth, talking to myself. 

I was WRECKED. For a good amount of time.

And then, all at once, I found my way out. I don’t know how and I can’t say why or when, but what I know is that breath saved me.

I saved me.

Hello mushrooms, you powerful, powerful beings 🍄

Falling Action

When I came through the darkness, I emerged into a crystalline world of rainbows and unicorns. SERIOUSLY. It was the most magical place I’ve ever been. Everywhere I looked there were hawks swooping, geese playing, and otters laughing. The sun and the sky, the clouds, the trees, the air, the water, the plants, the mud, my body, EVERYTHING was in complete and total harmony. 

Oh, mushrooms, you powerful, powerful beings 🌈

I found my way off my towel, down on the river’s edge. I sat squatting, laughing, crying, all at the same time. I submerged my bare feet in the mud and sank my hands into the cold river water. I was in absolute awe, mesmerized with the world.

Also, I could not stop yawning. If you don’t already know this, often times during plant medicine journeys, our bodies will purge out old energy by vomiting, shitting, shaking, or yawning. For me, on this day, it was yawning. I have NEVER yawned as big or as frequently as I did on this day.

As I sat there, I knew instinctively that finding my way through the darkness and fear was a prerequisite to this place. I had to pass a test to enter. I had to learn to navigate my inner world on my own. THIS was my rite of passage. 

It wasn’t easy, and I definitely cannot recommend this experience to everyone, but I also think it’s something everyone should go through if they are ready and so choose. It was a rite of passage in a culture where we don’t really have any. A vision quest of sorts. I was a hero on a journey, coming to save myself.

Resolution

I emerged from my hidden piece of shoreline back into the world of humans after four hours, and let me tell you, when you are tripping on magic mushrooms, humans look WEIRD. Seriously. It is so difficult to look at other people during a mushroom journey; faces are distorted, bodies completely out of whack.

Honestly, I couldn’t tell if the people I saw on the bike path were human, or AI, or had special needs. And I don’t say that to be an asshole: I seriously couldn’t tell. I made my way to the top of a cement staircase and sat, just sat, for another thirty minutes, watching in with curiosity as the world went by. 

I saw people running, walking, biking, all of their bodies looking weirdly mechanical and trapped in small, linear movements 🏃‍♀️🚶‍♂️🚴.

I got up and tried to call a Lyft to take me home but when I saw the driver’s face show up on my phone, I knew there was no way in hell I was getting in a car with another human.

So, I walked.

I walked and I walked and I walked. I walked until I was ready to drive the six short miles home, where I quickly proceeded to get in my bed and drink bone broth. 

I was proud of myself. I had eaten 3 grams of mushrooms, all alone, and had made it out alive. I sure was glad I had done it and I sure was glad it was over. 

I had two big TAKEAWAYS from the day. The FIRST was just how much I am loved and supported. When I called my people and asked for help, they were there, they showed up with love and support and understanding. When I came out of the experience and looked at my phone, it was blown UP with people asking if I was ok and sending their love. The SECOND takeaway, was that life may not always look how we want it to look, but it is ALWAYS serving us.

And to trust that.

We are ALWAYS having the exact experience we need for our growth and our journey towards greater freedom and when we release our need to control or know or figure it all out, THAT is when the real magic happens ✨.

Thank you and goodnight 🌙

Relationships: Opportunities for Self-Growth

You know how people say that relationships are opportunities for self-growth? Well, I’m currently experiencing that phenomenon.

By far, one of the biggest opportunities I have had for self-growth in my thirty-one years on this planet is my current romantic relationship.

In the past, my pattern has been to lose interest and end a relationship somewhere around the one-year mark (if things even progressed that far). I would notice my mind slowly creeping away from my partner and into fantasies of other men, a different life, a more exciting version of myself. And I’ll admit, I was generally pretty good at creating a new life and new adventure when a relationship ended.

What I’m seeing, however, is that each time I danced away from an intimate relationship and into a new solo adventure, I was dancing away from parts of myself that I didn’t want to look at.

Or maybe I just wasn’t ready to see.

To clarify, I have no regrets. I think that solo time, exploration, and adventures are extremely important in a young woman’s life, or anyone’s life for that matter. I was doing exactly what I needed and wanted to do and was experiencing growth in the ways that were right for me at those times.

But this time, right now, what I am experiencing is a longer lasting desire for my partner than I’ve experienced before. I don’t want this relationship to end, at least not anytime in the foreseeable future. I have no desire to run off on my own, into the sunset, into another version of my life. 

Instead, what I want is to journey deeper into THIS experience. 

That’s awesome!, (you might say), and yep, it sure is. To remain in love with, inspired by, and attracted to another human this long is awesome. AND, as I mentioned before, it’s an opportunity for growth.

Because relationships can be hard, y’all! Does anyone else know that? Has anyone ever told you that before? (I’m joking, obviously).

I truly don’t think I had any idea what I was signing up for when I jumped headfirst into this relationship over a year ago. I had no idea the amount of self-growth that was going to be required of me in order to be a good partner. I had no idea that the sticky-icky parts of myself that I had buried DEEP DOWN in there were going to be exposed, and not only for me to see, but for my partner to see as well.

How HUMBLING.

As some of you may know, if you’ve been following along with me, I am broke right now. I just finished school and I’m waiting tables. I’m currently in a stage of curiosity and investigation about where I want to go and what I want to do with my life and I’m  building the skills, self-confidence, and finances to go after it. It’s fun and cool, for sure, but it’s also heavy and scary and sometimes I feel like I’m drowning.

At the same time, my partner’s life looks very different than mine. He is a successful business owner and has built a good life and steady income for himself. Although he is the type that will ALWAYS be searching for what is next and ALWAYS be searching for ways to grow, he is also very happy with his life, and rightfully so. 

I am slightly ashamed to admit this, but throughout this relationship experience, I have been witness to some dark, ugly parts of myself that I would rather not exist.

Sometimes I’m jealous, y’all 😯 

Sometimes I feel angry and resentful that my life isn’t as “cool” or “easy” or “exciting” as his. It’s not that I want HIS life, or that I don’t want HIM to thrive, it’s that I get bummed that MY life doesn’t quite line up with MY dreams in the same way his does… yet.

Now, before you judge me TOO much, let me just say, I don’t feel these emotions ALL of the time. MOST of the time I feel love and excitement towards him. I see how special and magical and amazing he is, how much he inspires and excites the people around him, and I feel endless support and joy for him and the positive effect he is having on the world.

But sometimes, oh sometimes, I fall into the illusion of victimhood and my monkey mind says, hey, why doesn’t my life look that way?

THIS, my friends, IS THE BEAUTIFUL OPPORTUNITY OF RELATIONSHIP.

The self-growth is REAL.

The opportunity to be a loving partner, to show up for someone else, but not to attach my life to his. The opportunity to witness the low-vibe parts of myself that are asking to be seen and transformed. The opportunity to take responsibility for my own life without blaming others (especially others that I deeply care about) for my “problems”.

This man wants a partner who supports him unconditionally and wants to see him thrive no matter what. A partner that doesn’t take HIS successes as MY failures. Ultimately, a partner who is mature and responsible and fun.

Duh.

This relationship is teaching me to take responsibility for my own life. It’s humbling, its shattering to my ego, yes, and it’s PERFECT.

I’m witnessing all the ways I’ve blamed others and played victim or otherwise ran away from the fact that MY LIFE AND MY HAPPINESS ARE MY RESPONSIBILITY.  If I want my life to be different than it is right now, it’s my job to do something about it. 

It’s not easy, being with someone who feels light years ahead of me in this regard. But its the perfect experience for me to be having because ONE, I am having it. And TWO, I am growing.

I am grateful.

This growth stuff isn’t always easy, but it sure as hell is worth it.

I think we’re born onto this planet to have experiences that serve us. We’re here for soul growth, for the chance to learn what we need to learn, what we’re ready for, and to spread these things around in order to help others. I also think that intimate relationships with other humans are some of the BIGGEST opportunities for self-growth that are available to us. 

When we are in relationship, when we allow others to SEE US and to LOVE US, we discover parts of ourselves that we have kept hidden.

I count my lucky stars every day to be so loved by a man who is simultaneously standing by me AND asking me to step it up. We have work to do, we have places to go, and it’s time.

I hear ya. I get it. And I’m in.

Hey handsome, if you’re reading this, I think the world of you. I am grateful from the bottom of my heart for the experiences we have had together. I love you and I want you to THRIVE because not only does it make you happy and turns me on, but because the world needs you.

Thank you for being my partner, my teacher, my lover, my friend.

Onward and upward.

So I Have A College Degree… Now What?

I’m back bitches!

Just kidding, but it sure has been a while.

It’s been a whole year since I’ve put energy into this blog, which makes me stop and ask…what have I been doing for the past year?

The answer is simple: I was finishing my final year of college. Yep, I graduated last month with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and for anyone out there that has ever been in college, I applaud you. Seriously. College is hard.

Now that I’m on the other side of it, diploma in hand, I find myself wondering what does it all mean? Was it worth it? How do I feel? And most importantly, what the heck am I going to do now?

I was raised to believe, as I think a lot of us are, that the external accomplishments in life will lead to internal happiness, or at least to some sense of VALUE in the world.

That the things we are doing are what define us. 

In other words, I am my job.

This idea is a complicated one, especially for people like me. People who haven’t quite “figured out” what they want “to do” with their lives yet. And I don’t know, maybe we never will. 

I’m in a sticky place right now. Instead of graduating college feeling accomplished and proud of myself, I’m feeling a little bit defeated. I’m much older than I thought I would be, I’m not sure how my degree in English is going to help me land a “fun, fulfilling, creative, purposeful job” (my dream job, probably yours too), I have tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, and guess what I’m doing…?

I’m waiting tables. 

Yep, I’m here again. Waiting tables, bussing tables, piecing together a lifestyle and an income just to make ends meet. Still not knowing where my life is going, still not sure what my skills are or how I can contribute to the world.

I’m humbled, to be honest. I’m being confronted with many truths about myself and my life that I haven’t wanted to look at before: the way I blame others, my sadness and frustration and fear this is it, that this is the only experience I’m going to have, loneliness, lack of self-worth based on where my life is at, all sorts of fun things.

At the same time, I also know this – I am in the perfect place. It’s the thoughts of worry and anxiety that say, “I haven’t done enough” and “I’m not good enough” that I’m being asked to sit with and let go of.

I’m being asked to step up to the plate and transform some areas that are pretty low-vibe. 

In earlier years of my life, when these feelings came up, I avoided them. I numbed them with food or television, the easiest and most socially acceptable ways for a person to check out. I stuffed them deep, went on an adventure, and said, “I’ll worry about that later”. 

Well, later is now, and worry I am doing.

I’ve been working with a coach lately which has been incredibly helpful. He’s a Dr. Zach Bush (a whole post on Dr. Bush at a later time) trained health coach and works with people on an energetic, emotional, psychological, habitual, nutritional level with movement and mindset at the forefront. 

With his help, I’m in a place of trust and observation. I trust that this experience is important and I’m observing myself when my mind starts spiraling, frantically spinning into the ethers proclaiming, “I’ll never find a job I love, I’ll never contribute to the good of the planet, I’ll never make enough money, I’ll never be happy!” 

Pretty dark, huh? 

As much I want to be writing and sharing happy, inspiring, creative experiences right now, I also want to share the truth. And this is it.

If my internal world shapes my external experiences, then it’s not about the degrees I hold, the job I have, or the amount of money in my bank account. It’s about how often I am able to be present and grateful and grounded.

Can I witness myself when my mind spirals off? Can I feel gratitude for this experience, as uncomfortable as it is?

The more we are able to cultivate peace from within, to stay present and grounded, and to create from this place of alignment, the more we will draw things towards us that are in resonance with who we truly are. Miracles and shifts in the external are a result of transformation and alignment from within.

Easier said than done, I know.

But I’m going to hold onto this: the Universe is delivering to me the very experiences I need to be having for my growth as a human and a soul.

This experience is an opportunity to deconstruct some of the culturally learned and limited beliefs that have been running the show from behind the scenes, sneaky and hidden. It’s an opportunity to face the fire and forge something new.

Whoever you are out there reading this, thank you. It’s scary and vulnerable sharing my darkness thoughts. Being human can be difficult sometimes, but I think it helps to know we aren’t alone.

Setting Our Shame Free

Oh GOODNESS, it is time to talk about self-worth and shame. Which is an absolutely terrifying thought and because of that, SO incredibly important for me to do.

I believe that something magical happens when we open up about the things we most want to keep hidden. When we speak our shame out into the world, we take away its power.

Through this process, our greatest shame and vulnerabilities can be transformed into our greatest strengths, but first we have to lean into them and own them.

So, here goes. This is me leaning into my shame.

I am ashamed of where I am in life. I am ashamed that I’m thirty years old and still don’t have a college degree or a real job. I’m ashamed that I can barely afford rent in this housing market and that I have student debt.

My story is that I have made ALL the wrong decisions in life. That I have no skills, no qualifications, no area of expertise, no money, and no idea how to make money. My story is that there is nothing I am good at (or will ever be good at). My story is that I will never be good enough or capable enough.

My biggest shame in life is not who I am, but what I have and have NOT done.

Silly, right?

Well, yes and no.

Yes, because INTELLECTUALLY, I know better. Intellectually, I know that every moment has gotten me to right here and now and that in this moment I am exactly where I need to be. Intellectually, I know that the experiences I’ve had have all been an important part of my process, my journey, my healing, and my growth. And intellectually, I know that I’m pretty fucking awesome.

At the same time, it’s not so silly because what I’m feeling is true for me and it weighs on me, some days more than others. Wanting to add value to this world in a way that also bring ME joy and fulfillment is the thing I want most in this lifetime. And for the life of me, I still haven’t figured out how to do it.

Argh.

As I’m writing this, I just realized that my very first blog post was titled “The Timing is Always Perfect” and I guess this is a lesson that I will have to relearn over and over, every single day.  Either until I actually get it, or until my time here is done.

***

When I was in Tulum a couple of winters ago, I was out at a bar waiting to meet a man from Columbia whom I had danced with the night before. I was with two girlfriends and was feeling nervous and a bit insecure. This guy was dope and such a good dancer and I began to doubt the connection and chemistry I had felt the night before.

In other words, I had begun to doubt MYSELF.

Within just a couple minutes of listening to this, my friend Mo looked me straight in the eye and said “Riah, if only you could see yourself from this guy’s eyes. You would know how incredible you are. This guy is the luckiest guy IN THE WORLD.”

I’m not telling you this to boost myself up or to let you know how cool I am. I’m telling you this as a reminder that WE are our own greatest critics. And no one knows this better than me.

***

Last week, when I was having an (oh-so-attractive) emotional and spiritual breakdown, the incredibly kind and patient man in my life was holding space for me in an amazing way. He didn’t try to fix me or offer advice or make things better. He didn’t add fuel to the fire, he just listened.

And then he said something so simple and so profound, it rocked my world. He said, “Riah, the things you are struggling with are the hardest things in this life. The fact that you are trying to create a job that you love, that is creative and fulfilling, financially freeing AND having a positive impact on the world, is amazing. Some people don’t know that’s even an option. Some people aren’t even going to try. Don’t be so hard on yourself that you aren’t there yet.” (I think I paraphrased a bit, but it went something like that).

So folks, I just want everyone to know, that from the outside world’s perspective, we are ALL crushing it.

And, we ALL have shame! MINE just happens to be tied up in career and accomplishments. Maybe yours has to do with body image and self worth. Or maybe it’s relationship and communication. OR, maybe you’re ashamed of how lonely you feel or how overwhelmed you are or the fact that you feel depressed and anxious all the time. Or maybe you’re ashamed that you don’t have shame 😉

Whatever it is, it’s ok. It all just part of being HUMAN.

I think what I want to end with today is THIS. Please don’t let your shame eat away at you, please don’t think you are on the only one dealing with it, and please, oh PLEASE don’t give your shame more power than it’s worth.

Set it free!

Set your shame free. Shine light on what you are ashamed of and scream it out into the world.

In other words, set YOURSELF free and then watch your world transform.

Begin Before You’re Ready

One of the biggest tricks we can play on ourselves is the idea that we will begin when we are ready.

That we will begin… TO LIVE OUR LIVES… when things feel different, look different, are different.

We tell ourselves that when we have that dream career, then we will be happy. When we have more money, then we will spend time doing what we love. When we look better, thinner, curvier, (whatever-er), then we will love and accept our bodies. When the holidays are over, we will take time for ourselves. When our work is meaningful and fulfilling then we will know our self worth.

When when when….

Why do we expect our lives to be better in the future?

Why do I think that when I’m traveling the world and saving the planet and helping people, THEN I will be completely fulfilled? Why not now?

Why do I think I will feel differently in the future? The future doesn’t even exist. The “future” is created out of this very moment and if I am not loving and accepting of myself and my life right now, why do I expect that to change at a later point in time? Chances are, in “the future” there will be a whole slew of other things that I won’t be content with.

Better start learning how to be happy in this moment, Riah.

Raise your hand if your life doesn’t look exactly the way you want it to. You can’t see it, but my hand is in the air.

Raise your hand if you have a general sense of where you are going (or at least where you want to go) but you don’t have a roadmap. (And not because you didn’t buy one, but because it’s never been made, because no one else has gone before you).

But raise your hand if you also trust that no matter what, at each step of your journey, the path will be revealed to you at the exact right time. The only thing that is required of you is to show up , exactly as you are and to keep showing up, not when, not then, but NOW.

Some mornings I wake up feeling inspired and excited to create my life. Other days I wake up feeling a little bit down and out. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m moody as fu**, or maybe I’m just human. (Just to be clear, my life is awesome. I am super grateful for everything that I am experiencing. But again, I’m human.)

But the lesson is this: whatever the day, whatever the mood, whatever the weather, this is my life. This is where I am. I do not want to run from it. I want to embrace it and use it as a jumping place for the REST OF MY LIFE. 

Every moment is an opportunity for transformation.

I’m posting today not because I love what I’m writing or because I’m feeling particularly inspired, but because it’s part of my process.

Today I am choosing to show up exactly as I am, with what I’ve got. And it’s enough, it’s got to be. 

Taking Action

I’m just going to dive right in today. I haven’t been writing very much lately and getting back into it this morning was ROUGH… which is ok, and perfect, and leads me to this 

seashore
Photo by Javon Swaby on Pexels.com

It’s 2019 baby!

What do YOU want to create this year? What is your intention for this month? What action are you taking TODAY in order to get to where you want to go? And, are you enjoying the process?

For me, 2019 is all about ACTION. It’s the word that keeps rising to the surface and my relationship with action/inaction keeps presenting itself to me for examination and rebirth.

I’ll be honest, action can be hard for me. Or at least that’s the story I’ve been telling myself. I’m not talking about the down and dirty, making-shit-happen kind of action. I love that stuff. I’m talking about the long-term dedication and commitment that is required to see a project through, from start to finish.

Take this blog, for example…. I started it because I’m writing a book and when I realized I was abolsutely terrified to let other people read my work, I knew I needed to do something to change that. So I went all-in on a 30 Day Blog Challenge (which you can check out here: https://myhobolife.com/2018/09/26/the-journey-begins/) and I absolutely crushed it.

But then what did I do? I stopped! I dove straight into other, new, and exciting things like a thriving social life, a new relationship, dance parties, psychedelics, Sacramento, moving, school, and travel. The irony is that this is EXACTLY the life I want to be living… if I am also writing everydayI NEED to write, I NEED to share stories and ideas, to connect, to COMMUNICATE, in order to be a happy, productive human. It’s a calling, it’s the moving water in the river that is my life. And without it, I get stuck, blocked, constipated (I mostly mean metaphorically).

It would be very easy to get down on myself right now, to look at what I HAVEN’T done instead of what I HAVE DONE. But I won’t. Instead I will say that I #crushedit in 2018. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns (although there were a TON of those as well), but I showed up, did the work, and got through it. And I did that to set myself up for right now. And I’m sure as hell not going to quit before I’ve even gotten started. 

I’m here. I’ve arrived. This is my life and I freaking love it. We have an opportunity to blast off this year and I’m going for it. I’m TAKING ACTION. 

Anyone else feeling that? Anyone else feeling that energy, that new beginning, that OPPORTUNITY that is here now? A seven year cycle just ended and with it, a lot of our old patterns, histories, and old stories are being let go of. I want you with me as I make this year the year of ACTION. We’ve made it this far, we know where to go, what to do, and we have the tools to get there. It’s time we step up our game because WE’RE JUST GETTING STARTED.

The world needs us all.

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Failure isn’t trying something and not getting it right. Failure is not even trying.  FAILURE IS INACTION and it’s the thing that terrifies me the most.

It is my greatest fear in life that I will never go all-in on my dreams, that I will quit this blog before I even figure out how to use Instagram properly or how to build a website, that I’ll give up on my book before I’ve even gotten to the place where publishers can reject it. That my dreams will fade away into the back of my mind, not because I’m not capable, but because I just didn’t.

What an opportunity to rewrite that story! What an opportunity to prove my small self wrong. What an opportunity to ACT.

One foot in front of the other. One day at a time. The rest will take care of itself.

So, here’s to 2019. Here’s to us being the biggest catalyzing force in our own lives, instead of the biggest limitation. Here’s to choosing what we want MOST over what we want NOW. And here’s to waking up at 7am (yes, that’s early for me), to finishing our entire to-do list before noon, and to crushing our #goals every single day.

Who’s with me?

The Stories We Tell

Slowly, but surely, and at the most basic level, I am beginning to understand that my entire life is built upon the foundation of stories. The stories I have been told and the stories that I have taken on as my own. 

Being who I am, where I am, and HOW I am, I’ve been on a quest as of late to understand where my stories come from and why they exist for me in the way that they do. Equally, how do my stories shape my beliefs, affect my decisions, and ultimately create the world I exist in?

As children, we learn from our parents, our teachers, and our culture at large what is acceptable and what is expected. We are TAUGHT how to act, what to believe, and consequently, we begin to shape our understanding of life based on what we “know to be true”. But then, ultimately, it’s up to each of us to decide what is real and what isn’t.

I’m deep into discovering what is real for me right now. What are my stories and where do they come from? Why do I believe some things and not others? The more I get into it, the more I get into it 😉

What is my story regarding what a family looks like? Or what a relationship is supposed to be?

How do I feel about money and work and the integration of passion and joy?

Do I FEEL free to express myself and say to say YES to life with open arms or do I see the world as one huge limitation?

How do I show up for myself and others, and is it FINALLY time to drop the old story that in order to stay safe I have to stay small? (Yes, it totally is.)

Can I let go of the story that just because I don’t have it all figured out right now that I never will or that I am incapable of doing anything worthwhile, ever?

So many stories. And perhaps my biggest, most limiting story of all, that I have been told on a spiritual, soul, karmic level by my own self, my family, my culture, AND my ancestors is this idea that wealth is limited, that money is difficult to make and even more difficult to hold onto – that money creates struggle. Where’s the story that fulfillment and joy are the very BASIS of work, that financial ease is EASILY attainable and that it IS possible to align my purpose, my vocation, and my passion?

Oooh, that’s a big one. I can feel it even as I write it. There is SO much there for me.

I’ve learned a lot in my life. I’ve learned and I’ve learned and I’ve learned and now it is time to UNLEARN IT ALL. I believe that in order to gain a clearer understanding of anything at all, we must unlearn everything we know. And right now I’m all about it.

Had I been born into a different country, a different culture, a different FAMILY, or at a completely different time on this planet, ALL of my stories would be different. And if my stories were different, then MY LIFE WOULD BE DIFFERENT.

***

What are your views on wealth? Did you grow up with parents who knew how to manage their resources and saw the financial world as their playground, or did you grow up in a family where there was never enough, where money created struggle?

What stories have you created from your experiences? And how much of what you believe belongs to YOU versus to the people around you?

What about drugs, y’all? A very large part of our population believes it is 100% ok to consume sugar, caffeine, and processed foods on the regular. Tobacco is also widely accepted, if not approved of, and increasingly, marijuana is taking it’s place on the mainstream stage. But plant medicines and psychedelics? Holy moly, stand back, no way, that sh** is bad. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

It goes on and on. EVERYTHING IS A STORY. Everything is a creation of our beliefs. 

The story of what are we are afraid of. The story of how do we feel in our own bodies. The story of whether or not we are excited to be alive. Why or why not? What have you ALWAYS told yourself out of fear or limitation or expectation that, upon further inspection, isn’t actually true?

The more I unpack this stuff, the more I realize just how surface level my understanding of pretty much EVERYTHING is and even though I don’t know squat, it sure is fun finding that out. 

There are worlds upon worlds out there, my friends, and it’s time we stop creating our own limitations on what we are allowed to experience.

***

I went to dinner with a friend a couple of weeks ago and we went deep into dreams and desires, purpose and passion, mission and vocation, what makes us feel alive. What do you want to do? Why are you here? What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? What are you working on? What is one thing you want to accomplish? It’s conversations like this that keep me going. All I want to do is to GO DEEP. And then laugh and play.

I was describing to this man what my biggest dreams are right now. I told him with conviction that I knew it might takes years and years and tons of hard work to get where I’m going, but that I was 100%  committed and would keep going no matter.

With a sparkle in his eye, he kindly and quietly made the comment, “That’s a story”.

I didn’t even catch it at first. I just kept talking. But then, after a few moments of time when my busy brain finally caught on to the subtle beauty of what he had said, I paused and considered it. “What do you mean?” I asked. “What’s a story?”

“The idea that it will take a lot of time and hard work to get there. That’s just a story. It doesn’t have to”.

And just like that, my entire world fell apart all over again. Just when I begin to think I have the slightest clue as to what’s going on, everything I think I know comes crumbling down and I freaking LOVE IT.

He was so right. I had in my mind this idea, this STORY, that earning a living from writing, from sharing my experiences and adventures, from traveling the world and CONNECTING with people, from being a part of an effort to transform the world and to figure out what works best for us human beings, would take a VERY long time.

And you know what? Maybe it will.

And equally, maybe it won’t.

It’s all just a story.

***

It is when our stories become our identities, when we believe them as truth, that things get tricky. We grow attached to who we think we are and what we believe life to be.

I’m examining my own stories because I want to shed them. I want to see beyond the curtain and step into the world unlimited possibilities that I know exists out there for me.

I’m doing the work, and contained within it is the opportunity to choose freedom in every moment.

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