Moving Day

Today is MOVING DAY for me, everybody 😀

 The TIMING is absolutely perfect, (of course, it always is), because today also happens to be Day #30 of this 30 Day Blog Challenge I created for myself. My intention with this process was to find my voice (or at least begin to get comfortable hearing it), to show up for myself, and to embrace my discomfort and vulnerability.

Absolutely amazing what we can accomplish when we decide to.

Good thing I love change so much because I have moved SO many times in my life it’s ridiculous. I’m the queen of moving and I’m usually drawn to funky, unique spaces that need A LOT of love. It is always my intention to leave a space looking and feeling better than it did when I arrived.

Mission accomplished with the Pool House? Absolutely.

When I moved in, the place was a MESS. It’s an old building that belongs to the grandparents of a friend of mine and when I first showed up it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned out in FIFTY YEARS. Seriously. But the potential, oh the potential! I could see it and feel it immediately.

It took three twelve hours days of intense elbow grease, sorting through ALL THE SUTFF, and organizing boxes into the attic (from which my dad and I cleaned out old insulation, rat shit, and rotting boxes) before it was inhabitable. Holy moly, holy project. Then, for the first few nights I slept here I was convinced that raccoons were living in the walls, banshees in the attic, and spirits of ALL sorts were constantly hanging out with me.

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Over the past five months this Pool House has become a safe haven for me, a place for healing and self expression. The experiences I’ve had here have been absolutely incredible. There is MAGIC in the air and I say that with one hundred percent confidence and knowing. There is an energy in the floor and the walls and the history that granted me access to parts of myself that had been buried.

Thank you Pool House 🙏 Thank you LIFE 🙏 Thank you SELF 🙏 

As special as this space is, I’m not feeling sad about leaving at all. Instead, I am feeling EXCITED about life in general. I believe in cycles and seasons and it’s clear to me that while this chapter of my life is closing, another one is just beginning to open. And it’s going to be AMAZING, it already is, I can feel it.

Don’t fight the Universe, y’all. There are signs everywhere if stay open to them. Be intentional with what you want and want you need. I’ve been calling TRIBE  into my life lately. I’ve been really loving and craving human connection so it’s perfect that I’m moving in with big sister and her wonderful family today.  I’ll also be closer to some pretty cool people I am blessed to call new and old friends. This 30 day blog adventure is ending and I am looking forward to what I get to great next.

Without knowing the details of what is coming, I totally know this is the right move, pun fully intended. I’m tuned in, the Universe is my partner and playmate, and together we are creating beautiful things.

Onward and upward, everybody. Keeping moving, finding your flow, and returning to center. Dream big, set big goals, DO THE THINGS every single day, and you’ll be surprised how easily you can make your dreams come true.

It is ALL HAPPENING NOW. This world is ours to create.

Breakdowns Lead to Breakthroughs

Ten years ago, I was a brand new college dropout and a girl who was completely lost. I had absolutely NO idea what to do with my life, who I was, or want I wanted. But I sure was desperate to find out.

I was renting a room in Sacramento, living with strangers, and working nights at a bar. For the first time in my life, I began asking the big questions: “Why am I here?”. “Who am I?”. “What is my purpose?”. As I’ve gotten older, I understand a bit more that these questions will never really be answered… however, it is our ability to keep showing up, at ALL of the stages, through ALL of the ages, and to keep asking the questions, that creates the space for transformation. Its a continuous process.

As difficult as those few months were, I can see now how beautiful my process was. It was the lonely nights I spent sitting on the floor of my bedroom, willing myself to understand the world and trying so hard to find some kind of meaning that pushed me to the next level. After all, if we aren’t even asking the questions, how do we expect to find any answers?

What I needed at that time in my life was simply to know that there were other options besides college, stress, and a nine to five job. It was when I gave myself permission to get lost in the depths of despair, to completely breakdown, that I simultaneously gifted myself the freedom OPEN up, to WAKE up. Within a few months, I was living on a farm on the outskirts of Placerville, learning to grow vegetables and tend to animals, living in community, waking up early with a clear mission and falling asleep happy and tired. It was a WHOLE NEW WORLD ✨

I am not saying that farming is my one and only purpose in life, but simply that it was the NEXT STEP for me, it was the breakthrough I needed at that time; the effects of which have rippled out into every corner of my life, and year after year, day after day, new worlds are continuing to unfold.

Whatever you are experiencing, trust that the breakdowns are in fact the gateways to the BIG MAGIC. For me, they are the tipping point. That point at which hopelessness becomes so overpowering that there is no other option but to completely GIVE IN to the grief. Only then am I able to move through, out, and up, clearing out a TON of old baggage in the process.

Twenty-nine was the year of another big breakdown for me. I’ve talked about it before, but last year I hit rock bottom emotionally in a way that I had never experienced previous. It was by far the most challenging year of my life, but it was also the most beautiful gift I have ever have given myself. I stopped running from the life I didn’t want, and began showing up for the life I DO want.

The world that I am living in TODAY, this world that I LOVE and am SO EXCITED about, only revealed itself to me when I took responsibility for my own life. When I showed up and began to deal with my stuff. ALL of my stuff.

Breakdowns lead to breakthroughs, y’all.  So I say “hallelujah for the breakdowns!”.

There is no growth without challenge. There is no light without dark. The old stories must be remembered and forgiven if we are to create new ones. Don’t be scared. When the darkness shows up, when the breakdowns happen, when the angry, hurt, lost, and confused emotions show up stronger than ever, remember that the lower the valley, the higher the mountain. It’s all apart of the process and you are doing your work.

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Photo by Ray Bilcliff on Pexels.com

We are ALL doing our work and we are doing an amazing job. We are alive today and we are all showing up, doing the best we can with what we know.

As for myself, I am GRATEFUL for the dark times and the time outs, I am grateful for the opportunities to clear out lower frequencies and old stories, and I know that although I may occasionally hit rock bottom, time and time again, I will also kick up stronger than ever and reach heights I’ve never before experienced. How cool is that?

I am here to GROW as big and as beautiful as I can.

I trust my journey and myself and I open to growth in whatever form I need.

The Greatest Love Affair of My Life

My greatest love affair of all time has been with dancing. Men have come and gone, friendships have existed and fallen apart, I have lived in a gazillion different places, but dancing? Dancing has always been with me.

To be sure, our relationship is fluid and ever changing, as any good relationship is. We fall away from each other at times, then come back together, more passionate than ever. The person I am has changed over the years and the kind of dancing that draws me depends on the season and place.

This love affair of mine began with Lindy Hop and East Coast Swing in elementary school. I joined a swing dance team with a couple of friends and we met three times a week for lessons and social dances. My best friend at the time and I would stay inside at recess and dance, dance, dance. We didn’t even need music. We were absolutely fascinated with dance connection and new moves. We could both lead, we could both follow. The rest of the class thought we were weird. (I”m not making this up, they would literally say “you guys are weird”).

But we didn’t care and to this day, these are some of my favorite childhood memories.

A couple of years ago I literally moving to Portland, Oregon for the summer with the intention of dancing every single night. I had heard good things about the scene. I mostly did West Coast Swing at the time but while I was there I was introduced to the Country Dance Scene and was invited out to a country bar on the edge of town. “Bushwackers”. I know, so good.

Despite the name, Bushwackers is an magical place with a large dance floor and a vibrant community of dancers. Portland is lucky because the head of the National Country Dance Association lives there and offers free Country Two-Step lessons every Tuesday night. He is an exceptional teacher and to this day, Bushwackers on a Tuesday night is one of my favorite places in the whole wide world to be.

The beast that is West Coast Swing is absolutely fascinating. It is relatively modern, I think it was born in nightclubs in big cities, and has evolved into the beautiful and challenging dance it is today, complete with big-time dance conventions, competitions, and levels. 

It’s like that hot guy (or girl) that you love to hate and keep going back to. It’s led to some of the best nights of my life as well as to some of the lowest of the lows I have ever felt. It’s hypnotic and additive. It takes months, even years, to be “good” and the beauty is that the better you are, the more fun you will have.

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The thing that attracts me most about a dance is not the style itself, the footwork, technique, or music, it is the PEOPLE and the COMMUNITY. I love people. I really, really love people.

I just got back from a night of swing dancing, it’s past midnight, but I am SO excited about dancing right now that I need to write this before going to sleep. Dancing with someone is like having a CONVERSATION with them. It’s a full body, no words type of communication. Apart from sex, we don’t get to experience this very often in daily life.

What I’m most fascinated with is that everybody dances SO DIFFERENTLY. The way a person communicates through their body and the way they interpret the music varies drastically from person to person. It is impossible to dance the same dance twice. The MAGIC happens when one is fully present, engaged in the moment, with complete attention on their dance partner. You just never know what the dance is going to be like. You don’t know what your CONNECTION will be in until your hands join, your bodies bop to the beat, and your feet begin to move. What happens during the next three minutes is completely up to you.

It’s unlike any other experience, I’m telling ya.

I’m going to Ecstatic Dance tonight for the first time. I’ve been having a LOT of personal dance parties in my living room lately (which is something I think we ALL should be doing on a regular basis) and I’ve been calling dance parties with other people into my life. “I just want to dance!” I keep saying, “I just want to have dance parties with my friends all the time.” Baam! Into my life comes this thing called Ecstatic Dance and a pretty rad group of people who love to go.

I don’t know the people. I don’t know the venue. I don’t even know what part of town it’s in and I have NO idea what to expect, which is pretty much my favorite way to show up to life.

Let the games begin.

Lighten Up ✨

Y’all, this week has been HEAVY for me. For real. Shame triggers have been pulled, self doubt has shown up in a big way, and somewhere, somehow, I got a little bit lost in the darkness. 

Which is awesome! And difficult.

I tried a few times to write about the heaviness and muck that I’ve been sorting through but nothing was resonating. Even right now, my writing feels awkward and choppy. Thank goodness I know it isn’t about being the best writer or the most insightful person, it’s just about showing up. It’s about showing up day after day, even when it’s difficult, especially when it’s difficult, and doing my work.

So, this morning, with my sliding glass door open, cool morning air wafting into my space and over my bare feet, sunlight streaming through the trees (seriously Sacramento, could you be any more beautiful?), I am choosing to lighten upAND I’m playing hooky from class, which feels awesome 🙂

Life is just a game after all, and the world one big, beautiful playground. The games we play, and HOW we play, is entirely up to us. Sure, get dark. Be IN the darkness, SEE the darkness, but don’t get LOST in the darkness and don’t beCOME the darkness. (Speaking to myself here). 

We are here to do the best we can, to learn from those who are doing better, and to have as much fun as possible. The challenges will continue to present themselves. We can count on this. The more we stretch ourselves beyond what is comfortable, the more we reach for big dreams, purpose, passion, and fulfillment, the more we will come into contact with EVERYTHING that wants to hold us back. Go through that density, for sure, get deep into your stuff, FEEL it, SEE it, and then let that shit go

And stop caring what other people think! Seriously, this is SO huge and SO simple at the same time. As a people pleaser and a child who did well in school, this is a constant life lesson for me. I want to please and impress, I want to be liked and needed. Don’t we all? 🤦‍♀️ 

The work is to keep our heads held high no matter what. Stay true to our amazing selves, own our mistakes, and push through our self doubt. What other people think of us is none of our business (and the reality is that other people are too busy thinking about themselves to be thinking about anyone else).

Now more than ever, we have to own our stories and we have to LIGHTEN UP ✨Remember, we are HUMAN. We need to outside, to play around, to climb trees, and to jump into rivers. We must prioritize laughter and dancing, friendships, good food, making love, lots of exercise, playfulness, creativity, and adventure. Make space for JOY and trust that your life will transform in big, beautiful ways. 

Because life is amazing. There is MAGIC everywhere and if you look for it, you will find it. Buckle up, enjoy the ride, and remember to soak in as much light as you do dark. The rest will come. The rest is HERE. This journey, this GROWTH, this healing, it’s only just begun. We might as well enjoy the ride ✨

Slow Your Roll, Child

That humble pie sure is delicious. I can say this with confidence, because it’s what I had for dinner last night.

Let me fill you in. As we know, this world is a crazy, cool place. Human potential is being explored in ALL the ways, the planet is speaking and we are listening, and I’m on an amazing personal journey right now with the creation of THIS blog.

We also know that I am so excited about ALL of these things!

So, when a grand adventure presented itself to me a few days ago, I said “hell yes, let’s do this!”. For those of you who know me personally, you can attest to the fact that I love adventures and I generally move VERY QUICKLY through life. I took the first step and within 24 hours, 10 people had donated over $500 to help me. The outpouring of enthusiasm and support, both emotionally and financially, that I felt from friends and family this week was amazing. I cannot say enough how much this means to me. Y’all believed in me when I couldn’t even believe in myself. Thank you. From the entirety of my heart, THANK YOU. 

Pretty quickly, I realized that I could, in fact, do this. I could double down, work extra bartending shifts, and go on the wild ride that a year long Mastermind program with Aubrey Marcus would be. Part of that process was getting through the sludge of self-doubt that initially told me I wasn’t GOOD enough, that I didn’t deserve it (the money, the experience, the whole thing that I wanted so badly, etc.). I worked through a lot of that this week and I’m proud of myself for it.

So then, when the possibility became a reality, the question was, do I really want this? And why?

Why did I feel so nauseous and jumpy? Why was it so difficult for me to figure out what was real and what wasn’t? Why did I want to smoke cigarettes and drink gin? What the hell was going on?

So, I sat with it. I asked what belonged to me and what belonged to other people. I asked how much of the resistance I was feeling was my old, limiting thought patterns and beliefs and how much was intuition and inner knowing. After some time thinking, feeling, and chatting with my amazing friends, lovers, and family members, I slowly began to sort out what was real, for me.

And what is REAL, is that I am very excited about my life right now. I LOVE being an English Major at Sac State. I LOVE the people I am connecting with here and I am super excited about weekly dinners, monthly potlucks and game nights, carpooling to Ecstatic Dance events, and creating sacred ceremonies and women’s camping trips. 

Then there’s this blog. This teeny tiny little piece of my heart and soul that I LOVE putting out into the world.

I think I had to realized that even though I COULD do the Mastermind, that I was in fact good enough, I didn’t NEED to. I don’t need to prove my worth. What I’m doing right now, is enough. My life in Sacramento and my little blog that has 5 subscribers, it’s enough

So, at the end of the day (yesterday), I decided not to chase after this Mastermind. I don’t need it. Instead, I decided to continue believing in myself, exactly as I am, and to continue on my own path, as the independent, lovely, and BOLD woman that I am. 

Thank goodness I can laugh at myself, huh? I mean, seriously. These past two days have been a whirlwind! I took a few steps down a weird path, I learned a lot, I’m continuing on, but I’m SLOWING WAY DOWN. Which is pretty much my greatest lesson in life. It’s not all or nothing, Riah. It’s not now or never, it’s one step at a time. Keep going.

The slower I move, the faster things go.

Thank you for hanging in there with me, friends. It’s been a wild ride, that’s for sure. But stay tuned because I’m just getting started. Stick with me and I promise we will have many grand adventures. 

I’m human, I’m living, I’m learning, and all I can say is that I will do the best I can with what I know, each and every time. This is me. I’m wild and crazy and free and I make a TON of mistakes. I am owning my story 100% and I LOVE MYSELF now more than ever.

Stay wild, moon child. Never give up. You are amazing and I love you. We had some fun these past couple of days, but that chapter is over and we’re moving forward from here. And thank goddess because it’s been one hell of a week.

But hey, at least this whole thing gave me something to write about today. Right?

I’m taking the weekend off. I’m heading for the mountains, for the fresh air and the tall trees and the dirt roads. I need to return to my center. I need to breathe and refresh and ground down into this amazing planet. I’ll be back next week to finish the final four blog posts of this 30 day challenge! Hard to believe it’s been that long already. Time sure flies when you’re having fun ❤

I’m amazing. You’re amazing. And we are all doing AMAZING things. Keep it up, y’all. You’re awesome.

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Today I need to process something. I need to process the fact that when we choose to live a bold life, a life where we play big and take actions that others wouldn’t dream of doing, we have to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.

Because that sh**, is uncomfortable.

Yesterday I did something big and bold. I asked for help funding a program that I’d like to participate in next year. It felt awesome to do so. I was going after it, expressing my heart and soul, no holds barred. No ONLY thing stopping me from doing this, the ONLY reason I wouldn’t, would be the money. I figured it was worth the shot, you just never know unless you try.

So I did.

And then…. came ALL of the rest. All of the self doubt, the limiting beliefs, and the “not good enough’s”. 

My day pretty much consisted of, “How dare I? How dare I ask for that much money? How dare I think I can just do whatever I want? Who am I to have that experience? How dare I be so bold, so audacious? Who am to think she can change the world by changing herself? Who am I to believe in myself?”

I went dark and deep, you guys. But I kept moving. I did my morning routine, I went for a long run, I packed up boxes because I am moving next week, and I kept my nose to the ground. I talked to a few good friends and I processed the hell out of what was coming up.

And I realized, that whatever happens, life goes on.

At the end of the day, whether or not I get to be a part of this particular Mastermind is completely irrelevant. It’s not about that. If it doesn’t happen, that’s ok. I’ll refund my friend’s and family’s’ money, chalk it up to a good loss, and be on my way. Just another experience, just another opportunity for growth and growth comes in many forms. 

Maybe I fall on my face. Cool, I’ll get back up. But maybe, I’ll run faster and farther than I ever have before. And the only way I will know, is if I try. Regardless of outcome, my life will continue. This isn’t the end all, be all. It’s just another day, another moment, another chance to decide what kind of person I am and what kind of life I am creating.

What matters is that I took a chance. And for that, I am so very proud of myself.

There are lessons here for me, for sure. The path never leads exactly where you think it will, but it will take you places you absolutely needed to go. The key is simply to learn from everything and to keep moving forward, even if that “forward” doesn’t look or feel like you thought it would.

We are here to play, you guys, to push against boundaries, and to explore. If you fu** up, awesome! Laugh it off and get back in the game. We learn from our “mistakes”, we get stronger every single time we try, and EVENTUALLY, when shoot for the moon, we actually land on the freaking moon. (Or maybe we just land on that star where we were supposed to be going all along.) 

I’ll end by just saying again how uncomfortable yesterday was for me. Holy moly. Even though I can recognize when I am being triggered, when limiting beliefs are revealing themselves to me, what I am facing my own internal blocks, I am still so very human and I feel the heaviness and challenges in ALL the big ways.

If you are being bold in your own life, if you are making decisions that other people don’t quite get, if you are trying new things, experimenting with what is possible, and challenging old beliefs, YOU ARE AMAZING. I honor you. That work is real.

We are here to grow. We are here to challenge the entirety of our belief systems and to create the lives that we dream of. As we move up and through into new realities, you better believe the old stuff is going to show up. It may pop up for one last hurray or it may show up again and again until we are finally ready to say goodbye to it. 

So love it up. Love that darkness. Love that density and weight. Get comfortable being uncomfortable because the magic is in the resistance. The growth is the fun part. And it’s all part of the human experience.

I applaud us. We are awesome.

Fit For Service

A few weeks ago I applied to be in a Mastermind. For those of you who don’t know what a Mastermind is, it is when a group of peers come together with the shared intention of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support in a group setting in order to sharpen their business and personal skills. I have heard countless tutorials of their immense help from people who have participated in them.

This particular Mastermind is with a man named Aubrey Marcus. Here is a link to his website https://www.aubreymarcus.com. He is an entrepreneur, author, and podcast voice and his mission is to help people empower themselves so they are better able to create positive change in the world. I’m a HUGE fan and student of his.

I didn’t really expect to get in. Well, that’s not true. I knew I had a shot and that I at least had to try. If I didn’t get in, no big deal. Nothing lost. So why not give it a go?

I went to the website and submitted the initial application form. A week later, a woman from Aubrey’s company contacted me via email with some follow up questions. I answered them in the most honest way I could. I said “hey, this is me, this is what I’m doing, this is what I want to do, and this is how and why I want to do it”. I sent her a link to my blog, gave her my very new Instagram handle (is that the right word?), and just went for it!

Guess what, you guys? I GOT IN. Just goes to show it never hurts to try.

This Mastermind is my dream. It is a program focused on preparing people to be Fit For Service, specifically people who have a clear mission to protect people and planet, bring humanity from suffering to happiness, and to do so with love and compassion. This is why I’m here. I don’t say this to single myself out, because I do believe we are all here to do this, but I KNOW that I am here to DO THIS right now. This blog. This Mastermind. This work. The time is now, the place is right.

About five years ago I working as a server at a Country Club for the summer. One afternoon, I was sitting with the General Manager and Head of Operations because I had apparently impressed them with my work ethic and social skills. They wanted to promote me, and at one point the Head of Operations, whose name was David, asked me what I wanted to do with my life. “I’m assuming you don’t want to be a server forever”, were his exact words. “What do you want to do?”. Without a second thought, I looked him straight in the eye, and said, “I want to change the world”.

Five years later, that desire hasn’t changed. It’s grown stronger. 

The thing is, it’s expensive. I’m just going to say it. The tuition for the entire year is $10,000. I need $950 to secure my spot and I just don’t have that kind of money right now. But will this stop me? Hell no! Come hell or high water, I am charging towards my dreams. Where there’s a will there’s a way and my will right now is enormous and powerful.

So here I am, asking you to support me. I am asking with all of my heart and soul. I need a little help. I have created a space with GoFundMe where you can donate money towards my tuition. Check it out at https://www.gofundme.com/helping-riah-get-fit-for-service. If all you want to donate is a single dollar, that is awesome! Please do it. If 10,000 people each donated a dollar, that would be the coolest thing ever. What an awesome way to reach a goal!

More than your money, however, I am asking you to help spread the word. You just never know who will see this. If you feel comfortable posting this to your Facebook and/or Instagram accounts, please do it. Thank you, I love you. If not, thank you, I love you. Perhaps you have an uncle, coworker, or childhood friend who has disposable income (or knows a friend or an uncle or a coworker who has disposable income) and wants to help a young writer reach the next level within her business and herself. Send them this blog post via email or talk to them in person. You just never know who will say yes.

If you are a company and you offer sponsorships/scholarships to young bloggers, entrepreneurs, or creatives, please reach out 🙂 Let’s connect. Or if you have other fundraising ideas, my ears are open.  I would love to connect with you.

Or, if it turns out I need to work five jobs in order to make this happen. Amen, I will do it.

This world is ours to create. With each decision, we decide what happens next. Right now, I have decided that I live in a world where I am able to be a part of this experience. This is the world that I am creating. This is the world that I live in.

Thank you, thank you, thank you ❤

Now, go do great things.