Redefining This Space

May 21, 2018

Grab your bulletproof coffee (my current experiment: 21 days of keto) and take a seat — we’re making a few changes around here.

I’ve been tending to this little plot of the Internet for over eight years now. And over the course of what seems like a lifetime, these pages have been my digital diary of sorts. While these changes are nothing too huge, I’ve been craving a bit more structure for myself and value for my readers when it comes to what I post on here. And I’m growing up — so it’s time my blog does the same.

As I shift my career 100% into the wellness realm, I want this space to be a platform for what I believe in — holistic health, faith, and living an authentic life. I hope through my stories I can empower others to live the good life. 

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How to Establish a Routine When Your Whole Life Changes

April 30, 2018

HELLO THERE I’M BACK!!!

So between my 6-week shoulder surgery recovery, holidays, moving, and career upheaval, the past few months have lacked any sort of semblance of a routine. I went to bed when I wanted, woke when I wanted, got happy hour and stayed up wayyy past my bedtime when I wanted, even greeted my snooze button with a swift tap a few more times than I’d like to admit in the mornings.

As a self-proclaimed early-riser and go-getter, I was at first disappointed in myself for letting my “healthy lifestyle” habits slide off the table. But in looking back over where 2018 has carried me so far, I’m realizing it is OK to shake up your routine — sometimes it is even crucial.

January and February were hard. I no longer had butt-in-chair office requirements to keep me in line. I didn’t have bosses to report to. I was still the new kid in town, so my social calendar looked a bit different. My day-to-day truly was what I created. While this may seem quite blissful, at times it was very much the opposite:

Like just tell me how someone is supposed to be productive on a Monday when it is 77 degrees and sunny outside, and I am but mere steps from the beach? How do I remain financially stable while studying, schooling, and building my business?

But life is picking up. Here’s how I (perfectly imperfect) stayed sane during the chaos of moving:

Get Clear on Purpose

After years of thought, and months of deep prayer, what I once thought was a hobby is finally becoming my main focus. Teaching spin a handful of times a week has blossomed into a business plan with the intention to help others, specifically young women, lead healthy, vibrant lives free from the confines of lack of self-confidence, bullying, disordered eating, and media expectations. 

I knew there was a reason I went through what I did — years of eating disorders, bullying, depression, and anxiety — and I finally see the why behind it all. I then looked to my talents. I blended the rush of adrenaline from each class I taught, the plentiful endorphins, the sweaty smiling faces of my clients, and beyond encouraging feedback from my studio communities and my sisters to redefine my goals and land me on the legacy I want to leave behind, and just how I was to do it.

Stick to Healthy Habits (80% of the time)

Setting my alarm during the week, getting regular exercise, and cooking food at home keeps my mind and body in check when I’m in a routine upheaval. Instead of letting myself lounge in bed all day or stay up with movies or out late into the night, I decided to get back to a somewhat regular sleep schedule. Our bodies are actually wired for routine and crave habitual snoozing and rising times, so I used the “bedtime” alarm on my iPhone to keep on a regular 8-hour shut-eye schedule.

To fuel my body and keep my energy and spirits high, I attended a Corepower sculpt or megaformer class at Titan Core at least four times a week. This was my space to let my mind unwind while working my body. Not to mention it is a great place to make friends! What I ate was also vital. Sure, I ate out more than I really wanted to. But the nights I spent preparing dinners for friends with enough leftovers for lunch signaled the close of the day in the perfect way, all the while beating away any loneliness I had from working by myself behind my computer.

Create Home, Wherever

I am a homebody. I love having my space, my place of peace to rest and a launch pad for my mornings. But in Hawaii while still recovering from my financial hit from the last year means getting scrappy and flexible when it comes to living spaces. When at my sister’s house I organized my few articles of clothing in my little red-painted studio (dubbed Casita Aloha), dolled it up simply with a bath mat and toothbrush holder and set of towels and cheerful shower curtain. I made my bed daily, even though it was just an air mattress. I taped a few of my favorite prints to the walls and placed a mood board collage on a shelf.

When I am couch surfing, I carry along my favorite pillow and blanket, earplugs, an eye mask, and my favorite essential oil. Settling in these days looks a little bit different from I imagined it to be (though to be honest, I am not entirely sure how I pictured it…). Until I find my dream rental (at a dream rental price, manifesting hardcore!) all I need is my toothbrush, a quiet space and a good friend to lend me a place to lay my head.

This is what I want you to know about my depression

February 23, 2018

It can be risky to publish posts like last week’s. But lately God has been granting me more and more opportunities to speak up about my struggle with mental illness. This truth has helped tie authentic relationships even tighter, while allowing me to seek help and support, and partner with others in the hurt so they know they aren’t alone.

Well, I promised things would get real around here. So today we’re getting even more real, if you will.

There have been moments this past year when I have not wanted to wake up the next day. When I wished I could lie down for a nap and let the world slip away. When I thought my heart was literally going to explode in my chest. When I thought it was possible for me to drown on oxygen. When thoughts I never even knew humans were capable of having ran wild through my head. Like someone else was controlling my brain. Scary sh*t.

It didn’t make sense to me, and it certainly didn’t make sense to my loved ones as I pulled away or put my walls up.

I heard multiple stories this week (including my own) where family members and dear friends wanted to know what they could do to help, who wanted to understand what mental illness actually looks like. I felt the tug to share my honest experience here.

From my perspective, from my experiences, this is what depression can look like: waves of happiness and laughter followed by the crushing blow of helplessness, exhaustion, disinterest, and darkness. Even for me, who many describe as generally joyful and engaging. Who appears to be thriving. There are weeks, there are days, where I may experience this seemingly unending and inescapable darkness.

But it isn’t all just like that. There’s more to our story. Know someone suffering through depression? Here’s an insight into our lives, and how you can be supportive through it all:

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Hanging Out My Dirty Laundry

February 16, 2018

Growing up I heard a saying: don’t air your dirty laundry. We were taught to handle our scandal behind the scenes, smile, brush the bumps from our ponytails and conquer the world. I believe it is a generational thing, keeping the struggles behind closed doors. But as our channels of communication multiplied and facebook and Instagram happened, so did our sharing.

All this sharing, however, can pose its own set of problems. I’m a strong believer in living authentically — but as we all know (cliché, cliché) the Internet is where we turn to paint the prettiest pictures of ourselves.

I’m guilty as well. I live in freaking Hawaii. The best beaches in the world where people travel thousands of miles to vacation at are now my home beaches. I get paid to snuggle dogs. I get paid (sometimes) to write. I hike in scenery right out of heaven. I love it. I’m living a dream.

Moments I post are filled with joy, wonder, adventure. They’re my attempt to share some of the excitement and beauty of my island life.

Yet not everyone gets a peek behind the scenes. Not everyone sees the dirty laundry before it’s hung out to dry. Being away from the hustle of the city has given me plenty of quite time to reflect and get honest with myself. And when I did, here’s what revealed itself:

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January in Pictures

February 5, 2018

January. The new year started fresh, me in bare feet and a red sequin dress. We danced under the starlight in Oahu, Hawaii, my new home.

The roomies 🙂

One very dapper group — thank you for welcoming me

After surviving the oddity of the Missile Alert f&*k-up, I met with a few of the world’s greatest humans from SF for a soul-filling long weekend in Kauai. Our goal was to sit in wonder, and in wonder we did sit — under the ocean on a SCUBA trip, and under the stars at a life-changer of a campout at Polihale. (more to come…including a rad video wrap-up)

Waking up on the sand at Polihale

Triple-decker hammocks for six for the sunset at Poipu Beach

The tricycle rides again! My besties Will & Janine visited from SF for a long weekend of sun, fun, and one very wet and muddy sunrise hike. (worth it)

The top of our v v rainy sunrise hike to Lanikai Pillboxes

Back to our usual shenanigans, this time at Duke’s Waikiki

…and at Lanikai Brewing Co.

Hiking glory captured by Will

Mah bestie and former roommate Lo also made the visit (all the way from Chi Town!). We chased sunshine around the island, taste tested IPAs, and somehow managed to stick to our grandma bedtimes and chick flick movie nights.

Sunset catching & mai tai sippin’ in Waikiki

North shore, big waves, big wave surfers, and Banzai Bowls

Not matter how often (or not?) I shower, you’ll typically find me covered in plenty of dog hair, sea salt, and a fine layer of sand. I don’t hate it.

Doggie days at the beach are a bit less relaxing with this one in tow, but can’t be much happier

My fur baby niece Chesney feelin’ the aloha in her new bandana

Dog friends and friends with dogs, yes please

…have I mentioned, PUPPIES?! Not mine, but definitely considered snatching up Mr. Peanut Butter.

So now that my skin is tanner, my hair blonder, and my feet WAY dirtier (from forgetting my shoes on a daily basis..whoops) — the question is, do I look local yet?

Oh friends, the call of the island is real. This place has a way of sucking you in, challenging you, and breaking down the carefully built walls you hoped to remain in place for the duration of your reality escape. But I’d have to say, once I stopped resisting reality, my wonder at this beautiful, crazy life came rushing back like a wave at Pipeline. This is life. Do with it what you may.

Oh hey February, don’t speed along too fast, mmkay?