Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: Finding my way HOME :)

New Years Eve is always such an excellent opportunity to reflect on the year. Every year I think it’s my best year yet, and every new year it gets better! What a phenomenon; To know we have the opportunity to make every year better. I honestly LOVE getting older... I have learned so much, and we just get to add more experience and more exposure and more growth and more love and more opportunity and more lessons and more LIFE on top of all of it??? What a ridiculously amazing game of compounded interest!!!  

LET’S TOAST!!!!  I’m raising my glass of Fancy Pants red wine to the fact that we can choose for this year to be our best year yet!! 

Without intending it to be, my 2013 turned out to be the 'Explore America' year. In just these last 12 months,  I visited 26 states, logged over 12,000 miles of road trips, and climbed to the top of 22 state high points, naked ;) (hehe, yes it’s true!). What a year it was!!! 

It started out in extreme peace (and some internal disharmony!). I lived and learned extraordinary life lessons at a yoga and medication retreat in Northern California, all the while healing from an difficult lesson of unanswered questions. It was a place called Pleasant Valley Sanctuary, and they are doing amazing things there. Check it out :) 

In Feb, I drove down to, (in my gramps truck and under his watchful eye), climbed down into, the Grand Canyon. It is awe-inspiring, vast, and delicate, and the lower you go, the more you feel both our insignificance and our great power. Def a place to add to the bucket list :).

From there, I drove back north along highway 101, fell in love with the whole coast, and reconfirmed I belong to the Pacific ;).

In March, I realized my mother was my best friend (and a real life living saint), and that I want (need) her as close to me as possible. I feel no shame in saying this, and I hope you either have or can give the most pure unconditional love that she has the ability to give. You should meet her if you can :). We went on a 10 day ‘where-should-we-live-road-trip’ from San Fran, all over and back up to WA, and randomly, perfectly, serendipitously (aka the universe gives you what you give it) found the place I wanted to live in my home state!! (been here 31 days, my heaven on earth so far!!!)

In April, I went back to Miami, where I spend 6 weeks finishing my house renovation loose-ends, and caught up with my bestest friends. There is no doubt in my mind, our connections and a feeling of belonging is what makes life grand. GIVE all that you can and your connections will blossom. Seriously. Selflessness is the new black ;). 

In May, I made the US Dragon Boat team (again!), trained, and flew to Hungary (in July) for the World Championships.  I then toured Eastern Europe for 4 extra weeks and had vivid experiences that you should visit me to hear about ;).

I loved and lost. I fell and got back up. I cried and I cheered. I stood up for what I believe in. I honored who I am, I lost friends, I gained friends. I recognized the path of others even when it was far from my own. I messed up, I apologized. I confirmed there is no emotion that is ‘bad’. Every single one helps us along the way and should be honored. I've been honoring them all, and found bliss in doing so. 

Over the summer, I drove my motorcycle (with hand-painted rainbow striped helmet) over 4,000 miles all over the East Coast, even up to Montreal, Canada (and back!). I can’t say I’ve done anything more invigorating that this amazing journey. Take risks :). 
I was a sight to be seen, no doubt ;) 

In September, I hunkered down with my mom for a few months, and started drafting out my future.  It’s amazing to draw up your dreams exactly as you want to see them. Mine is called The Bloom Woods :). I highly recommend doing this, forging your own path and life and happiness. (I would be happy to help you get there- that is part of my plan!! ;)

In November, I officially moved!! So long Florida- 13 years you were great (and you gave me wicked memories and life-long friends) ... but I am officially a Washingtonian again!!! YIPPEEE!!!!! My mom and I drove 2,900+ miles to the west coast, hauling a 20’ trailer of furniture!!! We broke down and got towed twice, almost died in an icy sliding miracle, and realized we had tires that were worn down to the core only AFTER arriving. No doubt our Guardian Angel was working hard. Thanks Gramps. No way he was going to let us both perish ;) 

In December, I found and moved into the best apartment in the universe :). My toilet doesn’t flush, but everyday I see the mighty Columbia River, and almost everyday the fabulous Mt. Hood, right from my living room. Also everyday, I thank this world for letting me see it has been the gratitude, love, confidence and faith in every moment, that has gotten me here.  

My view!!!
As the year comes to a close (less than 2 hours now!!!), I ponder what some might call my ‘luck’.  No, it is not luck. It is a conscious, everyday privilege. to be thankful, to be empathetic, to look for the positive, to give as much as I can.  It is an intentional, purposeful, extraordinary effort to love every human, every moment, every second, and to give as much as possible.  I can only aspire to give more. 

More than anything, this year has become the year to understand that I know absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. My resume, my accomplishments, my history, my story, my experiences--- they are but a mere, puny grain of sand.  If there is one thing I know, it is that I can never know enough, can never learn enough, can never give enough... but I can try! And the trying is the best part :)

I am sooooo thrilled for 2014.  As I enter the non-profit world, I know I will make mistakes, but learn from them. I know I will look and be a fool, but learn from it. I know I will throw caution to the wind, risk it all, bear it all...  and be better because of it. The question really, is not 'why?' but rather 'why not??'  

As we barrel towards 2014, I have an idea for your resolution!!!! I would like to propose adding this to your resolution: to be curious, to be open, to consciously see things from another’s view. To search, adamantly, for the positive. It is through this door, the door of OPEN, that my life has become sheer joy and contentment.  I do not have any intention to brag. I have no desire to ‘be better than’. I have no goal to bring about jealousy. I know I cannot please everyone, but for those that I can reach, I honestly, truly, deeply, widely, honorably have found happiness, and I can’t stand the thought of doing anything else but sharing the how-to that has worked for me. I believe it can work for anyone, because it is simply love.  Let’s practice :). 

Look for The Bloom Woods to launch within the month! “Go outside, grow Inside” :). 

This year? This year will be magic.  

Time to parttttay ;) See you next year! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

What a LUCKY day! :)

Today is Friday the 13th! Most likely you’ve been conditioned to think that means an unlucky day... 

PING!! My brain twitches and shimmies and does the jig. What’s this?? A negative connotation?!?! Hmmm... let’s check this out. Let’s do a little research and see about this ‘scary’ Friday the 13th. Is it deserving of it’s reputation? 

Ahhh, guess what? It all depends how you choose to look at it :).  There are endless articles about where this reputation comes from. I found it’s supposedly the ‘original day of sin’, but it’s all very vague. Did you know that in our our calendar system, the 13th day of the month is more likely to fall on a Friday than any other day of the week? We had three Friday the 13th’s in 2012!!  It appears that starting way back when, folks began documenting bad things that happened on Friday.  Well, shoot, more people DO things on Friday, so it makes sense more bad things happen then! Seems like pure logistics to me!!! :) 

Then, I also found an article that touts Friday the 13th as quite lucky indeed! For one, because so many people are scared of something bad happening, they are more careful :). But for two, it’s been said “the day and the number were once associated with the Great Goddesses, and therefore, regarded as the sacred essence of luck and fortune”.  I much prefer this :).

I’ve noticed that, no matter what your view/belief/ideal about something is, you can almost always find something or someone to corroborate your opinion, especially if it’s negative. And even if it’s false!

We love to complain together :). This is not entirely baffling when we learn that there are many more (generally deemed) negative emotions, than there are (deemed) positive!!!  (I say 'deemed' because emotions are neutral, it's the context and your feelings about them that make them pos/neg)

The question then, is NOT, can you find 1000 ways to validate the negative, but rather: Can you come up with ONE positive aspect, from anywhere, but especially from your own imagination? Why not choose to be on the positive? 

It’s all how you look at it. It’s attitude. There are a number of words that I’ve been cataloging. Words that often get a bad rap, because they can occasionally get abused. Yet, when you really look at the word, it is quite amazing. This also PING’s my brain.  It’s like reading a great book, finding 2 or 3 sentences in it that don’t ring true, and thus discrediting the whole book.  Hmm! 

Take a look at these words. Take a moment on each and see what emotion/thoughts/feelings come up in you:


(please feel free to comment with more words we can add to the list!)

.... what were your thoughts? Was there an overall negative pull? Or were there some words that felt positive? Maybe neutral? Whereby you could pull up specific instances that give a negative thought or a positive one?  

Did you once know a hippy friend that was drugged out and constantly bumming money? But what about the millions of hippies that live self-sufficient, loving, eco-friendly, beautiful lives?  

Powerful? Often times we associate powerful with greedy, wealthy, abusers of power. Adolf Hitler was powerful, but so was our late and great Nelson Mandela. 

Being single? If you read this blog of mine, you know I love being single. It truly is wonderful, yet so often people tend to focus on the singular fact that they don’t want to be, so are unhappy about it. 

Each and every of these words has a debate involved in it.... and I choose to see the positive. You too can choose to see the positive.

Because we DO get to choose

My very favorite of all those words, is CHANGE. 

Change is such an incredible thing. When held in the context of our saving our earth, updating government policies, the education system, (or our underwear!) it is seen as a positive . Let’s change!! Yet so often, when referring to ourselves (our disposition, our temperament, our beliefs, our defaults) it’s seen as negative. “I can’t change, this is just the way that I am.”

That is a 99% false statement, and revs up every life-coach-bone in my body :).  Change is not only possible, and wonderful, but inevitable.  The smartest thing we can do is embrace it, and juice it for all it’s blessings!!  

I’ve been studying and analyzing this word so much lately, Change.  I particularly love change, and feel immensely grateful to be BFF’s with it :).  As my epic life saga continues, I find myself engulfed in change!! Everything about my situation is different and new and unknown... and it’s completely, totally and wildly amazing :).  Just in the past month, I moved to Washington State from Florida (or alabama or everywhere). I have a home (yay!!) instead of being a nomad. I have a closet rather than a backpack! It’s mittens and scarf and hat weather vs. bikini weather.  I merrily cook 2- 3 meals a day (as opposed to thinking I didn’t enjoy it before). I have no idea what will happen tomorrow, let alone in a month and in a year. And yet, I’m in utter bliss :) 

Change means many things to me. Change means growth. Change means a new experience. Experience means exposure. Exposure means open eyes, open mind and open heart. Open eyes mean thinking, seeing. Open mind means learning. Open heart means understanding and empathy. Empathy means patience. Patience means love. Love means gratitude. Being grateful means being happy. :)

Change= growth. Growth=happy. Therefore (by transitive law!), Change= happy :).  There is no quality more beneficial to and for a person, that that of being willing to grow. It is the quality I seek out in all my relationships. Even more so, I seek out eagerness to grow in my closest relationships (platonic and carnal).  For as long as I live, I will actively grow everyday :).   Many relationships fail, sadly, because one or both parties decide to stop growing :(. 

Emotional, mental, spiritual growth is perpetually positive. You may not know the reason for your current ‘change’ right at this moment. You may not find out the reason for a year, or 10, or you may never know it.  BUT, if you can understand, grasp, and welcome the notion that whatever is changing in your life is something that you need, something that is benefitting you, that is pushing your life into the direction it wants to go, you will be happier. 

Earlier in this blog I stated that my life is an epic saga. I am endlessly grateful for every twist and turn that’s been in it.  My life is an epic saga because I choose to see it that way, I choose to make it that way.  On paper: I have no job. I have $659 in the bank.  I just sold my trailer...to cover the cost of moving. My rent is more than my income (seeking a roomie!). I owe my mom $1525. I have a $3500 bill for a hospital procedure that was supposed to be covered by my insurance, but wasn't :(.  I currently owe $500 to my charity kids, yet hold a strong intuition that I’m getting somewhat scammed by the admin, but I can’t let those babies down. Come January I'll have to tap my IRA to cover all these and continue moving towards my dreams. People very very very close to me, immediate family and best friends, are fighting cancer, obesity, depression, divorce, addiction, self-destruction, major life changes and stresses: marriage, children, moving, abuse. As a highly empathic and major-change driven individual, these weigh on me heavily.  I have people I love that won’t speak to me, unanswered questions I struggle to let go of, and a never ending, always growing to-do list. I’ve got a tooth ache and a 6mo waiting period for my dental insurance. I have majorly premature forehead wrinkles, AND... I have a continual stream of new hairs that seem to find immense joy in growing on my chin ;).  

The forehead wrinkle mystery solved. I just recently saw this clip from an 
i-have-a-brilliant-idea video my mom took of me in September. 
Whoa, animation! Obviously, my wrinkles come from sheer enthusiasm!!

A good friend once called me out (which I loved btw), saying that no one has a perfect life, so what’s my story?  I never have, nor never will, think I have a perfect life... but it IS imperfectly fantastic ;). I consciously honor every thought and emotion that enters my brain/body/heart, and I choose how to deal with it, react to it.  It’s not always easy and definitely not always pleasant, but I choose to look for the positive, or at least neutrality.  That did not come innately. I learned that. I sought it out. I fought for it. I continue to make it a priority. You can too :) 

To grow, a plant needs sun and rain. It needs shade and it needs dirt. Worms and bees and compost are helpful. And for expedited growth? It needs shit!! Lots of stinky, nasty, fertilizing shit :). This is a non-subtle analogy to our lives!!! There is no perfection. We will all wither away and join back the earth one day. You can bloom... and better sooner than later! 

There IS always another way to look at any situation. Choose positive. Choose growth. Choose change. Choose happy. :)

How? Seek out the positive. Be curious. Welcome all experiences. Embrace change like it was the biggest best bear hug of your life!!!

Go have yourself a phenomenally lucky and wonderful Friday the 13th :). 

With love, 
Becky Jo 
Spread happy :) 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I have a home!!!

After 2 years of phenomenal nomad-ing, I have an apartment, I have a home!!!! AHHHHHH!!! It's wonderful, I love it, I am so happy!!! This area, the Columbia River Gorge, is jaw-droppingly beautiful. The people are friendly and there are outdoor activities galore!!! Every person I've met says they love it here. During summer, that little beach in front on my place is home to the #4 destination in the USA for kite boarding!!!!!! OMGGGG!!!! AMAZINGGGGG!!!! :)