Thursday, May 21, 2015

Want To, Need To | Issue 1


I'm one of those people who have at least 30 tabs open at a given time. It's annoying!

The intentions are good: "This looks like a really thoughtful post about hope...Oh, that looks really easy and tasty!" 

But the action is poor: Case in point (this is just one of many)




I'm trying something new here. It's my Want To, Need To list. I'll post it every time my tabs get too plentiful. (Translation: it's going to be sporadic)

To read

To make

To explore
To buy

Monday, May 18, 2015

1:15pm MSO to LAX / Why I'm not taking my flight today

At 1:15pm, I have an all-expense paid trip to LA for the final round before getting accepted to go on an extreme reality TV show...and I'm not going to take it. Instead, I'm going to sip my coffee and sit in front of my computer. 

A few months ago, I was approached by this primitive survival show. They asked if I'd be interested in pursuing it and I shut it down pretty quickly. "No way, I don't really have any primitive survival skills...It's too much exposure." (Nudity would be involved.) But there was a part of the offer that kept tickling me.

Then I synchronistically met Trenton and got a burst of energy around the show. He's a survivalist and teacher, and I thought, "This was meant to be!" This newfound energy lead to reinitiating the process with the casting company and learning the skills I'd need to prepare for something new and epic! Trenton taught me how to make fire using a bow drill! And build a shelter! -- all out of nothing but the resources around me in the woods. I was stoked to successfully learn skills that always felt elusive and mysterious, and secretly grew in excitement about the potential to have my moment in the public eye. (aka: Becoming famous!)
Tools used for some backyard fire shenanigans. 
My first solo primitive friction fire.
This is a lean-to primitive shelter. It's not complete in this picture, but getting there.


















































































Two major things were driving my pursuit of this show:
1. I've wanted to be famous ever since reality shows became a thing during my lifetime. From American Gladiators to Kelly Clarkson to YouTube sensations...it seems like so many people make it big and live some glamorous spotlight life. (K, I'm not sure the American Gladiators are living it up per say, but I loved that show as a kid and felt compelled to mention them!) And as much as I know about how fame does not equal being truly known....fame was/is still my siren's call. I'd even dare to say that Millenials are just needy in this way.

2. I am like a moth to a flame and my flame is literally anything new, exciting, and adventurous. It gets me almost every time. I love this part of me because I've lived the life I have and am now here in Montana because of this curiosity, this insatiable part that needs to explore. So this primitive survival challenge was incredibly enticing. "I mean, when would I ever get a chance to do something as extreme as this?!" I wanted to know badly what would happen if I took on this challenge. This desire to know, to experience, to go and try is unbelievably strong inside of me. 

The desire for fame isn't a great reason to go do something, but that desire to try new things is good, isn't it? So why not go for it?

I mean, I still have some time before I could catch my flight. And believe me, I'm tempted...even if just for a new experience of going through the final stages of casting. But deeper than my desire for new experiences is this desire to focus and be right here.

In an age of major FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and what seems like the perfect adventurous life publicized on Instagram, I can feel a bounding desire to have a grander and more epic life. But why? Because what I have isn't good enough? Sometimes my actions can convey that. 

So I'm here in my home office on this beautiful and windy morning, drinking the delicious coffee I make myself every morning, after a workout I have every Monday morning, looking at the computer screen I look at almost every day....choosing this moment. As hard as it is to imagine me flying to LA for an entirely new experience, I'm choosing this one. As mundane as it may seem in contrast to the path I just said no to, I'm choosing to feel content today, to feel grateful for what I have, and to remember that I don't need that new exciting "toy" - if you will - to have a satisfying well-lived life.

I'm choosing this:


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Old Favs, New Music

I've been feeling a little deprived of new music where I feel that heart-leaping connection. It's a rare gift to find. This week, I've noticed some of my old favs released some new music. Very nice.

William Fitzsimmons - I Had To Carry her (Virginia's Song)


Gregory Alan Isakov - All Shades of Blue


Jose Gonzalez - Every Age
Third song in his NPR Tiny Desk Concert

Quote | Find It Here

Joy and peace are the joy and peace possible in this very hour of sitting. If you cannot find it here, you won’t find it anywhere. Don’t chase after your thoughts as a shadow follows its object. Don’t run after your thoughts. Find joy and peace in this very moment. This is your own time. This spot where you sit is your own spot. It is on this very spot and in this very moment that you can become enlightened. You don’t have to sit beneath a special tree in a distant land. Practice like this for a few months, and you will begin to know a profound and renewing delight.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Quote | Enneagram 7 Kick In The Face.

Today's Enneathought kicked me in the head.
"Growth does not come from fulfilling all your wishes or your immediate impulses. Growth comes from allowing your ego's story to drop away."

Thank you. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

in remembrance of 2014.

last fall, i remember thinking..."oh my gosh, what did i do with this past year!?" it wasn't a a question of curiosity, it was a question stained with judgement about how i spent my time. so i responded by making a list of everything i experienced in 2014 and categorized them. (ahh, i love organization!)

but this list isn't about saying, "hey, look at me!" it's about reflecting on a full year and feeling deep gratitude. it's about remembering that although i had a lot of fun experiences, it was in the loneliness of living in rural montana that i began to truly treasure community. it's about looking back in order to shape how i move forward.

and wowwowwow, do i feel grateful!!

adventures
  • biked from canada to mexico with samuel
  • backpacking to cedar lake (montana)
  • backpacked the teton crest trail with mary and samuel (wyoming)
  • hiked all over the madison valley
  • summited sphinx mountain (montana)
  • road trip to banff & jasper national parks (canada)
  • jumping into glacially cold leigh lake (only for a moment, but a lifetime of cold)
  • horseback riding with mel (montana)
  • this extrovert having to navigate isolation! 
travels
  • USA: el paso, texas
  • USA: all over western montana 
  • N.AMERICA: canada to mexico (bike)
  • USA: seattle > portland > bend > shasta > sf/bay (train)
  • FRANCE: la havre > fougeres > ile-aux-moines > paris
  • USA: jackson hole, wyoming
  • USA: catalina 
  • USA: la > san diego 
first time experiences
  • our first real winter
  • ice fishing
  • dog sledding
  • walked on a frozen lake
  • got our car stuck in snow in the middle of nowhere (and had to get rescued)
  • first snow-related car accident 
  • my coldest day ever at -29 degrees
  • my first log sawing competition
  • skiing at bridger bowl, whitefish resort, snowbowl, discovery ski
  • snowcoaching in yellowstone national park
  • shooting a handgun and a (serious looking) rifle
  • "helped" ranchers with cattle sorting (translation: i just tried to stay on my horse and not cause trouble.) 
  • cattle branding
  • lassoed my first calf!
  • biking in yellowstone (twice)
  • a rural duathlon (bike/run)
  • hired a coach
  • met william devane
  • horse pack trip in the backcountry with people i had never met (except for one person)
  • attended a french wedding
  • an overwhelming allergy attack in the backcountry 
  • attacked by a grouse
  • a chuck wagon dinner
  • ate moose, elk, and deer
  • designed a founder's retreat agenda for a bay area start-up
  • joined a food co-op
new skills (also all first time experiences)
  • skiing
  • snowshoeing 
  • cross country skiing
  • mountain biking
  • baking bread and bagels from scratch
  • making yogurt and granola
  • making kimchi (and other korean dishes)
  • brewing kick-you-awake pour over coffee
  • water coloring
  • resolving conflict with husband
animals i saw
  • saw my first grizzly (in captivity)
  • bison
  • moose
  • elk
  • wolf
  • deer
  • white tailed deer
  • pronghorn antelope
  • bighorn sheep
  • mountain goats
  • bald eagles
  • mountain blue birds
  • magpies
  • osprey
  • golden eagles
  • grouse
  • rocky mountain sheep
  • scottish highland cattle (my absolute favorite kinda cow!)
lifestyle experiments
  • reduced our life down to one car load, then slowly acquire what we needed for our new place
  • lived in my first rural town
  • completed artist's way
  • experiment: 30 days of drinking 3L of water/day
  • zero waste living (still pursuing)
passion pursuits 
  • got certified in wilderness first aid and cpr
  • started building a website to make wilderness backpacking simple for women
  • conducted user research interviews for said website
  • created a website for a bed & breakfast
choices made toward finding home
  • moved to ennis, montana on jan 1, 2014
  • moved to missoula, montana on oct 6, 2014
  • got a new drivers license for the state of montana
  • apartment hunting for three intensive days in missoula and found one
watched
  • joy & billy get married
  • zack & sarah get married
  • jb & nino get married
  • my husband officiate his first wedding
  • all seasons of friday night lights and scandal in a relatively short period of time. (aka: binging!)
we hosted
  • messengers x2
  • mary chang
  • the first (and only) instameet in ennis, mt
  • sister alice
  • candice & matt 
  • six bike tourists in a span of seven days
  • my sister, lily, lydia, and mom
  • a neighborly get together in our new town
  • jenny morgan
we were hosted by
  • the messengers (stevensville)
  • the kims x2 (san diego)
  • the chois (la)
  • paula (france)
  • torea & jeremy (sunnyvale)
  • mary chang (menlo park)
  • mary carrera (san jose)
  • my momma (la)
  • chris murchison (sf)
  • all the amazing people during our pacific coast bike tour
new(ish) relationships formed
  • judy
  • the noacks
  • mel
  • the jarvis'
  • the maccalls
  • the lewtons
  • m&m
  • the messengers
  • folks from our church
  • vlad
  • brian/ollie
  • craig & melissa
and ordinary things
  • got my annual dental check-up
  • ate almost all my meals with my husband (that's about 1000 meals!)
  • took dozens & dozens & dozens of naps
  • spent countless days in my pajamas

you can see some pics from this year here.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 year end reflection questions

this is our second year as a married couple to partake in a couple hours of reflection on the last day of the year. i think we'll make this a family tradition. :) last year, there were a few too many questions, so i trimmed it down a bit and made it simpler. 

one
1. what went well in 2014? 
2. what did not go well in 2014? (thanks chris guillebeau for these two)
3. top 5 most significant events this year.
4. hardest thing to let go of.
5. what are you proud of? 
6. i felt most connected to God when...
7. i felt most alive when...
8. i felt most sucked out of life when...
9. one word to describe 2014
10. in 2014, I'm grateful for:

two
1. what are my intentions for 2015? 
2. what are my desires? 
3. what do I want to LOVE? 
4. what's one word to describe 2015?

three
write a letter to yourself for what you hope for in 2015. 

four
fold the paper up into an envelope, write your name on it and tuck it away to open at the end of 2015!


i hope your 2014 was well-lived: full of learning, growth, compassion, depth, hope, love & joy!
happy new year to you! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

quote | true mystics

I have come to believe that the true mystics are not those who contemplate holiness in isolation, reaching godlike illumination in serene silence, but those who manage to find God in a life filled with noise, the demands of other people and relentless daily duties that can consume the self…. If they are wise, they treasure the rare moments of solitude and silence that come their way, and use them not to escape, to distract themselves with television and the like. Instead, they listen for a sign of God’s presence and they open their hearts toward prayer.
Kathleen Norris
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