I came to Spain eager to get back to writing. I've been pent up lately, mucked by work and other obligations taking priority. But now I have time, between epic road rides and recovery. The life of Riley, eh? I know, lucky indeed.
My journal is filled with wet ink. Words are spouting out with such urgency, such flow, that hours whiz by. My shoulder is achy and hand arthritic from scribing my observations out. This is what work should be like: where you get lost in time, lost in thought, lost in the passion of what you are doing. It's nice to be reminded that it's time to eat or sleep - you were just too absorbed to notice.
It's nice to find yourself.
I remember feeling lost at a young age. Sitting around and doing nothing always bothered me. Something was stirring inside of me, something I couldn't put my finger on. Something that left me troubled yet unable to come to action.
Thirty-four years young, I've come to recognize and accept that feeling. The one where I must be doing something to feel connected: to feel like my soul and mind aren't being wasted in time. If I just sit there, soaking in nothingness, I get restless.
Ironically, I lose myself when I write. The world around me becomes white noise as I frantically try to keep up with my train of thought. If I pause and soak in what is going on around me, it's like taking a deep breath of air and rejuvenates my spirit. I am here to write: to transcribe the world as I see it. To reveal taboo subjects: sex, death, surrender, acceptance. Human nature and my personal perspective on things. I'm embracing the random nature of thought, the chaotic jumble of understanding, the frantic struggle to get it out before it escapes. These are my truths. This what makes me pause during the day, appreciating life and living it to the fullest.
1. NEVER SETTLE.
Settling is for people who lost faith in their beliefs. Who lost patience in pursuing their dreams. Who gave up because that was easier and felt safe at the time. Settling is what keeps unhappy in situations long after they've run their course. Settling is an excuse ans seemingly the norm. Screw the norm. Find your dreams, pursue them with passion and stop listening to doubt.
2. TAKE THE RISK.
If your heart is telling you to travel, have a baby, fall in love, shoot a basket, then DO IT. What are you waiting for? An invitation? A perfect moment? Are you waiting for it to be safe? Stop joshing around and take the plunge. The greatest risk is the one not taken. Cliche? Sure. True? Absolutely.
3. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE.
And no one else. Got a "friend" who gets you down every time you hang out? Do yourself a favor - ditch them. You must surround yourself with upbeat, passionate people. The ones who are overly optimistic. Who grab life by the horns and boldly laugh. Who ooze good times and happiness, every day. Those type of people tend to attract others of similar disposition - so keep them near. Next thing you know you'll be surrounded by a village of glass brimming with water people. They will faithfully support your decisions, maintain your well being and give you high fives for your accomplishments. It's in their nature.
4. MOVE SOMEWHERE SUNNY.
No joke. I had no idea how much this one would hold true until I finally took the leap and moved out of the soggy Pacific Northwest. NO. IDEA. And now that I have, I feel like a recovering rain-aholic. Seriously. Something as simple as waking up to sunny skies nearly every day puts a permanent smile on my face. And smiles are a display of inward happiness. Need I say more?
5. EXERCISE YOUR BODY AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
Okay, you don't have to become an exercise fanatic (but it wouldn't hurt!). Figure out what motivates you: a race, a group ride, zumba, jogging, hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, you name it! But take the time each day to fit exercise into your schedule. I've heard and made excuses in my life to do this, or not. But the moment I put my mind to it and took it seriously. I easily made those goals. And once you achieve those goals, don't stop there. Keep going. Revise them so they are challenging and doable. Celebrate your successes. Optimize your pursuit.
6. BE THE MASTER OF YOUR DESTINY.
Anything you imagine, you can become. What the mind believes, the body achieves. This is such a broad saying, which is why I love it so much. You, and you alone, have the power and key to personal happiness. If something isn't going your way, change it. How? Figure out a way. If that means moving, taking risks, exposing your heart and desires to perfect strangers, so be it. The universe has an amazing way of bouncing back the vibrations you send out. Sending out the positive, open minded and true feelings bounces right back. It allows you to focus on the positive, taking less than ideal situations in stride and seeing the lessons they bestow. This is more than just a saying, it's a way of being and living. The sooner you open up and accept your reality, the sooner good things can happen. Be true and honest in your approach. Be respectful and trust the process.
7. FOLLOW YOUR HUNCH AND INTUITION.
Some people's intuitions speak louder than others. Recognize when that inner voice of wisdom is speaking to you and trust it. Be patient and kind. Honing this special gift takes time. But once you harness its power, never doubt it. Believe in yourself.
8. ATTEMPT THE "IMPOSSIBLE".
Why place limiters on life or how it "should" be followed? If there's something that is a road block in your life, try figuring out another way around, through or behind it. Inventors make discoveries by attempting the impossible. Take charge of those limits and test their waters. You might surprise yourself.
9. BUCK CONVENTIONAL THINKING.
If you're attempting to solve the same problems, a new approach may be all it takes. Get outside, go for a hike, clear your mind. Remove the blinders and limiters, open your heart and mind and try something new.
10. IGNORE OTHER PEOPLES JUDGEMENT.
They aren't you. They don't know you. Yet why do you think their opinion matters? It doesn't. Worry about your unique experience, your own life and remove any power judgement holds over you. Wear red. Wear pink. Go naked. But whatever you do, don't wear other people's shade of judgement. You're better than that, smarter than that. And your decisions made from clear thinking are sound. Believe in yourself.
11. DON'T JUDGE OTHERS.
Every person on this planet is here to survive, guaranteeing billions of unique views and ways of doing things. No one gave you the right to declare one way better than another to complete a task. Save the judgement, or rather, ditch it all together.
12. EAT WELL.
You are what you eat. Fuel the body with nutritious foods. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fish, fats - yes, please. Your body is a temple and the only physical one you've got. Step away from the fast food and refined sugar! Step away from the cookie jar!
13. BE KIND - TO EVERYONE.
Practicing random acts of kindness really does work. It also builds your karma bank. Being kind shows your inner beauty, a testament to your character. Hold open doors for strangers, carry groceries for the elderly, call your grandparents, let someone else go first in line. Life is precious and is meant to be shared with others.
14. BECOME AN EXPERT.
Get really, really good at doing something. Not just mediocre, but great, fantastic, AMAZING!!!! Become a guru in something and do it with passion. Figure out how to make money doing so. The rest will fall into place. But only after you show your unfaltering work ethic and dedication toward something. Devote your life toward it: love, work, play, hobby, kids, you name it. But do that one thing exceptionally well before moving on to master something else.
15. LOVE PASSIONATELY, UNCONDITIONALLY AND WITH RECKLESS ABANDON.
Again, this is something that if the planets are aligned right, will resonate back to you tenfold. Take the risk. Hold loved ones near. Tell them and show them your love in thousands of ways, big and small. Cherish your time together, never taking it for granted. Express your gratitude toward them. Write love notes, bestow flowers, give kisses and hugs and signs of affection. Tell them you love them, every day. And never go to bed angry.