Grateful & Blessed

Today I’m inspired to write about an experience I had just the other day. I recently had to spend a ton of money on an unexpected bill and was trying very hard to keep my head in a positive mindset…I was also feeling unaccomplished and stagnant- I felt as though I didn’t have a good plan set in place for myself and was suddenly very unsure of my future. I have been working hard on keeping an active lifestyle, including yoga, pole and exercising. However, my diet lacks the nutrition I need to gain muscle and I have found I am still burning more calories than I can afford. This is a problem I have dealt with for what feels like most my adolescence and adult life. Although I am doing research and adjusting my meals, I have had to stop working out and focus more on eating, which often makes me feel like I am wasting my time because the results themselves take a bit of time. Sometimes these internal hurtles become a little too much to bare and the stress begins to seep into other parts of one’s life, like work. I started to struggle at work as well. Forgetting orders, feeling absentminded and being a little too sensitive after customers getting frustrated at me was starting to drain my energy. By the time I got home after a shift, I just wanted to sleep.

One morning as I was heading into work, I got an email from a local artist and friend, Daniel Sprick. He had attached a recently finished painting of myself that he had started about a year ago. Flattered and slightly amazed he had actually finished it, my heart leapt with joy and I could hardly contain my awe at such an amazing thing for someone to do! Later at work, a coworker and myself were given a private tour of a newly built apartment complex across from our building. 35 floors up, we gazed down at Denver city completely amazed at the beauty. It was incredible to see the process of the building coming together, and the fact that humans have evolved enough that we create such massive structures completely blew my mind! I got out of work by the afternoon and felt so optimistic and energetic I decided to walk home, typically taking me about 40 minutes. Enjoying all the interesting sights along the way, I arrived home were I was loved up by my sleepy cat. I sat down and did my Japanese lessons on Duolingo and  decided to take a shower in case I needed to leave the house later on. While reflecting on my day in the shower, I suddenly felt so clear minded about my future. I felt confident that my plan would propel me into the lifestyle I desired. It was almost as if a strong energy came through me and filled me with joy. As if I had embraced an old friend I hadn’t seen for a while, my body felt warm and comforted. I realized how full my day was, and how lucky I am that my only stresses are of monetary value, not disaster or illness or losing loved ones. I felt beautiful and kind to myself once again, and apologized for forgetting how important that is, even in our most difficult times. My eyes filled with tears of gratitude, thankful that such understanding of my trials and pain had led me to this realization and, in the process, helped me strengthen my will to keep trying. Most important- to trust myself. Sometimes even trusting my higher self.

Now, hopefully this doesn’t seem like me just bitching about what lots of people deal with regularly. It’s unfortunate that sometimes we are unified by a mutual hate for our job, constant anxiety attacks, or depression. All too much it seems that these struggles consume most of one’s energy-without them even realizing at times. I share this not knowing who will see it, but hopeful that if someone does, they will feel a little less alone in their own trials. It has taken me years to get this mindset of finding strength in my flaws, solutions to my problems, clarity in my mind….but throughout it all I am happier than I have ever been in my life. My worst fears have already come true and I am no longer afraid of the future. These moments of weakness become reminders of how powerful we truly are-that what used to feel impossible is actually very possible and attaining a constant feeling of relief is never too far out of reach.

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Namaste. 

Recently Read

THE ALCHEMIST Paulo Coelho 

THE SPACE BETWEEN US Thrity Umrigar 

BE HERE NOW Dr. Richard Alpert, Ph.D into Ram Dass  

BE LOVE NOW Ram Dass with Rameshwar Das 

THE SIRENS OF TITAN Kurt Vonnegut 

THE BUS DRIVER WHO WANTED TO BE GOD & OTHER SHORT STORIES Etgar Karat 

TAO TE CHING Lao Tzu 

CRAFT OF THE WILD WITCH Poppy Palin 

Going back over this list, I realize there are a lot of random genres thrown in. However, I love all types of stories and although they may not all be my favorite in the end, there’s hardly a book I won’t finish! I’ve been reading a lot of books by authors who are not American. I never paid much attention to the author, or their background, but I’ve found there is something different for me when I started to culture myself. thealchemist The Alchemist, written by Paulo Coelho, is an amazing tale of a shepherd on an amazing adventure. He sets off to find the treasure of the pyramids he keeps dreaming about. The story is a very easy read and well written. I was slightly disappointed that it was actually so short,  by the time I finished it I was fully immersed in the story and ready for more! However, because those who are less inclined to read long books will possibly pick this one up, it could be for the best. Paulo does an excellent job teaching the reader about life as the story goes, drawing parallels between the shepherds struggles and those that we too may have in our own life adventure. I truly loved every part! thespacebetweenus

Another book written by Thrity Umrigar, The Space Between Us, teaches the reader about the trials of two women in India. It follows the struggle of an older woman and her pregnant granddaughter, and the many trials they overcome to finally find peace. Not only did I get an understanding of how India’s caste system works and what it may be like for some to live within it, but I also took away an understanding of the hardships and frustration many of the characters faced because of this. I can’t wait to read more of Thrity Umrigar and get to know more of her well created characters.

beherenow - Copy Be Here Now (re-reading) Be Love Now (still reading slowly) are very incredible, true stories of Dr. Richard Alpert and others. Be Here Now, taking place in India, follows Richard through his exploration of understanding the self. He travels to stay with a Guru, learning the true power of meditation, yoga and living a simple, pure life. This book is not only inspiring, but may be one like you’ve never seen before. Within the covers, the book opens up vertically and each page within is filled with drawings and quotes by Richard himself. It shows his adventure within the mind, sorting through who he really is and who he has been taught to be. Finding true love for himself, he shared his story inspiring many here in the US to take a deeper look in the mirror and truly get to know and love themselves. There is so much more I would share, but I feel like I could start a new blog post with all the information I want to give! belovenow Be Love Now a sequel written with Rameshwar Das, another student of Maharaj-ji, writes of his own experiences while in the temple. This book is traditionally written, not like the first, but does include many pictures during his time at the temple. It has so many hilarious stories between Ram Dass and Maharaj-ji, but also many lessons within to help one propel their spiritual journey even further. Because I do have a hard time with biographical books, I have stopped and started Be Love Now again and again. Even though I’m only halfway through, I’ve come to love how wholesome and real the story is so far.

Kurt Vonnegut is a classic. Although there are still many books written by him that I haven’t read, he is one of my favorite authors. A Man Without A Country (not listed) is probably his most down to earth book. I say that ironically as well, because The Sirens of Titan is almost completely set in space, or on other planets. sirensoftitan It follows a few set characters, who change the part they play throughout the story. To some, it may seem like a meaningless tale that spans over several years, leading up to a strange ending that almost feels anti-climatic. However, it is the perplexing nature of Vonnegut’s stories that keep the reader entertained and interested to hear what comes next-even if they don’t exactly understand what he means.

The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God by Etgar Karat is a collection of short stories, most of which being slightly dark, but leaving several questions and thoughts after each tale. thebusdriverwhowantedtobegod It also contains the short story “Kneller’s Happy Campers” inspiring the award winning movie Wristcutters: A Love Story. I very much liked reading through the different short stories, and it’s a good way to keep the brain entertained and interested if you have a hard time getting through long novels.

One of my all-time favorites, Tao Te Ching by Lao-tzu is a series of Chinese Proverbs pertaining to life, death and understanding one’s self. tao-te-ching It often leaves the reader thinking a little more deeply about what they’ve read, and I have found myself re-reading passages and each time, finding a new meaning. It’s a great book to pick up and really just start anywhere! I often read pages here and there to make myself think more about what I may be going through in my life at that moment.

One of the most interesting books I’ve added to my collection is Craft of the Wild Witch. Instead of reading a fictional story, I wanted something a little more informational when I decided to buy this. I found it at a little metaphysical shop here in Denver called ‘Spiritways’, full of very beautiful crystals, books, tarot cards and many other magical items. I haven’t quite finished this one, but I am pretty far along and have been practicing the exercises it goes through with the reader. One of my favorite activities I have learned from this book is called “Trance Walking”. craftofthewildwitch Similar to meditation, the participant visualizes a place of comfort for themselves. They then begin to visualize a walk around this place, experiencing interesting adventures and whatever may come out of their imagination. Personally, I love smoking a little weed before I trance walk, as it helps me relax and imagine some interesting things! It’s a great way to give yourself some time of peace in your day, especially if you are not able to actually get out and relax in nature.

As I was finishing this post, I asked myself why I had decided to write it in the first place. Personally, I do it to exercise my brain and keep myself feeling productive. I also want to share my love of reading and all the amazing, different books that are out there! I recently read an article claiming paperback books are currently more popular than e-books. I love this because when you physically carry around a book and let your peers borrow it, it creates a connection where you can learn about their perspectives and thoughts about the material you were able to let them borrow. Reading also apparently makes you smarter, so there’s that.

 Namaste 

Continue reading

Finally,

I  looked in the mirror at myself and said “I love you”.

It takes a lot of courage for some, others it may not…I have no idea. The only way I have ever felt was weird about doing something like this. Talking in the mirror to practice something, sure. Talking out loud to yourself I even understood. But saying things like, “I love you” to yourself? That seemed really odd for me.

It was always something I knew I should do more. It’s so hard to build up the courage to say that to friends, even loved ones sometimes…and I really didn’t even consider myself as someone I should say it to. Lucky for me, I have been blessed with great friends and family over the years. A good friend once recommended Louise Hay. She is a wonderful woman who speaks affirmations and gives great life advice through her books and meditations. She helped me heal, and taught me great lessons about life- impacting my personal growth significantly. This all quite recently, too. In the last few years of my adolescent life, I refused to look in the mirror and truly smile at me being me. There was always something to pick at, something to criticize. I noticed this often in my peers as well. It’s sad when young men and women grow up feeling so insecure and critical of themselves. At some point, the development of getting to know who you really are gets muddled with the version of yourself that is a feign…you become the person you think others want you to be. I don’t feel like I was ever really comfortable with myself, I didn’t know who I was. This last summer of 2016, I spent a lot of time alone and got to know myself. I moved into a new house, worked out often in the sun, went out with friends and tried to heal. I even started this blog during that time.

Now, I am happier than I could have ever imagined in the past years of my life. If I could talk to my former self, I would simply hug her and console her. I would assure her it’s possible to love yourself, and really mean it. There is no greater gift than that ability, because for most, it is too hard.

People are beautiful, complicated creatures. They deserve to make mistakes and heal. They are allowed to express themselves and be individuals. I wish I could share my experiences only to help others understand that even though it feels like we are alone, stuck and tired of our trials which seem never-ending, we are not alone at all.

When you learn to manifest your own destiny and share your love with others, it comes back tenfold. The best we can do in this life, and no matter what comes afterwards, is to try our best to bring each other up.

Life can be an exciting adventure. If we let the universe teach us its lessons, we can become more aware of our potential. I strongly believe in meditation and yoga. I have slowly begun practicing both for a while now and I can tell how much it has changed my life significantly. Meditation has brought me the gifts of cosmic knowledge, as hippy-dippy that sounds, it’s something like nothing else. Religious people have their beliefs, this is the holistic spiritual version I suppose. Yoga has helped me calm my mind, and teach my body to be patient. It helps you slow down your world, and really focus on the moment.

My favorite type of yoga is hot, simply because it forces you to focus and work the body. When you feel your muscles flex and start to ease, you want to push harder because it feels good! I love the challenge of meditation because it takes you out of your body and allows you to spend time in the quiet space of your mind. Often when I take short naps, I go into a more meditative state, where my body becomes completely numb, but my mind is still aware. I am peaceful and feel relaxed, but if one were to talk near me, I would hear him and become aware of what he is talking about. I feel like it has taken me years to  understand what mediation does for oneself. It’s almost too weird to explain the type of change it brings to ones life, but it is a beautiful, unique practice.

I am so grateful to reflect often and notice how lovely life really is. We have to take it slow and not get discouraged-especially in this day and age. More than ever before, I feel determined to share my love with all those around me. The world can seem like a scary place unless we learn to understand how it works. And if we all stick together to build a more aware, compassionate world, it will happen soon enough.

namaste

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January Journal Challenge

After having a stressful year, I decided 2017 was going to be better. Right off the bat I was no longer going to allow negativity in my life. I am constantly striving to do better and I know I need to work much, much harder than I have been. The New Year for many is a chance to start over, change habits and accomplish goals. Although I don’t write resolutions for myself (seems to do more harm than good) I did make some small goals to see throughout the year. In January, I decided that I would write in my journal at least once a day, every day of the month. I also wanted to get my artistic creativity flowing, so along with my written entries, I drew a self-portrait for each day as well. Some days were not my best, either I didn’t feel good enough to try harder or didn’t have time, but I am so proud of myself nonetheless! After all, it’s only been one month into the year! Eleven more to go.

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January 1st “Peace” 

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January 2nd “Get Out Of The Box” 
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January 3rd “Deep In Thought” 
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January 4th “Long Sigh” 
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January 5th “Wishing I was In The African Safari” 
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January 6th “Right Now” 
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January 7th “How I Wish Oscar Acted” 
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January 8th “Future Bre” 
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January 9th “Scary” 
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January 10th “Happy In Bed” 
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January 11th “Yoga” 
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January 12th “Thousand Mile Stare” 
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January 13th “Reading Books & Getting Electrocuted” 
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(Left) January 14th “Internal”                                                    (Right) January 15th “Battle” 
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January 16th “Talented (Hopefully)” 
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January 17th “Satisfied” 
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January 18th “Pizza Affair” 
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January 19th “Blessed” 
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January 20th “Ugh” 
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January 21st “I’m Tired” 
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January 22 “F*ck” 
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January 23rd “Meditative Plants” 
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January 24th “Crazy” 
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January 25th “Blah” 
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January 26th “Grinding” 
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        January 27th, 28th & 29th (Was In Oklahoma) “My Pathetic Self Portraits” (I wrote a long entry about this trip and chose to only draw these doodles…the bottom is me finding a strange grave with the name “Charly” in Tuttle, OK.)
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               (Top) January 30th “My Lovely Grandfather” (Bottom) January 31st “Untitled” 

 

 

 

July is almost over?!

I can’t believe how fast time flies, and how much can happen in such little time! The past month of July, I have been hectic and busy. After almost completing my 21 day chant, I fell asleep and missed one of the days. I was only a few days from being finished, but once you miss one day you have to start from the beginning again. Although it isn’t that big of a deal, I was pretty devastated…my chant was one of the few things that had been keeping my spirits up. I know I am just emotionally exhausted at this point, but sometimes it’s so difficult to keep trying to do your best.

There are so many things to be grateful for though, even when I feel terrible. I am healthy and strong, I am smart and have a good job. I have great peers around me to help me grow and learn. I got to spend some time with my very close friends recently, whom I hadn’t seen for a while. I get to go back to Utah in August to see family and friends, and I can’t wait. I know I am healthier because my hair and nails are growing pretty fast, and I haven’t  been biting my nails. (Those who do understand how hard this is to do!)

The sevenFullSizeRender (6) herbs I bought from the store have been flourishing and growing incredibly for the past month I’ve had them, and it makes me so happy. I have definitely noticed an improvement in my weight, and my exercise routine includes lots of biking and swimming, the type of body toning I am wanting. I don’t cook nearly enough food as I should, but I have a good diet for myself and basically live off pasta, which I don’t mind at all. I am so happy to be me, for once. It’s not hard to look in the mirror and smile anymore, or go out and feel confident. I do miss having someone to conquer the world with, to hold you at night, to talk about the rest of your life with…but I also understand that nothing lasts forever, and you can’t make anything stay the same. The only thing I can control is myself, and so far I think I’m doing an excellent job.

 

 

Delicious in Denver: Breakfast

There are so many more places to try, but my favorites so far…

No. 3-Denver Biscuit CO. 

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One of my all time favorite places to eat, hangout, meet with friends…really anything! The Denver Biscuit CO. is located inside of the restaurant “The Atomic Cowboy”, or also known as Fat Sully’s Pizza. Confusing yes? But so delicious. The atmosphere is a little darker, but I love that in a place, so that was a plus for me. They run their breakfast from 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., and after that is Fat Sully’s face-sized pizza slices. At night they are a pretty hip bar, with lots of board games to choose from and pool if you choose as well! Their website  has lots of information, including the history of the company and articles they have been featured in. Here is a link to Fat Sully’s website, too…they may not be breakfast, but they are a great restaurant!

There are a few reasons I love going to the Denver Biscuit CO…the biscuits are jam-packed with lots of extra food, like chicken, eggs, potatoes, sausage…made into a delectable sandwich that is way too big to fit into your mouth-that’s when you know it’s good. They also have yogurt and granola, coffee, alcohol, and tons of sides to go along with your meal. If you still have room, there is a giant cinnamon bun, with optional bacon bits! It will definitely be a breakfast you’ll crave again.

No. 2-Ophelia’s

 

I have sadly only been to this location once, but that was enough to keep me wanting more! The setting is an old brothel, located in downtown Denver. They serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday mornings, from 10:00 A.M.-2:30 P.M. and I highly recommend making a reservation, however, because they are apparently always packed. The building is two floors, with a main stage you can view from either story. There are two full bars, lots of comfortable seating, and dimmed lights to give it a nighttime feel. The group that played was jazzy,upbeat and very talented. I wish I could remember their name, but they made the place feel like a party! We were seated in tables on what becomes the dance floor at night, so we had a great view of the band playing, along with all of the other guests enjoying their morning above us.

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The food is slightly more expensive than the other restaurants featured in this post, but was also a bit more dressed up and had a great plate design. You can also get bottomless mimosas, which are fuel for a good morning.Visit their website for more great information!

No. 1-Dazzle Jazz 

There are many reasons Dazzle is in the No. 1 spot! I love this place because it isn’t only a great brunch spot, but also becomes a cool jazz club at night. They are wildly popular and feature many great artists who play live jazz throughout the restaurant! Their brunch runs from 9:30 A.M.-1:30 P.M. and includes an all you can eat buffet! Yes, the jackpot of any food outing!

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To describe all the wonderful choices you have could be an article by itself. It ranges from your typical breakfast choices, along with many pastries, fruits, vegetables and the best part is your choice of either bottomless mimosas, or bloody Mary’s. The staff was extremely professional, and very cool to talk to. The brunch feels like a giant party with live jazz, people smiling all around, and great food. Here is a link to their brunch page, but be sure to check out their full website!

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Extras:

Snooze: An A.M. Eatery

Snooze is a very upbeat breakfast nook. They are only open until 2:30 P.M., but that still leaves plenty of time to pack in a huge feast. I noticed while researching them a tad more, they have locations in California, Arizona and Colorado. I believe they are working on expanding that to states nearby, including Texas. I decided to count Snooze as an extra because I love them, and want to tell others about it, but they aren’t specific to Denver.

One of the first things you’ll notice in Snooze is their design. They use bright colors and funky furniture to bring in a happy crowd. I have been to Snooze many times, and love the atmosphere they create. I recommend making a reservation because they seem to always be full…but they have several locations in CO, two in Denver. Here is a map of all locations in the US so you can view it yourself!

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One of many Benny Breakfast styles to choose from

The food is incredible in all aspects. Although I have had to wait for a little time, I was never dissatisfied with my visit. It seemed as though I had forgotten any troubles of the day once I got my food! They also have a huge selection of specialty pancakes that you can mix and match…definitely one of my menu choices. Their drink menu is refreshing, with catchy names like “Drunken Dirty Chai” and the “Orange Snoozius” and so many more to choose from. Snooze is a great place to meet for breakfast with friends, especially before starting an exciting day! Visit their website for more information on the menu, locations and how they got their start.

The French Press

Although this location isn’t ‘technically’ Denver, I couldn’t help but include it as well! After living in Aurora for a few months, I found this cute breakfast nook (open only until 3:00 P.M.) to be the perfect cozy place near my house. It’s a small business that has created a huge fan base. I have seen the same faces there, like myself, multiple times.

The food includes lots of breakfast choices, some lunch sandwiches and salads. I love the personal feel of the food as well…almost as if you’d gone to a friends for a meal! It looks simple, fresh and tastes incredible. I highly recommend this spot to those who have already been around Denver a few times and are looking for something new. They also have a location in Lakewood and Belmar. Visit their website for more information.

 

I’m settled.

Tonight, I am genuinely happy. The last two, almost three, weeks have felt like a trippy hell. I kept imagining my life would go back to the way it used to be, and now I have finally accepted that it will not. I am in a new home taking care of myself. I have Oscar with me, thank god, and I have started to  make new friends and get myself out more. I feel so many things, but I don’t have the energy to write about it all now. I am just content and wanted to share my happiness. All my little crystals and treasures are in their place…I have such a great vision for my future. Life is good. FullSizeRender (2)

Clean slate state of mind

buddhaMy life has recently changed drastically, and I am excited to keep track of all my new adventures yet to come. I am in a big city, young, soon to be on my own, and determined to make something out of myself. Although I genuinely feel like my whole life is being flipped around, I know that I am going to be okay. My biggest goal is ME! For the first time in my life, I have realized that and I am proud of myself for doing so. I want to use this blog to keep inspiring myself to do better and go further. I also hope to inspire others who may stumble over this at some point. I want to share my experiences, and hear others stories too so I can become a better person. Being in Denver gives me so many opportunities to meet people and get myself out there. The last two years of my life have sort of been a downward spiral…and I have found myself at an ultimatum. I either change my life and start living it true to myself, or always fall back into this cycle of emotional pain I seem to be caught in. It is never easy to let go of something, especially when you have vowed to never stop trying…however, I truly believe life is ever changing and nothing should be permanent. We should always continue growing and learning!