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Pura Vida

Its been a week an a half since my return from co-leading a wonderful yoga retreat with my friend, Cindy Olah, in the land of ‘Pura Vida’, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica. I love going on retreats, whether leading or taking them. Its an opportunity to get away and hit the ‘reset’ button: recharge, reboot, be inspired, and return home with a new appreciation for new experiences and deeper appreciation for what you have.

We spent the week eating amazing local cuisine, indulging in fresh, tropical fruits, exploring the rainforest, discovering precious wildlife, playing in the surf, and of course, practicing yoga on and off the mat. The tepid ocean was amazing; strong currents and huge waves reminded me how small we are. Standing in one place, even knee deep, was a work out to not be pulled back into the ocean.

mangos
Some of the deliciousness we ate everyday. This is luxury!

The highlight for me was participating in a sweat lodge at the home of Eduardo, friend of Alejandro, resident yogi and owner of Vida Asana Eco Lodge– where we called home for the week. Only a handful of us decided to participate in the sweat lodge, while the rest of the yoga bunch chillaxed back at Playa Hermosa. The ceremonial sauna originates from the native american tradition as a means for purification. There are typically fours sessions where participants go inside an extremely hot and steamy, stick-made dome hut, centered around a fire pit of super hot rocks, and led by a seasoned leader who is well schooled in this tradition. I was down.

We traveled down a long, sandy road paralleling the Pacific Ocean, at the end of Playa Hermosa. We were greeted with welcome barks from dogs who lived at the surrounding neighbors, wanting to say hello and give us some love. Eduardo’s home is my dream home… cozy- maybe 1000 square feet, divided between between 2 modest stories, off the grid, on the beach, surrounded by a nature conservatory and farmland to its rear. He built his home using materials from the land, such as palm: bark for siding and fronds for the palapa roof of his home and outdoor yoga shala. A path to the left side of Eduardo’s home led us to where the sweat lodge was. Behind his home was a small pool, deep enough to sit in so your head could be above water, and large enough to accommodate the nine of us. This is where we would go between our sessions in the sweat lodge.

Playa Hermosa
Playa Hermosa- across from the sweat lodge

Neighboring the pool is the yoga shala, adorned with bean bags and hammocks. Continuing ahead, was the back yard area, complete with a large fire pit, outdoor pizza oven and argentinian grill, last but not least, what we called, ‘a human pizza oven’, the sweat lodge. Connected to this was a beautiful, organic, greenhouse where Eduardo tends to food he eats by hand. Divine.

Back to the human pizza oven… I’ve participated in other sweat lodges, but this one raises the bar for me at least. The types that I’ve been in are made out of large sticks that are structured in a way to create a dome. Not this one. This one actually looked like a pizza oven: huge large dome- concrete foundation, circular rock foundation walls, domed concrete roof, with the bonus of an in ground fire pit in the center of it. The only sticks involved was the driftwood we collected from the beach to build the fire outside the lodge. We could’ve easily had double the number of participants inside. Lastly, the ceremony was conducted in spanish- appropriate considering the locale.

Eduardo nursing some mate tea & copal resin
Eduardo nursing some mate tea & copal resin. The dome shape is the sweat lodge & the green covering is his green-house.

Alejandro took the lead with the fire building. We gathered firewood from the shore and he prepared the fire. Thoughtfully placed in the center of the fire pit, were the ‘abuelita’s’, or ‘grandmothers’- 40 large volcanic rocks that our experience would truly be facilitated.

Alejandro starting the base for the fire with palm bark
Alejandro starting the base for the fire with palm bark

 

While the fire was building and the abuelitas were heating, we played at the beach, swam, and befriended our costa rican, ‘tico’, canine buddies. The sun began its descent and we went back to check on the fire and watch it die down in sync with the sunset. When the sticks had burned and the abuelitas were glowing, it was time to begin. Showtime.

Sunset beach play time
Beach play time at sunset with Loren, Chris, myself, Melanie, & Alex.

 

Beached 'Tico' dogs
Beached ‘Tico’ dogs- one of my favorite pictures from the trip

Puerta 1: Alejandro began the escort of the abuelitas, considerably shoveling out the first 10 abuelitas, one by one. For each abuelita, we reciting aloud, ‘Axolotyl’, (Aztec god, invoking a return to our origin and eluding sacrifice), and, ‘piedra caliente’, (hot rock- basically a warning to move out of the way as the abuelitas were carried to the fire pit inside the sweat lodge). Ten times, Alejandro escorted an abuelita in, and ten times we acknowledged them.

We rinsed off in the outdoor shower before entering into the lodge, bowed to our heads to mother earth, then crawled in on hands and knees, in the same direction. We found our ‘seats’ marked by large banana leaves, alternating, female-male. It felt like we were in a steamy oven; it was thick and wet and infused with the frankincense-like resin, copal. I was instantly soaked by my own sweat to the point my swimsuit was just hanging on.

Heating up the 'Abuelitas'
Heating up the ‘Abuelitas’

Eduardo sat inside by the entrance, with a large bucket of water that he would periodically scoop from and add to the pit to make the space hotter and steamier and also ensure that the entrance door stay sealed. There are four rounds, called ‘doors’, or ‘puertas’, (we were in Costa Rica after all). Each puerta took about 20- 30 minutes, length of time determined by the leader as well vibing off the energy of our group.

Eduardo commenced the ceremony by setting a group intention, calling out to the abuelitas. Beginning with him, we all took turns declaring our intentions aloud, and then acknowledged that by saying native american acknowledgment, ‘A Ho’- the equilvalent of saying, ‘I agree’. Once our intentions were set, we chanted in sanskirt, the Peace and Gayatri mantras, and many rounds of powerful guttural, ‘om-ing’, rattling the cement oven walls until the invocations organically concluded. We crawled out in the same order and direction we entered, rinsed off in the outdoor showers, walked slowly and carefully to the cool pool where we assimilated the experience of the first puerta.

Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea from Eduardo’s garden

Puerta 2: The sun was quickly setting. We acknowledged our abuelitas, ‘Axolotyl, piedra caliente’, rinsed off, bowed, crawled in, found a new seat in alternating order, and began. This puerta was dedicated to letting go of the deep seeded anger inside of us. We did so by screaming at the top of our lungs and for as long as we could. When Eduardo described the puerta, I had a hunch it would be intense. I was right. I was sitting cross-legged about a foot from the wall behind me. I gave it all I had. After the very first ‘grita’, scream, I remember the deep- rooted, trembling that shook my body from my bum up my spine to my head. My eyeballs felt like they were spinning in their sockets. I couldn’t differentiate if I was sitting upright or folded forward into the fire pit. Once I gathered my bearings, I slid back against the wall to reacquaint myself with gravity and my surroundings. I joined back with the group, trying to scream, but I had nothing left. I felt cool inside accompanied by an indescribable pulsing sensation. Once we completed puerta dos, we repeated our exit: crawl out, bow, rinse off, pool acclimation, repeat… This was an epic, kundalini rising for sure. One that I still feel right now. (Sidenote- if you have ever taken a Bryan Kest workshop, you know the quote that comes to mind; if not, take one! Anyway, It kept popping into my head randomly after this throughout the week. Thank you BK for your exclusive quotes!) 🙂 I felt like any hardness that had taken root inside me, was either loosened or freed.

Round 3: It’s dusk and the stars were in position… This time we acknowledged all those we have both given and received ill will and made peace with past relationships that continue to take up real estate in our daily conscience: “Perdoname, Lo Siento, Te amo, Gracias”, (Forgive me, I’m sorry, I love you, Thank you). It was liberating to say the least and left me with the deepest sense of gratitude for anyone who has created an experience of any kind with me. I dedicate this puerta to you.

“Perdoname, Lo Siento, Te Amo, Gracias”

“Forgive Me, I’m Sorry, I Love You, Thank You”

Puerta 4: We entered the final puerta the same way, assumed our final seats. This time, I ended up sitting next to a female, Melanie. Though we were instructed to alternate the female-male seating, we couldn’t see inside the sweat lodge at this point because it was pitch black with exception of the faint amber glow of the abuelitas. We didn’t relocate. This round was the hottest. We were guided to lay down as the ground and the walls are cooler. It felt like by only a couple degrees, but that made a huge difference. The heat didn’t bother me, but I did find comfort in being in this pizza oven; hugging on mother earth. We laid overlapping, sweaty skin on skin, side by side, each other’s limbs as pillows. If you were someone who had personal space issues, you would’ve either freaked or my guess is quickly gotten over it. At that point, nothing mattered because we were all energetically spent, meaning all of our hang ups, holding patterns, and perspectives had been broken down and melted away.

The purpose of a sweat lodge is to rid the physical body of impurities. Um, check. This was the stoniest, stoned I’ve ever felt in my life. No drugs needed or involved- just pure, straight up literal burning tapas. My body felt and still feels physically free. Many things I’ve been working to gain clarity on, clarified. I’ve struggled with mental retention resulting from a head injury I endured over a decade ago. My awareness of retaining information short term is so much better. I would do this again in a heartbeat and plan to… with new intentions, of course. Each sweat lodge experience will never be like the last one. Where you are in your life and what your intention is sets the tone. Cheers to the intention of living the pura vida everyday! Salud!

P.S. For more pictures from the journey, check out my Facebook page, and, ‘like’ it while you’re at it. 🙂

Isabelle Casey

 

Heart To Heart

I had planned to dedicate February to the heart. Not just because Valentine’s Day happens to be in February, or that February is Heart Awareness month, but invite conversation around different experiences that we have. It didn’t go down the way I was envisioning because on January 22nd, 2013, my sweet Pops had a heart attack bringing new meaning to heart awareness on every level and ironically paving the way into the February heart theme in a very surreal and ironic way. I left for Seattle the next day to be with my parents. My sister flew in from Houston; older brother from Brooklyn; my little brother & sis-n-law live there, so they were holding down the fort until we got there.
Mt Rainier

Mt Rainier

I won’t go into all the details of the layers involved with this experience, but I will share some of the take aways that I am still digesting. Here I go…

I have always bowed deeply to this hard working machine known as the heart, with our lungs basically tying the hold for me. Besides it actually doing the main job to keep everything running in our bodies, I am forever amazed of how sensitive and equally strong our heart is. We can enhance it by increasing physical activity; nourishment, medicine and fuel through food. What we put into our bodies is literally what we are made of. I think of our body as this shell. We are predisposed to many things depending on our heritage for starters- there’s no escaping that one. We have to choice to entertain what we are born with or not.

There is nothing that we put into ourselves that won’t manifest into something else down the road whether its something healthy- aiding in increasing longevity, or something not beneficial. The ‘not beneficial’ part… lets just focus on this one for a sec before moving on…

Up until January, I would allow myself to indulge almost every day in chocolate. (Gasp!) I justified it with how great it is for you: the benefits of lowering LDL, antioxidant-rich flavonoids, and the euphoric mood boost I get. The only thing is, most of us, including me, have a little too much sometimes… every day… A little too much of one thing means a little of something else somewhere else, like if you eat enough of it and your body gets used to burning less fuel than what you ingest, you may experience a little muffin-top action. The biggest thing that I understand clearly, is that our organs, our little mini-machines in our body, are constantly working to process and they get worn out. The constant inundation of sugar for example… You may be thin, not carry excess weight, and seem to ‘afford’ the extra morsels, but what about the affect of our pancreas? The constant and unnecessary action of insulin constantly being released to reign our body back to equilibrium.

Acerola & Maca Cacao Cups
Acerola & Maca Cacao Cups

This lesson is something that was a constant theme while I was away. Could my dad have had a heart attack because of the way he cared for his body, or could it be from how we live our lives? Both. For sure. Its called stress and we all entertain it in many ways, not just food.

 

We know how stress affects our lives when we are not able to manage our responsibilities, but have you ever checked in on your heart to see how it is responding in those present moments? Try it. Try it when you are in conversation- positive or challenging and tune into your heart. How are you breathing? Many of us commute. Tune in while driving- especially those moments that you get passed unexpectedly, tune in to see how you feel. Hot, erratic, did your middle finger start to unravel, and your teeth begin to touch your bottom lip to offer up a well-rounded, f-bomb?

What about when you are happy? Bring yourself back to when you first started dating your sweetheart, or for you padres out there, held your child for the first time? Remember how you felt? All of that counts for conditioning your heart to where it is right now. Nothing, absolutely nothing, doesn’t affect the heart- or come from it.

Padres taking in the moment, post first cardiac follow up
Padres taking in the moment, post first cardiac follow up

Only 30 [continuous] minutes of cardio exercise is the general consensus for raising your heart rate and increasing your cardiovascular health. Compared to what we demand of our body to accomplish our daily grind, this is a modest request from our heart. Walking briskly, running or jogging, jog-walking (for those of you who want-to-love-running-but-secretly-don’t), swimming- summer is coming!, & of course yoga- vinyasa styles of yoga in specific. But, since I touched on moderation above, the same goes with our exercise. Definitely exercise, but not cross the line past the loosely used, ‘edge’. Shift your perspective to making the goal to give your heart a good flush. I have adopted this mind-set more when I am trail running eliminating other traditional ‘goals’, i.e., duration of time, finishing a specific trail. Besides this, I made peace long ago with the fact that I am not a competitive runner. Keeping the intention of the heart while I run which allows me to find the joy in the beauty that I am running in, not just through.

Skip this next paragraph if you get offended easily. A warning that I am standing on my favorite podium and you may not be interested… 🙂

I am a very strong advocate for whole foods. Not the store, (though I do go there), but whole foods, like an actual apple versus one that was pulverized, given preservatives, thickening agents, and a shiny plastic wrapping. I put in a full effort on a daily basis to understand where my food comes from. I’m not talking about my CSA delivery or Whole Foods. I’m not even talking about the farmers, (whom I am so grateful to), but the ground it came out of and if it was hosed with chemicals or not. Pesticides is what is liberally referenced, but chemicals are what they are, and they are not good for you. I am no food scientist or nutritionist, but a passionate constituent and ayurvedic student who loves to nerd-out on topics like these. I know there are many out there that don’t think about specifics like this, but if I would have one request, its to start to… Just a touch. For yourself, your kids, your family, each other. If there was a specific reason within this, maybe because just like how you exercise your heart, what you put in your body matters also. Notice a withered plant next time after you water it. It rehydrates, is more alert, and does it’s selfless duty of being presentable, radiating its inner beauty while cleaning the air around it. Think of your body this way. Food is straight up nutrition and our body responds the same way a plant does. Eat whole foods- foods that aren’t packaged- especially the ‘healthy’ kinds, such as ‘whole food’ bars, (Lara, Raw Revolution, etc). Eat a piece of fruit. In its whole form, the entire fruit is digestible and recognizable by your body to break it down and use it 100%. The bars may be digestible, but they are still processed and not fresh. (I actually made up a small batch recipe for Lara ‘like’ bars. They turned out awesome; I knew what ingredients were in it, and they were made with love, not a machine. Email me if you want the recipe). Being part of the process is also priceless. The quality goes up just because you are going slowly. I experience this every morning during my coffee ritual. My coffee becomes this sacred thing and I end up nursing it to maintain that perfect warm temperature up until the very last drop.

my coffee god
My coffee god

The last point I’ll put out there is having control over my food/fuel, is really practicing food mindfulness. I feel aligned because I understand my food- where it is sourced and if its processed. My ‘processing’ is done in the kitchen with my cutting board, knives, and Blendtec, (worth the investment. Its amazing.) By taking a stand for my food values, I am not contributing to the industry we have become accustomed to. For me, its a pleasant, ‘F you’, to the food standards in place by corporations whose best interests are not in our best interests. What goes in my body is healthful not harmful and keeps me away from the other corporations known as the ‘health care system’. That said, I am human, so when I do choose to veer from this, I’m well aware that I am allowing this to happen. I don’t beat myself up for the occasional indulgence, but I do understand that veering off too often will be humbling down the road.

For those of you who skipped the above paragraph, welcome back!

The last thing I’d like to express is my gratitude for my family and friends.

My dad, mom > ‘Mamacita’, brothers, sister, basically-blood-sis-n-law, baby niece, and extended family. My family rocks- plain and simple. With my dad’s heart attack, we were tested and all stepped up. From the time we got the call about my pops, without question, us kids, hopped on planes and showed up: hospital shifts, in-care home shifts, everything assistants, and acted/ as caregivers from nursing, occupational/physical therapy, mental support, learning Medicare, (not going there), the whole package. While we were all together, we worked so very hard to do the above, while shielding my parents from this backdrop so they could focus and embark on the very involved healing process. We had our moments where the adrenals were in high gear. My sister, an avid marathoner didn’t run for 2 weeks. I didn’t do a lick of physical yoga asana. The only yoga I did was stopping- which felt like every 5 minutes, to close my eyes, focus on breathing, the sound of my heart pounding the inside of my chest wall, and literally saying to myself, ‘deep breath, deep breath’. I was truly present though it felt like I was dreaming. My wise, yogi Uncle told me in conversation, ‘we are never given what we can not handle’. This became my mantra and still hits my heart strong.

My friends are also my family and they continue to prove it to me everyday. While I was gone, the yoga studio I teach at had my back. Studio Directors, Julie & Rachel, basically told me I couldn’t teach later that morning [that I got the call]. Julie tapped her inner “mama bear” and told me how it was. I’m grateful to you, Jewels, for being my southern ‘mamacita’. Rachel, thanks for calling me in between classes, subbing, and carpool. You guys are my girls. My yoga teacher brothers and sisters, karma yogis, students, and my friends were there for me as well. While I was away, it was always perfect timing when reading the sweet notes and voice messages of love and support- especially those late 2am mornings when I really was needing a little something. No expectation of a return message, just pure, authentic love coming from my peeps. That love filled the voids I was feeling while I was away and kept me strong. I love you all. Thank you for this gift.

dedicated to my family & friends

 

 

‘we are never given what we can not handle’

 

Dedicated to my family & friends

Before I end, I want to dedicate a recipe I made to the heart, everyone who supported me, those who have been affected by heart issues, and of course, my super awesome, sweet Pops. From one heart to another..

Lovingly yours,

~isabelle

(I don’t measure, except for the dressing. Make the amount you would make for yourself & times it by the number of peeps. Scale up or down for the veggies. All ingredients are organic of course, and this is gluten-free).

Carrot Ginger Awesomeness dressing
Carrot Ginger Awesomeness dressing

Raw Carrot Ginger dressing:

1 Carrot, grated
2″ piece of Ginger, peeled & minced
1 tsp of Agave
2 TBS Brown Rice Vinegar
1/2 lemon, squeezed
2 tsp of Gluten-free Tamari
2 tsp of Toasted Sesame Oil
Sea salt, a pinch

So easy: put everything in a blender, puree, and prepare to be in love with this. You will be so happy. 🙂

Avocado Maitake salad
Avocado Maitake salad

Avocado Maitake Salad: 

Romaine lettuce, rolled & cut 1″ wide
Lacinato Kale, rolled and julienned
Carrot, peeled, then peeled into strips
Red onion, thinly sliced
Broccollettes, steamed or raw
Green or red cabbage, cut super thin
Avocado, diced
Gomasaio, optional, but so good
Brown rice spaghetti pasta

1. Prepare the rice pasta, cool in an ice-bath, drain, and set aside.
2. Toss the salad with the Carrot Ginger dressing. Have your veggies ready to go in a salad bowl, along with your dressing.
3. Top with avocado & gomasaio. My hubby loves this with grilled chicken marinated in seasame oil, chili, salt, & pepper.

Isabelle Casey

 

 

 

 

 

Peru or Bust!

Peru or Bust!

Peru or Bust!

In about 12 hrs, I will be in Peru co-leading a yoga retreat. Its summer here: hot, steamy, sunny, & lush. In Peru, its the start of winter: high 60’s, mid 30’s at night. It was interesting packing for the opposite season as well as wrapping my head around that fact that this is going to be a killer trip.

Why Peru? I spent 5 weeks there in 2009. I was in total awe the whole time. I could try to sum up all the beauty, but it won’t do justice unless you are standing on peruvian soil taking it all in. In sum, its like you just took a dive into a National Geographic magazine. There is an abundance of the most breathtaking geography, beautiful people, food, fauna, the list goes on… What I appreciate the most about my time in Peru, is that no matter where I went, I noticed the common denominator of simplicity. Simple foods, simple people… everything is so straight forward. Even the beliefs of the people. In general, there is a HUGE love of the land and the history- brutal but so true. No matter who I spoke with, every conversation led back to Pancha Mama, Mother Earth. There is a deep, entrenched respect for the environment. I found that everything led back to acknowledging this. Every experience led to a story. I learned so much about appreciating what I have and also how to make peace with the tangible. Peru definitely left an impression on me. When I was there, I knew I’d be back. And, I knew I wanted to take people to experience this for themselves.
This time I head back, co-leading a yoga retreat. We have a beautiful week planned, but will be practicing some serious non-attachment to the itinerary. I’m sure that there will be moments where the experience we are having trumps an agenda. I am so looking forward to practicing living in each moment. It will go by fast; its only 10 days.

I am also feeling grateful to my fellow yogi-studio-owning-friends who are covering classes while I am gone. Thank you. I’ll be sending you tons of love south of the equator!

I’m enjoying my last french press at home. Spending some QT with my pups. I’m all packed up and set to jet. See you all when I return! peace.

xo
~is

 

Judgement & F-Bombs


Judgement & F-Bombs!!!

A judging mind stifles authenticity.

My judging mind surfaced in an instructor-friend of mine’s workshop. I will refer to this instructor-friend as Potty Mouth (PM).  PM bombarded us with f-bombs, dropping them one after another in this workshop.

Rattled, my body reacted to the f-bombs with the sensation of hot strikes of little lighting bolts. My mind began to chatter. I was deep in analytical mode. If any of my teacher trainers were here they would be floored, I thought. Then my mind began to mechanically process useless thoughts. The space for mindfulness was gone. I was lost in my head.

Suddenly, I came to a realization. I snapped out of it. Eureka, I got it! The f-bomb worked its magic. PM was not trying to offend anyone in class, but teach a lesson in judgment and authenticity in a colorful way.

In this moment, I saw how conditioned we allow ourselves to be.

We believe that using swear words is wrong. That in itself is a judgment, right?

Let us consider the other side. Have you ever had an experience of deep joy like biting into the most sumptuous feast? The only appropriate expression to punctuate the moment was, “f*ck me that was delicious!” Maybe you haven’t said it, but I’m sure you’ve felt it. So what’s the difference?

“Dork, dorky, nerd!” my siblings and I would banter liberally and playfully back in the day. “Knock it off!” my dad would reprimand my siblings and I. Was this crass and offensive?

What is the lesson? What is the mantra?

We give things meaning and believe it. We believe we need to do certain things in order to live a complete life. We believe we need to fit into some kind of projected image. The words are not the issue here. How we use our words is what really matters. Colorful words are merely my authentic, momentary expression. What you may hear as my truck driver’s mouth is actually a decoration. I am decorating my sentences with little gems that paint robust pictures to convey joy, excitement and my passion.

I shared my realization with PM. We came to the conclusion that our students understand the point of us using colorful language in class. If it’s authentic to you, then own it. Who gives a f*ck what people think. Got it? Seriously, we do spend a ton of time focusing on what doesn’t matter and giving things meaning. I really got the message.

I am liberated.

I feel great about who I am and what I bring to the yoga table in my life and my work. I am creating good karma. Look into your yoga community for authentic intentions and non-judgment.

As students, we are ripe and receptive to learning. We act upon the teachings and begin to integrate them into our lives. We create space and clarity about who you are.

Yogi beware. Judgment can send us back down the slippery slope to staying the same. Judgment reverts us to old thought patterns. Judgment can make us try to be something that we are not. Defy judgment. See your words before you put them out there. Pay attention to what creates your actions. Ask: “Do I need this? Does this new way of thinking support who I really am and where I am on my path? How are you using your words? Are they weapons? What is my intention behind this?” Respond positively and be content.

Yoga teachers are not sage-like beings who live off the grid, drink kombucha, and chant themselves to sleep. Okay maybe some do, but that does not make you less of a yogi.

The illusion of trying to create the perfect yogic life has the potential to leave students feeling alienated, disconnected and defeated. As instructors, it is unrealistic to hold the flame for everyone. We are there to share our experiences and perspectives and who we are. Own it! If you are a teacher demo something that is challenging for you, maybe fall out of a pose.

Indeed, the student is the real teacher. There is no need to put yoga teachers up on a pedestal. To practice non-judgment let go of expectations, be authentic, be real. After all I am who I am and you are who you are. Why does it have to change when we lead a class or take one?

I am just me. You get me. I don’t wear a yoga teacher hat for 75 minutes, then switch gears as if I’m a completely different person. When I’m outside the studio you get me. You get that I am breaking through ideals and expectations of what one should be like.

I love Nirvana and Kirtan. I love being in the moment. I rock checkered Vans and yoga pants all the time. I love passionate conversation. I love sharing things that I’m learning or have learned. I am humble. I practice non judgement. And I truly love when I am in the presence of others who allow their authentic selves to show.

This is who I am. Don’t judge me.

Published on elephantjournal.com, on Jul 3, 2012