not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011, Full of Intention.

Wow. What a crazy year. Just over a year ago I found out that my Dad's inoperable brain tumor was growing. It has been an emotional, overwhelming year - filled with sadness, fear, and confusion. With that said, this year has also been amazing - filled with family, love - lots of love, prayer, positivity and friends. I've learned to take nothing for granted, and that phrase "Living each day as if it's your last"...well, it has taken on a whole new personal meaning. Living life to your fullest capacity and going through your days with love, compassion and respect. I think that it's silly to have GOALS for the New Year - but I did come up with a list of Intentions that I will meditate on and try to integrate into my life as best as to my ability. Here they are:

  • Mother Earth.
I know, I're thinking, "Oh Christ, here come's the hippy dippy shit". But honestly, WE {yes I say WE, this is something that we should all set as an intention for 2011} need to take better care of our planet, because quite frankly we are doing a Shitty job, and she's all we've got. I subscribed to National Geographic a couple months ago, and that shit is just amazing. Our planet is SO beautiful and complex and just completely divine. We have truly been blessed with a place so amazing. National Geographic does a great job displaying her infinite beauty and gifts - but it also does a great job of portraying how despicably we treat her. Every NG magazine has made me cry - legitimate tears - with complete disgust for how all of us {including myself} either actively participate in this disrespect, or actively continue to turn a blind eye - which is even worse! Whales, social animals, are traveling alone, getting lost in the sea, and are unable to find food because of us! These mammals depend on SOUND for every aspect of their lives, and our constant noise is causing them to go deaf, or it is so loud that it is masking their modes of communication and navigation. "Well, doesn't the ocean absorb sound waves?", you ask - well it did, but now the molecular structure of the water has been broken down by our carbon emissions. Did you know that the largest spawning grounds for Salmon in Alaska, the beautiful Bristol Bay, is in the process of being turned into a 30 miles of Mining Mills? They'll be mining for gold and copper - contaminating the water, forever changing the ecosystem of this breathtaking bay, jeopardizing the lives of the salmon, and severely affecting the simple and traditional lives of the Bristol Bay population - which has depended upon the Bay's salmon run for decades now. These two stories - just a drop in the bucket. My point of this story, or better yet- my INTENTION for this: to become more aware of my carbon footprint, and to become more involved with the earth that I live on and have been given life from. Whether it is sending $10 to a Save the Whales organization, or writing a letter to the politicians involved with Bristol Bay - the point is to not only give a damn, but put that into action. Becoming proactive about my affect on the Earth and my involvement in protecting her.

  • Consume Less.
I guess that you could say that this is part of the first Intention: lessening my carbon footprint. Shop less - use less plastic bags, become more regimented about recycling, turning off the lights, taking shorter showers. But this one in particular is in relation to food: consume less!! My eyes tend to be bigger than my stomach, but I always end up cleaning my plate and eating to the point where it hurts. Don't get me wrong - I will still enjoy food, and I don't plan to change my diet to vegan or vegetarian standards anytime soon - but I want to eat less, enjoy more.

  • Patience. Patience, Patience, Patience, Patience, PATIENCE.
Have you met me? Need I say more? Patience.

  • Be Fearless.
I have grown so much in just the past two years, that I must say - I'm really proud of myself. I'm constantly surprised at how I overcome these self-proclaimed "debilitating fears". I have been a little chicken shit since I was a kid, scared of everything. And now at 23, well - I'm still a chicken shit. I'm scared of vampires, scary movies + books {and even commercials}. I'm scared of the dark. I'm scared of my basement and my attic {which thankfully has evolved into only a nighttime fear - I'll brave it during the daylight hours}. At night when I have to get something from the garage, I bring a flashlight and my dog - my cell phone in my pocket - and I run there, and run back. All of my fears are completely irrational, and regardless of being able to recognize this - they are still deep fears none-the-less. My biggest fear of them all though is also the biggest surprise to most people: THE OCEAN. Yep, the fishermans daughter - the avid surfer...completely and utterly terrified of the deep blue sea. I'd like to think that over the past few years that this fear has evolved into respect, but sometimes the line is blurred. Am I worried about drowning? Getting eaten by a shark? Getting swallowed up by a kelp bed? Who the hell knows. I'm scared sometimes of apologizing - because I don't want to come across as weak. I'm scared of death. I'm scared of uncertainty. I'm scared of the fact that I might get scared! Christ! But this is what I do know:

I am an awful bike rider...and for that matter, awful concerning anything on wheels. I'm also terrified of heights. Well in Ecuador last year I biked 62 km, SIXTY TWO!! And not only that, but it was down a huge mountain, with little or no guardrails, dropping down into a deep dark abyss. We passed enormous waterfalls and cliffs. I finished exhausted and a bit shaky - but after getting back to our hostel and enjoying I beer, I'd never been more proud of myself. That was until...

62 Km Bike Ride.

The Galapagos Islands. As I said above - terrified of the water. So a huge fear of mine is snorkeling, especially in a place {ie the Galapagos} who's waters are filled with sharks, manta rays, cute sea lions and very very angry male sea lions, and so much more. Well, I wasn't the first one off the boat - but I was the last one to get out of the water. I was fucking terrified the whole time that I was swimming along, giggling {that's what I do when I'm terrified and excited and nervous}, but I did it. The reward: having a young seal swim circles around me and nibble on my fins for about 20 minutes, playing a game of hide and seek.

Galapagos Islands, Snorkeling.

I'm deathly afraid of heights - maybe it's because I fell off of the monkey bars when I was a kid and broke my arm - who knows. Well last year I flew an open air Piper Cub airplane over San stomach was turning, I was smiling from ear to ear and my palms were sweating profusely...but I did it.


And now - I'm heading out soon for Asia - 4 months, solo. And you know what - I'm not afraid. I'm going to try new foods, meet new people, attempt to navigate countries that are unknown and the language completely foreign. I'm going to use my kindness, compassion and respect to work my way through Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Bali. I'm going to practice the act of being fearless....letting go.

And finally, Mom - I hate to say this, but my last Intention for 2011 is:

  • To continue saying Fuck.
I know, I know - I am so very sorry, I KNOW that this word really bothers you - down to the core. And for this reason, I will try to reel it in as much as possible whenever I'm around you and Dad, but this word just seems to be a part of me. I have tried to refrain from using my favorite cuss word, one of my favorite words in general, but it just feels unnatural. I've tried to substitute Rochelle's "Foo-y", Janelle's "Fungul", and my own sub "What the F" or "Are you F*ing kidding me?". So, though I will try to keep it tame around you - I'm going to let my Fuck flag wave high, because saying that word just feels right. I mean no offense, I mean no disrespect, it just is a four letter word.

I know that there is certainly much more that I could work on - but I'm going to start here, and really pour my heart into living into these intentions.

So, Happy 2011 everyone....may your year be filled with forgiveness, understanding, love, respect, happiness, humility and compassion.

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