not all who wander are lost.

Monday, September 30, 2013

All week long I had the group shouting "I AM A GOLDEN BUDDHA!". What seems cheesy proved to be totally moving and transformational...what you think, you become. Shift your internal dialogue and you shift into a powerful space. I was inspired by this simple affirmation when reading the final chapter in Gabrielle Bernsteins' "May Cause Miracles". Yesterday in Rome, I got a necklace made up that read "Golden Buddha" and I wore it with a smile, thinking back on the amazing week that was had! 

Golden Buddha

In 1957, a group  of Tibetan monks was informed that they would have to move their sacred shrine because a highway was being built on that land. A focal point of their inhabitance was a huge clay Buddha, which also had to be relocated. Moving the Buddha was no small feat. The monks arranged to have a crane move the Buddha to their new location. The moment they started lifting the Buddha on the crane, the clay began to crack. To make matters worse, rain was pattering down, deepening and widening the cracks. To protect the Buddha from further damage after it had been moved, the monks covered it with tarps overnight. During the evening, the head monk went under the tarps with a flashlight to check on the clay Buddha. Upon shining light on the Buddha the monk noticed golden shimmers of light radiating from the cracks. He brought back his chisel and hammer to chip away at the clay and uncover the shimmer from within the Buddha's frame. As the monk chipped away at the clay Buddha, he realized that it was not clay after all– the Buddha was made of gold. Surprised by his discovery, the monks were eager to determine the heritage of the Buddha. They learned that many centuries earlier, their predecessors worshiped the Buddha in its golden form. These ancestral monks got word that the Burmese army was coming to destroy their community and attack them, so they covered the Buddha in clay to protect it. The monks were killed in the attack, but the army placed no value on the clay Buddha and therefor left it unharmed.

reason for this story… "Inside we are all Golden Buddha's, but we grew to believe we were made of clay. Our ego's false perceptions led us to grow into a belief system that covered our inner light. We've spent years, maybe decades, masking our truth. Now it's time to embrace our light and reconnect with our Golden Buddha within." – Gabrielle Bernstein

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Rome (noun) : a town in Italy that can be summed up by three adjectives... chic, antique and totally romantic. So in love with this ancient city paved in cobblestones! Today's schedule was jam packed with every touristy site-seeing thing on the list...with a break for lunch, where I had the most delectable octopus salad (with potatoes and olives, lemon juice + evoo) and grilled eggplant with tomatoes. Amazing. Breathtaking. Heart warming. Romance-inducing...Roma.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Stella was our horse at the estate. She would wander the property, walk into the house if you forgot to close the front door, and would post up on our patio to enjoy our shade on the daily. On this morning she interrupted my cup of tea to have me pull some figs off the tree for her. Naughty horse...

Goddamn Gelato.

I would drop kick a small child right now for some damn gelato! Seriously. Enough is enough. Im trying to be all "shanti shanti" about my cleanse and pretend that I'm content only eating vegetables for the next two years, but goddamn- I say, GODDAMN...I could really use a gelato right about now. My wolf pack (of 7) has been enjoying gelato wherever we go, and while roaming the streets tonight [in Rome] we stumbled upon the best gelatoria in the country. I had a small lick of my moms coconut gelato and it was truly, absolutely, hands down the closest thing to heaven that exists here on earth. The best part was the man who owned the place, whom took his gelato *very* specific instructions for how to consume this sweet treat (pistachio before coconut, coconut before chocolate). He couldn't wrap his head around WHY all my friends were having cones and I was NOT. Quite frankly, I couldn't either! But then I centered- reminded myself that this cleanse is going to truly heal me- and I took a bite of my green apple, sipped some water and tried to erase thoughts of fresh bread, coconut gelato, aperol spritzs and homemade pasta.....
On an encouraging note though, the whole crew was hungover this morning and watching them all defeated, dehydrated and delirious made me happy that I'm off the booze. As my mother reminded me, Rome has been around for a LONG time- so I'm sure that it will still be here, serving up delicious gelato when I return.

We cruised on foot, meandering without any specific destination in mind. You can't help but to stumble across amazing architecture and breathtaking sculptures, fountains and monuments. This city is magical, with its cobblestone streets and cozy back ally's. We popped into a restaurant on one of the romantic side streets and had a proper Italian meal. I thoroughly enjoyed my no-frills grilled squid- which was seasoned only with olive oil, lemon juice and a touch of salt. Perfection.

Tomorrow they are calling for 80% chance of rain. Meh, what to do? And so it is. One more full day in Italia before I start the journey home...

Golden Buddhas

Slow paced living, and fast car driving. That's how I'd describe Italy. Everyone and everything is pulled together in the most elegant yet simple way. The meals are never ending, but the dishes are honest and fuss-free. "Content" is a word that I keep hearing from everyone, and it makes ME feel content. Someone said to me recently, "So, you get PAID to make people feel good? That's pretty awesome". Yeah, you're IS pretty awesome. This trip has been all about healing- the mind, body and spirit. We have meditated, screamed affirmations, explored kundalini yoga and booty-popped our way through a vinyasa. We have eaten...again...and again...and again. Stories and laughter are present at every meal we share, and slowly everyone has emerged from their clay exterior to settle into their true "golden Buddha". Years ago, one of my teachers Laura Wharf, looked me in the eyes and said, "Cailin, what is your sva dharma [life purpose]?" And I replied, "to help people enjoy their life." Thanks to Paraiso Adventures for bringing me on board to make this happen in the most delicious, elegant, relaxed and exotic way! I am so excited for all of the joy that we will bring to others through this partnership and I'm already counting down the days until our Colombia retreat! It was sad to say goodbye to all of these Golden Buddhas (or "golden boo"s as Larissa would say), but I know that ill be seeing them again soon...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Orvieto Photo Journal

Touring About and Luxury Living

Today was an outing day. We kicked it off with a booty-popping flow at 8am amongst the olive trees. Some were skeptical of "hip hop yoga", but it was an instant hit- and everyone was singing it out and laughing it up by the end of song #1 ("can I get a..." By Jayz). We ate a delicious breakfast and then were off to Orvieto, yet another picturesque breathtaking Italian village. The heart stopper was the gorgeous striped cathedral that truly captured your heart for a beat. We mozied through the cobblestones streets and passed in and out through the abundant shops peddling hand carved olive wood goods and ceramic dishes and tiles (both of which I bought...). We stopped for a bite to eat in a cafe where my mom and Cara had wine and paninis (correction: the worlds BEST paninis- smoked duck, aged cheese, and fresh herbs!) and I had a candida-cleanse-friendly caffe Americano decaffienato and a platter of salami and artichokes. They had chocolate gelato, and I pretended to hate sweets.... 

We left town after a few hours and headed to the hot springs in neighboring Tuscany. They are shwanky Italian style hot springs (apparently the Italians don't like to get dirty?), so there are bath robes and slippers, and the hot springs are funneled into pools and waterfalls. We had a "picnic" here in between soaking and sleeping, and sipping wine (them) and decaf americanos (me). It felt good to relax a bit- my first real relaxing day of the trip. One of my favorite things was lounging in a robe....robes always make me feel like I'm "big pimpin'" (as JayZ would say..."). It was just a luxurious afternoon. The sun is setting now over the Tuscan sky as we pack up our belongings at the spa and head back to our beautiful home. It's been a fun day, but I'm looking forward to some hot tea on the cozy couch in the house that already feels like my home....

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Today we took a field trip to the picturesque town of Civita. The population is now 25...compared to the 4,000 that lived there before the earthquake. I sipped a (decaf) espresso and enjoyed the sites with our lovely team of ladies.


Yesterday I gave five massages and taught two yoga classes. In between were some massive Italian feasts and I managed to sleep a few hours before waking up to give my first massage of the day at 7am! The (amazing) people on this retreat cannot get enough of my classes and my bodywork, which makes my heart so happy! I've said in the past, it's not "hard work" it's "heart work". Amen. This is SUCH a fun group and I cannot express all of the gratitude that I have for Nina...she's such a spectacular person to work with and play with...I so look forward to our future projects (there's a lot of them, so keep your ears open).

Also, meet Stella- she's the resident horse, who just strolls around looking for a nuzzle every now and then...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Home Away From Home...In Italy.

My retreat is on a sprawling estate in Central Italy, nestled amongst their hundreds of olive trees and vineyards which provide us with bottles of wine and liters of fresh pressed olive oil. The grounds provide all we need, with a year round garden and a hen house- which always has fresh eggs. I'm so grateful to be part of such a sustainable yoga retreat! Today's forage: arugula, lettuce, Swiss chard, sage, thyme, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, and squash blossoms! 

The house itself is *unreal*, truly something out of a fairy tale. Pictures would never do it justice. We are tucked into the countryside, where the loudest thing you'll hear is the breeze. The sunshine is warm and bright during the day and the nights are cool and comfortable, making for a great sleep. I keep pinching myself to make sure it's all real. So so so much gratitude to Nina for making me a part of the Paraiso family, it feels like home...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Full Moon and Frothy-Lactose-Free-Lattes

I surfed under the full moon this morning with my wave-sliding-partner-in-crime, Monk. Yet another *fun* session, which was followed up by a hot, decaffeinated almond milk bevy with by buddy at 4th Street Cafe (check it out! Great boutique coffee shop and restaurant). Headed home, had some porch time with some girlfriends, finished packing and now am on my way to Italy for ten days! Ciao Bella!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Harvest Moon, Sunrise and Surfing SOB's

I woke up at 5:30am and couldn't help but to admire the stunning Harvest Moon. I tried snapping a photo of it, but it didn't do it justice so I just made sure to make a mental picture of it in my mind. I sat in meditation for a bit, made some tea and then was on my way in search of waves. I checked "the spot" but ended up at "my" spot, and was so grateful that I did. (Sorry, I'm not going to let you know where "my" spot is...). As always, it delivered. As always, there were some familiar friendly faces in the water that elevated my session and the overall vibration in the water. And for the umpteenth time this week, Monk paddled out shortly after I arrived. Monk is a legend around these parts, and I attribute my smooth fluid moves on the water to growing up surfing with him. I know, my Dad surfed so why wasn't he the influence- actually, all three of us often surfed together, but my Dad and I have much different styles- which was the topic of most heckling that went on the water between the two of us most days! Anywho, Monk (Mike Monroe), whom I lovingly refer to as "Monkey", is one of my all time favorite people to surf with, and one of my all time favorite people in general. It's been these past few sessions with him that have really filled my heart and reminded me of HOW much fun and joy surfing truly brought to my life [when my Dad was around]. He heckles a bit (not nearly as much as my Dad), he hoots and hollers a bit (not nearly as much as my Dad), and he catches the best waves that filter through (same as my Dad). We chat throughout the session, about everything from gardening, spirituality, music, nature and how much we dislike tv. We find comfort and joy in each others "weirdness" and I find that we giggle like little girls about the smallest of things. There's the occasional "cessation of conversation" as Monk declares it whenever a good set comes through, but then we reconvene in the lineup after the wave sliding has commenced. Monk was on the inside paddling out as I caught a perfect wave, slowly cross-stepping to the nose for some hang time before gracefully making my way back. Monk shouted "Yeeew! Nose walking, trash-talking, son of a bitch!". This made me beam with love and pride, and filled me with so many fond memories of my Dad- I almost burst into tears. To begin, Monk doesn't curse. Secondly, he knew that this was what my Dad always shouted at me when I had a perfect wave. And so, for many of you, you now know the origin of this blogs namesake. Monk and I had a laugh about the fill-ins that Dad would use: it always began with "nose walking, trash-talking..." And ended with "...son of a bitch!", but the in between was the best part. It ranged from...


Sometimes it was just one or two of these lines woven in, but other days it was all of them together! So here's to my Dad, we were sliding 'em for you today. There must have been 30 dolphins in the lineup, and your presence was all around. Love, your nose walking, trash talking, purple-board-riding, hummus-eating,blue-bikini-wearing,down-dog-yoga-chick
,spanish-speaking, sweet-songstress-singing, heart-breaking, name-taking Son of a Bitch.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September Sessions

Bah! I love September! To be honest, this September has been a *touch* too cold for me, but other than that, I am as happy as a clam. Due to a busy work schedule I wasn't able to log much water time this summer...but im making up for that now. I surfed for 7 hours on Friday, and had four sessions on Saturday. Glorious. Absolutely glorious. When I'm paddling out I always have a little fear in my chest that I 'don't remember' how to surf or have 'lost' my touch. Well, turns out that I haven't. It's like riding a bike. It felt so good to slide perfect clean waves *all day long*. And the best part is that I have quasi-moved into a friends house in OC, so in between sessions I could easily recharge, warm up and rest just around the corner. So wonderful! I think what warmed my heart the most though was reconnecting with my beautiful surf community. It's such a testament to be able to pick up exactly where you left off despite months of being apart. Marc, Monk, Gary, Eddie, Chris, Coconut Joe and so many unofficial 'surf' felt like sliding back into a warm hug. And then there was my Dad. Coming off of a rough week (the one year anniversary), I must say that I was totally at peace with it all- because I feel oh-so-connected to him while in the water, which is where we had spent most of our time together.

The past few days I have gotten dozens of compliments about how great and how happy I look...and I owe it all to a few fun waves and a little bit of sunshine....

Monday, September 16, 2013


Andrew and I met ten years ago in Sea Isle City...and we've been friends ever since. He was six years older than me, living in a house on 42nd street with ten kids, all of whom just graduated college. Andy was your typical frat boy who drove a big gas guzzling Denali, loved to party, and worked selling time shares in Atlantic City. Despite being total opposites we became fast friends. We went fishing together, consumed stone crab claws like they were going out of style, soaked up sun on the beach and drank green tea with honey as we sat on his couch and watched movies. He quickly became a part of my family, finding a special space in the heart of both my mom and dad. Andy can be summed up by the phrase, "Work Hard, Play Hard". When he moved to Texas to get into real estate I cried for days, so sad to see him go. But he has built an empire down there, which is no branching out across the US. He is sharp, motivated and a mover and shaker. We don't see each other as often as I would like, but we always pick up where we left off...slipping into our pattern of being on the boat, eating seafood at Mikes, and sipping green tea....

He had some business in Philly this week so he popped down for a 24 hour visit which was just what the doctor ordered. I woke up with a smile on my face this morning, feeling as content as I always do every being in the presence of such a great friend....

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Baby Isla Sol Tracy.

We had a baby! Well...Bridget had a baby (and John!). I've been freaking out. Let me begin by saying that I don't like babies....and in general, I'm not a huge fan of children (please don't judge me, I'm just being honest). But I will tell you, holding baby Isla, my heart had to grow ten times in size to hold the fierce love that I had for this little princess. She is perfect, and I could not be more proud of my beautiful friend Bridget for being such a powerful and amazing mama.

I have lived a selfish existence my whole life...which I am very proud of. Most think that being "selfish" is a bad thing, but as Osho says, it's only when we fill ourselves up that we are able to fill up the people around us. My "selfless-ness" is a result of my "selfish-ness". Having an animal, having a partner, having a house, and having a baby have rarely crossed my mind. But holding baby Isla definitely sparked something within me....I'm not saying that I'm trying to have any fucking babies right now, hell no, HELL NO....but it's on the radar.....
Me and Bridge.

Baby Isla.