Saturday, November 30, 2013

La Adventura de las Setas (The Mushroom Adventure)

Each fall and spring in different mountain pueblos (villages/towns) there are gatherings of people, who've all got one thing on their mind -- mushrooms. Now, before all my psychedelic supporters get all juiced, I'm not talking about something like the annual collection of psychedelic shrooms in Golden Gate. What I am talking about, are people who go into these villages, with the sole intention of scouring the hills for mushrooms to study and/or eat. My roommate has gone three years before to different pueblos to "coger setas" (pick mushrooms), and this year, upon hearing his plan to "go pick mushrooms in the mountains," I decided to join him!

We decided we would go to Constantina, a pueblo an hour and half from Sevilla, but still within the province of Sevilla. We would take the train on Saturday morning with our bikes, arrive to the station, and then bike to the city center. Then we would explore Constantina, stay the night, and then wake up on Sunday morning to go into the hills with an organized and guided group to pick mushrooms. I couldn't have been more excited for the experience! In my mind, I saw us having a casual, relaxing, natural time. I saw us biking around the town with big smiles on our faces, and baskets full of yummy mushrooms! What could possibly happen that wouldn't leave me smiling and feeling completely relaxed and refreshed for the coming week? Right??

Well, I'm sure, that if you know me, my life, the way things go, the way things happen, and just life in general, you can probably tell from that little intro that the experience wasn't exactly the relaxing nature weekend I had in mind. And, as a matter of fact, it actually turned out the be the physically hardest thing I've done since I went 136km around a kayak.

First off, we didn't really make any sort of a plan. We didn't have train tickets, we didn't have a place booked to stay, nor did we know where we were going apart from the name of the village. The only thing we knew, was that on Sunday morning at 9 o'clock we were signed up to be part of a group going to pick mushrooms. The rest, we left unplanned and open.

Now, I'm normally really okay with this type of plan. In fact, I prefer it. I am not big on over-planning, and I love to just let the travel plans sort themselves out by the grace of God. But, I have had some experiences that have left me a little changed (soon there will be a link here where you can read about my experience in Cesky Krumlov), and therefore, I do like to have a little bit of a plan, especially when planning a trip with a bike, and most-especially, when it's during seasons of cold weather. And when we woke up at 8:35am on Saturday morning, for a train that we didn't have tickets for, and was set to leave at 9:30am, I was definitely wishing that we had planned a little bit more.

We arrived to the station less than 10 minutes before the train was supposed to leave, and the time stamp on the tickets told us we had exactly four minutes till it left. So after biking at a high speed about about 20-25 minutes, we then had to run, with our bikes, to the train. Oh, and did I mention that I had stupidly decided to do a one-day fast the day before? Or that because we woke up with less than 20 minutes to get our stuff together and get out the door, we didn't have breakfast before the bike race and sprint sesh? So I am, dying, not having eaten in well over 30 hours, exercising. But we made it on the train.

And then we were off! The ride was amazing.. I really do love traveling by train. It is more comfortable than a car, bus, or plane, and it goes fast, but you get to see everything! So we were passing by countless run-down and deserted factories, mines, and buildings, as well as lakes, and endless trees. I could feel my breaths were fresher and infused with new life!

And then, we arrived! The train took us to a station that is shared by two villages, Cazalla and Constantina. At the station, there is a little cantina where you can have a tapa or a drink, so we popped in to have some breakfast before we went to the village. The cantina is a charming, artistic place. The owner is a zany painter, and the place screams woodland charm and art. It was a great vibe-y way to start our big weekend of adventure and time in nature.


So after some conversation and coffee, we gathered ourselves up, and got ready to head into town! Now, when my roommate first petitioned the idea to me, he quite casually said, "We'll go by train, and take the bikes. Then when we get there, we can just bike from the train station to the city center." I was so instantly down with the idea, that I didn't really think much about it until after I was committed and mentally prepped. I did think about the fact we were going to the mountains, and therefore would likely be facing some hill-age with the bikes, but figured I could handle it, no big deal.

Well, what my roommate failed to mention, or rather, we failed to look up, was the distance from the station to the city center. So when we arrived and were in the cantina, we got a map and some directions, and were told we were 11km from the town. But considering that we had just taken a train for an hour and half, there was no way I was backing out of this one. Even if I did decide to bring a fold-up bike to use for the journey. And do a fast the day before.

After about six, grueling, uphill kilometers, my roommate got a sense that we should stop and ask for some directions. So we popped into this natural reserve where people go to learn, explore caves, and spend time in the natural park, and asked how far we were from the town, and how about we should go to get there. And it should come as no surprise that we were informed that we actually were currently heading towards Cazalla, not Constantina. But not just we were not going towards the right town, we were going the completely wrong direction. Simply put: I had been sweating and heavy breathing uphill for six kilometers, just to have to turn around and go back to the train station and push the restart button. Now, THANK GOD that since we had done the way up on the way there, we were able to go downhill and use minimal effort on the way back, but my gosh!

For a moment, I thought about killing him. But the moment passed as soon as it came, and I literally could do nothing but give him a hug, and laugh. Especially after how comical the whole trip uphill had been, it would have been so senseless to get angry now. And even more especially after we decided to stop and visit the monastery we'd passed on the way up, and found it to be a highly magical place. And Roberto now knows where he wants to get married, and from which towns he needs to find his wife (good news all around!).

 Walking the drive-way (??) to the monastery

After exploring the monastery inside and out, we decided it was time to return to our bikes, and get back on the road again. Back down we went, six kilometers, to the train station. Rober went into the cantina to verify our direction, and then we crossed the river and were finally, really, on our way!

Now here's the thing about things you tend to get really excited about.. the more you picture and imagine something, like an adventure, the less likely it is that it is going to be that way. Unless of course you are using the powers of manifestation, in which case it will be, but if you're just doing some childlike daydreaming and playing out scenes in your mind, you can pretty much kiss all those ideas goodbye. As was the case in this situation, when after 11 kilometers, NINE of them climbing, we finally, finally, fiiiinally saw the sign telling us we had reached Constantina!!!

Yes, that's right, after doing 12km with a fold-up bike the day after a fast, I then had to climb for about another 9 out of 11 kilometers. And man, let me tell you, when I saw that sign that said we had reached Constantina, adrenaline struck me like the Hulk, and I was hollering with joy!

Constantina itself has about 6,000 residents. It's a "pueblo de verdad" (for real village). It's charming, it's small, it's in the mountains. It was a beautiful place to explore, and the people were all very friendly. After eating, we found a youth hostel, got a room, ditched our stuff, and headed out to the mushroom exhibition that they have. There were probably three long folding tables lined up in two rows, absolutely COVERED with mushrooms. I didn't know there were so many kinds. It was beautiful, exciting, and I was into it in an instant. Later that night we went out with a friend of my roommate, and then were up the next morning early to meet our mushroom-picking group and head into the hills!

Unfortunately, the area they took us to pick mushrooms didn't have such a wide variety, and the variety it did have were mostly inedible or toxic. But that didn't keep me from singing to the trees and gathering up all the little shroomies I could find! Here's a picture of my day's take...
And one of the amazing chocolate truffle that I got in the tapas bar we had lunch in upon our arrival into Constantina... and then again the next day when we passed by... And yes, the cup that it comes in, that's chocolate too ^_^
After we picked mushrooms, we went back to the exhibition of mushrooms, then met up with a massive group that had come from Sevilla, and went on a gastro-tour to eat mushroom dishes. Here in this photo below, we have a dish that is made from the type of mushroom that is most common in Constantina. I'm going to go ahead and say that you have to grow up eating this in order to fully appreciate the flavor. And maybe it's better if you're not a bit weird about textures... I've never eaten snails before, but I am pretty sure after this dish, I never need to.

Overall, the weekend was a blast. The way back to the station, we went flying so fast, even on the sections we had to push it uphill. We got back with time enough to go down by the river, and pop back into the cantina for a final beer and decaf coffee. It certainly is a weekend I will never forget, and one I will consider repeating, no doubt! (But with a different, more suitable bike for uphill rides.)

If you're ever in Andalucia, I recommend you check out the mountain towns. They are a pretty special way to get to know this region!

And now, I will go finish making the Thanksgiving dinner I am hosting tonight! Check back later for a post about "How To: Have Thanksgiving in Spain." Also quite special, since it's my first time ever making the meal! (Can I say that I'm a "real American woman" now? I think so...:)

Abundant blessings, love & light to all! :-* 

Friday, November 22, 2013

ADD'd Out

I think I need to start a new series on my blog, one that will encapsulate the name of it, as well as help me get my mind and internet tabs a bit more organized.

One of the things that happens to, I think everyone, not just those of us that "suffer from A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder) on the internet, is that we click on this link, tap that one, route over here, get drawn over there, and before we know it, we've got a million tabs open on one page, and half of them you haven't even looked at, listened to, or read yet! It gets a little insane.

I actually have a friend who, if ADD were a real thing, would have the most intense case of it known to anyone on the planet (likely in the galaxy), and once told me he had something like two or three windows open, each with about 20-30 tabs! We are seriously suffering from information-overload, and we're loving every second of it!

So, as such, to help me start some "files" of things I would someday like to share on Facebook or wherever, as well as revisit at some point, I shall begin to, when my tabs get out of control, do a lil post like this and stick em all on it! Let's begin...

  1. LSD Undergroud -- a VICE documentary on YouTube -- Current status: two minutes and five seconds watched out of 19:21
  2. Facebook News Feed History of the World: World War I -- just like it sounds.. an entertaining and easy way to learn about WWI -- Current status: read, waiting to be shared with history-teacher-friend via email upon being told email address
  3. Soundcloud -- if I'm not here for tunage, I'm on 8tracks or YouTube -- Current status: listening to Body Language (today's discovery thanks to a friend)
  4. Houston Anthropologist Reveals Irrefutable Proof that Recorded History is Wrong -- being the conspiracy theorist *cough* truth seeker *cough* that I am, these tabs are always popping up -- Current status: waiting to be read
  5. Facebook -- ugh. How I loathe and love thee -- Current status: used to download image used in previous blog post.. oh, and now I have an unread message. . . 
  6. This Atheist Becomes a Believer Before Your Very Eyes -- heroine addict and atheist turned believer-in-God -- Current status: watched, loved, appreciated, and now, shared and getting closed out
  7. You Won't Believe What These People Do When They Think No One Is Watching -- acts of love and kindness caught on security cameras.. go on, restore your faith in humanity for the day -- Current status: watched, again, loved, still, and now shared and getting closed out
  8. Girls Gets the Surprise of a Lifetime -- the most epic proposal ever -- Current status: watched for the second time in my life.. depression ensuing.. will I ever??
  9. She Was Married to Her Husband for 6 Weeks When She Lost Her Husband to the War. She Spent 6 Decades Wondering What Happened. The Answer is Unbelievably. -- do I really need to add a description after that loooong title? -- Current status: just begun, so intrigued, will finish when I complete this blasted post
  10. This Famous Couple Waited Until Their Wedding Night to Have Sex -- Duck Dynasty related -- Current status: watched, now shared and getting closed out
  11. How to: Turn a Beer Can into a Camping Stove -- .... -- Current status: waiting to be watched
  12. 5 Surprising Signs You're Probably a Genius -- don't we all wonder?? -- Current status: waiting to be read and applied ;)
  13. 41 Camping Hacks that are Borderline Genius -- why not look? -- Current status: waiting to be viewed
  14. Nestle Trying to Patent the Fennel Flower -- what a bunch of a-holes we've got in corporations, trying to patent nature. WTF -- Current status: waiting to be read
So there we have it.. and the number will only keep going up since every single thing always has links to "other related articles" and interesting things that grab my attention and make me want to see them. AHH! It's insane. But hey, it's a grey day, it's the first day of my weekend, and I'm still in my pajamas at 14:36. It's life, and I love it.

Signing out! 

Not really..
now I'm going to read these articles and watch these videos...

Enjoy your life sweets!

LOTS of Love & Light

What Will You Suffer For?

A friend shared this link today, and through reading the article, I was struck with a real "oh moment." The article is saying that we can judge what it is we really want in life, based on what we're willing to suffer for. And as such, we shouldn't be asking ourselves what we want in life, as that answer generally comes quite easily, but instead, we should be asking, what are we willing to suffer for? For what in life will we endure all the risks, all the gains, all the struggle, smiles, and especially, all the pain? Mark Manson writes,

"If I ask you, "What do you want out of life?" and you say something like, "I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like," it's so ubiquitous that it doesn't even mean anything.
Everyone wants that. So what's the point?
What's more interesting to me is what pain do you want? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives end up...
If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe you don't actually want it at all...
Choose how you are willing to suffer.
Because that's the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have the same answer.
The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain?
Because that answer will actually get you somewhere. It's the question that can change your life. It's what makes me me and you you. It's what defines us and separates us and ultimately brings us together." (Source)

I think this is an incredibly interesting and insightful way to consider what it is we want in life. It is so true, that it is so easy, to say what it is that we want, and that those answers usually are related to pleasurable things. You never ask someone what it is they want to do or have in life, and get some horrid, negative response, unless they are suicidal or having an awful day. We all want some pretty "basic" things in life -- love, happiness, to feel like we're making a difference or doing something meaningful, and to be able to support ourselves and our loved ones. But when it comes right down to it, what do we really want? Or, as Manson puts it, what are we willing to suffer for?

Considering this question, as opposed to its more positive alternative, definitely helps me have a very, very clear answer about what it is I really want and will do in life. I am given insanely clear answers when I ask myself, "What will you suffer for?" "What pain are you actually willing to endure?" And, "What risks will you take, accepting every and all parts of the outcome?"

"What will you suffer for?" The ones that I love.

I will spend all my money, use all my time, go the distance, and be left hanging, all for the sake of my loved ones. I will make the effort, I will do what it takes, and you know what, if they don't meet me half-way, that's fine, I'll go their half of the way too! I will kill myself trying, even if they always won't or don't. I will be left in debt because I booked something, thinking my friends would come, just to be left alone. I will suffer like this, because in those moments that we are all together, that it happens, and we come together, there is pure, unconditional love, and nothing in the world is more beautiful. Nothing else matters, except that we are together, and we love each other. None of the struggle involved is present, and it is sheer bliss. That is what I will suffer for -- those moments when everything really falls into place, everyone is there, and we are just in our massive cuddle puddle, laughing and loving like there's nothing else going on in the universe, because we are it.

"What pain are you actually willing to endure?" The pain of loneliness.

I am willing to accept that I have chosen a lonely lifestyle; one in which you move often, and to far away places. You leave behind your family, friends, and current girlfriend/boyfriend, in search of new places, new languages, and unknown lands. I am willing to spend days, weeks, months, and perhaps years, without friends, but be living in a new country or city, constantly learning and expanding. I am willing to accept and love myself enough to know that sometimes I will be all I have. Of course I never really go alone, since my God is always with me, but I am willing to endure the pain that comes with turning to a friend, but one not being there. I am willing to endure the pain of being in a new place, where you can't speak the language, you don't know where to go, or have anyone to talk to, and feel so lost and confused the only logically thing to do is laugh or cry. I am willing to endure this pain, because I know I will never really be alone, the right people always come along; and I know that my passion lies in exploring new places, and experiencing new cultures. This, I can be sure of, especially now, more than ever.

(I'd like to add that my confidence in my ability to form uncanny relationships with people everywhere I go helps, as I never am short of random conversations. And I'd also like to add that while you go into a place friendless, it is very hard to come out that way, and I am so grateful and blessed I've fallen in with such a special group of friends here. Friends I really connect with, love, cherish, and will keep for the rest of my life.)

"What risks will you take, accepting every and all parts of the outcome?" The risk of losing it all, and dying "alone."

In the life I have chosen, there is always a risk of dying alone. (In the sense that you die without a life partner. You almost always die with an international collection of friends and family.) It is hard to find and maintain a relationship when you plan to move to a new country every few years, and therefore, you can never be sure if you'll ever really find [and/or keep] your forever. When I decided to move to Spain, it was the hardest decision I've ever made in my near-25 years. I had to leave behind the person who could possibly be the love of my life, my forever, and twin flame, on the hope that I was making the right choice for myself and my soul. I do not know if I will find another love so great as that love, nor do I know if I will find another perfect piece to my puzzle like he was. That is a risk that I took, and a risk I will always take. Because I have faith in love, I have faith in the strong love I carry with me everywhere I go, and I have faith that all things turn out how they are supposed to. But also because I have faith that you cannot go in search of your personal legend (thank you for the terminology, Paulo Coelho), and not get and find exactly what you're supposed to. All of this is part of the risk of this traveler's life I have decided to live, and it's a risk that I accept. I may not want to accept the possible reality of not being able to sustain a relationship for longer than a year or two, but for me, it's not a risk too great to keep me from living this way.

When I consider all of these things, and realize my answers to these questions, and the unwavering certainty in which I can answer them, I know I am doing the right thing for myself by living out here, in this way, and thinking the way that I do. And that, that is powerful, that is wonderful, and that is magical!

I've always wanted my life to be the most epic story it could possibly be, for that moment before I ascend into heaven, when it all plays back across my mind. I want to relax and be blissed-out, and know that I have lived. And I can say, without any sort of doubt in my mind, that for me, this is life, I am living!

Consider these questions, sweet darlings. I think that they can help us really figure out our passions in life, and therefore, where we should be focusing our energy. It's important to channel your energy into where your passions lie -- that's how we achieve success in every facet of our lives. I hope that you are on a path that pleases your soul, and that you have an insanely blessed moment, every moment!

Much love bright lights!

Blessings, Love & Light <3

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Abundant Blessings

As I sit here trying to figure out how to begin this, let alone what I'm even trying to say, I am at a loss, because I am so overwhelmed with joy and contentment, that words don't seem to be an accurate way to portray what it is I'm experiencing.

So I guess I'll begin with this... this year, I am working two teaching jobs -- one in the same high school I was in last year as the auxiliary (language and culture assistant), and another as an actual English professor in an academy. I work at the high school in the mornings/early afternoons, then work in the language school in the afternoons until nine o'clock at night, Monday through Thursday. Some weeks, I'm overwhelmed, I'm running around, I don't have time to go to the store or do anything but eat, sleep, think, and do work. I am waking up, going to work, coming home, putting together more work, and then going to bed reviewing it all, just so I could wake up six hours later and do it all again.

The couple weeks leading into Halloween, it went like that. I was so, so busy, I was up until midnight doing work each night, then up in the morning to get ready to go, putting in 12 hour days, and barely having time to stop and sit without getting up and onto the next task.

I'd like to take a moment to point out that I realize how insanely blessed I am, not just to have work, but to have the hours I do. They can be tiring and tough, but they could be so much worse, and be spent with people that are not-so-nice. And I am aware that there are people who work much harder and longer than I, but, that doesn't negate the fact that. . .

The one and only thing that got me through those weeks of long hours was, without a doubt, God. When I felt too overwhelmed, I thought about God; when I set my alarm for the next morning and realized I wasn't going to get enough hours to constitute a good night's sleep before a long day, I thought about God; and when I was rushing around from one classroom to the next, frazzled as could be, I thought about God. And I can honestly say, that had I not been keeping Him in mind, and remembering that I am not in this and doing life on my own, I would probably have wound up in a tired, run-down, mess of tears at least a few times.

It was so amazing to remind myself that God is always with me, always helping me, and that when I would start to think, "Oh my gosh, how am I going to....," the thought process would stop, and instead switch to, "My God will give me the energy and strength I need to do all things." And guess what? He did! Instead of going into my classes tired, annoyed, and rude, I went in laughing, joking, smiling, and keeping love and light in my heart. Instead of quitting one of them and getting caught up thinking I couldn't do it, I was assuring myself that, "I am a strong and capable woman. I can do all things. And my cup is overflowing with energy and love!" It was a real test, and I am so happy to say that I passed it with a rainbow flowing behind me!

Things cooled off last week, and since then, have been much more relaxed. I haven't had some classes because of field trips and exams, and I am finding myself strangely ahead of my lesson plans for my classes at the academy. And then, the biggest moment of reassurance came, in the form of my daily devotional.

And can I just take a minute to give some serious praise to Sarah Young's, Jesus Calling? This little daily devo book is really what has brought me up, out, and above in the last ten months, and I am so stoked that it is part of my life and daily practices! Check it out if you have the chance!

But yes, so, this little book once again delivered to me an amazing message, that really helped me ease into a state of relaxation and assurance that I might not had felt in a few weeks. It came on November 12th, and said,

"This is a time of abundance in your life. Your cup runneth over with blessings. After plodding uphill for many weeks, you are now traipsing through lush meadows drenched in warm sunshine. I want you to enjoy to the full this time of ease and refreshment..."

I mean, wow! I was already getting a sense that my week was going to be less hectic than the ones that had come before it, but when I read that, I was so overcome with joy and this incredible light, grateful feeling. I think I took a trip to the clouds as I read those lines! 

God is so good! He is so amazing! He is the reason why I am here, the reason why I shine like I do, and the only reason why I am not tempted to hit a kid who can't find it possible to stay silent or in his seat! Without God, I would be such a wrecked mess. I would be a horrible teacher, and I would be emitting a nasty level of toxicity into the universe, which hurts US ALL. 

I left home in January, not knowing exactly what was to come to me, but knowing that God had put it in my heart to return. And since I have returned, I have come to have a deeper, stronger, and more intimate relationship with Him than I have had in YEARS. Since I have returned, I have learned to speak and understand another language; two or three if you include all the language I've learned that can't be categorized as "English," "Spanish," "Arabic," "French," "Portuguese," etc, but instead classified as human interaction, connection, and understanding. And since I have returned, I have come to love teaching, a profession I always swore off due to a lack of patience, which is something else I have gained since I returned to Spain, and thought I never could possess. 

The lessons, memories, moments, people, places, God and self I have gained in the last 10 months are incredible, and I am feeling so outrageously blessed. Every day I ask God to continue to bless me, and that my life might be a blessing to others. And I know He is answering these prayers. I can feel it, and I can see it through my human interactions. 

Life is such a beautiful thing when we open our hearts, release all we are, and just give it up to God! I hope that you are all living abundantly, and if not, trying to do so! And I hope that the love and light I am pouring out finds you in whatever moment you're in, and settles with you, to make your heart happy!

I love you world, I love you universe, and God, my God, my gosh, how I love you! 

Blessings, Love & Light sweet beings, go with the love and the light, it will always bring you the most joy!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

What Do You Want To Do?

A few weeks ago, there was a strike within the schools, so all of the classes that I assist in at the high school were very small. In one of the classes I help in, instead of going about a usual lesson, we took the time to talk about other things, and fell upon the topic of what the kids wanted to do/if they knew what they wanted to do when they grew up. Of the 15 students in class that day, eight were able to say with certainty what they wanted to do in the future. I was pretty surprised by this number, considering that I am now 24, and it took me until I was about 22 or 23 to figure it out. So for me to hear a 12-year old say they already know made me feel a bit skeptical and sick, but also happy and excited.

A few said they wanted to be architects, one girl a psychiatrist, and then some other occupations that I no longer remember. This made me feel hopeful for them, especially those who said they want to be an architect, since in Spain that is a very hard job to come by right now. I was really pleased for these kids who have figured out what they want to concentrate on. That is going to make their paths so much smoother as far as education and where to place their motivation goes. But my heart went out to those students who almost looked guilty when they said they didn't know what they want to do with their lives.

As someone who spent most of her life freaking out because I didn't know what I wanted to do, but was somehow expected to know (thank you, society), I understood completely the predicament these little 12-year olds were in. And to see someone so young looking apologetic because they didn't have an answer like some of their peers, was enough to get my fire going. I was sure to reassure them that they didn't need to worry about that right now, that they are still so young and have time to figure it out, and then, I'm not sure it if it will help or hurt them, but reassured them that I am 24, and I just barely figured it out. And while I realize life is certainly a bit easier if you know what it is you want to do and can follow a path, I also feel it is a grave mistake not to explore the world and yourself before you make such weighted decisions.

Our society is so keen on basing the worth of a person on what they have done, are doing, and are going to do. One of the first questions that anyone is ever asked these days is, "What is it that you do?" Why is this so important?? I mean, maybe if the answer is, "kill people," "smuggle drugs and children," or "help feed the hungry," then yeah, that's good information to know, but why? So we can form an opinion of this person before we get to know the condition of their heart? All these titles are just designed to make us feel better or worse than whoever is around us, give us something to judge and categorize them and ourselves with, and to keep us in this "us" and "them" mentality. We've gotta stop this nonsense. It's not what counts.

Instead of asking someone what they want to do or be when they grow up, we should be asking them what kind of person they want to be, how they plan to treat others, and if they maybe have any weird inventions in their minds that they are too scared to believe in. (Hey, think about a kid's wild imagination... you don't think we could pull some insanely useful things from all that splash?) As adults, we are in a blessed and powerful position with kids. Most of what a person does is a result of some act of imitation and input. If we can just infuse them with love and goodness, imagine what we'll get out!

Life is a gorgeous thing, and we are flooded with opportunities to make the world a better place in every single moment of it. Let's begin to take advantage of those little suckers and max out the beauty this place (mind, body, soul, earth, universe, whatever, however, whomever) has to offer! I'm ready to see the lid blow off this life -- I think I've been boiling for a long time, and more often than not, there's those massive bubbles that burst right over the edge, but I'm ready to just let it rip and tear this universe up with goodness. Anyone want to join me? Let's chat. Let's create. Let's come up with something lovely that can help us to help others. Let's make a friggin' difference, eh!? :)

I am so overly-full of love, my cup is overflowing with love and energy, and I want you all to know I let it flow out at an insanely rapid rate, just so it can reach you! It is yours!! Please take it, and make with it what you will, but always pay it forward! 
[[A smile is all it takes to change a life!]]

Endless Blessings, Love & Light to you all <3