Monday, May 26, 2014

Things I Love About: Spain

Normally lists have a number applied to them, but this list is open-ended, so I'm not going to put a number on it. Maybe after I move out of Spain, but even then I'm sure when I'm not living here I'll think of things that I love[d] about the country, and add them on when I please. First I'll give you a bit of history...

I first moved to Spain in 2009, and lived and studied abroad in Getxo/Bilbao (Pais Vasco) in the north. It blew my mind to see that there were other ways of living, eating and being, and really expanded my mentality and desires for the future. I knew as soon as I was packing up to go back home, that someday I'd move back. I didn't know how, I didn't know when, but I did know. Skip forward three and a half years, some grammatical differences, and here we are, I'm back! This time, I moved to the south (Andalucia), to the magical, amazing city of Sevilla. I'm currently writing this from my couch in Sevilla, where I've been living and teaching since January of 2013 (in Sevilla, not on my couch...). And, I am going to be staying another school year...I think.

So, in the course of the 2+ years I've spent living in this great country, I've definitely had time to notice some things. These are some of the things that have caused me to fall in love with this country:

  • Life seems to move at a slower pace. If you are walking around, chances are you're going to be thinking, "Why in the heck are they walking soooo sloooowwwlllyyy?" And then suddenly the person in front of you will stop (perhaps outside a ground-level apartment window) and just start chatting, as if nothing else is going on. I gather that the point of life isn't so much to race around, make money, and get on to the next thing, but instead, it's about spending good, quality time, with people you enjoy and love. And that, I LOVE.
  • That it's perfectly acceptable to eat lunch at three in the afternoon, or dinner at eleven at night. These times aren't going to blow anyone's mind, but if you try to have lunch at noon, well, they might not even have the kitchen ready for that kind of thing yet. (This one is a double-edged sword, since I'm not such a fan of 10pm dinners.)
  • I love that the aforementioned lunches aren't considered abnormal if they last for more than an hour, two hours, three hours. It is so incredible to pass two hours at one meal with people. Laughing, eating, enjoying life, and very importantly, the food.
  • THE COLORS. Oh my GOSH the colors in Spain are amazing! Well, it's different in the north and south, but here in the south, there are beautifully ceramic tile walls all over, potted flowers on most balconies, orange trees lining the streets, and brightness everywhere you go. So. many. flowers!!!! Definitely can be attributed to so much sun, which is another thing I love about southern Spain.
  • Seeing little hoards of tiny, tiny, tiiiny (short) old ladies walking around chatting. It's so obvious and cute that they've probably all been neighbors and best friends their entire lives, and it's so cute when they're either holding each other, or holding their canes, and just shuffling along down the street hanging out. Perhaps I find this so intriguing because I'm not sure if my gypsy-traveler self will have this kind of experience in my life, as I don't really stay in places too long.
  • Pretty similar to above, but I love so much seeing someone hanging out outside their friends apartment window. I sometimes wonder why they don't just go inside, but then think, it's so sensible the way they're doing it. Also, one person being in the street, yelling/conversing up to a higher level with whoever they happen to know inside. Kind of like the couple times I would call my family in the living room, from my bedroom, because I knew it was just as effective as physically shortening the distance.
  • That because people tend to live in flats and not houses, they spend A LOT of time in the streets, the plazas, the squares, and at the bars. As someone once told me upon arriving to Sevilla, "Nosotros vivimos en la puta calle." Translation: We live in the f-ing street. I love, love, love how much life there seems to be here, because everyone is living in the effing streets. The outside tables at tapas bars are always full (crisis, what??), and any plaza/square there is, is usually to be seen featuring gossipers, children playing, and hanging out. It adds an energy to Sevilla that I have yet to feel and find anywhere else.
  • The fact people have beer whenever they feel like it, and no one says anything, or makes a "what are you thinking" face. Many of my workmates will have a beer at the bar across the street if we have an hour w/o class, then return to teaching. Most of the time, they have two. In the States, if someone saw a teacher having a couple beers between classes, they would probably be investigated and fired. Granted, the beer down here is very low % and watery, but still...

As I said, this list will continue to grow, but for now, these are the things that jump into my mind. I feel like I'm selling it a bit short, but, well, that's what there is for now. :)

Come to Spain anytime, and ask me any questions you have, whenever you want! I'm not an index, but I think I can give you some solid suggestions! 

Blessings, Love & Light all!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Opportunities Always Knock

Growing up and entering the job market usually means hearing something about "opportunities knocking on the door" at least a couple times. We have it in our heads that when an appealing opportunity comes knocking, we should jump on it, because it probably won't be coming around again, and maybe no others will either. But I am here to debunk that one, because for one, I've never agreed, and two, now that I have long since made the choice to say, "actually, I think it will, and if not, I'll make it," and follow my dreams, I have figured out that it will if I approach it and/or want it to! I've also come to figure out that other, probably more perfect opportunities will come knocking, that will be developed by the experiences, growth, and knowledge you gain through shutting some doors, while deciding to walk through others.

When I was trying to decide if I would accept my placement to come to Spain as a language and culture assistant, I was working in Burbank/Los Angeles for the Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG); a Fortune 100 company, a highly sought-after employer, and one of the best known names around the world, synonymous with entertainment and Mickey Mouse. I had a job in a company that people could only dream of working for, and was making connections with high-level executives, directors, managers, and people across the boards. I was in a very blessed position, and on a path that many hope to find themselves on in life. I was going to red carpet events, premieres, press junkets, seeing Hollywood stars, in charge of the weekly employee electronic newspaper that's sent to thousands of people, helping with events and payment of major checks, and in one of the highest grossing industries on the planet, with one of the top companies in that industry.

Now, as much as it could seem like it, I'm not saying these things to be vain or brag. I'm saying them to paint a picture for you, so you realize what I "gave up" when I decided to stop looking for a new role in the company, and instead move to Spain, to a city where I knew no one, and a country where I could barely communicate, to make just 700€ a month, as an assistant teacher, in a high school. For these, and select other reasons, it was the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life to-date.

I talked to various people in my family when I found out I had been accepted, and one of the things that a lot of people reminded me of was that I currently was in a very blessed position; a position and shot that most people would kill for, and it would be wise to consider if it would be worth it to give it up just for one year abroad, in hopes of whatever growth and satisfaction I was after. (I don't think they really realized I wasn't just thinking of leaving the country for a year, but that it would be the year that would begin years of living abroad and travel.) I still remember being told that the position I was currently in wasn't an easy one to get into, and that the kinds of opportunities that were in front of me at the time, weren't the kind that would wait for me to get back. They were the kind that get passed off to the next qualified and wanting person, and would likely not end up on my doorstep again in the future. I was told that by the time I came back, things would have probably changed too much, I'd likely be too far behind the game by then, and I probably wouldn't be a good candidate for hire. And of course, I was told that it wasn't very realistic (any/all of it).

As a 23-year old recent college grad who didn't really know what she wanted to do with her life, hearing things like that definitely made me stop, and gave me something to consider. I didn't really believe anything that they said, what with my head being so hard and my will so strong, but considering that I was young and new, and they were "old" and experienced, I figured it was advice worth thinking about.

In the end, I decided that while opportunities like those don't wait on the doorstep, but instead move onto the next one, it wouldn't be the end of opportunities for me. And, clearly I made the choice to come, since I'm writing this from Sevilla, Spain, where I was placed in in October of 2012, and have been living and working since January of 2013. 

Oh yeah, and did I mention that I applied for a third year, have been assigned a different school in a different city for the coming year, and possibly going to accept the placement? Or that if I don't accept this placement and go, the other ideas I'm flirting with are:

  1. Stay in Sevilla and just work in the academy again
  2. Go to Lima, Peru to teach
  3. Go to Hawaii to WWOOF (work on organic farms and connect with natural healers)
  4. Anything else that comes to me in the next 3.5 weeks before I leave for Cali (a new idea, usually that involves a new continent, seems to find its way into my mind each week)

I know a lot of people who want to travel, want to change their lives, try something new, and move to a new place, but don't because they realize how blessed their current position is, and are fearful of not being able to regain any ground they "lose" while they're abroad or trying something different. But if there's anything I've learned while I've been abroad, it's been that so many people make the big choice to drop everything and move away. It's not as uncommon as society makes it out to be. And, even more, those people, if they do decide to return to a life similar to the one they had before, they don't find it hard to integrate and get into a role that's just as good (or better) as where they were before. 

There is absolutely no way to know what will happen in the future. We'll never know what we'll win, lose, miss, gain, have, find, or fail. But there's one thing that's for sure, if there's something you want to do and try, JUST DO IT! You'll never know what reward
s will come if you don't give it a shot! And as a quote I once read goes, "Stop thinking of what could go wrong, and think of what could go right."

Get out there and live your life the way you want, the way that makes you happy! There's only one of them you get to live, and time is finite. Don't waste it on unhappiness and dreams that are never pursued! GO LIVE BIG!

Sending charged up energy of determination and drive your way! Passing you all the power you need to do anything that faces you on this day and those to come! And hoping that you take a big chance and leap towards the life you dream of! 

Blessings, Love & MAJOR Light to all!! 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Gosh Dang It, Greed Got Me!

As I step up to the slate, I bring some heavy emotions with me. I found out a couple weeks ago about my new placement for the coming year (auxiliary program), and I've been placed in a high school (joy) in Ecija. It's a town that has a population of 40,000 people, and it's 80km from Sevilla. So, pretty much...I screwed myself. I wanted to change schools, leaving behind my amazing situation in the high school I currently work in, in hopes of being placed somewhere in Sevilla's city center. I wanted to leave the world of assisting in high schools, and try life out in a primary school. I wanted to stay in Sevilla because I love it, and I have an academy job here, so the potential for me to save money is huge. This would have enabled me to pull doubles one more year, and then be free to go explore and do volunteer work without being concerned with when my next check was coming in. I was being greedy, and thinking about money, instead of thinking about what's important: my happiness and being grateful for what I already have. But every time I thought about what I wanted, I would think "Sevilla," but also think, "somewhere new," I would doubt if staying another year was really what I wanted, sending out a mixed signal to the Universe, and now, I'm still in Sevilla the province, but I'm not in Sevilla the city. I'm in Sevilla, but I'm not. Just like I thought for.


When I looked on a map at where Ecija is, my heart immediately sunk and my first words were, "I'm not going." According to Google maps, it's in the middle of nowhere, and after my brief trip to see the town today, I can verify that it in fact is literally in the middle of nowhere. The nearest cities are Cordoba (50km) and Sevilla. It's between two amazing places, but not near enough that I could live in either. Meaning, I would have to live there, and see my students all. the. time. Which might not sound so bad, and may not be, but I just prefer to keep my work life separate from my "regular" life. Not because I am getting drunk on the weekends and don't want to run into a student or their parents, that's not the case at all. I just would like to be able to go to the fruit shop or grocery store without running into my workweek while I'm there.

I should probably give Ecija a little more credit though. If I hadn't been walking through the narrow cobblestone streets thinking about how I would be "leaving Sevilla for this," I would have been walking around and been so charmed by the place, commenting on how great it would be to live in a place like that for a while. But since I was thinking about having to live there for nine months, I was having a hard time mustering my usual excitement. There were still moments when I would stop and look at something, see beauty and feel the charm the town has, but then Sevilla would come back to my mind, and I'd just walk away. It didn't help that I had a serious caffeine hangover (deficit and headache) while I was there, so I wasn't in the highest of spirits.

I realize now just how spoiled and lucky I've been to have been placed in a place that's so close to Sevilla I can live in it, and wonder if I could ever really find myself satisfied living anywhere in Andalucia that's not Sevilla and doesn't have a beach/sea or ocean access. And as I sit here in La Alameda in Sevilla, looking at all the people enjoying coffees, copas (mixed drinks), beers and friends in the breeze, listening to a group of people who brought a guitar, and are playing Sevillanas (a type of music), singing, and providing impromptu entertainment for all of us here at the bar in the plaza, I see that the magic that Sevilla has, that I haven't experienced anywhere else I've ever been, and never been able to really put a finger on, is that it is so, so alive. And while I consider myself so overly blessed for having been able to live here for the last year and a half, I also know I probably would never be ready to leave this place, and therefore should just go when I have to.

Holy crap I'm going to miss this place... :-(

When I was putting in my application for a renewal in the program, I thought that I should change regions so I could give another part of Spain a chance, but was too caught up thinking about the fact I already have a second job here, and if I switched to a new place, would have to hope to find another one. (I want to have two jobs for one more year so I can earn a lot of money, so I can save a lot of money, so starting in the summer of 2015, I can begin a "one year" [open-ended, or "till the money runs dry"] trip through Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America and Central America, exploring, and doing various types of volunteer work all along the way. Essentially, I want to save up so I can really start living a life that centers around my passions.) This caused me not to change regions, but to try and switch centers. But, we don't have control of where they put us, and no matter how much good energy and support I put into my note on the application, asking to please stay in Sevilla and not be in a high school, it's always going to be up to them. In simple terms: I was being greedy, thinking in terms of euros, padding my bank account "quickly and easily" (not so quickly, really, nine months, nor so easily, really, teaching two jobs), and have found myself instead out of Sevilla, and still in a high school. I guess in a way it's comical. But the bottom line remains the same: Greed ain't good!!

I'm going with God on this one. I am going to apply for jobs in academies in Ecija, and see what happens. If I don't get one, I am most likely not going to move there. Instead I will stay here in Sevilla and keep my one job in the academy, and not save so much money, or I will go teach in Peru, or I will go to Hawaii and WWOOF (work on organic farms). They're all good options really, as none involve a cubicle, but the one I really wanted isn't on the list, and that's never easy to accept. Everything happens for a reason, and I know that there is always a blessing to be found. Those are the thoughts I am choosing to embrace, and that is the reality I will know.

Never forget the power of the mind! Never forget that "what you resist, persists," or that you can select the thoughts you allow to hang out in your head. These will affect and transform everything around you, and the Universe in general. And if you're having a hard time keeping them happy, have a coffee, and get back on track! (Whatever your fix is, mine just happens to be a coffee! If 11:30 hits and I haven't had one, all hope is lost until I do.... it's something I'm trying to work on:)

All is well, all is right, all is beautiful. Breath and Be!

Blessings, Love & Light to you sweet souls!
May you encounter only goodness in your life, and be grateful for those not-so-sunny things that find their way into your path!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Gotta Talk It Out

On the outside, I may appear to be a very open person. And, to be honest, on many levels I am. But not on all of them, and not on some levels that are pretty important.

I can't tell you how often I suppress and eat my feelings and words, just so I don't have to expose them to others (in turn, I think, making it "easier" for me not to expose them to myself). I'm not sure if it's because I have had many friends over the years who overly-burden the people around them with negatively perceived emotions and moments, leaving me in a state of resistance to this; or if it's just how I'm programmed -- share what is positive, and just try to ignore and escape the rest. Either way, it's not exactly the healthiest way to live, and I've been working on being more open, embracing, and accepting with and of everything over the years.

I've definitely made great strides, and I know my throat chakra has strengthened a lot over the years, since I'm now not as afraid to say what's really going on in my heart and head. However, there are still some very personal emotions and moments that I keep to myself, and try to cure on my own. But I learned recently, that if there is something that's causing you pain, it's not necessarily a burden to others if you share it with them, it's part of how we heal. And more importantly, it's necessary.

I encountered my first real heartbreak within the last six months. It was heavy, it was hurtful, and because it was a foreign feeling, I didn't know what emotions and mentality would follow it. Let's just say, I think I unknowingly slipped into a bit of a depression, and absolutely let my positive thinking slip with it. I watched the sad, judgmental, mean, and negative thoughts run through my mind, and where I'd normally steer them into a direction of love and gratitude, I just let them play around in my head. I dwelled a lot in the past, over-thought, re-thought, examined, and brooded.

Without getting into too much detail, I will say this: it has to do with my last relationship and the way things ended. What happened, or I guess what didn't happen, left me feeling more confused, abandoned, hurt, and empty than anything anyone's ever done to me before. And I've put up with a lot of crap from people over the last 25 years. So that, in combination with two other hard-on-the-heart encounters within a four week period, caused me to retract a bit. I can be a pretty sensitive person, and to deal with three tough things in the course of six weeks, definitely sent me into a place I haven't really hung out in before. A place where I stayed, without even noticing, for nearly three and a half months.

This place I hung out in involved a lot of beer (for me, the girl who was used to having only a glass or two of wine each week), a lot of self-doubt, a lot of confusion, a lot of over-thinking, a lot of searching, a lot of wondering, and a lot of a bunch of other stuff that is not at all aligned with being spiritual and accepting of all. I was really burnt out at work, so the combination of it all definitely resulted in one unmotivated teacher, and distant person. Shoot.

Then, I went to Portugal for a plan-less camping weekend, and ended up meeting someone who, oddly enough, was and is dealing with a nearly identical situation to mine. When we first started talking about our situations, I was going to hold back. Some questions came to mind, but I wanted to push them away, because I didn't want to be too intrusive. But then I decided to say screw it, because it's better to ask a question and let the other person choose not to answer, than not to ask, and just keep eating your thoughts and feelings. I wanted to take the conversation to the next level, and I wanted to stop remaining on the surface with certain subjects. And it turned out that his answers were the same as mine, and it led us to a way deeper level of conversation, understanding and support, and magically enough, it actually enabled me to really, truly begin curing.

I think that after a couple months, there's definitely some curing that happens, some ground that's covered. It makes sense it would work that way, it's natural. But if you're still brooding and munching on your thoughts by yourself, I think it's absolutely impossible to really heal all the way. And I daresay that's what leads people to become [a little] insane and obsessive after something hard happens to them. You've gotta get it out of your system, have a conversation about it all, and just admit what's going on in your mind. I didn't expect that that one conversation, let alone with someone I barely know, would result in the freedom and happiness that it did, but man, it's been amazing! In the days that immediately followed our talk, I felt such a huge difference in myself. Unfortunately, I didn't even realize how far I had gotten from my usual, positive, loving, happy self until I started to actually, really cure and move on.

It was through all this I realized that keeping things bottled up is really, really horrible, and it actually is like ingesting poison, hoping it will just kill all the bad, and leave the rest unaffected. One of my big pitches in life is to be open -- open minded, open heart, open, open, open -- and yet, here I have been, holding things back, suppressing thoughts, and trying to deal with it inside and alone so I don't have to admit to the thoughts I'd been having. Well, lesson learned!

Hopefully none of you are keeping things bottled in, trying to go it alone. I can't say I'll never do it again, perhaps I'm doing it now, with or without realizing it, but I do know that I am seeing and feeling the difference it makes to open up to people, even if it's someone you just met! So if you are, try to lighten your load. Write it out, draw it, talk to a friend, find a stranger, do anything you can to try and release what's going on in your mind! It can make the difference in your situation and life!

Sending our curing, healing, happy vibes to everyone reading this (and all those who are not)! I hope you have a beautiful, blessed day, and feel the Love & Light that my ear infected-self is sending you! (Don't worry, I'm keeping these "sick vibes" for myself;)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

10 Things I Love About the Feria de Sevilla

  1. I love seeing the streets overflowing with women in flamenco dresses, with bright fake flowers decorating their heads, fans flapping in their faces, and giant, normally tacky jewelry that matches everything else on their bodies. 
  2. I love watching said women dance around in sync (or not) endlessly to the Sevillanas that are playing in the hundreds of casetas (Easy-Ups that have been converted into restaurants/dance floors).
  3. I love the morning after, see fake flowers, over-sized necklaces, earrings, and hair pieces, and fans laying around the house.
  4. I love seeing the dapper men and women riding around in horse drawn carriages that are being pulled by horses who are decorated with flowers, bells, and pompoms.
  5. I love drinking rebujito (white apple wine mixed with 7UP) out of tiny little plastic cups, causing you to drink it too fast, and then swirl around dancing too much.
  6. I love walking around the Feria at night, when everything is lit up; thousands of red and white paper lanterns lining every one of the streets they create in this small city that only exists one week each year,  and long strings of bulb lights strung everywhere you look.
  7. I love seeing the little girls dressed up like women, walking around like little puffs of color and material, not even aware of how unique they are in the world.
  8. I love putting 10 euros in a pot with a group of friends, and being able to eat and drink for hours on end, without thinking about lacking anything.
  9. I love that we get days off from work, and that, even though I believe it sets a bad example for their children, parents allow their kids to miss class the entire week so they can go to the fair.
  10. I love how beautiful it is, and that it's so hard to explain, because to know it is to see it, and everything else is not doing it justice.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Unexpected Adventures

A couple weekend's back, I had such a typical "me" traveling experience. I went with two of my Italian friends to Portugal with a tent, sleeping bags and backpacks, and zero plan other than camping out at the beach in Faro, Portugal. What we ended up doing and experiencing was so much different than what we originally set out thinking, but proved to be such a blessing, and was time spent beautifully, as well as a reminder to just go with the flow and stay open to everything that comes along.

After arriving at Plaza de Armas (the bus station in Sevilla) on Friday afternoon, we found out the bus we intended to take to Faro was already full. So we looked into other options, and learned that we could take a different bus in just over an hour, and decided to take it, but get off in Tavira, about 40 minutes before Faro.We figured we could always make our way to Faro the next day, and that since we had a tent, we could sleep anywhere we wanted.

In Tavira, there's a little, nearly virgin island, and they have a boat that takes people back and forth all day long. We asked around, and learned that the campsite on the island was closed, but that if we just set up the tent for a night we wouldn't be bothered since it's not really the camping season yet and no police would pass. So, continuing with our going and flowing motion, we headed to the dock. And, since we were just going and flowing, not getting caught up on this or that along the way, it was no surprise we made it to the dock just five minutes before the last boat would be crossing to the island. Which worked out perfectly, because we definitely didn't have enough food or drink rations to last us on an island till the next afternoon. So we bought a couple sandwiches and beers apiece at the bar, and then loaded up for our big adventure!

Of the six people on the boat over to the island (a trip that costs 1.50€ round trip and takes about 5 minutes), two were working the boat, and three were us. When we arrived to the island, it was completely empty, aside from some fishermen finishing up their day down by the mini lighthouse. We took a short walk, looking for where we´d set up camp and make our home, and ended up on top of a flat dune right on the beach. It was perfect. We relaxed, roamed the beach, ate, watched the stars come out, and enjoyed each other´s company. Then, we turned in for the night.

The next morning was just as relaxed as the night before, even though someone came by to tell us we couldn't use a tent on the beach. We spent the day at the beach, and then decided to stroll through the town, have lunch, and then catch the bus to Faro. After 45 minutes, we arrived in Faro to continue our "finde sin plan" (weekend without a plan). We weren´t sure there was even a campsite in Faro, but we didn´t really care, because we knew there was a beach and that we had a tent. We asked around, learned there was a campsite, but that it was closed, but that again, if we set up a tent on the beach in a certain area, no one would bother us about it. So we caught a cab to the beach (about 10-15 minutes away by car, 15-20€ in a taxi), and started the trek to what we would call our home for the night.

At Faro Beach, there is a small-yet-expansive collection of magical little beach homes. Many belong to fishermen, and most are rented out during the summer to people coming to stay at the beach. They line the beach, and there is one small, narrow road that runs between them. There are restaurants, bars, and a mini market, but once you get to a certain point, it´s nearly all little beach homes. They are so literally beach homes, that the sand from the beach, is actually running up to the front doors. I saw sandbags in front of the entry ways to keep the sand from pouring into the entrance as it is at this house:

As we were walking, we arrived to the part where the street ends, and a wooden path begins, leading you to the beach. We had noticed a guy sitting in a beanbag chair outside his house in the sun, and after we´d walked a few minutes, started to hear someone yelling, "Guys! Guys! Come here!" We turned and made our way back, and then he asked us if we were planning on camping, and upon us saying yes, told us we could stay at his place for the night if we wanted. So after exchanging stares, thinking to ourselves, and going over the scenario, we accepted the offer and we went with it!

It ended up being the current home of a Portuguese guy and a Colombian guy (a Frenchie as well who was, of course, in Sevilla for the weekend), finishing a masters in Faro about marine biology, and it ended up being a fully-blessed experience!

By the time night had fallen, we had covered such a range of topics, that I was speaking to my friends, and we all agreed that it felt like we'd been staying with them the entire week, at least. Two amazing guys, incredibly motivated, and dripping with passion. It was so cool to see a couple people who are so amped on doing something to help the planet, and living lives that are full of experiences and learning. Any initial doubts any of us might have had vanished with each passing conversation and thing we learned.

The next day, I spent a couple hours talking with one of the guys, and we hit on some pretty heavy conversation topics. We talked about conservation, sharks (his thesis topic), the world and her population, religion, and one topic that we had more in common that anyone could have guessed upon our chance meeting -- nearly identical ex [gf/bf] situations. And it was in this conversation, that I really let myself open up. I hadn't talked about the situation with my ex to anyone else the way I did with him. I haven't ever asked anyone some of the heavy questions that I asked him. And what I learned, was that I am not alone.

Of course it shouldn't have taken that conversation for me to realize or know it, but it did. It took me asking someone else if they had moments like I had been having to know that ok, I am ok, I am not losing my mind, and no, I am not the only one who deals with this set of circumstances. Quite egotistical to think I would be, and had I stopped being so emotion-driven, I would have been able to reach this conclusion, hell, I probably already had, but to actually hear another person say it, see it in their eyes, I really knew. And something about that conversation, that opening of the wounds, bearing them to a stranger, and sharing it all, has helped me really get on the path of healing.

Since that, I have entered into my old ways of thinking -- positive, loving, guided in the bright direction. More importantly, now I actually care about guiding my thoughts in the positive direction. I didn't even realize before that I was depressed, but now that I can feel the difference in my thoughts and Being, I realize how far I was from my usual self.

It's amazing, really, to think about all that came out of a situation that all began with:
"Hey, we're going camping in Portugal this weekend, do you want to come?" "Yeah, I've got nothing to do, let's do it! What's the plan?" "We're going without one." "Perfect, let's do it."

Just another example of why it pays to stay open!

The sunset in Faro from the beach <3

Friday, May 2, 2014

Nike's Slogan Applied to Life

Ok, so while I don't really like that I'm unwillingly advertising for Nike, I also have to do it, because really, what's about to be thrown down is definitely a "just do it" kind of thing.

Yesterday I went to the beach with some friends, and it turned out to be such a major and deep healing day for me. I slipped in two meditation sessions, lots of playing, lots of loving, some yoga, and just let myself be free. I wandered, I read, I wrote, and I talked with God so much. I released all into the waters and sand, and meshed my body with the Earth as much as humanly possible. It was magical. And then in the car on the way back, the conversation slipped into things we'd like to do in the future.

All of us in the car are kinda at a crossroad in life where we want to do something different, try something new, start something, or are in a position where it's time to decide on something and perhaps take up a direction. I ended up talking about how there are so many things I want to try and begin to learn about and do, but that by working two jobs, when I'm not working, the last thing I want to do is read educational articles, research, and add more to my plate. I just want to read, chill, and not think about things that are too major, serious, or directional. And it was after I said this that my friend said something so powerful...

She said that people think she's crazy because on top of working full-time, she's also working on her masters. So she has class on Saturdays, and is usually insanely busy. But what she said was that she's really motivated about it, and really likes it, so she doesn't share other people's sentiments that she's doing too much and working herself too hard. She then went on to say that if there's something that interests us, something we want to do, something in which we have passion, then it doesn't matter if we're already busy, we've just gotta do it, because in the end, it'll be good for us. We've gotta make time, give time, to the things that we care about.

There are so many things I've been wanting to take up, but I just haven't wanted to add more to my schedule. But after hearing her say it, I don't know what chord it struck in me, but I've been left feeling so motivated to start some of the studies that I find interesting, and take up learning some new things (instruments, languages, etc). I feel full of new motivation, and have actually spent sufficient time today researching different things, and reaching out to people about where to begin.

It's so true... no matter how busy we are, we have to make time for the things that interest us. If not, why spend time on anything else? There's no point wasting life on something you don't really care about, just dreaming about the things you do. That's no way to live, and it's no way to be successful in anything that you do. If you have a passion, pursue it, because I truly believe we cannot fail at anything if there is passion involved. Our passion provides us our purpose. Our intuition provides us our instruction. Follow the tugs at your heart, it's only meant to guide you right!

So what do you really want to do in life? What is your passion? Do you know "your purpose"? Whatever it is, if it makes you feel good and right, go with it. But please, be sure it's not affecting others in a negative way. ;-)

Blessings, Love & Light darlings! 

6 Tips & Tricks for Travelling Greece

  1. Don't pay for the Air Seats in the ferry from Piraeus to Santorini (or going the other way). Most people will get off the ship at the first stop, and you can switch from the cheap seats, which aren't uncomfortable, but open to all the noise and activity on the ship. And on the way back, there were so many available, we could have had our own rows if we wanted.
  2. Unless you want an incredibly quiet experience, don't go to Santorini before mid-May. While it was really nice to not be stuck in traffic on the roads on our quad, or encounter mass amounts of people everywhere we went, we also did kind of want a little nightlife, and, well, the place was a little dead. And we were staying in one of the main party areas of the island. If you want good weather, also don't go before mid-May. We had a couple rainy days, a really beautiful day, and a couple cloudy ones. We were told June and September are good, because the weather is good, but there aren't too many people there with one party-goal in mind.
  3. Just because Piraeus is one of the most frequented cities of Greece due to the port, it doesn't mean it's overly priced. I saw some souvenirs in Santorini that were much cheaper in Piraeus, and the food as well cost less. Don't be afraid to buy certain things in Piraeus, with the "I can probably find it cheaper somewhere else" thought in mind. And if you happen to be able to, stroll one of the local farmers markets (ask people to find out where/what day). It will blow your mind. The colors, THE OLIVE STANDS, oh my gosh. I came back to Spain, and I'm having a hard time eating the olives after what I experienced over there. :(
  4. Rent a quad in Santorini! It was only 25 euros for the day (plus petrol), and it was the most amazing way to get around! We literally went from one end to the other, and it wasn't stressful or scary at all! Of course, there weren't many people around, but still, there is one main road, and it's an easy place to navigate. And with the little streets, we could easily pass. 
  5. Go on the little boat tour in Santorini. It was less than 20 euros, and it was a six hour trip to the other little islands of Santorini, a hike and info on the volcano, swim in the hot springs, and time on the second-largest island, that just has one village. It's a good way to see the rest of Santorini, and learn a bit about it as well.
  6. Spend more than a day in Athens. A lot of people told me not to waste too much time there, but really, I loved it. Of course, we'll all have different experiences, but I thought the center was so charming. It's overflowing with flowers, color, and life, and let's face it, there's nothing quite like being in the city, looking up at a hill, and see Acropolis sitting there in all it's ruins and remaining glory.

To read about Athens, click here!
To read about Piraeus, click here!
To read about Santorini, click here!
To read about ANNY Studios in Santorini, click here!
To read about Greece in general, click here!