Tuesday, November 25, 2014

When Heaven Sends Surprises

There's this weird thing that always happens to me when I'm taking back the control of my thoughts and my life, reclaiming them, and redirecting them in a positive direction. As soon as I decide it's time to become living and breathing gratitude, and only choose to embrace and entertain the positive side of things, little blessings boldly become present in my life. And lately, I've been focusing my energy on my relationship with Christ, and since deciding to dedicate my life to being His Beacon of Love and Light, making my life something the glorifies God, and being determined to have Him as the foundation in everything I do, my "powers of manifestation" have increased ten-fold (my prayers are being answered at an insanely rapid pace, one I can barely fathom)!

For example, the other teacher at the academy where I teach is pregnant, and it's been known since before the year started that I would take over her classes when she took maternity leave. These classes are on Wednesday and Friday afternoons/evenings, which would mean I'd be in the high school Tuesday-Friday in the mornings/early afternoons, and then in the academy Tuesday-Friday afternoons/evenings. I'd have to cut my private lesson, and I'd lose my Friday afternoons. Originally, it was what I wanted. But I originally thought I was going to be leaving for Asia with a backpack on after this year, and wanted to work as much as possible so I could save for the adventure. Well, since I changed my mind and decided to move home, I don't necessarily need to save as much money. Also, about this same time, I started to realize how stressed out and over-worked I was becoming. So, I decided that it wouldn't be very wise for me to add 5-6 more hours of teaching to my load, and told my boss it would be best if he could find someone else to do it. The very next week he told me he was pretty sure he had found someone who could/would do it starting in January!

^Update (26/11/2014): I'm supposed to start the classes today, and I was talking to the teacher, and she said Paula, the girl who's going to take over (meaning that since I spoke to my boss yesterday, she's confirmed she will do them!), and that she might even be able to do the December days!!!! Now THAT is quick! I was praying about it all day yesterday, returning my trust to Him, and now, Shaaa-Bammm! AwesomeSauce

Next example, since I know these are my final [seven] months living in Europe, I've started to make some lists of the places I want to be sure I go before I leave. Istanbul has become one of my top priorities, and I've been focusing a lot of my energy on it. This week, I've been emailing with my grandma, and she was asking me when I finish work, because she has an idea. She, my mom and my sister are going to be taking a trip in June to Israel, but before they go to Israel, they're going to.... wait for it..... ISTANBUL, and she asked if the dates they're going I could meet them there. And, perfectly, by the grace of God, I will have finished working in the high school by then, leaving me with only classes on Tuesday/Thursday afternoons/evenings, meaning not only will I get to go to Istanbul for a Friday-Monday trip, but that I will get to meet up with my family here in Europe, something I've been dying to do since my parents were here last September!! Incredible! And literally, an instant response rate! Less than one week ago I wrote a list of my top spots to hit, as well as put a post-it on my desktop!

Another thing, I've been incredibly adamant about looking on the bright side of things, but tomorrow in my schedule at the high school, I have first period (8:15-9:15), third period (10:15-11:15), and fifth period (12:45-13:45). It's not really ideal, because it's every-other-hour, meaning I have two semi-awkward breaks in between classes. Not to mention that I'm talking about Thanksgiving, and doing the exact same presentation three times in one morning doesn't really get a girl too excited. But, I was channeling gratitude and joy just the same. Well, moments ago, the coordinator for the auxiliary program writes me to tell me I don't have to go to first period, because the group has a field trip!! Whhaaa!! Awesome! So now, not only do I not have to do the same presentation three times tomorrow (the same one I did already once today), but I don't even start till 10:15!!

One last "coincidence" (a concept I don't believe in at all, by the way)... last week, when I was writing out my lesson plans for this week, for some reason, I didn't write anything in the boxes I usually use for the private class I have on Mondays and Wednesdays. Why? Who knows. But, yesterday, I was talking to my student about what time we were going to have class, and he decided that it would be better if we waited till December to restart the classes. (((!!!!!!Whhhaattt!?!?!?!)))

So for all of you out there that think this manifest destiny stuff is a crock-of-crap, I suggest rethinking it! I can't even tell you how many things like this have happened to me in the last couple months, nor how many have happened every time I decide to stop being lazy with the thoughts I entertain! It's the real deal, man, and it's pretttyyy sweeeet! Give it a shot, and let me know what freaky-cool things come to pass in your life!

I lovelovelovelovelove you! You're magic, don't ever forget it! Made from start dust and sand? Couldn't be any cooler if you tried! Big kisses and hugs to all my sisters and brothers from above!

Blessings, Love & Light Beauties 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Little Lesson

Such a blessed thing and a beautiful lesson....

One day while we were at the stables after riding, the 9-year old grandson of the man with the horses, dropped his muffin wrapper on the ground. I immediately said, "Noooo. No, no, no." And told him to throw it in the trash. Then I went on to tell him that we have to take care of the Earth, she's our Mother, and we live here, so we have to take care of her. Especially with all the animals around at the farm, plastic on the ground is bad, because the chickens can eat it and die. He listened, started to make some half-way developed excuses, stopped, and then started a new conversation when I was finished preaching.

Well, yesterday a friend came by, the same one I go riding with, and he said that Adrian (the boy) was telling his grandpa how he still thinks about and remembers what I told him about taking care of the Earth and not throwing trash on the ground. !!!!!!!!!!!!AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! I didn't even think that he would listen and hold onto what I'd said, let alone repeat it back out to people weeks later!

Sometimes, the things you tell another person can fall flat on the floor, but when they stick, they stick for good, and can impact and change their entire life and way of living. And sometime, we may be speaking with the hope that someone's listening, and it turns out they're soaking up every word! It's not just a lesson in passing on bits of wisdom and teaching lessons, but a lesson in teaching the right ones, with the right words, and the right emotions/energy. Everything we say has an impact, so speak words of kindness, support, love, and encouragement, and keep the mental plain a positive place!

I love you all, I hope you change someone's life today and share some light! <3

Listen to Your Heart

I don't know how many of you can even read that title without Roxette's song playing through your head... 

Or probably more accurately, since a lot of us are born and bred in the EDM culture and/or younger generations, DHT and Edmee's slow or techno versions. (Did anyone else DL both versions and get sad when the slow version started to play instead of the EDM remix???)

Pick the version you like best, jam out to it, feel it, dance!

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's get on with it! Although, that insanely psychedelic image right about my text is making it pretty hard to concentrate/type.. (((((((whoooaaaa triiiipppyyyyyy))))))) Ok, I'm back, I'm getting serious..kinda. ;-D

When I left the USA at 23 to move to Spain, my mom and I talked about how long I thought I would live this way (abroad, traveling, semi-unstable, gypsy, backpack, always moving to a new place, etc). She said that she thought it would be a good idea for me to think a little bit about how long I was going to be gypsy-ing around, and I told her that yeah, I was thinking that about by the time I'm 30, I'd like to know a city/country that I could see myself settling in for 5 or more years, perhaps have found a man, and be in the process of putting down roots and starting that chapter of my life. She admitted she'd been thinking 30 as well, and we left it at that. 

Fast-forward to 2014, now I'm 25, and instead of thinking that by the time I'm 30 I could have found the place I'll call home for more than 2-3 years, I'm thinking I need more years that I can magically slip in between now and the time I'm 30, so I can do all the things I keep learning about/realizing I want to do! I think, if I calculate time periods roughly, with all the things I want to do, places I want to live/travel, adventures I want to take/have, I am up to about 30 1/2 or 31-years old. Not bad. 

When I was home this summer, it felt so amazing to be with my family and friends, get a good dose of California culture, and just be there. I came back to Europe, feeling fairly certain that home was where I was supposed to be. I just had a feeling that I needed to be home. I saw all my grandparents, and they're all aging, I saw my sister and cousins and how they're growing, and my dad in serious need of help with this company we're trying to get started, and was pretty sure that was where I was supposed to be. I didn't want to be mostly gone for the next five years and miss out on all that was going to happen in my family. I couldn't imagine missing that much of everyone's lives. But I also couldn't move back. No way.

Moving back meant that I would have to cut my travels, look for a job/start a career, and start watering those home roots once more. I felt like deciding to move home would mean that I was giving up my dreams of backpacking around most of the world, and I wasn't sure I could handle that knowledge later in life. So, I pushed the thought aside, and just tried to focus on Being Present.

I traveled for another two months, going to Portugal, Norway, Holland, Belgium, and France. The amount of adventure-ing that I did in that time made me so sure that I wanted little else than to be traveling around, and the thought of going home got pressed down deeper within me. But after the summer ended and I got newly settled in a new town and new jobs, I started to go back in to those deep, inner places where we tend to store things till we take time to delve back into them. So I'm sitting on my bed, this must have been three or four weeks ago now, and I've just finished looking at/sorting through some pictures. Well, some few thousand pictures, all taken in the year and a half before I moved to Spain. Feeling some heavy feelings of, "Man, I miss those faces and places and good times."

Here I was, in Spain, amazing, beloved Spain, where I'd chosen to stay. I'm living in a beautiful town, surrounded by nice people, working well, and I said to myself, "What do I want? What do I really want?" Until that point, I was 100% sure I'd be in Asia with a backpack on by Fall of 2015. I'd told everyone I knew and met that that was the next adventure -- The Adventure that Never Ends. I had a route in mind (Asia--Australia--New Zealand--South America--Central America--Pit stop in Cali to say what's up to the fam before heading back out, likely to Africa for a year or India for six months). I was excited about this adventure, I knew I wanted this adventure, it was why I'd said yes to four different jobs, and decided to make this year a full sacrifice. Work, save, backpack. That was my arrangement with myself. But in that moment, before the question could finish leaving my lips, it came over me so, so clearly, calmly, comfortably, and sensibly, "I want to go home... I think what I really want is to go home." Whoa.

And then, it was like this huge realization had come to me, and I started to see and think, "Yes! Yes! That's it! That's what I want! I want to go home, and be with my family and the friends and faces I've loved the longest." It was too clear to deny it, just like when I found out I was accepted to come assist in Spain. So I embraced the thought of going home, and comforted myself with something that, for some reason, was new information: I can always leave again.

So my darlings, my brothers and sisters, my other halves, in July of 2015, this wanderer is going to wander her way back home! 

Dance Break!
But yeah, LL, I think soooo!

I'm going to live with my parents and grandma who will be living with them by that time, and I'm "planning" on staying 4-6 months. Then, sometime in January or February of 2016, I'll pack up my pack, and hop on a plane to Asia or South America, and resume my intended route! I'm going to be working as my grandma's caregiver, which is amazing, because it's all I do [want to do] when I'm home anyways -- drive her around and pretend to be retired with her -- and I can be there to help my dad, help my aunt and uncle, strengthen the bond between my cousins, sister and I, and just be there for people who have always been there for me. And my gossshh, I can't express how excited I am to rekindle the fire that burns between my friends and I back home! I've met too many amazing people to count since leaving, but it's definitely time to get down with my hometown, homegrown, Cali loves!

Since making the decision to move home, I have been elated! A friend of mine even told me yesterday that he was happy I made the choice to go home, that he thought it was the right choice, because over the summer, while I was living in bliss, it also seemed like I "missed my dudes back home." I know without a doubt I'm making the right choice, and everything in my life, all the instantly answered prayers, and manifestations that are being delivered at lightning speed, are a confirmation of that. It does make it hard to stay though, knowing that I'll be home in just under a month for the holidays, I just want to pack up everything and make it The Big Move Back already! But, it's also pretty cool, because once I get my visa, I'll be able to travel/fly again, and I'll have 6-7 more months to travel around Europe and Spain! 

It's amazing how life works out when we're listening to our hearts!

Our hearts are such a critical part of us, for so many [obvious] reasons, but for so many that we don't even give it credit for. It is our guide, it is designed to tell us what we want, where we should go, who we should pursue, and everything in between. Our minds are a mess most of the time, so if we went with every thought we thought, we'd be in some pretty weird and wild ways. But the heart, no, no, trust that, listen to that, take time to be silent, breath deep, and let it speak to you. I've been following my heart for the last 2-3 years, and I can tell you, I've not once regretted it! And all the times I chose to silence it and instead follow anything else, I've known it would have been "better" the other way around. 

In short, "Listen to your heart, when He's calling for you." It's as close to a direct connection to the Holy Spirit as we're going to get in this physical form. Don't deny it it's ability to lead you in the right direction. It's designed to make you thrive and feel alive, let it do it's thing, just like we let our lungs and digestive systems do theirs. :)

I love you all so much, I can barely handle it! I wish I could just line you all up and hug you all one-by-one. Imagine I'm doing so, feel the love, the light, the healing, the comfort, the acceptance, the enchantment. Take it all in, breath it in deep, get high on these fumes of good feelings, and pass them along as much as you can! YAY LIFE!

Forever and Ever, Endless Blessings, Love & Light

Your Sister in Christ

Friday, November 21, 2014

New Place, New People, New Patience

When the time came last year to decide what I wanted to do/where I wanted to go, I decided, after much internal debate, that I wanted to stay in Sevilla, but change from assisting in a high school, to assisting in a primary school. So, in great detail I put in my request and reasons, sent it off, and waited to find out what/where they would say.

A high school in a town an hour from Sevilla.


I'll admit, it was about as far from what I wanted that you could get, but I tried to be positive about it, and just focus on the fact that there was certainly a reason why God had decided to send me to this place that everyone called "La Sarten" (the frying pan). Literally, every single person I spoke to that learned I was placed in Ecija said, "You know what we call it, right? ....La Sarten." It was that or, "That's the hottest place in Andalucia!" (Making it the hottest place in Spain, since Andalucia is the hottest region of the country.) By the 10th, 15th, 20th person, I just said, "Yes, La Sarten." No emotion. 

All of the commentary from other people made it hard for me to be excited, because no one said anything about it other than that it was hot as hell! So I decided to take matters into my own hands (Google's). I looked it up, and saw that it actually looked quite beautiful and impressive -- loaded with towers, churches, and some landscape that wasn't half bad. But just to be sure, I had to do the Energy Test.

The Energy Test simply implies feeling out the energy of something/someone, and then allowing that to help whatever decision you might be in the midst of. I took a bus, went, walked, felt, and imagined myself living there for nine months. I kept asking myself, "Could I live here for nine months?" There were a lot of, "What would I do here for nine months?" moments, and also some, "I can't believe I'll be leaving Sevilla for this," thoughts, as well as the prominent, "If this was under any other circumstances, and I was just here for a weekend to explore, I'd be commenting on how charming it is and how amazing it would be to live here for some months." I just couldn't get past the sadness of leaving Sevilla, or the facts that I'd crossed the whole town on foot in 20 minutes and only encountered one park that did lack a bit of grass for sitting on (not to mention it's literally in the middle of a bunch of agriculture fields, which in early June were all very brown). 

Ecija has a bit more than 40,000 inhabitants, and I think I heard someone say 16 towers. It's next to a small river, it's a really historic place, and truly, a beautiful one. Oh yeah, and it's been my home for the last two months (almost). 

It's definitely been an up-and-down ride for me here, since I love Sevilla so, so, so, sooo much, but I've gotta admit, I love being able to walk from my house to either of my jobs in 3-7 minutes. That and being able to get anywhere in less than 15/not need a car or bike (especially good since mine was stolen). I now understand the draw to living in the city center! And, since it's a small town, people are pretty nice here. Most of us say hi to each other when we're walking down the street, and in my first week, two elderly women initiated conversations with me without me doing anything! (Old Spanish ladies are known for/can be known for being a bit, hmm, how do I say this... observant and judgmental (((human)))? Mostly in respects to outsiders, young people, and unfamiliar things. All of which I encompass.)

All in all, it's been a good experience so far. I'd always said I wanted to live in a town for some months, and yes, I'd been thinking 3-4 months living in a mountain or beach town, but hey, God delivered on the town part anyways! And truly, if the rest of this school year goes by as quickly as the last almost two months have gone, I'm not going to have any opportunity to think, "What the heck am I going to do here for ____ months?" Also, it's insanely easy to get to Sevilla and Cordoba, both amazingly beautiful cities, and that makes it easy for me to leave and travel for the weekend. As it is, I haven't spent more than three or four weekends here since I moved. Life is going at a crazy pace, one that yes, I set, but man, it's f l y i n g ! But really, it's good. I'm learning a lot, loving a ton, and just trying to sleep enough to keep up with everything I've got going on!

Between three jobs, Italian classes twice a week, horseback riding every once in a while, an Integrated Kinesiology class in Sevilla about once a month, a banjo waiting to be learned/played, and all the bureaucratic stuff I've been dealing with, I definitely am maxing out my last months living in Spain! It's a wild time to be alive -- changes are happening all around, in all our lives, and so many opportunities to practice, learn, and apply patience. All about finding the balance in working, relaxing, and devoting enough time to serve God, help others, and enhance myself. (Which if the first two are in order, then the rest lines right up without effort!)

I hope that whatever is going on in your life, you can find time to take to be with yourself, love yourself, and breath deeply and sweetly in this beautiful world that we're blessed to be living in! Sending you endless hugs that are therapeutically long, and wishing you the best weekend!

For your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures of my beautiful, current home...

Blessings, Love & Light my magical brothers & sisters