West Coast Ways – Day Four.

A few days ago I raced up Yonge Street on my way to yoga beside a twelve-ish year old girl in the same chucks as me. She carried a skateboard, we both had our headphones in and she wore the cutest little floral skirt. We kept getting stopped at the same streetlights and when I turned left, she turned left, and when I turned right, she turned right, weaving the same path with different destinations. We were most likely listening to different tracks and worrying about different nit-picky problems and daydreaming about different ideals because there are -insert your guess here- years between us. I don’t even know if she noticed me. I just read a quote from John Steinbeck that says, ‘I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.’ Different intention but cool point. I noticed the girl because she reminded me of myself back then. A little bit of tomboy tendencies while staging the independent women status before the term ‘women’ legit fit into your life.

We spend the first half of our lives planning the future and the second half reliving the past. When does it change from one to the other?

That’s what’s on my mind as I relive the final day of San Francisco in iPhoto. It was my third time in California and each trip has settled into my life where I stood at a fork in the road and had to decide if to go right or left. Ended this trip ‘on top of the world’ in the pics below. Always search for that feeling. Until next time, SF. -k

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. – Oscar Wilde

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West Coast Ways – Day Three.

I asked a friend the other day, ‘how’s that bucketlist of yours looking?’ I found a version of mine folded up in the back of my journal this summer with the date 2006 on it. The wild part about it was that I sat there ticking off some dreams that became reality when I didn’t even realize I was putting energy into making it happen. Some were small like surf in Malibu and my continuous quest to hit every baseball stadium across the states which is a work in progress. But some were on the next level scale like host my own TV show and get a photo professionally published. I’ve been given the same advice more than once in my life from people that I admire with great respect; write down what you want even if you don’t know how you’re going to get there. And keep writing because as the pages fill up things with scribbles and scratches, things will become clearer and you’ll find yourself checking off bucketlist dreams one day too. I challenge you to try it.

One of my little wishes was visit wine country in California. So the ladies and I set foot on Sonoma Valley soil on a Sunday funday last month. Check. -k

What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create. -Buddha

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Signs.

photo-16What if I fall? Oh, my darling, what if you fly?

I do believe in signs from the universe as guidance in verifying that you are in the right place. Mom always said they’re out there, you just have to ask for them. She also said white feathers mean that your angels are with you. So white feathers are kind of a comfort thing. -k

West Coast Ways – Day Two.

It’s Friday night in Toronto and I’m sitting on my balcony while the rest of the city says cheers to the weekend and fights the urge to tame the wild child inside of them. I’m watching them chase each other down the street six floors below. It makes me kinda happy because I know that buzz of being in a good place. That feeling of letting the bad shit go.

Saturdaaaay in the park was pretty perfect in San Francisco. Dolores Park reminded me of Trinity Bellwoods here in Toronto. The eclectic people pulling together parties of four or five or fifteen on a patch of grass with a view of the city that you seed with hopes and what ifs and scary but reachable success. I’m at the age where I flutter between back then and the future, unsure of tomorrow but sure of what I want tomorrow to be. The ‘on top of the hump’ part with the anxiety but excitement for the free fall. And these mini time outs from reality to relax and laugh and discuss where you are and where you want to be with people in the same boat kind of fuel your drive. I spoke with people that ventured from across the states and Canada that all met on one blanket and unknowingly said cheers to getting here.

And the view? Well that just adds to the awesome… -k

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West Coast Ways – Day One.

You know the saying, ‘I left my heart in San Francisco’? I think you can only nod your head to it’s truth when you set foot on the hills of the city. What an incredible place. I have a bad case of fernweh and I crave packing my bags and settling somewhere in the sky for a few hours, en route to adventures that I’ve never experienced, with good music, a big book and a bag of trail mix. And a celebratory glass of wine. Especially when you’ve got your good friends flying with you. Cheers to the days ahead. Cheers to life really. Life takes you places for reasons if you take a moment to absorb it. If you take a moment to just sit still and look at what is in front of you. So I found myself in San Francisco with a few girlfriends with damn good souls. I was lucky enough to experience a little touristy exploration and some true SF local days with our friends that have settled their lives there for now.

The first couple of days we did the touristy thing as seen in the photos below. Stepping out of the house in the misty morning with coffee in hand and my camera and walking the streets, I was already in heaven. The buildings are unreal. Every house has so much character and it’s own little story. Like, who lives there? Then we grabbed a bike from Fisherman’s Wharf and I knocked off ‘bike the Golden Gate Bridge’ on the bucketlist, finishing in Sausalito with a glass of wine on the sunny waterfront. Because of the feeling in my tummy and in my skin, I already want to go back. Find things that make you feel like that. -k

And at the end of the day your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling – Shanti

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The ‘G’ word.

Growth. I’m looking at it from an entire life aspect right now. It’s way past midnight and I’m sipping on wine and there is no one to tell me that it’s time to go to bed because I’ve grown in years. I’ve aged on the calendar. But when do we stop growing in life aside from the physical? There is always a little bit of a childlike demeanour in our bones. I think it’s incredible that we don’t stop growing. With growth comes untouched opportunities and new territory. And most of the time it is fuel towards happier days. This makes me want to get out of bed in the morning.

I started crossfit and it has been about three weeks. I feel like I’m in recovery mode everyday. It feels like the muscles in my muscles are sore if that is even possible. I’ve been walking like a T Rex from sore legs all week but I’ve grown both in my physical capacity and in the ‘I can do this’ belief zone. Growth is addictive if you put effort into it because the result is matter-of-factly pretty awesome.

During one of the crossfit workouts this week where we had to run laps around the track, rotating between running forwards and backwards in the same direction, I started thinking about growth. (And the guy on my tail giving me some friendly competitive motivation.) As a self employed artist, where hustle comes with the territory and there is no 9-5 schedule to get you out of bed, you need to push a little harder. Those runners on your tail are good for you. I think this applies to taking the next step in any ‘job’. But I’ve had multiple conversations this week about the thought of going backwards before going forwards in career. It’s scary. Sometimes you need to risk that, trusting that a little slide in status, workload or paycheque will soon catapult you to bigger and better. And my run on the track that day was the perfect metaphor. It actually calmed the anxiety of some choices I need to make. Because even though I was running backwards which was so much harder, I was still running forwards around the track. Once I hit a certain point I was able to turn back around and run forwards and pick up speed.

Running has been in my life for a lot of reasons, both physical and mental, and now it’s teaching me life lessons too. Leap, soar, jump. Who would have thunk. -k

Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still. -Chinese Proverb

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Shifting Point.

In an eclectic store with a coffee shop in the front and barbershop in the back, in my city, in the west end yesterday morning..
Somewhere between crossfit challenges and catching up with the good ol’ crew for Canada Day..
While people in my city were sleeping off hangovers..
While people in my city were planning afternoon bbq menus..
While the city was my favourite type of quiet due to the midweek holiday..

I sipped my post workout coffee and had a conversation about the slight shifts of priorities and life stuff with a couple of other people who have also hit the shifting point. Some may call it a ‘get your sh*t together’ point. I know the approximate time it happened in my life but I think life experiences influence the shifting point more than age does. It didn’t come in a box with a bow on top after I blew out my birthday candles.

Change is inevitable. Progression is a choice.

Some of the discussion in that store bled into my current practices:
– For years my friends have been going out on Saturday nights while I stay home to write scripts or learn lines and meet deadlines. I’m used to it. Now that my weekends are a little bit lighter I join friends but choose to see my pillow at a decent hour too. Going to bed early and getting up early makes me feel good. It’s good to have those ‘when your latest nights are your greatest nights’ moments too. I secretly like doing the opposite of what the world is doing.
– Working out used to be for vanity purposes years back. Yes, I chose a career where looks influence opportunity so this is still amid the mix, but now it’s more for piece of mind and lengthening life. I would be even crazier than I am now without the outlet of hot yoga and long distance runs. And it becomes incredibly addicting when a physical challenge seems unreachable and then your body conquers fear. Yesterday I carried a human on my back while running a mile for crossfit. Since my mindset has shifted from vanity to quality of life, I have never been this strong, both physically and mentally.
– I have always had to eat fairly ‘clean’ due to the way my body has chosen to befriend food. But it has been pretty cool watching the people around me be influenced by it. I also commend my European upbringing. If you wanted cookies you didn’t buy them you made them. I believe in balance. I believe in eating a good piece of pizza and a beer. I’m far from perfect but I strive for real food to trump processed food because there are so many positives. My fella would nod to it after spending some time with me and shifting his outlook as a foodie. Do people give me a hard time when I pass on a burger and fries? Absolutely. At first it was difficult understanding why I was judged for choices out of my control and what seemed like smart ones. It was a health choice I had to live by that in the end has led me down a good path. There are some pretty crazy additives out there. I prefer to keep that stuff in the soles of my shoes and not my burger bun.
– Sleep more. This is coming from an insomniac that gets her creative peak at 2am. Naps save lives.
Surround yourself with people that provide fuel to being your ultimate self. There’s healthy competitive and destructive competitive amoung friends. I’ve experienced both and it’s mind-blowing that the latter exists. Say yes to social time with new people. They can you bring you things that you’ve been missing or unconsciously looking for.
–  Read books and take notes that help make you a better human. There is guidance everywhere.
– Do things for others without the need for thank yous. Pretend there has been an apology where there wasn’t one to help close chapters.
– Figure out where you want to put your energy. It’s precious. So is time. Fill it well.

The less you give a damn about what others think, the happier you will be. 

These are just a few shifts that have helped open doors and bring a little more happy around me that I talked about with good people yesterday morning. It’s like when friends start getting married and having kids and you have crossed that line or you haven’t. And you meet people who are on the same side of the line as you.

The other day while I was swearing under my breath about the humidity during my hills workout my motivation showed up. A  man asked me what I was doing out there on such a hot day. I told him I like challenges but it’s hard today. He told me he’s 68 years old and loves a nice, hot day for running. He runs regular 5K and 10K races. Then he asked me if I want to race up the hill for a few rounds. He kept pace the entire time. I want to be like him when I grow up. But the only way that it’s going to happen is if I keep bringing more good things over the line onto this new side of my shifting point. -k

That’s the best revenge of all; happiness. Nothing drives people crazier than seeing someone have a good f’ing life. – Chuck Palahniuk

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