The Flow Must Go On!

Mendo Flow Dojo at CircusMECCA's Halloween Party. Photo by Keith Wyner.
Mendo Flow Dojo at CircusMECCA’s Halloween Party. Photo by Keith Wyner.

It turns out that fall is just as busy as summer, if not more, and the changing seasons have certainly kept me on my toes. After our final festival trip of the year to Pacific Fire Gathering in September, we got right back to busily working our little tushies off. Weekends have been full of picking up extra work, jam jamming, and staying local, which has been so nice! We started October with a camping trip at Usal on the nearby Lost Coast for a friend’s birthday, and finished it with two shows in the bay area and then a kickass fire performance with our local circus school, CircusMECCA, at their Halloween street party in Mendocino.

I’ve started canning for fall, cleaning up from one season and preparing for the next in the garden, and enjoying a little more time to catch up on things around the house. But after the busiest year of my life, the to do list is still long as the holidays approach and the festival production season kicks off again soon with Lucidity (tickets are just now going on sale at 9am 11/3… which means another cycle begins and I will be quite busy). And the bills never end, so crush mode must remain engaged!

Fire Hoop at Once Upon a Festival. Photo by Zac Krohn / Clapping Porpoise Studios.
Fire Hoop at Once Upon a Festival. Photo by Zac Krohn / Clapping Porpoise Studios.

With a bit more time on my hands, I’ve finally gotten around to creating a Facebook page for my flow arts performance persona, Twisty Pixie.  Since James has had a page (Flicker) for a while now and we often perform together, I needed a place to gather photos & videos of my flow arts performances. I wanted to create something I can promote with and use as a contact point to get new performing gigs. Hopefully this is just the beginning. We have some pretty big dreams and it’s awesome to be getting such a great response when we share what we love doing with the world.

Our Halloween performance was a lot of fun, and we busted out more props and a longer set than ever for our third year performing with the amazingly talented folks at CircusMECCA. We dressed as fire ninjas and James made a mix of kung fu inspired music, and though we’ve both been so busy that we didn’t get much practice time in before the show, we got a great response from the crowd and hopefully got some new locals interested in the flow arts. We continue to host spin jams in town on most Thursday evenings, and perform together under the same name as our spin jam group, Mendo Flow Dojo.

Performing at Paige & Trent's Wedding in May.
Performing at Paige & Trent’s Wedding in May.

We even made the front page of the local paper, Mendocino Beacon, (and page 5) with fire photos from our Halloween performance and Mendo Flow Dojo got a mention! Granted, Mendocino is tiny so making the front page isn’t exactly difficult, but still, fire spinning on the front page! Fancy pants!

Our fire performance on Halloween made the front page of the Mendocino Beacon!
Our fire performance on Halloween made the front page of the Mendocino Beacon!
James got a photo on page 5 of the Mendocino Beacon
James got a photo on page 5 of the Mendocino Beacon

We only had a few official gigs this year (when we do so many things it’s hard to focus on practicing and our performance business as much as we’d like) but life is good when you can do what you love and actually get compensated for it! It gives me hope to see that the world still values art and creativity enough to support some pretty talented and amazing artists, and I am so grateful to have met and know a few of them personally! The flow life is the good life, and I am super excited for the next chapter in this adventure…

Hopefully lots more fun gigs are in our future, a promo video, and a web site for fire performance and flow arts education. If we know any photographers or videographers who are interested in capturing fire performance and going on a few flow arts photo shoots in beautiful local locations, hit us up! We are hoping to collaborate on a few photo shoots and we’re always looking for help capturing our shows. Thanks so much for your support!

James at our Mendo Flow Dojo Halloween performance. Photo by Keith Wyner.
James at our Mendo Flow Dojo Halloween performance. Photo by Keith Wyner.

Performance is not something I ever thought I would do professionally or even get into at all, especially with dance, silly shapes and dangerous fire as my medium. But sharing what I love with the world, engaging people in playful performances, and inspiring others to dance, move, and explore themselves has been a beautiful journey and I am so grateful that I can share this passion with my partner. It was, after all, a fire performance we were both asked to do at a Halloween party a few years ago that started our friendship and our love story. And this fire is still burning bright… because the flow must go on! <3

Performing at Paige & Trent's Wedding in May.
Performing at Paige & Trent’s Wedding in May.

Sweet September Summertime Magic

It’s hard for me to believe that it’s late September already. This year has truly flown by… I suppose that happens when you’re living the dream!

This weekend James and I embark on our last festival adventure of the year, and our second flow arts retreat this year, Pacific Fire Gathering. We went for the first time last year and it was one of our favorite weekends ever. I am so ready to finish up a packed festival season with one final family reunion ~ an intimate, flow arts focused retreat of our spinnerd flowmies on the beautiful Oregon coast. We can’t wait!

We are still recovering from Enchanted Forest… Wow. My heart swells with the memories made, the hard work and little sleep, the bonds cemented and the family found. I am so ridiculously grateful that even thinking about it brings me to tears… Just… Wow. Thank you.

Flower of Life at the Dance Temple

I have truly busted my ass this year, but it doesn’t always feel like work, even when I’m going from one job to the next to the next and staying up late working. Some of it has been familiar territory, but most of it has been completely new to me. It’s been a steep learning curve and I still have so much more to learn and explore. Thankfully I have been able to work with inspiring people and branch out to social media marketing and event production while keeping my part-time web design contract with PETA, providing some stability while I expand my skill set in new areas after hours. But quite honestly, I’m ready to hibernate for the winter and catch up on my web design training and flow arts practice again! After a decade of doing design work, getting into a new field and getting involved with producing some of my favorite events has been a breath of fresh air to my life and I am so excited to keep doing ALL THE THINGS!

Enchanted Forest marked the culmination of working on three consecutive festival production cycles with three (somewhat overlapping) really amazing teams. In addition to social media and marketing support, I also helped co-coordinate the Flow Zone at EF this year, one of eight workshop areas focused on flow arts and spinning. We had a small workshop area near the main stage shaded by beautiful oak trees, and every time I walked by, the area was full of happy people learning new moves and props. I was SO proud to see so much play and joy happening in that space, well attended workshops and lots of beginners trying flow arts for the first time.

EF Flow Zone

 

There was a moment on Sunday afternoon that completely made my weekend… I was hanging out with friends dancing to Chali 2na and behind us, in the flow zone, we saw a toddler wearing nothing but a diaper and ear protection rocking out with his dad, both with shiny new flow wands they’d gotten from Aileen Lawlor’s workshop. The dad was practicing his flow to the music while the little guy held his wand in the middle, dancing around clumsily and waving it in his hand with a huge grin on his face. They rocked out together all afternoon in blissful moments of the most adorable flow magic. Just one of many magical memories…

We were posting to social media throughout the event, but since the wifi hot spots onsite were painfully slow, Jonah and I had to drive into Laytonville each day to get posts scheduled, check messages, and update our networks to rally the family to our gates. We still have quite a bit of space at Black Oak Ranch to fill, but we had a bunch of on-site ticket sales especially on Sunday. We had a huge media team, a big expansion of offerings with 8 different workshop areas, 4 stages and a variety of music programming, awesome performance artists, a sexy sauna and bathhouse, and a brand new beautiful venue to enjoy as the fruits of our months of work and organization, so there was a LOT going on and I was running all over the place working on a little of everything (and playing too – one can never be too busy for an impromptu photo shoot).

Photo by Edward Clynes
Photo by Edward Clynes

Though our fire spinning performance time was cut short, I got to fire hoop on the main stage with Liquid Stranger and James and I even got to meet him afterwards. We also got to watch Koan Sound from backstage, get our minds melted by Ott, get serenaded to sleep from the nearby Dance Temple, and we had sound in our camp with Acacia Beats and all kinds of guest DJs playing throughout the weekend. The performances were top notch, the music was amazing, but it was the people I shared the weekend with that really made this one memorable.

Camp Higher Porpoise Peeps

In between running around everywhere and working, I did get to enjoy some of the festival. It was awesome getting to hang out with friends from Lucidity, Once Upon a Festival and other festivals, flowmies from flow fests, local friends, our Enchanted Forest and Camp Mendoland families… but seeing us all coming all together and creating Camp Higher Porpoise this year was simply mind-blowing and heartwarming. James’s DJ crew Acacia Beats and a bunch of our Mendo friends joined forces with the fine folks we camp with at Raindance (which was canceled this year) to create the most amazing glampfest I have ever been lucky enough to be a part of. We rented a huge tent, had power and sound, a yoga swing, carpet and squish, lights and a badass lounge area in our camp just behind the Dance Temple. So many friends from various parts of our lives collaborated on a theme camp that was so plush, we had people asking what part of the festival we were and producers and musicians coming back again and again to hang out, play music, or get buffed with the car buffer on the massage table. SO GOOD. My friends are such badasses and DAMN do we know how to have a good time. Camp Higher Porpoise / Mendoland, we fucking rock!

The Raising of the Porpoise

The weekend went pretty smoothly but of course it flew by way too fast. As we worked, played, learned, connected, and danced, my heart swelled. This is where I was meant to be. These are my people. And I actually helped make this magic happen! Like I said, WOW.

But Enchanted Forest was not the last of our summer adventures. For Labor Day weekend, James and I drove up to Boise, Idaho to hang out with my family. We stayed at the family cabin in the beautiful mountains of McCall with my grandparents, parents, aunt, and my sister, her fiancé, and their adorable dog Bisbee.

We ate well, caught up, did a little planning for my sister’s wedding next summer (!!!!!), took a boat ride around Payette Lake and rode bikes in Ponderosa State Park. It was a long overdue and really nice visit, but I’m glad we’ll be going back for Christmas because it wasn’t quite enough family time. James got to meet more of my family and he really bonded with our fur-niece, he and Bis are SUPER tight now. 😉 She was a bit terrified of the boat though…

Family Time in McCall

As we’ve been decompressing and preparing for one last hurrah this weekend, I have enjoyed being home, cooking delicious food from my garden, and playing catch up after a whirlwind production season. I am SO looking forward to this fall, when I can stay home for a while, catch up on design and flow training, clean and purge our house so we can look for a new one, hibernate with my babycakes and just RELAX for a bit. Thankfully the next trip after PacFire will be for Thanksgiving, when I finally get to meet James’s mom in Southern California.

Whew! Life sure has been amazing lately. Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky I am to be living it. Thank you all so much for being a part of this magical journey!

And now I leave you with some inspiring words from Prince Ea, whose videos I’ve been digging lately:

 

 

 

Under the Spell of Enchanted Forest

EF Family

Having been to so many gatherings and festivals of all types and sizes over the past dozen or so years, I would think it would be more difficult for me to choose a favorite. A few years ago I probably would’ve said Burning Man was my favorite, and it is truly amazing and unique, for sure… but the event that’s had my heart the past few years is my favorite for many different reasons. Let me tell you the tale…

In 2011, a seed was planted here in Mendocino County. In 2012, I discovered and attended my first Enchanted Forest Gathering in the beautiful redwoods of Camp Navarro about 45 minutes down the coast from my house. Not sure what to expect but lured by the most delicious of bass music lineups, I set up camp with two of my best burner buddies, Fern and Koji, in a towering redwood grove. We watched as the Boy Scout camp was transformed into a glittering wonderland of art, music, beautiful people, sweet little environments and altars, silly play and lots of color. We danced in the glow of a giant flower of life that changed colors as it lit up the crowd and stayed up all night because the music was just too good, Random Rab played at sunrise and I had a flow wand dancing partner that just wouldn’t quit!

Megan and Fern at Enchanted Forest 2012

Being at Enchanted Forest my first year, I felt like I had stumbled into a secret coven of magical fairy folk. Everyone I met and encountered simply radiated love and positive energy. There was an element of ceremony, of holding sacred space, more so than other events I had been to, but it wasn’t pretentious or overly woo-woo, simply in the background was an understanding that we were engaging in something meaningful, more than just a party. Though it was also one of the sauciest parties I’d ever witnessed, without any of the sloppy sauce due to its alcohol-free status. I have never seen dancers so in sync with each other, a dance floor so full of smiles, or reluctantly dragged my tired ass to bed with a bigger smile on my face as I have at Enchanted Forest Gatherings… And this reaction is not uncommon, our community quickly become family and everyone who has been simply gushes about the top-notch production, over the top decor and ambiance, amazingly epic stage design, lighting, music, and performance, but most of all… the smiles, the joy, the LOVE. Be still, my heart… it’s coming up again soon!

Random Rab EF Sunrise 2012

Wanting to be more involved with such a stellar local festival, in 2013 I signed up to volunteer. My job was to help decorate the teahouse stage and to paint and put up signs all over the venue, and I got to meet more of the amazing people involved with organizing the festival. But what made that year most special for me was that Enchanted Forest was the first music festival that James and I attended together, shortly after we started dating.  It was also the first time I’d seen him DJ or perform at a festival, so I got to see the audience in awe and think “that’s MY boyfriend up there on that stage. Clearly I am WINNING at life!”

Blissed Out

I have so many beautiful memories of that weekend but what stands out most is getting to see Flicker absolutely crush it on stage DJing with Acacia Beats. He shared a set with his homies on Friday evening, on the most epic stage I had ever seen, a beautiful work of art nestled in a fairy ring of redwood trees with a waterfall and crystal altar underneath it. (Audiowaska knows what is up with stage design, and has been involved with Enchanted Forest ever since).  He was SO pumped to be up there, he was dancing harder than anyone in the crowd below, and I got to hoop to the whole set, sneak up to the stage to get a few photos, and watch in awe as my sexy new man did his thing. I still have a photo of him DJing on that stage as my desktop background; it is almost the sexiest thing I have ever seen (second only to him spinning fire, of course).

Flicker Gettin' It

We got to spin in the fire circle and on the performance platform to some pretty amazing music that year, had a great time goofing around with all our friends in camp, and become part of the Enchanted Forest family.

Last year Enchanted Forest was faced with quite the logistical challenge when it had to move venues just a week or two before the event. But this gathering just HAD to happen, and so the crew found a new venue last minute and it was held at Stone Bear near Tahoe on the beautiful (and cold) Yuba River. Even with having to move the entire festival hundreds of miles away, the weekend went off without a hitch. This family is resilient, creative, and capable!

Get Frisky Kitty!

Acacia Beats got to DJ again on another mind-blowing stage, and once again I volunteered as an assistant to the production team, this time brought in by Tulku himself, who James and I had gotten to know a bit better since we’d been involved with some of his parties and I’d started helping his lovely lady Amae with her Amae-zing clothing line, Amae Love Designs. I helped prepare the cabins for artists, check in artists and staff at the box office, and ran errands for artist relations. And I got to wear the ‘Saucy Squad’ laminate like a real part of the team!

Mr. Bill and Opiuo melted our faces, we spun fire and snuggled to stay warm in the crisp mountain air, and we danced down by the river and on top of the hill overlooking the Sierra Nevadas. It wasn’t our usual redwood home in Mendocino, but 2014 proved that it wasn’t the forest we gathered in that mattered, it was the community that made Enchanted Forest home. No matter where we danced together, with this crew, there was always magic in store… the air sparkled with it as the beats echoed through the trees. Everywhere I looked, people were smiling, hugging, connecting, creating, expressing, and most of all DANCING.

EF Family

Even though I didn’t officially begin working in festival production as a staff member until a few months later when Tulku brought me on to the Foreverland (now Once Upon a Festival) marketing team last summer, I consider Enchanted Forest to be the festival where I got my start in event production. I started as an attendee and got more involved each year. A lot of my friends are involved, whether performing, volunteering, staff, or playing the ever so crucial role of attendee, and it’s about an hour from our house. I have learned and grown so much because of my experiences at this event and connected with some truly amazing people. If there is one transformational festival I could encourage everyone I know and love to attend, one closest to my heart, it would without a doubt be Enchanted Forest Gathering.

Night Time at EF

This year marks 5 years of Enchanted Forest, and my fourth and most involved year yet. In the span of less than a year I have gone from scrambling to save or volunteer or street team for events such as this just so I could afford to attend, to this year being a part of the production crew that makes it happen as a production and marketing assistant. It’s almost too good to be true, and I still can’t believe this is my life and I get to work with such a superstar team of jedis!

And speaking of almost too good to be true, Enchanted Forest will not only be returning home to Mendocino County this year, but we’ll be dancing under the beautiful ancient oak trees of the legendary Black Oak Ranch, the old home of Earthdance, my former favorite local festival that ended in 2010. This means our community has some room to grow, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about this family, it’s that EF will always be true to our roots.  This move also opens up more possibilities and allows us to expand Enchanted Forest’s offerings to include a wider variety of music, eight different workshop areas, and all kinds of sanctuaries and environments to explore.

Enchanted Forest 2015 Lineup

One of the things I am most excited about this year, besides this amazing music lineup of course, is the addition of the Flow Zone at Enchanted. Kandice of Holistic Hooping and I are co-coordinating the space this year, and we are super excited to be bringing in about 10 amazingly talented flow arts instructors and performers. We’ll have workshops during all three days of the festival covering a variety of flow arts props and disciplines — it will be like a mini flow fest within my favorite festival! There will be a few flow vendors and a specific space in the back of the main concert bowl set aside for spinning things, practice, and play. It’s truly a dream come true and coordinating the workshops has been really exciting! I am so incredibly grateful to be on this team.

Clearly I could go on and on about this gathering, but I’ve written more than enough to share my experience, and this event is truly something you must experience for yourself, because words and photos simply can’t do it justice.  There is just something about being at Enchanted Forest, surrounded by the colorful forest critters on the dance floor, soaking up all the love being shared, moving your body to incredible music and witnessing masterpieces unfolding before your eyes… it’s more than just another transformational festival. I always say being with my festy family is going home, but Enchanted Forest is like Grandma’s house, all smiles and fresh baked pumpkin pie and more love than could ever be contained. I hope you’ll come home with me this year. It’ll be the most enchanting yet…

Take the LEAP! <3 We got you.

The Next Adventure Awaits, Once Upon a Festival

I have been far too busy finishing up with Lucidity and then jumping right into my new role with Once Upon a Festival to post an update as of late, oh festival season problems!

This past weekend I got to return to FireDrums for my third time. This year was an amazing experience at a beautiful intimate little venue. I took lots of excellent workshops and learned so much from awesome instructors. The talent in the Flowcase was jaw-dropping (OMG WES PEDEN, HOLY SHIT!) and I got to spend time with my flowmily. It was so good to be back after missing last year. But more on that later…

Once Upon a Festival Lineup
Pretty excited about the Once Upon a Festival music lineup!

In less than two weeks I’ll be at Once Upon a Festival, which was called Foreverland last year and was the event that really got me started working behind the scenes in festival production and marketing. This epic event will be a creative collaboration between several of my favorite festivals, sound camps, and production companies (like Envision, Raindance, Enchanted Forest and Lucidity) and once again we’ll be gathering at the beautiful East Park Reservoir in Colusa County, CA. Except this year the lake is FULL and we’ll have even more magic in store for you! Year two will most definitely be a level up!

I am stoked to be a marketing assistant this year, as well as the street team coordinator and the on-site media team coordinator for Once Upon a Fest. As usual, I am wearing lots of hats at once and enjoying the variety. It’s been exciting seeing this event take shape over the past couple of months. We are making some awesome improvements this year and there are a lot of talented, dedicated, and brilliant people involved in producing this event. It is certainly an honor to be a part of this team, and especially to have been a part of its fruition since the beginning. To say that I’m excited to see what adventures and shenanigans await us on our journey this year is an understatement! I hope you’ll check it out and help spread the word!

Once Upon a Festival will feature a variety of workshops covering all kinds of topics like movement, yoga, permaculture, and flow arts. A treehouse stage, pirate ship stage, and floating stage on the lake will provide 24 hour music in a variety of genres and quality sound. Branches Mobile Gallery of Lucidity fame will be setting up a display of inspiring visual art, and several art installations, performance artists and live painters will be in attendance. Lots of shaded chill spaces, a nectar healing temple for self-care, interesting vendors, and colorful characters are sure to make an appearance. Theme camps and creative costumes are highly encouraged – and I may even get to help award prizes for the most clever costumes I spot on site! Fun!

Live Your Own Fairy Tale at Once Upon a Festival

Hope you can join me at Once Upon a Fest! Message me for a discount code good for $10 off your tickets – 3-day, 2-day, and 1-day passes are currently on sale, as are meal passes, early arrival passes, and car camping passes. This festival is on the rise and definitely one to watch. Jump on board and Live Your Own Fairy Tale!

Happy Birthday to Me, Indeed!

D’awwww… I feel like I’ve been adopted into this awesome loving family of brilliant creative jedis of compassion and light and change. Hearing their gratitude totally made me cry at our Lucidity​ marketing debrief meeting last night. My team is just so wonderful! And I’m a total sap.

As the marketing team discussed what worked and what didn’t about our work and Lucidity this year, it became apparent that I have really stumbled into something special here. It has been such an honor to work with you all and I have learned so much in so many ways from this experience.

Working at Lucidity: This is my job. Amazing!
Working at Lucidity: This is my job. Amazing!

I left my first Lucidity Festival feeling very proud of my involvement and my hard work the past few months, but also just simply awestruck and inspired and blissed out by the people, the stories, and the energy that create the event and the community surrounding it. Just WOW. I left saying “yeah, this is something I can feel good about promoting/selling/blabbing all over social media and to all my friends about/dedicating my time to/staying up late working on/etc.” and so very aligned with everything Lucidity is creating.

This is big for me, as this whole marketing / promotion thing is pretty new to me and I refuse to work with organizations I can’t align with and believe in. I invest myself very heavily into my work and everything I am involved in, my inner artist and workaholic just can’t help but pour every ounce of creative energy, heart, and soul into my projects and my work – especially when the project is particularly inspiring or meaningful to me. This one must have struck an artery…

Scenes of Lucidity 2015: Kindred Quest
Scenes of Lucidity 2015: Kindred Quest

I feel like I just went to jedi superhuman badass training camp or something. You are all AMAZING humans. Thank you for trusting me, pushing me, inspiring me, collaborating and sharing and welcoming me into your family. Thank you for your patience, your understanding, for reading all my unnecessarily wordy e-mails and for adapting along with me to new processes. Thank you for spoiling me rotten the moment I arrived on site, a warm place to work, cold pressed coffee on tap, sweet Lucidiswag, and OMG the FOOD!!! Thank you for making it possible for my sweetie to join me for the weekend at Lucidity – I felt like my life was utterly complete getting to spend time with him, some of my good friends, my amazing team, and so many new friends all at once in such a beautiful place. Wait, and I got paid for this?! I must be dreaming… oh wait, we all are… co-creating a stunningly beautiful future that I have only begun to glimpse and am SO excited to help reveal…

I must give a few shout outs in gratitude… Reuben Smith – THANK YOU for contacting me about openings in the marketing department at Lucidity the end of last year and recommending me for a position. I owe you a beer, a bottle of kombucha, and/or a really huge hug! Hope to see you at Once Upon a Festival!

To James ‘Jaymo’ Barnard, who I worked very closely with the past few months – you are a rock star and I’m not sure how you do it all! You were an absolute joy to work with, always easy to talk to, kind, supportive, and brilliant. To Jonah Haas, Noah Crowe, Wolfbear, Sabrina Calderon, Matt (Rodriguez and Rideout), Victory, Meow, and WAY too many other people to finish this list… Thank you for welcoming me into the fold, showing me the ropes, and being your amazingly badass, hard working, inspiring and superhuman selves! I am so impressed and awed by everyone I encountered at Lucidity. I have found a home in the transformational festival community and especially a few small, like-minded and inspiring events that I am lucky enough to work with on a regular basis now. Lucky me!!!

To my partner James, thank you for being so supportive, flexible, and for putting up with my utter failure to cook a proper meal for weeks on end and all my late nights of work and going to bed before me. And I am SO grateful that you got to join me for the weekend at Lucidity last minute and make my week even  more complete! And to all my friends who I have not seen much of these past few months, I miss you! My campmates at Lucidity also helped make it an amazing weekend I’ll never forget… so much gratitude!

Beautiful Lucidity Memories - So Much Love!
Beautiful Lucidity Memories – So Much Love!

I’m here as long as you’ll have me, Lucidity family, and that goes for the larger transformational festival community as well. I thought going to these events for a decade plus would change my life, but WOW does being part of the team producing them do so even more…

On the horizon for work (and play) is Once Upon a Festival in June, which is the same crew as Foreverland last year, with a few new additions and a new name. I will be assisting with the marketing team and doing some street team and media team management this year; I just got up to speed and activated for my new role! And then Northern Nights in July, a local festival in the redwoods on the Mendo/Humboldt county line that I am street teaming for. And my home sweet Mendo favorite, Enchanted Forest, will be returning to Mendocino county this year and I am thrilled to have been offered a position as a Production Assistant for this year. It’s gonna be a busy summer! Hope to see you at one of these stellar events!

As I close in on my 32nd birthday, I feel like this entire year, maybe this entire life, has been one great big beautiful birthday gift. I always was a late bloomer, and I feel like I’m finally starting to create a balance amidst the chaos and variety that is all of my jobs, my projects, my relationships and connections and my dreams. I have been blessed in countless ways over the years, but damn! Life is REALLY starting to get juicy as of late and I feel like I’m hitting my stride!

We are going out dancing Saturday night and meeting friends for brunch with a view on Sunday at Little River Inn to celebrate my birthday this year. I’m looking forward to keeping it simple and having fun with my Mendo friends and celebrating life this weekend. There is certainly much to celebrate this spring!

Boy is this getting good or what?! I can’t wait to see what’s around the next bend…

April Fools in Love

Kissy kissy with our Sprinkletons

I have never been able to pull of a believable April Fools prank (I’m a terrible liar) but I think our little joke actually got some people today! Hehehehe! APRIL FOOLS!

Last night James and I joked about pulling something silly on Facebook for April 1st. We decided it would be hilarious to see everyone’s reactions if we “broke up” and changed our statuses on Facebook to “single.” Then this morning as we both logged in and were about to do it, James saw all the relationship status options and decided it would be even funnier to pretend to be engaged. Plus it’s a little more positive, don’t wanna jinx ourselves! So we counted down and both changed the status at the same time (which was very reminiscent of the day we decided to make our new relationship “Facebook official” almost two years ago…). The likes and comments started flowing in immediately, but James had to go to work and I had a full day ahead of me, so we went on with our days. (The photos Facebook chose to display are a little odd, right? I proposed with a hat pin – see!)

Engagement April Fools Joke

Thankfully a few of our friends know us well enough to know that this was a prank and started calling our bluff. I got a text from my best friend in Idaho saying “You can’t play with my emotions like that! ;)” and the sweet congratulatory comments kept rolling in, while it seemed that more people caught on to the joke on his post than mine… It has been really hard not to totally give it away!

And now I am going to feel a bit bad when I have to break this news to all of our family and friends… because it’s incredibly sweet seeing all these comments and all this support. Apparently we’re not the only ones who think we make an epic match! And I’m also very glad we decided to get fake engaged instead of fake break up, because then everyone would be panicked and sad instead of excited and happy for us – though maybe that one wouldn’t have been as believable? 🙂

This has been fun! Best April Fools joke I’ve attempted yet! I really wasn’t expecting to fool so many people! But this little prank has also made me realize many things about this very special and amazing relationship that I am so lucky to be in.

For the first time in my life, I am with someone that I completely trust with my heart and my life. I am with someone that I am overjoyed to share life with and proud to call my partner in crime, and someone who feels the same way about me. But most importantly, I am finally with someone that truly sees and values my worth and is not afraid to let me shine (or loudly speak my mind, or express myself however I see fit) as I walk by their side, and someone who treats me as a complete equal. Realizing this fact simply FLOORS me with gratitude.

I have not always been so lucky, as many who have known me for a while know, and I have never felt so well matched.  It’s nice that other people can see that too.

The thing is, I don’t have any fears of James walking out of my life, but I actually like the fact that he is completely free to do so if he chooses. We are both very independent creatures by nature, but our bond and the unspoken commitment we have is the strongest force I have ever felt. I know he’s a hottie and that others are quite likely going to notice that, but for some reason I don’t feel the heat of jealousy rise up in my chest when I think about him with other women or see him talk to someone attractive. I know I have nothing to worry about. And I hope he knows the same. I don’t even need to bother filling my head with such nonsense. Knowing this feels amazing, because it was not always the case for me in the past.

The notion of legitimizing love with a legally binding contract completely kills the romance for me. Which is odd, because I am a total sap who cries her eyes out at romantic comedies (or even overly sappy commercials) and has to remember to wear waterproof mascara and bring tissues to weddings. I have no problem with long-term commitment or the idea of marriage. I love weddings and children, but I don’t really have a desire for either in my own life, and I’m not sure if I ever genuinely have. I’ve found that my relationships are happiest without the pressure that comes along with expectations of having to take things to the next step. And I never ever again want my partner to have to be asked when he’s going to “make an honest woman out of me” – blech! Thankfully, I found someone who feels very similarly and allowing our relationship to unfold naturally has created the most beautiful love story I could have ever imagined.

I much prefer to think of a romantic relationship, of true love, as a choice we make every single day. Every day I wake up next to the sexiest man alive and I say “YES” to him and to us. I CHOOSE HIM every single day, and day in and day out, HE CHOOSES ME. We don’t make this choice because of some commitment or promise we have spoken, we don’t choose it because society expects us to, or because of a legal contract, a financial obligation, or even a sense of duty, we are free to choose anything or anyone in this world, and yet we choose each other in every moment and every chance we get. And that, to me, is fucking BEAUTIFUL. Why mess with a good thing?

I’m pretty unconventional and I loathe being told what to do (especially by societal norms – ha! patriarchy, you can suck it!) – so I know this attitude is not for everyone and I have no judgement towards anyone who feels differently… To me, having the freedom to choose anything you want, but choosing to love and be with a particular person over and over again, is WAY more meaningful than spending a small fortune on ring and a wedding and then signing a legal document saying you’ll only love that person for the rest of your days or else deal with stressful legal bullshit on top of an already stressful breakup. (And don’t even get me started on the moral qualms I have about the diamond industry…). Not to say that I am totally against marriage or we’ll never do it, but if we had the kind of money for an engagement ring and a party, we would be buying property and traveling around the world. I don’t even like wearing rings!

A few of our friends picked up on the joke in our posts today, and we thank them for knowing us so well. And for those who we tricked and who are slightly disappointed, we’re sorry, we know it would be one hell of a party… er… more like a festival…

So, sorry if you totally fell for our little April Fools’ joke on Facebook today… hehehe! We’ve been laughing our asses off about it all day while we’ve kept you in suspense! But seriously, even this perpetually online, social media obsessed nerd would have more class than to announce an engagement with a relationship status update on Facebook—our families and close friends would all be bombarded with at least ten sappy kissy-faces-with-ring-bling photos via text message before anything ever reached social media. And yes, mom, you would definitely be getting a phone call right off the bat! (Not sure if my mom saw the shenanigans today on Facebook today, to be honest… she might know me too well to be fooled, though).

We may not have any plans to make this thing “official” any time soon, but we are touched by all your comments and words of support. It’s good to know I picked a good one this time! I think I’ll keep him! For as long as he’ll have me, at least…

We make an epic team and we’re glad everyone in our lives agrees, but we don’t need a legal contract or a ring to know that. Power couple status is plenty good for us for now. Here’s to many more adventures together!

Zip Line Canopy Tour on Ometepe, Nicaragua 2014

Learning to Juggle (Metaphorically)

You never quite know what you’re capable of until you try to do it ALL. AT. ONCE.

I should really take up juggling… I feel like I have a lot of practice already, at least in the metaphorical sense!

In less than two weeks, I will be on-site at Lucidity, which is a bit hard for me to believe. Apparently time not only flies when you’re having fun, it soars by even faster when you’re busy as hell. There are only a few hundred tickets left, which means my job isn’t quite done, but if you’re thinking about joining us, you’d better act fast! Don’t forget to use my promo code ‘meganpru’ for $5 off your ticket!  You could also WIN a ticket by submitting a video inviting a loved one to join you at Lucidity! It’s gonna be pretty awesome…

Photo by David Pricco at Lucidity 2013.
Photo by David Pricco at Lucidity 2013.

As I go from one job to the next to the next each day, I am constantly in awe of how much my teammates and I manage to do and keep track of. I am most certainly among real-life jedis, that’s the only explanation for this level of badassery. I am learning a lot, from the intricacies of formatting and timing Facebook posts for best engagement to tricks for keeping things organized in Google Drive, but mostly how to manage my time and maintain balance with so much on my plate(s) and such long hours spent on screens.

I’ve come to realize that perhaps five jobs is a few too many, but I am grateful that a few of them are seasonal, and there’s not as many hours when it’s not a festival production cycle. I am counting my lucky stars that Lucidity, Forever Everland, and Enchanted Forest are all nicely spaced at two months apart this summer! Two part time jobs is plenty, though the extra few hours a week from the other three sure is nice to have. I am finally getting somewhere on saving some money, paying things off, and being able to make some long-awaited purchases like a new external hard drive that I’ve needed for YEARS now. I hardly leave the house since there’s always work to do, but when I do, it’s to do awesome things like celebrate Holi, the festival of color celebrated each spring in India, on the beach for a friend’s birthday, or soaking in mineral hot springs all day with my love… So I’m ok with the work-life balance I’m tenuously clinging to. 😉

And speaking of Holi… man was that fun! These are just a few of the fun photos I took:

Holi2 Holi3 Holi4 Holi5