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…

31 Lessons I’ve Learned in 31 Years

Full Moon at Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua 2014I’m not sure that I’m ready to turn 31 on Saturday, simply because the past year has been the best year of my life and I don’t see how I could possibly top it. But the best is yet to come, right? I feel like I am just starting to hit my stride and figure things out in life. I guess I’m a late bloomer. I’m also just kinda glad that my 20s are over.

This year on my birthday, I will be performing with friends from Mendocino Moonlight Flow Arts at Noyo Food Forest‘s Earth Day Festival at the Learning Garden at the Fort Bragg high school (we’re on at 2:30). NFF is a great local organization and if you get there early, you might be able to snag some goodies at their plant sale. The day before, we’ll be celebrating with a few friends at B. Bryan Preserve, a local wildlife preserve that houses giraffes, antelopes, and most importantly ZEBRAS in big open tracts of land in nearby Point Arena. If you know me at all, you know that I love zebra print and zebras are my power animal. So to say that I’m excited to see the zebras is a bit of an understatement!

The older I get, the faster time goes, and the more I seem to learn from everyday life. I may have forgotten most of high school chemistry and at least half those art history facts I had to memorize in college, but I’ve picked up a few hard-earned life lessons in my 31 years. So in no particular order, here are 31 things I’ve learned that are worth passing on:

  1. Don’t wrap your life too tightly around any one person or thing — no one holds the reigns to your life except you. You create your own reality. Don’t be in the passenger seat of your own life — drive it like it’s hot!
  2. In general, people are good-hearted, and if you treat them based upon this assumption, you’ll find that more often than not, it’s true. Be careful and observant, but don’t be so guarded that you close yourself off to new people and experiences.
  3. Seek balance. Happiness comes naturally when you and your life are in a state of balance. Balance work and play, balance your time among passions and people, balance your own needs with those of your loved ones and the world. Seek the middle path between the extremes.
  4. The only constant is change. It is the ONLY thing in life you can count on happening for sure.
  5. You are not entitled to anything in life, so don’t expect anything to be easy or free and assume nothing. Anything you are given is a gift. Be grateful for everything you have, for many others have much less. Express gratitude often.
  6. We do not forget how to play because we grow old, we grow old because we forget how to play. Free, joyous, expressive play is essential to keeping childlike wonder in your life. You are never too old to play! This is why flow arts are so awesome.
  7. Every person you meet is a window to another world. You expand your own world by opening your heart to others.
  8. There is nothing more sacred than life. Every living being has a presence, value, and a voice. We might not be able to hear it, but if we try hard enough, we can feel it. All life is connected in one symbiotic web.
  9. We are all in this together. Cooperate and communicate. We’ll get a lot further working together than by focusing on what divides us and working against each other.
  10. Humans are not separate from nature. We are nature. The further we remove ourselves from it, the further we get from our true selves and the more sick our society becomes. The more we try to understand the cosmos, live in harmony with nature’s rhythms and work with nature instead of against it, the more sustainable and happy our lives will be.
  11. All of the answers, and all of the questions, are within each of us. The essential truths do not need to be dictated to us from authority figures, dogma, politics, religion, society, or other people. Truth can be found by simply being, silently focusing, and looking within. Your truth is your own, all you have to do is seek it out.
  12. Listen to your heart. Use your head, too, but let your heart guide you on what really matters.
  13. Music and movement are magic, medicine, meditation, and essential to a happy healthy life. Support live music and get out and dance as often as you can. Never be afraid to sing your song, shake your booty or find your flow!
  14. Whatever you daydream about doing while sitting around bored at work or school, whatever you feel driven to be involved in, whatever feeds your soul and gives you an outlet for your passions, talents, and energy — do that. That is your calling. Try to find a way to make it your living.
  15. Help others every chance you get. You will never regret lending a hand to others and there are SO MANY worthy causes that need  help. Be a giver, even if all you have to give is your time.
  16. You are not a plant. You might have roots, but you don’t have to stay where you are planted. Explore. Travel. Engage with the world. Get out, get away, even if it’s just a hike in a local park. The further you go and the more you travel, the more you connect with others, broaden your frame of reference, and expand your world. You’ll also realize just how connected we are to everything and everyone, and how precious this amazing planet we call home really is.
  17. Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. 
  18. Work to live but don’t live to work. Life is not all about making money. Make time to relax, play, explore, and learn, too. Don’t let work stress poison your life or health. Don’t let money rule your life and don’t let what you own end up owning you.
  19. Never stop learning. There is always more to learn and discover. Never stop growing either. Always be working on yourself and trying to be a better person.
  20. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Each of us is on our own path and it does us no good to compare ours with another’s. The only person worth comparing yourself to is the person you were yesterday. Comparison leads to jealousy, division, and hate. Ain’t nobody got time for that shit!
  21. Push yourself to try new things. Even if they scare you a little.
  22. Keep your word. Follow through with the commitments you make with people and only make commitments you can keep.
  23. Don’t be a hater. You don’t know everyone’s story and judging someone or something only closes you off to the lessons they could teach you. Bringing others down only brings you down with them. Others are simply a mirror and what we see in them if often a reflection of ourselves. Lift others up instead.
  24. Your perspective is important. Change the way you look at the world and you change your world entirely.
  25. What you focus on and give energy to grows. If you’re constantly focusing on what’s wrong, negativity, complaints and problems, more of those things will manifest in your life. If you focus instead on positive things, the silver linings in every situation, the good in life and what you’re grateful for, you’ll get more of that in your life.
  26. Let go. If something or someone is no longer serving your life, let it go. Let go of expectations and approach everything with an open mind. The more tightly you try to hold on to something, the more easily it will slip through your fingers.
  27. Love yourself and tell yourself so often. Take good care of yourself and listen to your body. Don’t be afraid to be alone. Know that you are enough and don’t be so hard on yourself. Watch the words you use to describe yourself, even in your thoughts. Words have power. Use them wisely.
  28. Shit happens. To everyone, at some point. Breathe, let it go, and trust that you’ll get through it when it does. You wouldn’t appreciate the good times as much without the bad. You got this! And if you don’t, lean on your friends when you need them. A good support network is priceless.
  29. There is no such thing as normal and you should never ever try to be it or live up to anyone else’s standards but your own if you want to be truly happy and free. FUCK NORMAL.
  30. Happiness is a choice and a practice. It’s all a matter of where you direct your energy and focus and your attitude.
  31. Love is the most powerful force in the universe. Treasure it, give it, receive it, be it, live it and you can’t help but be happy and fulfilled. Love is all we need. Be love! <3