True Beauty

It’s taken me years to not only figure out who I really am, but to also accept myself for my strengths as well as my weaknesses. I used to try and be like everyone else, thinking social acceptance was necessary for happiness and if I could just be apart of the crowd I would feel at ease.

The opposite was true, as much as I tried to go with the flow, I was actually swimming against my own current. Year after year, I have discovered new qualities, interests, and desires about what I really want in life. I mourned the loss of so many people that were never right for me to start with, lifestyles that I didn’t actually want, and a past that is so turbulent with ridiculous choices it took me a few more years to be okay with all of those harsh lessons.

I don’t fit inside a box, I don’t think most people do, but we’ve been conditioned to live in fear of being outcasted or isolated that we all follow the herd and rarely even think about living differently. Somewhere along the way I was forced out of the flock and I am so thankful for it, as difficult as it could be at times to be completely alone, it’s what my soul needed.

I have a free spirit and going in my own direction allowed it to soar, I don’t fit in with the crowd and I wouldn’t want to. I politely decline social norms if I don’t feel authentically attracted to them, remove myself from relationships that are either toxic or damaging, and on a daily basis I only engage in thoughts that promote happiness, love, and personal freedom.

I don’t think I have it all figured out, but I do believe if we all listened to our intuition a little bit more and followed the crowd a little bit less, we’d all be a lot happier, but that’s just me.

Living Dreams

When I set out to ‘chase my dreams’ a few years ago, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into or how I was ever going to get ‘there’, but I was determined to make it happen. I don’t know if it was because I was driven to achieve what I really wanted or I had just reached a point in my life where there was nothing left to do but embrace my childhood fantasies.

Getting out on the open road with nothing more than a little bit of money and a half ass plan can be exhilarating, but it can also be scary, lonely, and overwhelming. I’ve spent the past three years bouncing through this cycle, I’m thankful to now be stable, secure, and happy, but I will admit, I fought like hell to get here. There were times when I didn’t think I’d make it, but whenever I would get the notion that maybe I had had enough, I realized there wasn’t anything else I wanted, so I pushed on.

I haven’t achieved the social status of my goals and dreams, but I’ve certainly created the lifestyle and that’s when it hit me, that is my dream coming true, my mindset is there, my commitment is on point, and my motivation every day is consistent. If I had already crossed every desire off of my list in 3 years time, what would I have to look forward to now? Wouldn’t I become just as complacent with reaching these goals as I would reaching other, more tangible goals?

My lifestyle is a dream come true, having the freedom to hook on to my house and go where I please or the luxury of parking out on my family’s place to visit people I love, is all a part of the quest for a drama free, Hollywood infused, holistic success version of everything I desire.

I don’t know if I’ve figured something out or just found a mindset that works for me, but in my experience, chasing dreams isn’t a destination or an ego driven list of accomplishments, it’s in the daily rhythm of moving with life’s ebbs and flows, bringing to life everything that God puts into your heart to experience and share.

Turning Points

I knew it was time to take an alternate route, as much as I didn’t want to let go of my new city, my life was becoming far too dangerous to manage. I had worked so hard to establish myself, learning a new trade and hustling every night just to keep up. I was barely making it and life on the boulevard was taking a harsh toll on my spirit.

In one fluid motion, I was swept away from Sin City, but I didn’t continue out west like I had planned, in fact, it was backtracking, all the way to the Lone Star state. At first it was devastating, I felt like I had just missed my opportunity to follow through with my dreams, the grief was over powering, I was slipping into the darkest depression of my life.

It was nice being home, I indulged in wine every evening, devoured my Mom’s amazing home cooked meals, and rested my weary soul out on the hill side. Finally coming back to life, regaining my strength and reestablishing my focus, it was time to get back to work and figure out how I was going to create a new foundation and still maintain the integrity of being a Hollywood dreamer.

It would take a brand new focus, lots of determination, and an unshakeable mindset that not only is anything possible, but I had actually just been blessed with the most incredible opportunity to bring it all together.

Final Moments 

Last night I taught my final yoga session as an instructor in Las Vegas, adding another life experience to my bucket list. 
I wanted to see if I could do it, if I could share my style of yoga with the big city, I did that. I wasn’t sure if my teachings would resonate and be accepted, but they were. 
I wasn’t welcomed with open arms, I pushed forward anyway, gently sharing what I’ve learned as an instructor over the years, allowing that truth to guide me through the unknown.
After 5 months of teaching, I have shared my practice with people from all over the world, fellow instructors, and my personal favorite, some that have never even rolled out a mat before. I love helping people feel comfortable in their own skin, embracing everyone’s nervousness and guiding it into personal freedom. Turning a room full of chaos and uncertainty into an environment resonating absolute peace is the most gratifying reward for me as a teacher.
It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to be an instructor here in Las Vegas, I’m grateful for the studio I stumbled upon that allowed me to be apart of their community. 
I’m sure I’ll teach again in another season somewhere down the road, but for now, I’ve decided to just enjoy the simple pleasure of being a student again.

Hustle & Flow

Life in Las Vegas has threatened to destroy me more than once, the harshness of this city can be a hard weight to carry. I decided instead of giving up and giving in to fear, I would keep pushing until something made sense.
It still doesn’t, but I know I’m in the right place.
Week after week I’ve been grinding through new lessons, obstacles, and setbacks. I’m no longer chasing dreams, I am creating the lifestyle that I desire through the opportunities I choose to take. 
I’m committed to my own hustle, deciding for myself how high I can climb and how hard I will work to reach my goals.
No one can do it for you, you have to set yourself up for success today just to be that much further tomorrow. You can’t be afraid to start over, to take a different route, or make a fresh commitment. 
“To achieve anything we must grind, but to enjoy anything we must flow.” – Chris Matakas

Burning Desires 

I set out to explore the next destination on my route in this place known as Sin City, showing up on a hot summer day with a weathered map and a plan. 
Some of my ventures have gone off without a hitch, others have left me flat on my ass. 
Still the journey continues, it certainly hasn’t been an easy 7 months to navigate; I have often found myself sitting at the drawing board inside my mind desperately hoping for a different dream. 
Nothing else ever comes. 
I always end up with the same beautiful picture coming to life, and then just as soon as I think I want to give up, I magically inch my way closer. 
I wish I was already at the end so I could report back and tell everyone that it’s worth it, to keep going and everything you desire will suddenly become your reality. 
But I’m not there yet, and I don’t know what’s ahead of me.
All I know for sure is that I have made it this far, at one time this place was a dream, and before that traveling across the country by myself was a desire, and years ago I wanted to cross the stage earning my Bachelor’s Degree. 
Looking ahead I see the impossible and the unknown, but reflecting on the mountain tops I’ve already reached remind me of how far I’ve come. 
In the midst of struggle I’d rather be right where I am, in the smallest victories I feel the most content with my choices, and in the harsh realities that I stumble upon, I stand my ground and keep moving forward. 
I can’t tell you that your dreams will come true, but I will say that who you become in the process is worth discovering.

Grand Adventures 

We used to celebrate everything with whiskey, pool tables, and good country music. There was rarely an occasion that didn’t pass by without a cold beverage in one hand and a pool stick in the other.
Our friendship expanded to hiking, exploring, and running through electric fences just to see if we could make it to the finish line. Together we would seek out the next great adventure, always finding something that would challenge us to grow in some way. 
After years of soul searching, life’s heartaches, and taking the roads less traveled, our friendship has evolved into long distance phone calls to celebrate victories and strategize how to continue navigating our paths.
Together we’ve learned along the way that the destinations we reach are moments in time to pause and reflect, an opportunity to choose which routes to take for the future. We’ve discovered that the adventure is grand and expansive, the road never stops and the mountains never cease to appear. 

Moonlit Dreams

Last night I taught my second yoga session at Vegas Hot, taking on a new region of the country as an instructor. 
I was nervous teaching my first class, I haven’t actively taught yoga since leaving West Virginia last Fall and although it was less than perfect by my standards, it went well. 
The second class was even better. I breathed a deep sigh of relief and happiness as I said my final goodbyes to everyone and took a few moments to reflect. 
I’ve been a yoga instructor for 4 years now, I can still remember how I felt stepping in to teaching my first class and the uncertainty I would cling to as I navigated through those new territories. 
My yoga practice is the rooted element that keeps my free spirit from getting too wild, it’s my secret ingredient to doing things that are bold and daring, and it’s the reason that even though sometimes I still question myself, I always follow my own path. 
I don’t teach like anyone else, I have no desire to be something I’m not and I’ve learned that it’s better to create your space and own it rather than trying to borrow on someone else’s and never know your value. 
My journey with yoga began in the South, after two years of teaching deep in the heart of Texas, I found myself rolling my mat out in the quiet hills of West Virginia. Six months of teaching in the Northeast and a weekend retreat in the mountains enriched my practice and is still one of the most treasured chapters of my life. 
Living in Las Vegas is my latest challenge, teaching yoga again is such an honor and I’m grateful to be apart of this growing community. I am looking forward to expanding here, reaching outward to the West, chasing fiery sunsets and moonlit dreams.

Romantic Strolling

Last night I found myself browsing assortments of roses in the grocery store and smiled inwardly as I realized some things never change.
I had nothing terribly important to celebrate, but decided that a bundle of pink roses and a bottle of wine would top off my evening.
I admired my new bouquet while sipping on a fresh glass of red and thoughtfully calculated the past two months of my life. After briefly reminiscing on the experiences I’ve had that have effortlessly made Las Vegas feel like home, I let out a satisfied breath and happily poured myself another glass of wine.
Savoring the intoxicating aroma of this peaceful moment, sitting cross legged on my couch, I raised my glass and affectionately toasted sweet blessings.

Magical Memories

Throwback to the beginning, when I had blonde hair, a wild imagination, and no clue what I was doing. 
I took a leap of faith, drew a map, and hoped for the best. Life has knocked me on my ass more than a few times in the past two years, but I’m thankful for the struggles, the lessons gave me the wisdom I have now. I was bound for California, but God redirected me to a life in West Virginia first, giving me experiences I wouldn’t trade for anything.
I continued onward with my journey, teamed up with some men folk in the west Texas oilfield, becoming one of the most difficult chapters of my life. I didn’t know if I would make it, but 8 months later I had achieved all of my goals and proved to myself that I had what it takes to do anything I set my mind to. 
Two years is a long time to live a creative struggle, seeking something that doesn’t quite yet exist and gambling on uncertainty loses its charm after awhile. But just when you want to give up, settle for something that’s a little easier and more available, that’s when you have to keep going. 
I don’t have it all figured out and I’m okay with that, I’ve got a suitcase bursting at the seams with wild stories and unforgettable experiences. I’ve loosened the reigns on needing to reach my destination, I know where I’m headed and I’m invested in the journey. 
One day we will look back on our lives and reflect on all of the choices we’ve made and that’s what we will be left with. As I look back along my journey, I laugh at the confusion, smile about the struggles and take a deep breath as I enjoy the satisfaction of remembering the mountains I’ve conquered.
Looking ahead is a wild adventure of exploring the unknown, and as I begin to enter the next chapter of my life, I gratefully release everything that has served its purpose and led me to this place. 
Letting go of our yesterdays to dream of our tomorrows is the magical power that lies within us today.