The Warrior Within

I’ve been wanting to start a spirituality/herbal medicine/life blog for a few months now. Fortunately for me a lovely friend offered for me to write on his wordpress account for free. It’s been over a month since he gave me the account and I am finally just going for it. The first one. The “just fucking do it” one.

I figure warrior is a great concept to start with. Warrior energy is hair on fire, soul cast to the wind, fueled by the lightning of love and pain to take action towards a greater good. Despite all odds we take action. A fire is lit within us and it burns through our fear. Our fear that weighs us down to a place of inaction and apathy.

In these uncertain political times many of us live with the knowledge that we are existing within a broken system. Via social media we are bombarded with the knowledge of all the personal and planetary destruction that is happening. Each new piece of knowledge hurts and it cuts like slicing open a freshly healed wound. A wound that is layers of scar tissue from being opened and closed so many times. I talk with my mom about these things and she says to me that it was so different when she was my age. There was no internet and the people lived in a sort of blissful ignorance just due to the sheer fact of there being less accessible media. She told me she feels empathy for our generation being raised with such a global consciousness.

The Zen Buddhists speak about the duality of life. That for every light there is a dark attached to it and vice versa. I believe this quantum friction is the very glue that holds existence in to form. If we apply that principle to the millennial psyche it is beautiful because we truly do have so much more information. Anyone at anytime can access information about whatever they want. There is so much freedom in that for us. It is also very painful to see and know about so much about the struggles happening in the world today. So much of it feels out of our control. We see it, we feel it, but we don’t know what we can do to help make it better. Somehow buying eco-clean dish soap just doesn’t seem to cut it. At least not in my world anyways.

There is a duality between apathy and warrior energy. There is so much information on the internet.   I personally feel a calling to educate about herbal medicine. That is the warrior seed inside my belly. It wasn’t that long ago that people knew all the plants that grew around them. They knew if they were food or medicine or if eating them would kill them. It is my belief that the destruction of our planet to feed the consumptive Western lifestyle is deeply tied to a disconnection from the earth. We buy our food instead of growing it ourselves. We take pills instead of using plants. In my mind, if our disconnection from the earth is destroying the planet then we need to re-connect to the earth to help save it.

The voices in my head tell me “There is already so much information out there. There is no point in you writing a blog about herbal medicine. You are not going to make a difference”. Oh the tendrils of apathy, how they taunt me so. But you know what? I’m finally pissed off enough to not care about failing. I am furious about the polluted oceans, the clear cut forests, the dead Great Barrier Reef and all the endangered and extinct species. I am also enraged about all of the sick people. I am enraged about the sickness inside of myself. I have done enough research about the economic and political history of the current global structure to know it was designed and developed to make a few people rich based on the suffering of people, the animals and the environment. So I’m pissed and I am grateful that I am finally at the point of doing something, taking some sort of action in an attempt to make a difference. Oh the delicious fire of warrior energy, how I love thee!

So on the subject of an initial blog about herbal medicine and warrior energy I want to talk about Stinging Nettle or Urtica Dioica.  Years ago, when I was first struggling with depression following a car accident I took some weekend herbal workshops. The instructor told me to get barefoot on the earth and consume as much stinging nettle as possible. “Nettles, Nettles, Nettles!”, she would say in her sing-song voice. She told me that nettles contain warrioress energy and they would help me.

When we are looking at the healing that plants provide us we can look at it from a variety of perspectives. There is the energetic plane, the spiritual plane and the scientific or physical plane. There are some herbalists that believe in the spirit of the plant as what causes healing. Others are more focused on the plant’s energetics (hot, cold, stimulating, calming etc). Yet others are more clinical and focused on the biochemistry of this molecular compound or that molecular compound found in the physical plant interacting with the human biochemistry. Myself and others use a synthesis of all three. That same herbalist who sang warrioress energy towards me also taught me about the complete biochemistry of how nettles work in the body.

“Nettles, Nettles, Nettles!”. Stinging Nettle is a plant that seriously has the science to back up the claim of warrior energy.  Physically, it is so choc-o-block full of nutrition you could survive on it. It even contains protein! Stinging Nettle has more iron in it than spinach. Iron is a mineral. Some holistic healers and medical people have theories that mineral deficiency is a huge cause of disease in Western Society.  Although we have unlimited food at our fingertips, a lot of that food is deficient in nutrition due to processing and huge scale industrial farming techniques. It’s a thing. You can google it. Nettles are rich in calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc and chromium (all minerals) and Vitamins A, C, E and K.

I really do love that science is proving the stuff that people just knew years ago. I like that these plants were used safely for thousands and thousands of years, long before science and the microscope came in to existence. Old-time herbalists recommended nettles for healthy and beautiful hair. It was also common knowledge for pregnant women to drink nettle tea. It makes sense that nettles are so full of nutrition they would cause hair and babies to grow healthy. They were given to people who were weak and pale and tired to make them strong. This could be that these people were actually anemic and nettle is so rich in iron it cured the anemia. Today they still cure anemia too, by the way.

Medically Urtica Dioica has compounds that tone and heal the adrenal system. The adrenal system basically refers to our kidneys, our adrenal glands (which sit on top of our kidneys) and our pituitary gland in our brain. This body system is what causes the fight-flight-or freeze response in our brains. Nettles are great for people who have been stressed out for a long time and are totally burned out. Nettles also will make you pee. In medical land, this is called having diuretic properties. Nettles can be used to treat gout and arthritis because of this action. Nettles offer up healing for the reproductive system too. Nettle root is a tonic for the male prostate and can be helpful in relieving the symptoms of PMS, menopause and other menstrual problems like excessive flow and very painful menstrual cramps.

Stinging Nettle is called Stinging Nettle for a reason. The plant itself is covered in tiny stinging hairs. Almost like armor for the plant. In legends and myths warriors and warrioresses wear armor. Sometimes when we are connected to our warrior or warrioress selves we have to get a little sting-ey to stay focused and get shit done. If we are too soft and squishy and passive nettles can help us to have a bit more edge, a bit more piss and vinegar and fortitude to stand in our own truth.

Medically those little stingers also have power too. They act as an anti-histamine and it is known by medical and folk herbalists alike that nettles are great for sufferers of seasonal allergies.  Old time herbalists taught about hitting the skin of painful and swollen areas on the body with nettles. The stingers cause blood flow to come in to the area and break up the swelling and inflammation.

Nettles also have a cleansing action on the liver. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the liver is considered the organ associated with anger. Maybe there is an association there with warrior energy and the liver. I do believe that it’s all connected, whether or not we have the capacity to see all the connections is a completely different story.

Pretty amazing little plant hey? One of the most amazing things is that they grow so abundantly in wild and domestic areas. Such powerful medicine is all around us in abundance. Nettles like to grow near water. They can often be found near creeks and wetland areas. Like I said earlier, some plants can kill you. For safety, make sure if you are harvesting a wild plant you absolutely know that it is the plant you are after. You can definitely purchase them from a herbalist or wildcrafter in your area. Sometimes you can find it at the farmer’s market too.

It just baffles me how we have come to be an entire society that generally, as a whole, knows jack shit about the natural world growing around us. The return of this knowledge is important. It just makes sense to me on a deep intuitive level.

Mostly the way I use nettles is in the form of tea or herbal infusion. You can also use young nettles in place of anywhere you would use cooked spinach. I have made nettle spanakopita, nettle lasagne, even nettle cabbage rolls. I am pleased to report that all were delightfully delicious.

Some plants are more medicinal, some are more used for nutrition. Other than eating nettles, we can make nourishing herbal infusions to get the power packed nutrition from them. To make a nourishing herbal infusion fill a jar 3/4 full of dried or fresh (chopped) nettles. Pour cold or hot water over the nettles to fill the jar. Stir and cover with a sealed lid. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Strain and drink. It tastes purely like green plant water but it’s worth enduring for the health benefits. You can add mint to make it more palatable. I give credit for this technique to Susun Weed, an amazing herbalist.

To make nettle tea, I use about a tsp of nettles for each cup of water and I definitely add mint to boost the flavor. Place the herbs in your teapot, pour hot water over and let steep for 10 minutes.

There is a lot going on with existence today. It is mighty complicated and some days the world is mega overwhelming. So many of us feel a deep pain for the earth. The revolution may or may not happen with riots in the streets. The revolution will happen by everyday people getting informed and consciously making choices in their lives to no longer buy in to the lifestyle choices that are destroying the planet. If you start using herbal medicine as a part of your personal revolution not only will you be helping to save the earth you will feel healthier, stronger, and more vibrant while you do it. So go forth and be your warrior self, whatever that looks like for you. Feel the fire and just go for it.

Resources:

Coursenotes- Wild Roots Herbal Learning Center

Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: Rosemary Gladstar

Healing the Wise Woman Way: Susun Weed

http://www.wildcraftforest.com

Check out these awesome youtube channels:

Susun Weed and Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary

 

Ages Heh?

Holy smokes it’s been ages hasn’t it? There always seems to be something holding me back from writing… I think it’s called life or something of the sort. I guess when it comes down to it there’s always room for an excuse not to write and just as many to write! At the end of the day I see an excuse as just that… an excuse whether it be good or bad.

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‘Quick take a picture of me in the supermarket’

So wanna hear what they are? no… yes? well if you want to get through this post you’re just going to have to read through and maybe you’ll get caught up with what’s be going on :). Alright let’s start the list… I’ve been spending tonnes of time with this girl I love oh so dearly and here’s the kicker her last name is Bacon and she’s vegan… figured I’d get that out of the way, I’ve heard most of the jokes and she’s heard probably 20 times more of them then I have!

I’ve moved… twice but that sounds a little crazier than it might actually be haha. I originally moved up a floor in the current house I was in which wasn’t too bad, other than that spiral staircase that could have been used in the medieval time to stop troops from charging up the tower… let’s just say Zombie Apocalypse golden zone place to live! Downside, well it’s 4 floors up from the outside. The second place I move was a little tougher… we had to take everything down that zombie proofed staircase down three more flights of stairs through the snow and into the moving truck. After that it wasn’t too bad getting everything into our new place other than a semi slippery slope down the side of the house that in time was turning into an ice slide. It took 3 good days to fully get out of the old place but we did it!

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Packed up for the final move!

I have a few other endeavours I’ve been working on but due to some semi conflict of interest I’m going to keep that on the downlow until next blog ;)… guess that means you’ll have to subscribe to find out what it is ‘muahaha’ (my attempt at an evil laugh).

Other than that I guess my girlfriend and I are trying to watch all of the ‘Once Upon a Time’ episodes. Quite an interesting twist on the traditional stories I was used to as a child… cool side note we have the book with the Brothers Grimm short stories that tell their own side of the story as well!

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Our new room!

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My lovely girlfriend’s dog who is now living with us as well!

I’ve been a bit overly distracted from getting back to my writing so I’ll be posting what I have so far with some much needed updates in the next few weeks!

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Halloween with my love Harley & Joker

“Not a day goes by that you can’t choose to better yourself”

Changes to Come

Assault on the Chief 2015x-1

The World right now is in an interesting state to say the very least. I believe that there’s been so many major historical events that we catalogue from the Pyramids, the Crusades to the discovery of fossil fuels… but what about now? I think we’ve reached a point in history where we will either be in the books forever… or even sad to say, never. Our lives have come to a point where what we decide to do and how  we choose to live could decide the entire fate of our existence. I’m not talking about earth’s existence… she’ll be around for a while, but rather the survival of the human race.

To deny climate change would be to plead complete ignorance; the changes in weather and our ecosystem as a whole… Yes the earth has been heating and getting set for another cleansing but it wasn’t due for… give or take another 55,000 years.

As humans we’ve learned to use logic over instinct and as much good as it’s brought us, it’s also showing us the paths in which we are sending ourselves, and that’s the path of self destruction… and in many different ways! Technology is amazing but our societal norms consist of constant phone gazing, disconnection with people despite being more connected than we’ve ever  been before! I find our evolutionary traits require eye to eye contact physical care and affection. An exchange of words over a screen can be powerful but it doesn’t touch the energy and connection the voice does when it touches the ear.

The day we discovered the use of fossil fuels we essentially began a launch into the future, surpassing technology jumps faster than ever before and continuing so. Really think about the societies we’ve built, dreams pursued but at costs we didn’t stop to think about or even potentially have realised. But I wouldn’t blame only fossil fuels on climate change, I mean there are many other factors but I believe the major one is our species and that we’ve moved ourselves into/ created an environment we haven’t evolved for.

Talk about stimulation… it’s everywhere. You have electric signs, flashy cars… non flashy one, clothing, but we also have cell phones and computers and consoles. I mean the list goes on, mind you we can “handle” the stimulation.

Take a moment and think about the people who go camping for a weekend and you hear ‘I feel so refreshed, I was so relaxed‘ you know? Something along the lines of that. That’s because biologically that’s our natural environment… we’re meant to be out in the woods experiencing fresh air and a place our mind can take in the natural wonders and simplicity of such complex organisms brought together as one.

Camping

To me our race are meant to be in small groups/ tribes. Think about Metropolises, the amount of social issues, illness and corruption there is and I believe it to be because of our loss of connection. We are surrounded by so many more humans but there’s so much less contact. Bands of people and very small towns, even at this time people know each other and connect with each other better than anyone else. Big cities people drone on by, in tribe like culture you are more likely to be accountable for your actions and the emotions of those you affect; I’d bet the emotional affection and stability in a small community is extremely high, as you see all the people around you become something as you do yourself.

Now I am 100% for renewable lifestyle and living to it the best you can but this isn’t what inspired me for the article, it’s the huge issue of Syrian refugees. There’s been a lot going on and it was kind of filled with msc information that was hard to see what the whole issues were. Our earth’s climate reached a point that caused a drought to eliminate millions of farming jobs, cascading crowding issues and social instability. All these things created an overbearing turmoil and essentially collapsed of a country.

This brings me pretty much to what I’ve pondered on a few times in the past couple of weeks/ months. As much as there’s disaster all over the world and I am by no means downplaying it, as it does pain my heart to see such tragedies and not be able to offer every bit of me I possibly could. I think Syria really brought my attention to it; maybe the gay liberties movement was the beginning or women’s right to vote or even men protesting to be topless at beaches in the early 1900’s…? Right now though… it’s really seeming like these Global calamities are bringing humanity together unlike any time before. I could possible see it as being the beginning of a new Golden Age. The sadness and horror being taken in and cared for globally,  people who never had the chance to help, beginning to offer spaces and compassion for those suffering in these misfortunes.

It kind of bums me out that it takes precious lives and souls to make us come together as a world, but at the same time it excites me that people are taking the prominent step to making this world a better symbiotic place.

Connecting

There’s always something you can do… it doesn’t even have to be much! You could smile at someone or open a door… maybe instead of rushing in traffic you offer someone space to pass ahead of you. Every actions of caring you spread to this earth can have everlasting effects that you may never see; You could be the difference of making someone smile and completing his interview with extra pizazz, or make her feel confident because a stranger smiled at them and she later met her twin flame. Basically that’s my rant and if there’s anything to take out of it… know that your kindness could change the world big or SMALL.

You may have been given a destiny, but it doesn’t mean you can’t choose how to live it – Justinn Parkinson

Peace

Why missionaries are childish and ask for so much

Too true for the life of caring for others. I miss Haiti every single day I’m away despite all the asking and trouble we always faced.

The GREENhouse

“Do you think I can ask someone to take Jack to the airport?”

A ride to the airport is usually no imposition because everything is close in Abilene, Texas. But a ride to the international airport is another story, because it means nearly 3 hours to the DFW airport. That’s about a 6 hour round trip.

Missionaries are childishAnd Jack, he’s a dog. It’s one thing to ask someone to bring your family to Dallas, but to ask someone to bring your dog to Dallas on a separate day, is that asking too much?

That’s what Tia was wondering when we recently took an early morning walk before the summer sun made it too unbearable. Her family was making plans for their approaching move to Costa Rica and they’ve been asking for a lot lately.

She’s not the only missionary who wonders if she’s asking for too much. If it’s not a…

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What is Success?

What is success… such a loaded question if you ask me. I had recently read an article talking about my generation (Millennials) starting to “set back” their career to enjoy life more.

I’ve talked about this topic with a few friends of mine as well, so what is the meaning of success? I guess in all reality there is not a specific definition… well I mean if you look it up it’s something along the lines of:

1. The favourable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours; the accomplishment of one’s goals.

2. The attainment of wealth, position, honours, or the like.

But I mean inside of you, what do you feel success really is? To really sit down and think about it can really make you ponder some inquisitive things. Here in the Okanagan, you can see it really holds different values for many people. I see individuals with “Alberta Money” who buy huge homes on the cliffs or on the water, they have big boats and lots of toys to go with them… yet they only use it two to three months of the year. Sadly that’s their image of success is work very, very hard for most of the year and then play a little (I’m sure they play hard but compared to their work I view it as little). Don’t get me wrong some of these individuals love this and it works for them, but I couldn’t imagine spending the majority of my life working for such little enjoyment/fulfilment.

Is it money, "things"?

Is it money or “things”?

What do I see as success in my life? To start the less stress in life the better! But ultimately making a few really good friends, having a couple nice things… even then good company trumps material goods. I want to do things now when my body has the ability to recuperate after doing some crazy sport or trip or hike, I don’t want to wait until I retire before I start to enjoy my life. The experience I have are worth more than money can provide to me.

Is it being in the moment?

Is it being in the moment?

I read an argument about someone who’s an architect and that he’d spent a few years in school and another couple interning and is now in a job he enjoys working 40 hours a week, and will be able to enjoy himself before he retires because he worked hard. I applaud this person for his determination and enthusiasm but not everyone has the patience to do these things (Is financial security that really matters?). Does this make us lazy? Hardly, everyone has different ambitions and goals… and some of us just don’t have the mental capacity to break our backs for 8-10 years to finally start having fun and enjoying life… some of us want to live now because there may not be a tomorrow.

Moving to British Columbia I think was one of the best things I had decided to do, the people are such inspiration to grabbing life now and making the best of it!

Look from one generation to the next and see the contrast from Ethics to Fashion and Ideologies… they change constantly. I’d say every generation dating back hundreds of years think they had reached the best point in humanity, and that how they live is the way to be. Maybe each generation was right in their own respect but we are ever evolving intellectual creatures and will continue to change our values for many years to come.

Is it friends and special connections?

Could it be friends and special connections?

I originally wanted to talk about how I see success and what it means to me… but as I continued to write I just want to inspire others to stop for a minute and think about what success means to them. It might be a happy family, secure job, lots of money… or a life filled with amazing adventures with little to no money. There’s always something you can change in your life and never be afraid to do it… but it’s okay if you are because change is strange 😛 but your happiness is more important.

Success can take time and determination; my slacklining is a great example, I have people tell me how amazing I am (I know I have much further to go)… It really is very humbling because I can still remember the first day, the second, and even the third; I would get up and fall, and fall, and fall again. All I wanted to do was just stand and walk! If you’re going to be scared, you’re better off being afraid of doing something new than the same old thing!

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Is it doing something you love?

Success is what you make of it, if you’re not happy change something… it may not always about the best job or the most money, but to me, success is what brings you the most joy in your life without the sacrifice of your smile.

Be happy in what you do

Be happy in what you do

If you’re interested in writing a guest article, don’t be shy and leave a comment or email me at Zoticusslife@gmail.com

Early Season Waterline

Early Season Waterline practice for the crazy adventure to come this summer. I hope you enjoy the video there’s more to come and hopefully more people will start showing up in the videos!

If you’re interested in joining us, whether you’re a Beginner or Pro you’re welcome ❤

We’re in the Okanagan feel free to email or leave a comment. Zoticusslife@gmail.com

It’s all in your mind, create the result you want… if it doesn’t work keep on trying!

Lucid Living

Find appreciation for the small things to the big things and you can change how you see the world, you will be able to find love in everything!

“Love is everywhere it’s up to you to search it out and create it”

Could They Be Out There?

This is one of my favourite episodes I’ve recorded and figured it was time to share it in a post.

Fire Works

“If an answer is meant to be found it will be in it’s time, so never let a mystery get you down for it has it’s time and purpose”

To New Things

It seems I have lulls in my writing from time to time, but I manage to pull through and get back on. I do want to express my gratitude to everyone that provides feedback and who takes the time to read my posts regardless of time between each one.

I sit here with some fun instrumental music playing thinking of what I should write about… I have some idea’s yet it’s always difficult to figure out where to start. Funny thing is I usually write and feel like I don’t have much to share and then next thing I know I have to proofread 5 paragraphs :P.

Well to start he’s some awesome cheese fries I made the other day ^_^

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Work has been pretty steady, lots of people quitting smoking and coming back super happy that they feel much better and save a ton of money. The only problem that I’ve been having is keeping things in stock. I’ve been pretty diligent in putting in orders before things are required… then Canada Post or for some other reasons things get held back. It’s pretty tough to run a happy customer base when you lack product that people want, I’m waiting almost two weeks or more to get things that I need. Regardless I’m plugging away and doing the best I can with what I’ve got.

Sagan has been pretty good and I recently picked up another kitty named Bella to keep him company when I’m not around. Things were iffy at first, Bella was really shy and Sagan just wanted so badly to be her friend. He would walk up ever so slowly to see how she was doing and say hello, but she would always hiss at him and swing a paw… funny seeing such a cute little cat look so menacing :P. After a few days they mutually began to chase each other which is nice. They aren’t really into cuddling each other which I was hoping would happen but only time will tell right! They do tend to mimic each other when they sleep or nap but it seems like right now they have a real love hate relationship.

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I had a game night the other day but due to unfortunate circumstance it was cancelled so in the mean time I decided to Built a Kitty Castle… Catstle Dare is say :P. It’s done yet but the kitties like to play in it.

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Lately I’ve been trying to make more of an effort to have less waste and using more natural products. I’ve started to make my own toothpaste and am offering it for sale as well. Glass containers and combo kit with compostable Bamboo toothbrush, at the very least I’ll have toothpaste without a ton of chemicals and no more wasteful toothpaste tubes.

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I got my longboard re-gripped with a nice funky green tye dye pattern, I have to say it actually took some getting used to having full grip on my board… I have to semi re-learn my balance because now I have to lift my feet more instead of sliding them across the board.

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Started to play Dungeons & Dragons with some friends and I find we mesh well, which is pretty exciting for me since as much as I like people… it’s exhausting to be around many people when you don’t share similar views or being around people who don’t respect them. Maybe it’s just me but I do a lot of conversing at work as it is, so I think I have my fill of “public”.

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D & D seems to have a sort of stigma attached to it or stereotype and to be honest it’s way more fun than I ever expected! It’s pretty much adult story telling with friends… when did we learn or become conditioned to lose our imaginations or story telling. Sure we can express it through other forms of art but I find creating stories really helps expand your mind and creativity… don’t bash it till you try it right!

I’ve been watching a ton of Dragon Ball the original series with subtitles, to be honest I think I like it better than the DBZ series… it’s comical and I love little Goku’s voice and reactions; such innocence <3. It’s really neat to learn how all the connections of the characters came about too ^_^.

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Oolong, Bulma & Goku searching for the Dragon Balls

I also realised that Japanese culture conditions kids to sexual content and makes it less of taboo subject; to be honest I don’t even see it as a bad thing. It seems in North America sexuality is created to be a topic not to be spoken about, but that makes it so much more troubling to talk about when you have desires but feel they may be wrong. In reality they may be a common thing… I’m not speaking about anything specific but just in general… Some people feel certain ways and should never feel ashamed of how they feel or who they are. In life we need to be comfortable with who we are and not let society dictate who we become.

I think that’s all for now I hope to keep this motivation going for future posts, thanks again for all the support… hoping to motivate myself to get another Zoticusslife video up soon be sure to pester me about it ;).

“Fear is something that is created by imagining something that hasn’t happened yet… that near insanity. Don’t be mistaken danger is real but fear is merely created”

Keeping Warm

I headed back to Nelson as a “home base” to figure out my next steps in my journey. As usual I went to Cottonwood Falls to see who was there… see if there was any familiar faces. I stumbled across a few friends and decided to hang out with them for a while. As the day went on the weather started to take a turn and it started to rain. I was going to hitchhike in the rain for sympathy points to get picked up sooner, but that would have been at the cost of wet clothes… needless to say I decided to spend another night in Nelson.

Host srping 2014-3

Some new faces showed up in town and as always everyone welcomed them in and we all started to do some song singing and there’s always a guitar or two strummin’ away. One of the new people who arrived happened to be a guy I had picked up hitchhiking a few months prior and we actually had the same destination (Motion Notion)! I convinced him to wait out another day until the rain stopped and we could travel together. I had yet to travel with a partner during this trip… long distances anyway and I figured it would be nice to have some company, other than myself and my harmonica I ended up finding after returning from StarBelly.

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The next day a bunch of us went to the Salvation Army to get some breakfast, locals were always first of course. The breakfast was pretty good it was french toast with some scrambled eggs… my french toast is waaaay yummier but it was free so I’m very thankful :).

After breakfast we did some brainstorming on routes and where to go, I really wanted to hit up the hot springs… it was a must for my trip this summer. We ended up choosing to head to St. Leone’s Hot Springs in Nakusp and headed out just before noon… we wanted to make it before sun down. We packed up and off we went, I was a little drained and my co-hiker seemed to be filled with energy and nabbed a van for us right on the highway barely any wait time! Next we were at a cross roads for a little while, but it gave me time to practice my harmonica. My goal was to have Piano Man down by the end of my trip. After about an hour we snagged another ride up to some obscure town but it was pretty straight forward to Nakusp from there.

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The town we were sitting in… wasn’t really a town it was more of a gas station and some shops attached to the highway. I had two-way radio’s and passed one off to buddy while I explored the organic shops… I wasn’t even in there for 5 minutes when I got the call ‘Hey man I already got us a ride!’. I ran out and got picked up by a super awesome dude from Nakusp, an ex special forces who has just discovered the joys of nature and how to appreciate the special things. It was a great ride to say the least. He actually suggested we change our destination to Halfway Hot Springs, which we decided we would take the locals advice. We were dropped off at a gas station about 3-5 km away from the entrance (Mind you I did start the trip walking 12 Km but I was way too tired for that).

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After waiting a few hours in the hot sun with no luck my buddy and I decided to split up and see if going by singles was easier. I got picked up by a guy and his girlfriend that told me they had seen us standing there for a while, and if they came back and we were still there they’d bring us up… I guess they knew we were going to the awesome hot springs. He was kind enough to grab both of us but had advised us his tired was little low and wasn’t sure he could make it up with all of us. By the time we got to the entrance (bottom of an 11.5 km hill) he decided that he wasn’t going to make us walk up because it was treacherous… no exaggeration.

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After getting to the top of the hill 45 minutes later… yeah that’s how crazy bad the road it 11 km took 45 mins. We set up camp and headed down to explore the hot springs. There was a storm coming so I hurriedly put my swim trunks on and jump into the spring hot tub. As I settled in you could hear thunder and then massive raindrops poured down. The hot and cold contrast while a storm exploding above was such an amazing feeling <3. There were many pools to explore ranging from cold to super hot. There was so much decomposition in the forest around the hot springs that everything was soft and mooshie, which was great for ground (walking around bare feet).

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I was supposed to leave Halfway on the Thursday to make it to MoNo by the afternoon at the latest but it was raining. I decided that if I was going to be wet I might as well be warm and wet… so I spent the day at the hot springs. Road trip buddy decided to head out to Motion Notion that day which was fine with me. The couple I was staying with decided they wanted to hunt for some more springs so I tagged along after a yummy breakfast. I took a good 20 minute walk down some rocky river bed and found a small pool that could barely fit two people. We began excavating and made a nice secondary pool nothing too special. We carried on down the river until we hit a gully that wasn’t passable since the river was rushing down it… and it was freezing cold. We didn’t end up empty-handed… we actually found one of the best springs around with 3 attached pools up against the rock face. There was the Steaming hot one, the freezing one next to the river (would have been great for a hot day) and there was the just right one. the Three of us spent the next couple of hours making it even better and spent most of the day relaxing. Our day ended with “Gourmet” camping pasta and some fun with a laser pointer and a big warm bonfire.

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The Friday morning I had headed off to MoNo ready to hike down the big hill in which we saw a cougar a two days prior… pretty majestic :). I had walked about 2 kilometers before I gave up, the roads were crap and it was hot out and my bag was super heavy. I waited around for about 30 minutes when some cute Quebec girls came and picked me up in their Honda Civic. It was funny because their car looked like it was going to fall apart… at one point the window dropped halfway and spun around. There was laughter and then they expressed that… it wasn’t actually uncommon and that they barely paid anything for it, yet it had gotten them quite far despite it’s “rugged” looks.

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After exchanging some info I was dropped off at the highway and we parted ways. I waited a good hour and half before someone came by in a pickup, I threw my bags in the back where there was probably 10 cases of empties. The guy who picked me up was a little strange but very kind, he expressed that he didn’t expect anyone to pick me up to go to the ferry as I was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. He was nice enough to bring me all the way despite not actually needing to go to the ferry… Even if someone is weird it doesn’t mean they don’t have a great heart; Thank you stranger!

You’ll have to hear the rest of the story next post… until next time!

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Normal is boring… Just be YOU!

Journeys Continue

I was really split as to what to do once we got down from the mountain. There was a free vegan lunch at the park for the community and I really wanted to go; at the same time I had already skipped almost 2 days of a festival I had already paid for. I hung out at Cottonwood Falls mulling it over with great people around as usual and in the end I left before the free lunch.

The decision to leave felt right… most of my trip I went with what seemed right in the sense of I should do it and by letting go of my comfort zone in the process. I started off with the long walk to the orange bridge that was seemingly so far but only took my about 30 minutes to make it there. It’s amazing what determination can do for you… keep in mind there was still an overly large pack on my back.

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The Orange Bridge

I waited about 45 minutes to an hour before I was picked up but it all worked out as the guy drove me right to the ferry. I found some great sweaters at the dock that I’ve always wanted and I managed to strike up a deal with the women and got one for cheaper than I expected. Just before I took off I saw she had some wire wrapped crystals and I offered up some of my nice quartz I found up at the crystal caves for her generosity she offered me. I’d given more away hitchhiking despite having had less than before, but no matter what happened I seemed to be provided for; generosity is undervalued today and even just a smile can perpetuate wonderful things.

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This sweater

The ferry was nice to ride with mountains and water surrounding you, being the one of maybe two people who boarded on foot was kind of neat sensation too. I arrived on the other side of the water in Crawford Bay where there was two kids playing harmonica together… the skill and synergy they had, blew me away. I walked up to the little hut on the hill and picked up some yummy ice-cream after being in the hot sun for a while (first time I really paid for anything since my trip started). I was taking a moment to appreciate everything that had already happened and great experiences to be had, when someone began to strike up conversation with me about my Starbelly sign… next thing I knew I had a ride to the festival!

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I paid my camping fee… even though I could have easily snuck in without a car. I made camp in the back of the field for some nice peace and quiet, got ready for a jammin’ evening and off I went. Once inside the gates it was such a cozy small festival, very family oriented which made it feel so peaceful and lovely. I began to peruse the vendors and found some really neat things, unfortunately I had a pretty tight budget but did manage to get some great scores. I had been looking for a waist pouch (many pockets not a fanny pack :P) for a while but could never find any masculine ones that I liked… and fit me, but I found one that works just perfect! What an amazing start to a festival season! I later found a ring that snagged my interest… and I’ve maybe worn one or two other rings ever so it’s a big deal :P. The evening music and later on into the night was fantastic. I got to meet many great people unfortunately I didn’t get much info from anyone there but it was fun and those memories are now locked away :).

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Sunday night I headed in a little bit early so I could get a bright start in the morning hitching back to Nelson. Unfortunately there was a group of younger kids/ adults that were blaring their “obnoxious” music and towards the back of the large field… it was a huge field but the music went all the way. I was getting very angry and just wanted to sleep, and normally I can sleep through anything. At one point I was about to yell out at them to turn off their music very aggressively  but instead I decided to go and ask politely. One of the guys walked over and apologized right away and turned it down… from there I pretty much passed out when I got back to my tent. What did I learn here? You don’t have to choose the aggressive or rude route to solve things even if you think it’s the only way such people will react; The outcome turned out peacefully and how I would have liked it dealt with if I were in their situation. That night I went to bed with a peaceful mind and a sense of accomplishment.

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***All photo’s are in raw form as I had to reformat my computer and didn’t re-install my editing software, enjoy the originals 😉 

Unfortunately this writing has taken longer than I expected and I will be back with more fun stories from my Adventures! What’s next? To Nelson then to Nakusp Hot Springs…

“Be grateful, and never be afraid to ask for help… The Universe is working in your favour.”

In Time

First off yes I made it back from Hitchhiking, it’s  been such a crazy adventure one after another even after I arrived back home. I’m going to attempt to post up as many stories in this post as I can especially since that’s the reason I’ve procrastinated so much in the first place. There’s been so many things to write about… now there’s just even more… so hang on and join me and I may dedicate a post to photo’s another day as well.Hitchhiking 2014-2

My Hitchhiking began nice and early and I figured I would catch the bus from Vernon to Kelowna since it’s pretty cheap, when I arrived at the bus station I checked the times and I would have had to wait three to four hours which I wasn’t willing to wait. I headed off towards Kelowna and walked for about two hours before I stopped to stick my thumb out. There was an RV at one point that stopped about 500 meters away from me, just as I got about 20 meters away they took off… not sure if they were being rude or just trying to sort something out. I made it just outside of Kelowna around 3:30 pm and I was super lucky that my friend was in Kelowna… Big shout out to Maria W. for being awesome and picking me up then driving me a good distance. After Maria left I noticed I had dropped my water bottle so I was kind of stranded without water luckily I had hydrated a lot during my trip. I was blessed to be picked up by a great guy heading to just outside of Nelson which was my destination, he was nice enough to even drive me into town and show me where some stuff was before dropping me off at CottonWood Park/ Falls (‘Where all the Hippies hang out’).Hitchhiking 2014-4Hitchhiking 2014-3

Getting into Nelson around nine PM meant it was already dark out and I wasn’t very sure as to where I was going to sleep for the night… I had an idea but wasn’t sure. I started talking to some people in the park and ran into a group of people from Quebec who were nice enough to invite me back to their camp (Thanks Julie, Chris, Cedric, Lucas and Sam). The initial plan was to arrive in Nelson then head to StarBelly Jam but the Friday started with going to a food bank getting some free breakfast followed by hanging out at the Falls most of the day getting to know people. Listening to the Quebecers at first I couldn’t really understand them… it had been quite a while since I had spoken french and the speed at which they spoke didn’t really help either. We all ended up getting along so well that we stuck together for a few more days.Hitchhiking 2014-1

Hitchhiking 2014-9 Hitchhiking 2014-10On the Saturday we decided to go try to find the “Crystal Cave” near Nelson. Later in the afternoon we took off… but we weren’t entirely sure where we were going, just a general direction. I had purchased a road map before my travels to mark key point of my trip and it somewhat aided us in finding our route to the mountain base. We started to climb with our heavy bags (at this point I had really realised how way too heavy my pack was… lesson learned!) it had been an hour and a half and the sun was started to go down so we decided to make a travel pack and ditch the bags. I tied off some ribbon 50 feet from our packs hiding spot so we could find them again. Our hike went on for another 2 hour or so when we finally decided to make camp near a creek on top of the mountain. That night we laid out our tarps and blankets with our tents gathered around and got to really know each other… and where I started understanding their french easily and even begin to speak it fairly fluently.Hitchhiking 2014-6Hitchhiking 2014-7Hitchhiking 2014-5

The following morning we decided we were going to find the caves but most people we had received directions from were hear-say as the other’s had never made it before either.  After another few hours of searching we descended the mountain and just before going back to town Sam and I decided to ascend the mountain to give it another go and use my walkie talkies to communicate with the other if we found it. Off we went and after climbing and following a river we made it to the caves. The others were radioed and we all spent the day there exploring stories of things left in a treasure memory box. We ate lunch by a large water fall and collected some nice crystals :). Most of us ended up taking a nap or two! It was a rather blissful and exciting day before I headed off to Starbelly the following day. After making it back down the mountain with all of our stuff, we headed to the beach where some of us bathed after having been a few days in the bush, while others went and got food supplies.Hitchhiking 2014-11 Hitchhiking 2014-12Hitchhiking 2014-13

The next chapter of my story began that afternoon when I headed off to Starbelly Jam!

Thanks for reading everyone more to come soon!

No one needs anybody to feel like someone; but when you find that somebody you’ll feel like you can love everybody.

Coexistence

A lot has happened in the recent month and a bit, I’ve done a lot of firsts which I plan to continue pursuing!

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The summer is finally here I attended a Solstice party with some friends around a fire, tried out paddleboarding which was an absolute blast and would suggest it to anyone. There has been many beach visits, backyard fires and it’s only the beginning of the summer <3.

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I had the opportunity to use my Photoshop and photography skills lately which was rather exciting, in the sense that I was compensated for my efforts :). I did two posters for a friend that works at a youth centre and some photography for my buddy that’s an arborist. It’s nice to be able to use the talents you’ve “trained” in or made efforts to really learn; it’s a little bummy sometimes having to work a job that is really only a mean to make an end. I do really enjoy landscaping don’t get me wrong, I get to be outside in the nature take care of tree’s and properties and enjoy the sun and mountains, but there’s a point where your efforts deserve a little more recognition.

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I had a great conversation with my friend Sara and Dayton the other night about women equality in the workforce and how there is still a gap but that it’s closing. I made a point that I felt equality was evening out but in the sense that it’s my generation that’s evening it out… unfortunately we do not make up the majority of the work for at this point only having an age range from 18-28 for example vs. 28-60 . Maybe I’ve become complacent to the idea, but in all honesty I try to see it as there shouldn’t be a difference in the first place; we’re all human beings, we all breathe air and have thoughts and a conscience. By not having equal rights or working ability we are only stunting ourselves as a species… why cut our brain power 30/70 or what ever numbers you want to pull… it just doesn’t make sense. Pretty much what I’m getting at is don’t ever look at someone’s gender… you know what the only thing we should be doing is listening to everyone “Blindly” (in the sense it doesn’t matter what they look, hear or sound like) hearing what they have to say and analyse it all; it doesn’t matter if you’re female, male, gay, straight, black or blue, Buddhist or Muslim we all have a place on this planet and we should all be respected equally… We are all one and interconnected.

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Festival season is upon us and I’m counting down the days until I go on my festival journey… Actually I’m not counting the days I’m just going with the flow to hold down the over excitement. I have to say festival’s are what make my year… they are what reminds me that we are an amazing group of creatures on this planet and how we can really join together as one and just share so much love and fantastic company from strangers and friends alike. I can de-stress and flow free at festivals and enjoy nothing but great music, people, and just all around atmosphere. I’ve decided I will be hitchhiking this year to my festivals as to save money on gas, it should be a wonderful experience… will be sure to let you know how it went.

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Art work by Dayton Andrews Blue Kyanite

Like I said there’s been so much going on that I can’t even keep track anymore but I’ll be sure to try to keep you up on the summer wonders here in the Okanagan! Since I don’t have much to “share” here’s a bunch of photo’s.

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My Cascadian home

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Panda!

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Side walk art in front of our home

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Smile you all have a beautiful soul

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“Love yourself because that’s who you spend all your time with <3″