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”

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”

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.

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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″

Everything is important

I’ve been watching a lot of Cosmo’s (one of my favourite shows) as I love our Universe and space and everything within our own planet as well. I feel very strongly about climate change and I feel that everyone should educate themselves… not just on climate change but the Universe itself. It doesn’t pay to play ignorance.

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Hail Storm/ Flooded streets

I was going to post this on Facebook but it got a little lengthy and since I haven’t posted lately I figured I’d share here :).

Personally I think that this century will be one of the most important in human history; the deciding factor of whether or not we can save our species.

Studies show that if the earths surface reaches approximately 2 degrees Celsius we could be set up for an irreversible Greenhouse Gas effect. At the current rate if nothing changes to how we are living, by the end of this century the earths surface is looking at a  temperature of 4 degree! Double of a projected irreversible state.

Educate yourself and make a difference, not only for you but the future generations to come. Today’s day and age “Legacy’s” have seem to lost importance and selfishness has been replacing it. Be wise and look out for the future of your family and our Home… Earth.

Rainbow after the hail storm

Rainbow after the hail storm

A friend expressed this to me the other day and it made so much sense. We’re trying to get into space and learn to inhabit other planets; it’s great but what good will that do if we can’t even sustain our current habitat?

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Let’s start caring for each other, living more green; be respectful to one another and all living things on this planet… we’ve only been able to survive on this planet and we are all one. Pollution does not recognise fences, border and continents it only know our globe.

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Earth “The Pale Blue Dot” (3.7 BILLION miles away)

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.” 
― Carl SaganPale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Progress Not Perfection

 Progress Not Perfection 

By: Jenn Donovan

 My name is Jenn, I am twenty-four years old and I am an Alcoholic.

Now lets just soak that into everyone’s brain for a second. I have a disease called alcoholism which is defined as the following: a chronic and often progressive disease that includes problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease of stop drinking. If you have alcoholism, you can’t consistently predict how much you’ll drink, how long you’ll drink, or what consequences will occur from your drinking. 

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Everyone has this preconception that an alcoholic is someone who needs to drink everyday, every hour and every second of the day. Wrong. And I was never like that. I rarely ever drank. Mostly on the weekends.. some nights during the week (especially during college, but that’s what we believe is the norm). The problem was when I drink it starts this sensation of craving. What this means is that I just cannot have one drink. I cannot just have two drinks…. there is no stopping me once I start drinking. And that’s where my problems start…. I have no filter, no off switch. I drink to complete oblivion. I black out every single time that I drink. I have given myself alcohol poisoning more than once.. and more than twice. And after those wonderful binges I would get the bright idea to switch what I was drinking, or change the order of how I drank or try to stop after a couple of drinks and I just can’t. No crazy method or philosophy worked. It never does. No matter how sick I got from the previous time and how many times I swore I wouldn’t drink anymore I still did it.. And the same things still happened. Growing up for me was interesting to say the least. My parents divorced when I was seven years old. My mother worked long hours to care for my brother and I and she raised us all on her own (thanks Mom you are a wonderful woman and I don’t tell you that enough). My father was a truck driver and he was always gone. He had us every other weekend and tried to be the best dad he could be. At the age of twelve I stopped seeing my father on a regular basis. He had married this “delightful” woman who tended to make my life hell and she in turn made my father’s life hell also… Aka my father was an alcoholic. Most of my memories growing up my dad was a very happy man, always smiling, funny. I was totally and completely a Daddy’s girl… but alcohol got in the way of our relationship. During the next few years I saw him on and off but it was only for quick visits when he had time. [Side note: I just want to make it clear that just because my Father was an alcoholic doesn’t mean that it was his fault, or the way I was raised or anything to contribute to why I am an alcoholic myself.] The first drink that I ever had was the night of my grade eight graduation. I had some coolers and some peach schnapps that my friends mom had bought me and I was ready to go to the after party with my friends. Since the moment that tasty sugary drink touched my lips I was hooked. I drank all my coolers and half of the mickey of schnapps and I don’t remember much after that. I was hooked. Progress Not Perfection 

Then came high school, which consisted of beer tours, bush parties and weekends at the cottage. And I loved a good beer tour! Country living was good to me and beer was awesome! High school I always had a hard time fitting in completely with everyone. I played sports and people were nice to me and I could get along with anyone. But I was the girl who was the art kid, wore a lot of black, dark makeup, listened to heavy metal, had crazy amounts of piercings (and eventually tattoos), and I always didn’t seem that approachable. I wouldn’t always go to parties and such but when I did I don’t remember a lot of the nights and I don’t really remember getting home. This happened to me frequently throughout my drinking career. After high school came college (took a year of Art)… aka a lot more beer! I drank on weekends and sometimes during the week depending on what was going on with my friends. I was never felt super comfortable just being me. I was always worried that people wouldn’t like me or that I wasn’t doing well enough, or pleasing the right people. As soon as I got a drink or two into my system I felt so confident, and I could get a long with anyone. And everyone thought I was awesome!

My second year of college I switched to Interior Design. Right before that semester started.. August 31, 2010 to be exact I was at home and was woken up by the police at 3AM at my mother’s house. My father had died. He took his own life. After that my life went on a downward spiral… I was dealing with a lot of grief, unanswered questions, resentments etc. I drank a lot over the next year (same binge drinking as usual). I was also in a relationship at a time and I really let myself go… I was overweight and really miserable and the relationship wasn’t the best either because I felt like I wasn’t getting the emotional support that I needed. My brother also went out of control because of the loss of our father and our relationship hasn’t been the same since.

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I had bought a new car, I was working two jobs and things were going okay. But then I didn’t have my priorities straight, I wouldn’t ask for help and I definitely wouldn’t listen to anyone who thought that they could give me advice. Within a few years I was in a lot of debt, falling behind on my payments and just struggling to be happy. My relationship with my boyfriend at the time ended and by the fall I had given up my car and moved back to they city to live with my Uncle (who I am so grateful for them taking me in when I really needed it.. otherwise I would have nowhere to go). In October of 2013 something happened. I was waiting at a bus stop to go to work and a man got off the bus on the other side of the street. He crossed the street and walked into this gym behind me. He then approached me with a business card and offered me some personal training. A free session to start and then see if I was into it and go from there. I was supposed to meet him at the gym the next morning. So I did. We ended up talking about my goals and what I wanted from life etc (I have and still want to get into the military but I was not in any shape to do it well). Then we ended up talking about life and why I seemed so angry all the time and I ended up spilling my guts to this complete stranger. He then hands me this little booklet from AA and gets me to go through this checklist basically in order to see if you can prove yourself to be alcoholic. I was eight things on this list… more than three you are considered to be an alcoholic. This man Progress Not Perfection 

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brought me to my first meeting that following Friday. I walked into the room not knowing what to expect. It was a birthday meeting, which means that they were celebrating someone’s sobriety for an increment of years that they were sober. The man who spoke at this meeting was only a few years older than I but he had been sober for five years. I don’t remember much about the meeting but I just remembered bawling my eyes out, relating so much to what he said and how he felt, and just feeling like he understood… that everyone understood what happens to me when I drink.

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Since then I was going to two meetings a week.. I met a lot of younger people in the program too. I got a sponsor and I started doing the steps and praying every morning and every night (this is not a religious program.. a lot of people believe in a God of their understanding.. just to clarify). Once I started working the steps, and starting working on myself I started to feel better about myself… I became more humble, more understanding, patient and kind. I do not get angry or frustrated as easily and I really try just to be nice to people and make sure that I am not harming others. Around the time that I got into AA I also started hitting the gym hard. I always made excuses before about not working out or being too tired, it’s too hard to eat well etc. And you know what.. that was all BULLSHIT. There are 24 hours in a day and you can find time to go to the gym. I currently work two jobs, I go to the gym 5-6 times a week, I attend meetings, get together with my sponsor, I am upgrading courses so I can apply to University in the fall and I eat really well 98% of the time. This is ultimately why I chose to write this excerpt for Justin. But first you needed to know my journey and how I got to be where I am now.

image[2]When I first started out I started posting a status whenever I was at the gym, whenever I made a really healthy meal, or I was just posting a gym meme about something gym related. And then stuff starting happening. People started to notice. I am not saying this to be naive or vein… but my friends noticed that I was living this positive, healthy lifestyle. I had people saying to me that I inspired them to go back to the gym, to get healthy, and I motivated them to push harder. How fucking cool is that?!?!?! And even cooler than me motivating someone else they have motivated others too! It’s like this crazy chain reaction that I thought I was just doing all these posts for myself and it’s just Facebook nobody really cares about that shit anyways but, I was totally wrong! So many people guys and gals have thanked me for being such a positive and great inspiration and role model. And you know what… That now keeps ME going! How could I just stop now when I have motivated so many people to live a better life!? To not practice what I have consistently preached for the last 6 months?! And yes… I have only been doing this for six months.. that’s as long as I have been sober and hitting the gym. And honestly I have never been happier! I surround myself with positive people, I look for the good in others and I just try to give out more than I receive. And you know what it works! Me being so positive and happy reflects on other people (unless they are just downright miserable but that’s their business). People react to me Progress Not Perfection 

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differently now and they engage me in conversation and they want to talk to me and they like talking to me. Whatever it is, positivity is totally my key to happiness. Working out and being sober, eating well and just being happy with who I am is the key to my positive outlook on life. Everyday isn’t perfect and I certainly am not one to say that I am perfect either. Just waking up every morning and being proud of who I see in the mirror is enough for me to love my life. One year in a birthday card my father actually wrote me a handwritten note in regards to not being around all the time and wishing he had more time with me. At the end of that note he wrote these very words: “Wake up every morning and be proud of who you see in the mirror”. And for a long time I wasn’t proud and I wasn’t happy. But I can happily say that since I have changed my life for the better, I am 100% happy with living my life one day at a time, seizing the moment and remembering that in life there is progress, not perfection.

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In life there is progress, not perfection

Just Keep Going

It’s been 2 years and a day since I opened my blog so that I could fundraise to go to Haiti, so what better time to post a blog!

 

So much has changed since May 2012, I now live in BC and comparably as happy as I was in Haiti. I live with great people there are mountains outside my front door in any direction and green everywhere!IMG_1251

There’s been a lot of new development in the past few weeks as well. I’m moving into a bigger place on the same property mind you on the 1st of June… I’m excited to be able to take showers… instead of baths (What were you thinking I didn’t baths? silly people). I’m still in the process of getting my car to pass BC safety standards, the sad thing is my car is better than most on the streets here. I got a new windshield today because there was two chips in it, but now it feels like I’m driving a new car.

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While my car was in the shop getting fixed I decided to longboard since it’s super warm out… T-shirt and shorts weather. It’s nice to get out and “exercise”, I’m going to need it as I start a new job soon doing landscaping. I’m leaving The Mobile Shop because I can’t bear to be cooped up inside a grocery store selling phones anymore, especially not in the beautiful weather that is here and it going to continue to shine in the summer. Another reason I’ve decided to leave my current employment is the fact I’m surrounded by something that I’m so against… such consumerism and plastic everywhere; I know you can’t eliminate all the plastic, but every new holiday there is shelves upon shelves of crap from gimmicky plastic cups to ornaments and one time use decorations that we are littering our earth with but I digress.  I’ve been doing customer service long enough; I do really enjoy helping people but I’d rather be doing it some other way like therapy, life coaching, or just giving someone a smile.

There's snow up on the Mountains but none in town ^_^

There’s snow up on the Mountains but none in town ^_^

The yard is really coming along, Dayton and I did a walk around the property climbed a tree or two and just talked about life and plants and the earth. Our fire pit is set up and we are already having movie nights again. Our first official fire was about 3 weeks ago and random people kept showing up but it was great, guitars and music were playing.

I’ve begun to record things going on at “The Hostel” to make a keepsake video for everyone. I have some Jam sessions, some fire nights and gardening… maybe we’ll even make a music video.

I wanted to throw an update out there as I’ve really slacked off huge on updates so here one is! It’s super nice out so I’m going to cut this one short, hope everyone is having a great week if not, take a step outside look at the sky smile at the clouds, sun, rain, or even stars we live on a tiny marble, let your worries go for a bit and enjoy the moment.

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Namaste ❤

“Change is the only constant” ~illogic

It’s About Love!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve blogged… to be honest it’s just laziness or the fact I hadn’t had any motivation to post because it is pretty exhausting. Surprisingly it does take a lot out of you to write; I take anywhere between and hour or two to post a basic blog let alone one with full pictures and details. So I thank you for keeping your interest in reading my posts!

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I want to start this blog by discussing part of the book I’m reading which I’ve also let fall to the side a bit. The Valkyries has a lot of good material but there’s a lot in the book that seems almost useless… I guess it may have something to do with having such high expectations from reading The Alchemist. At one point the author Paulo Coelho writes about Love doesn’t create Peace and that we always destroy that in-which we love. I can kind of agree we tend to destroy the things we love to an extent, but the fact that he states it doesn’t bring peace… I dunno about that.

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Can’t wait for this to turn into a beautiful garden!

I feel like a lot of life has to do with Love… and I’ve discovered that more than ever since living out West; love is what drives most things from what you want to do in the future to who you want to spend your life with. If you can share love for something… for everything you are on a path to peace. I’ve found more peace of mind, of body, peace of life in the past year more than I ever have. Haiti was the start of who I was to become and continue to be. Once I started meeting similar minded people from Edmonton to Vernon to around the world! My general my outlook on life is a lot more joyous. I get deemed a Hippy from time to time just because a lot of people find me “chill” or super relaxed and caring, and I don’t mind that, I embrace it. We lack a lot of love in this world and it’s been replaced with money and things but if you can just find love in everything from day-to-day you’ll find you feel much better.

I don’t know the answers to life but I sure feel like I’m taking a step in the right direction… and you can too! When you wake up in the morning take some time to lay in bed and enjoy the sounds around you, think about the sun even if it’s behind the clouds. Once you’re up and going take a look in the mirror, tell yourself how beautiful and sexy you are even if you don’t believe it… do it until you do! Because you are only as beautiful as you let yourself be, your brilliance shines from within and will show on the outside. When you love yourself you’re ready to face the world. Maybe you think that you’re not good enough for someone because you’ve never dated or have issues dating… do you love yourself? Would you want someone who’s conflicted with themselves to be your partner; I say no because without self-love you can’t love someone else.

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Most days I’ll put on music in the morning whether it’s a vinyl record of the Beatles to some EDM on my computer or phone; it doesn’t matter what it is as long as you can appreciate that someone put love into their music and made it ring in your ears. Heck it could be Country or it could be Heavy Metal… what jives with you?

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New tunes!

Ever get mad at someone for making a mistake on your order or anything even? Ever heard of the word sonder? It’s a word I suggest most people to acquaint themselves with. To sonder is to really stop and think about how everyone around you has complex emotions as you do… maybe their dog is sick or they broke up with their girlfriend or even had the best night of their life and are in Lala-Land. Remember they are complex beings of life just like you.

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I was going to stop my tangent on love but on my idea board Dr. Who came up and his love for everything living… it may be a Sci-fi show but when it comes down to it the Dr. doesn’t want to hurt anyone and is against all discrimination from Humans to Aliens to Cyborgs, you are a being of the world… of the UNIVERSE! Everyone is something and should always be treated equally. Oh and I found the Dr.’s TARDIS in my town!

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That’s my little tangent on Love there’s a lot more I’d Love to share but I’ll save it for another day.

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Joys of the winter! About 2 weeks ago my pipes froze! I was without water for almost 4 days… it’s amazing how crucial water is. I knew from Haiti how important it was but it was a hell of a reminder. I couldn’t clean my dishes, wash my clothes and to cook… it’s actually really hard to cook without water. Luckily before I was at my wit’s end the pipes opened up and I went on a major clean spree.

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Dirtiest my place has ever been!

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I decided to finally get out and take some photo’s for people to look at and to fill my blog… since the snow has been out I’ve been struggling to get myself outside to take pictures, it’s just way to cold for my liking.

Cool Little bird house Daytpm and I found in the yard ^_^

Cool Little bird house Dayton and I found in the yard ^_^

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I was fooling around on Facebook and saw all the places I had visited and was just so grateful and am super excited to travel more of the world. As much as I’ve seen there is so much to discover as the maps below show where I’ve been for the most part.

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My wonderful adventures ❤

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“Things may seem like they are going in the wrong direct… but it’s to help put you in the right direction”

7 days in…. And I’m feeling it.

A good friend of mine Liz is fasting to raise money to visit and aid children in Haiti. This isn’t her first trip or fast she’s done and I’m sure it’s not going to be her last. She’s powering through 4 weeks of fasting and plans on keeping everyone up to date. Here’s one of her posts.

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Today is day 7 of my Fasting to Feed. Initially, despite the hunger, being ‘hangry’ (hungry + cranky), and tired I was still feeling pretty good. I still had energy, and was able to continue with my day as if I was eating normally.

Lately however, I am not feeling that way. Since Wednesday I have been tired, not having the energy to go about my day regularly. One night I slept for 12 hours and still didn’t feel like it was enough. The headaches began on Tuesday and have continued. Mix that with the dizziness and it is not a good feeling.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining whatsoever. It is SO exciting knowing that I have made it though a week of fasting, and only have 3 weeks to go. It also is a wonderful reminder of how blessed we truly are in Canada. If I…

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The Majesty

There isn’t much to report on this week but I’m feeling like I’m in a writing mood!

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Yesterday was a strange day I was kind of in a funk a lot of the day at work and my fantastic co-worker Maria was trying very hard to make me smile. Maria without trying to make someone smile is a character, so yesterday she was going all out. Unfortunately she hadn’t made much progress through the day until… I decided I was craving junk food. I purchased a Kinder egg and some “double sour” Skittles (that’s what the label said anyway). The Kinder egg was a let down as it wasn’t even a toy… it was a cheapo key chain; now how am I suppose to amuse myself with that! I figured it was time to open up the Skittles, as usual I didn’t find them too sour but Maria on the other hand… that’s where my day turned around, watching her face twist and contort made me split a gut and the day was nothing but uphill from there. Terrible right? Becoming happy off of someone elses torment, it was all in good fun though 🙂

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I wrote on my blackboard about my carbon footprint and the responsibility about it, I don’t quite remember what I was on about specifically but I know it was good! So I’ll just share what’s on my mind about it now. A lot of people choose to eat meat and as many of you know I’m vegetarian, I am by no means angry at meat eaters I think that everyone deserves the right to live their life how they please… within reason as always. My main reasons for choosing such a diet are mainly moral driven which in turn aim at carbon footprints. I think it’s important to take responsibility for how you are affecting this earth as there are no borders of pollution or connectivity with the earth. I feel with my choice not to consume animals I am making a difference to the living creatures, the amount of water required to process these foods as well as less petrol consumed involved in the entire process. I know I’m not saving the world by my choices but it’s a start and starting to make change is better than standing still; I feel more conscious and responsible for my decisions. Anyway that’s my little blurb on that I could go on for days.

I purchased a new book and it came in today! The Valkyries by Paulo Coelho, I was so blown away and took so much from the last book of his I read “The Alchemist”. I’m really hoping to be inspired by this next book as well, and if so I’m excited to read the many more books he’s written. I’ll be sure to keep you up to date on how the read is.

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The Universe… Isn’t it grand? I’ve always been interested in history and just knowledge all together it’s all so amazing (as did Alexandria). I had a binge the other day about Alexandria possibly one of the best civilizations in existence which was unfortunately taken down by what I’d consider “close mindedness“. One major influential person of its time was Hypatia a female of great knowledge, before it was even acceptable.

Speaking of History and our majestic Planet Earth there is so much that we have yet to discover and keeps me in awe; Outer space is what I’m getting at… the Universe has so much to offer from energies, brilliance and it’s ability to create. I’ve taken a lot of time recently to help organisations catalogue Galaxies, stars, and anomalies of all sorts. Just taking the time to look at what’s out there and its immense size really took takes my breath away. I think about it everyday ‘How big are you’, which coincidentally is what I named my painting I created in the summer. Look at the mountains and see how big they are, then the sun and then our solar system, galaxy… and it just keeps going. Now imagine hundreds and thousands of galaxies spewed out in our cosmos. I like to think about the size while in meditation it’s relaxing and helps you really brings your problems down to size. Maybe what I’m getting at (not even sure myself) is that when life is becoming overbearing on you step back, close your eyes and dream or imagine the vast size of our entire existence. Take a breath and two seconds to reflect then go back on with you day it’s been put together for you to exist and create within it.

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“Alone? You don’t have to be you have your entire imagination <3”

Shakra + Meditation

Guest Post

>>Your Inner Core<<

You are not a human being having a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being having a human experience. Each and every one of us homosepians have 7 energy centers called the Chakras. These chakras are like spirals of energy, each one relating to the others. Using the seven colours of the spectrum, Colour Therapy aims to balance and enhance our body’s energy centres/chakras and also to help stimulate our body’s own healing process.

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First you have a crown chakra bringing personal identification and oneness with peace & wisdom. Second, you have a third-eye chakra clearing the subconscious to channel intuition, and brings devotion and balance. Third you have a throat chakra, bringing you the ability to verbalize. Letting you express truth through the power of spoken words. Next, you have your heart chakra letting you express love in action and releasing emotionally repressed trauma. Then, comes the solar plexus bringing you positive use of personal power, assimilation experience, manifesting goals, and digestion. Sacral Chakra is next giving you utilization of creative forces into all aspects of being and bringing you direct self-toward devotion. Last, is the root chakra letting you gain ability to work lovingly on this psychical plane.

Now everyone finds comfort and peace in their music they dig, right? It makes complete sense how music stimulates these chakras through frequency and vibration. These healing centers are one of the beyond beautiful things that we are gifted with.

>>Meditation<<

There are many different ways of meditation and it can also mean different things to different people on each sides of the spectrum. Meditation is part of a normal day practice and ritual for a mass amount of people, whether religious or not. Whatever the practice means to you can be enormously helpful as a way of calming the mind, finding your inner peace and has beautiful long-term effects on the body, mind, and soul. This place of inner peace is where we can open up to our higher self, without the ‘interference’ of the ego, where we can find our higher intelligence and knowing. Meditation can be achieved by focusing the mind on a particular object, for example a flower, or a simple shape, a sound, a visualization, or even the process of you painting a picture is a form of meditation.

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The most helpful meditation of all is closed eye transcendental meditation. This is the simple act of closing your eyes and staring into your crown chakra. (your lower middle forehead) As simple as this sounds, a mass majority of people cannot even seem to find their minds be still and from wandering off into the realm of infinite thoughts. But with practice, it is beyond achievable in a beautiful manner. Meditation is not only good for all cores of your being, but can help psychically, and very much so mentally. Either removing stress, clearing energy blockages, often some people even find themselves with great ideas after their practice. Meditation should be practiced at least 20 minutes a day, twice a day for each individual. There are many helpful tapes, CD’S, videos around to help with meditation, as they will take the listener through stages of relaxation, or to help build a ‘picture’ in the mind’s eye of tranquility.

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With practice, shortly you will find it much easier to meditate, find yourself less stressed, much more stability, both relaxed and having more vitality in a balanced manner, more happiness and making it much easier to be able to ‘switch off’ any time, anywhere, when you are feeling the need for peace that is very much so deserved between all beings. If you can’t find peace in your outer core, know it is in your inner. Along with happiness, no one or thing can bring your happiness (only temporary) except yourself. You cannot depend of anyone or thing to make you happy, because that thing can be taken away from you. Once you realize this and live off of this method, you will find yourself becoming truly happy.

Breathing is very important as well as maintaining a healthy, stable mind-set and body. As obvious as stating ‘breathing is very important’ it is surprising how few of us actually do breathe ‘properly.’ Breathing is something we all take for granted, leading us to be inclined to forget about. Lack of proper breathing can often be a symptom of stress. Since approximately 90% of our energy is created by oxygen and nearly all of our body’s actions are regulated by it, is it important to have a healthy breathing technique in general, or at least to practice every week.

>>Ability<<

Finding activities to allow your self to create are beautiful ones. Whether it is taking photographs of scenery or painting a picture to express your current mood, writing a poem, song, etc. Creating things made from scratch is amazing when you find yourself coming up with awesome ideas. There is no other feeling that does justice to making your ideas happen in psychical form. This can make you realize how capable of things you are. Every one is an artist in some shape, way or form. Even if you do not believe you are an artist, what you enjoy to do most likely is an art technique. You are more than an artist. You are more than a human. You are powerful, divine, and certainly no one can compare.

Submitted by: Christina Teller

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“We are busy beings but without introspection how can you truly see?”