$436.50 Flight Credit to…

As result of totally switching gears last Fall, I have a flight credit with Hawaiian Airlines for $436.50. It expires on September 4 of this year.

Grounding myself in tadasana, mountain pose, during today’s early morning sandy stroll before a juicy-full day, I visually absorbed the pure beauty of a school of dolphins and wetsuit-clad dapper dudes alike surfing the morning glass waves.

Contemplating the thought of an upcoming trip to the islands, an unfamiliar thought crossed my typically gypsy-footed mind:

I don’t need to go anywhere right now.

I’m pretty darn content. My life is bursting with the simple pleasures that keep Beach Girl Abroad happy: family, friends, community, sharing my passions with the world through teaching yoga and writing, enough space when I need it, intellectual stimulation, daily communion with nature and it’s expansive ocean only a block away. I’d say I’m on a good path towards santoshacontentment as described in Patanjali‘s Yoga Sutras.

A warm, strong Santa Ana wind kicked up during my block-long walk home, gusts not unlike the warm Fall tradewinds that’d breezed along my skin in on Oahu, Maui, and Big Island. Ah, the perfection of a California morning like today’s. On a day like today, I don’t particularly feel like going anywhere.

…hmmmm.

The wheels are turning.

One last island, Kauai, that I’d left unexplored.

Oh, and my birthday is coming up during the first week of June 😉

Unexplored Territory: Kaua’i

What a nice way to feel.

Just the possibility of taking a trip.

Getting quiet and listening to my intuition on how to proceed from here…

Aloha.

xoxo

Beach Girl Abroad

Beach Girl @Home: Happy Holidays!

It’s hard to believe three years have passed since my last California Christmas (or Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, or Fourth of July for that matter).

I’d read somewhere in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras that in order to succeed ‘out there’ in the world, one must begin at home.  One must learn how to communicate, keep peace, and understand others in the structure of their own family, to the best of their ability. This home practice in turn, allows one to then appropriately ‘deal’ with the ‘outside world’. Coming home to celebrating the most LOVING and KIND Holiday full of LAUGHTER and PEACE, in my life, is a true testament to the aforementioned blurb read in Patanjali’s ‘Rules’.

It’s been extraordinarily special moving home just in time for the Holidays as a newfound closeness with my Mom and Stepdad (whom I consider as my ‘Dad’) has developed. Through the ups and downs of travel, feelings I’d stuffed down emerged via Skype, text, e-mail, you name it. What can I say ? Distance makes the heart grow fonder, closer,…and braver.

Background: I didn’t have the most peaceful upbringing, and refuse to believe any family is ‘normal’. However, I know mine was anything but. Childhood was, most times, NOT peaceful, always moving around (ten schools by ninth grade), hardly a routine, a sibling who demanded our parents’ attention (albeit negative), a nasty divorce and bankruptcy, plus loads of yelling, especially during Holidays. Can you imagine chaos?

Our Holiday situations always left me wishing it was a random day in March opposed to the ‘Most Wonderful Time of the Year’. Luckily, things have changed around here. The people causing the drama are now more or less settled down or out of the picture; us few remaining are calming down. At the age of twenty-six, I’m living in a home with a Mom and a Dad opposed to a single-parent home for the first time. Yes, I’d lived at my Stepdad’s for a year prior to Asia, but this time is different. Over the past few years being away, he’s actually become my Dad. And with this shift comes a deep look at my inner self–the peace, the stability, the warmth, the LOVE, has allowed me to slow down, observe that the tendency to be quite the reactive human being opposed to responsive, runs deep in my veins as a samskara (Sanskrit for ‘habit pattern of the mind’) which needs to be broken. It’s time to change. Christmas was a symbol of all this change. Just a family having FUN. I’m taking deep breaths and thinking before I respond. Respecting eachother. Loving Life. Slightly normal! Whatever that silly word means.

On Christmas Eve’s Eve morning (does that make sense?), Dad was in a silly mood and said, “oh, Elisa, you have Gypsy Feet, you’ll be off again soon enough, dancing around with your Buddha Bells, singing ‘ding ding ding, om, om, om“, along with a little dance of his own.

Later on in the day, still laughing at his comment and inspired by another friend and blogger, Megan at Across the Pond, the idea for a Christmas-India-Yoga-fusion video came about. We got down and boogied, throwing caution to the wind in lieu of some major ham-mage in front of the MacBook Pro camera. Each time I replay the video, a bit more gratitude for my Mom and Dad, their youthful spirits, their love and support, washes over me. Grateful to be home this Christmas, at my roots, so that in Christmas future I can bring this positive experience to perhaps my own family.  Or at least be able to bring it ‘out there’, to paraphrase Patanjali.

To be your best ‘out there’ in the world, why not be your best at home? Just like our yoga practice, which we practice again and again, why not practice keeping peace within the structure of our own family?

P.S. I’m dreaming of dancing again in Southeast Asia. Although, not for a while. Here’s to Dreaming, keeping the Gypsy Feet at on the Ground, and Accepting the Love.

Ding, ding, ding, om, om, om 😉

P.S.S. Want to know about my Christmases past?

Two years ago, I hopped on a plane last-minute from the depths of Winter in Seoul, South Korea to appreciate Christmas and ring in 2011 hippie-style. Relaxing, rejuve-ing, yoga, Thai Massage, a 5 day detox, and an all-night NYE jungle party ensued at Sanctuary Thailand, where the jungle meets the ocean on a secluded Koh Phangan cove. Highly recommended 😉 Yet, I recall a certain longing for my family during the holidays.

Last year, I hung out with Dr. Patricia Bragg, ND, of Bragg Live Foods, on Christmas Eve. We’d just begun working together and I was ambivalent about going home due to a disagreement between myself and another family member. We ended up having a great time! I was new to the island, and Dr. Bragg made me feel like I had family on the island. Seriously, it felt like spending time with a Fairy Grandmother who shares common interests. We spent Christmas Eve roaming Honolulu. Christmas Eve was a full day of chatting with shoppers at Kahala Mall, searching for thrift store treasure, picking up health food at Down to Earth Natural Foods, and admiring the Christmas decorations in Downtown Honolulu. Another bonus? She helped me weed out the less-than-ideal family situation was eating away at my spiritual garden (I travelled to California in early 2012 to resolve)…More later 🙂

A Little Bit of Inspiration Lately, says the Universe

photo @ Kalani Oceanside Retreat, Pahoa, Hawaii.

..you know when you just know…

you’re no longer where the universe wants you to be?

“Okay, your work here is done, 

the lessons you needed to learn are learned.

you met who you need to meet.

that little part of your soul is healed.

yes, I did hear you pray.

and here is the next step”

 

An itch in the bones, 

a sudden burst of energy, 

a sudden desire to start downsizing, 

clean out the closet, give things away…

it’s been brewing about a month now…

no longer feeling like hermitting in Lanikai…

suddenly thrown into limbo 

just when I thought things were settling into a nice little routine…

feeling like going out into the world and doing something.  

something.

something sustainable.  something fresh.  

something where you don’t need much but some good people, 

knowledgable people to learn from,

nature, 

and ono grindz (that’s Hawaiian for “good food”).  

  yes yes.  that’s where we’re headed… 

 Amid the limbo, I randomly hopped on a plane for a week of feeding the spirit at Kalani Oceanside Retreat, 

an intentional community off-the-grid on Big Island,

where one year ago participated in a one month intensive training that I’m sure has changed my life, 

yoga practice, and course to the most positive…

 Surprising a dear friend from last year’s training, Winnie, 

who I found out just a couple days before was visiting Kalani from far far away on the mainland,

 I just knew I had to go…again, in my bones…

and with a synchronistic week off work, originally intended for Kauai,

I rerouted straight to off-the-grid Pahoa.

(we proceeded to camp in the Kalani jungle together in a tent with wi-fi, giggles, 

and of course very serious discussion us yogis tend to have), 

photo @ Yoga Sutras Philosophy Discussion

Sadhana Pada (2nd Chapter)

“Action Plan” for breezing through life as a yogini

(go ahead, read it!)


…hung out and participated as a fly on the wall for six days of asana and philosophy with my teachers 

and their new class of 20 amazing souls (mahalo Alicia and Oliver!),

 Painted, swam, and just talked story with our teachers’ daughter, the coolest 4 year old ever and def the lil’ sis I always wanted…

learned a bit about the aina (land), plants
permaculture, and aquaponics from Horticulture specialist, Barcus, @ Kalani
leaf from the Autograph Tree

As this shift is happening, a wonderful gift from my little Bro 

–who’s not so little at 6’4 and built like a linebacker 

and will indeed kick your ass if you mess with his sis 😉 —

popped up on my Facebook wall.  

It indeed came at just the right time, a reminder of where we come from 

and to risk following your heart, your dreams, speaking your mind

to communicate authentically

to persevere

to dream

to not just try, but do

no matter what adversity…

and 

that everything always works out…

 

connection continued…

and after sleeping on what i’d written in my previous post…i have to say, i could never have survived this past year without the support of my family and friends back home.  emails, skypes, feedback on the blog and pics n posts on facebook.  man, oh man.  if anything, i feel even more connected than when i left, and have a whole new and greater appreciation for you guys.  ❤


care package from stacey and rick…music and a sunset card!  ❤
care packages from mommy and grandmother jean
my lil tree sent from grandmother jean from denver…candle and big box from mom in oxnard shores ❤