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10 COUNTRIES IN THE PAST NINE MONTHS
HERE’S WHERE I STAND
Okay. Here’s the deal. I’ve spent the last seven days writing daily for the Greece blog and have made it a point to check in each day to update my log and jot down any stories or specific memories for the blog before they escape my memory. And I’m doing so, I’ve managed to write a blog that is quite long and very detailed. But today is Saturday in Greece which means it’s Friday on the mainland and I have to finish this blog post tonight before I send it over to my assistant to edit and publish by tomorrow morning. I’m currently on the roof of a massive ferry boat going from one island to the next and am two vegan edibles deep (taken as preventative measures for gnarly sea-sickness,) and as I lay here, literally lay horizontally on a thin padeo separating me from the filthy concrete floor of this crowded passenger ferry floor - I can’t help but think about how bored and bothered I feel by the post I’ve written over the past 7 days and how bored and bothered I feel by SO much of the travel content I’ve seen on social media over the past few months.
Nothing I’ve written about traveling through Greece, and very little of the travel content I’ve seen on social media in the past few years, seems to be really real. It doesn’t really seem capable enough to possibly captivate just a fraction of the beauty and the mediocrity and all else in between that this world has to offer. So I think I’ll mix things up a little this week.
Greece has been spectacular so far. Marissa and I sat at a port side cafe this morning (while eating hearty bowls of pasta at 11 am) and counted back the days since we arrived to Greece. 9 days. We’ve only been here for nine days?! Is that even possible?
Nine days in Greece has felt more like three weeks. And I’m not entirely sure if it’s because we’ve done so much in such a short period of time, or because we have been in an ongoing race to escape the crowds of tourists since we arrived nine days ago. And it’s not just Greece, I’m so saddened to share. Since January of this year, I have spent one month in the Hawaii before spending one month in the Philippines, followed by two weeks in Sri Lanka, three weeks in Bali, two weeks in Australia, three months back in Hawaii, two days in Colorado, one week in Portugal, one week in France and 4 days in Italy before flying to Greece. The tourists. are. everywhere. Or so it seems. Trust me, I know, I’m one of them.
But it’s not just seeing so so so many tourists that upsets and confuses me. It’s the cities, countries and culture that are being manipulated to be something they’re not because of the tourists visiting. I can’t help but to feel saddened for Greece and the consequences our travel and consumption (and possibly over travel and over consumption) have had on these islands. Greece reminds me so much of Hawaii. Too much of Hawaii maybe. Once a quiet, laid back and cultured group of islands rich in native tradition and ancient belief, Greece is now being hit with hundreds of thousands of tourist flying in and out from all corners of the world each and every single week. Greece is being hit hard. New hotels, restaurants, cafes and spas are being built around every corner. Monsanto has recently arrived to Greece and more products/food/water are being imported and shipped in each day. I’ve only visited five Greek Islands so far, but have personally witnessed this beautiful culture confined and conformed on each island so far. And I can’t help but notice that things seem to move in the direction of “Greeks out, tourists in”. And it feels all too familiar with the drastic change I’ve seen in Hawaii over the past five years.
We made it an effort to prioritize the low key, lesser-known, quiet coastal cities and small beach towns in Greece. We spent our first week on an island so small you could drive from side to the other in 15 minutes without passing more than 5 cars. But when you did pass those 5 cars, 4 of them were rental cars and at least three of those cars had GoPros or selfie sticks shoved out the window.
I felt a bit uneasy within the first few days in Greece. Every corner we turned was crowded with overdressed tourists asking their friend/partner/parent or stranger to take a photo of them. Every church, white wall and swinging chair was occupied with someone being photographed or captured on film. Are we even admiring the sunset? Are we looking with our eyes? Or through the screen of an iPhone camera lens? Are we enjoying this moment? Are we present here in this moment? Why did we all come here in the first place?
I couldn’t help but wonder.
Full Disclosure: I run a travel blog and popular social media account. I’m not perfect. I’m so far from being perfect. I know this. I snap dozens of photos (sometimes hundreds) each day and document a large chunk of my life online through various platforms. I have habits that need to be readjusted. But I am sort’ve at this point right now where whatever I post and publish online is read by thousands of people, and I can’t help but feel CALLED to share these thoughts and ideas with you all. Reminders to myself as I strive to personally improve as a traveler and as a public figure in the social eye. And maybe some reminders that will resonate with you as well.
THOUGHTS ON THIS
I want to travel quieter.
I want to speak, plan, control and disrupt less so I can see, feel and listen to more.
I want to leave each place knowing it’s in a better state than it was before I arrived.
I want to leave feeling cultured, confused and curious to see more.
I want to always be increasingly compassionate for the local people, places and things I come across while traveling.
I want to spice things up.
I want to visit new places and feel like I’m not in America surrounded by the same people, eating the same food, buying the same souvenirs, taking the same pictures as everyone else around them.
I want to experience a place.
Really, truly experience a place.
I want to be spoken to in foreign languages that inspire me to learn more.
I want to take the local bus or walk the back alley and get lost in the places not pinned on my google map.
I want to check into an accommodation or sit down at a restaurant and not hear first words out of my mouth be “can you please tell me the WiFi password?”
HERE’S WHAT I’VE LEARNED SO FAR
Time moves slowly and travel is especially sweeter when it’s done so quietly and intuitively. Allow yourself to arrive somewhere and simply take things from there. See what feels right for you once you land. If a certain location or area excites you, inspires you and leaves you wanting more, spend time there. Plant some roots. Even if it’s only momentarily. See the town, meet the locals, find your favorite sunset spot and go there for a few nights in a row. Enjoy it. Experience it. If a certain city or country doesn’t feel right, simply adjust. Relocate. Even if your itinerary tells you something different. There is no right or wrong way to visit on city or country. It can be messy, unexpected and unexplained. You have no one to explain anything to other than yourself.
When you let your travels unfold before you, rather than laminate them in a set in stone itinerary - they will be more memorable and meaningful. Be open and willing to accept change and discomfort while you travel (and also in your life.) The uneasiness is often the most powerful catalyst of growth while traveling. If plans change, flights cancel, or someone falls sick, accept it as an opportunity to reveal your most patient and flexible chilled-out self. Don’t stress. Never stress while traveling. It does absolutely no good what so ever and is most likely the one thing you wanted to leave behind when you came on this trip in the first place. Also, no one really likes that one person who micro-manages every single last detail of the trip. Trust me, the girls and I overheard a woman do this to her group of traveling companions over the dinner table the other night “we have to go to this bar on Friday so we can order this cocktail before we eat dinner here on Saturday night and then we won’t be hungover when we wake up at sunrise to do this, this, this and this all before 12 noon on Sunday morning.” I felt overwhelmingly exhausted just listening to her.
Travel isn’t jumping from one Instagram location to the next. This is a HUGE learning lesson I’m currently enduring. Travel is not Instagram. Travel is not Instagram. Travel is not Instagram. I remind myself this daily. You do not have to go somewhere just to take a photo of it. You did not come here to make your social media look interesting or aesthetically pleasing. You do not have to individually geo-tag and link every single destination you visit. Please. Please. Please. Remember that. Before your taxi or local bus dropped you off here, this was someone’s home first. This is someone else’s home. They must live here when you leave. It is not a travel destination for them. It is their home. Let’s not send out an open invite to hundreds of thousands of strangers on the internet each day. Treat their neighborhood as you would your own hometown. There is Earth beneath all of this. These resources and elements can only handle so much. This land can only sustain so much. Be mindful of this.
Your trip abroad doesn’t have to include ticking off all of the same boxes as someone’s holiday vacation. It can be whatever it wants to be. And you can always come back here and visit again next year. Let your travels be loose around the edges. You’ll last longer, I promise you. Travel can be sleepy, slow, emotional or lonely. It’s your own. You came on this trip to further connect with yourself and the new environment in which you would be experiencing - not check in and selfie at all 33 BuzfeedWeekly travel recommendations. Be present. Be willing to adapt. You may not “hit up” every single suggestion on your best friend’s boyfriend’s cousin’s recommendation list for two weeks in Brazil. But that’s okay. You can come back. You will come back if it’s meant to be.
Your travel should be your art. It should be creative, colorful and entirely your own. Jam pack it with incredible adventures and moments of presence. Or keep things simple and slow. Rent a funky air BNB in the woods and spend your two week’s vacation there - rather than flying to Bali because “literally every single person you know has already been and you can’t believe you haven’t gone yet. What are you doing with your life?”
Spend money. Or budget. Whatever you gotta do - just do it with gratitude and know that you have perfectly enough for everything that’s meant to be paid for. If you spend money while traveling, or are comfortable being really free with your finances - enjoy it. It is your own. Whether you spent $5,000 a week traveling or $500 a month, make sure you spend your money on things that are worth paying for. Is this purpose benefiting this place or these people in some way? Is it contributing to something I want to see more of while traveling?
Be mindful of the mark you leave behind. This is so crucial. This earth is not ours. These oceans, mountains, rivers, cities and coast are not ours. Leave nothing but your memories behind. Be mindful of what you bring and what you buy. Can you pack your own water bottles, as to avoid having to buy one for each member of your family when you arrive at the national park? Can you buy fresh fruit at the local fruit stand to avoid buying Starbucks at the airport when you arrive? Can you make sure you properly dispose of ALL of your trash while out on the trails for the day? Can you be more mindful of your carbon footprint? Can you be more minimal with your waste? Can you pick up someone’s trash that they may have accidentally leave behind? Can you leave the beach/park/venue with more garbage than you brought in? Where can you improve as a traveler? How will you inspire others to do the same? What can you do that many others may not think of doing?
Finding new ways to give back to a vacation destination is the ultimate cherry on top of any adventure abroad. Don’t let yourself get intimidated by the widespread array of options available to you. It doesn’t have to be difficult or hard. Here’s how you can get started.
Look up a local beach clean up or park clean up in the town or city you will be visiting. Search google or Facebook. Send some messages, reach out to a few people online and see where you can lend a helping hand. Get involved in some way. Even if it’s just for a few hours.
Look up a local orphanage or woman’s shelter to make a donation to. Even if you don’t know a single woman or child in the whole country. It usually is as easy as writing a quick email (or sending a Facebook message) saying that you’d like to make a donation to their organization. “What can I send or drop off?” Often times these places are desperate for common products such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, tampons, socks and groceries. $100 (or less! Or more!) can go a long way for these individuals.
Research an animal rescue sanctuary or animal rehabilitation center to make a donation to. You can share your time or share your money. This is an especially fantastic activity for families or parents traveling with children to do! Show them first hand that they can spend their spending money (or mommy and daddy’s spending money) on souvenirs and cheap toys, or they can use this money to help feed, house and support their favorite animal at the shelter. It’s a powerful connection to make at a young age.
Don’t have the extra money to make a donation yourself? Start a GoFundMe or CrowdRaiser while traveling. Choose one thing you’d like to contribute to while living or traveling abroad and get busy. Use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to promote your cause. It can be for ANYTHING that you cherish as a beautiful part of your travels. Choose a local school that neighbored your AIR BNB, a woman’s birthing center that you walked past every morning on the way to the market or a non-for-profit organization that you read about in the local newspaper. Doesn’t matter if you raise $20 or $2,000. You’re giving and sharing more than you would have been able to on your own.
CHANGE THE WORLD THROUGH YOUR ACTIONS
RATHER THAN YOUR POSTS ON THE INTERNET.
NOVEMBER SIXTH TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHTEEN
I’ve been feeling resistance towards these apps recently. Struggling to figure out where it is exactly I stand. As someone who works as an entrepreneur, online business owner and blogger. As well as someone who is remarkably bored by the majority of content being shared here. Most days I open this app and feel so incredibly uninspired by what I see. The over-edited travel photos, the infinity pools, the mainstream couple pictures, the detox teas, the plastic Starbucks cups. Surely this cannot be it. Right?
I often ask myself “What are we all even doing here?”
What are we seeking? What are we creating? Do we even know? Is any of this bringing any of you fulfillment? Or joy? Am I missing something here? Why is all of this content the same? Where is the art? Where is the self expression? Where is the work that makes me feel inquisitive or eager to ask question? Is anything raw? Or really real anymore?
Like really, what the fuck am I going to do with all of these pictures? Will I hang all 10 thousand of them on the walls in my home? What if I don’t own a home? Will I become a scrap-booker? Probably not. Am I able to truly remember the moments, emotions, sounds and feelings from when these photos were captured?
It appears that the most inspiring and interesting people I meet these days are the ones who are rarely on social media. Who are too busy creating a life that is genuine and individualized and rich with experiences.
I don’t want to search anymore. I don’t want to be consumed by the search of others, either. I’m sick of scrolling and swiping and watching everyone around me do the same. I remind myself “When I am searching for something outside of myself, I am not here and now, because my search will always lead me to somewhere else.”
I want to be here. And in the now. I want to actively be a part of my life today, rather than edit and manipulate the projection of a life online with the intention of it being remembered by others. I want to create real life experiences. Rather than surface-level content.
BALANCING YOUR MASCULINE + FEMININE ENERGY
Up until a few months ago, I had never really heard of or discussed masculine and feminine energy in this context. I had known of masculine and feminine characteristics, and read these words in books, blogs and texts on spirituality, but never really identified with these dualities on a personal level before.
I was uneducated and unaware of the impact that masculine and feminine energy have on our lives and our every-day thoughts/emotions/actions. And according to the universe, this needed to change, because all energies quickly aligned to bring about new knowledge and inquisitiveness into my life.
I was de-compressing in Bali for a few weeks in April of this year and met a man (who has since become one of my closest friends) who introduced me to masculine and feminine energy from a new perspective. We spoke about the two individual energies and he emphasized the importance of creating and curating the “perfect” balance of the two energies within oneself. The more we spoke, the more I wanted to learn and experience. And so I did.
I've spent the last three months sitting up late at night reading books, blogs and articles and writing lists and journal entries as I begin to dissect and become more aware of my own energetic make up. I feel so called to diving deeper into this type of work right now. Since learning how to identify masculine and feminine energy traits within others (and myself) I have been treating every interaction in my life as a new opportunity for me to experience these energetic dualities within myself and the reflection of myself through others.
At this point in my life, I believe that I am in a healthy balance between my masculine and feminine energy, a majority of the time. Or maybe its just become much easier for me to identify when I am out of balance within the two. When I do feel that these two energetic beings are not in a harmonious cycle within myself, I recognize that I tend to lean towards being stuck in my masculine energy. When I do not exert enough energy into nurturing myself and investing in my routine of self love and self care, I find myself acting out of ego and emitting a vibration of aggressiveness and impatience.
Usually, I want to get shit done. And I want to get it done now. Essentially, I know I am out of balance between the two energies when the "new yorker" in me comes out. Often times, I over-work myself and fall into a cycle of dominance and need for control. I'll be the first to tell you, its not a pretty sight. I like to blame my Capricorn-ness. But I know better than anyone else, that to remove myself from this hostile masculine environment, I must find ways to restore and rehabilitate my feminine energy. Which is exactly what I speak about in this post.
Writing this blog post has been especially rewarding for me, because the experiences and discussions that went into this blog have allowed me to access a greater sense of self and find easy and direct ways to check in with my own inner balance. Creating this post has reminded me to strive for equilibrium in my life, always.
I plan to continue to speak on this topic in-depth, but for now, we'll start slow and break it down for anyone who may be unfamiliar to this topic. Any questions, comments or feedback you have is greatly appreciated. I love hearing from you so much.
Everything we do and think affects the people in our lives and in turn, their reactions affect others. The choices we make for ourselves have far-reaching consequences. Each of us carries within us the capacity to change the world in big and small ways, for better or worse. You've rein-stilled the most important reminder within me. To set about this work, we must embark on a journey of self. You are more devoted to creating this change and encouraging individual self expression than many other's I've come across. You've inspired and enlivened me in immeasurable ways. T
NOW ONTO THE GOOD STUFF
MASCULINE + FEMININE ENERGY
Everything around us is made up of polar opposites. The light. The darkness. The sweet. The salty. The water. The land. The joy. The sadness. The compassion. The hatred. Everything in our existence is a reflection of the dual nature of our universal creator. Everything is masculine and feminine. These dualities of energies are our soul nature. We are bodies of fine tuned, balanced light. We are beings of infinite source energy, composed of both masculine and feminine consciousness. Male and Female. We are created equally. As we are conceived equally. Eastern teachings tell us that the male/female principle of polarity is the driving force of creation that arranged our physical universe and everything that it includes. Including you. Including I. Including we. Our one, whole, etheric body which contains a masculine and feminine consciousness. We can look at our masculine/feminine energy similar to a magnet with two, distinct poles of energy and influence.
The more time I spend in nature, the more easily I am able to recognize my own imbalance. As well as our collective imbalance. In nature (undisturbed and non-manipulated by man,) everything is in balance, always. In our society, this is not the case. It appears that we have failed to recognize our infinite energetic expression. We have been trained and told time and time again to detach from our own instinctual being. We are living our lives as stories told to us by others. We have allowed ourselves to become dehumanized. disconnected. disrupted. So many of us are out of balance without even being fully aware of it. Many of us are operating on one end of this sacred energetic spectrum, either "stuck" in our masculine or "stuck" in our feminine energy. We are no longer in tune with this internal balance.
It is only when we are able to achieve balance between these two energies that we are able to complete one, whole energetic being. Embodying your divine feminine energy is the catalyst which helps your divine masculine awaken. We must return to the perfect blend of two twin consciousnesses within the same soul. If you have absolutely no idea what I am speaking about, stay tuned, I'll break these concepts down even further below.
FIRST THINGS FIRST...
WHAT IS Masculine and Feminine Energy?
Male and Female energies exist within each one of us. This duality of masculine and feminine energy also exists within the world and all of nature. When I refer to masculine and feminine energy, I am not referring to physical bodies, men vs. women or husband vs. wife. dominant vs. submissive. Masculine and feminine energy refers to our inherent nature and the expression of masculine and feminine creative energies within each one of us.
Each one of us, regardless of how we identify contains feminine energy. Feminine energy is your creativity. It is your Yin. Feminine energy is moon energy. If a woman is in her divine feminine energy she will be a catalyst for man to activate his divine masculine. Feminine energy is....
Which of these TRAITS do you recognize within yourself?
Each one of us consists of masculine energy, regardless of how we identify.
Masculine energy is structure based. Masculine energy is your Yang. It is a native force. It is sun energy. If a man is in his divine masculine energy he will help the woman develop the divine feminine energy within herself.
Masculine energy is ...
Build on a foundation.
Which of these TRAITS do you recognize within yourself?
HOW TO BALANCE YOUR MASCULINE ENERGY
To be in tune with your masculinity, you must stand for something. Wether it is standing up for yourself. Stand for your beliefs. Stands for what you accept as your truth. Masculinity is developed when we are protecting and serving. Masculine energy is a powerful support system. When a man can learn how to express emotion - which is energy in motion - and follow through with these feelings, he’ll be tapping into both his feminine and masculine being.
When we operate primarily from our masculine side, (out of balance) we act out of ego. We may feel tired, stressed, overworked or unloved as a result of this imbalance. When this happens, we often feel as though we are moving through our life on autopilot, too much in our heads and not enough in our bodies or we feel we are experiencing a lack of intimacy in our lives, we must find ways to re-fuel our feminine energy. This is crucial. (I share particular ways to tap into your feminine energy below.)
If you feel as though you are trapped in your masculine energy, you must calm down. Slow down. Remind others (and yourself) to protect and serve your mind and body. To tap into your divine masculine energy you must find ways to serve your community, your family and most importantly, serve yourself. This is crucial. You must guide others to their higher nature, but you can only do this once you have filled your being with as much light, self-love, health, happiness and genuine expression as you possibly can. I like to think of it in terms as simple as a passenger on an airplane during turbulence or change in pressure. Only once we've situated our own breathing mask are we able to best contribute to the safety and well-being of others around us.
Questions you can ask yourself to check in with your own masculine energy are...
What am I standing for?
What am I contributing to?
Do my everyday actions align with my moral compass?
HOW TO WelcomE MORE Masculine ENERGY INTO YOUR LIFE
1. Do Something Competitive
In nature, we observe that males often fight each other, flaunt their beauty, and use their calls to compete. Humans are no different. Competition is where your masculine traits step up to the plate. If you are someone who is not generally competitive, ask a friend to help you out. Some ideas may be:
Play a game or sports or join a community sports team
Set an aggressive goal for yourself at the gym
Set an aggressive goal for yourself at work
Host a community cook-off at your house and invite friends to participate and judge (the cook-off, not you.)
Compete in a dance battle
Compete in a race
2. Construct a Project
The mathematical and logical mind is a masculine trait. By constructing and completing a project, you are utilizing your left brain and the structured/organized/concrete aspects of your own masculine energy.The project can be anything, essentially. You can build a garden box in your backyard (and then fill it with soil, fertilizer and seeds,) or paint your bedroom or porch with a fresh coat of paint. You can set off to go camping, pitch a tent, build a fire and cook dinner under the stars. It doesn't matter what you do, but rather how you do it. The goal is to be be consistent. Set time aside each day or week until the project is 100% complete.
3. Test Physical Strength
Testing physical strength is a small act of masculinity you can carry out in each day. You don't need to hit the gym or cycle 25 miles to spark your own masculine energy. Some suggestions for testing your own strength are..
Learn how to surf or paddle board
Begin incorporating inversions into your yoga practice
Offer to help a friend who is moving transport heavy boxes from their home
Rearrange your space (push all of that heavy furniture from one side of the apartment to the other) to give your home a new look
Meditate for your solar plexus chakra (more on this below..)
SOLAR PLEXUS MEDITATION FOR MASCULINE ENERGY
By Michelle Kirsch
Your Solar Plexus (Manipura) Chakra is the third Chakra located in your abdomen, above your belly button. It is the energy center responsible for personal power, self-esteem and confidence.
Place your hands over your stomach. Imagine your Solar Plexus Chakra as a ball of yellow light glowing in your abdomen. With each breath, imagine yellow light entering your body and going straight to this area, making it glow even brighter. As your Solar Plexus begins to radiate, your confidence and personal power will become stronger.
Now imagine the yellow light from your Solar Plexus begins to spread throughout your body. Every muscle and every cell is being wrapped in this warm, glowing yellow light. Feel yourself becoming more and more empowered.
Now imagine making that big decision or taking the action that you would like to take. Imagine yourself acting and speaking with confidence and self-assurance. Imagine the positive result that comes from taking this action. Hold this moment and focus on really feeling the emotions in your body.
Slowly, bring your awareness back to the present moment. Take a few deep breaths, wiggle your fingers and toes and slowly open your eyes.
HOW TO WelcomE IN the Feminine ENERGY
1. Give Intuition the Wheel
Honoring your Intuition is a powerful way to welcome in your feminine energy. As society, we have been trained to use our analytical mind (masculine) rather than our intuitive mind (feminine). This is something we must correct. Your intuition is your inner guide and your powerhouse for individualized, instinctual decision making. Your intuition is never wrong. Many of us struggle to accept this truth. Our intuition always reconnects us to our higher-self and is always aware of the things that your basic human senses cannot always detect. To welcome in feminine energy, we can practice following our gut instincts, and take notes (or even journal entries) of where it leads you. I strongly encourae all of my clients (and my self/friends/family) to record what blessings, experiences and lessons learned you gather along the way. Deepak Chopra says that "The more you build this muscle the stronger it will become." I love that.
Every single one of us craves to be nurtured and to nurture others. Fortunately for those who desire to spark new feminine energy in their life, one of the strongest female trait is to nurture yourself and your life. This can be done in an abundance of ways. You can nurture almost anything. Animals, friends, family, plants, nature and yourself. The ability to nurture oneself and other is an inner strength that can be expressed in various forms:
Encourage yourself. Think, speak and act positively towards yourself
Adopt a self care routine. Spend time each day doing gentle acts of care for yourself. Wash your face, massage on essential oils, use a salt scrub, make your favorite superfood smoothie, rub coconut oil on your body after a hot shower or dance at home to your favorite music.
Touch. This is a key. Find as many opportunities as you can each day to kiss, hug, massage, tickle, cuddles, massage, high five or even pat on the back.
Nurture others. Support your friends, share advice, listen, utilize your own experiences and resource-fullness to better someone else's situation.
Be a vessel of positive energy for yourself and those around you.
3. Create A PIECE OF Art
The side of your brain responsible for creativity can be found in the right brain, which is your feminine side. To utilize this energy, you must be creative. Paint a canvas, make jewelry, make music, learn oragami, experiment with watercolors, draw with charcoal. This list goes on. Your personality and experiences can be expressed in countless renditions of art. Have fun, try something new, and all while releasing any thoughts of the end result.
4. Welcome Emotions
Unfortunately, our society has brainwashed us to believe that people who express their emotions are weak, overly-sensitive, immature or powerless. This is so far from the truth.
These ideals and beliefs can leave a large, negative impact. Being aware of your emotions is the catalyst that brings about great balance of masculine and feminine energy in your life.
We can access a greater awareness of our emotions when we create a safe space for ourself to feel. Allow yourself to act in alignment with how you are feeling in the present moment. Laugh, cry, feel joy, feel fear, feel excitement, feel anger. Embody your feelings by expressing them in your own ways.
5. EMBODY YOUR EXPRESSION
To achieve this connection to divine feminine energy, a woman (or man) must express herself authentically. She must embody how she truly feels and identify with what she wants as an individual being. She (or he) must come to these truths on her own. We can do this through meditation, personal development, self love, life experience, time spent alone and time spent re-connecting with our intuition. We must do this without society telling her how or why she should feel or desire something. We can tune in with our feminine energy by expressing our sexual expression as well. Walk your own path. Live your own story. When a woman is supporting herself (and other woman) without judgement or assumption, she is awakening her diving feminine. Whatever you may desire in a relationship or sexual connection, is what is right for YOU. Your sexual wants, needs, desires and fantasies should be unique to you and different than your friend's or partners. We are constantly evolving, as all things in nature are. Recognize this truth. Be more open minded. Surrender. Move back to your heart space. Remove gossip and surface level conversation from your life. Honor your intuition. Embody this feminine divinity. Embody playfulness. Embody intimacy. Cultivate love and sexual connection in ways that serve your highest self.
Questions you can ask yourself to check in with your own FEMININE energy are...
HOW AM I NURTURING MYSELF EACH DAY?
AM I ALLOWING MSELF TO TRULY FEEL MY OWN EMOTIONS ? HOW?
AM I LIVING MY LIFE AUTHENTICALLY TO MY OWN INSTINCTUAL DESIRES?
AM I LIVING WITHOUT JUDGEMENT OR ASSUMPTION TOWARDS MYSELF AND OTHERS?
DO I FEEL CONNECTED TO NATURE IN EACH DAY?
MORE RESOURCES ON MASCULINE + FEMINE ENERGY
GO WITH LOVE
EMBODY THE BALANCE
I'M A COLLEGE DROP OUT
FULL TIME ENTREPRENEUR
AND SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OWNER
HERE'S MY STORY....
When I reflect back on this lifetime, and the experiences I've created to bring me to exactly where I am now, here in this moment, it usually seems to appear that "my story" started at 18 years old when I embarked on a five month long voyage to the Seychelles Islands. I graduated high school 6 months early in my senior year (doubled up on classes, took tests early, completed necessary requisites for graduation) and packed my bags in February of 2012 to leave the small town on Long Island, New York where I had spent a majority of my last 18 years. I traveled with a group called Global Visions International, and could not imagine a better trip possible. It was everything I wanted, needed and more. I experienced independence for the first time in my life. I felt more alive than ever before. I was diving daily, working in the ocean, enhancing my skills underwater, studying coral reef preservation, working with others, meeting interesting people from all around the world and not spending 5 days a week in public school for what felt like the the first time in my life.
I spent five incredible months traveling throughout the Seychelles, both on my own and with GVI and flew back to New York a changed woman. The most difficult part of going home, back to New York, was knowing that I would have to begin my first semester of college in Miami in just a few short weeks. The nice part was that I made it back from the Seychelles just in time for my high school graduation and senior prom.
When the time finally arrived to move to Miami, I packed my life into two large suitcases and moved from my childhood home in New York to attend my freshman year of college. I had big expectations for college. I wanted everything I had seen in the movies and more. The social scene, the partying, the intimate late night library sessions, the handsome professors, the dorm room set up, the dating, you name it. In my eyes, Miami was going to be this ideal college utopia with the perfect balance of ocean time/night life that I thought I so badly wanted. I was going to be studying marine biology and imagined I would be spending more time on research boats, on the water and in the sea than I would in the classroom. I quickly learned this wasn't the case. I had difficulty connecting with the students at my college (over 80% of which were in-state students who had already developed their group of fellow-floridian friends,) and spoke barely any Spanish, which made connections with many of the cuban students at my school quite difficult. On a last minute whim, I decided I would "rush" for a sorority at my college and use this opportunity to make friends and connect with other woman on campus. Soon enough, I was a "sister" in Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, and spending weekends with my sorority sisters doing all of the college-experience things (football games, parties, sleepovers, beach parties, study groups etc.) that I had dreamed of doing for months. I absolutely adored the girls I connected with at college, and owe them infinite love and gratitude for making my Miami experience as wonderful as it was, but all along, I just knew something wasn't there. My needs were not being met at this school or in this environment. "I think I need to transfer schools," I told myself. But I didn't know when or how I would bring it up to my parents. I ended up flying home for Christmas break that semester and enjoyed a few weeks at home re-connecting with family and friends in the area. I loved being back home and spending time at the house, sitting, relaxing, reading, being with my family. The more time I sent at home, the more I dreaded the idea of flying back to college in Miami in a few short weeks.
I had two days left in New York before I was expected to board my plane back to Miami and begin the spring semester. I was sitting at the breakfast table with my mom and dad (which is a rare occasion, considering my parents have been divorced since I was a young child) and took the opportunity to express to them how I was feeling about school in Miami. "I just can't go back," I told them. "Something doesn't feel right. I'm not happy there. I feel like I am wasting my life." My parents were caught off guard and confused by my words. They had heard stories of me making friends, joining the sorority, exceeding in my classes and falling in love with spin and pilates at the student gym. I ended up having a bit of a melt down and practically begged my parents to please let me take a semester off from college to organize myself and apply to new colleges, where I would enroll as a transfer student. Soon enough, I was boarding my plane back to Miami, only to spend 20 hours in my dorm room packing everything up, and then hopping on the next flight back to New York, without even having the oppurtunity to say goodbye to the few friends/girlfriends who I had bonded with while at school.
I LEFT COLLEGE IN MIAMI
So that was that. I left Miami and found myself back in my small town, living at home, working part time at a retail store during the day, and part time as a hostess for a local restaurant in the evenings. I was saving every penny I could and applying to new colleges to attend in the upcoming fall. All along, I had my eyes on the prize. The only place I could imagine myself being truly happy at school was in Hawaii. I had talked to my parents about applying at University of Hawaii when I was in high school, but the tuition costs were high for out of state students, and the fact that I had never once been to Hawaii...ever before.. seemed to make them take me a little less seriously. This time around, however, I wasn't taking matters lightly. I applied to the University of Hawaii and was accepted before I even approached them about my idea. "This is it." I told them. "I will do anything I have to do to make this work. I want to go to school here. I know its right. I can feel it." And by some miracle of the universe, my parents, who absolutely dreaded the idea of me being 5,000 miles away from home, agreed. I was to attend college in Honolulu in the fall. I couldn't have been happier. Everything was falling into place around me. I was getting out of New York, and better yet, embarking on a new adventure to pursue a lifestyle that served my own wants and needs. So of-course, I did what any 19 year old with a one-way ticket to Hawai'i would do, and threw a killer going away party with all of my best friends in New York. I've attached some photos from the beginning of the night below. I'll spare you photos from the end of the evening.. ( Disclosure: For those curious, I am sober from all alcohol now. And single-use plastic cups at bars too. I'm sober from those as well.)
NOW BACK TO COLLEGE...
I MOVE TO HAWAII
My first year living in Hawaii on my own was one of the most difficult and rewarding years of my life. It wasn't easy. I'll make that very clear. I was fortunate enough to receive financial assistance from my parents as I struggled to work part time, attend college part time and try to maintain some what of a social life in Honolulu. I was living in a literal shoe box apartment that I somehow managed to share with another roommate. Looking back on it now, I honestly don't know how I did it. My apartment was so so so small and so so so expensive. I was attending school part time, while I worked towards earning residency in Hawaii. When I first made the move, I began to work at a dive shop where I would spend 5 straight hours filling tanks in the back of the store, barely seeing the light of day, in exchange for $11 an hour, and the empty promise of being able to jump in on a few free scuba dives each week. I had to be at the dive shop at 6 am to fill tanks before their 7 am dive, which meant I was on my Walmart bike, headed to downtown Honolulu at 4:45am before sunrise to make sure I made it there just in time. That job was hectic. I lasted about one month. After that, I began nannying full time, selling my second-hand bikinis online, and eating $2 smoothies from my NutriBullet blender for breakfast, lunch and dinner most days. I was balling on a budget, to say the least. But I was making friends with young people from new parts of the world, learning how to surf, spending time outdoors, eating well, exercising, dating and loving the independence and slow lifestyle that my new environment had to offer. It was exactly what I wanted and everything I needed. The hustle felt good. I was working towards something. I was driven, determined and fitter than ever before - thanks to the fact that I could absolutely not afford a car (or parking) and was biking around Honolulu 7 days a week to commute to both work/school.
I DO THE COLLEGE THING FULL TIME
The next year, I was granted residency as an in-state student and began to attend college full time. I moved into a new shared home, closer to campus and was living with two of my best friends. I cut down on work hours and doubled up on classes. I was really doing it now. Classes five days a week, late night lectures, Saturdays spent in the campus library, and Sundays saved for spending time outdoors... or catching up on the homework that I didn't finish the week before. I was training for a marathon, diving into veganism and transitioning to a plant based diet. I felt great. Healthier and more alive than ever before. I began hosting 21-Day Vegan Challenge groups on Facebook where I would challenge friends online to eat a vegan diet for 21 days and share photos, recipes and food-diaries of the new foods they were enjoying along the way. I was still studying marine biology at school, but began to notice my passions evolve and transition towards holistic health and environmental conservation. My best friend, who I was living with at the time, had recently graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and was now working as a private holistic health coach offering consultations with online and in-person clients. I was intrigued by all of it. The work, the clients, the side income. It sounded incredible to me. Exactly what I wanted.
I was beginning to finally get a grasp on my school work and found myself left with a few hours of free time throughout the week. With each passing week I became more and more passionate about natural medicine, plant based foods and promoting a message of long term well-being through food and lifestyle. I knew that studying holistic health would be perfect for me. My intuition told me "yes." And so, I enrolled for IIN on a payment plan and began studying online for ~5 hours a week or so in-between college courses and babysitting gigs. Juggling all three was manageable for me because I was so interested in the work and curriculum that IIN had to offer. I was determined to create a beautiful, fulfilled and interesting life for myself. And I knew I was on the right path.
The more time I spent studying at IIN, the more time I spent considering changing my major at college. Of course, I was still passionate about marine biology and conservation, but my entire world seemed to revolve around plant based nutrition and studying holistic health at this time, so it only felt appropriate. My biology, chemistry, math and science courses at school were beginning to feel like a burden. I struggled to maintain focus in class and was often journaling, recording my health journey and taking notes on newly learned nutrition information while sitting in organic chemistry class. Overtime, college began to feel like this repetitive chore that I didn't like doing. I knew I needed to mix things up. I changed majors from marine bio to human nutrition and was not at all impressed, to say the least. The curriculum was outdated and biased. So biased. I would spend my evenings at home studying the benefits of a plant based diet, mediation, natural medicine and low-stress lifestyle and then sit in lecture halls the next day being spoon-fed (brainwashed) information on calcium in cow's milk and the evolution of pharmaceutical drugs in the US. It felt like a sick joke to me. I couldn't believe this type of information was still being promoted and repeated to myself and my other classmates. At times, I truly believed that 90% of the information they were teaching me in "health" class was wrong. I felt agitated and disappointed in class. More than once I stood up abruptly and made it a point to publically walk out of my leture hall when the professor began speaking about something especially irrational.
I STARTED TO DREAD COLLEGE
Once I realized that the change in major was not my solution, I began to feel overwhelmed and out of balance. I didn’t understand why I felt the way I did and tried to organize these thoughts and emotions in my head. Why did I feel so unfulfilled and low energy? Why did I wake up in the morning dreading my upcoming day of college classes and lectures? Why was the information I was being taught at school so outdated and non related to what I wanted to actually be pursuing in my life? Why was my potential career in holistic health being determined by test grades on subjects that were entirely non related? Why was I beginning to have nightmares? Not sleep well? Feel unproductive and uninspired when I wasn't at school? I was miserable. I had never experienced this type of confusion in my life ever before. I was suffering from anxiety for the first time ever and felt so unsure of my path. I felt disconnected. Detached from my own hobbies, passions and interests while I was on campus. I felt ashamed to admit this to my parents, and even more ashamed to admit it myself. Was this really happening again? At one point in my life, getting a college degree and taking a photo with my cap and gown, draped in fresh flower leis and surrounded by smiling faces was all I cared about. I grew up in a working class family with two older sisters and two parents who both graduated from college and grad school. My parents made it very clear to us that the reason they worked as hard as they did was so that their three daughters could have the opportunity to graduate from college as well. And that’s exactly what my two older sisters did. Now here I was, living thousands of miles away from family, attending my second college as a junior and completely reliant on my parents and student loan offices for any source of money I had. And to top it off, I was thinking about dropping out of school for what? I didn’t even really know what for, to be entirely honest.
I decided I needed to make a plan of action before I would feel comfortable making any drastic changes. I had just recently graduated from IIN and was officially a certified holistic health coach. It truly felt like the only thing that was keeping me going. I would endure long days at college, being fed information that did not resonate with my interests or goals, automating myself and my efforts in school to "get by" in class just so I could speed-walk home from campus and eagerly work on follow-up emails with the few health coaching clients I did have (a majority of them from the facebook challenge groups I had been running for the last 2 years.) IIN helped me to make my first ever website and inspired me to create this blog to share more of my story and document my transition to a plant based lifestyle. I bought my own domain on Squarespace and was determined to build the blog as much as possible while I sorted my life out on the side. At this time, Instagram app was evolving and becoming more and more popular. I started @SaltSandandSmoothies Instagram account and was fascinated by social media and the idea of building an online community of health conscious individuals. I started publishing blog posts, instagram posts, daily facebook statuses and reading as many books on personal development and entrepreneurship as I possibly could (You can find a list of some of these books and more here.) I felt as if I was experiencing stability and clarity of mind for the first time in months.I felt driven again. I wanted to pursue health coaching and blogging full time. I hadn't felt this sure of anything in my life. When I was at school, or sitting in a college lecture, I felt as though I was living inauthentically to my higher self. Like a fraud, I had put on this facade for years and was finally ready to rip off each individual layer of suppressed boredom and unhappiness. I needed a change. I had to start living life on my own terms. I had to remove myself from my current situation and begin to write my own story. I just needed to figure out what my "end goal" was, and how to eliminate any road blocks standing in my way. Immediately, I recognized that sitting at college campus six days a week was one of them.
FOLLOWING MY INNER GUIDE
Three and a half years ago, I sat on the porch steps out front of the shared college-house I was living in and cried (*hysterically*) to my father over the phone. I didn’t understand why I felt the way I did and tried to put into words felt how unfulfilled and low energy I felt. Telling my parents that I was considering leaving college (again) was one of the hardest things I did. But as difficult as it was to first speak aloud, the moment I did, I felt like my entire energetic being had been lightened and lifted. Once I told my parents that this decision was something I had thought about and meditated on for months now, there was no going back in my head. Never once did I worry I was making the wrong decision for myself or my future. I was so trusting in myself and my intuition. And now that I look back on this time in my life, I appreciate all over again how thankful I am that I was so confident in these weeks. I was in balance and in tune with my inner guide, which always ensures that you're being carried in the right direction, whether I was really aware of it or not.
Once my parents adjusted to the fact that I would be "taking a break" from college (as many people in my life often referred to it,) it felt like things really set into motion. I'd like to be a strong example for fellow students or college students in this blog post and tell you all that I finished my junior year on a really positive and productive note, acing all of my exams and completing all of my end-of-the-year assignments, but I'm going to be very transparent here and tell you that I very quickly stopped attending my classes and spending that last ~5 weeks of my semester sitting on campus using their high speed internet and getting clear on my intentions with my work. Soon enough, I used the money I had put aside for next semester's tuition and bought myself a ticket to Bali, Indonesia with my best friend, Lacey. We both enrolled in our first ever 200 hour Yoga Teacher training and planned to fly out within the next week. We left for Bali and had an incredible, educational and abundant summer. You can read all about it here.
LIFE AFTER COLLEGE...
Although life sometimes felt chaotic, and all over the place at this time, it felt energetic and upbeat as well. No matter how unexpected or out of the ordinary my situation got, there was always this lingering sense of freedom that I couldn’t shake. I was really doing this. I was breaking free from a story book of my life being told to me by others and committing to myself. Committing to my own happiness. My own passions. I could breathe. For what felt like the first time in years. I was creating my own future with each step I took. Each odd job after college, each month living paycheck to paycheck, each conversation or first date where someone asked me “what do you study at school?” or "when did you graduate?" all taught me the lessons that I needed to be learning to make this freedom sustainable for the long term.
I continued to offer one-on-one health consultations and brand myself/market my company through social media full time. I told everyone and anyone I met about the work I offered online and offline. I began to teach occasional private yoga instructions to students who attended college with me. I wrote guest blogs to other health conscious/environment inspired websites for as little as $100 and took nannying jobs as often as I was offered. I began to clean local yoga studios in exchange for free membership and reached out to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become an ambassador their school. I studied books on manifesting money and welcomed multiple streams of income into my life with open arms (even if those streams of income were small, measly trickles of income to start.) I found ways to create a living for myself while also enjoying my life.
Since then, my business has taken off. My personal goals for my work and my brand have evolved and elevated. Taking the initiative to invest in myself and my own passions was the most necessary and effective step I could have taken. I am a successful entrepreneur, business owner and six-figure earner. I am a college drop out. I am a dreamer. I am a visionary. I am a square peg in a round hole and I am here to remind you that the only person who should tell you what or how you should be doing anything in your life is yourself. You are the creator of your own reality. No one else. When you are blessed with the gift of waking up each morning, you decide how your morning/day/week/month/year will unfold and evolve. You are in charge of your own life. No one else. You are worthy of love, fulfillment and greatness.
You are worthy of immediate and lasting happiness.
You are worthy of immediate and lasting happiness.
You are worthy of immediate and lasting happiness.
You are worthy of immediate and lasting happiness.
You are worthy of immediate and lasting happiness.
You are worthy of immediate and lasting happiness.
You are worthy of immediate and lasting happiness.
As am I.
Hope this blog post resonates with many of you in some way, shape or form. Although all of our paths appear different to one another, we are all moving towards the same goals. Fulfillment of heart, mind, body and soul. You are not alone in this life. You are not reliant on any one or thing other than yourself. Your new chapter begins today.
Go with love
Go with Intuitiveness
HERE IS A BLOG POST WHERE I ANSWER 44 DIRECT MESSAGES SENT TO ME OVER INSTAGRAM.
I'VE BEEN REQUESTED TO UPLOAD "FAQs" IN THE PAST AND THIS FELT LIKE THE EASIEST + MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO DO THAT
1. "How do you deal with living so far away from your family? Are you close with your parents or siblings?"
I am in so incredibly in love with my family. Sometimes its not easy being away from there for 6-10 months on end. Sometimes I book last minute airplane tickets to see them on the east coast (or better yet, buy them last minute tickets to fly to me instead.) We make certain that we all see... me at least once a year. My two older sisters and both parents live on the mainland (New York and Colorado) and fortunately for me, they absolutely love visiting the island. Annual extended visits (my mother usually stays for 2-3 months each summer) are a trending theme in my family. Other than that, we talk on the phone, facetime, text, and message one another a few times a week, always. My two sisters and my parents are my four best friends. My sister Shana birthed my nephew, Kainoa in December and my entire life revolves around counting down the days, hours and minutes until I see him next. We also have a group family text going ~6 months strong. Which seems to work wonders for all major life updates and twice daily baby photos. My family knows as well as I do that when I am happiest and most content with my own life, I am a better sister/daughter/friend/confident. So although it is not always easy, living 5,000 miles away is where I am happiest. They support that entirely.
2. Favorite places to eat in hawaii?
Ai Love Nalo (O'ahu)
Beet Box Cafe (O'ahu)
Down to Earth Grocery Stores (Oahu, Maui and Big Island)
Elephant Thai (O'ahu)
Down Beat Diner (O'ahu)
Eat Healthy (Kauai)
Anake's Juice Bar (Kauai)
Kalalea Juice Bar (Kauai)
Choice Health Bar (Maui)
3. How did you learn about Kangen water? How did you get involved?
I first learned about Kangen water through a holistic naturopathic doctor in Bali. I was being treated with hydro-colonic therapy and nutrition consultations from him while he helped me to cure my candida. The colonics and enemas were being administered with 9.5 pH kangen water and the nutritionist recommended I look into kangen (alkalized, ionizied, micro-clustered drinking water) after re-assuring me that my diet was adequate and not the contributing factor to my on-going candida struggle. When I returned home to Hawaii, I met a kangen distributor on the island (who later became one of my closest friends) and starting filling up gallons of drinking water at his house each day before investing in my own machine a few weeks later. I bought the machine on a payment plan and practically wiped my account clean to cover the initial down payment at the time. I was 21 years old and entirely sober from alcohol. So a water machine seemed like the best possible gift to give myself that year. I now recognize that that was actually just another example in my life of the rewards that come into fruition when I act out of intuition and trust.
4. Are you single?
Ahh the word "single" has always freaked me out a bit. I'd rather someone ask me "are you whole? Are you complete within yourself? Are you invested in the longest relationship you'll ever be in - your relationship with yourself?" "are you fulfilled by the time you spend alone? " "are you your own favorite person?" If so, my answer to that would be ye! Yes I am. Thank you for asking. I am me. I am independent. I am whole on my own. And no, I don't have a boyfriend or girlfriend at this time.
5. Favorite place you've ever traveled to?
The Seychelles Islands. 1,000 miles off the coast of Madagascar. I lived there for five months when I was 18 and the trip changed my life in more ways than I could ever type. I love the Seychelles, and miss the Seychelles, more and more each day. Looking back on photos and journal entries from this trip is one of my favorite things to do. I spent so much time alone on this trip. I spent so much time getting to know myself and identify the type of life I intended to create. I spent so much time under the ocean's surface.
6. Where are you from originally?
Long Island, New York. I grew up in a small surfing/fishing town called East Hampton by Montauk Point.
7. Do you meditate? How often? Any tips for beginners?
Yes! I would love to say that I meditate daily, but more recently I've been meditating ~3-4 times a week while I continue to work on finding balance in my life with work and play (the "entrepreneur juggle struggle" as I like to call it.) If I get sloppy, and skip mediation for a few days - it reflects in many aspects of my life. Meditation is used as a means of transforming and fine tuning the mind for me. I usually sit in silence on the beach down the road or on my living room floor for 15-20 mins. I have a blog post called "how the funk do I meditate" here that is perfect for beginners. I encourage every single person to adopt some type of meditation practice into their life immediately. Even if it is just breathe awareness exercises.
8. How did you get into painting? Have you always been an artist?
Both my parents and my two older sisters are incredible artist. My dad is an amazing architect and landscape painter and my mother is the most talented art teacher I've ever known. We didn't grow up with a TV in the house until I was older, so we spent our free time playing with my mom's water color paints or taking easels and canvases down to the beach with my dad to paint and spend time outdoors. Everyone is born an artist. Your form of art just may appear different than mine. Painting, writing, music, sex, cooking, yoga, gardening are all forms of art and expression. Spend the rest of your life exploring as many art forms as you possibly can.
9. Favorite vegan meal?
I am obsessed with white-fleshed sweet potatoes. I believe they're called hannah sweet potatoes. I bake one (or two) full potatoes in the oven and then cut it in half once baked to load up with cooked lentils, fresh or steamed greens (usually spinach or kale,) sauerkraut and cashew cheese. Then I load on avocado, black pepper, fresh herbs (cilantro or green onion) and nutritional yeast. Don't knock it 'till you try it. Seriously.
10. What's one book that changed your life?
The Book of Secrets by OSHO. Its about 1,000 pages long and I'll tell you right now, I haven't even come close to finishing it. Each page blows my mind. I usually just open it up on a page my fingers feel drawn towards and start reading from there. It is a lot of information to take in, but I'm discovering that the more I experience my own life, the more his words and doctrines begin to resonate with me. The book is insane. It truly is a book of secrets that can change your existence forever, if you're open to receiving his words.
11. You have such an incredible group of woman and girlfriends in your life? Do you have any tips for someone looking to make more like-minded friends?
Do what makes you happy. If your'e passionate about yoga or travel, do more of that and be open to connecting with new people everywhere you go. Make eye contact with woman who walk past you on the street or unroll their pilates mat next to yours. Spark up new conversations. Smile. Be friendly. Be inquisitive. Everyone you meet has something to share with you. Everyone you meet has something to teach you. Some of those people may be your new best friend just waiting to meet you. Use websites like facebook and meetup.com to connect with locals in your area. Do what makes you feel most alive and most complete by yourself. Only then can the fulfilling relationships with others begin to flow into your life.
12. Hi Amelia! Love that you'r'e so open to speaking about sex and sexuality sister! It is so refreshing to read online. Have you ever shared any blogs on sex? Or your experience having sex for the first time. Love from San Diego!
Thank you! Female empowerment and sexuality is something I will continue to share more about online as I experience it myself in my own life. I have a blog post called "sex with me" here that discusses hormone-free birth control, vegan condoms, body image, body hair removal and yoni egg exercises that I love. Other than that, I haven't share too much yet. Let's see.. I had sex for the first time at 15 years old with my boyfriend in high school. I grew up with two older sisters so I felt quite mature for my age and was so eager/anxious/curious to experience sex on my own. I remember it was pouring rain outside and we ate oreo cookies in the kitchen after the deed was done (little did I know at the time was that oreo cookies are vegan - so that memory is even more enjoyable to reflect back on now.) The next morning, I felt embarrassed and unsure of my decision. I questioned wether I was too young to have had sex or rushed into it mistakenly. I think I don't think I really felt that way, I just knew I had been told it so many times by parents, teachers and pamphlets at the doctor's office. I now know that everything happened exactly as it was intended to and I acted out of intuition and inquisitiveness, which always serves my higher self. Also, my boyfriend was a total stud and we enjoyed consensual, safe sex for the first time together. And there were vegan cookies involved. Doesn't get much better than that, I'd say.
13. Aloha! Your photos of the garbage in SE Asia were horrifying! I share them with my students at school with hopes to teach them to become more conscious consumers (and recyclers!) Do you have any tips for those wanting to make a difference?
Yes! Thank you for asking! You can start by supporting companies that are protecting the environment, rather than destroying it. Avoid purchasing as much plastic as you possibly can. Plastic straws, cups, water bottles, to-go containers, food wrapping, products being shipped overseas, glitter, flip flops, tooth brushes, lighters, house hold cleaning products, cosmetics, and single use cutlery. Every dollar you spend is a vote "yes" or "no" for our environment. Voice your concerns to local (or international) companies that are carrying out unethical business practices. Boycott Starbucks Coffee, Jamba Juice, Coke, Pepsi, Nestle, Dasani, Johnson & Johnson and other corporations that are shoving manipulative advertising and non biodegrade-able plastics down our throat. Support local businesses that avoid excess packaging/shipping/labeling and research DIY recipes for some of your favorite household products like toothpaste, deodorant or facial toners.
Pack extra mason jars, food containers, cups, straws, shopping bags, bottles and bowls wherever you go. Just like a picnic basket - but without any food (yet.) Keep it in your car and use and abuse the crap out of those re-useable products as you grocery shop and eat out. Also, read this blog post here on sustainable travel and eco-conscious packing lists. It's a good one. One of my favorites, actually.
14. Do you have any tips for growing your social media? Your page is so beautiful! Thank you Amelia!
Sure do! Don't focus on growing. Wether you have 5 followers or 5,000 - make sure the audience you have feels connected to you. Serve yourself and your audience, by sharing what inspires, ignites, and excites you. Its better to have a more engaged and interested audience that actually cares about the message you're sharing, than a massive slew of online "sheep" who follow you because your content is surface level and aesthetically pleasing. Be unique. Be different. Post about topics that make people think. There are billions of people on social media today, find a way to stand out and stand for something greater than yourself. Others online are attracted to people who are passionate and determined to follow their own path in this life.
15. Your photos are amazing! What camera do you use and how do you edit your photos?
16. Any tips for moving to Hawaii?
As harsh as this may sound, although this question is by far my most frequently asked, it is my most disliked question. It is a sensitive topic for me to discuss because I know my words on this platform often inspire others to manipulate their lives in order to "follow" mine. Moving to Hawaii was what I needed, when I needed it. I was an avid diver and passionate about studying at university on O'ahu. I moved to the island solo at 19 years old and struggled for months on my own to make it work. I had no car, couldn't afford the high costs of rent and felt isolated with few friends as I struggled with living situations and had difficulty balancing my work and studies. The traffic is out on control these days. The expense of living is sky high. Shopping is expensive as most products being sold are shipped in from over seas. In all honesty, the islands are struggling to stay afloat. Hawaii is not what you think it is. There is more pollution, over population, over-tourism and coral reef destruction than ever before. The beaches are crowded and littered with plastics being left by visitors and washed ashore from the sea. Hotels are expensive, grocery stores are expensive, restaurants are expensive, gasoline is over-priced and landfills have been overfilled for years. Hawaii is becoming more crowded and more tourist-y with each passing week. If you need tips or advice to move to Hawaii, it most likely isn't for you at this time.
There are so many incredible, cultured, beautiful, secluded and safe cities, countries and islands to visit and experience all around the world. Hawaii was my answer. But it may not be yours. Experience the world. Experience yourself. Find home wherever you go. Act, speak and travel intuitively. Your life will be uniquely beautiful and different than all others.
17. Any good book suggestions?
Yes! I have an entire master manifest called "books to take you higher" published here.
18. What horoscope sign are you?
19. How did you become a holistic health coach? Any tips or advice to share with others who are interested in becoming one as well?
Yes! Absolutely. One of my most popular blog posts ever published is called "How to Become a Holistic Health Coach" and it is right.... here.
20. Do you smoke pot? Or use any cannabis products?
Yes I do! I've written a thorough blog post on my relationship with marijuana here . I share my recipe for homemade cannabis oil, as well as share "my marijuana story."
21. Favorite household products you own?
Oooh. Number one is my Kangen water machine, hands down. Which I discuss here.
Anespa Shower Filter (more info here.) Which is close #2 favorite household product.
Aaand my Vitamix Blender (which you can check out here.) Which is a game changer for new veg-heads/vegans who want to take their smoothies, soups, sauces, vegan cheeses, dips and whips to the next level.
22. I live in Costa Rica and have difficulty finding affordable vegan foods and ingredients in the supermarkets here? Any advice for someone wanting to eat vegan on a budget?
Some of the cheapest (and healthiest!) foods in the world just so happen to be vegan. Rice, beans, lentils, potatoes, oats, quinoa, frozen veggies, fruits and seeds are great staples to have on hand. Avoid the over-priced "designer" vegan foods at all cost. You don't need to spend the money, and often times they're not as healthy (or sustainable) as the whole plant foods. Keep it simple and easy. Buy bulk seasonings such as turmeric, curry powder, paprika or garlic powder and cook meals in large portions to have on hand for the week. I love making big pots of thai curry, indian dahl, vegan chili, brown rice, quinoa salads, stir fries and veggie soup or hearty stew to fuel my body with ingredients that don't cost an arm and a leg.
23. Favorite dessert?
Mmmmm. I love 4 large medjool dates cut in half and pitted. Stuffed with a small dollop of almond or cashew butter and then sprinkled with raw cacao nibs or coconut flakes. Stick them in the freezer for 30 mins (or overnight!) and I feel like I'm eating a killer raw vegan dessert from one of those fancy hipster cafes that ...don't exist in my area.
Also love making Kombucha floats! I pick out a simple (original or ginger flavor) or fruity (lilikoi, guava, lavender or passionfruit) kombucha from the local health food store and pour a tall glass before scooping in a generous portion of coconut bliss ice cream. I love the original coconut flavor the most. Can use any type of non-dairy ice cream! Served in a glass with a metal straw and a spoon for scooping! Its out of this world.
24. Any tips for someone interested in becoming a Kangen rep like you?
Yes! Check out this page on my website (and click to watch the video I filmed!) or send me an email to email@example.com below. I'll reply back as soon as possible and send over all of the info. you need!
25. One place you would love to travel to? Any upcoming trips planned?
Greece. Morocco. Mentawai Islands. That's three. I could list about four dozen more. I plan to fly to Greece this September with girlfriends and do my first solo trip to the Mentawais this winter.
26. Tips for someone who is broke and in debt?
First off, stop using the word "broke." You are not broken. When we use words like this, we are giving our energy and source power to money. You are not broke. You are just not currently identifying with the abundance of wealth and money that is available to you right now in this life.
Read my blog post called "manifesting money" here and make sure to check out the books I reccomend within it. Especially "Money and the Law of Attraction" by Esther and Jerry Hicks as well as "Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" by Deepak Chopra. Also, "Think and Grow Rich" by Grant Cordone and "You Are A Badass At Making Money" by Jen Sincero. They will change your relationship with money forever. and ever. you're welcome.
27. Favorite youtubers?
28. Have you ever done ayuhuasca?
Not yet in this lifetime. But I have felt called to do it for the past two years now. If anyone reading this blog has any shamans or plant medicine retreat centers which they feel inspired to share with me, I would love to hear from you.
29. Your website is beautiful! Did you make it yourself? What website builder do you use?
Thank you! I did create the website by myself. It has taken me years and hundreds of hours learning through trial and error. I get about 4 messages a day from people all over the world who have found spelling errors and type-o's on my site. I've adopted the "oh well" mentality as of late. I use Squarespace. I really enjoy it.
30. Do you believe in god?
I believe in the universe. I believe in a higher power. I believe in meditation. I believe in identifying with your source energy. I believe in myself. I do not affiliate myself with any particular religion.
31. Your life is so vibrant and rich! How did you create such a beautiful life, home, career and environment for yourself?
Through meditation, self-discovery, healthy/vibrant plant based foods, good water, spending time alone and using the law of attraction religiously each day at all times. I speak more about the law of attraction here. You'll want to read this and take some notes. Getting clear on exactly what I want, the life I desire for myself, the type of work I wish to carry out and the type of person I want to be at a young age has helped me arrive to where I am now. But I am still working on my own growth, development and greater sense of self each and every day.
32. Love your vibe Amelia! Just curious, are you bi-sexual or have you ever been with a woman sexually? I rarely see you post about men, and always see you post photos and share stories with beautiful woman in them! Lots of love from Brazil XO
I get asked this question all of the time. Which cracks me up. I admire the inquisitiveness! And am always down to speak openly and freely about sex. I have an out-of-this-world incredible group of woman friends (sisters) who I adore and love. I spend a majority of my time with them. I definitely do not identify as bi-sexual, nor am I sexually attracted to woman at this time in my life. I am very much so attracted to intelligent, adventurous, compassionate and creative men. and a killer vegan pizza. i am sexually attracted to those as well.
33. how old are you?
twenty four years young.
34. What about marriage? Your dream wedding? Do you want to have children? How many?
At this point in my life, I have a difficult time "believing" in monogamous relationships and bondage to one single person. The idea of ownership with all things - people, animals, land, money etc. - just doesn't sit right with me. I know that as I experience more, my thoughts will continue to evolve and change. I do know that I think love and attachment are two very different things. I believe in wide-spread human connection and love with non expectation for oneself or another. At this time, I have no desire to ever be married. Nor do I feel called to declare my love for one single individual through a paper certification. Love feels best for me when it is untethered and unregulated.
As for children, yes yes yes. I cannot wait to one day birth babies. And adopt children as well. Both are equally important and exciting to me.
35. Do you think you will always be vegan?
Yes. Absolutely. I could never, ever imagine incorporating animal products back into my diet or lifestyle. Why would I? I've never felt happier, healthier, more vibrant or alive since adopting this way of living. Veganism came into my life at the perfect time and I could not have wished for anythign better (or more effective!) I dealt with horrible eczema, skin issues, skin discoloration, poor digestion, candida and various other health ailments throughout my life - a vegan diet alone cured about 90% of that right off the bat. I felt frustrated and angry at first. Disappointed that no doctor or naturopath had recommended this to me earlier. Now I know that I had to experience every hardship, struggle, sick day and bump in the road to make me take veganism seriously when it did come into my life. Also, as a passionate environmentalist and conscious consumer, there is no way I could every justify supporting the meat or dairy industry, which continues to carry out destructive and detrimental damage onto our planet every second of every day.
If you're considering a vegan diet, but aren't entirely convinced yet, I highly reccomend you watch this video here... or this video here. Neither are gory or graphic :) Just insanely inspiring and thought provoking.
36. Do you have any advice for someone who is recently going through a break up?
Yes. Buy yourself a plane ticket. Sell whatever you have to sell to do that. Better yet, buy a one-way plane ticket. Pack a backpack and visit as many new places as you possibly can. Bring a journal and a pair of running sneakers, or walking shoes, and explore the world. Meet new people. Meet new men. Meet new woman. Become a way radder, more educated and well-traveled version of yourself. You don't have to forget about your emotions, you just have to welcome new ones into your life.
37. Have you ever done DMT before?
No I haven't! But I am absolutely open to the experience. I've listened to some incredible lectures and podcasts on the subject.
38. Hey Amelia! Whats your favorite music? I adore every song you feature online! Keep sharing! Love from Portugal!
Ready for it? A bit scattered and all over the place, but I adore...
Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, Joan Armatrading, Tash Sultana, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Tubby Love and Amber Lilly, Trevor Hall, Ziggy Alberts, Rising Appalachia, Alina Baraz, Random Rab, BANKS, Mura Masa, Embrz, Odesza, Flume, Lorde, Willow Smith, Regina Spektor, Kidwaste, Petit Biscuit, Unaver, Chance the Rapper .... a little Drake... some beyonce. Some sacred healing shamanic meditation. You know, whatever's playing on the bluetooth speaker that day. Many of you ask me to share Spotify or SoundCloud playlists, and I would love to - I just haven't prioritized it yet. One day I will.
39. Hey Amelia! Do you own a car? Or drive much? I usually just see you post about bike riding. Just curious!
I do own an old, sandy, salty Jeep Cherokee that I ramble around the island from time to time. Traffic is usually pretty miserable in town and gas prices are sky high on an island, so I avoid driving as much as possible. I usually take the car out 4-5x a week to grab a green juice, check the PO Box, enjoy a yoga class or bring my longboard down to the bay. Biking > sitting in my car with non-functional AC any day.
40. Any advice for a teenage girl just starting to date? Or any tips for making your boyfriend go vegan? Thank you Amelia. Love from Sweden.
Hey sweets! Great Question! My best piece of advice for you is to make sure you give yourself enough time and space to really explore who you are. Dating and connecting with new people is so incredibly fun and exciting in your teens. You'll learn a little bit more about yourself through each relationship you experience, but make certain to never stop prioritizing you above all others. A man or woman will be most attracted to you when they're fascinated by the life you live. If you continue to do what you love doing - regardless of wether or not it is a common hobby, or something that not many other teens your age are interested in, you'll attract people into your life who adore you for you. That's huge. Many people don't realize this until their first failed marriage. Once you've accomplished this, you'll never ever have to change yourself or your lifestyle for another person ever again. This regards your question about your non-vegan boyfriend as well. As you continue to live and thrive on a vegan lifestyle, your babe will see how beautiful you and your lifestyle is. He or she will be fascinated by what you're doing and supportive of you as you focus on your own mind/body/soul. When this happens, you've created the perfect environment for them to feel supported as he or she slowly begins to make dietary/lifestyle changes for himself. Basically, love yourself so much that other people can't help but notice how vibrant and alive you are. Then welcome them in with loving arms and open mind. Hope this helps love! X
41. Coffee or tea?
I haven't drank a cup of coffee in almost 5 years! I used to adore coffee when I first began college. When I enrolled in night classes, It wasn't uncommon for me to drink 2-3 cups a day. Hectic. I remember waking up in bed at night and watching my hands tremble. Overtime, I noticed signs of adrenal fatigue and began to educate myself further on coffee and other acidic foods/drinks. So tea. Tea is my answer to that question.
42. Whats your favorite smoothie to make these days?
I adore sweet dessert style smoothies. Usually something simple like Frozen Bananas, Spinach, Coconut Water, Cherries, Cacao Powder, Coconut Milk + Medjool dates with a pinch of Cinnamon. If I'm making a green smoothie, it is usually a blend of Kale, Spirulina Powder, Frozen Mango or Blueberries, Bananas, Fresh Lime Juice + 9.5ph Kangen Water.
43. Any health products or supplements youre loving recently?
CBD Oil is my current obsession. I just posted a lengthy blog post on it a few days ago and shared it here. I take it every morning or night before bed. I feel amazing with CBD and found it really easy to incorporate into my daily supplement/superfood routine.
Also adoring cocoa butter or raw shea butter on my skin at night before I crawl into my bamboo sheets. I am allll about the self-massage and comfortable bedding vibe.
44. Favorite quote or affirmation?
Hmm.. that's a tricky one. Recently I have loved the quote "Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. " Lao Tzu. Also, this. Shown below. Shared by @losingmytasteforthenightlife
So nice to chat with you all. All of my love. Stay curious!
SO WHATS THE HYPE?
WHY DO I LOVE CBD OIL SO MUCH?
For those who know me, they know that my morning routine ritual is my jam. It is usually the highlight of my day. CBD plays a large role in that morning magic. Every single day I supplement with CBD oil and treat it as I would any other morning vitamin or daily superfood smoothie. CBD oil is one of my most loved daily doses. Ideally, once I've finished exercising and getting outdoors in the early morning, I come home to shower, stretch and enjoy a fresh green juice or my new favorite - CBD cocktail - while I take my other vitamins/supplements. Approx. four days a week I supplement with Max B Vitamin, Magnesium, Spirulina and Vitamin D. You can find these products and more here. I drink a ton of 9.5 pH kangen water throughout the morning and sip on my CBD juice while I begin my work day and check my cellphone for the first time. I usually intermittent fast until 12 noon or 1 o'clock and then prepare a smoothie bowl or big savory veggie bowl for myself.
CBD promotes my mental clarity, concentration and well being. It ensures I feel relaxed, focused and energetic throughout the day. It also promotes an amazing night's sleep. A solid hit of 8-9 hours ensures I wake up feeling rested and rejuvenated. Fortunately, I am not currently dealing with any medical conditions or ailments - which is a beautiful blessing. That being said, I continue to take CBD daily to promote long-term preventative health. I am an avid believer in the health benefits of high quality CBD.
I recommend CBD to every one of my closest friends, family members and private health coaching clients.
WHAT TO KNOW FIRST...
1. CBD oil does not get you high. Not even a little bit.
Although CBD, or cannabidiol, comes from the same cannabis plant that you would trim buds from to smoke, CBD contains only trace amounts (less than 0.3 %) of THC—the chemical component in marijuana that has psychoactive effects (makes you high.) CBD Oil is not cannabis or weed oil. (Although I do love and actively use both CBD and cannabis oil.) CBD contains cannabinoids, which are the naturally occurring chemicals within the hemp plant that are anti-inflammatory and patented by the U.S. government as a neuroprotectant and antioxidant.
According to Anjali Dsouza, M.D., of the District Center for Integrative Medicine, "Cannabinoids like CBD can help achieve and support a stable balance in our bodies. CBD is currently used in a wide range of clinical scenarios including cancer, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, traumatic brain injuries, insomnia, anxiety, and PTSD."
2. CBD hemp oil is not illegal. Not even a little bit.
Cannabidiol oil is legal under United States federal law, regardless of a prescription or doctor's referral. You don't need to be a certain age of require a doctor's recommendation to use CBD oil daily. CBD oil is legal in all 50 states and over 40 countries around the world. It is most commonly sold in a concentrated tincture with oil and occasionally some extra flavoring, such as turmeric.
3. Is there such thing as Vegan CBD oil?
As long as the CBD oil you're using is not combined with an animal derived oil (i.e. fish oil) most CBDs are 100% vegan. You'll want to look for all natural CBD with no additives or preservatives. This is very important. Your CBD should contain no synergistic cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils or other compounds of the original plant. The CBD you use should be the highest grade product in the most pure and simple form. Glass bottles are best to avoid excessive plastic waste and maintain the freshness and quality of your oil. I share the exact brand of CBD oil I use below.
WHY SHOULD I USE CBD OIL?
If nothing else, my hopes with my website are to encourage you to always consider a more holistic and natural option when seeking help or results from an exterior factor.
In all aspects of your life - you contain the power and knowledge within you to act and live intuitively and in align with your body's natural ability to be healthy and whole.
Eat the foods that make you feel the best physically, morally, spiritually and energetically. Spend time with people who flow naturally into your life and inspire you to become the highest version of yourself. Spend time in nature and opt for plants, water and positive human connection over and above all else. When considering supplementing with anything in this life, be open minded and in tune with your body's wants and needs. There is no pill, powder, supplement or shake that is going to be your one answer. To change your inner state of physical/mental health and wellbeing, we often must change our external environment.
In my eyes, there are two forms of nourishment to be considered at all times. Primary food and secondary food. Secondary food is the food we eat and water we drink. The plant foods - fruits, nuts, seeds and grains. And the high quality, living water. Primary foods, however, are more than what is on your plate. Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career, a fulfilling sex life and a consistent spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your health and hunger for life. I am not sharing this blog to tell you that CBD is your cure for one (or few) of the various health issues listed below. I am sharing with you that it is one healthful and holistic option.
CBD + ANXIETY RELIEF
Record numbers of people in modern society, predominantly women, suffer from mild to extreme anxiety. Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, is one of the most common forms of anxiety disorders that impair quality of life. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 15 million adults in the United States have social phobia and about 6.8 million have a generalized anxiety disorder. Billions of dollars are spent every year on traditional treatments usually involves counseling and addictive tranquilizers to treat this condition, yet as the doctor writes out a prescription, he or she knows that the cause of the condition is unknown. Since human beings have lived with the fear response for all of time, we know there should be a way to heal anxiety naturally and healthfully. In my eyes, the best way to approach the mild-to-moderate types of anxiety is to treat it not as a disease, but as a challenge. I believe that you should use your emotions, not allow them to use you. The challenge for many is to bring the fear response back under control. Otherwise, anxiety can quickly becomes ingrained and over time, spiral downward. The anxious person begins to be afraid of being afraid, because he or she knows that they have no power against it.
In order to find the "answer" to anxiety, we must start by dealing with anxiety by healing its underlying causes. According to Deepak Chopra, If you suffer from anxiety, your mind has gotten into the habit of holding on to fear instead of letting the response follow its natural cycle. What you need to do is to get it back into its normal rhythm. Your body wants to respond naturally but is being held back. Left to itself, the fear response isn't mental; it's physical. There are three steps to get the body accustomed to being in charge of fear again.
1. Get out of your mind and back into your body.
2. Clear the fear response.
3. Calm the body into its natural state of relaxation.
As mentioned above, there is not one pill, powder, superfood or supplement that is going to be your answer for anxiety. Although, CBD may not be your "cure all" for anxiety, it may be the perfect all-natural, non-addictive supplement that will help you find calmness and clarity while you work on the underlying issues causing your anxiety in the first place.
In a 2011 study, scientists wanted to study the effects of CBD on people with SAD. The scientists selected 24 people with this condition who had never received treatment for SAD then divided participants into two groups. One group received 600 mg of CBD while the control group received a placebo. The scientists then asked study participants to take part in a simulated public speaking test while researchers measured blood pressure, heart rate and other measurements of physiological and psychological stress.
The CBD group showed significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance. In comparison, those in the placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort.
CBD and other cannabis products have played a huge role in my recovery from anxiety and onset insomnia. CBD and meditation is the first recommendation I share with any friends, family or private clients who are dealing with anxiety or depression. Use CBD to create an environment for yourself that allows inner reflection and personal growth, and observe as your anxiety begins to dissolve from your current reality.
CBD + Digestive Aid
When the human body is out of homeostasis and it’s immune system is compromised, a number of things can happen. Due to chemotherapy and radiation, inflammation often runs rampant, and oxidative stress takes a toll on even the healthiest of cells.
A healthy appetite is vital to a healthy body, especially when the body is healing from illnesses that may decrease the appetite to the point of preventing the body from healing itself. CBD oil can be used to stimulate your appetite, according to the National Cancer Institute, because CBD binds to cannabinoid receptors in the body. Scientists believe these receptors play an important role in regulating feeding behavior. CBDs stimulate appetite when they dock onto these receptors.
A study conducted in 2011 shows that CBD has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can help those in cancer treatment. Additionally, as a patented neuro protectant and antioxidant, CBD helped to calm the body’s nervous system. This aids those suffering from a loss of appetite by slowing down firing signals and calming the digestive tract.
CBD + NAUSEA, VOMITING + PAIN
CBDs bind to CB1 receptors in the body to relieve pain and soreness. CBD also has an anti-inflammatory effect that reduces swelling.
CBD eases nausea and vomiting. This is especially helpful for individuals enduring chemotherapy and other treatments for serious diseases, as well as pregnant woman who may be suffering from morning sickness.
CBD + CANCER
The National Cancer Institute details several studies into the anti-tumor effects of CBD. One study in mice and rats suggest CBDs “may have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors.” CBD oil may do this by inducing tumor cell death, inhibiting cancer cell growth, and by controlling and then inhibiting the spread of cancer cells in our body.
One study by California Pacific Medical Center suggests CBD “turns off” the gene involved in the spread of breast cancer. These scientists found CBD inhibits ID-1, an action that prevents cancer cells from traveling long distances to distant tissues.
CBD AS AN Antipsychotic
CBD continues to surprise medical researchers with the variety of common health benefits it provides. An increasing number of scientists, physicians and consumers are learning about these health benefits and incorporating CBD into a healthy lifestyle plan. CBD also combats other psychological issues, including working as an antipsychotic to combat psychosis. Additionally, CBD works to reduce chronic anxiety and depression disorders. These benefits of CBD are also helpful for patients struggling with temporary anxiety and depression resulting from a more serious medical condition.
SO WHAT TYPE OF CBD DO I USE?
After months of research and personal experimentation, I am excited to share that NuLeaf CBD is the best CBD I have come across.
NuLeaf Naturals wellness products are derived from specially bred therapeutic hemp (Cannabis Sativa) plants grown on licensed farms in Colorado, USA.Their products are whole-plant extracts, not synthetic and not an isolate of any kind. The plants used to manufacture their products are grown using organic and sustainable farming practices. NuLeaf utilizes advanced engineering processes to create premium cannabinoid wellness products with a full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes. They also use CO2 extraction systems as our primary tool for extracting the photo-nutrients from each plant. This method does not require heat or solvents, and the entire spectrum of cannabinoids are retained in the blend. They see their products from cultivation and processing to formulation and sale.
NuLeaf Naturals CBD wellness products are all natural with no additives or preservatives, and contain all the synergistic cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils and other compounds of the original plant.
The company is also owned and run by close friends of mine who are equally as passionate about veganism and sustainability as myself. If you're going to make the investment in your immediate and lasting health with CBD products, NuLeaf CBD comes highly recommended by me and many others. You can shop their products below and use my name "amelia" at checkout to save 20% off your entire order. NuLeaf CBD is purchased by thousands around the world and shipped internationally. They offer free shipping for all orders within the US. Most orders are delivered within 2 – 3 business days.
HERE ARE A FEW OF MY PERSONAL FAVORITE NULEAF CBD PRODUCTS
Click the images below to shop!
HOW MUCH SHOULD I TAKE?
The most important thing to remember is that every person's endocannabinoid system is unique. I reccomend experimenting with CBD to find a dose that works best for you and your body. Most people (myself included) report success with CBD with 10 drops of CBD which equals about 25mg of CBD.
HOW SHOULD I USE IT?
My favorite way to incorporate a healthy hit of vitamins, nutrients and cbd in my morning routine is my CBD Cocktail. This recipe is simple, easy to make and will flood your body with an abundance of mineral rich goodness. If you're not yet familiar with Dr. Anthony William, I highly suggest you read his book "Life Changing Foods" here. It is the best of the best on the market today. If you're already familiar with Dr. William's work, you know that fresh celery juice is the savior when it comes to chronic illness. Although Dr. William usually reccomend drinking celery juice plain, on an empty stomach, I sometimes get a little creative and incorporate one teaspoon of Hawaiian spirulina powder into my CBD Cocktail. This additive is completely optional and not needed to receive the full health benefits from the CBD and Celery. Here we go...
1/2 - 1 LARGE HEAD OF ORGANIC CELERY
10 DROPS OF 2485 or 4850 Mg of full spectrum NU LEAF CBD
1 TEASPOON HAWAIIAN SPIRULINA (OPTIONAL)
BLEND CELERY AND SPIRULINA IN A HIGH SPEED BLENDER AND STRAIN THROUGH A NUT MYLK BAG OR CHEESE CLOTH. YOU CAN ALSO USE A JUICER TO JUICE THE CELERY AND THEN STIR IN THE SPIRULINA AFTER. I LOVE TO POUR MY CELERY JUICE OVER ICE AND THEN DROP IN 10 DROPS OF NU LEAF CBD BEFORE ENJOYING
Additional Celery Juice Tips:
Depending on how much celery you juice, you may have a larger serving than you're able to finish. If this is the case, you can safely store your extra juice in a tightly-sealed container and refrigerate it. Remember to consume this within the next one-two days. You can also use your celery juice as an additional ingredient for soups or mix some in salad dressings or add some other vegetables and fruits to it to make a smoothie.
CBD for Dogs, Cats, and other four-legged friends!
All natural, raw, with no additives or preservatives
Made from non-GMO hemp plants grown on select farms in Colorado, USA
100% Organic; NO herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers used
Legal in all 50 states and in over 40 countries
Directions for use: 2-3 drops per 20lbs
Pet Weight Usage
Up to 25lbs/11kg 2 drops – 1-2 times daily
25 – 50lb/11 – 23kg 4 drops – 1-2 times daily
50 – 75lb/23 – 34kg 6 drops – 1-2 times daily
over 75lb/34kg 8+ drops – 1-2 times daily
All orders include dosage recommendations
Designed for pets, but great for your human too!
This year, I spent THREE months backpacking through Asia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka with my closest girlfriends to explore new land, sea and surf. I ENDED UP EXTENDING MY ONE MONTH LONG TRIP TO THREE MONTHS AND ENDED MY ADVENTURE MORE INSPIRED AND MOTIVATED THAN EVER BEFORE.
THE GIRLS AND I DID OUR ABSOLUTE BEST TO BE AS ECO-CONSCIOUS AND CONSIDERATE AS POSSIBLE WHILE BACKPACKING ABROAD AND IMMERSING MYSELF IN NATURE AND THE SEA FOR THREE MONTHS. HERE ARE SOME TIPS AND TRICKS TO HELP YOU DO THE SAME.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN...
Our first month in the Philippines was immeasurably incredible and unforgettable for the four of us. We surfed some of the best waves of our lives', dove, sailed, hiked, scuba-ed, volunteered, cleaned beaches and connected with new brothers and sisters from around the world.
Initially, my trip was planned to focus on diving, surfing and photography. However, as soon as I arrived to the Philippines I knew I was there to share a message. The build up of trash and widespread pollution throughout these islands was out of control. (Unfortunately, little did I know I would also be witnessing this same level of pollution, or worse, in many parts of Indonesia and as well as Sri Lanka in just a few months.)
It began to feel like for every ounce of natural beauty and breathtaking scenery we drank in, there were the same number (or more) of encounters with poverty, pollution and filth. Abandoned landfills left overfilled and overflowing sweating in the hot sun beneath hundred year old coconut treats and aqua blue skies. Mounds of washed up plastic, non-biodegradable trash and discarded manmade supplies piled higher than most local houses. Beautiful, laughing filipino children playing games in nearby rivers and streams as trash bags and plastic bottles sailed unnoticed among them. It was so difficult to see with my own eyes. These countries are being bombarded with hundreds of thousands of new tourists each year at the cost of their only remaining natural beauty. Cruise ships and commercial planes were entering the philippines left and right, while the land and sea is more polluted than ever before. I’ve attached a few photos of the trash being washed up on the ocean below. A majority of this pollution being discarded shoes, sandals, tooth brushes, plastic cutlery, water bottles, water bottle caps, children's toys, product packaging, micro plastics and fishing supplies. Witnessing this destruction in person was more horrifying than photos can depict. Many times, when we discard or chuck our trash, it does not end up where we expect.
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that it’s entirely legal to dump trash in the ocean? There are certain limitations made by the United States Coast Gaurd for what you can and cannot dump into the ocean from a specific distance to the shore. Although it is not permissable to dump any plastic into the ocean in 2018, it is perfectly acceptable to dump any raw sewage, paper, rags, glass, metal, bottles, or similar refuse, as long as you are at least 12 miles away from the nearest shoreline. Isn't that just f*cked up?! I could've died when I learned this for the firs time after reading a boat captain friend's USCG pamphlet last year.
As if thats not shocking enough, there are minimal restrictions put on cruise ships and the garbage they are legally allowed to dump. When it comes to cruise ships, this trash adds up quickly. An average-sized cruise ship would house 3,000 passengers and crew. The largest cruise ships can have up to 5,000 passengers and crew. Of these cruise ships:
- One average-sized cruise ship dumps about 30,000 gallons of human waste into the oceans each day. If that cruise ship is within three miles of a U.S. shoreline, the sewage must be treated, but if they are outside of three miles, they can dump raw, untreated sewage into the oceans.
- In addition to the 30,000 gallons of sewage, each cruise ship dumps, on average, 255,000 gallons of gray water per day. Gray water includes water used for showers, laundry services, and dishwashing, and will contain soap and chemicals, even toxic chemicals used for photo-processing and dry-cleaning!
- An average cruise ship will produce seven tons of garbage and solid waste every day! In a year, approximately 15 billion pounds of garbage is dumped into the oceans.
- The pollution produced by the emissions of one cruise ship in one day equals that of about 12,000 automobiles.
* Quoted in U.S National Park Service; Mote Marine Lab, FL and “Garbage In, Garbage Out,” Audobon Magazine, Spt/Oct 1998. from “Pocket Guide to Marine Debris,” The Ocean Conservancy, 2004
Feeling frustrated and unsure of what to do first, the girls and I made a promise to be a part of the resolution for the Philippines islands which are being consistently swarmed by thousands of new businesses, buildings, accommodations, stores, restaurants and attractions for tourists. Like ourselves. We only had 4 weeks in the Philippines, but we knew that was more than enough time to do our part in some way. Or at least get a little more clear on the severity of this trash epidemic. We joined local beach clean ups, volunteered with preservation and protection groups and avoided single use plastic like the plague. We immediately fell in the love with Philippines, and the sweet, hospitable filipino people, and collectively knew we needed to leave these islands in a better condition than when we arrived.
SAFE DRINKING WATER + MINIMAL PLASTIC WHILE TRAVELING
I haven’t purchased one bottled plastic water in over 2 years since first purchasing my Kangen water machine. So there is no way in heck I was going to start in the Philippines. Old plastic water bottles littered the beaches, streets and forests of the Philippines. We saw them floating in the ocean when we were traveling by boat, and saw them dragging along the ocean's floor when we were diving or SCUBA'ing. It felt as though it was killing us, in a sense. We couldn't help but worry about our homes in Hawaii and the pollution issue we dealt with already. Would Hawaii look just as polluted as these islands one day? Was there anythign we could do to stop that? Where do we even begin? First, we did everything in our power to avoid buying one SINGLE plastic water bottle while abroad and also maintained our health (and proper hydration) while backpacking through Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. We also saved a bucket load of money on over priced water bottles and avoided hellaa' single use plastics by monitoring our food packaging, to-go containers, takeaway juices, cocktails etc. Now that I can reflect on our trip, I see how successful we were by making the efforts we did. I'll forever have memories of us ordering local vegan food in our nifty re-useable food containers and explaining time and time again to our restaurant servers that we didn't want or need plastic straws in our drinks because we already had ones here in our wallets. Just here. We'll show you. I'll share all of our sustainable travel tips below with the loving intention to inspire many of you, reading this right now, to do the same. Because, I am here, telling you that we just did it, and you can do it too.
Although my time abroad is over for now, my mission is not. I’m here, writing this blog from my cell phone in an airport waiting room to share with you all that it can be done. Consciousness and mindfulness for our environment and our natural resources should not be placed on the back burner while we travel. You can see the world and save it too. I ask you to join me, and do exactly that.
tips for your zero waste, ethical & eco friendly travel
Please feel free to comment on this blog or message me privately with any further suggestions or comments you may have. I would love to hear from you.
- Be creative. See what you can re-use, borrow, swap, buy second hand (on sites like Preloved) or make yourself. Don’t buy new if you don’t have to.
- Cheaper is not always better. Go for the durable and degradable option.
- Eat and pack close to nature.
- Pack light. It saves whatever transport mode you use, and yourself a ton of energy. Pack purposefully for the destination you’re traveling to. What do you really need?
- Stuff made from recycled-anything is always better than new. It helps to create awareness. BUT, it’s not the solution! Eventually, it still adds to the trash pile. Rethink – refuse – reuse – reduce – recycle – and if no other option… waste.
- Buy from local providers to shorten the supply chain, which includes transportation energy cost, use of packaging, and benefits for those down at the bottom.
- If you order online, kindly request to use little packaging and without plastic tape. Demand minimal, or better, NO packaging in general wherever you go. Buy online near you to avoid a package going from plane, to ship, to ferry, to truck, around the world.
- Save a tree and some money and travel with e-books instead of books. Find them online at Audible or Amazon.com. Travel guides like lonely planet have gone digital too.
- Support the small entrepreneurs and go against mass consumerism. We live in a demand-driven society. Help the good brands, without lobbying power and big advertisement budgets, to climb up the ladder. Demand plastic free and toxic free where you can. This way you say no to oil drilling, carbon emissions, and yes to a cleaner way of life. Then governments step in!
- Don’t just buy something because a company says it’s ‘eco friendly’, ‘sustainable’, ‘organic’ or ‘green’. These have become fashion words. Certifications are a step in the right direction but don’t just take that for granted either. When a brand is a certified B-Corporation, it’s using business as a force for social, environmental, and economic good. So that’s a step in the good direction. Read labels, read stories, ask questions, and find out answers.
- If you buy toiletries, buy in bulk to minimize package materials.
1. TRAVEL WITH YOUR OWN WATER + RE-USEABLE WATER BOTTLES
Traveling with your own water isn’t an option for everyone, but if you own a Kangen water machine, you’re in luck. The water produced by the Kangen Water machine is certified medical grade electronically reduced water. When you purchase a machine, the paperwork with medical grade certificate is included inside of the box which gives you access to travel with this water on a plane. Which is pretty f*cking cool if you ask me. Bring as much water as you’re able to carry and make sure to arrive early to TSA security gates to inform them of your medical water and answer any questions they may have. Usually, I just tell the first person I see at security that “I am traveling with medical grade water and have all necessary paperwork in my bag if you’d like to review it.” Sometimes, TSA requests to see the certificate, other times they do not. Often, TSA will ask to open the bottles and test the water (with a simple drug indicator strip) to ensure that you’re traveling with medical water and only that. It is a BLESSING to be 100,000 miles above sea level sipping on cold 9.5 pH Kangen water from my own reuse-able water bottle, let me tell you.
I take my Hydroflask bottle everywhere I go. Everywhere. I mean that. So you can guarantee I bring two or three of them with me when I travel. I invested in a 64oz Hydroflask before my trip and brought two other, smaller hydroflask containerswith me as well. I love the 40oz bottles because they’re light and comfortable to carry around as well as the 22 oz. insulated tumblers which are amazing for smoothies, juices, coconut water and hot coffee/tea on the go. I know these bottles can quickly take up room in your bag, but you’ll never regret having them with you when it means saving money on free water fill-ups at hostels, home-stays, cafes and restaurants as well as keeping drinks hot or cold as you travel. Also, the more you carry your re-useable bottle with you, the less you’ll find yourself stuck in those last minute “I think I have to buy a bottle of water” situations.
We brought our bottles everywhere and didn’t hesitate to politely ask staff or cafe servers to please fill up our bottles with filtered water from the kitchen. Most were happy to load us up with free filtered water, others asked that we pay a small fee (usually 50 pisos or $1) to fill up our large bottles. Which was a price we were happy to pay. We found filtered water everywhere. Ask and you shall recieve, we did exactly that. I’ll attach photos of the exact three bottles I traveled with below and highly suggest you consider “treating” yourself to the water bottle of a lifetime.
CLICK TO SHOP
2. CARRY YOUR OWN CONTAINERS AND CUTLERY
This is a major sustainability hack.Although it’s not something many people do, I try to live my life like every day is a picnic. When I’m home in Hawaii, I keep a bag or basket in my truck filled with empty (and clean!) mason jars, cutlery, chopsticks and to-go containers. When I’m out running errands or stuck in island traffic, I can grab salad, hot food, smoothies or green juice from local delis/health food shops without settling for single use plastic. As I use the jars/glasses/cutlery, I simply swap them out for a clean replacement and make sure to always carry extra containers for friends as well.
While traveling, I packed a small clutch bag with ...
2 sets of reuse-able chopsticks
2 metal straws
1 butter knife
And ... you guessed it, I brought them everywhere with me. When I went out for the day, I threw the clutch in my day bag and enjoyed eating out at cafes/markets/food trucks without collecting plastic forks and knives everywhere I went. I learned the fun way that there is no greater feat than coming across a coconut tree and knowing you have a straw and spoon on hand at all times, ready to drink the delicious water and carve into the tender coco meat.
As for food containers, I packed one large/medium container with a second small container packed inside it. I’ll attach a photo of the exact container I used below, but you can use any Tupperware you have on hand at your home. The containers were lightweight and easy to travel with. When I wasn’t using them, I’d stuff them with jewelry/headbands/beach glass and shove them in my big backpack. When I was using them, I would fill them with rice, soups, salad or fresh fruit from local markets/vendors and eat my meals as I wish- from the beach or on the boat. By bringing your own containers, you eliminate the need for wasteful to-go food containers, and also ensure that if you find a food you LOVE (and may not be able to find later in the day,) you can load up on a second serving and save it for dinner or dessert.
3. PACK EXTRA CLOTH BAGS/TOTES
Just as you would bring your own shopping bags to the grocery store to avoid plastic shopping bags, having extra cloth bags on hand while traveling was a huge help in the sustainability department. Extra bags are incredible for carrying fruit or snacks from the local markets, groceries, beach gear or even your reusable food containers/bottles. They also are wonderful for dirty clothes, damp bikinis or muddy shoes after an outdoor adventure. Whenever our dirty laundry piled up while traveling, we’d throw everything in a cloth bag and drop it off at the local laundromat where we would politely request that the clean laundry be returned to us in our cloth bag, rather than a new plastic bag.
BEFORE YOU LEAVE YOUR HOME....
1. Turn off and unplug all of your lamps and household electronics. Electronics continue to use power even if they are turned off.
2. Turn off your water and gas valves. This helps to avoid waste water incase of leaks while abroad.
3. Make sure to eat or give away all perishable food items before leaving home. Donate any left over foods to a local soup kitchen or food bank.
4. Drop off your recycling and take out any garbage or compost! Make sure to properly recycle all of the packaging, plastic and cardboard boxes from the goodies you bought for your travels.
ONCE YOU ARRIVE TO YOUR DESTINATION ...
- Fill up your water bottle with filtered water at any restaurant, cafe, hotel or accommodation. Many spas, yoga studios, coffee shops and tourist offices offer free filtered water to customers to avoid single use plastic. Some restaurants may ask you to pay a small price to fill up your bottle with their filtered or purified water. Remember to bring your water bottle, reusable cutlery, straws and extra tote bags with you every time you leave the hotel.
- Opt for sustainable transport such as walking, public transport (trains, buses, ferries) or renting a pedal bike while abroad. Enjoy finding creative ways to get around and take advantage of new exercise opportunities while exploring a new city or country.
- Choose Eco friendly resorts/Accommodations. Supporting accommodations that strive to have little impact on the environment and it’s natural resources means leaving behind a smaller footprint on your travels. Enjoy learning more about zero-waste/off-grid/sustainable living and ask to tour the property’s garden, compost area or water source to educate yourself further.
- Make efforts to shop at local food markets or purchase fresh (local) produce when traveling abroad. Bring your reusable bags out for the day and stock up on fresh fruit, veggies, herbs or coconuts as you go. Enjoying (and trying new types of) local fruits and veggies is one of my favorite ways to experience a new culture or location. I never consume meat or dairy while traveling abroad because these foods require the most water/land/resources by far and I do not wish to take away or negatively impact these countries that I am fortunate enough to travel to. Avoiding meat and dairy also promotes my lasting health and ensures that I do not fall ill from foreign bacteria or viruses while traveling. There are so many ways to experience a new country, such as local produce, music, surf, museums, hiking or art. Consuming meat or fish doesn’t need to be one of them. The food we eat has an impact on the land. Wether that land is in the local area, or thousands of miles away. Be aware of this always. I do my best to.
- Research local beach clean ups or charity events while on vacation. You can simply google search “beach clean up in ____” or “charity event in ___” and see what you come across. Community Facebook groups are another great place to connect with fellow travelers and inquire about new ways to get involved and give back to the beautiful destinations that share so much with you and your traveling companions. For example, search "Ubud Community Group" when traveling in Bali.
SUSTAINABLE PACKING LIST
WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU
- Zero Waste Snacks for Airplane/Travel (Raw Nuts, Seeds, Trail Mix, Granola, Dried Dates, Dried Bananas, Coconut Flakes, Bliss Balls, Sprouted Crackers, Salad, Fruit or Veggie Sticks if allowed.)
- Reuse-able Food Containers/Thermoses. You can use these to pack airplane snacks and then continue to keep them with you throughout your travels as you empty them.
- Warm Clothes/Sweaters to wear on the plane (to avoid individual airplane blankets wrapped in plastic.)
- Bamboo Tooth Brushes
- Reuse-able Cutlery (Fork, Knives, Spoon, Chopsticks etc.)
- Reuse-able Metal or Bamboo Drinking Straws
- Reuse-able Water Bottle
- Reuse-able Tumblr Cup (for coffee, tea or juices)
- Extra Canvas Tote Bags (for market shopping, laundry, beach bag or takeaway food. I usually pack 4-5 and roll them up tightly.)
- Small 4 Oz. Spray Bottles with 2.5 pH Kangen Water and 6.0 pH beauty water to use as hand sanitizer, mouth wash, disinfectant, facial toner, moisturizer etc. while traveling.
- (For women) Menstrual Cup/Biodegradable Tampons (rather than non-recyclable tampons, pads, sanitary napkins)
- Crystal Deodorant or Cream Deodorant in Glass Jar
- Coconut Oil or Body Cream in Glass jar
- Zinc or Non Toxic Sunscreen in Glass or Biodegradable packaging
- Shampoo Bar or Soap wrapped in Paper
- Swiss Army Knife (to be packed in checked bags only) with scissors, tooth pick, knife, tweezers etc.
- Raincoat (to avoid having to purchase a plastic poncho in case of emergency)
- Reuseable Batteries for Cameras/Electronics
- Dry Bag to carry electronics, cell phones, wallets and cameras in while on the boat or out in nature.
Women WHO TRAVEL...
INVEST IN A RE-USEABLE MENSTRUAL CUP
I always carry a silicone Menstrual (Moon) Cup with me while traveling and at home! I have been using a menstrual cup for three years now and could never imagine going back to single use tampons/pads or sanitary napkins. Not only do these products sit in landfills unable to break down for dozens of years after we use them once, they are expensive and take up so much space in my backpack when traveling for long periods of time. Some women love their moon cup right off the bat, while others have to experiment with a few sizes/shapes to ensure theirs is a comfortable fit. Here are three moon cups I reccomend or have used personally. Click on the image to learn more.
Birth Control While Traveling?
I personally choose to take no contraceptive pills or use an IUD. I opt for a hormone-free and all natural birth contraceptive method called the "Daysy" and I use it everyday while traveling and at home. Daysy is a fertility monitor computer that uses the fertility awareness method (FAM) by learning and tracking your menstrual cycle. With the Daysy device you can prevent or plan pregnancy. The Daysy shows you the exact days you are fertile or not fertile (with an accuracy of more than 99.3%.)
The Daysy is all natural, free of side effects and requires no charting what so ever. It does it all for you. I love being able to prepare for my moon cycle while traveling and at home. Often times traveling comes with new emotional/physical difficulties and I love to be especially gentle with my body on the days leading up to my period. Also, the Daysy is small as can be and fits perfectly in a carry on bag, cosmetic bag or suitcase.
HOW DO YOU USE IT ?
- Every morning, you take your temperature underneath your tongue.
- You confirm menstruation on the days you have it by simply clicking a button.
- The Daysy evaluates your data and calculates your fertility status for the next 24 hours. The whole ordeal takes 60 seconds.
WHAT ABOUT SUITCASES AND LUGGAGE?
Ideally, you'll want to buy luggage or backpacking equipment that is pre owned or sustainability made.I always make sure to avoid Leather, suede, Rayon and Polyester when purchasing clothes/bags/equipment. Borrowing luggage from a friend or former backpacker is another great option! If you're not able to track down someone who has what you need to borrow, websites like Preloved are great for buying supplies second hand. I've linked a few sustainable/vegan bags below that I love and reccomend if you choose to buy new. If you have any other suggestions for travel gear, please feel free to send me a message below. I'd love to include as many eco-options as possible.
GO WITH LOVE
GO WITH COMPASSION
Go with consideration
This topic is controversial.
I understand this. I have been using cannabis for over ten years and have been openly using cannabis on a regular basis for the past five. I am very aware that many individuals have very opposing views on both marijuana and the cannabis plant. I have participated in many interesting and thought provoking conversations on this subject and have resonated with statements made by supporters of each end of the spectrum. I am aware that the recreational use of cannabis is not yet legal in most states within the US. I also know that it is not yet legal in many other parts of the world as well. I do not recommend anyone use cannabis medically (or recreationally) without doing their own research before hand.
Some people react differently to cannabis than others. I know that marijuana can temporarily impair your memory or alter your mood. I know that just like all other things, what works for one person, very well may not work for another.
I do realize that a large percentage of my online following is made up of young woman (and often times, their mothers.) If you are a skeptic to recreational or medical use of marijuana (or are a parent who is unsure of where they stand,) please know that I honor your decision to feel the way you do. I am so thrilled you have your own opinion on this subject, and I truly wouldn't want it any other way. I trust whole heartedly that if you do choose to continue reading this blog, you will keep an open mind (and heart) to my beliefs, as I would to yours if we were standing in the same room discussing this in person. Although I share many aspects of my life over a screen, I am still human. Still living my own life. In the flesh. Learning and expanding in new ways, each day. As are you.
I am perfectly imperfect.
I know this to be true.
I am no greater than anyone else.
No one else is greater than me.
What other people perceive of me or my life is none of my business.
My life is a direct reflection of my own thoughts and beliefs.
I am a living manifestation of the energetic ideas and vibrations that I experience.
I choose to think nothing but positive thoughts about myself.
I choose to honor myself and my spirit's intuition.
I choose to love myself.
I know I have everything I need within me to live a create a life that is abundant in all ways.
I have everything I need to be healthy, happy and loved.
I have everything I need within me.
I already have it. I always have.
What brings me happiness and fulfillment in my life is going to be beautifully unique to what brings you happiness and fulfillment in yours.
I know that I can never make a judgement of you or your choices, as you are the only person who can identify with your own source energy and the factors that contribute to deepening your sense of greater self awareness.
I am not here to tell you what I think you should do.
I am not here to tell you what I think anyone else should do.
I am here to share a story with you.
With hopes that this story will inspire you, the reader, to dive deeper within the levels of your internal being. To recognize your self worth and your self ability. To recognize your power. To recognize your infinite source of energy and light. To get to know yourself better, really.
I am here, sharing this blog post to inspire you to focus more on your relationship you are involved in with yourself.
Marijuana does not complete me or my life.
Marijuana simply compliments it.
Although this may sound repetitive, I just want to make it very clear that if you are seeking an article discussing the scientifically researched pro's and con's of marijuana usage as backed by western science, this article is not what you are seeking. THIS IS JUST A STORY.
I am not here to make claims about the potential benefits or the potential hazards of marijuana or share studies done on the cannabis plant.
I am not here to remind you that some of the most influential and thought provoking leaders of our world, such as William Shakespeare (researchers found marijuana resin on many of his clay pipes,) Queen Victoria (who's private physician, Sir Russell Reynolds, prescribed marijuana for her menstrual cramps,) President John F. Kennedy (who has several written accounts of using marijuana to relieve severe back pain,) Carl Sagan, an incredible scientist, astronomer and astrophysicist who wrote essays describing the insights he identified with after smoking marijuana, or Bob Marley (who just smoked pot. A lot of it. Often publicly. Many times while on stage in front of thousands.) I am not here to tell you about the scythians or the ancient greeks (who are well known for using cannabis to get rid of tapeworms, parasites, nosebleeds and reduce ear inflammation.) I am not here to discuss the Egyptian pharaohs (who used cannabis in a multitude of medical uses, including treatment for hemorrhoids, stomach ulcers and sore eyes.) I am most certainly not here to tell you about the Egyptian pharaohs.
If you are looking for me to convince you that marijuana can actually enhance your health and self awareness, rather than destruct it, this is not the post you've been looking for. I am not here to tell you that weed has been shown to lower your risk of diabetes, regulate high blood sugar, lower your cholesterol, help alleviate symptoms and pain from PMS, alleviate chronic headaches and migraines, increase your metabolism, concentrate, sleep better, help you lose weight or enhance your creativity.
However, if I was here to tell you that, I'd probably list some of these links here...
- A study published in The American Journal of Medicine found that people who smoke marijuana had lower insulin levels and insulin resistance levels by 16 and 17 %. Which means that cannabis can play a role in regulating blood sugar, which can significantly decrease your risk of developing diabetes.
- A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that pot smokers are less prone to obesity and have less chance of becoming obese in their lifetime.
- Another study in the American Journal of Medicine revealed similar results, finding those who supplement with marijuana on a regular basis weigh less than those who don't smoke marijuana. Researchers also discovered that marijuana may boost your metabolism, increase fat loss and lower cholesterol.
- Studies have found that THC is an analgesic and anti nociceptive agent that can alleviate the pain of killer menstrual cramps as well as lower back pain, irritability and PMS related headaches. Marijuana has also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help with the bloating that occurs during your moon cycle, which means you can supplement with a plant rather than a midol.
- Research has supported a link between the brain's CB-1 and CB-2 cannabinoid receptors and dopamine. Essentially, small doses of marijuana can enhance your concentration without hurting your efficiency level. An increase in dopamine levels often leaves us feeling focused and motivated, which means you may even consider supplementing with a plant, rather than your second Red Bull or third coffee of the day.
- Other studies show that cannabis causes psychotomimetic symptoms, which could lead users to make connections between ideas that aren't usually related to one another in a typical sense.This type of thinking is often crucial to our creativity and imagination, as well as our cognitive brain development.
- Scientists are also finding that chemical compounds found in cannabis, THC and CBD, actually help protect our brains. This article explains how cannabis can actually help individuals diagnosed with mental health disorders.
An article published in a 2010 Harvard Mental Health Letter also suggests that marijuana alleviated symptoms of anxiety.The article mentions that small doses of THC act as a gentle sedative, decreasing symptoms of anxiety.
But I am not here to talk about that. RemeMber? I'm just sharing a story.
MY MARIJUANA STORY
In a perfect world, I'd be sharing this story from a warm living room while my audience of blog readers and online subscribers sat on the floor around my rocking chair and listened very closely with wide eyes.
I experimented with pot for the first time my freshman year of high school. I had a boyfriend who was older than me and who hung out with all of the surfers, skaters, and stoners. One night while spending time with a girlfriend, my boyfriend called and asked us if we wanted to be picked up and go cruise with him and his friends for the evening. We said yes and soon enough we were in the trunk of our class mate's clunky old car parked facing the ocean with the headlights on so we could see the waves crashing on the shore in the night. We hung out and listened to music, messed with the radio and admired the stars from the beach parking lot. Soon enough, someone pulled out a glass bong from their bag and someone else began to pack a bowl with weed. Sprawled out throughout the open car and spacious trunk, we took turns passing around the pipe and taking hits. I watched my girlfriend take a hit of the bong and when she handed it to my boyfriend sitting next to her, he politely offered it to me and asked if I wanted to smoke it first. "I've never smoked before" I announced to my friends quietly. All good, my boyfriend assured me, there was no pressure to do anything.
I didn't think about it much to be honest. I knew I felt curious and interested. "Can you teach me how?" I asked. "Sure" he said. And that was it. I learned how to smoke the bong, took a small hit and then passed it to the next friend who did the same. No one paid much attention to it and nor did I. It felt very comfortable and casual for me. I'm surprised I even remember the specific occasion, actually. After that, we decided to share one more bowl pack, rolled all of the windows down and turned the car lights off to admire the stars. We laid there for hours. Cracking jokes, playing music, sharing stories and just .... hanging out in a parking lot, you get it.
Now that I look back on it, many of my most cherished memories from my teenage years sound similar to this. I had the closest group of girlfriends (and still do). We would gather a small group, start a beach bonfire, hang by someone's pool or post up in a backyard on a warm summer night and sing, talk, share ideas and pass around a joint or two. Sometimes five. I have nothing to hide here. I loved that my friends were interested in playing instruments, writing songs, spitting rhymes, planning trips, sharing stories from the ocean and studying the upcoming surf swell. I loved that we could enjoy time with one another that didn't involve crowded basement parties or red solo cups filled with four loko and cheap beer. I loved that weed was usually hard to come by, because when one of us did have it, we invited others to come and join in the ceremony of enjoying it together. I loved that marijuana inspired me to ask meaningful questions, think unique thoughts and slow down to deliciously drink in all of the small moments.
I love that marijuana makes me think of being home, surrounded by the people I love who are interested in having inspiring conversations and making more personal connections. I love that.
CANNABIS OVER THE YEARS
Unfortunately, the more time I spent in high school, the more time I spent partying. My group of friends expanded quickly as I joined clubs, sports teams and worked at a popular clothing store nearby. The more friends I had, the more invitations I received on a weekend night. I smoked weed occasionally and ate a pot brownie here and there, but never used marijuana consistently (or for any reasons other than recreational) for many years. Unfortunately, I did not make as smart or intuitive choices with alcohol and ended up abusing it many times in the four years I attended high school. I have gotten in fights with friends and family while drinking. I have been in the car with friends who should not have been driving me home while I was drunk. I have been hospitalized with alcohol poisoning. I have even been kicked off of a sports team for underage drinking. Although my relationship with alcohol became hazardous at a young age, I was fortunate enough to make the decision to travel for 6 months my senior year of high school, which basically put an abrupt halt to my partying and over-consumption. I needed to save money, get in shape and feel my best before leaving to live entirely off grid in Africa. And I needed to get it done quickly. I began to realize that alcohol was not serving my highest level of self and took a drinking hiatus while I prepared to travel. Then I left on my six month adventure and rarely had the opportunity to drink like I had before. As soon as my trip was done, I attended my first semester of college in Miami, Florida and began drinking again right away. I was attending concerts, going to music festivals, clubs, private events and parties every single weekend (and many week days). My only goal in college was to socialize and cultivate a new group of friends, so partying seemed to be the most appropriate answer for that. Low and behold, that answer was wrong. Being drunk quickly affected my grades, my health and my mental well-being. I would get the worst hangovers of my life after drinking cheap tequila in Miami nightclubs and found myself craving junky, processed foods when I was too tired to bother to cook between classes. I had a frightening experience walking (stumbling) home drunk from a bar one night and knew I wanted to take a break again.
It wasn't until I moved to Hawaii that I began to explore marijuana for medical purposes on a more regular basis. I was attending a new college now and feeling healthier and stronger than ever before. I was barely drinking alcohol and was exploring a plant based diet for the first time in my life. I was exercising, diving, biking, learning how to surf and excited to be back at college once again. I was so in love with my new life and change of scenery. Soon enough, I had a new Hawaii boyfriend, and quickly after that I didn't.
I experienced my first true heartache in Hawaii and found myself struggling with anxiety for the first time in my life. I had never really been "dumped" before and wasn't used to sleeping alone each night. I was 5,000 miles from home and left feeling hurt and confused. My anxiousness and negative energy would stay with me throughout the day and into the evening when I began to have trouble sleeping. I would lay in bed with my head and heart racing. I didn't want to be going out and socializing at bars or parties, but I felt so lonely and so unsettled for the first time. I went almost 3 months running on no more than 4 short hours of sleep a night. I had frequent nightmares, sleep terrors and was waking up constantly throughout the night barely able to fall back asleep. "Fuck, I don't want to go on medication for this" I remembering thinking to myself. I eventually turned to the school library (and then the internet) to consider all of my options for natural sleep remedies. The more I read, the more I learned about marijuana.
For hundreds of years, cultures from around the world have been using marijuana and cannabis for 100% natural relief for sleep, illness, pain management and more. I came across a plethora of information on different strains of sativa and indica weed and finally decided that I wanted to give it a go. I hadn't smoked in a few weeks, and had never really smoked on a regular basis before, so this felt like an exciting science experiment I was about to embark on. I texted a friend who grew marijuana locally and asked if I could buy an indica strain to smoke that night. I don't know if it was from the state of absolute exhaustion from in-proper sleep for 12+ weeks, or from the indica weed, but I took 2 or 3 hits of a small joint that night and was asleep in bed with an open book on my chest within the hour. I woke up 9 hours later feeling like Michelle Obama, basically. That day I decided I would journal my recent sleep patterns for the next two weeks or so and see if I noticed any lasting changes. Every night for two weeks, I would head to my bedroom after dinner with my housemates, close my door, light a candle or an incense stick, meditate on my carpeted floor for 10 minutes and then smoke some indica before climbing into bed with a book or my journal. I slept every single night. Beautifully. And eventually ran out of weed. I took a break from using marijuana before bed for a few nights while I waited to restock and noticed that even then I slept better than I had before my indica experiment began.
With all of the epic journaling, reading, and online research I was doing, I knew I needed to find a physical hobby that I could dedicate some of my time and new found energy (from all of the sleep) to. I started downloading audiobooks on my phone and running from my house to a nearby park and wildlife trail. I would run 2 miles to the head of the trail while listening to a new book or podcast and then run home. The more I ran, the longer my runs became. I loved the idea of long distance running and eventually began training for my first ever marathon. Although I had very little idea where to start. I had a great guy friend who lived in the apartment next to mine who loved the idea of training for a marathon just as much as I did. "26 miles? Thats fucking nuts" he said. "I'm in. Let's do it." So, we did. Every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I would run a few miles on my own, and every Saturday and Sunday I'd wake up extra early to knock on Austin's door and wake him up for "training". We would wait to run our "long" runs together each weekend and would often bang out 11 or 12 miles before many of our friends had even stumbled out of bed. We'd run to the beach, check the surf, run to the park, check the gardens, run back to the beach and then run home. Sometimes we'd pack a few dollars and hit up a farmer's market for a cold juice or smoothie while we were out training in the heat. I loved our runs together. Austin quickly became one of my closest friends and I felt physically stronger than ever before. My back, however, did not. The more we trained, the more time I spent at the gym stretching and foam rolling my legs and calves. I knew the concrete running was impacting my body in harsh ways. My legs felt (and looked, might I add) amazing. But my lower back ached. I knocked on Austin's door on a Friday night and told him I didn't think I'd be able to run in the morning because my lower back was acting up again. He told me he'd check in with me in the morning, and when he did, he knocked on my door in running attire with a large joint rolled in his hand. "Let's smoke this. Then see how you feel." We smoked the joint and decided to head outside and jog slowly, so even if I didn't last long, at least I'd still get some training in. We ran 14 miles that day. A half marathon. It was the longest I had ever run in my life and I remember feeling so excited and truly comfortable in my body while running. We finally got back home and Austin invited me to stretch in his room and make celebratory breakfast smoothies. We did exactly that while I raved to him about how wonderful my back felt throughout my run. He quickly reminded me that although marijuana might have temporarily relieved the pain, it most likely wasn't a long term fix and I should be incorporating yoga into my daily fitness routine. Then we smoked another joint.
I knew he was right. The pain relief was only temporary. So I followed his advice. Every other morning I would wake up and jog 1 mile to the local 24 hour fitness center near me and attend a 60 minute beginner's yoga class before heading off to college for the day. If my back ached from yesterday's long run or a week of sitting in crappy college lecture hall chairs when I woke up in the morning, I would smoke a bit of sativa before yoga to reduce the pain and then be on my way. I loved that I didn't need to take advils or tylenols like so many others. Eventually I decided smoking weed didn't feel like the healthiest option, so I hopped on YouTube university and taught myself how to make infused cannabis oil. And then use that oil when baking cookies, brownies, bliss balls or crackers. Infused cannabis oil was (and still is) my preferred method of marijuana supplementation. I would take 1/2 a teaspoon with my morning smoothie or tea and even put a small serving of the oil in an empty vegan pill capsule and swallow it like a vitamin. Sometimes I ate too much. It was all trial and error for me and my body. When that happened, I quickly learned that going to yoga class stoned was hilarious. Especially when you are by yourself and the majority of your fellow yoga-classmates (including the teacher) are 65 years and older. I was so new to yoga and often found myself feeling embarrassed or out of shape during class. Marijuana made me feel more comfortable. I would roll out my mat and take time to breathe. "Don't take yourself too seriously" I would repeat in my head like a mantra. I would let the movements come to me organically and often fell out of poses. Most importantly, I learned to laugh at myself. I would leave yoga feeling like I was floating. I began to love my morning yoga flows and eventually enrolled in a yoga course at college before traveling to Bali to become a certified teacher myself.
I also continued to run. And ran my first ever full marathon in Hawaii, and then ran three more. I have supplemented with cannabis oil throughout all four marathons and can say with complete confidence that the canna-oil saved me big time on a few of them. During my third marathon, I pulled a muscle in my foot on mile 15 and could barely walk, let alone run. I had been training for months and was running in the Honolulu Marathon with over 22,000 other runners. I would not let myself leave the race. I hobbled to a friend who was waiting for me in the crowd and took an extra spoonful of homemade oil to help reduce the swelling and pain in my foot. Within 20 minutes, the oil began to work its magic and I slowly began to run again. I jogged slowly, but surely and was able to finish the race (before spending the next 4 days in bed with a large medical boot on my foot.) Not only did the oil help me during the race, it helped me tremendously while recovering from my inquiry. Once again, I gave thanks that I had no need for toxic pain killers or prescription drugs. I could go on for hours sharing stories of how cannabis has complimented my running, yoga and weight training practices. I could tell you dozens of stories where cannabis has increased my endurance as well as my concentration. I could tell you a dozen stories about myself, and then a dozen stories about friends who have had their own positive testimonies with cannabis as well. But I won't. For now, I will just say that in my own experience, Cannabis has ...
- Strengthened my creative potential and inspired me to begin painting and creating art again
- Inspired me to quiet my mind and carry out a consistent meditation practice
- Reignited my love for cooking and creating delicious foods while learning how to make new edible oils and cannabis tinctures, as well as share love and energy with my food
- Led me to spend more time in nature (there is nothing more peaceful than a teaspoon of cannabis oil before a long Hawaii hike)
and most importantly,
Cannabis contributes to deepening my relationship with myself.
When I use cannabis, I am often alone or at home. I take pride in my "peace time" and love to read books on spirituality, personal development, business, travel, music, and nutrition. I love to paint, draw, redecorate and reorganize. I love to go for long runs, slow bike rides and lazy beach walks.
Cannabis is not something that I need in this life.
But it is something I enjoy.
For me, taking time to indulge in the things that I enjoy is the greatest representation of self-love that I can share with myself at this time.
I've created a beautiful and extraordinary life for myself. I have found an abundance of natural ways to strengthen and support my body and mind. I have created and founded my own business and successful online website. I have brought together a group of thousands of like-minded individuals from around the world to embody a lifestyle of health and consciousness. I have inspired thousands to go vegan and live compassionately. I have spread the message of self love. Of self healing. I have spread the message of holistic health and sustainability in new and exciting ways. And I have done all of this with marijuana as a contributing factor.
Marijuana has played it's role in my story. And in my success.
And it may or may not make an appearance in your story as well.
That's the most beautiful part.
It's for you to create.
HOW I MAKE MY CANNABIS OIL
Cannabis oil is only as good as the buds used to make it. Each individual person and each emotional being best responds to different types of cannabis. You can google "sativa" and "indica" to learn more about the different strains before making your own oil, if necessary.
I always recommend that you opt for organic bud. Similarly to many crops, non organic cannabis often contains residual pesticide, fertilizer, or insecticide matter that may still be present in your herb in small amounts.
Organic cannabis also tends to be higher in terpenes.Terpenes are the flavor and aroma molecules found in the cannabis plants. Like cannabinoids, terpenes also have a variety of health benefits. Ideally, starting with high-quality cannabis material increases the amount of possible cannabinoids and terpenes in your oil.
The goal is to make a product that is extremely rich and abundant with healing compounds. Including a wide diversity of phytochemicals from the cannabis plant.
To get started, you’re going to need ...
- One ounce of organic/high-quality cannabis or medical cannabis (or 2 to 3 ounces of cannabis trim.) Feel free to throw in small stems or leaves for good measure if you have them on hand
- Stove top, slow cooker or rice cooker
- 1 medium glass mixing bowl
- Cheesecloth or Nut Mylk Bag
- Large wooden spoon
- Silicone spatula
- Extra containers (to collect/catch the oil)
- Parchment paper
- Optional fan or ventilation (if you're cooking indoors - the cannabis odor can be quite strong)
To Make About 1 Cup CANNABIS Oil:
- 1 1/4 cups oil - You can use coconut, olive, vegetable, etc.
- 1/2 ounce average quality decarboxylated dried bud
- About 4 cups filtered water
How to dECARBOXYLATE YOUR BUDS
Decarboxylating your marijuana before using it to make tinctures or edibles ensures the highest possible THC content.
You’re going to need your finely ground herb, a baking tray, parchment paper and some tin foil. You can also use kief for this, too! I love to grind my dry buds in a herb grinder, or even throw them in the Vitamix blender on low for 5-10 seconds until they're loose like powder.
- First, preheat your oven to 225 F. At too low of a temperature, it will take too long and it may not convert all of the THCA into THC. However, at too high of a temperature it could burn and you risk losing flavor and terpenes.
- Line your baking tray with parchment paper (or use a silicone baking mat) and lay out your buds. Make sure you lay them out evenly on the tray so that the heat can be dispersed evenly.
- 'Cook' your buds in the oven at 225 F for 50-60 minutes. Set a timer so you dont forget!
- Once the time is up, carefully remove the tray and allow the buds to cool. You may notice that the color has changed slightly to a darker green, more brown color. Your buds may look like they have been lightly toasted. (They are now full of THC!)
Why Add Water When Making Oil?
When you include water in your cannabis oil, especially when infusing cannabis oil on the stovetop, you ensure that the cannabis will never reach a higher temperature than the boiling point (212 degrees F.) More importantly, the chlorophyll and terpenes – which give the plant its flavor and color — are water soluble and will bind to water during the cooking process instead of infusing themselves into the fats along with the THC. This means less green color in the finished oil. Nonetheless, even when using water in the mix, the marijuana oil might still appear quite green. The shade of green will vary from strain to strain with some coming out pale green or almost yellow, while other marijuana oils will take on a deep forest green color. Keep in mind, however, that color has nothing to do with potency.
Marijuana oil in the slow / RICE cooker METHOD
(My personal favorite method): Add oil, marijuana plant material, and water to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 to 12 hours. I know some friends who cook their oil for 2 - 3 days in the slow cooker. 8 hours works for me, but feel free to cook longer if you wish.
Stovetop Method: Place oil, cannabis plant material, and water in a large lidded Dutch oven on the stove top. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low and simmer for 2 to 4 hours. Take care and monitor the liquid level often, adding water as necessary to always keep at least 3 cups in the pot. Simmering marijuana on the stovetop is very aromatic. The slow cooker usually eliminates the strong smelling odor.
Draining and Straining Cannaoil
The draining process is identical for both stovetop and slow cooker methods. Place a cheesecloth lined strainer over a large pot or bowl and strain the liquid through this. Before discarding plant material, pour a large kettle full of boiling water over the full strainer in order to wash through any extra oil clinging to the plant material. Allow to cool then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Discard the plant material. If you are using a solid at room temperature fat like coconut oil or shortening, chill water and oil. The infused oil will harden into a solid when chilled making it easy for you to simply lift the piece off of the water below and discard the water.
Give the marijuana oil an extra rinse with boiling water to extract as much as possible.
In most instances, oil will rise to the top of the water but won’t solidify. No worries, man. You can use a spoon to skim the oil off the water. Now it’s time to strain one more time to remove as much cannabis sediment as possible. Place a double layer of cheesecloth over a strainer and pour the oil mixture through.
Refrigerate infused oil until ready to use or freeze for even longer storage.
Fats can still go rancid in the freezer so try to use within 3 months.
Once you have made your infused cannabis oil, you can supplement with it orally, or even choose one of your favorite baked recipes and subsitute regular oil or vegan butter for cannabis oil. Remember, you can keep it in your fridge or freezer and swallow a small spoonful (or even spread it on toast!) when needed, but there are more "tasty" options worth exploring. I love making sweet cacao cannabis bliss balls, vegan brownies and even oatmeal raisin cookies with infused oil baked inside. Remember, the strain of weed as well as the amount of weed used during the oil process will determine how strong/potent the oil is. I cannot tell you how much you should or should not take. Start small and adjust from there :)
If you're not comfortable ingesting the oil, you can use it topically as a powerful aid for inflamed, irritated or itchy skin. You can also use the cannabis oil to massage onto your belly or pelvic area if you're dealing with any menstrual cramps, indigestion or stomach upset.
Cannabis is a powerful plant that can offer you a wide array of natural healing options.
The best part is, the plant will share its magic with everyone in an entirely unique way.
GO WITH HEALTH
GO WITH GANJ
DO I HAVE SEX?
yes. sometimes. definitely not enough if i am being completely honest. which i am. it appears i am currently soaking in the stillness of my " spend more time with yourself. fall in love with yourself. sleep alone sprawled out on your big beautiful bed and enjoy hogging the blankets for yourself" phase. which i am more than ok with. great sex will come. i know this to be true. i am happy to wait. i am happy to enjoy the sprawled-ness.
More importantly than my sex life is how you can have safe, healthy, hormone-free, incredible sex as a conscious (and health conscious) individual
Before we dive into the pleasures of the female body, let's touch base on the mechanics of it.
The female moon cycle is a divine creation of nature.
Our menstration cycle is synced directly to the lunar cycle of our weaning and waxing moon.
Our moon cycle is organic.
Our moon cycle is cleansing and healing.
Our moon cycle is natural.
Bleached plastic sanitary products are not.
Our period should have no negative or destructive impact on our planet.
Our period should do no damage to our seas.
Non compostable, plastic tampons generate more than 200,000 tons of waste per year. Let's not contribute to that number please.
Here are some products I love....
WHAT ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL HOMIE?
I will be the first person to tell you to avoid synthetic birth control like the plague.
I encourage you to do the research on your own, as there are multitudes of websites/doctors/medical sources online that will say opposing things. You must make this decision for yourself. You and only you should decide what you put into your body. Not your doctor. Not your parent. Not your partner. Only you should decide if you wish to supplement with synthetic hormones and pills produced by the hundred thousands in man-made factories.
I personally choose to take no contraceptive pills at all. I did, however. From age 14-18, I was on the pill and dealt with a plethora of health/emotional uproars because of it. My body never adjusted to the bill. I switched between generic and non generic brands constantly and always used "back up" methods of contraceptive to play it safe. I never trusted the pill. Nor did my body apparently. Years later and I am still finding an internal balance after years of disrupt from birth control. I wake up each day and express gratitude for being fortunate enough to educate myself on my body and my fertility. Fortunate enough to make this choice for me.
I highly suggest you do the same. There is nothing more rewarding than identifying with a greater self awareness of your body. Nothing more beautiful. Nothing more empowering. Nothing more sexy.
We are not taught enough about the female reproductive organ in school. We are not taught nearly enough about sex, intimacy or a woman's ability to find pleasure, power and create new life through sex. I recommend these books below on the Fertility Awareness Method.
SO WHAT DO I USE FOR BIRTH CONTROL?
I use a dope little device called the "Daysy." And I use it every single morning.
Daysy is a fertility monitor that uses the fertility awareness method (FAM) by learning and tracking your menstrual cycle. With the Daysy device you can plan or prevent pregnancy as you choose. The Daysy shows you the exact days you are fertile or not fertile (with an accuracy of 99.3%.) To prevent pregnancy, use a hormone-free barrier method during your fertile days.
The daysy is all natural, free of side effects and no charting is necessary. The Daysy has an all included smart phone app that does all of the charting for you. Which is also incredibly informative and rad. I love being able to prepare for my cycle and set aside time and space to act intuitively and be especially gentle with my body on the days leading up to my period.
How do you use the daysy?
- Every morning, you take your temperature underneath your tongue.
- You confirm menstruation on the days you have it by simply clicking a button.
- The Daysy evaluates your data and calculates your fertility status for the next 24 hours. The whole ordeal takes 60 seconds.
They're worth checking out.
I wouldn't reccomend them unless I meant it. Check out this video below to learn more.
OKAY, WHAT ABOUT SEX ON DAYS THAT I AM FERTILE?
Condoms. Vegan Condoms, to be more specific are dope. I personally love the L condoms shown below, but have heard GLYDE brand is a great option as well. Condoms are the only form of protection that protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Which my mother made sure I was very much so aware of at a young age, as she nonchalantly informed me on an early morning car ride to high school one day that it was OK to demand a man wear a condom before receiving hypothetical oral sex from me. Thank you again for that, Mom. There are few visuals as disturbing as this to picture before entering a 7 am english exam.
Vegan condoms are cruelty free and way less gnarly than your standard condom (which often contain chemical resins, polyisoprene and casein - which is derived from milk fat of a cow.) I'd like to order one round of stellar protected sex, no dairy or animal products inside of my body or sex organs please.
Side note: If you know of a biodegradable or 100% compostable condom please, please send me a message. I would love to promote them here. Because as incredible as condoms can be, the environmentalist in me can't help but hate that they are unfortunately a product of single-use waste. (Thats why I love the daysy more than condoms!)
HOW CAN I STRENGTHEN MY VAGINA?
Invest in a jade egg. Or a yoni egg. When you use a Yoni Egg, you engage the muscles of the vagina and the pelvic floor, and bring awareness to your sexual organs. As your body engages in yoni egg exercises, your brain starts to create muscle memory and connect new neurons correlated to these areas of your body. New nerve endings form directly in the tissue, which in turn increases sensitivity. Once you get the hang of it, you also feel 100 steps closer to fully embodying and embracing the sexual feminine energy that lies within you. You basically become a strong sex goddess. Even if you're the only one benefiting from this new internal strength.
CLICK TO SHOP
HOW TO USE A JADE EGG?
If your jade egg does not come with a string attached, you can simply take a length of unwaxed dental floss and thread through the hole and tie in a knot so that the knot is at the narrow end of the egg.
THE WARM UP
Take a minute or two to simply breath into your body, allowing yourself to connect with your breathe and your core.If you are new to jade egg exercises or have hesitations about inserting the egg, you can massage your breasts before you insert the jade egg. Stimulating your breasts will help you connect with your sensual self and naturally lubricate your vagina. Incase you didn't know, our kidney meridian, which is responsible for a woman’s sexual arousal, is located within her breasts.
If you're not into the breast vibe, you can use your hands to massage your groin, vulva or inner thighs. Or you can use an all natural, water based lubricant. It's your choice. There is no wrong way to do it. You get creative here.
Once you’re ready, you'll slowly and gently insert the egg into your vagina. The large end of the egg goes in first. You may have to move or massage it around a bit at first. It should feel comfortable once you find the right angle.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HAIR DOWN THERE?
removing all the hair
off your body is okay
if thats what you want to do
just as much as keeping all of the hair
on your body is okay
if thats what you want to do.
- You belong to yourself.
I personally choose to avoid laser hair removal. Its always freaked me out a bit, and I'm absolutely not convinced there is enough long term evidence done on its health/reproductive dangers. Full transparency, I fluxuate between waxing and ..doing nothing at all. Learning to love my body as it is. Learning to appreciate and admire the way I was created and the way my body changes as I mature and evolve. If you are interested in brazilian waxing or hair removal, I reccomend looking up sugar waxing, or reading this article on vegan hair removal options.
MORE SEXY STUFF...
Silver Stacking Rings by Sister Creation
Metal Wrap Ring (From Thailand) found in a Thrift Store
Silver Cowrie Shell Ring by Summer Love Jewelry
Gold Aquamarine Hoops and Silver Hammered Bangles by Sister Creation
Sunrise Shell Necklace by Tiare Elena
"Why I'm Vegan Necklace" by Aloha Sol
"A" Charm on Necklace by Helen Ficalora
MEGAN MOON'S ADORNMENTS
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Silver Moonstone Hoop Earrings, Micro Gold Stud Earrings and Gold Tahitian Bangles by Iwi Nani Jewelry
Gold Triangle Earring Studs by @OhanaShop
"Why I'm Vegan" Necklace by Aloha Sol
Gold "A" Necklace by Helen Ficalora
Gold + Aquamarine Cowrie Shell Necklace by @KeshiaDelMarJewelry
Silver Hammered Bangles by Sister Creation
Blue Apatite Ring (On Thumb) by OLIVIA MAR
Silver Moonstone Ring (On Pointer Finger) by Ocean State of Mind
Moonstone/Opal/Turquoise Ring (On Index Finger) by @Solis.Designs
PICTURED ABOVE LEFT
Cowrie Shell Ring by @ElizaSloane
Silver Stacking rings and Silver Swirl Ring by Sister Creation
Gold Sunrise Shell Necklace by @TiareHanalei
Gold Spike Earring by @OhanaShopKauai
PICTURED ABOVE RIGHT
Cowrie Shell Ring by @Eliza Sloane
Opal/MoonStone/Turqouise Ring by @Solis.Designs
Silver Moonstone Ring by Ocean State of Mind
BLU APATITE RING (ON THUMB) BY OLIVIA MAR
KESHIA DEL MAR JEWLERY
CLICK TO SHOP ✺ USE CODE "Amelia1o" to SAVE 10% OFF
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GOLD HAMMERED BANGLES BY IWI NANI JEWELRY
CUSTOMIZED "AMELIA" BANGLE BY A HONU EXPERIENCE
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CUSTOMIZABLE GOLD CUFF BRACeLETS BY JEWELRY BY SJB
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OPAL/MOONSTONE/TURQUIOSE RING BY @SOLIS.DESIGNS
MOON PHASE NECKLACE BY SUGAR BLOSSOM JEWeLRY
SHARK TOOTH NECKLACE BY JEWeLRY BY JUSTINE
AQUAMARINE DROP NECKLACE +
CIRCLE GOLD RING BY JEWeLRY BY SJB
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LARGE OPAL RING BY RAW BY OLIVIA MAR
SILVER + MOONSTONE HOOP EARRINGS BY IWI NANI JEWELRY
MOON PHASE NECKLACE BY SUGAR BLOSSOM JEWELRY
EDISON PEARL NECKLACE BY A HONU EXPERIENCE
(USE CODE "SSS10" TO SAVE 10% ON YOUR NEXT ORDER)
BLUE + GOLD COWRIE SHELL NECKLACE BY KESHIA DEL MAR JEWELRY
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GOLD NOSE HOOP AVAILABLE ON ETSY
LISA CHRISTINE JEWELRY
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MORE FAVORITES ❈ CLICK TO SHOP
✻ ADORNMENTS ✻
USE CODE "SALTSANDANDSMOOTHIES" FOR 20% OFF YOUR NEXT ORDER BELOW
THAT WILL TRANSFORM YOUR REALITY
By stating what you want to be attract into your life, you are mentally and emotionally seeing and feeling it as true, irrespective of your current circumstances. By doing this we are re-training our subconscious mind and using the universal law of attraction to bring our desires it into our own life.
Simply put, where our attention goes, energy flows.
MY STORY WITH AFFIRMATIONS
I’ve experienced incredible results in my own life by repeating positive affirmations on a daily basis. Not only has affirmative thinking helped me have a clearer vision of my personal goals, desires, wishes and wants, it has also taught me to practice mindfulness and live each day with an attitude of gratitude.
I first learned about positive affirmations when I experienced anxiety for the first time in my life. I was 20 years old living on my own in Hawai’i. I felt completely overwhelmed with my college courses and was not fulfilled by my college curriculum or job. I was very broke, borrowing money from my parents and older sisters. I was also single for the first time in months after having just ended my first ever “serious” relationship. I wasn’t used to sleeping alone at night and felt lonely for the first time in years. I would lay awake in bed for hours with a constant stream of negative thoughts, anxieties and worries run through my head. I didn't sleep. I let my negative mindset consume me. I had never dealt with anything like this before, so of course, the unfamiliar-ness and uncertainly was all I focused on. I would constantly complain about how tired I was during the day and then dread going to sleep at night, expecting another night of misery and upset. This went on for almost 6 months. I finally took matters into my own hands and began meditating each day for 10 minutes (I had recently learned about mediation through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the online holistic health coaching school I was studying at.)
I was researching different mediation methods online when I came across Louise Hay’s website and began to read over her written affirmations for prosperity, growth and success. I fell in love with her words. I was drawn to the simplicity and comfort of these sentences. I grabbed a school note book and jotted down as many affirmations as I could fit on my paper. I brought the notebook to campus later that day and read the affirmations a dozen times. I had each line memorized by the evening.
That night in bed, when I began to focus on my fears, insecurities and lack, I stopped myself and began to repeat Louis’s affirmation instead. I must’ve repeated the same 10 lines over a hundred times in my head that night. Eventually, I fell asleep.
Every single night from them on out I would get into bed a few moments early and speak my favorite affirmations aloud to myself (quietly - so that my roommates in the room next door wouldn’t hear me.) Eventually, when I felt myself getting tired, I would repeat them in my head until I fell asleep.
Soon enough, I stared writing my own affirmations. It has become a bit of a hobby since then. Everywhere I go I am jotting down words of positive affirmations and hanging pieces of paper with these words around my home, on my fridge, on the bathroom mirror, on my dashboard and in picture frames around my house. I have gifted many a sheet of personalized affirmations to friends and family during holidays/birthdays. I keep an updated sheet of affirmations in my wallet and am constantly typing new ones down on my iPhone’s notes. These days, I take my affirmations very seriously.
Whenever thoughts of anxiousness or unsettlement creep back into my mind, I immediately resort to repeating my favorite phrases in my head. It’s become a form of self soothing, really.
If I am feeling ill, I affirm to myself “ I am healthy and full of energy. My body knows exactly what to do to promote my healing. I become healthier each day.”
If I am overwhelmed with work or e-mails, I repeat “I am hardworking and focused. Everything that needs to be done is finished in divine timing. My work is always on time.”
When I am on a flight that gets caught in terrifying turbulence, I close my eyes and repeat “ I am safe. I stay calm in moments of chaos. I ground myself through my breathe. I am protected at all times. I am so grateful to arrive to my destination safely.”
You get the gist of it.
GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVE AFFIRMATIONS
1. Close your eyes and get clear on your vision. Take time on this. Have a note book or journal nearby. Write a long list of everything you could ever desire. Your health, your relationships, your lifestyle, your wealth, your home, your travel plans, your family or your career. Write until you cannot possibly think of one more wish or want. Imagine your own paradise. There are no limits.
2. Choose affirmations that are most meaningful to you and your ideal reality. Are they focused on health? Happiness? Forgiveness? Wealth? Love?
3. Get comfortable speaking them out loud. (I love to repeat my affirmations aloud while looking at myself in the mirror while making direct eye-contact. If you’re most comfortable doing this alone, find a quiet room or outdoor space where no one else will hear you. Speak with clarity and intention. Remember, you are speaking these words into existence.
4. Repeat them often, when you are not busy with anything that may require your attention. There should be no TV, music or conversation in the background. Listen to yourself closely as speak these words.
5. Be as relaxed as you can be. Take big, beautiful, juicy inhales through your nose and exhale out of your mouth in-between each affirmation. Bring your shoulders away from your ears. Release any burrowing between your eye brows. Relax. Breathe. Be gentle with yourself.
4.Pay full attention to the words you are repeating. Your words are more important than anything else in this moment.
5. Have confidence and faith in what you are saying. It will bring faster results. This is huge. Realize that you are worthy of all you could ever desire.
6. When writing (or speaking) your own affirmations, choose positive words with no negative connotations. For example, if you wish to lose weight, do not repeat, "I am not fat", or "I am losing weight." These are negative statements, bringing mental images of what you do not want into your mind. Instead, repeat ”I am getting slimmer each day", or "I am at my ideal weight now.” These words create positive images in your mind.
7. Always affirm, using the present tense, not the future tense. Saying, "I will be rich", means that you intend to be rich one day, in the indefinite future, but not now. It is more effective to say (and feel,) "I am rich now.” Remember, where attention goes, energy flows. So focus the energy of your subconscious on being rich now.
AFFIRMATIONS FOR HAPPINESS
I am overflowing with happiness.
I feel joy and contentment in this moment.
Each morning, I am happy and enthusiastic about myself, my life and my mindset.
I find joy and pleasure in the most simple things in my life.
I love being this happy.
I have an beautiful sense of humor and love to share laughter with others.
Today I choose to be happier than ever before.
I create my own happiness.
I am most beautiful when I am smiling.
My happiness is infectious. The more time others spend with me, the happier they become.
I enjoy spending my time with friends and family who are as happy as I am.
I rest in a state of bliss when I go to sleep.
I know all is well in my world.
AFFIRMATIONS FOR FINANCIAL FREEDOM
Today I am more abundant than ever before.
I feel confidently that the universal power is working constantly to bring me everything I need.
Money flows easily to me.
Each morning when I wake I am eager to begin work and increase my personal prosperity.
I carry out work that is fulfilling to me and beneficial for the world around me.
I am open to new money coming into my life in ways I could not have imagined or expected.
I know that there are unlimited ways for me to welcome money into my life.
I am generous with money always.
I am excited to share money, because I am confident that my wealth is limitless and constantly growing.
Money supports my own happiness. With my money I will travel, create, provide for myself and be charitable.
I am using money to bless my own life.
I am using money to bless the life of my loved ones.
I am excited by other people receiving money and wealth.
I celebrate the fact that money is simply energy, always flowing in and out of my life.
I welcome money into my life with open arms and an open heart.
I always have more money coming in than I do coming out.
I am grateful to the universe for the abundance of prosperity that is mine today.
I have everything I could ever need.
I focus my thoughts on good fortunate and happiness for everyone in my life, including myself.
I am provided for.
I rich in all ways.
AFFIRMATIONS FOR RELATIONSHIPS
I love myself first and foremost.
The most important relationship in my life is my relationship with myself.
I prioritize myself and choose to spend time only with those who value me for myself.
I attract only positive people into my life.
I attract relationships into my life that are meaningful and successful always.
I welcome new friends into my life each day, knowing that I am always able to learn something from each person I meet.
I attract a partner who is loving and gentle.
I attract a partner who is excited to share their love with me.
I attract a partner who respects me and my body always.
I am secure and I am safe in this relationship.
I trust myself and my partner.
I know my inner wisdom is my best guide.
AFFIRMATIONS FOR SELF LOVE
I am beautiful.
I am strong.
I am considerate.
I am kind.
I am gentle.
I am generous.
I am loving.
I am healthy.
I have integrity.
I have compassion for everyone around me.
I am reliable. I always do what I say.
I act from a place of love.
I act from a place of security.
I am self-reliant.
I am independent.
I am creative and persistent in everything I do.
I am energetic and enthusiastic.
I am confident in myself. Confidence is my second nature.
I always attract the best of circumstances and the most positive people in my life.
I fully accept myself and know that I am worthy of great things in life.
I deserve love.
I deserve happiness.
I am worthy.
I am limitless.
AFFIRMATIONS FOR SUCCESS
I am successful now.
Today I accomplish more than ever before.
All of my ideas are wonderful.
I am a hard worker.
I am an efficient worker.
I am admired for my work ethic.
Each day I get closer to accomplishing all of my goals.
I welcome all success into my life with open arms.
I welcome new work and opportunities into my life.
I love completing new tasks.
I am excited to work.
Each day I learn something new that benefits my success.
I share my success with those around me.
I surround myself with only successful people.
I am proud of my success.
AFFIRMATIONS FOR HEALTH
I am healthy.
I am healed.
I am whole.
Health is my birthright.
My body is working around the clock to keep me healthy and strong.
I take pride in taking care of myself and my health.
I express self love through the foods I eat and the thoughts I think.
I am healthier than ever before.
I am filled with energy and vitality.
I am vibrant.
I am slim and fit.
I am at my healthiest weight.
I have all of the energy I could ever need.
I exercise because I love my body and want to celebrate my personal fitness.
I always drink enough water. I am hydrated.
I eat the best foods for my body. I love preparing healthy, home-cooked meals for myself.
I love to eat foods that are colorful and vibrant.
I feel well always.
I listen lovingly to all of my body’s wants and needs.
I spend time with healthy and positive people.
My partner is healthy and strong.
My partner enjoys preparing us healthy meals.
My partner and I encourage one another’s health and fitness.
I feel better than ever before.
I feel alive.
MAKE THE NEW YEAR STELLAR
1. MANIFEST + VISUALIZE.
First things first. Sit down with a pen and piece of paper and write down everything you wish to accomplish in the new year. The most important thing to remember? Don't leave out a single thing. Let your dreams exceed your reality. You have to be confident in this. You are capable of creating the life you desire by design. You are capable of creating and ensuring your own health, happiness and wealth. You are capable. Read that. Speak that. Realize that.
- If you're looking to travel in the new year, write down the specific countries you will visit. Who will you travel with? How long will you travel for? What will you do on your travels? What will you see?
- If you're manifesting a raise at work this year, write down the exact amount of money you wish to start earning to the dollar. Then write down a list of things you will do with that increase of money in your bank account. How will the new money affect your life? How will it affect the life of those around you? Will you save, spend, share or donate? Will you travel? Invest? Where? Write it down. Be specific.
- If 2018 is the year you're going to get healthy, record exactly how you're going to achieve this health. Jot down the type of exercises classes you're going to attend, how often you're going to work out, the names of the health food stores you're going to start grocery shopping at, and the new vegan recipe blogs you're going to subscribe to.
- If you're really excited about welcoming a new partner or intimate relationship into your life in 2018, focus on that. Have fun with this one. Close your eyes. Visualize your dream relationship down to the last detail. Picture being with the person you've always wanted to be with. Even if you haven't met them yet. Focus your attention on all of the specifics. How will he or she will make you feel? How will you express your love to this person? How will you spend your time together? What will your first kiss be like? Your first date. Your first adventure together. Visualize it. Write it down.
2. DO GOOD
Next tip is quite simple. Be a part of something bigger than yourself. Do onto others (and the planet) what you wish for yourself. Adopt a vegan diet for environmental conservation or animal welfare purposes. Research local beach/nature clean ups or the Surfrider Foundation in your area. Reach out. Get involved. Call your local food bank or Meals on Wheels and sign up as a volunteer. Don't necessarily have time to give? Consider signing yourself up for a small monthly donations to the American Humane Society or the Wildlife Conservation charity. I love using Charitywatch.org to ensure the charities I am earning my money to are reputable and legitimate.
What you put out into this world, you receive back into your own life ten fold. Which is good enough incentive, if you ask me.
Share compassion, kindness and generosity. Sprinkle it everywhere you go. Know that the universal/higher power is working around the clock to bring back into your life what it is you focus your time and energy on the most. Give without expectation. It will be worth it. I promise you.
3. PRIORITIZE PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
As wonderful as it is to give and share your energy with others - It is equally as important to focus on yourself and your own continual growth. Whether you're in school or you're not, make it a priority to keep learning always. My oldest sister graduated college over five years ago and continues to enroll herself in group acting, improvisation and foreign languages classes in between her chaotic work and life schedule in NYC. I admire that so much. Sign up for classes in your community or an online school/training that you've always had your eyes on. Invest in yourself and your passions.
Last month I signed up to take classes that would teach me how to better edit my photos and videos with Adobe Lightroom on a website called SkillShare. The website offers unlimited free classes for members on dozens of wide spread topics and subjects. What I anticipated was going to be me taking classes on photo editing and only photo editing, turned into me learning more about social media success, illustration and graphic design. I absolutely adore the website and reccomend it to all of my friends and digital nomads. I reached out to SkillShare before publishing this blog and am stoked to share that I have a homie hookup to give to you all. I highly reccomend their classes on ...
Fundamentals of Lightroom I: Organize Files and Boost Your Workflow
Make the Most of Instagram: Build Your Brand
Instagram Next Level Amazing: Inspiration, Tools and Tricks
Going Freelance: Building and Branding Your Own Success
4. CREATE A NEW SOURCE OF INCOME IN YOUR LIFE
This is one of my personal favorites. In case you're not well researched on financial freedom or mastering money - I'll drop a knowledge bomb for you here. You must have multiple sources of income in this day and age to ensure that you and your family are set financially for the years to come. Must. For anyone who values financial security and freedom, creating at least one additional stream of income is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity.
Diversifying your streams of income is absolutely crucial to protect yourself and your family against the unavoidable ups and downs of our economy. When you rely on one source of income, such as a job or a business, you are taking a risk that many of the top financial advisers in the world advise against. This is one of the most important (and not-so-obvious) secrets of how the wealthy become - and stay - wealthy. Unfortunately, it isn't exactly taught to the masses.
Every person on this planet has unique gifts, abilities, life experiences and value to offer the world. And to be highly compensated for. Figure out the knowledge, passion, talent, experience, or ability you have that others will value and pay you for. Remember, what might be common knowledge to you isn’t for other people. If someone else is already doing it - that's okay. Your style/technique/approach may resonate with other individuals who didn't show interests before.
As Tony Robbins wrote in Money: Master the Game, "one reason people succeed is that they have knowledge other people don't have. You pay your lawyer or your doctor for the knowledge and skills you lack."
Increase your knowledge in a specific area. By learning more, you'll increase your individualized value. People will pay you to to teach them what you know or apply your new knowledge on their behalf.
If you haven't already, sign up for two free months of classes on skillshare here. Learn something new Or further educate yourself on something you've always been passionate about. Knowledge pays. Trust me.
* For those of you who will ask (because just about everyone - myself included - is interested in money and how people earn what they do,) my monthly income is currently made up of 10 individual streams. I earn money by..
- Promoting an alkalized lifestyle/environmental sustainability and sharing Kangen Water Machines as an independent distributor for the Kangen company, Enagic
- Offering private and semi-private holistic health and alternative medicine consultations online via skype /phone sessions
- Working as a student ambassador for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the online health coaching school I graduated from before I began my holistic health business
- Social Media Influencer - working with vegan/ethical brands who sponsor me and my work and collaborating with companies who align with my personal business values to create content and share with a wide spread audience
- Working with Amazon Affiliates to share an entirely cruelty free and vegan shop with my online audience.
- Sharing + Selling prints of my art (You can check them here on my new Etsy shop.)
- Private Yoga Instruction. I am a certified 200 hr yoga teacher and fly high yoga teacher. When I am (rarely) in one place for a significant period of time, I work with private clients and beginners interested in cultivating their own practice.
As you can see... its a little all over the board. But it is consistent, and stable and diversified. And really fun. It is what feels best for me and my "all over" lifestyle. I know that if I decide to no longer collaborate with one of these companies, or no longer continue to plant intention in one of my personal entrepreneurial endeavors, I have other options to keep me afloat while I meditate on the next move or adventure.
If you're interested in learning more about the work I do sharing Kangen machines INTERNATIONALLY or the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, reach out to me here.
5. TAKE A RISK
Do something you might not normally. Act intuitively, of course, but don't be afraid to surprise yourself in the new year. Jump on board of a new business endeavor without explaining yourself to others, book the plane tickets for the trip you may not be able to fully afford, go vegan for a month (even if you can think of 25 reasons why it doesn't make sense to) or buy the Kangen machine that you've been telling me you want so badly for the last 6 months ;)
Take a leap of faith.
Trust in yourself in 2018.
Trust in the magic of new beginnings.
6. GET FIT
There is magic in the act of exercise. I promise you this. As someone who was never a talented or passionate athlete growing up, you must carry out a consistent exercise routine in your life in some way. Similar to having a second source of income, physical fitness is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for lasting wellbeing. There are undeniable rewards for mind, body and soul when you adopt a regular fitness routine into the chaos that is our everyday life. Its' not just about looking or feeling a certain way - there is great power in personal determination and strength. Hold yourself accountable, stick to your word and be make stronger than you were this time last year.
And speaking of training for that half marathon.... its starting to sound like a really great idea, actually, so I'm going to leave this here.
Take pride in the fact that you fortunate enough to be able to exercise in the first place.
Treat your body increasingly well in the new year.
7. LEARN THE CONSTELLATIONS
This ones a little far out, literally, but my mother recommended this tip for the new year blog and it seemed fitting. I often think about how little I know about our solar system and how disappointed I am because of it. They say, "in the end we only regret the chances we didn't take," but what if it's really the unlearned constellations that we regret the most?
Study the stars and our creation. What we learn from the night sky may help us understand ourselves.
Our solar system was formed over 4.55 billion years ago. It was created from a huge, interstellar cloud of gas, dust, and frozen ice. Eventually it collapsed into the shape of a huge disk. And now we're here living among it. The least we can do is download a constellation app. I like this one here.
Last thing on the stars; there is nothing more gorgeous and grounding than being constellation conscious. Some of my favorite memories as a child are sitting on my dad's porch and searching for Orion's Belt or being awoken by my mom in the middle of the night to drive down to the beach with my sisters in our bathrobes and watch the meteor shower from the hood of the car.
8. LEARN HOW TO COOK
Whether it was simply the fact that there were three of us growing up, or that we usually tended to have very different food preferences from a young age, my parents involved us in dinner preparations almost every night. I knew had to cook pasta, veggie burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches by the fourth grade. So as I grew older, cooking felt easy and natural. Since going to college and living on my own or with friends, I realize thats not the case for everyone.
If you weren't taught how to cook as a child or young adult, Now is the time. Individuals who prepare their own food each week are more likely to be make cleaner eating choices. Not only are you often eating healthier than you would if you were eating your meals out of the house, you're saving a pretty penny each week when you purchase groceries rather than take out. List 5-10 of your favorite meals and make a promise to yourself that you'll learn how to cook them. Its a skill that you'll appreciate for life. Rest easy on a Sunday morning knowing that there's no need to leave the house or put on pants before the delivery man knocks on your door if you don't want to. You can stay in and eat in - with you as your own personal chef.
9. NOURISH YOUR CREATIVITY
Simple as stated. Treat yourself to a new set of water color paints, pull out your art supply bins from college, learn how to use a kiln, knit, crochet, buy an ukulele, or make a promise to write more poetry in the new year. Embodying you creativity means living life in a way that embraces your divine originality. Creativity makes unique connections between unlike ideas. Creativity allows us to appreciate and communicate the extra-ordinariness of the simplest, most every day acts and ideas. Creativity is universal and also your own.
Last but certainly not least, let that sh*t go. Seriously. With full transparency, I will be the first to tell you all that I was a very, very materialistic teenager/young adult. I grew up working in high end retail and babysitting the children of Manhattan's elite, celebrities and international models. I saw many of the people around me spend undignified amounts of money on clothing, boots, watches and purses, so its what I considered normal for many years of my life. I would work all week at a clothing store to spend 90% of my pay check on new merchandise with my employee discount.
I also grew up with two older sisters, and dozens of cousins, so hand-me-downs were something I recieved on a weekly basis. I kept everything. Hoarded, actually, would probably be a better name for it. I literally remember going through my closet(s) one year and talking to myself alone in my room trying to justify why I needed to hold onto the three sequined skirts I had managed to obtain (but never once wear) over the years. I found excuses and reasons for everything. "What if I mysteriously shrink 6 inches and these expensive pants from three summers ago fit me again?" "What if the mysterious yellow stains disappear from this blouse?" "What if sweater vest come back in style?" They won't. Trust me. Don't hold your breathe.
Declutter and create space. Make room for air and light and fresh energy in your home. Simply put, the less you own, the more you appreciate what you do have. Go through closest, drawers, basements, attics and boxes and cleanse. If you haven't touched (or thought about) something in the last 6 months, don't even bother opening up the box. Go through your closets and donate clothes. Have friends over for a clothing swap and challenge yourself to not "swap" all. Tell yourself that for every garbage bag full of possessions you give away, you can buy yourself one new item of clothing/goods. And then try really hard not to buy anything at all.
Feeling anxious? Or left with a feeling of lack?
Let me assure you - the less you own. The easier it is to sell everything and move to an island.
CHEERS TO A NEW YEAR THAT SETS THE INTENTION OF GROWTH AND ABUNDANCE IN 2018
SPECIAL MAHALO TO MY MOTHER - COCO - AND MY SISTER - SHANA -FOR HELPING ME ORGANIZE THIS (LAST MINUTE) BLOG GOODNESS.
LOVE + LIGHT. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU + YOURS
HOW I BECAME A CERTIFIED HOLISTIC HEALTH AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE PRACTITIONER
I started this blog in 2015. I've shared a lot of my story on this platform and many others. Yet I still receive many requests to share more about specific aspects of my lifestyle and career. How I make an income for myself, how I started my at-home business working as a holistic health coach, where I studied alternative medicine and how I became a drugless practitioner take up a bulk portion of those requests.
So here we go.. I'm a bit of a story teller. Bare with me or scroll down to the bottom for details on how you can earn your own certification.
MY COLLEGE EDUCATION
If you've been following my journey (or reading my blog since 2015,) you may know that I moved to Hawai'i at 19 on a solo journey to attend college at University of Hawai'i. Being entirely truthful and transparent, I had very little desire to attend college. Technically, when I moved to Hawai'i, I was a college transfer student. I had graduated high school 6 months early on Long Island, New York in 2012 and flew to the Seychelles Islands (a string of 115+ islands 1,000 miles off the coast of Madagascar) with Global Visions International for a marine conservation and coral preservation study abroad trip for 5 months. While I was on the islands, I essentially had to choose a college I wanted to attend in the fall and e-mail my mother my decision from a very grubby internet cafe. I had applied to an insane amount of colleges in Florida (maybe 12 or 13? I couldn't be bothered to be too picky) where I imagined I would be able to spend my weekends in the Florida Keys scuba diving and snorkeling with my very cute, very exotic cuban boyfriend (who of-course didn't exist, yet.) I heard back from the schools that had accepted me and made my decision to attend Florida International University for Marine Biology come the fall semester. My mother sent in a final acceptance letter on my behalf and I continued my blissed out days under the African sun falling in love with ocean conservation and the warm Seychellois waters.
When it was time to pack my dive gear and moldy damp clothes into my rucksack and leave the Seychelles, I brainstormed every possible solution to my very serious problem - I could not leave this place. I didn't want to go anywhere else. Not home to NY and not to Miami, Florida to attend college either. I was very content with my dark chocolate tanned skin and 100+ logged scuba dives under my belt. College already appeared to be a inconvenience to the flexibility and solace that was my current life situation.
Unfortunately, as most 18 year old girls with a whopping $16.50 remaining dollars in their saving's accounts do, I flew back home to live with my parents for a few months and enjoy the luxury of rent free living (ahh the jubilance.) I worked all summer teaching over-priced swim lessons to over-priced families in New York and then flew south to attend my first semester of college in the fall. If I attempt to reflect on my first semester of college in Miami, it sort've feels like I browned out for solid 4 months or so - which is a very good possibility considering the amount of partying I was participating in. I woke up tired, went to class, went to the library, sat on the computer, used all of my food card dollars on coffee and boba tea, went to spin class and then went home to binge watch some new series on Netflix or go out to some campus party/downtown club. It was a 360 rotation from my enriching life just 4 months ago. I rarely spent time at the beach, didn't dive for weeks on end and had trouble staying authentic to myself and my passions in such a conformed environment.
DROPPING OUT OF COLLEGE PART 1
By the time winter break finally arrived, I knew I wasn't going to last. I flew home for the holidays and packed as much of my belongings into my suitcase as possible. A "pre-move out" if you will. I sat both of my parents down at our living room table for breakfast one morning (my parents have been divorced and living apart since I was 4 years old, so this required significant effort) and explained to them that college in Miami was no longer serving me or my needs. It didn't go over easy, to say the least. By the end of our conversation my tears (there were many) and heartfelt justification of why I wanted to leave college worked its magic. Fortunately. My parents were going to support me leaving Miami, as long as I found a new college to attend by the upcoming fall. Wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, but felt good enough for me at the time.
So I celebrated New Years in New York and then flew back to Miami by myself to "get in and get out." I hauled a** in that dorm room. Let me tell you. I was in Miami for a total of 48 hours. I packed up every last belonging, de-pinned all 100 posters off my dorm room walls, dropped out of my college courses from the computer and said goodbye to the few friends who happened to be on campus that day. I flew back home to New York immediately and starting working full time while I researched other, (better) college locations. I met up with my high school guidance counselor (many mahalos to Mrs. Ritz who is an absolute gem) and asked her if anyone from my high school had attended college in Hawaii? She told me yes, two surfer boys in the grades above me had moved to Hawai'i in the recent years - Yup. That was good enough information for me.
I sat my parents down again, explained that I was going to apply to college at University of Hawai'i and held my breath as I awaited their response. They were (un-shockingly) not so ecstatic of the idea. Hawaii is too far they said, "you've never even been before," "we won't be able to afford to fly you back home for holidays," etc. etc. Eventually they warmed up to the idea after I explained to them how whole-heartedly excited I was to study with their marine biology department and showed them my acceptance letter. Soon enough, I was packing my bags yet again and buying a one way flight to O'ahu. I started at UH as a part-time student, while working as a nanny full-time with the intention of applying to become a Hawai'i state resident by the end of the year. I had to earn a certain amount of money on the books, show proof of long term employment and proof of residency before being granted official residency which would allow me to enroll as an "in-state student" at the university. Gaining residency over the course of a year slowed the whole "get as many college credits done as possible" process down a lot , but Hawai'i is in no rush at any time, and neither was I.
DROPPING OUT OF COLLEGE PART 2
I loved my first few years living in Hawai'i. It is ... fragile to speak about in-depth online. Mainly out of my appreciation and respect for the locals and Native Hawaiians who have had so much taken away from them and seen so much devastation of their lands and oceans over the last 50 years. And also because, I am not a Hawaiian and never will be. The islands are seeing tremendous increases in population, tourism and pollution each year, and me promoting my free-spirited move to the islands on such a popular platform doesn't help anyone - and most certainly doesn't help the well-being of the islands, as I've been told time and time again over harsh email and DM messages.
Once I enrolled full time at UH the college grind started to take its toll on me yet again. I was studying biology, struggling to stay afloat of the school work and uninspired by so much of the curriculum that was being taught to me. I had always been an out of the classroom, hands on learner, and the only thing I was getting my hands on at UH was out-dated, second-hand text books. Although biology and marine conservation were monumental passions of mine, I was beginning to fall in love with nutrition and dietary health on the side - diving into plant based veganism and gobbling up all of the nutrition/ self health books I could get my hands on. Hawaii supported my healing tremendously.
I swapped my major to Food Science and Human Nutrition and was... disappointed yet again. Plain and simple, the information I was being taught was out-dated and incorrect. I literally remember a professor who had her PhD in nutritional science give a two day lecture on why "milk consumption promotes healthy bone growth and cell renewal due to it's high levels of calcium and phosphorus." I think I laughed aloud in the classroom and stood up in my seat to take a generous gulp of my morning green smoothie before stomping out the front door of the lecture hall. I couldn’t believe I was taking out student loans for this. Can you say "government funded brainwashing" please?
As the college semesters went on, so did my desire to branch out and experience something different. I was fully consumed by the world of health and wellness by this point. Watching hours of YouTube Videos online each week, listening to audiobooks on plant based health and detoxification, and experimenting with new super foods and raw vegan recipes in my kitchen. I started @SaltSandandSmoothies Instagram account and was running multiple free "21 Day Vegan Challenge" groups on facebook to inspire my friends and family back home to be more considerate of the foods they were welcoming into their bodies. I also spoke with my best friend, as well as my favorite holistic healer/ naturopathic doctor in New York and was referred by both of them to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, an online school based out of NYC. According to them, Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) would support a much more intense and in-depth learning experience for my love of all things healthy and whole.
STUDYING AT THE INSTITUTE FOR INTEGRATIVE NUTRITION
So that was it then. I was going to find a way to make this happen. I did my research on IIN and discovered it was (and still is) the largest nutrition school in the world. Through its online learning platform, Integrative Nutrition has provided a global learning experience for over 100,000 students in over 150 countries worldwide. I signed up for a payment plan and enrolled as soon as I possibly could.
I was still a full time student at UH when I began my schooling with IIN. I would *patiently* sit through lectures and classes on campus at UH and then rush home as soon as possible to sit down and enjoy IIN classes and work on my coursework and modules online. College was quickly beginning to feel like that one job you had that you really didn't like, but you were hesitant to quit because you were like "well I already work here." It was convenient to stay in the flow of classes and campus requirements, but it wasn't comfortable or fulfilling.
At IIN, I felt that the curriculum was fresh, wide spread and unbiased. Their online school provided so much information on foods/health regimes/lifestyles from around the globe. I learned so much about so many world-wide dietary theories and beliefs. A majority of their curriculum is based on primary and secondary foods. Which is probably something you have not heard of before... Let me elaborate further.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY FOODS
At Integrative Nutrition, we have a philosophy about food—it’s that everything we consider as a source of nutrition is really just a secondary source of nourishment. The foods you eat are secondary to all the other things that feed you—your relationships, career, spirituality, and exercise routine. Those are the things we call primary foods. All that we consider today as nutrition is really just a secondary source of energy.
Think back to a time when you were passionately in love. Everything was exciting. Colors were vibrant. Intimacy was magical. Your lover’s touch and feelings of exhilaration sustained you. You were floating on air, gazing into each other’s eyes. You forgot about food and were high on life. Remember when, as a child, you were playing outside, having fun? Suddenly, your mother announced dinner was ready, but you were not hungry at all. The passion of play took all of your attention. Sometimes we are fed not by food but by the energy in our lives.
These moments and feelings demonstrate that everything is food. We take in thousands of experiences in life that can fulfill us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We hunger for play, touch, romance, intimacy, love, achievement, success, art, music, self-expression, leadership, excitement, adventure and spirituality. All of these elements are essential forms of nourishment. The extent to which we are able to incorporate them determines how enjoyable and worthwhile our lives feel.
I love that.
During my year long schooling at IIN I able to connect with class mates from around the world and work with multiple health professionals both on the phone and over the web. Although I was enrolled at IIN while attending college, I (somehow) made it work wonderfully. It was effortless, because I was excited. The coursework was flexible and easy to handle for a hyper-motivated Capricorn like myself. It also worked really well with my constantly changing schedule. Living in Hawai'i and creating a "set schedule" is borderline impossible. Your day changes with the tropical weather, ocean tides and winter swell. I loved that I could enjoy IIN early in the morning before a hike with friends or late at night after finishing a college assignment. The schooling was modern and adaptable. IIN's curriculum is constantly being updated and advised so new information is being added to modules each month. Once I graduated from IIN, I began coaching immediately (only two clients at first.)
Soon after, I made the very difficult and very emotional decision to slowly transition away from the University of Hawaii. I finished my first semester as a junior and dis-enrolled from university. It is a sensitive subject for me to share, because I truly loved my time spent at UH and cannot imagine what my life would be like if I had not attended the college. This was most certainly not a decision that I rushed into or felt 100% sure of at any point or time. My parents had worked overtime and on the weekends their entire lives to ensure that we had every opportunity for learning and education that we could have ever asked for. All they ever wanted was to see their three daughters be healthy, happy and college graduates. My mother was the first and only of her five siblings to attend college and my dad has spent hundreds of hours sharing countless stories from his college career/studying abroad and the profound impact it had on his career as an artist and architect. My two older sisters had both graduated college. I was the only member of my immediate family who did not.
I knew that there was nothing more I wanted than to leave college and pursue a career in plant based nutrition full-time. I couldn't help but think my decision would disappoint those I loved the most. I spent a lot of time sharing these vulnerabilities and apprehensions with my older sisters - who were nothing but supportive throughout my entire college journey from Miami to Hawai'i. I also began mediating quite regularly at this time (after learning about the multitude of benefits from IIN.) I took time each evening to simply sit and be with the idea of leaving university once and for all. I tried not to weight the pros and cons so much as I did focus on visualizing how I would feel without the regulations and requirements of a college schedule in my life. I made the decision to drop out, finished my semester with a smile - grateful for the fact that I was even able to attend college in the first place - and quietly slipped off campus when summer vacation began, ready to set foot on my journey. Ready to share vibrant health and abundant living through holistic health and a plant based lifestyle.
HOW I STARTED MY BUSINESS AS A HOLISTIC HEALTH COACH
Not only did IIN teach me all about holistic healing and alternative medicine, it also taught me how to create this business for myself. IIN heavily emphasized that 100% of graduates are prepared and equipped to immediately begin work as a holistic health coach (if they choose to do so!) upon completion. Actually, IIN allows you to begin basic coaching early if you choose - once reaching the 6 month completion mark of their curriculum. The business trainings and coaching modules were exceptionally helpful. For someone like me who knew so little about where to begin health coaching and how to work towards self employment I felt they provided everything I needed to know and more to begin my business from the ground up. IIN included free business cards as well as a free website where I created my own domain and begin to advertise my work to clients around the world.
After I finished my certification with IIN I was able to begin to generate an income for myself by working with private clients. At 19 years old. Which was stellar. Four years later, and I'm still doing it. Just on a much larger scale now. I offer online, skype, e-mail and in-person consultations. I carry out 6 month - 1 year long programs with numerous clients from all over the world and am constantly welcoming new clients into my realm of private coaching. Social media (Instagram, Facebook and my website) as well as personal marketing (sharing what I do for a living when people ask me) has allowed me to connect with men, women, families and teenagers from all corners of the globe. I am constantly sharing business cards or inviting friends/family/strangers to check out my blog and website. Creating this website has been an incredible outlet for me to promote my schooling and qualifications as a health coach.
Four years since graduation and the only word I have to best explain my experience at IIN is gratitude. Integrative Nutrition has allowed me to create a beautiful, enriched, unique and fulfilling life for myself. Every single morning when I wake up, I am excited to get to work. The school made me feel confident and comfortable knowing that I would be ready to take on clients coming from different backgrounds, health histories and lifestyles. It also instilled other significant values within me - spiritually, emotionally and mentally that supported me as I branded myself online and attracted an audience of over 150,000 souls from around the world.
Each day I am thankful for the decision I made. Enrolling at IIN and leaving college at Univ. of Hawaii were monumental life moments for me. I'll never forget them in this lifetime.
What I didn't realize just four years ago is that the universe is constantly working to benefit you and your higher self, always.
Every intuition, gut feeling or impulse you may feel, every day-dream, desire, vision - honor it, acknowledge it and take time to reflect on it. Will it benefit both your immediate and lasting happiness? Your life's purpose? Your love? Your desires?
Chances are, it most likely will.
HOW TO RECIEVE DISCOUNTED TUITION AT IIN
Since graduating IIN and creating my online blog/brand I have received an outpour of questions and inquiries about the school and the enrollment process. The rad news? I became an enrollment ambassador for the school and am able to help answer questions as well as offer an exclusive discount to students who use with my name "Amelia Whelan" at both registration and enrollment. (The discount fluctuates quite frequently, so I won't share a set dollar point here, but it is a pretty penny saved on tuition believe you me. Always a few hundred dollars, at-least.)