redefining wanderlust

a life blog by Bekka

Posts for WELLNESS Category

Self-Love Sunday

In February, I learned how precious my Sundays’ are after handing them over to help friends and family. Not that I resent the time I spent helping others, but I noticed how grumpy and stressed I was throughout the week because I hadn’t reserved any time for myself to recharge. Now I treat my Sundays’ like precious jewels and really ponder if I want to hand it over to someone else.

This morning I was the laziest of sloths, in my pajamas till noon and barely changing into a comfy chambray shirt and bicycle shorts because I wanted to feel slightly more put together. My hair is wild and a pile of laundry is at the edge of my bed waiting to be folded. I’ve put on a rose mask from Fresh (a free birthday treat from Sephora) and filled my room with the delicious scent of a Voluspa Goji Tarocco Orange candle. And to really set the mood, the soothing folky voices of First Aid Kit is the soundtrack to my very lazy self-love Sunday.

As Bowerbird headed off to work he remarked how relaxed I looked and I really am relaxed. Trust that my to-do list is sitting in my office with unchecked boxes and my inbox with unanswered email. But I’m giving myself permission to take today just for myself. I’m headed to Coachella for two weekends where I won’t have my blessed self-love Sundays. I will be cramming in clients between festival days and prepping all next week to make sure the record store inventory is at least 90% in – progress not perfection. And if you saw the order sheets you’d understand why I have to comfort myself with that mantra. So today is just for me, drinking Stress Ease tea and munching on chocolate eggs that my fella surprised me with.

self love treatments

For a while, I’ve been toying with the idea of posting more inspirational, spiritual, or self-love type of posts on Sundays. My own version of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. As I recharge physically and mentally preparing for the week ahead, it could be a way of sharing the lessons I’ve learned that week or even just interesting articles I’ve discovered. I’m currently on a 100-day challenge where I have several goals I’m focusing on every day for the next 100 days. Today is day 13! I’ve also been Periscoping every day of this challenge and have been having some really great discussion there.

Earlier this week when I really didn’t want to Periscope, I was blessed to have two people on the scope who were really engaged in the conversation and we discussed burn-out, showing up for yourself, and the sacredness of our “me time.” I had no idea that my bleh Periscope was going to be so transformative, but those two women changed my night and mindset. So in-line with that particular scope, I am owning the sacredness of this me time.

So, who knows what post I’ll have for you next Sunday but right now I’m going to hit publish and get back to reading my Darling Magazine. Eventually, I’ll get around to my laundry and cleaning the house – but right now, right now I’m going to be totally content with some self-indulgent self-LOVE.

in bed relaxing

*The hyperlinked products in this post are for the readers convenience and are not attached to affiliate links. 

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I AM A WOMAN : GLOBAL SISTERHOOD

one of my favorite statues at hearst castle in san simeon

My beautiful friend Lauren reached out to me and asked if I’d write a piece for a powerful movement and event she is helping to coordinate with Unify for International Women’s Day.  I was nervous to write something and before sitting down at my laptop I took a moment to pray. I asked for the words to flow from me, to have my thoughts be clear and honest. This is what I wrote.

I AM A WOMAN

I am a woman who celebrates the success of my brothers and sisters. I am a woman to be wed to a soul that seems to be weaved from the same tapestry as I, who knows my heart and accepts my flaws. I am a woman who strives to live in an authentic place, open to saying sorry when I decided to listen to my ego. I am a woman about to leave her twenties, but I was not a woman as I left my teens.

At 18 I hid behind beautiful friends, afraid to be seen and hungry for approval. I found myself vehemently rejecting the women I wanted to be like, judging them for their kind hearts and friendly demeanor. I was angry that they seemed to have answers to feeling comfortable in their skin, while I felt trapped inside mine. The mirror was my enemy and self-hatred comforted me like a blanket made of fiberglass. A girl waiting to grow.

I learned to survive and thrive in society by using media as my mentor, television shows and movies taught me to find the prettiest girl and be friends with her. While watching my back as someone will inevitably try to tear me down. It taught me either you were having fun at the top of the social food chain or lonely at the bottom. By High School I had strategically found myself feeling incredibly lonely and lost while being nominated for Homecoming Princess. I had done what the movies told me too and yet I was sad. The only person tearing me down was the demon in my head. I hadn’t found connections in deeper interest and trusting friendships, I had figured out how to play popularity politics. A girl waiting to grow.

Then like parting clouds, one day when I was 19 a voice in my head said, “try something different, say hello, don’t reject – start accepting.” I accepted a friendship into my life who taught me about love and acting from a place of love. A seed of love was planted in my pain and the girl began her journey into growing into a woman.

I no longer hid behind beautiful people, but searched out beautiful souls. I listened to my heart when developing female friendships. It would take me a little bit longer to find my worth in male relationships, but I eventually did. In the meantime I was starting to grow real friendships, a sisterhood. I was starting to recognize a person beneath insecurity, pain, and loneliness. I was not an armored heart nor a raw nerve, but aware and cautious of who I decided to let into my circle and be vulnerable. People did not need to prove themselves to me, but I would no longer hold on to them if I felt they were not there to be a nourishing presence.

An amazing new narrative is being taught to a fresh generation of young minds, and women in media are presented within our full potential. Women hold places of power based on intellect and not sensuality. Women support each other and lean on each other, instead of seeking out a male partner. Women have strong voices without apologizing. Women have full and caring hearts without being weak. Women are moving into positions where we were previously absent. Together we are effectively tearing down the expectations and limitations placed upon us and creating a new normal.

In the age of communication, where connection is at the touch of a button, it is so vitally important that as women we empower young women to act from a place of love and authenticity.  To pass on stories of support and strength, not fear and competition. Express that nourishing your heart and soul, is how you unlock your dreams and where you begin to create the life you desire. That focusing on your own feet doesn’t mean you’re alone, it means you won’t trip.  That your sisters will be by your side to help you through the rough patches and can hold you up when you’re too tired to go on. Your sisters will nourish you back to health. Your sisters will hold up a mirror till you’re ready to see your own beauty.

We invite you to get together with your own sisters or if you’re feeling brave walk into a new circle. Either way, know you will be welcomed with open arms on International Women’s Day. We are all writers creating our own story and collectively we can write the story of the world filled with powerful and positive heroines that are shifting minds and changing perceptions.

Thank you for reading my piece and to find a circle visit women.unify.org

 

 

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Jelly Bean Perspective

I came across the Jelly Bean “The Time You Have” video this morning and rewatched it. It was originally published in 2013. At that time I was at a toxic job, with no savings in my bank account for a grand adventure I wanted to take, my foot was half-way in multiple side projects, and the only thing that sparkled was the fact I had met the man of my dreams.

I watched this video and it hit me like a ton of bricks (as I’m sure it does a lot of people) and made me re-evaluate my life. I started to leave the office on my lunch breaks and read out in the courtyard. I fully committed to the book I was writing with my sister (that is finished and being pitched to agents). Nine months after this video was published, I started saving for my cross-country road trip, changing how I treated money to make that dream happen. The video changed me.

But now as I rewatch it I noticed something I didn’t see before. As the narrator breaks down the days of our lives into eating, chores, community responsibilities, and grooming; I don’t view that time as wasted but now see it as opportunities for discovery. Walking the dog isn’t wasted time, but the chance to connect with your partner or enjoy fresh air. Community responsibilities like attending church are those peaceful reflective moments one gets to have for themselves, check in with their spiritual self and feel rooted to carry on through rough storms. Showering is my everyday spa experience; I add a few essential oils to the shower steam and massage my head during the rinse and repeat process. Somedays eating is just quick and purely fuel, but other days it’s an exciting opportunity to try a new restaurant, recipe, or enjoy my favorite comfort food.

All those jelly beans made into cute pictures before the giant question mark box are portrayed as wasted time or days, time that is reserved only for those activities. But what the video fails to illuminate is that during those times you are still able to connect and discover. You are still able to live life the way you want!

When Marie Forleo  was on Super Soul Sunday she told Oprah how she believes life isn’t about following one passion, but putting passion into everything. Make your bed with passion, cook breakfast with passion, write a letter with passion, put love into everything you do and you will live a passionate life.

Instead of seeing wasted jelly beans with only a small fraction left for yourself, realize all of your other jelly beans are also for yourself. You can color and flavor your jelly beans any way you desire. Even the commuting jelly beans, which are the WORST jelly beans are still an opportunity for something fun or new to discover. You just have to decide how you want that jelly bean to be.

I believe paying attention to the little things during all those activities will help to add more sparkle to the moment. I’d love for you to discover my “Little Things” series and get you to start noticing the little thing in your life more!

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Little Things – Episode 2

The second episode in my Little Things series is live. I am so excited to have started this series and even with a broken vlogging camera, I’ve pushed forward with my camera phone. Little Things is a passion project that has brought daily joy into my life. It’s week three and I’m still afraid I won’t find a “Little Thing” and then I do! I wonder if that fear will ever go away. I hope my little things are helping to bring a little joy into your life. Last week we (my fiance and I) were hit with some bad news, but life goes on and we have to appreciate the little moments that make it sparkle in the darkest of times.

 

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The Little Things – my new YouTube series!

I believe there is something magical and special about each and every day. It might sound cliché but the smallest thing can add a bit of wonder to a 24 hour period if you open your heart and mind to seeing it. When I get caught up in stress, negativity, the hustle and bustle of life it makes me turn inwards and towards self-pity; it makes me miss out on the little moments that add glitter to living. The inner turmoil is a cloud around my head that makes it hard to see the beauty and blessings around me.

When I was in high school it was brought to my attention that I look at the world differently. I’d point out cool things around me or share a random fact I found out and be received with laughter and an “oh Bekka.” I never let it harden me, but till this day I still receive resistance to my love of little things, small measures that sometimes make a big impact on my day.

I’ve decided to start sharing these Little Things in a weekly YouTube series, to be posted every Sunday evening. My sister names my desire and passion for magical moments a love for “life nuggets.” I’ve had a hard time over the years figuring out what I’m truly passionate about, but amidst sister conference calls, it always comes back to “life nuggets,” I’m really passionate about life.  Ever since I walked away from acting I realized passion wasn’t how much you loved something, but how much bullshit you’re willing to put up with. Well, life is filled with a lot of bullshit and I still thinks it’s an incredible gift each and every day.

I hope you enjoy my little things and please subscribe to follow the series.

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The Gift of Being Present

I debated sharing this story, because I feared by sharing this story it might lose its potency. But my sister encouraged me to share it and the truth is; when sharing something positive – its light doesn’t dim by being shared but grows bigger.

Without getting into my personal life too much, emotionally I was edge yesterday morning, and I knew I wanted to go for a run to get my blood pumping. Nothing like putting your body through a physical challenge to assure yourself you can overcome any mental challenge. I didn’t expect to leave all my troubles on the track, but that is exactly what happened.

I’ve been using the C25K app to build up my stamina this past year, and yesterday I was told to run for 25 minutes straight. I hadn’t exercised in 4 weeks and was intimidated by the request, but as I started jogging I told myself that I wasn’t going anywhere. For the next thirty minutes I was going to be at the park and on the track, so instead of dreading the next 25 minutes, be present on the track and accomplish the task – it was the only thing I had to do at that moment.

I let my mind wander most of the 20 minutes, thinking about work, meal planning, and my favorite places in the USA. But in the last 7 minutes I decided to bring my mind back to the track. I was starting to feel fatigued and needed to be present to keep myself going. I don’t listen to music while running, so I started a mantra in my mind. I started to thank my legs for carrying me, thanking my heart for pumping blood to those limbs, thanking my lungs for feeding my body oxygen. I told myself to experience the track; feel the cool wind against my skin, smell the fresh cut grass, see the sun reflecting and illuminating the park.

I imagined this brilliant white light filling me. I told myself that I don’t need to hold onto the past or worry about the future, I just have to be in this moment. I have to be present. I GET to be present! Know this moment, right now and in the present without the past to bring you down or the future to freak you out, all you have is a blank slate of love and light. To feel and be a beacon of love and light!

As these thoughts flooded my mind, as the light filled my body, I started jogging harder. I felt pulled up and my posture was held higher. On my last minute, running harder than I had the entire 24 minutes, I began to wane; but I told myself you can continue on because you are filled with light and the light will carry you. I don’t know how long I would have actually gone, just thinking about the light that filled every cell of my body, but it carried me to my cool down.

The emotions I was feeling earlier in the morning had completely disappeared. I was excited about the day. I was excited about the gift of love and light I was able to give to the world, by being completely present. It’s hard to let go of pain from the past or worries of the future, but in reality the past and future only rob you of the potential for the best day ever. Be present and realize the gift in every day, to share love and light with all those around you. Illuminate the world around you!

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As I was writing this Fantasia’s “Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy” came into my mind. I wanted to share the video because it’s a good visual representation of what I’m trying to express. We are all fairies and when we are filled with love and light, we can affect the world around us making it a brighter more sparkly place to live.

 

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Pink Shiny Crystal Visions

Lately, I’ve been really wanting to buy crystals. I imagine my windowsill being a little beacon of light and color, the crystals charging under the sun. When Bowerbird and I were walking back to our car from Echo Park Rising, we heard echoing meditation music coming from the hidden speakers of The House of Intuition. An actual house on top of a hill, we scaled the cement stairs to peek our heads inside. It’s pretty adorable as at the top of the stairs there is a sign that says, “your intuition led you here.” It’s a new age shop, or as their website states a Metaphysical and Spiritual shop, filled with the scent of a relaxing incense and lots of crystals. We walked in each room looking at the objects that help to enlighten, guide, and ground our spiritual being. The sales girls were nice, open to helping us and didn’t give off a superior vibe at all. They really seemed down to earth as they discussed being spiritually grounded and the meaning of dreams amongst themselves. When I went back to the car I told Bowerbird how I want more crystals, and he replied by saying he dosen’t believe in crystals, he’d rather have plants.

 

 

 

bismuth crystal

 

bismuth crystal

 

I really want Bismuth Crystals – aren’t they crazy beautiful!! 

smoky quartz

Smoky Quartz – helps to turn negative energy into positive energy 

cool cyrstals

Crystals are so amazing. Nature is an artists and crystals are the sculpture.

crystal alabamapink crystals

Most of these photos don’t have a strong source that I can reference. But they are all pinned to my Random Loves board if you want to click the link attached to the photos. 

**I wonder how many blog posts exist with the title Crystal Visions. It has a nice ring to it and a familiarity of ‘knowing’, plus you’re automatically besties with the other Fleetwood Mac fan that stops by your page.

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YAY!

marriage equality heart

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REAL TALK : BEING AUTHENTIC

holly golightly mask

Holly Golightly wore many masks, and this was one of her few authentic moments.

Last night my sister told me, in that loving way only big sisters can, that my writing has been boring. My blog posts have been dry and don’t have my voice. Well written with less grammatical errors than in the past, but it lacks that special sparkle that comes just from me. It’s missing my voice. And I took this harsh and honest criticism in the best way a twenty-something younger sister can, I hemmed and hawed, hung up the phone and ranted about my stupid sister to my boyfriend. Then as I laid in my bed, belly face down, those terrible words any person hates to utter slipped from my mouth, “She’s right.”

I’ve been feeling the pressure to get my stories from the road out of me and posted up. Partly because I fear the memories will become too distant, and partly because I want to write about the present. So I’m pumping out my posts.like a factory writer, instead of letting my heart guide me and build this blog organically. It’s like my brain signed a contract saying, “You must first finish all stories from the road trip before sharing any other adventure you experience!”  Approaching the road trip posts like a job, has in turn made these posts sound just like my ‘work personality’ and not my authentic self.

See my profession is social media management and blog/copy writing. And for the past three years I have been paid to write in the voice of companies, causing myself to lose my own artistic voice. I’ve definitely become a better overall writer, but my personality was dulled in the process. The main company I was with the last three years was soul crushing and toxic. While there I think I let them steal some of my sparkle. In the last three years, I had less energy, lost my sense of playfulness and ‘fun aunt’ title, and I didn’t write for myself (ie: blog and interview people) nearly as much as I had in the past. I love interviewing people and blogging, it’s seriously my strange addiction. Even the ‘boring’ posts I’ve been happy to upload, I do get a rush from the ‘publish’ button. But I’ve always wanted to do different kinds of posts and didn’t because of that strange agreement.

I know the key to successful blog/ online personality is to be authentic. I’d be lying to say I wouldn’t love to do partnerships and have this be my platform. But no one is going to read my posts, and want to be a part of my journey unless I’m authentic. I know I have this fantastic way of lying to myself. Many times I’ve convinced myself/ lied to myself into bad relationships. I construct the right answer, not the true answer. I construct an accurate post, not an authentic story. Plus why am I afraid of the memories becoming too distant, memories marinate and get better with time – not worse! Now I’m working freelance. I have 24 hours a day to manifest whatever I desire. A toxic free environment. I won’t feel drained when I come home because I wouldn’t have been exerting energy just to remain sane. I’m in the process of being my authentic self again. I am going to create a blog schedule/ calendar for myself; because it’s a way of dedicating more time to what makes me happy. But I’m going to stop writing my posts like I think they should sound, and instead write them like they want to sound.

Thank you for letting me be authentic. It’s not easy to be, but it’s a better way to be.

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Quick Simple Healthy : Southwest Quinoa Salad

easy picnic food southwest quinoa salad

You know that western decease called anxiety. Well I have it, and when I’m invited to pot-lucks, bbqs, picnics, or any event in which I’m supposed to bring a dish. The inner 1950’s housewife and totally lazy cook in me conflict. I want to make something impressive and delicious, but I look at my schedule and realize I have max 3 hours to make something before midnight without driving myself insane.  I was invited to a birthday party that involved a picnic element, and as it was an exceptionally stressful week I decided to throw myself into making a vegetarian feast. That aside, in the midst of my stress cooking I discovered the Southwest Quinoa Salad. It is the dream side dish of my inner lazy cook, and my new favorite quick simple healthy salad. The only thing you cook is the quinoa and the rest of the steps can be done while the grain is in the pot. Total process for the most novice chef is 30minutes tops, and that’s me assuming one has no cutting skills.

So lets get to it…

Ingredients:

Quinoa

Can of Corn

Can of Black Beans (plain)

Green Onion (4 stocks)

Cilantro

Red Bell Pepper

(my trader joes didn’t have any good bell pepper so I bought the cute mini ones)

Limes (2)

Chili Powder & Garlic Salt

southwest quinoa salad ingredients

 One serving of quinoa does the trick, so cook according to the instructions on the package.

benefits of quinoa

Now while the quinoa is cooking, rinse your corn and beans.

After they have been thoroughly rinsed place in a separate bowl.

steps for making quinoa salad rinse corn and beans

Then chop up the green onion, red bell pepper, and cilantro into tiny pieces; think the same size as the corn.

vegetables for quinoa salad

  1. Combine the green onion, red bell pepper, and cilantro into the bowl with black beans and corn
  2. Toss all the ingredients together
  3. Squeeze lime juice in with the veggies an beans
  4. Sprinkle chili powder ( ¼ teaspoon is safe) and garlic salt to flavor

steps for a southwest quinoa salad

 

P.S DON’T FORGET YOUR QUINOA IN THE PROCESS

I like to place the quinoa and bowl of wonders in the same ziplock bag and mix it together; massage, shake, or wooden spoon stir. I like things that are self-contained, like a silent panic attack.

mix southwest quinoa salad

Personally I feel its best served chilled, so throw in the fridge for a bit. Also it does lack salt, but when paired with other foods like BBQ ribs or a pulled pork sandwich it’s the perfect balance.  So bring in a ziplock and throw in a bowl, or prepare individual servings of cute mason jars; this is my favorite no brainer pot luck, bbq, picnic side dish/ salad. The lazy cook loves it, and so does my perfectionist fifties housewife.

Tweet me if you remix or try this salad @basicallybekka

 

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