even if you have to FAKE it …

Your brain doesn’t know the difference between fake (or faux) and real smiles/laughter. So when you do these things, your brain releases endorphins and other happy hormones throughout your body. And then your body will want more and more of this happy feeling, cause we all know it likes it better than the opposite emotion, so you’ll start to “automatically” feel happier in your life. Smiling also reduces stress and improves immunity. So come on, show me some of them fake smiles, or laugh your ass off for no reason at all!!!

shit, I really need to take my own advice on this one ;)

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ARTumn leaves …

Who needs art stores when you have nature? OK, not really, cause I kinda love my drawing pens like A LOT. On this day though, nature was my canvas and my medium. Nature allows me to free my mind in order to create. And not just create pretty pinwheels of autumn leaves…create ANYTHING. (FYI I’m an arteest outside the woods also.)

Almost one year ago, I took a lovely art class on ‘nature sculpture’ when I was living at Omega. We walked around the woods and made art with sticks and leaves and moss and rocks and broken glass (if it’s there, you might as well use it). I had never looked at nature in that way before, and it was extremely calming and meditative to create in this way. So, as I was walking among the colorful fallen leaves the other day, it seemed the exact perfect time to make something beautiful.

SHINE on …

We’ve had a bunch of gloomy days here lately, and look what today brought! A beautiful sunshiny day. On days like this, I like to take myself to the woods and soak up some nature and feel the sun peering through the leaves. Today was a day of ‘shining on’ for me. I mean, honestly, what day isn’t? … however, the trick is to actually acknowledge it. Today, I went to the gym and the chiropractor to continue healing my body, then went to the woods to continue healing my soul, then went to the library to continue healing my mind. I took test #3 for school … 3/4s of the way through my program!!! Major accomplishment. And I’m acknowledging that. For those that know me well, you know I’m not so good at that acknowledging part. Without acknowledging and celebrating those accomplishments, the things we do in life are kinda pointless. So, I’m working on changing that. One accomplishment at a time … shit, I’ll be praising myself all the time then ;)

Guess what, Dawn? You’re awesome. Now accept it.

What wonderfully small or large thing have you accomplished in the past few days that you haven’t brought awareness to and praised yourself for?? Please share your awesomeness!

let it FLOW …

When I run after what I think I want,

my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety;

if I sit in my own place of patience,

what I need flows to me, and without pain.

From this I understand that

what I want also wants me,

is looking for me and attracting me.

There is a great secret here

for anyone who can grasp it.

~ Shams Tabrizi

go NUTS !!!

Layers and layers of healthy goodness. You too can have this beautiful creation in a million different variations. I buy most of my dried goods from nuts.com and health food stores. And I like to mix up what I buy and try new things and then combine them all into my own random mix of trail. This one consists of: dried cranberries, raisins, dried pluots (plum/apricot hybrid), walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, tiger nuts (roots, not nuts), cacao nuts, banana chips, and roasted dried fava beans.

I do advise you to shake it up before eating … but then it doesn’t look as pretty as this. However, it tastes delicious and nutritious, and I suppose that’s what really matters ;)

LAY of the land …

So this totally happened while hiking on Monday at Teatown Nature Preserve. Came upon a painted turtle along the trail sitting on top of some freshly dug dirt. Was a bit thrown off at first, like hmmmm, what’s she doing here? Is she ok? Should we take her back to the water? … OH SHIT, she’s laying eggs!!!!! Like right now!!!!! This is amazing!!!!! So we stood there and watched her squeeze out 8 eggs (maybe more before we got there) and then watched her bury the eggs to her liking and then watched her walk away like nothing happened.  Just another day in the life of a turtle. Pretty sure I was way more fascinated by this miracle of life than she was. In my head, it sounded a little something like this … OMG is this really happening right now? Am I really witnessing this? This is CRAAAAZZY! I feel like these babies are partly mine now. How does she fit all those eggs inside her small body? Will they be ok? Maybe I should take them and bury them at home to ensure that they live. I want to come back when they hatch [counting number of days]. What is the mom going to do when she’s done burying them? This is so magical and cool as shit. OMG OMG OMFG.

Of course I did a little turtle research on the way home. The mom can lay up to 11 eggs within the 4-6″ deep hole she dug with her hind legs (the ladies do all the work). The incubation period is 72 days, so these quarter-sized babies should hatch mid-August. Yes, they seriously come out the size of a quarter. I get so giddy when I think of that!!!! [insert visual of me squealing and fast-paced tiny clapping and jumping up and down … I know you’re with me on that, so don’t even pretend]. And then these little babies instinctively make their way directly to the water to live happily ever after (obviously!).

OMG OMG OMFG.

effort AND ease …

doing nothing is very different than being still

Ponder THAT.

This was the theme of the yoga class I took last night and I definitely pondered THAT on my drive home last night. Where in life are we ‘doing’ and where are we ‘being’? Doing comes much easier to most of us, but oddly, doing doesn’t make life easier. So let’s pick one area of our lives and just try to ‘be’ in it today. Hmmmm, what will I choose??? … relationship, food, health, self-love, work? … ok, I’m thinking way too much about this. I should probably just let it be ;)

TANTALIZING tunnels and tagging …


I tried to minimize my favorite pics, but it was just TOO HARD. Ok, I didn’t try that hard. There really were too many good ones (as you can see). About a year ago, I tried to find this place with my dad. We trampled through very overgrown bushes and trees off the trail with serious determination … and sadly did not succeed in finding it (but did find and eat loads of delicious wild raspberries!). Recently, in connecting with an old friend, John, I asked him if he’d been here. And he had! So I recruited him to take me to this place, and we finally went on Saturday.

This is a hidden gem in Blauvelt State Park, and it was all I’d expected it to be plus much more. The story is that this place was built in 1910 as a military rifle range and was part of Camp Bluefields. Due to some issues, it was shut down 3 years later, but continued to be used for military training until the end of WWII. There are miles of tunnels that were built to get around the base as live fire was constantly taking place. The only light within the tunnels are slits of sunlight through angled windows approximately every 20′. John and I walked through the 3 tunnels we found. They were surprisingly roomy and clean with the exception of spray cans and some big ass crickets/spiders (don’t look up!). The tagging inside the tunnels was nothing special … a lot of penis drawings actually. Such artistes.

But outside the tunnels and inside some small structures that still remain, you can see some pretty bad and some pretty bad ass graffiti art. I truly enjoyed this Saturday adventure that ended up taking us 3.5 hours to explore. Very neat place I’d highly recommend checking out. And make sure to bring light with you if you are gutsy enough to walk the tunnels ;)

straight AND wavy …

Just like my hairstyles last week!!!

I was drawn to this hairy vine curving it’s way up (or down) this tree. I wonder why it chose this particular course. I presume it was not for my visual enjoyment and cool photo opportunity? … OR was it?!?!? Hmmmm, nature, you so crazy.

I see it as there were nutrients and good energy along this tree trunk in the areas that the vine attached to and that paved it’s path through life. The same applies to humans. Bring in good nutrients, walk through life with positive energy, and a beautiful path will unfold before you. And yes, it will be windy and bumpy and throw you off course at times, but all those hurdles are necessary to growth. Breathe through it, love yourself and be open to every adventure that comes your way.

Damn, life is cool.