Welcome Back

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Where do I begin?

It’s been almost 5 months since I’ve written here… Oh the journey that has been had these past few months. Time flies…

It would take all of my time, energy, and battery power today to write an entry that shares all of the life lessons and memories I’ve had recently. I loved it when I was in the habit of writing here consistently, but these days, my focus has been on the twins and prepping for my next journey. So today, I’ll ‘dip my toes back in the water,’ and maybe more entries will follow…

I’m sure I’ll one day write about my amazing experience being a nanny to 3 amazing kiddos, but to do this, I’ll need to find a day when I have nothing planned (does that even exist?). I’m feeling very rusty with writing so I’ll keep this post short. I’ve been writing almost every day in my journals, pen to paper, but the blog feels a bit foreign to me.

As Stephen King recommends when it comes to writing: just start.

So here I am, starting again.

Why am I picking it back up again today? Feels like a fresh start in the story of my life. After driving 12 hours yesterday, I made it to California where it always feels like a perfect Summer day. Vitamin D is underrated.

While I wandered through a Redwood forest, I hit a symbolic reset button. This West Coast road trip is a journey of connection, self-exploration, and making my visions come to life. It’s good to be back…

Now off to actually go dip my toes in the water…

Pause

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Last time I wrote was in March and, well, a lot has happened since then (big surprise). I’ve been thinking about this blog (ugh, I really don’t like the word ‘blog’) a lot and how I want to write about SO many things. Over the past 2 months, I have enough content to write a book, truly. Maybe one day I will actually find the time to sit down and share some photos and anecdotes from my busy life in West Seattle.

I just wanted to take this time now to share a little story that happened recently. Before ‘work’ (by the way, I LOVE MY JOB, but I’ll save that for another day), sometimes I stop in one of the local Starbucks – what can I say, my white mocha addiction has not faded. There are two men that sit in the comfy, leather chairs every morning and they’re always chatting up a storm. They speak really loudly and sometimes I can’t help but eavesdrop. The other morning, they were talking about people who have been influential to them.

“One of the most important people in my life is my wife, Sue. What about you?”

“Definitely my Mom.”

Then the man with the slightly higher pitched voice who adores his Mom paused and said, “You know? I just want to say that you are really important to me. I really love our mornings together and you have made my life better. We don’t tell people enough how much we appreciate them, and I appreciate you.”

I almost cried when I ordered my drink…

He’s totally right – we go about our business, meet with some friends and family consistently, others not as often, and swiftly make our way through each day…without stopping to pause and acknowledge the connections we have built and the life we have created.

Right now, I’m sitting in a bustling coffee shop filled with people chatting. The four women in front of me look like they’ve probably been meeting weekly for years. A dad just pulled out a coloring book for his daughter and she just screamed with excitement. 3 pairs of girlfriends are gabbing at the window tables (all oddly wearing pink…). Two older men are laughing and have been sitting at their table since I got here an hour ago.

I’m the girl sitting in the middle of it all and (probably awkwardly) observing the relationships around me. It just feels like there’s a lot of love here on this Friday morning and it’s making me smile.

I wonder what the two men at Starbucks are talking about right now…

All forms of relationships take effort, time, and care. Seems like these days, everyone’s schedules are packed to the brim, mine included (fortunately and unfortunately) and it’s getting harder to create quality time with people consistently. But I’m starting to recognize the relationships in my life that are unconditional. No matter how much time passes or how many ebbs and flows we have in our connection, the love is always there.

Anyway, that’s my really long and loopy way of saying, I really appreciate you. If you were sitting across the table from me right now, I’d pause and tell you that I am grateful that you are in my life.

I’ve been feeling an unbelievable amount of love and support recently and there are some magical things being set into motion…hoping this translates into more writing (feeling a bit rusty!) and more adventures to write about! The energy of Love is far more powerful than the caffeine in this white mocha… 😉

I hope you all have a great day and a happy weekend with the people that you love. And if you happen to see any dandelions, don’t hesitate to make a wish. It just may come true…

Tortoise or the Hare?

Friday, March 30th, 2018

In my dream journal, I’ve noticed certain people, things, or events occurring frequently. Green VW vans, visiting my childhood, problems with technology (very apocolyptic), transformation, dogs, beaches, and so. much. water.

I tend to have recurring themes within this blog as well…I haven’t read all the way through from the beginning, but every now and then I come across my links or random posts and can see how I bring up a lot of the same thoughts and phrases without even realizing it at the time.

“Everything happens for a reason.” “Go with the flow.” “Keep going.” “Anything is possible.”

My mantras. I say them all the time and I believe them…well, for a reason. They keep me going!

Last year, I wrote about Notes from the Universe and they are also mentioned frequently in View From Mo. They’re my daily pep talk in the morning. They are all wonderful, but there are a few that stick with me weeks after I read them. At the beginning of March, I read a Note that reminded me of a dream I had a couple years ago. In my dream, I was riding this strange contraption that was a mixture of a bike and a scooter. I was trying to move my feet really fast to move along the trail quicker. The ‘narrarator’ told me to be more consistent, slow, and not rush it. I slowed my feet down and became more intentional with my movements and the scooter-bike (scike? booter? 😂) started lighting up and flying along the trail!

This is a Note I’ve been thinking about all month while driving, working with the Twins, and really, doing anything throughout my day. There is plenty of time for everything…so why rush it?

Have you noticed that the more you hurry, the slower you go?

The more you wait, the longer it takes?

The more you worry, the less you dream?

But the more you live, love, and laugh, Andrea, the more you live, love, and laugh.

Weird?
The Universe

So let’s keep living, loving, and laughing. And maybe try driving in the right lane. 😉

And just like that, the sun starts to shine…

Hope you all have a wonderful Friday.

Who Are You?

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Recently, I’ve been trying to justify who I am and the interests I have. Before telling people certain things about me, I’ve noticed I give them disclaimers: “I know this sounds weird…” “So this is not super normal…” “This sounds hippy dippy, but…” I wouldn’t say I’m ashamed of who I am, but I do worry that people will judge me for my interests and beliefs. But I worry because I know it happens. I’ve worked so hard on accepting everyone for who they are (which if we’re all being honest, this is really hard to do and I still struggle with it). We all have a past, an upbringing, and reasons for who we have become. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we lived in a world where everyone was 100% authentic 100% of the time? I’d be dancing everywhere I go!


While I was in Bali, it was a euphoric feeling because I could be 100% myself and I didn’t feel like I was weird. Instead I felt like everyone on that island was weird with me. Being weird was normal…does that even make sense? Now that I’m back in Seattle, I’m still doing my best to be completely myself, but the fear of judgment does create a sort of block. I put my books faced down so people won’t see what I’m reading. I make sure to tell people where I used to work, so they know I’m capable of having a ‘real job.’ I sometimes play mainstream music around others so they don’t judge my taste in the music I truly love. I don’t know if I’m the only one who does this, but I hide who I truly am for fear of not being accepted.

So here’s my metaphorical mountain top that I’m going to scream at the top of my lungs who I am. I don’t want to hide anymore – I want to own my identity – I will no longer be ashamed – no more disclaimers!!

I AM MO!!! I AM WEIRD!!! WE’RE ALL WEIRD!!!

I initially wanted to write a list of all the little intricacies about me…but if we know each other and you have been reading along on this journey, you already have a pretty good idea of who Mo is. And to the people in my life who have embraced who I am and stood by my side, I am always grateful for you. And I love all the little things that make you you. Props to all of you who don’t hide who you are – you inspire me! Our weirdness and quirks make us unique individuals and we should showcase that to the world!

And I just now received a picture from a friend of her hand next to a teeny, tiny pistachio. “The smallest pistachio,” she wrote. YES! This is what I’m talking about!

Okay, I’ll stop now… About to go pick up my favorite twins and go PLAY!

And what song just started playing in my ear buds? “I Can See Clearly Now” by Jimmy Cliff.

It’s gonna be a bright, sunshiney day!

Who are YOU and what makes you weird/awesome? What are you feeding your mind?

Choose Your Path

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

And my first retirement comes to an end…

It’s been a month since I’ve written here, and it should be no surprise…a lot has happened. I’ll start with just a series of photos from this past month. If I gave context to each photo, I’d be writing for hours (which I’m not opposed to, but I only have a little bit of time before I go to my first day of WORK!!), so here are a bunch o’ photos that make me happy.




















(Was listening to the song “Dragonfly” and a car pulled in front of me with a dragonfly sticker… Loved the coincidence!)










So here I am now, about to begin a new chapter of my life. I’ve been reflecting so much on the past 6 months – sometimes I get really sad that I’m not still traveling and living in the lush culture of Bali; but like I’ve always believed, “Everything happens for a reason.” I’m so grateful for every experience during this ‘retirement.’ 4 wild months in Bali and 2 months of running around in the States. 

When I came back from California a month ago, I had set up several coffee dates/networking meetings so I could find a way to make an income. I was completely torn. Go back to a desk job – professional, stable, comfortable? Or move away from the corporate world and do something a little different that may challenge me a bit more? I was facing all sorts of paths I could go down, and I knew I ultimately had to walk down the path that made me *feel* the most. After a great meeting with some women that I’ve worked with before, I received a text a couple days later that got me excited for the first time when it came to looking for a new job. 

“My husband’s boss is looking for a nanny… Is that something you’d be interested in?”

In less than a week, I was offered the job and I was PUMPED. They’re very professional, the kiddos are adorable, and all the stars seemed to align. It’s funny how that happens when you follow your heart…

I accepted this position a month ago and today will be my first day with the Twins. Having so much time between accepting the job and actually starting has been an interesting journey in itself. Sure, I’ve worked with kids – babysat a ton – volunteered with many kids…but a full-time job with twins?! Doubt started creeping in… It was always so interesting telling people what I was doing and I felt like I could read their thoughts: “Are you nuts?! You’ve never been a nanny and now you’re taking care of two toddlers? Are you sure you don’t want a desk job?” One person even immediately said, “You’re going to die.” 

I started worrying that maybe I made a mistake. “What the hell did I just sign myself up for?! Am I living in this silly fairytale land – la dee da dee da – that isn’t reality at all? Mo! You’re in way over your head!”

But then there were the few people who immediately reacted by saying, “You’re going to be such a good nanny.” Yessssss…bringing back the thoughts that I had when I was ‘applying’ for the job. I know I shouldn’t care what others think, but I’m not going to lie…I couldn’t really help it. This is a HUGE change from what I was doing before, so every bit of feedback was swirling in my mind. 

But guess what? I’m ready for it… While this past month has allowed a bit of doubt to enter my mind, it’s also allowed me to mentally prepare for these next 6 months and kick that doubt outta here. I am fully aware that this will be a big challenge, but there will be so many great things that come from this experience. Guiding kids through this world, consistency with my schedule, purpose, finally a steady income, excursions/crafts/activities, learning and seeing life through the eyes of children. 


This ‘retirement’ has been an epic journey of self-discovery. Sometimes I felt guilty that I was out exploring the world and not working to save for real retirement – but this wasn’t really a 6-month vacation. Not at all. It was a time for me to learn about myself, to test myself, and prove to myself that if I set my mind to something, I can do it. At the end of this particular journey, the best thing that happened was I learned how to love myself. Sometimes I look back at my memories like a movie and think, “I did that?! Hell yeah!! Mo is pretty awesome!” I’ve never been able to think that about myself until now.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me and believed in me. I am blessed with so many loving people in my life that keep me going. I believe in all of you, too. Listening to your heart surprisingly isn’t the easiest thing to do, but when you do, you’ll feel on top of the world. The Universe is always on our side.

And thank you, Bali, for changing my life. Although it was only 4 months, the lifetime that was lived in them and the lessons I learned will guide me though every day of the rest of my life. “Mo Poppins” is ready for this new journey. Besides, I’ve even got the carpet bag ready to go…

Last night, I went to Modo Yoga because I wanted to end this chapter on a magical note. I’ll end this entry with how my favorite teacher ended his class last night:

“There is nothing you cannot do.”

Believe it.

Namaste.

Believing is Seeing

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

It’s funny how the Universe works… I asked for more kid time, and it was certainly delivered, much to my delight. My last post I wrote about how Claire and I pretended to be making ice cream. I thought about how much simpler life was as a child and how our hardest decisions were which flavor we were going to eat. While I was in Sebastopol, CA with my cousin and his family, I was faced with the idea cream challenge as an adult. I followed my own advice and went with my gut: Cookie Dough and Caramel Swirl.

Claire would have loved it… The week in California was a total blast. My days were filled with jumping on the trampoline, riding scooters, exploring the coast, looking up at the giant Redwood trees, visiting San Francisco, and spending time with some of the greatest people I know. I loved picking Harper and Max up from school then heading home and playing all afternoon; spending time with Corrine and Remy (not to mention watching Corrine making delicious meals from memory while Remy was hanging on to her – Supermom!); and coming up with crazy business ideas with Scott. I was certainly jumping for joy every day.

Harper and I became attached at the hip and it was so fun to see the world through her eyes. Her world is SO FUN. We took a day to go to the Redwood Forest and go on a little hike. One of my favorite activities with one of my favorite people in the most beautiful setting. The sun beaming through the trees was the cherry on top. 


We talked and talked and talked and I seriously wondered if I was going to lose my voice. We talked a lot about dreams and it was so fun to talk with someone so curious and get inspired by what I had to say. She became so excited when I told her about my life-changing lucid dream and she wanted to start a dream journal herself. I had purchased a tiny journal at one of the cute bookstores in Sebastopol for her to do so and the rest of the time I was there, she wrote down her dreams. Made my heart happy. I grew up having vivid dreams, but it wasn’t until a couple years ago that I really started paying attention to them and believing that they mean something. My dream journal is probably my favorite journal in my entire collection. 

This walk felt like a dream because it was so magical. A daydream come true. We reached the Armstrong Redwoods Amphitheater and Harper was in her element. We stood on stage with the trees as our audience and started belting out Disney songs. When was the last time you busted out in song at the top of your lungs outside of your home or car?? We danced and didn’t have a care in the world. One of the best trails I’ve ever been on, that’s for sure…

After the forest, we made our way to the ocean. Talk about a perfect day. We stopped and watched the ocean for a while – soaked up the sun like the seagulls all around us. I loved the time bonding with this little human and attempting to be a positive influence for her. More importantly, I loved how she brought out my inner child. She is such an energetic, thoughtful, and sensitive soul.

When I was a kid, for some reason, I was obsessed (emphasis on OBSESSED) with milk cows. In school, if there was a pottery class or an art class, you bet I molded or painted cows. I remember I found out a family friend had a milk cow and I was so jealous! I can remember wanting one so badly. Weird, I know. But it was my thing. As I got older, my obsession faded and I don’t remember the last time I’ve actually seen a milk cow. So imagine my surprise when we left the coast and ended up driving through the most lush, green pastures with the MOST BEAUTIFUL milk cows!! Harper thought I was so silly for getting so excited to see these cows all over the place. I guess my obsession isn’t completely gone… I must admit, even as an adult, they really are beautiful animals. 


Needless to say, it was a day well spent. MOOOOOO!

Onto the next adventure – San Francisco!

Remy and I went on a road trip down South and I was so excited to see the Golden Gate Bridge. My Mom and Dad lived in San Francisco in their early 20’s and I had asked them to send me lists of what I should check out. It was so fun to have them as tour guides. Remy and I pulled off the highway before we reached the bridge and made the trek to see the beautiful view. 

I went to San Francisco when I was a little kid, but I don’t remember any of it. So seeing the bridge on this day felt like it was my first time. It was really special to share that moment with baby Remy. I dropped Remy off to Scott and Corrine once I arrived in the City, and then I was off on my tour. I visited the apartment my parents lived in which was really special for me. I was too young to remember the time in my life that they were still together. So it was really neat to see a place that they shared before I was born. I continued on by seeing the hotel my Dad managed and visiting the Green Apple bookstore which was my version of Heaven. As I was browsing, I got a cute “hello” from my Grampa, Roy Nichols. What a coincidence…

I had some time to kill before I met with my friend Nicole, so I visited a coffee shop recommended by a couple different people: The Blue Danube. It was fun to watch the locals flurry in for their morning fuel, and I found one open spot by the bookshelf. There were dozens of notebooks that were all numbered. I picked up a random one near me and opened it up. There were hundreds of entries from patrons in the year 2008. A Time Capsule. It was ironic that the dates matched the time that I was in this coffee shop – I was reading these entries almost exactly 10 years later.

This entry stood out to me. I wondered if Ben was still happily married to his love and still enjoying his fulfilling job. I really hope so. It’s amazing what happens as you keep discovering layers of yourself. 

“(1/9/2008) – I feel so lucky to be able to say that this is not my last week in San Francisco. I love this city. I found myself and my true love here (we’re getting married in May!). I have a job doing what I love and enough money to eat at Q or Burma Superstar every now and then. I never thought that life could be this cool! – Ben” 

I then came across this drawing that spoke to me on many levels. I’m so fascinated by time and I love encountering moments when I’m reminded that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Time is always running, but this is why I love journals (and blogs!), because they make certain moments last forever. Thank you, Stranger, for creating this 10 years ago. Timeless.

Then it was time to meet up with my adventure buddy, Nicole. There is something about Nicole that makes everything extra magical when we are together. We used to always go on adventures in the PNW, but Nicole moved to San Jose last year, so it was extra fun to reunite and experience California together. 


We enjoyed a delicious burger (our tradition) and went on a two mile walk through the neighborhoods. We would look at our surroundings and often stop at the same time to admire anything and everything. It’s so perfect with her because we get excited about the same things – views, flowers, architecture, anything. Taking time to admire the whimsical colors…or completely black homes.


We started talking about daydreams and imagining our dream homes. Nicole dreams to be near the ocean and have a darkroom for her photography. I’d love a room full of bookshelves, twinkle lights, and space to create. I’d love a desk in front of window to write and daydream at. As we continued walking, we looked to the left and noticed a spiral staircase in a window – that’d be a nice addition to my dream home! We noticed the main door was open…. OPEN HOUSE! We had to go see the staircase for ourselves. We walked in and the agent immediately knew that we were not going to be potential buyers (For $6 million, maybe after we win the lottery! Ha!), so she didn’t wander with us. We happened to run into two other folks checking the house out and where were they from? Wedgwood neighborhood in Seattle! Another coincidence…

We found the spiral staircase and I wondered what it led to…

What was at the top? A teeny nook with two things: a desk and a window. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket!

Nicole and I continued on our walk and she would say, “We’re almost to the Painted Ladies!” I was too embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know what the Painted Ladies were. Nicole is really into art and museums, so I figured it was some famous painting and I’d recognize it when I saw it. So I didn’t ask her and I was waiting until we arrived at the museum to see it for myself. We were across from a park and she said, “I think that’s them!”

“Huh? But there’s no museum over there…”

“No, it’s the Full House houses!”

“WE’RE AT THE FULL HOUSE HOUSES?!?!?!?!”

I had no idea that’s what they were called and I got so giddy! These houses were on my list to see, so it was extra special having it be a complete surprise (nevermind me feeling like a doofus.). I grew up watching Full House and wanted to be best friends with Mary-Kate and Ashley. So seeing these iconic homes with one of my closest friends was certainly a highlight of my life.


We sat and pretended to have a picnic like they do in the intro of the show and soaked it all up. Happy vibes all around. But our tour wasn’t done. Both my Mom and Dad recommended watching the sunset at The Cliff House. We set off and found the restaurant on the coast. Magically, there was a table at the window with a perfect view. 


I am so grateful to have spent this day with Nicole and experienced yet another beautiful adventure.


The rest of my time in California was spent wandering the little town of Sebastopol, meeting wonderful people, and checking out the coffee shops (SO CUTE). Amazing things happen when you wander…and live in the moment.


Rameh was a woman I sat next to at a cafe and we began talking about dreams, coincidences, and life in general. (Big surprise…) She told me about a man named Edgar Cayce who was a pioneer in America about dreaming. Rameh happened to miss her flight that afternoon and I smiled when I happened to run into her again the next day. By the time I bumped into her the next day, I had purchased a book on Edgar Cayce and was so grateful to have learned about him. We were definitely meant to cross paths.


I’ve visited California every year for the past 4 years. I tend to go after the holidays in the Winter months that are tough to make it through. My visits always kick-start my year with positive energy and enough Vitamin D to hold me through until Spring. This trip did not fail. Once I returned from California, it was a whirlwind and I was on a mission (which I’ll elaborate on another time). Spending time with kids, exploring, and having moments of tranquility with a good book are the cure for anything. Thank you to the Barrows family for hosting me – I love all of you!


Two weeks later, back in the PNW, and I’m feeling as good as ever. Right now, I’m at my favorite coffee shop in Marysville called The Living Room and the sun is starting to pour in. It gets really tough when Seattle is covered in a blanket of rain clouds for so many months. But since we don’t have sunshine every day, I feel like I have a deeper appreciation when the sun is shining. Yin and Yang. I feel like during the Winter months, we hibernate and take the time to work on ourselves; being inside sometimes makes it easier to turn inward. Then Spring comes and it’s our time to shine and show off what we’ve been working on. Throwing in a quick trip to California certainly helps to get a good dose of Vitamin D. If anything, it reaffirmed to me that dreaming is healthy and can lead to the greatest moments and encounters. 

Similar to what Ben felt 10 years ago in a little coffee shop in “The City by the Bay,” I also didn’t think life could be this cool. 

“Mind is indeed the Builder . . . what is held in the act of mental vision becomes a reality in the material experience. We are gradually builded to that image created within our own mental being.” -Edgar Cayce

Believe it. See it.


What’s on your mind?

RECESS

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Feeling stuck, lost, or confused with any aspect in your life? I have discovered the cure: Kids and a Retreat (obviously separate events…).

KIDS

I was fortunate enough to babysit Claire Bear for a few days and IT WAS THE BEST TIME EVER. I honestly get a lump in my throat while thinking of her because I love her so much! Who knew a teeny little two-year old could have such a tug at my heart? First of all, she’s adorable. Proof: 

But not only is she adorable on the outside, her personality is precious. Her whole body tenses up with excitement when we play hide and seek, watch Frozen, or sit down to read a book. She pronounces pillow as “pillilow” and I almost thought she was saying a bad word when she asked for a fruit snack (“fwoo fak”). She loves to color and whenever she comes across the white crayon she holds it up and says, “Thisonesnotworkingthisonesnotworkingthisonesnotworking. It break!” She gets so proud when she makes a triangle out of her hands – then makes the triangle smaller and says, “Baby triangle!” She loves Dozy Bear and she loves being held (“Hold you! Hold you!”). She is not a fan of baths, but she is a fan of yoga and cheese. Atta girl…

I’m still technically unemployed and sometimes when I think about it, I tense up out of stress and start internally panicking. “I need to find a job quickly so I can start making money! People think I’m lazy! I need to figure out where I’m going to live!” Being unemployed certainly isn’t ideal, but I want to make sure that whatever I do next is the right thing, you know? I’m so happy I’m able to take my time, keep soul-searching, and carve my path. My hope is to find a way to make an income while doing something that I love. What a concept, right?! It seems like so many people are unhappy with their jobs and that marrying the two (income + passion) isn’t possible. That’s what we’ve been taught. Work during the week, live on the weekends… Maybe I’m an idiot and should start applying to all jobs I can find on LinkedIn.com – but right now, I’m so enjoying this freedom and I’m crossing my fingers that the right thing will come along. I have so many ideas of what I could do, so I’m working on narrowing it all down. Time will tell…

So here I am, 30 years old, figuring out my life and trying to not to let the uncertainty overwhelm me. So many questions – so many options – so many paths I could take. …And then I get to play with Claire Bear and she wants me to make some ice cream for her. She sits in front of the ‘counter’ and stares at all of the options available and takes some time to decide. I feel it, Claire. Tough decisions. Remember when the hardest decision in our life was which flavor of ice cream we were going to devour? Maybe we need to look at our decisions as an adult in a different way. Follow the gut. 

Claire ended up choosing a chocolate cone, strawberry ice cream, and chocolate syrup. Solid combo. I could go on and on and on and on about the things I love about Claire and how much she is teaching me. One of the greatest gifts she is giving me is a return to childhood. Memories of my childhood are coming back and when I’m with her, I get to be a kid again. I keep wondering if what ‘I’m supposed to do‘ as a grownup has something to do with kids. Something’s telling me that would be a flavor of ice cream that I’d end up loving…

RETREAT

After spending a few days with Claire Bear, I headed to a cabin in Leavenworth for a “Silent Retreat.” I’ve looked into several silent retreats before, but they are very expensive and they are a bit more precise with their expectations (zero speaking, no writing, no music, 100% silence). I decided to have my own retreat and the main challenge was unplugging my phone for 3 days straight. Not even checking my messages at the end of each night.

If you’re reading this now: GO ON A RETREAT AND UNPLUG. Seriously. It is the best and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Do it. Do it. Do it.

The last time I was going to truly unplug was in Bali for 5 days. The first day I turned off my phone, well that’s when the earthquakes began, which started my fear and stopped my freedom. I think the last time I had unplugged for a significant amount of time was at Priest Lake, Summer of 2016. I was long overdue.

For my retreat, I brought a bag full of books, journals, delicious food, and tea. I turned my phone on airplane mode and began my new sense of freedom. I was still in the habit of checking my phone ever 5 minutes, so I put it in a drawer and committed to only using it for photos. Then it was 3 days of bliss.


The cabin is secluded on a snowy road, surrounded by trees, and has huge windows that allow a flood of natural light to shine in. My favorite part of the cabin is the fireplace – I had a natural fire burning almost the entire time – I truly don’t think I love anything more than the sound and smell of a real fire. 

Each day, I journaled and read for hours. But that’s something I frequently do. What was even better about having a retreat like this is you can do whatever the heck you want. Did I sing at the top of my lungs? Sure did. Did I have multiple dance parties? Without a doubt. Did I feel like a teenager without a care in the world? Thank goodness, yes. There was no one to judge and I could be completely myself. I remember thinking as I put on my striped sweatshirt while I was wearing my tie-dyed pants, “If I wore this in public, people would think I’m nuts!” But I didn’t care – they were mismatched, but comfy as hell. I could listen to whatever music, watch any movies, and eat whatever I wanted. So did I make pancakes for dinner? Yup.

The best part of a retreat like this is that you lose track of time. I remember feeling like my entire world in those moments was right in front of me. Only Me. Always Now. Complete Freedom.

There were a few times I alllllllmost turned my phone back on, though. I had been disconnected from ‘reality’ for a couple of days and for some silly reason I kept wondering if something was wrong. “What if something bad happened and no one is able to let me know?” I came so so close to connecting again, but then I told myself that if I got back into service, it would stop the intention of this retreat. I had set out to last until 5:55pm Monday night, and I reminded myself of this goal. Maybe something did happen, but it’s okay if I go one more day without knowing. Besides, there was a greater chance that all was fine in the outside world. So, not surprisingly, when I did finally turn my phone back on Monday night, all was good. There was no reason to worry.

I can’t express enough how good this was for my soul. Maybe I didn’t come out of it with a concise gameplan for my future, but I became completely centered and that’s even more important. I took the long way home (Highway 2 is so beautiful!!) and have been so calm and happy. Nothing can really bring me down at this point [knock on wood].

Even the past few days since I’ve returned from babysitting and my retreat, I’ve felt so…..at peace. I am now in California staying with my cousin and his family for a while. I can’t wait to see what pops up while I’m here. Going with the flow like usual and maintaining my sense of peace…and child-like imagination. 

We’re all dreamers… Sometimes we have ice cream to choose or bills to pay, but we can always return to our daydream. When Claire makes us coffee with her playset, she is truly, without a doubt, making coffee. Dozy Bear is as real to her as the string cheese she eats every day. Imagination is a lot more fun than reality, so why do we stop visiting Neverland when we get older? Who knows? Maybe things we imagine can one day show up in real life. 

Thank you, Claire, for inviting me back into my childhood. When I remember the world I created as a little girl, I feel all warm and fuzzy. Maybe I’m not a real-life mermaid, but when I snorkeled in Bali, I kept saying that I felt like one. When I was under water and swimming through the prettiest coral reef with rainbow fish, my imagination was right in front of me. If you take a few minutes now to be silent, think back to being a kid again and what you used to imagine – how does it make you feel?

So there it is, the cure. Time with kids and time to reconnect with your inner child. Life is meant to be fun and the world is our playground. Don’t get stuck in timeout before you’re out of time. 

We’re all kids at heart – anything is possible. If you don’t believe it, just ask a kiddo.

So…what’s your daydream?