doing what you love + food + travel
doing what you love + food + travel
This week an old love of mine snuck itself back into my line of sight. Photography, in particular – documentary photography.
It was while snooping through op shops and garage sales that I nabbed a Polaroid camera ($10) and two great Time books on documentary photography and light and film ($3 each). I love reusing objects that still have oodles of life, and getting a bargain is close to my heart at the moment. So it was win, win all round.
And it got me to thinking……why did this fabulous hobby and passion of mine (which brought me a lot of joy) ever leave my line of sight? How do we forget what we love, little pockets of hobbies – passions tucked away. Archived, but for what? A rainy day, for later, for when theres more time? Tucked away because they’re silly little frivolities, we run out of time, other things become more important?
I reckon the universe is full of people that have fallen out of love with their hobbies + passions. Full. Where are you at:
To be honest I’ve spent ALOT of time hanging out at two, three and four. And am just starting to breathe in one. So take heart, all the stages are natural and normal and part of a lot of peoples experience.
So the questions is, did you love doing something when you were younger that you left behind? When you were a junior, teenager, young adult. What was it, how did it make you feel, how did it make you turn up to the world?
Oh and if you happen to have a wee voice that natters “don’t be so ridiculous, you were 12 the last time you sang in a choir, pirouetted, painted, baked, road a horse, jazz handed your way through a routine, ran across fields with a compass, collected stamps, listened to bird calls, played tennis etc. Don’t listen to it. Just don’t! That voice would be most happiest if you were locked in a dungeon with some cheese, crackers and water. It is not interested in you shining.
So take a trip down memory lane, ask old friends, family, look at old photos………..what were the things you used to love doing that brought you a big fat juicy smile. You don’t have to do anything straight away with what comes up – what you remember………..the first step is just connecting back in to what you love.
I’d love to hear whats in your archive of passions + hobbies.
Truth be told I’ve been trying to get my mojo to sing loud and proud for an age, to middling success.
To get things hip hop moving along I spent a couple of days at the first ever Blogcademy in New York city. It was hands down one of the best things I’ve done to move my ideas forward in a really long time. The BEST. I think I may have a choir of mojo about to sing Hellalujah. It got me thinking about how we get our mojo’s to sing…..I’ve jotted down some ideas at the bottom of this post if your needing a wriggle on.
Two gloriously affirming days hanging out with 29 other fabulous bloggers at the direction of three superstars of the blogosphere (and all things individual expression) Gala Darling, Nubby Twiglet and Kat Williams. And lets not forget the superstar of photography Lisa Devlin.
I was plunk in the middle of a
master mistress class and it was amazeballs!
The alchemy of hustle is all about living your joy and passion on your own terms and these women were rocking right out on that, they are alchemical hustlers in the truest sense of the title. They are tap dancing on the head of their passionate reason for being, and it is a glorious site to behold*. Unabashed, unadulterated full expression of self with the added bonus of making a very successful living from it. Is there no other holier grail than that? Well for me there’s not, its my life’s work.
The workshops style and delivery were perfect for the way I learn. Informal, packed with awesome content (from lessons learnt, tips, the basics, what works, what doesn’t etc) and with loads of space for Q&A. I came away learning SO MUCH about all things blogging and how to make my blog fabulous. I am inspired with a game plan = ignited. And unexpectedly I learnt about the power of really living my mojo, singing from my own voice full time (not part). Over two days I soaked up the authentic voices of our teachers and it unconsciously washed over me and settled into my psyche. Seeing somebody else rocking it out prompts your subconscious to say “hey, why not join in”?
The other surprise gem has come from the community that has sprung to life and that is continuing to grow. A big nugget shared was the power of community, collaboration and support and the life these bring to our work, ideas, inspiration and selves. It’s the relationships that make the difference. I am loving being a part of this community.
So if you’d like to get your mojo singing ‘Hell to the Yeah’ you could try a few of these:
What gets your mojo singing loud and proud?
*My description of these fabulous woman may to some sound a tad gushy, it is not. I write with authenticity and honesty on the things and people that genuinely inspire and motivate me (and shining a flood light on powerful woman is a good thing, I feel). Seeing individuals doing their thing/joy and being truly themselves is powerful, it is a massive agitator of change and enhancer of mojo happiness. I found that out this weekend in bucket loads.
I’m writing this in the very plush bar at the hotel I’m staying at near LAX airport. Tomorrow I fly to New York. I can’t tell you how excited I am, I have wanted to go to New York for an age.
Today, after having spent 3 days in San Francisco I drove to LA. What was to be a leisurely six hour haul down the freeway turned into about 8.5 hours, I won’t go into details………but lets just say that LA’s parting gift to me was a slow trawl of traffic. I multi tasked and ate my dinner (a fabulous kale salad and a rosemary breast of chicken bought from a health food supermarket). It was a SLOW trawl, chewing and steering was very doable.
I’m a little side swiped that 21 days have passed, and in the same breath I’m not. It’s been an interesting journey, and I have more to write on some of the fabulous gems of people and places that I stumbled upon. And also of the interesting process of travel, and of me in travel…..and what I stumbled upon in myself, and still am.
I spent my 21 days checking out local eateries, eating delicious food (predominately seafood) drinking fabulous wines and doing a smidgin of site seeing …..
LA – interesting
Las Vegas – interesting and educational, I wrote about that here, including a big photo gallery
Santa Barbara – an idyllic town….and I had an interesting chat over dinner (in a seafood shack on a pier) with Israel about Aristotle…..
San Luis Obispo – Caitlin, Dylan, Kaleigh I had the BEST time with you’s all, I won’t forget it! You redeemed my faith in America. Truly.
Big Sur – spectacular, though I was a little hungover for the drive….
Carmel by the Sea – the houses don’t have numbers and theres no traffic lights! Oh and great wine tasting….and the seafood = awesome!
Monterey – the most ethereal and magical neon treats from the sea at the Aquarium
Santa Cruz – a tasty mexican meal washed down by a great margarita
Sonoma – awesome township, wines/tastings and fabulous food, a great night out with a crew from boston……too much bubbles…..
Healdsburg - awesome wines and food, a little travel/battle weary……
San Francisco – interesting and REALLY expensive. highlight was stumbling upon a blues bar and dancing with locals into the wee hours….
to be driven
and to respond to your own voice*
your needs, calling, longings….
she can be a challenging road
maybe more so because….
theres not that many companions on it when you skip jump out of the well trodden lane
not so many in their volume
confirming that your choice is okay
that you’re okay,
but it’s the right road (well, for me)
it feels a bit unsure at times, quite a bit
and theres much stumbling
and wobbly wheels in amongst the drive forward
but theres a drive and the direction is north
and I’m happy with that
* your own………maybe at first it doesn’t sound like your own voice
it calls into attention your uncomfortableness
the agitation of your despondency
rubbing away like salt in a paper cut
uncomfortable, but not unbearable
so you can have a conversation for awhile
maybe longer than you want, than you need……….change delayed
change is such an oxymoron
patient as a doting grandparent
and as ready as a raging bull
On day 13 of my 30 days in America I find myself having lunch in Sonoma deciding how to spend the next week mooching through both Sonoma and Napa wine regions. After my visit to the info centre I was overwhelmed with options…….there are SO many vineyards, hotels and spas!
To move through the overwhelm I decided on a glass of local Chardonnay and some prawns…….and am now ensconced in a LOVELY hotel room (also muchos affordable). And shortly am off to taste wines…..
For those of you that don’t know me well, I think I’m entering the holy grail of weeks……where I shall roll around in mud like a pig with a large grin on my face at all times. Nothing to me is more relaxing and brings more joy than good food and wine and I am very excited to be here!
No disrespect to LA, Las Vegas, Santa Barbara, Saint Luis Obispo, Big Sur, Carmel by the Sea, Monterey or Santa Cruz……but I’ve found my place of happy on this trip. Well lets not get ahead of myself, theres still New York for nine days coming up which may have me waxing lyrical, but right now I can’t see anything topping this.
See you on the other side.
This post was written three days ago…..
As I write, I am shooting through clouds on my way to Los Angeles. I am four hours and forty minutes away from touching LAX tarmac and travelling for 30 days in America. For the next three weeks I’m road tripping through California then shooting over to the east coast and living in New York for nine days. Excited I am.
Seven weeks ago I decided to give up the lease on my flat (of five years that I adored) leave my routine and comfort zone and go on an adventure.
The plan was to submerge myself in an exotic voyage, a joyful messy mash up of difference. Submerged in otherness. India fitted the bill perfectly except for the wee minor detail that I can’t eat a lot of lentils, rice, gluten and dairy. So my 90 day voyage of discovery in Asia became 30 days in America. I laugh too.
I cannot tell you how hard it was to hand in my lease. I am serenely joyous with my decision now, but in the lead up I was pacing the outer margins of my courage, and then some.
You know when you can have too much of a good thing, when the routine is so deeply engraved that change has a long way to surface. That was me. I realised that if I didn’t cut the ties, change it up and leave my safety blanket I would more than likely wake up in five years time and very little would have changed. That thought alone pushed me through a canyon of unexpected fear.
The propeller for all this change didn’t spontaneously manifest over night, I had been nursing my levels of discontent for quite awhile. Simply put, when I’m about to pop my clogs I want to know I lived a life of joy doing what I love. At forty I haven’t done that yet so I thought I’d give it a go.
In my trip I’ve created open space away from what I know, outside of routine to connect to my joy’s of creating, writing, travel and food.
I’m going to be blogging about my travels if you’d like to come along for the ride a little…..
I found myself learning something new tonight. And it was FUN.
At first I stumbled with clumsy fingers and an out of tune brain. I felt like a fish in roller skates. Progress was slow but leapt to a dazzling pace after encouragement and guidance from our fabulous teacher.
I’m working with a bunch of great peeps at the mo and I joined in on their monthly craft night, where the talented Genevieve teaches all who are interested how to crochet. Yes you heard right, crochet. In a pub. Balls of yarn, hooks and budding crafty enthusiasm nestled in amongst pints, hot chips and great banter.
I managed to master single stitch. Okay master could be seen as a slight embellishment, but Im proud of my wee length of string. I shall take on a new stitch next month.
In the blink of an eye I went from not knowing how to do something. To knowing. I went from ‘this is really hard’ to ‘this is fun and easy’. And in addition to the fun and connection, I got a timely reminder about the incredible capacity we each hold to try and learn things we don’t think we can do. Okay so it was crochet, not open heart surgery…..but me thinks the principle holds true for pretty much anything.
This weekend I had a food intolerance test. In hindsight I could have done with it twenty five years ago…..but better late than never.
The results confirmed I have a strong level of intolerance to gluten and cows milk (wowsers). A medium to strong level of intolerance to eggs (I LOVE eggs). And a mild level of intolerance to (wait for it theres a list) rice, wheat, durum wheat, rye, oats, corn, legumes, almonds, peanuts, capsicum, soyabean and last but not least ginger (WTF with ginger?). It explains alot and none of it really shocked me (outside of the ginger).
For me food is an inexplicable source of personal joy. And ironically it has the ability to bring me to my knees with searing discomfort.
I have a history starting in my early teens with food intolerances and severe reactions. And when its not SHOUT aloud baseball bat to the guts material its the even worse scenario…..a tolerant existence of absorbed dysfunction. Where you get so use to feeling slightly off that you forget what great feels like….where not firing on all four cylinders becomes the norm. If I don’t eat really healthily and consistently on a daily basis I feel like I’ve gone ten rounds with Tyson (back in his prime).
In a week or so I will start a six week detox to restore my guts health and I will eliminate dairy, gluten and eggs from my diet for three months. I will also get my gall bladder and thyroid checked out.
The funny thing is I’ve been here before. I’ve detoxed, eliminated and reintroduced foods…..and eaten so healthily I squeaked when I walked. I felt INCREDIBLE and invincible and on top of the world. Unfortunately I’ve found it really hard to keep up the consistency, and I fall off the wagon and back into average eating. The test has brought proof, I know my bodies should be enough…..but its proof and fact. And that helps.
And so it begins.
I found this piece of writing by Marianne Williamson (excerpt from her book The Gift of Change). I’ve had it tacked to the side of my fridge for years though haven’t read it for an age. After my post about the challenge of change I found myself looking for it. Randomly. And bingo it delivered the goods, just what I needed to read. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
“It isn’t easy giving birth to our spiritual potential. Spiritual labour can be very arduous – one holy instant at a time when we give it up, surrender, soften, don’t care if we’re right, forego our impatience, detach from the opinions and prizes of the world, and rest in the arms of God. But the end result is the love of our lives. We begin to feel free at last of past hurts, able to fearlessly love again. We begin to exhibit the maturity and strength that were lacking in our personalities before. A new energy emanates from who we are, and others can see it too.
All of this is very simple, which is not to say its easy. The spiritual path is not a matter of growing more metaphysically complicated; it’s a process where we actually grow simpler and simpler, as we apply certain basic principles to everything we go through. We don’t learn love, which is already etched on our hearts; we do, however, begin to unlearn fear. And with every change we make from blame to blessing, we pierce the veil of illusion that separates us from the world we want“.
Before jumping out of bed this morning I’ve been giving my mind and spirit muscles a wee stretch. You know that big long satisfying stretch you do to shake off sleep, that transforms you to ‘awake’ and on? Well this is kind of similar though it looks to shake off/look at the ‘something’ thats not sitting right, thats creating a bit of drag in your slip stream.
I woke up this morning with a hangover from the weekend, actually from the last week or two. A hangover of can I do this, can I consistently turn up to the change I want to create…..can I create and live my vision? Some days I run at my goals/dream/vision with the determination and power of an Olympic athlete. Others I bring the gusto of a pyjama wearing, dvd watching, snack eating, newspaper reading……..aged care resident. The divide between the two is Grand Canyon in proportion with Miss Consistency a no show. Well I lie, I consistently morph between vibrancy and lethargy. Yes I consistently do that. And to be honest lethargy is the clear contender for most tickets sold.
I have grand plans/vision. They are sprawled before me out on the lawn like a bountiful picnic.
My vision includes living my joy – doing more of the things I love, being with love and in love, turning up to the world with humour. Simply – abundant love, joy and laughter. And yes I’ve had a wee nibble but theres been no paper plate on my lap groaning under the weight of potatoe salad, fresh bread, ham and mustard. There is alot of untrodden green lawn between me and the bounty. And possibly less than I realise (but thats another post).
This past weekend I’ve been a bit fluey so one could excuse recluse with a side order of lethargic. But today I’ve woken up with the realisation formed from the last couple of weeks – the old pattern, routine and behaviours don’t fit anymore. Dammit, but more importantly yay! Now I’ve known for an age they didn’t fit. I’ve known in my mind – logically but was still able to turn off logic, recline and forget when I so chose. But this weekend my body, spirit and soul got it and theres no going back when you hit the trifecta.
You know when you’ve grown out of something, exhausted the joy? When your needs are not being met. What used to be a wonderful treasure trove of retreat and security is no longer, you keep on doing it but it doesn’t provide the hit it once use to. Instead, when your in the old behaviour / action your present to what your not living, what your not allowing in. You have big black rimmed magnifying glasses on with laser beam awareness flooding out through the lenses. You don’t choose to wear them but you find them on your face and there near impossible to get off.
The comfy nooks and crannies of retreat from your authentic self no longer are comfy, they’re more like pointy jagged rocks (not a place you want to spend time in). Well I’m there. And I know I’m joined by half of the global population, I am not special in my experience of this. Its called being human and being at the coal face of change.
And I love it by the way – the power of transformation and the joyful gifts it can deliver. I clicked recently that it is not ourselves (true self) that we seek to transform, we are perfectly imperfect. It is the adapted selves and their behaviours and the solicitous affairs they hold with doubt, limitations and blocks. Well, thats where the light of change is focussed for me.
Stretch over, faith and hope restored. Nothing like a wee bit of writing aka distance to give me perspective. The distance reminds me to take it all lightly and with humour, I am but a grain of sand in this cosmos. I have two arms, two legs, health, shelter, food, family and friends. All is good. I wanted to share though because I reckon loads of people could relate in some way. And thats the point of this post for me, to remind myself that ‘this’ isn’t about me, I am no different to anybody else. I do not ‘have’ something that is incurable and immovable, I am human and this is change. And getting on with the business of it is all thats required. With a truck load of laughter, compassion, love and delicious food of course.
I would love to hear your stories of change. Of a new energy your creating into being in your life………do share.