What. A. Year ! ! !
…And we didn’t even see it coming!
In the Fall of 2017 Gretchen and I moved from Portland, OR out to the Oregon Coast Range country for a short stint. We happily survived months of no water, no facilities, limited electricity, and no fridge. Talk about fun! But we had a new trailer (Big Betty) and a new puppy (Kona Rose)… so we didn’t mind (too much).
From this state of unsettled unknown’s 2018 came rolling in… No real plans were made by us. We’d already taken the biggest leap of our relationship. We were smack dab in the middle of adventure.
I set one personal resolution to stay consistent with bi-weekly blogs (of which this is the final one of! Made it. Booyah!!!) and to enhance my writing skills by hiring a writing coach. Shoutout Christi Krug!
January of 2018 was a haze. My brain had nothing to cling to. So I began to let myself rest in my heart.
“I have love” I’d remind myself then look at Gretchen and find an etch of gratitude for her willingness to just up and move to the country without a solid concrete plan of how we were going to live.
We were LIVING an ADVENTURE!
January 2018 came barreling through first with colds that leveled G for one week, then me the next. BUT, during this week, I got a random email from a friend in Cannon Beach, OR who had heard through the grapevine (my mom) that Gretchen and I were DREAMING of a cute, cozy, Cannon Beach cabin. Huge emphasis on DREAMING.
I sat head tilted back with snotty frustration, gnarly kleenexes strewn about my lap, annoyed to even be having a cold, perusing this random email that had a direct link to a newly for sale cabin. Opening the photo’s and swiping to the third shot of this magical cabin I said, “Holy shit G. You have got to see this!” and off went the forwarded email.
G opened the email quickly and stopped on the same third photo, “This. Is. Amazing! This is cuter than we dreamed of!”
We looked at each other. G’s eyes were wide with awe. My face felt stretched the same.
The next morning we drove to Cannon Beach. G scooted me into the passenger seat of the car, Nyquil in one hand, tissues in the other, head tilted down from exhaustion, but heart full of hope and possibliity…
We pulled into the neighborhood where the newly ‘For Sale’ cabin sat.
“I’ve never seen this cabin before!” I said. Acknowledging the years of my childhood passing by to friends homes in the same neighborhood, and never ever, not once, noticing this cabin.
G stayed silent.
“It’s beautiful!” I chimed to the air as G pulled into the driveway.
We jumped out of the car and I smelled the same air that had enveloped all of my childhood years. Pine, Fir, Spruce, Cedar, wet leaves, and fertile soil then the faint sound of waves crashing in the background with a stir of coastal wind ready to up and roar at any moment.
By the next week, we made an offer. I fretted as a first time home buyer for the next 30 days through inspections, paperwork, bank dealings, and our biggest snow storm of 2018 rolling through on closing day!
It was during this ‘waiting period’ that a dear friend reminded me,
“Remember La to think about ALL the things that could go RIGHT!”
It was the same sentiment that another old friend had encouraged me to embody years prior…
“Wouldn’t it be great if…”
To end that sentence with all the great possiblities that could come through new opportunities instead of the shanks of my old fears turning me towards everything that could go wrong.
So I practiced, every day… I imagined my feet in the sand on the beach. I’d pass through to the Post Office in the center of town. I’d put myself in my car on my five minute “commute” to work…
By February 21, 2018, G and I had our very own cozy Cannon Beach cabin!
The next months brought us into spending more time at the beach, preparing the cabin for some major fixing, commuting back to the country and downtown Portland weekly, heading to Oahu for a mini vacay of “relaxation” full of convergences, spending more time with coastal friends/family, and then getting recommended a fun book to read because you know, I’m into reading and writing and creating dreams into reality.
The book that landed in my hands was from my dear friend Alexa!
Lawn Boy turned out to be one of the funniest representations of living a life of fate, but interweaving the creation of one’s destiny, to find and really truly accept the wonders of these interesting, odd, lives we live and create!
I’d spent a few years writing a few of my own books diligently, learning more about functional fitness, deeply investing myself in meditation, visualization, breathwork, programming my days for Flow and also teetering on the edge of where my next landing pad might be. My blog post How to Do the Hard Things describes this a bit more detailed.
It was after reading Lawn Boy that I really decided to take my new fate into my own hands. I wanted to share all the experience and skills that I’d gained through the fitness industry in Portland, OR with as many coastal locals, friends, and family that I possibly could. I wanted an ability to coach extended friends and clients remotely through the internet. I also wanted to wear sweats and shorts to work. Bonus! And, I wanted to be in charge of cleaning my own place. Double Bonus!! With the added flexiblity of being able to work from the beach, the country, the city, or while travelling. Triple Bonus!!!
What sprung out of these feelings? The idea of my own gym, my own training studio! A place I could sit, talk, move, and help others design and actualize their own dream lives right smack dab in the middle of reality.
“I can do this…” I thought sitting with tears streaming down my face during the final pages of Lawn Boy.
So the next day I texted my step-dad Kevin and asked the question, “Are there any of those big industrial garages open anywhere in Cannon Beach?”
He texted back right away, “I can check and see, but those are always full, and they’re always on a 1-2 year waitlist.”
“Ok!” I said sitting in a space of knowing that if this was meant to happen, the Universe would do the rest of the work. I’d spent the previous few years, forcing a few of my ideas into fruition and learning that if something takes too much force, it will always take that amount of force, and muscling something into reality is EXHAUSTING (unless you really really passionately enjoy the process!!!) And also somewhat heartbreaking at times if you’re reliving old stories from the past. Ahem, ya, me… Because that’s how we heal all that old stuff riiiiiiight!?
This is how we move on. This is how we grow. This is how we heal. We say YES to the big things that happen in our lives. The things we never saw coming. The things that are giant surprises.
My step-dad Kevin called me five days later, “Holy shit!” he said, instead of hello. Short of breath and full of excitement he continued, “You’ll never believe what just happened!”
I sat a little panicked on the other end, my thoughts dwindling to the worst of “what could’ve happened”… I stayed quiet not wanting to assume anything aloud because Kevin only calls when something is a BIG DEAL.
“Someone just came into the office and put their 30-day notice in for one of the garages and YOU are first on the list to get it!” he said.
I felt my eyes widen, What? I asked on the inside. “Really!?” was all I could mutter.
Kev continued describing the space as I could hear my mom giggling in the background at the amazingness of all these things happening in less than one week!
I signed lease papers for the garage in June of 2018, received my official Cannon Beach Business license in July of 2018, spent all of August cleaning, painting, ordering equipment and cleaning some more, then held the GRAND OPENING for my very own gym and private training studio in September of 2018!!!
One of the things I’d forgotten during the initial months in 2013 when I sat down every day, for hours, to write, to find myself, to create a book, that after the day of writing was over I’d then sit and relax with a new notebook and start designing my very own gym.
I had written out all the prices of equipment. I’d found the best places to order equipment from. I knew the exact pieces that I needed to get rolling with the movement and exercises that were vital to coaching others. So, when the opportunity came to actually open a gym, I WAS READY!!!
It was easy to pull the trigger on this space. It was easy to order equipment, design the layout, and spontaneously find a cedar slab that has now turned into my FAMOUS magical desk. It was easy to ask for and accept help from my family to get the place set up.
IT WAS EASY.
And that’s what I’d like to leave this year highlighted on. E.A.S.Y. Otherwise known as grace, or flow, or ease…
Sometimes, I have a hard time with hearing people say, “Hard Work Pays Off…” or “Put in the Work” or “Nothing happens unless you work”…
For me, “Work” has always looked like dread. That 9-5 slog doing all the things you don’t wanna do, day after day, with no end in sight, ugh! So I have very meticulously tried to find ways, all throughout my life, to only “work” on things that bring me joy, feel joyous, or are creating joy!
That’s a HUGE feat friends.
Discovering what brings me joy took “work”.
Expressing my joy took “work”.
Gretchen often says to me, “You put in the work.” And then I look at her, wondering what she’s talking about. She continues, “Everything you do, all day, year after year, is about healing, it’s about joy, it’s about living your life to the fullest! That’s the work!”
Creating a new definition of “work” for myself took, yep, work! Diligence, Commitment, Persistence, Focus and then learning the act of Surrender to let it all go and see what shows up, see what is created. Yep! More Work! The work of Patience.
Sounds easy, but learning how to be patient, learning how to surrender, wooeee that right there is some W – E – R – K, Werk!!
As I honed in on the feelings of joy, the things that felt natural and easy, the parts of my life that I love to celebrate and enjoy, something very interesting happened without even knowing…
The “work” transformed into JOY.
The trick in allowing more Joy into my life? Working on it.
You know what else people say?
“Do What You Love”
So, while the work was hard, and felt like “work” a lot of the time, my intentions were always aimed at LOVE.
And it’s tattooed on my wrist! D W L
It also means, Divine White Light, Spirit, Universe, BELIEVE…. Fremember!!!
This year has been all about doing the work to allow more joy into my life. For, with, and through LOVE.
“We need only dream courageously, and the world will arrange itself in accordance with our vision.”
-Alberto Villoldo, PhD
This Love, for the ones I Love, with the ones I Love, near the ones I Love, surrounded by a place and a people that I Love has spun up SO MUCH LOVE in my life Right Now that it’s probably going to take me another several years to actually feel it all and process it all.
Cannon Beach is Love. This is Love. This is Love in Action. For all of us.
Some of my new favorite things that have been created this year, that I never even knew were possibilities in 2017…
Taking Kona for walks in our new Cannon Beach neighborhood.
Sitting with clients and friends at the magical cedar desk in my very own Gym/Private Training Studio.
Getting dressed up, going out to dinner in my childhood hometown, with my sweetheart Gigi.
Hosting our very first Thanksgiving in our cozy Cannon Beach Cabin #KaiLani.
Spending holidays with family and trying to cultivate serene connection filled moments, which seem to always get blasted through with the chaos of people and love and so much joy because our family is so big and awesome now!
Taking the time to appreciate nature and what life has given me!
Honoring my skills and experience to create the best things I can, the best moments I can, the best spaces I can.
Following through on goals and letting the magic happen in the space inbetween!
And the magic, the wonder, the surprises of Life just keep happening! It really does just continue to get better and better!
Gretchen, Kona Rose and I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year and a cheers to continuing to lean into the Adventure of Life in 2019! May all of your Dreams continue to come true! And may all of your work inbetween the fruition be done with love, with joy, and with gratitude!
“Stars burn clear all night. Do that yourself, and a spring will rise in the dark with water your deepest thirst is for.”