“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” ~ Hans Christian Andersen

Hello friends!
One of my fellow bloggers that I’ve actually met in you know, real life, has nominated me for a few blogging awards! And since I dropped the ball on two previous ones by not posting them, I’m making sure I do this one right. However, I did ask her to break the rules and write me different questions. No, I’m not high maintenance. Yes, I like to make my own rules. So, many many thank you’s to Kate over at her amazing blog The Phoenixplains! Please do yourself a favor and visit her blog. Her writing is inspiring, her stories are fun and so relatable, and her photos are beautiful.

Ok, so here goes. I hope I’m doing this right…

The rules for the Sunshine Award are as follows:

Include the award Logo(s) in a post or in your blog.

  1. Answer 10 question about yourself. Thank you for writing me new questions! 
  2. Nominate 10 to 12 other fabulous bloggers. Eek! Do I know 10-12 other bloggers?? I’m kind of a loner over here…
  3. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blog, letting them know about the award. Whaty-what-what?? Ok, focus, Melanie.
  4. Share the love and link the person who nominated you. That’s the easy part! 🙂

The Questions: Ooh boy, these are good. 

What one ‘need’ and one ‘want’ will you strive to achieve in the next twelve months?

Need: I really don’t feel as though I ‘need’ anything in my life right now. I’m very content. 
Want: More travel this year. Short list as of today: Hawaii to see family for the holidays, quick weekend to Sweden to see Ulrika, El Salvador surf trip with Kaleo and the Osicki’s, and maybe a new place to discover! 

What three words would you use to describe the last three months of your life?

Happy, loving, fulfilling

What makes you weird/interesting/different?

Hmm, that’s a difficult one to answer myself. I think you would get a much better answer from K or one of my friends. 😉

If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?

If you would have asked me this question about twelve years ago, I would have said yes. But I’ve come to realize that every experience, every decision (whether good or bad), has brought me to this very moment in my life, and I am probably the happiest I’ve ever been. Everything in life is an opportunity to learn and grow. So, today, I say no. I wouldn’t change a thing. 

What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?

I try not to forget any small act of kindness that I’m shown. They are all appreciated! Recently, however, a young mother came up to me in the market and told me that her little daughter saw me in the produce section and said, ‘Wow, mommy, that’s a really pretty lady!’ and when she saw me again elsewhere in the store, said, ‘There she is! Can we tell her how pretty she is?’. She must have been 3, and it totally made my day. You know me, dressed in yoga clothes, messy pulled back hair, not feeling so ‘pretty’… It was really sweet.

If you were forced to eliminate every physical possession from your life with the exception of what could fit into a single backpack, what would you put in it?

Well, that depends on the circumstances. If we were in an emergency situation, I would have to bring my bug-out bag that Kaleo has put together for me. I can fit some clothes and other essentials in there and I’m good to go. 
Otherwise, I would bring my iPad/iPhone and charger so I could keep in touch with the world; my camera; passport; a couple of changes of clothes and toiletries; journal; wallet.. that’s about it. Wait, can I strap my yoga mat to my backpack??

What have you read online recently that inspired you?

Our President finally making his stance clear on supporting gay marriage. Even though it hurts my heart that it’s even an issue in 2012, it’s big steps like this that will pave the way for equal rights for all humans.  EVERYONE should have the right to be married. Period. 

If you could take a single photograph of your life, what would it look like?

Just one? How about a collage of travel, love, yoga, music, and loved ones. 

What are you most grateful for?

I am most grateful for the people in my life. My husband, my family, my friends. Each one gives me love and encouragement on my journey of being me. It’s so important to surround yourself with honest, loving, people who lift you up and reflect back to you what you shine towards them. Im very grateful for my peeps. 

What is the simplest truth you can express in words?

“Where there is love, there is life.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

OK, now to nominate the other bloggers….

1. Of course, The Phoenixplains, as I mentioned above. 🙂

2. Ruth Anne Photography: Ruthie is a dear friend of ours from Australia/Hawaii who is an A-maaazingly talented photographer, gorgeous fashionista, and just an all around bad-ass chick.

3. Julie Anne Art: She makes the cutest cards and has a lot of great DIY projects that I’m going to try someday. And her new bangs are adorable.

4. The Domestic Princess: Another great friend (in real life) who has had the most heart-touching journey with motherhood. From trying to conceive to giving birth to her beautiful baby boy who spent his first two months in the hospital… she courageously blogs about it all.

5. Green Bottles: I met Simi in downtown San Diego a few years back after a Pepper show I think. She told me her and her husband were preparing to embark on an open-ended journey around the world. How awesome is that?? Her blog documents the entire adventure. And yes, they are still going!

I’m going to leave it at 5 for now. Thanks to Kat for re-writing the questions, and being oh-so-patient with me. I’m not very savvy in the whole blogging world…

Enjoy this beautiful day!

Peace,
Melanie 


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“Thank you for believing in me before I believed in myself.” ~ Kobi Yamada

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the mommies out there! I had intended on getting this post out yesterday, and then… life happens. I ended up having an amazing day with Kaleo, watching Avengers, going for  a walk, and cooking dinner for Annie Pie for Mom’s day. All the moms in my life won’t be surprised that this is late. Heehee. That’s just how I roll sometimes. In fact, my mom hasn’t even received her gift yet, because Fedex won’t guarantee next day delivery to Kona. I know right?? The nerve.

I wanted to take a moment to honor and thank my mom for always being there for me, no matter what phase I was going through. I always danced to the beat of my own drum. Changed my name to Jellybean Purple, wore one pink sock and one purple sock, went through a tomboy phase, a rainbow phase, a spiky hair phase, a Madonna phase, finally embraced my upbringing and went through a major hippie phase, a rocker phase, a protest-everything phase, a forget-the-protests and just love everyone phase, a surfing everyday phase… and that was all before graduating high school. Whew.

Of course it took many years and lots of traveling to finally figure out who I am, and be comfortable with it. I have such wonderful parents that never left my side as I was figuring my shit out. So, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You. I Love you, Mom.

I’d also like to honor my stepmom, Renee. Renee has always been loving, kind, and straight up honest with me, and I love her for it. We have become great friends throughout the years and I’m very grateful.

I feel so blessed to have these women in my life. Kaleo and I were purchasing our mother’s day cards together and had to stop for a moment of gratitude at how many cards we were buying. I said, oh my gosh, babe. We are so lucky that we have so many moms to buy cards for! Mom, Renee, Darla, Nancy, Annie… So awesome.

So in honor of mother’s day, I wanted to post something from a blog I frequent called Positively Positive. It really hit home because my mom and K’s mom, Darla, were recently the caregivers to our sweet grandmothers before they passed. We consider our moms angels with more patience than I can even fathom.

 
The Found Essay: A Letter From a Mother to a Daughter

“My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.
If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago.” Just listen, please.
Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.
When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl? When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way. Remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair, and dealing with life’s issues every day.
The day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient, or arrogant.
Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.
And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked. When those days come, don’t feel sad—just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love.
I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you, my darling daughter.”

Hope everyone had a nice weekend! Here’s to a wonderfully positive and productive week ahead!

Peace,
Melanie 

Currently…
Watching: The new season of Mad Men. Hooked!
Reading: 2 translations of the Bhagavad Gita
Eating: Yummy lentils with veggies (recipe below)
Listening to: Hey Baby (New Rising Sun) – Jimi Hendrix
Loving: the weather in So Cal, it’s gorgeous!
Grateful for: yummy vegan dinners with my love

Lentils with veggies (no clever name, because it’s a made up recipe)
Organic lentils, rinsed and cooked (I cook the entire 1lb bag and then use them in different recipes throughout the week.)
Any veggies that are on hand. I usually use carrots, onion, celery, peppers (serano, jalapeno, sweet), etc.
Garlic, chopped
Olive Oil
Spices (whatever suits your taste: Sea salt, pepper, turmeric, coriander, dukkah, etc.)

Heat  olive oil in a pan and add garlic, onion, any any other veggies you are using. Once the veggies are beginning to soften, add spices. Add cooked lentils and drizzle a little olive oil over the top of everything. Cook on low/med while stirring until hot and mixed. Serve while hot.
(I apologize for not being precise with ingredients and measurements. That’s just how I cook… But it’s such a simple recipe that you will find your favorite version, guaranteed.)

We ALL matter.

Hello friends. It’s been so long that I don’t know where to begin.  Life has been incredible and I’ve had so many opportunities to love, learn, and live. Not a bad way to spend the days, in my opinion.

Lately I’ve been experiencing an overwhelming sense of Gratitude. If you know me, you might think this is nothing new. But the feeling seems to be amplified these days. Nothing huge has happened recently in my life, but the amplification seems to be arising from an acute awareness of life’s little gifts, and on the other hand, some of life’s challenges. Nothing directly related to me, but opportunities to be thankful nonetheless.

Yesterday was filled with emotion. I began my day with a yoga class on the beach for one of my dear friends who was getting married and wanted to start her day off right. What a brilliant way to begin your wedding day! I led a class for her and four other wonderful yoginis on Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. The sun was just peaking out so it wasn’t too hot and definitely not too cold. It was just right. The waves were crashing behind me and we had our little yoga spot in the sand all to ourselves. It was perfect. My message for the class was for her to enjoy every single moment of the day because once the wedding madness happens, it goes by so fast. Take each moment and savor it before it passes. I told her that everyone says your wedding day is supposed to be the best day of your life, but in my experience, it just keeps getting better and better from that day forward…

After the class, I came home and K and I walked down to the beach in front of our house where Junior Seau’s house is. There was a paddle out and a memorial on the Strand. Hundreds of surfers and an outrigger canoe were out at the break in front of his house. Hundreds of others were on the beach and on the Strand paying their respects and viewing the memorial. It was a beautiful gathering of supporters, many wearing #55 jerseys in his honor. Let me first say that I didn’t know Junior Seau, but we did meet him backstage at a Pepper show, where he humbly told the band how proud he was of them. He was such a kind man from my brief experience. But what really made me emotional was a news piece that quoted him recently as saying something like, ‘I’m not anybody anymore’. And yesterday on the Strand, I witnessed two women (maybe family members or friends) hugging and crying, and one said:

“He thought he didn’t matter anymore, and I hope he can see now how much he matters to so many people.”

I don’t think I will soon forget that moment. It’s a lesson for all of us. We ALL Matter. Even if sometimes we might feel alone, or insignificant. We all matter to someone, probably to more than we realize. And most importantly, we need to matter to ourselves. We need to treat ourselves with the respect and the love that we reserve for the people we care about the most in life. It has to start within.

Let’s take it a little further. We never know what someone else is going through at any given moment. A kind word, a smile, a helping hand, a hug. All of these small acts of kindness can have such a huge impact on someone. You never know how you can affect someone’s life in a big or small way, and kindness and letting someone know that they matter, might be just what they need at that moment.

Yesterday was just one day out of many that I was humbled by gratitude for everything in my life. I don’t want to take anything, or anyone, for granted. I want to show my loved ones, my friends, and others that they are all beautiful, important beings. I want to take the time to appreciate everything from the time I spend with my love, to the birds that wake us up in the morning, the friendships that make me smile, to the food I have to eat. Everything can be honored as a gift, even challenges we face that give us opportunities to grow and learn. Life is good.

~Peace
Melanie 

Currently…
Listening to: Sara Tavares – Balance
Watching: Dual Survivor (K’s favorite show right now…)
Eating: Homemade hummus (recipe below)
Loving: LIFE
Grateful for: Slow mornings with my love.

Cilantro Hummus
1 can of organic garbanzo beans (or 2 cups of soaked, boiled, dry chickpeas)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil (or to taste)
2 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
a handful of cilantro, chopped
sea salt to taste

Put all in a food processor and blend. I prefer to leave it chunky, so start slow and taste as you blend to desired consistency. I put this on some pita with roasted red peppers and baby spinach leaves then topped with other half of the pita. Cook for about 10 minutes (or until lightly crispy) at 350. It’s like a vegan quesadilla! Kind of. Much better, in my opinion. 😉