Our earth and its infinite biological variations and geological formations in the finest hours.
What a year.
From Seattle to Kathmandu, from sunrise over snow-covered alpine peaks to sunset on tropical palm tree-lined beaches, from being homeless to owning the keys of my own home, from climate rallies to gratitude circles, and from earning just above minimal wage per hour to receiving infinite gratitude per second from fellow humans… twenty fifteen gave me the full spectrum of emotions, challenges, and from that, much growth.
I am grateful for all the people who came through in life, their gifts of patience and generosity, their lessons for and with me, and the opportunities to learn and do what I love, at home in the Pacific Northwest as well as overseas. Numerous new connections made, old connections strengthened, and more and more I feel connected to a global network of like-minded, forward-thinking, consciously-aware beings doing good in the world. I’ve come to realize this is such a solid and necessary state of mind to be in, especially as the internet exposes truths and sheds light onto more of the injustice and greed that has plagued our world and hidden in the dark for far too long. It is easy to become inundated by the wrongs and pockets of darkness. I speak directly to systemic racism, cruelty to wildlife and fellow humans, disregard for our soils and water, the never-ending pursuit of wealth and illusion of superficial happiness, the blatant disparity, and other ego-driven acts of selfishness. In this day and age, unless you are unplugged from the outside world (or only watch Fox news), to not be aware of these things is a personal choice, plain and simple. On the same side of the coin, to know AND not act is, in my opinion, a crime as severe as actions out of apathy and ignorance.
I moved to the Pacific Northwest for flowing water, for abundance of wild places, to discover like-minded community(ies), to continue refining what a low-impact, low-carbon lifestyle looks like for me, to (once again) uproot myself to establish a potential homebase in a region that I have been deeply fond of since my first visit as an adult in 2007. I feel pretty strongly about the progress I have made on all of those fronts and more. I owe it to many friends (you guys know who you are!), to working at REI, to the incredible community-driven project that is the Beacon Food Forest, and certainly to my family who have embraced my unconventional life path. Thank you.
It’s about time for that next leap. That next set of life challenges I am happily willing and ready to face for my own growth and positive impact on a larger scale. Working alongside the Conscious Impact crew and the community of Takure in Nepal in autumn reignited my love for international development projects and in serving others. The experience gave me the opportunity to not only visit a region of the world I had been dreaming of for years, it also provided me the perfect way to combine photography and videography to raise awareness, inspire action, and promote the desire for cross-culture interactions and need for collaborations beyond political boundaries. What a powerful combination. My time in Central America reaffirmed my desire as well as ability to combine travel, work, art, and play into a beautiful package, and what a fruitful few weeks those were. I got to trace back some of the steps I had taken when I lived and worked in Panama, and more specifically, in the indigenous Emberá village of Piriati Emberá, where I returned and spent valuable time with the family that essentially has taken me in as their own.
I wish to be clear and deliberate in what I intend to attract for 2016 and beyond. I can proudly and confidently say I have everything I need, to live, to travel, to recreate, to co-create, and be well. In this year I intend to see, feel, hear, and learn more of the world that we must touch and feel to truly know, to live minimally yet bring in abundance, to be more thankful for wellness and promote wellness, to continue standing and acting in solidarity with my brothers and sisters across the world who dedicate their hearts and bodies to the same fundamental moral values to one another and to mother gaia, and be an asset to humanity, whether through direct service or in leveraging the power of photography and storytelling, to raise awareness, to inspire action, and to critically question the norms that have been imposed to us subliminally and/or blatantly. I intend to tread lightly yet powerfully through all of these realms alongside people who uplift me as I uplift them. I desire to share the gift of life with humans who see the problems in the world not too large to fix but too obvious not to, who heal one another, and be in the presence of fellow beings also awestruck and marveled by the magic of nature, who will march in social and environmental rallies and sleep under the stars, and never forget that underneath all of us is the desire to be loved, acknowledged, and be good.
Let’s live the life we imagine.
Are you in?
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