Wow. So much is happening right now but at the same time, everything is at peace. I feel really full these days, as if all the things I aspired toward are manifesting themselves in my life in this moment.
For one, I am a music educator at a public school in the town that I love. Just today, I had the children sing an Imagine Dragons song and was able to discuss the themes that come up in the lyrics of the song. I pointed them to an old Cherokee story about the light wolf and the dark wolf within all of us. In the midst of a bustling classroom full of personality, it is impossible to say that an impact was made on every student... but the way that some or even most of my students engaged in the story and showed their interest through eye contact and silence is enough of a reward to last a lifetime. Education is a pure joy, and I am lucky to be able to share with my students things like perspective, experience, and how we view this world and each of its circumstances. Today was an excellent day, and its not even through!
On the other hand, I am in works to record my EP at Lakehouse Recording Studious this upcoming month and for that I am super grateful. To be in a band with those I call friends is the ultimate collaboration, because it is done in good company and in the arts. There's nothing quite like finding a group of individuals you can vibe with as a whole and express yourself comfortably within, and so if any of you are reading this - thank you for providing me with that space to grow. I admire each of you for your individual talent and willingness to work alongside me.
In addition to working on this record, I have been picking up the guitar more and more. Words are flowing, melodies are coming, and I think I can finally thank my endless addiction to pop music in the 90s for allowing me to know a catchy hook when I create it. After this EP's release, I am sure that I will make an effort to get some of these songs available to those of you who might like to give it a listen. It can only get better from here.
Today marks my sixteenth day on a cleanse with Integrative Wellness Group located right in Belmar. Best decision I've made so far this year. Starting the year off right with a good ole cleanse of GI tract and liver! (TMI) But seriously, I feel incredible. I've upped my hot yoga and cooking skills on this one... and I must say - it definitely helps having a partner who gets just as excited about creating detoxing, health conscious recipes as I do. Someone who appreciates the spirit of nature and feels as strongly as I do about living a life in conjunction with our ancestors... just getting back to the basics. I also feel like this relationship of ours is an overt example that the law of attraction and the universe is working for us, so long as we have the courage to ask for what we need and put in the work to better our own selves regularly. As a member of an exemplary community of enlightened and self aware professionals, he only encourages any idea or passion I so choose, and for that I am very lucky.
I've been doing a lot of reading and research lately, a lot of "following" and "liking" if you will. I'm slightly obsessed with organic bloggers and healthy happy individuals sharing their light (even if it is just on social media). Some favorites of mine are @yoga_girl and @organic_olivia. Olivia in particular has an impressive knowledge about the body, incorporating TCM and her own experiences into designing parasite cleansing kits and sharing her knowledge via her own website. TCM is something I have taken a huge interest in as well. I was slowly and surely weaning myself from animal protein this fall, but as winter came I found that my hands and feet just weren't warming up the way they should. I felt bad for not being a good vegan and desiring some warmth. I tried ginger teas and soups, lots of yams, but during my most recent cleanse I have again began using the cleanest, grass fed and finished meats in a sparing way to compliment all of the fruit and vegetables I have come to love. Have you ever read about the benefits of bone broth? I'm a believer! And as Olivia, and plenty others can tell you... each of our bodies needs different things to function optimally. At the end of the day, our ancestors came from different regions where diet plays a huge role in culture, and so in turn their bodies must evolve to suit their own needs within their environment. At least that is my current view, but as always, with trial and error, research and experience, everything I know and practice today is subject to change.
What else?.... I'm going to be 26 in a couple of months and I think my first trip to California is on the horizon. Happy birthday to me! My only fear is my unwillingness to get back on the plane and come back to my beautiful life here in New Jersey. I think my heart has always pulled me west and its inevitable that I fall in love when I see it for myself :) Anyway, here are some really great reads that I have read and/or shared or been shown by those closest to me recently:
Space, Time, and Self by Pearson
The Beauty Detox by Kimberly Snyder
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
Also here is a link to the Cherokee story I discussed with my class today:
I always say I won't wait long to write again, but the truth is that I get swept up in the joy and chaos that is life, and so I never know when I'll be compelled again to share but I hope its sooner than later! Happy belated New Year, make it one to count!