I stood atop Japan’s venerable Mount Fuji, looking down at the mountain I’d just summited. I was strong, healthy, and whole. There were no sounds, only silence; that silence contained thunderous emotion.
It is a Japanese tradition to climb Mt. Fuji after a significant life accomplishment. Mine would be overcoming the elusive pain I’ve felt in my body for the last several years in my back and hips.
With my eyes closed during my morning meditation, tears rolled down my face. This wasn’t the first time I’d cried when envisioning my life in three years.
In a sense, the pain has taken away my freedom within my body. But it hasn’t taken my freedom of thought, my freedom of choice, nor my freedom to see each day as a gift. …
At about 9 am, I looked into the sky and noticed the moon was still visible and unusually massive as if it was hanging by strings attached to the heavens.
I thought to myself, how can we not believe in magic, a connection between our spirit and the universe, or even something more extraordinary when the moon floats over our daily lives?
It’s unfathomable to consider the greater system we’re a part of because most of the time, it’s utterly perplexing just being human. Worlds as complex as those above exist within each of us.
But there’s so much more to our existence; looking at the pale and barren moon is a beautiful reminder of this. We can break through the veil of our earthly domain and see something that’s a part of our world but not, akin to the human spirit. …
I heard about this Warrior Poet;
He moves through life with grace.
He acts upon his intuition,
Peace commands his face.
It may appear he doesn’t feel,
No outward love of life,
Transcendent highs or wicked lows,
No single trace of strife.
Beneath that stoic countenance,
A world one cannot see,
This type of force, a gale wind,
Contained in energy.
It is the sky, it is the earth, it is the early morning moon,
It is the mountains, drops of rain, a subtle hearty tune. …
I don’t usually look back at what I’ve written in my journal. As I was about to turn the page before going to sleep, my eyes caught a glimpse of what I’d written that morning.
Writing down the above is a relatively new practice I’ve incorporated into my morning routine. While it does help set an intention for the day, I didn’t realize how powerful it would be to look back at what I’d written once the day was done.
I got two out of three essential tasks done, and most of the rest. I guess I couldn’t finish the job. …
When we share what we love with others, we’re planting seeds of joy. It’s part of the gift of being alive to make somebody feel something, be it through the delicious taste of the food we share, or by passing down the expertise honed from years in the kitchen.
This transfer of kitchen prowess does more than give another human being practical life skills. It creates a bond between people that doesn’t stop with just them.
It is joyfully passed from then on like a binding light to all who share in the connection of a quality meal. …
I feel the world within me.
Old-growth trees deeply rooted in the past,
They tell the story of the earth,
Scars now seen are ones that last.
Beautiful, brown, intricate bark, like skin it’s worn like armor;
Yet underneath that outer shell, reflective eyes portray the heart.
Heart of a tree that grows each day,
You look the same, they’ll want to say.
But they don’t know the winds of change,
That sway my branches, rearrange;
The path that once I thought I knew,
That runs down deep where once I grew.
I grabbed ahold of earth so tight,
Couldn’t let go, took all my might,
To realize the strength it takes,
Yet freedom lies where our past breaks. …
Winter in Malibu, California, is a magical time of year. As I step outside in the early morning, I take an inhale of the salty, crisp air. This heals more than just my physical body. A breath of air nourishes my mind with energy and life. A breath of air fills my heart with the memories of being a kid.
When I drive along the Pacific Ocean, I savor the scene of the winter sun dissolving beyond the horizon. The sky takes on an otherworldly glow and casts a dark orange shade on the glassy water. …
I stood in the pouring rain, high up in the mountains of Washington’s Olympic National Park. I listened to the calming sounds of the earth in motion; dark rain clouds slowly passed over an icy blue lake down below.
A couple of hours before, I stood on the edge of the lake and watched the rain pierce the water’s crest. Now, I felt like a scout in one of my favorite historical novels, Shogun. My spirit possessed the same peaceful energy as the clouds which enveloped the evergreen mountains.
I thought about the year and the decisions that brought me to this point. I thought about how I’ve grown into the person that I am. …
Le Pays Basque is a laid-back part of the world where the smell of the ocean and fresh morning pastries dance in the air at the start of each day.
I wonder what it’s like in Biarritz, France, on a day like today. How I miss it. A year and a half ago this place took hold of me like the tide of the sea; once in its grip, I didn’t want to let go.
Being there makes you breathe deep, slow down, and take a look around. It makes you happy to be alive.
I know we’ll be traveling again soon. When we do, I hope we remember this time of longing. Every experience, from a trip around the world to dinner with friends, shall be a celebration of life. …
I’m done bearing this weight that holds me down,
Shackles of the mind consume my thoughts, day by day,
The pain in my body a sign of holding on.
Struggling for a semblance of control, I want to make this right,
Solve the problems on my own.
But what if the challenge is too much to face,
Perhaps it can’t be overcome,
Get me off this roller coaster,
I can’t live in highs and lows.
I put my hands up, I surrender.
It’s time to break free.
Through the struggle good shines through,
It’s always been there, not going anywhere.
Although I focus on the bad, wonder what it takes;
It only makes me sad, feels like my spirit often breaks,
Because I try to persevere,
Get up, shake off the dirt, try again,
I don’t care if I’ve been hurt. …