Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I call my Dad (or sometimes I watch Love Actually). Usually, okay, always, I realize life is simply about changing the outlook and being vulnerable. All of us in a way are climbing blind. That last sentence isn’t a remark from my Dad, although it’s similar to his ever prescient advice. It is a quote I read by a guy named Erik Weihenmayer. Erik is a human being who lives his life knowing what’s within us is stronger than what’s in our way. He is the founder of the non-profit organization No Barriers USA. Due to a rare eye disease, Erik lost his eye sight by the age of 13. Fast forward to May 2001, Erik became the first blind man to reach the summit of Mount Everest. His passion for exploration and a life of adventure led him to create No Barriers, an organization which encourages and leads people to overcome their challenges, to push themselves to succeed in discovering what they are capable of as breathing beings on planet earth. By not limiting himself he has taken the lid off of others’ self-limits. Erik’s story gave me goose bumps and reminded me why I feel lucky to exist. I hope you will choose to read a bit more about him here and feel inspired to be your best self.
Image via this unrelated yet equally rad story.
I’ve been looking back in order to propel through what no longer serves me. I’ve felt quieter than usual when it comes to JBD the blog. In this meantime, however, JBD the book is slowly but surely navigating a wide open road. Sometimes I get stuck in a sea of thoughts, sometimes it’s a party in the moment and all I want is l i v i n’, ya know? We all experience frustrations, kindness, set backs, triumphs. As I step forward and reboot, one thing remains clear and true in past – present – future:
Image via WO & WE.
Patience is emotionally freeing. Sometimes, when you least expect it, the gift of quiet greets you to open you up for the next big phase of life. The power of patience will now be a chapter in the book I’m writing, all thanks to a lovely land called Ireland. A four day spontaneous road trip morphed into a myriad of life lessons and incredible experiences. One of my dearest friends (who did all of the wrong-side-of-the-road driving, thanks Rebs!) remarked everything is a lesson. Amongst music blaring, windows open, sun shining in, a sprawling Irish countryside and cathartic conversation we acknowledged the distance we’ve come, feeling grateful and ready to airgrab all that awaits.
I shared a bunch of photos and anecdotes on my Instagram feed. More bits of Ireland to follow on the blog, too.
Sip a Guinness, climb a tree, whatever you fancy…hold some space for yourself today. xx, JBD
Image Credit: Jenny Graham
March has me feeling like anything is possible, more than ever. A handful of unexpected, but ultimately positive, changes happened in my personal life last month. The one step at a time theory is everything, all of the time. Keep tuning into how you feel. Question yourself for your own growth. Say no and say yes. March to the beat of your own drum and surround yourself with your kind of high vibe folks.
P.S. here are some sparks of my daily March…
En route to Ojai next weekend, a getaway that doesn’t have me on a plane but feels like an exciting escape!
Hosting friends for a dinner of delicious fresh fish tacos and some cold brews. Homemade yum yum sauce is the trick.
I’m not a gardener, at all. However, I’ve attempted to grow African Violets…and it’s happening.
Homes with a heart are always after my heart. Loving this French home. Each room tells a story.
New year, new ideas. After spending some glorious holiday family time between South Carolina and Seattle, I returned to my cozy LA beach abode this past weekend. I swiftly plopped myself on the sofa and rejoiced in knowing I will not step foot on another airplane for exactly 22 days (the longest duration of no air travel in over 13 months!). Daydreaming set in and I floated into frequent notions of driving through the canyon roads of Topanga, moon roof wide open, breezy sunshine bursting in. A few small bits of world wide webbing later, I found myself glued to looking at photos of tipi glamping and promptly declared this the year of why not?
The authentic 18 foot tipi lives on the grounds of a Topanga, California area farm house, furnished in genuine aboriginal decor of the past, according to Airbnb.
Enjoy the experience with up to three of your favorite people, evening soaks in an outdoor hot tub, and the general fun of sleeping in a kitschy tipi…because why not? For information on costs, availability and more, check out this link.
Cheers for a holiday season full of goodness, calmness and over-the-rainbow moments. If you’re like me, you have a few items left to buy and give. Once a last minute shopper, always a last minute shopper! Below is the JBD version of a blogger’s gift guide. Definitely unconventional and clearly a sprinkling of things close to my heart. Merry wishes to you!
Eastern Medicine may feel foreign to a first-timer, yet it is one of the greatest gifts we may give ourselves. My two favorite healers are in Los Angeles and New York. I’ve written about the magic of Erin at Radiant Heart Acupuncture here and now introduce you to Erica of Mind & Body Acupuncture. Heal yourself, heal the world.
If you like dogs, perhaps I may convince you to fall in love with corgis, too? Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue specializes in saving and rehabilitating the more difficult dogs to adopt, always taking a methodical approach to adoption. Your donation can help a corgi like lovable Simon get the medication he needs or pay for food to keep these low riders ready for any adventure.
Astrology 101 anyone? Contact Sandra Sitron of Strong Eye Astrology for a thoughtful, intuitive astrology consultation. I had my “chart read” earlier this year and it was a ton of fun. Her creative insight is second to none.
In the new year I’ll be sharing details of an exciting partnership with The Her Initiative, an organization which offers access to clean water and specific health and hygiene curriculum to women in the developing world. In the meantime, please consider making any donation and join us in providing safe water to the 800 million people who still need access to it.
Image via Wo and We
Two weeks ago I vacationed in Playa Maderas, Nicaragua and shared a bunch of moments here. The experience hit my reset button. I woke up to the inner light within, surrounded by old and new friends. Surf, boating, yoga, community, thoughtfulness and more await you. We lived in a jungle tree canopy at Maderas Village. Three words: go there now.Direct flights from the United States can be found out of Houston and Miami. Upon landing, be prepared to drive two and a half hours to reach this piece of paradise (100% worth the drive). Family-style dining encourages new (lifelong) friends, howler monkeys are a daily alarm clock and if you’re down for some tunes or yogis you are in luck as Maderas Village is home to on-site recording and yoga studios.
Sunrise and sunset surf before or after a day on the sea. The living is easy. And breezy.
We met new local friends who day tripped us out to Playa Hermosa. A 45-minute drive from Maderas, it is equally mind blowing. All of it was an escape that brought me back in touch with the reality of being alive. Radical, heart-beating jungle beach living.
Image Credits: Jenny Graham
At five o’clock the morning of the Summer Solstice I ballooned for the first time. The experience was a Yellow Brick Road in the sky. Mother Earth illuminated. A group of us glowing bright in the pure reflection that is, simply, a new point of view. You can hit up more of my Albuquerque experience this October or hitch some hot air in your hometown.
Image Credits: Jenny Graham (+a few more here)
Wandering around the sister I’ll now call Santa Fe, her sunlight captured my soul. Impossible to resist the moment, here’s a bit of bright bitten from my iPhone.
Image Credits: Jenny Graham – all unedited.
Mermaid School. This is my dream school. AquaSirène in Montreal offers a one hour initiation class to unlimited mermaid membership. I came across a blurb in a magazine about “Aqua Mermaid” and thought this cannot be real. But it is. And I want to go. Mermaid tails are made of stretch fabric and worn up to the waist, monofin attached for your graceful kicking pleasure. What more could a gal need?
Image via AquaSirène