Because puppies are cute even when they’re shaggy.

For today, how about a post that shows you what a hopeless pet mom I am?

Charlie was on the scruffy side in the past couple of weeks (and that’s putting it nicely.)

She went to see Mahea at Shear Magic on Saturday and came back looking like an entirely different dog.

20140707-172024-62424184.jpgI’m not sure what she was happiest about – being able to actually see again or being rid of all that fluffy hair in the summer heat.

It was a good weekend full of sunshine and cuddle time, and that’s not easy to beat. 🙂

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Big Island Independence Day

Aloha 🙂 I hope you all had a nice holiday weekend! The weather was NOT looking good when we headed out to Volcano for the 4th of July parade.

20140706-195728-71848222.jpgLuckily, the mist lightened up and before we knew it, clear skies prevailed.

We saw our share of interesting characters:

20140706-195730-71850662.jpgand put some adoptable cuties in the spotlight.

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20140706-195731-71851554.jpgI was amazed that the weather ended up being so nice – and really enjoyed this view of Mauna Kea as we walked toward Cooper Center.

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Later on we ended up at Hawea’s mom’s house while they did more work on a float for next week’s parade.

Then we enjoyed sausages with avocado and mac salad for dinner – it was good but it would have been even better with sweetbread. Since I didn’t think to buy buns until 4:30 that afternoon there wasn’t much to choose from. But it’s all relative. I’m well aware that being able to buy food is a privilege, as is being able to eat it.

20140706-221247-79967339.jpg It’s easy to take simple things for granted sometimes- but the fact that they are simple doesn’t mean they’re insignificant. Sometimes I look back on my challenges with extra gratitude because of the perspective I’ve gained.

Here’s a photo of Mother Nature’s own fireworks display. Looking back to my first pic of the day, I’m amazed at how quickly and beautifully circumstances can change, even when change is what we least expect.

20140706-225146-82306376.jpgIn a nutshell, this was a great day — full of thankfulness, and the joy of simple blessings.

Are you looking for a yoga class?

Today was an “I need a yoga class” kind of a day. Don’t ask me why. I can’t say I feel that way very often, but I was struck with the realization that being centered, focused and intentional would probably do me a lot of good.

Listening to that feeling, I signed up for a 5:30 class at a studio downtown. That plan was good until I realized I didn’t have any workout clothes at the office. By the time I got something suitable to wear, it was too late. I called the studio and cancelled my spot in the class.

Feeling slightly bummed, I headed to the park for a walk. As I was walking through the parking lot, a lady pulled up in her car and asked me a question through the window:

Are you looking for a yoga class?”

I must have looked confused because she then explained that she was looking for the class that’s held in the park. She was getting ready to call the instructor and see where the group was meeting.

By then I was smiling and I told her that in fact, I would very much appreciate an hour of yoga. I grabbed my mat and accompanied her to the other side of the park, where eventually we found the class.

It’s funny sometimes how life gives us exactly what we need, even if we don’t know what to ask for. I would have been satisfied with an indoor class. But this hour of uninterrupted mindfulness, of connection to the earth, the sky, the breeze … it was a gateway to a deeper kind of peace.

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So here I am, relaxed & peaceful, full of gratitude and ready for a lovely holiday weekend. 🙂 Happy 3rd of July!

xo …
-Me!

Green smoothie: pineapple edition

First of all, I have to confess…. I’m writing this from a state of exhaustion. It seemed like a good idea to wake up at 4 am, and then to do a “Sunrise Stretch” routine at 5 am, but by 7 pm I’m tired and bordering on cranky.

The hours in between were good though, and I guess that’s really the point.

I started off with an experimental green smoothie: pineapple from the yard, bananas from friends, some frozen mango, fresh spinach, some chia seed, ground flax seed and a scoop of protein powder. It sounded so healthy I was sure it would suck. Surprisingly, it didn’t!

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Lunch was a tasty catered buffet and then my favorite … Coffee.

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I inhaled some almonds when I got home and now we’ve got meatloaf in the oven. And by “we”, I mean she. 🙂 With a cheesy spinachy filling in the center, it’s a definite upgrade from the frozen chicken pot pies I slaved over at the end of last week. 🙂

Karma or coincidence? Rambling thoughts on a morning run.

It started raining yesterday morning when I was about halfway through my run. Right before the rain started, I was contemplating the power of perspective.

It all started when I realized the gum I was chewing (is it weird to chew gum while jogging?) had gotten stale. With no rubbish can in sight I paused for a minute and then threw it out…. on a tiny patch of grass between the sidewalk and the curb. In other words, on what is probably technically considered someone’s lawn.

Within moments, I had a vision of the yard owner stepping in the gum and tracking it into their home. Imagining the mess it could create, my mind flashed to karma, and I felt bad.
Then, just as quickly, I shifted to a feeling of righteousness. After all, since the gum tossing was an act of necessity and devoid of malice, I was simply delivering a cosmic order that was queued up long before I came along.

Fair enough, right ?

Not so much. Before I knew it my conscience replied that it’s probably not that easy and warned me to be on the lookout for rogue piles of dog poop…. Since obviously now I have it coming.

And now get this – my brain once again switched gears and I began arguing the gifts of stumbling into said dog poop, if indeed, that does happen. Manure, unlike chewing gum, is an organic material. In fact, it’s commonly used as fertilizer. (Well, not dog shit, per se… But really. Shit is shit. ) And wouldn’t it be better to step in a naturally occurring, growth enhancing substance that leaves no carbon footprint than to get mired down in a manufactured glue-y mess?

I’m impressed actually. By the time I was done I had myself convinced that I’d be pretty lucky to step into a pile of crap.

It wasn’t even two minutes after is congratulated myself for my good karma that the skies turned dark and the rain came down.

Ever the optimist, I realized that since I needed an incentive to run faster, I was lucky to be caught in the rain. I picked up speed and headed home, feeling all inspired and happy from the inside out.

In case you’re wondering, choosing to feeling good whenever possible is a GREAT idea, especially when circumstances are gloomy. That’s exactly what I was feeling as I imagined myself as an inextinguishable flame, flickering playfully, undaunted by the morning rain.

And then, this is what I saw next:

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It was pretty awesome.

Signing off now, wishing you a happy day, and encouraging the positive re-frame.

—xoxo

The tale of a summer vision board

8 weeks ago, I joined a friend in a healthy lifestyle challenge to get ready for summer. The first thing we did was a virtual vision board – “create your summer”. Here’s what mine looked like. 20140623-231244-83564858.jpg
And here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been up to the past few weeks:
•a jog down Into Wai’pio Valley, a hike along the coastline, and then a hike back out.

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•A 4WD excursion to South Point, with a stop and the green sand beach and a refreshing dip in a tide pool.

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•A couple of volunteer events for Project Visitation

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•Kayaking and SUP in Reed’s Bay

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And squeezing in a little love and laughter along the way.

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While I haven’t crossed everything off the summer list, we made a great dent just by being intentional.

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Zipline… Here we come!

June 23 is National “Let It Go” Day

Where do I start ? I got fired up when I heard on the radio that today is National “Let It Go” day. This holiday comes on the heels of a long and draining month – and I, for one, am eager to embrace it.

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Life is FULL of things we can’t control – in fact – the only thing we really can control is our reaction to its cycles and rhythms.

And this in itself is a dynamic, expansive process. It starts with the realization that control is an illusion, followed by the awareness that we are part of something so much bigger than our individual desires and dreams.

When we recognize that we are actually inseparable from all that is, we can begin to release our resistance to going with the flow.

Day by day, hour by hour and moment by moment … A peaceful existence is woven by a a series of deliberate choices.

What does this have to do with letting it go?

Only everything.

Food for thought

Something has been weighing on my mind ever since yesterday’s beach day. In the group of 12 adults and 2 toddlers , conversations about weight and body image kept surfacing throughout the day.

Some of that is surely to be expected, after all, swimsuits = abundance of bare flesh.

What bothered me though, is how relentless we are in judgement of ourselves. I was saddened to see that it doesn’t matter a great deal if we’re 22 or 62…. The judgements are still there:
•”I shouldn’t have this cupcake”
•”How often do you check your weight ?”
• “I know if I work really hard I could lose it”
• “Don’t you dare post that picture unless you crop out my arms”
•”I can’t wear a swimsuit, I have to keep my legs covered.”
•”Oh yeah, like I could really do that with my little noodle arms”
•”Standing next to me, you look tiny, so no worries!”

And on and on. I found myself wondering when will we ever be happy?

When will we realize that we are often harder on ourselves than anyone else would dream of being, and that we truly are lovable and amazing no matter what size clothes we wear?

When will we give ourselves permission to appreciate our bodies for the incredible masterpieces they are, and when will we learn to embrace our imperfections ?

This is a tricky one for me. I shared my observations with Hawea and she remarked that “it’s all relative”. And, I couldn’t disagree.

After all, I’m the one who has been desperately searching for balance the last two years, jumping from one diet theory to another: juicing and eating “clean” foods, only to relapse into a month of eating any and all junk food that crosses my path.

And I’m no stranger to the all or nothing exercise game. Some weeks I’m up at 4 am to fit it all in, and some weeks I can barely pull myself out of bed, and “fork to mouth” is the only inspired activity I have.

Although the constant (self critical ) chatter at the beach was disturbing , it was something I needed to see. There, in the faces of my beautiful, perfectly imperfect friends, I saw my own reflection.

Truthfully, we were a mixed group. Some of us are skinny and noodle-y, some buff and sculpted. And some of us have an abundance of wobbly bits and jiggly parts. But when it comes right down to it, none of that actually matters.

What matters is our freedom and ability to immerse ourselves in the ocean and sunshine, because our bodies are healthy and able; our ability to come together and celebrate our friend’s birthday and appreciate the fact we have such an awesome woman in our lives. It’s our ability to love ourselves, love each other and let ourselves be loved.

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1st Day of Summer

Yesterday was the first day of summer and we kicked it off right: celebrating Jenn’s 40th birthday at Reed’s Bay.

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I love spending time with this gang.

20140622-084616-31576386.jpg We’ve had a lot of fun putting our Easter kayak to use (thanks Di and Trish!),

20140622-085942-32382138.jpgand we’re joining forces to manifest our own SUP next ! 🙂

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As for food … We had the healthy stuff (Carrot sticks, celery, cucumbers, hummus, apples and peanut butter)

20140622-090505-32705403.jpg and of course beach BBQ food … (Portuguese sausage hot dogs, Teri beef burgers, turkey burgers, chicken and rosemary garlic pork ribs).

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20140622-091351-33231522.jpg We were wiped out when we got home, had leftovers for dinner and slept hard :). I’m pretty sure that’s what summer is all about!

The ordinary moments

One good thing about taking a break is that a lot of life events get stored up in the camera roll.

I took a peek just now at pics from the past several weeks and a couple of things stand out: a) I take a lot of pictures! b) I live in a beautiful place and c) there’s often something special in ordinary things.

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