"What Is strength, To You?"
Strength is the loving partner of resiliency.
She is the lift of the back body as we bravely rise for another day.
Strength dances with the waltz of heartbreak,
Dipping and spinning,
The hand at the nape of the neck.
Strength lives in vulnerability,
She resides in our fire,
When we speak our Truth.
She is the visceral contraction of our screams.
The essential ingredient in our tears.
Strength occupies the air pocket between two praying hands.
She sits beside us
When we reach out to ask others for help.
Strength breathes in softness,
In the curvatures of a woman's body that hold everything...
And I mean, everything.
She rests in the fluid,
In the flow & in flexibility.
Strength rejoices in saying "yes!"
And stands steady
In the power of "no."
Strength is equally the bright jolt of caffeine
And the pastel calm of chamomile.
Strength is gravity.
Pulling, pushing, crashing and waning the tides.
She holds the Moon in her palms.
Strength is the Earth continuing to blossom,
Even when She is hurting.
The glowing dust particles of the stars,
Twirling and circling around us
As we embark upon an adventure.
Strength is present in the midst of surrender.
In the brave act of smiling to a stranger.
In the milliseconds of a connected gaze.
She is the choice to stay.
She is the choice to leave.
The musculature of an olympian
And the wisdom of an atrophying body.
Strength is the life-long student
Within every teacher.
Strength blooms in intimacy.
In the cradling of a friend or lover,
The exhale of an embrace.
Strength is in the room every time we say,
"I am sorry."
Strength exists in the unknown
And thrives in uncertainty.
She is the deepest depth of the darkest parts of the ocean.
A Mother whale and her calf
And the space between them.
Upon turning 29 a couple of weeks ago (Feb. 14), I began reflecting upon the life-shifting happenings of 28 (I can just hear all of my astrologically-inclined friends exclaiming, "I told you so!" -- Saturn's return and such).
This was 28 (in a nutshell):
- Shortly after turning 28, I decided it was time to leave NYC, the city that had been my home for the past five years.
- I said "I'll be seeing you!" to my chosen New York family and to the city that had exploded my heart wide open at the ripe age of 23!
- Dreaming up and filming "Behind The Tune" of my original song, "Catch Fire." Big thanks to Darren, Fiona & Jeremy for their work and time on this fun project!
Check it out here!
- My heart led me abroad for a wild Summer, beginning with a wedding in Ireland, followed by one incredible month of backpacking around Northern Italy, ending with a father-daughter trip from Barcelona, through Scotland and into England, where I had my first international gig in an adorable Cotswolds town called Witney.
Italy (hardly scratching the surface!)
Barcelona, Scotland & England
- At the end of the Summer I landed back in my hometown of Austin, Texas with equal parts gumption, determination and nerves.
- I became a barista at Caffé Medici, one of Austin's best and most beloved local coffee shops! These coworkers and patrons are now major parts of my Austin family. They have been instrumental (literally, two of them accompanied me at Parker Jazz Club!) in setting the foundation of new opportunities & community in the Live Music Capital of the World!
- With the help of 200+ Kickstarter backers along with my ingenious team of engineers & musicians, four original singles from my debut EP were released throughout the year!
House on a Hilltop, Catch Fire, Welcome Home and Tides (available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, etc.).
- Ending 28 with a bang!
Two sold-out shows at Parker Jazz Club in Austin, a return show at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC and a feature on CBS Austin - We Are Austin!
There were infinite lessons learned from age 28, but the one that showed itself over and over and over was this -
- Trust the process and trust intuition.
This year showed me a new dimension of Love and generosity.
I got to fall head-over-heels for new places and people and experienced a loving partnership that brought tremendous growth. Over and over I took the jumps, even when the unknown was terrifying (cue "Into The Unknown" from Frozen II), falling into the beautiful net of community.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to 28 with your generous Love, your time and your open doors & hearts!
These are the first few weeks of 29:
- Starting March 3rd I'll be teaching a weekly Candlelight Flow & Restore evening yoga class at Be Well Austin (every Tuesday evening from 7-8:15PM)! It's a privilege to bring my yoga teachings & learnings from the Big Apple to the Austin yoga community!
- The fifth original single from my debut EP was released on February 22nd -
To My Love, is a celebration of Love, in all her many forms. It has been an absolute joy to receive your lovely responses thus far!
- I'm embarking upon a totally new endeavor of turning my original song, House on a Hilltop, into a children's book! (Open to all connections & helpful tips for this journey). The process has been bringing me such joy! :)
These friends (& Lily) made my 29th birthday a very special one!
I'm filled with great anticipation & curiosity for what's on the horizon.
The stage has been set.
I'm ready for you, 29!
On the Northwest coast of Italy, at the edge of the Ligurian Sea, sits a town called Imperia. It was just the beginning of my second week of travels in Italy and I had arrived via train that day to Imperia. After a late dinner and full glass of vino in town, I made my way back to my home base apartment nearby. Suddenly, and with gusto, I was overcome with the desire to go for a Midnight swim. A gravitational pull took hold as I whipped on my swimsuit, grabbed a towel and sped back out onto the nighttime streets, all inhibitions fully dissipated-- I raced to the sea.
Landing upon a pebble beach cove, I stopped dead in my tracks. The brightest, pinkest, largest full moon I'd ever seen hovered just beyond in the dark, night sky! I dropped the towel, gingerly wobbled across the pebbled ground and plunged my way into the chilly waters.
Fins sprouted as I swam further and further out, doing flips, floating, diving under the surface, listening to the sounds of the tiny crustaceans below.
I wish words could do justice to the magnitude of the moon that night. It was as though this giant light ball was only slightly above the water, close enough to swim to, reach up and touch. Besides its gorgeously bright pink color, this moon radiated such tremendous power and a sensuous, feminine energy I'd never quite felt from the moon before. I bathed in its reflection.
The next evening, whilst chatting with two new friends in Imperia, one friend exclaimed, "You went swimming by yourself at night?! In the ocean!? But there are URCHINS!!"
I laughed, only then quickly to pause and realize, "Oh, sh*t, she's right. There are urchins!" Not to mention other sea creatures along with the whole swimming alone at midnight part. All I can say is that my typically more cautious nature had catapulted itself out of some window that evening!
I had great expectations to be blogging all throughout my travels around Italy and other parts of Europe this Summer. However, the Universe seemed to have other plans for my time abroad. The same night as the full moon, my laptop completely stopped working. Not going to lie, there was an initial panic, but after many attempts to try all of Apple's suggested tips for "when your MacBook won't start up," I let go.
Ya know, I am grateful that the crazy full moon energy sucked all of the juice from my laptop! Regardless of whether it was the full moon or merely a random technical difficulty, I was given more than a month without the use of my laptop. No Netflix (aka Gilmore Girls) before bed and no hours spent in front of the screen, writing and editing while I could be out eating my second gelato of the day! In the meantime, one very large handwritten journal was filled, people were observed and a book was read in its entirety.
Life continues to teach me to trust. Trust in the gravitational pulls, in the intuitive whispers and in seemingly serendipitous happenstances.
Tanto amore (much love),
While I don't have a picture of that pink full moon, I do have some photos showcasing the color progressions of one of the many Italian sunsets I had the privilege of witnessing this Summer.
(Sunset in Imperia, Italy)
There is a preface to my Summer spent in Italy, but rather than starting there,
I'd like to dive right in!
Thank you for following along!
Day 1 & 2