the image on top is "Welcome Home Sweet Sugar" by Kelsey Brooks

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kayaking in Cambodia

Imagine paddling a kayak, passing a Cambodia school kid that's paddling their way home to her floating home.

Entwining yourself deep into the jungle, floating past lotus flowers and vines, laughing with your friends as you try to maneuver an instrument that the locals have so gracefully mastered.

The experience is paramount.

Thy, our guide, was a burst of positive energy, and brimming with information about Cambodia. The whole set up is super professional, and definitely a good idea for a school tour group. Every need—from water bottles to hats to shield you from the sun— is taken care of.

More importantly, it's a way to get much more intimate with the floating villages.  The boats that rage by are remote, and removed from village life. They kayaking gives you a chance to interact with the locals and see more eye to eye- literally.

They take us a to lunch at sweet spot- the village’s only restaurant- where we were served bamboo-wrapped sticky rice with sweet beans, pork and coconut. Thy accompanies us the whole time, enriching our experience with historical tidbits and facts about village life.

The actual journey through the forest is unforgettable- there’s that wonderful moment when you realize you’re completely present to the beauty that’s pouring in from all sides. When my arms ached a little from the kayak, but in a good way, a reminder of how good it can feel to be alive.

For those that like nature adventures- hit this up before Anchor Wat.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

LA Unplugged

Three of us; David, Yohei and I, decided to take up a small venture. Our founding team had a simple yet exhilarating mission; we wanted to jump off a cliff.

Into water, you know. We found advisers along the way, and every time we wanted to give up (about five)- we chose instead to pivot.

As we first started upon our journey, we encountered two birdwatchers. I asked if I could take their picture; they said yes.

"That's a huge lens you have there," commented Yohei.

"Yes," says the birdwatcher, Mark, "Take a look, you can see all the detail". He shows us a surprisingly HD sparrow.

I open up the camera on my phone. "You don't mind if I take a picture of your picture," I say, snapping away; adding, rhetorically, "You don't think that's weird, do you?".

"...Well, it's a little weird, yes" says Mark.

I laugh, "oh, well, we're on this camping trip, LAUnplugged. And the organizer, he couldn't come on this hike, so I'm documenting the journey to share with him."

"Unplugged, as in, you're not supposed to be on your phone".

I'm dumbfouned. "...uh, yes. Yes, you've accurately interpreted that".

"You may want to do a better job of getting unplugged".

He was right, because for the first part of the hike, all I thought about was how to share this on social media.

Friday, August 2, 2013


The worst emotion in the world is longing. Even sadness has a satisfaction to it. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

She Who Says No: Kali Ma

"So, who is Kali, with her sword?

She who cuts.

Who creates separation.

She who says No

…..in service, to a greater Yes."

-From Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus's class at Shakti Fest a few weeks ago. Sean is a fantastic performer, entertainer and teacher; crafter of tales and experiences. Applause all around. 

We explored three goddesses: 
-Saraswati, the goddess of music, art and knowledge
-Raddha, the goddess of devotion
-Kali, the goddess of death and rebirth, protection and destruction. 

Sometimes hide from Kali. Sometimes I embrace her. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Starting off Shakti: Christi Christensen, The Jah Suns, Guy Douglas & Torkom Ji

Starting off Shakti.

Last year, I loved Christi's class. I need my power- my core- to be really fully present, and Christi brings that focus. She gets it, and when you walk out of that class, your inner fire's been awakened.

This year, Christi was joined by The Jah Suns. There guys are out of this world- in a great way. Total shamans, musicians and soul brothers.

This took a yoga class on an other worldly journey to a whole new land of Shakti.

Guy Douglas brought the magic of the singing bowls, a digeridoo, shamanic drums and GONGS. Torkom Ji, also of the Alchemical Fusion of Sacred, brought a 432 hz  synthesizer and played cosmic DJ. 

Christi's sequencing rocked; the flow so natural and divine, the challenge just right. She also brought the *fun*, high vibe energy; matched by Jah who went nuts with the shakers. 

We ended with a sound meditation in savasana. Which, in my opinion, is how every yoga class should end....in complete, and total return to source energy and compassion. Absolutely epic. 

5 Tenets of Awesomeness

Core values for business, love, friendship and every other kind of relationship you can think of.

1. Honesty

I majored in honesty. No, really, I did.

I'm not as much of a stickler as I once was about it, but it still makes it #1 on my values list. Life is much, much better when one is honest (to themselves & everyone else).

What is honesty? I'd say honesty is being an open channel communicating the thoughts & opinions that are relevant to the current experience. What is relevant? Generally, anything you are thinking & feeling about another person in any relationship is usually relevant to both or more parties. Why? Because thoughts are things, and people pick up on them. Honesty clears the air, and as a culture, I think we have an under-share our experience.

Don't be scared of telling people things. I can't vouch for how that will go for other people; but it's especially true for me. I am one of the most open minded motherf**kers I know. And I've spent the past 6 years in NYC & Venice. Being afraid to tell me something is absolutely absurd.

2. Integrity

Actions are fundamentally meaningless. The most well intended move can lead to unpleasant consequences and out-of-control outcomes & being attached to outcomes generally leads to insanity. There is no point to doing anything, really, with one exception;

If you say you will. Then it's a pretty good reason to do it.

In the grand spectrum of the universe, it doesn't really matter if you will get the proposal in by 5pm on Tuesday or 3pm on Friday, or not at all. But in the microcosm of your psyche, you'll build strength and trust in yourself if you stick to your deadline.

No one is perfect (I missed a coffee meeting on Monday) but building integrity is one the most wonderful experiences on the planet.

3. Courage

With the singular exception of bungee jumping, if something scares me, I'll probably do it on principle.

I may be confusing courage with stupidity, but I don't mind.

I've found fear is often a curtain for particularly wonderful experiences (think heights, public speaking, and letting someone know you find them attractive).

How nervous I feel is generally directly proportionally to how much I'm about to grow.

4. Creativity

Once again, actions are pretty meaningless. Everything we create is going to get destroyed in a big plasma explosion one day, if not sooner.

Yet humans tend to get off on it on creating things.

Making stuff feels awesome. So does growing, building and expanding. Perfecting, crafting, capturing the human experiences in joy, music and art...

Creating is being a part of the flow; in contrast, stagnation just feels bad. In some ways, being creative just means sharing yourself with the world. And sharing is caring; data, information, resources, and just about everything else.

As long as we admit that we enjoy creating for pure pleasure, we are going to have a lovely time here.

5. Compassion

Compassion is a super power. The most paramount emotion; the one vibration that can create complete and total change, that erases the past and brings in full recognition of creative potential in the present moment.

It feels like a stretching sensation in the heart. And at first it kind of hurts, but then it feels good, you know?

It is a secret weapon with the power to change any situation. And one of my favorite things. Ever. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mythical Being

I want to be this perfect human that listens fully, then pauses, and takes a breath before she speaks.

When she does, speaks slowly; spins words of gold. I want to be this mythical being of divine communication & creativity, that brings vision to reality with each breath.

"Mythical.....But mythical people aren't real," he says, "They are mythical by definition".

"Well, maybe. I believe that I can change my way of being, and if I keep refining myself I'll eventually become a very impressive being. I want to be like Albus Dumbledore.....okay, that was a bad example because he's obviously not real-"

"-Yes. He's a character, and a symbol".

"Ok, fine. What about Hillary Clinton? Hillary Clinton is real?"

"But you don't know Hillary Clinton".

"No, but I bet you she has her game face on most of the time".

"You don't know that. She's a symbol. You see her from far away. Mythical people aren't real".

Maybe? I still want to be a mythical being ;)