Life

The Voice Within: Wisdom from my Grandmother

Be.

“But what is your spirit telling you?”

There I was, sharing my story of heartbreak with my grandmother, hoping she would shed some wisdom on my life. And she hits me with this question, “But what is your spirit telling you?”
I’ve never been asked that question before. I sat there in silence. I started to talk about my heart. “Yes Rae, but your heart can be swayed. Our hearts may feel one thing, but our spirit is what truly speaks to us.” As she did shed her wisdom during that conversation, I couldn’t help but replay that question in my head that whole day.

Still.

“But what is your spirit telling you?”

In search of the answer to that question, I decided to rid myself of all distractions, which came down to television, my phone, the radio, and my apartment. A friend of mine called up and we decided to hit the road. I had no expectations of what to do or see. I just wanted to be. We took a 4 hour round trip sharing life, laughs, and quietness. We hopped in and out at small towns with mountainous views, snapping pics, and feeling the waves (heat waves that is). I laughed as loud as I wanted to. Sat in silence when I needed to. Took as many pictures as my phone allowed. It was like we were journeying west, moving onward.

And listen.

On the way back home, I realized the feeling I had been missing. The feeling of being unapologetically myself. Free.

I prayed hard that night and poured my hear out. I wanted, NEEDED to hear God’s voice. And then the question whispered to me once more.

This time I knew my response, but I was afraid to answer.

I whispered to my heart, “You can do this. This time is for you. You must let go.”

Sometimes we don’t realize the answer to our question is there all along. Sometimes we must go deep within. Reconnect with spirit. It won’t come easy, but when you finally feel it. You know.

Be still, & listen.

Life

Guard Your Heart

There I sat, on my bed, once again…in tears. The rush of emotions and feelings on top of the deadlines approaching, seemed to pile on all at once. And now there’s one more thing to add! The end of a relationship. I sat in confusion over how the whole day spiraled down and the last thing I said in the midst of my frustration, “You don’t appreciate me or what I do. I’m tired of feeling this way. I don’t feel valued. I don’t feel appreciated.” The rush of emotions flooded my mind. Did I really mean to?

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Death Valley National Park & Goldwell Open Air Museum Nevada, USA

I believe this has been the hardest lesson for me to learn, guarding my heart. Letting go of people and things that are no good for my soul. I forgive over and over and over. My heart tells me, people deserve many chances, as you have been given many chances in life too. Even this time, I offered to try again and knew deep down, I shouldn’t have. Some of you are probably saying, “You should’ve known.” But is that truly the response we give to someone who is learning, living, and loving?

I’m flawed.
I’m still lovable.
I’m still deserving.
I’m still worthy.
All of those put together make me beautiful.

IMG_0241This time was different. I didn’t choose to see all of his faults. Parts of us fit together so perfectly. This was our second time giving “us” a try. But when situations happened and I was deeply hurt, it’s like the pain was never truly healed and trust was lost. But I was told to “carry on” and “it’ll pass when you choose” without ever truly having the time to. I allowed pieces of me to be damaged by his emotional struggles. I ignored my own needs, wants, and boundaries. In order to make him feel better about himself, I started to let go of pieces of me. My passions, my creativity, my character, my heart. I realize he didn’t protect my heart with gentleness and care, yet I still stayed. It was those damaged pieces of the puzzle, which made it hard for us to reconnect. I felt like I couldn’t express my hurt freely and over the past few months of being all bottled up and not heard, I released.

IMG_0247I wasn’t crying about the relationship ending. I cried because of those final words. I cried because I finally released every feeling I had held inside. As the rush of emotions continued on, a feeling crept up inside me. A feeling I never felt before: GUILT. I could go on and on into detail about this story, but the story is not what I care for you to know…It’s the lesson.

“Above all things, guard your heart. For everything you do, flows from it.” -Proverbs 4:23

IMG_0245We must not change the parts of ourselves that we hold so dearly. We must love ourselves so passionately, that if someone comes along to try and diminish that love we have of ourselves, we immediately block that negativity from our hearts. I allowed my heart to be hurt and did nothing about it. That’s where the guilt came from. Knowing how much I once took care of myself and protected myself, but not doing anything this time. I don’t want that for you. I’m no longer allowing that for me. You know? The guilt. We can recognize how we are responsible for the hurt, but we must forgive ourselves in order to move forward.

Whether it be the audition we didn’t go on because we heard someone else “better” was going to be there, so we talked ourselves down and out of it. The negative comment someone made about something you worked really hard on. The fear of moving somewhere or traveling to a different place because we’re told we will be lonely. The diet we don’t do such a great job of sticking to. Perhaps, like me, allowing people who do not deserve to feel our light, throw their shade. This time I’m laying the hurt and pain out on the table, praying for strength and patience as I am going through the healing process because now is the time. Now is the time to love me. Now is the time to heal my wounds. Now is the time to honor my space.

We all have something we can do, in order to better protect our hearts and guard our love, as this is a must.

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Travel

The Oahu Travel Experience

Destination: Oahu, Hawaii USA

               This year’s birthday was an absolute dream come true. I celebrated my 27 Spins Around the Sun on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. I have always dreamed of visiting Hawaii. So much, to the point that, birthdays from 12-21 were all “luau” themed. To my parents luck, they were always able to use the same decorations and I was never disappointed. Hawaii was everything I ever dreamed of…from the food, fun, and of course the beach, I was indeed destined to experience FUN IN THE SUN. This is by far, the best birthday celebration yet!

oahu statue

Pack and Go

As part of my transition to living a minimalist lifestyle, I am working to making my trips away apart of that as well. Check this link to help with packing for your next trip. This 4 day round trip from Las Vegas to Honolulu required little prepping and packing.  

Purposeful Packing Tip: Small luggage and a carry on bag. No check-in needed! Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Stay

Pacific Beach Hotel

Steps away from the beautiful sands of Waikiki Beach lies Pacific Beach Hotel. Pacific Beach Hotel has newly renovated rooms that were modern and very clean. The hotel is walking distance to restaurants, shopping, and cafes. 

As transportation to get around the island I used Uber. (Need the promo code for $$ off, comment below!)

We also rented a car from Enterprise using Expedia. The pick-up location is a short walk away from the hotel.

Eat and Drink

-Atlantis Seafood & Steak

-Grab a spiced chai tea latte from Olive & Oliver Coffee Bar.

-Head over to Goofy Cafe & Dine to try their Big Island Honey French Toast.

-After you hike to Manoa Falls, dine at Manoa Treetops Restaurant. Beware of the running chickens!

Play and Do

Chief’s Luau at Sea Life Park was my dream come true! 

Waikiki Beach and Shopping

Waimanalo Beach State Park– My preference for white sand and less tourists.

-Go snorkeling in North Shore. This was an adventure list item I was able to cross off the list. The experience was breath-taking…literally!

-Stop by the Makapu’u lighthouse before landing at Makapu’u Beach.

-Hike to Manoa Falls.

 

See

We rented  a car for a day, which allowed us to navigate the island a little more and go off the beaten path.

-Aloha Tower

-Street Art in The Ward Village District

-Makapu’u Tide Pools

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Hula Figurine at Olive & Oliver’s Cafe. You must try the delicious Taro muffin at Goofy’s.

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Green Luscious Mountains in Oahu, Hawaii.

 

Chief’s Luau Aloha Experience

 

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Makapu’u Lookout!

Adventure Awaits!

 

Adventure Thrill List: Snorkeling

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This trip I decided to cross a thrill off my list in Ko’Olina. Snorkeling in 35 ft. of water  with fish, turtles, and other beautiful sea creatures. You can either go during the day to possibly catch a sight of a few dolphins or in the evening to watch the sunset on the horizon. This experience included dinner and drinks. Well worth it!

back views

If you’ve been to Oahu, please share you adventures below. I hope you enjoyed the Oahu Travel Guide and safe travels to you!