COTN Episode 10: Gifts

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COTN Episode 10: Gifts

It's YouTube Tuesday and with the holiday season strongly among us I thought it would be nice to reflect at all the gifts in life. I'm thankful and grateful for being able to live the life that I want to. To be me and have the support of my family, friends and others.

A big thank you to my sponsors. You make it so a little punk like me can explore the world. Thank you:

  • BioLite for keeping my spirits lifted with the best morning coffee or pipping hot evening stew.
  • Big Agnes for keep India and me warm at night with a snuggly sleeping bag and roof over our heads when its too hot to sleep in the van.
  • Gnarbox for making film making soooooo much easier.
  • Dakota Stones for the most badass chakra stones, which brings empowerment to us all.

Happy Holidays and mad love to y'all!

Heart Shaped World

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Day 30 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

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Day 30 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

90% of people have some sort of regret at the end of life. I don't want to be in that 90%, do you? There are things that I will never do and I'm okay with that. But there are things I MUST do before my death: bike solo across NZ, get married, be a mom, build a house for my family (with my own two hand from the ground up), bring empowerment to women, have a successful business, spin prayer wheels in the Himalayas, visit the Sahara Desert and much more. Don't forget the daily MUSTS: meditate, enjoy nature, be kind and loving to myself and others, 3 gratefuls, live life, love life! 

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Day 29 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

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Day 29 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

I'm busy training and planning for my solo bike tour across both islands of New Zealand, Tour Aotearoa! I'm riding as much as I can (thanks to the nice weather!!), gathering gear, working with sponsors, raising money to finance the trip, booking plane tickets, planning routes, and making all sorts of plans. I'm even making plans incase I get hurt or die. I'm putting together my advance directives, which is pretty much a written document stating my medical treatments, my living will and power of attorney. 

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Day 28 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

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Day 28 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

Yesterday I went to a family members funeral. The service was very nice embracing the life that was lived but I couldn't help but think how will I be remembered??? Who will tell my life story? How will they tell it? This kind of upset me making me feel like I have no control. So I've decided I will tell my story by pre-planning my memorial service.

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Day 27 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

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Day 27 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

For the last 4 days, I'm gonna talk about one of the biggest fears, phobias, and changes in life: Death. This topic is one that most do not like to talk about. I find comfort in talking about the things that scare me most. The more I learn and accept the less I'm fearful. 

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Day 26 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

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Day 26 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

Each generation has skepticism on the future but I have to say I have a lot of faith in the next generation. I've visited schools across the US and mountain bike coached our future selves. This opened my eyes to how each and every one of us helps to shape the world around us: past, present, future. If you are afraid of what lies ahead, then step in and "be the change you want to see in the world." Gandhi

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Day 24 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

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Day 24 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

Giving Grateful

#1 Grateful

Beads of Courage: The Beads of Courage Program is a resilience-based intervention designed to support and strengthen children and families coping with serious illness. Through the program members tell their story using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that they receive to honor and acknowledge each step of their treatment journey. I'm grateful for this generous charity and the brave work they do! I'm also grateful to be carrying beads of courage with me during the 2018 Tour Aotearoa

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Day 23 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

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Day 23 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

For this week, I feel its very fitting to focus on gratitude.  This practice may cause you to be vulnerable, which I'm grateful for but I know vulnerability can lead to fear. I also know, that the more we practice gratefulness AND vulnerability the less scary it becomes and the more pleasurable it will be. If you add this simple practice to your daily life I KNOW that your fear will be replaced with love. 

Challenge for this week: Add the 3 Grateful to your daily life. Either ask your family at dinner, friends over drinks or message me on this blog but share the 3 things you are grateful for each day. Do this all week long, month long, or add to your daily practice to see if you feel your heart swell.

Thanksgiving Grateful 

#1 Grateful

The Evil Reverend "India" Santiago Sheppard III, Esq: She's a beasty brindle boxer full of spunk but she's also my protector, partner in crime, dinner dance partner, bed hog, trail buddy and best friend. I'm grateful to have had 9 amazing years with her and look forward to many more!!!!

#2 Grateful

Cracker Salad: My family created this strange yet delicious Potato salad-esque (sub potatoes for saltines, yes, saltines) holiday favorite. I wasn't able to indulge in this traditional treat for years BUT thanks to gluten free crackers I can now, once again, part take! And what's even better, I get my very own bowl!!!!

#3 Grateful

Multi Thanksgivings: I come from a multi-family where the holidays use to be so much! I'd race from holiday house to holiday house trying to fit everyone in for some lovin'. I felt this as a burden until I realized this is a blessing. I spent so much time alone during van life that I began to appreciate my large, strange, unique, diverse, loud, weird and amazing family!!! I am grateful for them all! 

Enjoy your day and this amazing time with your family. That's what today is all about! Happy Thanksgiving!

Order your Empowerment Beads by Dec 10th for Holiday Delivery!!!

10% OF ALL SALES GO DIRECTLY TO THE CHARITY BEADS OF COURAGE

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Heart Shaped World

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Day 22 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

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Day 22 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

My homestate of Nebraska is badass! I am grateful for being from such an amazing place. Yes, it's cold in the winter, far from the coasts and innovation is just taking hold BUT there is room to grow, every place in the world is just a plane ride away and there are a LEAST 2 weeks a year of the most amazing weather!!! Good 'ol Nebraska.

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Day 20 Fears, Phobias, Change: Real Life Frights

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Day 20 Fears, Phobias, Change: Real Life Frights

As I mentioned before, I have a LOT of change happening in my life. Graduating from van life, focusing on female empowerment, and becoming engaged. These changes have brought things that I was NOT expecting. For instance, during one of our first meals together, my fiance hit me with a very surprising, yet most epic daily practice that, I'm stoked to say, we have brought into our lives. 

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Day 19 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

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Day 19 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

Sahasrara The Crown Chakra

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  • Location: Crown of Head
  • Element: Thought
  • Central Issue: Belief System, Transcendence, Higher Power, Union, Vision
  • Goal: Awakening, Understanding, Enlightenment
  • Right: To Know
  • Demon: Attachment
  • Stones: Amethyst, Clear Quartz, Diamond
  • Color: Violet

Challenging our thoughts and beliefs is a healthy way to open our minds. Looking at something in a new light gives us more insight. Neither is wrong, nor right. The point is to shine the light onto something so that you get to really know it, from all angles. Traveling has given me the opportunity to not only see life, cultures, geography, philosophy (and much much more) in a new way but I also see myself differently. With an open mind you are able to become aware of the differences in the world and not be afraid of them. Embrace them instead of exile them. Join in harmony instead of hate.

Here are a few mediation exercises you can do to help open this transcending chakra to see things in a new way of wisdom. 

Mediation

What a perfect way to let go, get in tune with yourself and the world around you than through mediation. There are all sorts of ways to mediate. Pick one, try it out and see how it works for you. If you aren't really into one, try the other. Enjoy exploring what works best for you!

Observing the breath

In this form of meditation you simply watch your breath go in and out of your body smoothly and evenly. If your mind wanders, you simply bring it back to your breath. Some people like to count as the breath goes in and out, making sure that it is even in both directions, or sometimes longer on the exhalation, which promotes relaxation.

Mantra meditation

Mantra meditation uses the inner repetition of a sound or phrase whose vibration is designed to wake up a facet of consciousness. You simply repeat the mantra over and over in your mind. Mantra meditation is one of the chief techniques of Transcendental Meditation.

Focusing on an image

Whereas a mantra is a sound, a yantra is an image. It might be an image of a deity, a teacher, a color, or a chakra symbol, but whatever it is, it keeps the mind focused.

Observing the sensations of the body

In normal waking consciousness, we often ignore our body’s sensations. Yet the body, as the unconscious mind, may contain important messages. Focusing on its sensations allows them to be completed, eventually freeing the mind to frolic in the emptiness.

Listening intently to music

We listen to music all the time, but to really listen to a piece without doing anything else at all is a meditation in and of itself.

Watching movements in nature, such as fire, water, or clouds

Sitting by the sea and silently watching the waves crash upon the shore, sitting by a fire and watching the flames dance, or lying on your back staring at the clouds are all ways to meditate in nature. These natural rhythms tend to be hypnotic, allowing the mind to go deeper.

Walking in nature

There are also walking meditations, where you take each step slowly and deliberately, truly noticing all that is around you. To be silent in nature is to feel the wind and sunshine on your back, to hear the birds and crickets, smell the flowers, and touch the essence of the Divine.

Affirmations

Here are some great affirmations to tell yourself as well or to think about during meditation or during the exercises. To add little bits of this chakra to your life wear the color violet, wear stones that represent the crown chakra or add either Cedarwood, Frankincense, or Jasmine Oils to a warm bath. 

  • Divinity resides within.
  • I am open to new ideas.
  • Information I need comes to me.  
  • The world is my teacher.
  • I am guided by higher power.
  • I am guided by inner wisdom.

REFERENCES:

JUDITH, ANODEA 2016 "CHAKRAS SEVEN KEYS TO AWAKENING AND HEALING THE ENERGY BODY" 

DAKOTA STONES 

Order your Empowerment Beads by Dec 10th for Holiday Delivery!!!

10% OF ALL SALES GO DIRECTLY TO THE CHARITY BEADS OF COURAGE

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Heart Shaped World

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Day 18 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

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Day 18 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

Trust in your Gut

The world we live in seems to be based around thought. We trust our mind or what we think is logical. The illusion our mind puts out is not in sync with our hearts. How many times have you heard someone ask 'how do you really feel, deep down in your gut?' So, how do you feel about life, love, your career, etc. deep down in your gut? Let's find out. Find a quiet spot, your mediation area or the equivalent.

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Day 17 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

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Day 17 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

This spring I had the opportunity to speak at the annual SNAG (Society for North American Goldsmiths) Conference which took place in New Orleans. I was honored by this but found myself in complete terror. Speaking isn't what freaked me out, being around people was. I had spent the last few months alone in the desert healing. I had transformed into a different person who no longer stayed up to all hours of the night drinking my way through the city streets. I still wasn't comfortable in my new skin and found comfort in solitude. 

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Empowerment Beads

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Empowerment Beads

Empowerment Beads

Since the first day of van life, I've carried a necklace that brings me inspiration, power, and confidence making me feel safe while transitioning into a new life. I was amazed by how much empowerment I gained while wearing this necklace, at still do. I played around with the idea of making some for others but wasn't able to figure it out, til now. I'm thrilled to be able to pass this strength and empowerment to YOU. My fellow adventurers. My fellow maverick women. My fellow seekers of empowerment and inspiration in daily life. 

Necklace $148 Includes Free Shipping

(Gift Wrapping Available)

Materials: Wooden Beads from Round Beads, Chakra Beads from Dakota Stones, Sterling Silver from Halstead and cotton threat. 

Each necklace is knotted by hand, has 108 beads to represent traditional Mala beads, contains chakra beads (which have been cleansed with Chalice Water from Glastonbury, England*), 7 sterling rings representing the 7 chakras, a sterling silver charm representing the 109th bead and finished with a cotton tassel. I put the intention of empowerment into the necklace as I created it, just for you. 

Bracelet $48 Includes Free Shipping

(Gift Wrapping Available)

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Materials: Wooden Beads from Round Beads, Chakra Beads from Dakota Stones, Sterling Silver from Halstead, cotton thread and elastic. 

Each bracelet is created by hand, has 28 beads to represent the traditional Mala beads, contains 7 chakra beads (which have been cleansed with Chalice Water from Glastonbury, England*), a sterling silver charm represents the 28th bead and is finished with a cotton tassel. This bracelet is thread with elastic to stretch round your wrist. I put the intention of empowerment into the bracelet as I created it, just for you. 

Charka Stones:

  • Root chakra: Red Jasper. Grounding stone. Emotional balance. 
  • Sacral chakra: Carnelian. New experiences. 
  • Solar plexus chakra: Citrine. Clarify personal power and energy. 
  • Heart chakra: Jade. Purity, protection, and healing. 
  • Throats chakra: Lapis. Stone of truth, courage and clear communication. 
  • Third eye chakra: Amethyst. Openness, wisdom, protection from negativity. 
  • Crown chakra: Clear quartz. Heightened spiritual awareness, expand consciousness, helps communicate with guides

Place orders by December 10th for holiday delivery (continental US only contact Casey for other areas). 

*After a recent visit to Glastonbury, England I was able to bring back water from the Chalice Well which I use to cleanse each chakra bead with the intention to bring healing, love, and empowerment to you. 

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Day 15 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

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Day 15 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

Finding our own empowerment takes time. It takes confidence, self-discipline, assertiveness, and courage. I have spent so much of my life either smothering my inner fire or making it wildy rage out of control. Thinking we were supposed to have drive, stand up for ourselves, make something of ourselves, have control over everything, be SUPERwoman. RIGHT?!?! Man, that's exhausting. I found that when I put on my Powerhouse panties I bulldozed everything in my way.

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Day 14 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

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Day 14 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

Transitioning from a 'normal' life to road life I found myself diving deep into emotions. Okay, maybe not really deep, more like I was overcome with any and every emotion possible!!! This freaked me out because I thought I was out of control. I felt the road was taking me over but I realized there is a reason we have emotions, they give us guidance. But for some reason we are raised to suppress these feelings. To not show emotions. How many times have you been told:

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Day 13 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

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Day 13 Fears, Phobias and Change: Real Life Frights

This week I'll be focusing on our energy wheels throughout our bodies, also known as Chakras. So much of us have blocked energy in each of our 7 Chakras, learning about each chakra along with learning how to unblock them can lead to better health and happiness! These can be done anytime, especially while traveling. I spent a couple months in the desert last spring working on my chakras which helped me heal my past, embrace my present and open my mind to the future. 

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