January 31, 2012

First Skydiving Experience

Saturday January 28th was my GOLDEN birthday -- for those that don't know what that means, it's when you turn the age of the day you were born -- so for me, I turned 28 on the 28th. Yes, I just revealed my age to everyone. Most women are afraid of this...NOT ME. I love getting older and wiser, just wish the skin would stay in its teens. haha.

I wanted to do something special for this birthday since it was a special birthday Skydiving was on my bucket yes, yes people really do have these..at least I do : ) so I decided this was the easiest and most accessible thing on my list to achieve on my birthday. I gathered up a group of friends that were brave enough to join, or not so brave but decided to conquer this fear and go for it. We ended up with a nice group of 5 lovely people, all first time jumpers! We took off from Los Angeles and ventured up the coast to Lompoc - a town 1 hour north of Santa Barbara in wine country. We jumped out of the car, well I did and danced the whole way to check-in. After we checked in we had to watch a quick video while we signed our disclaimer stating we could die and we won't sue if we do die -- tell me, if i'm dead, how is this even possible? ha.

After the paper work we had to wait around for about a hour because of fog delays from the morning jumpers. While we waited I did my own yoga practice, danced some more, did some more yoga and danced some more. My adrenaline was so high I couldn't even stand it. A friend of mine in New York City called the night before to wish me a happy birthday at midnight - NYC time and we made a bet, that I would pee at least 5 times before I got on the plane because of all my excitement. We both lost the bet, it was only two times ; ) unless you count the 2 or 3 times before I drove up to the jump. Looks like we split dinner!

When it was our turn they called us up to get us suited into our sexy jump suits and to partner us up with our instructor. I told them to give me the cutest one they got so they paired me up with Josh. They picked my type well!!! Shaggy hair, scruffy face, tall...yup..he was CUTE! haha. We went through a quick run down of what was going to happen and the video taping started -- we jumped on the plane, sat in front of our partners, I gave Josh a lap dance..on my birthday..wait..wasn't i suppose to be getting some kind of favor..hmmm. haha. My excitement level continued to rise the higher we got, once we reached 13,000ft it was time. I swung my legs out of the plane, Josh pushed and we were gone!!! AHHHHHHHHH! The experience was so amazing, it was beautiful! The feeling of floating in the air is really hard to describe, something you all have to experience yourselves, lets just say I was very happy Josh had ear plugs in cause I couldn't stop screaming, "Oh my god. Oh my god wow this is amazing. Beautiful." and it continued like that the whole way down. We did experience a little malfunction with our first parachute, apparently, whoever packed it didn't pull the strings tight enough so there was a little tangled mess. When Josh said, "Ok, this is not good." My face goes from extremem excitment to holy shit I'm high up here and I may die on my birthday (and you can see this happening in the video). He talked me through what to do and we were both very calm in the situation..I pulled the cord, we plummeted towards the earth and then our reserve chute opened up and ahhhhhh...we're ALIVE!! hahaha. This really added to the excitment of the whole ride. I'm going back next month to do it again!!!!

Here's the video :) turn up the volume and enjoy the ride!

Thank you Skydive Santa Barbara -- can not wait to see you all again!!!!

January 17, 2012

Ways to Find Inner Peace within Yourself

1. Accept what IS -- too many of us spend our time putting all our energy towards focusing on things that we have no control over. We have to learn to accept what is happening in the present moment, quit expending your energy to try and figure out what may happen or what happened and how it could be fixed (it hasn't even happened yet so don't focus on what isn't..be here in this present moment because that's the only moment that truly exsists whatever you're focusing on in the past it already happened--let it go). Stop worrying about what others "think" of you - be your beautiful self, we don't know what others are thinking, we can make up stories all day and start to believe them in our own mind.

2. Meditate - set aside at least 5 minutes a day to rest your mind and your thoughts. In such a busy city/world it's easy for us to get lost in our thoughts and the buzz of what's happening around us. Step back and breathe and turn your focus inwards to relax your mind and calm your breathe. Just allow yourself to be completely free of any responsibilites that you may have and take this time to refresh yourself.

3. Spend time in nature - people who spend time in nature are naturally happier, we came from nature - we are nature - we are at peace with nature. Every day work on getting outside, even if it's just a walk around the block. It brings so much peace to your mind and body to re-connect yourself with nature, to breathe in the fresh air, to focus on the beauty that surrounds us, the leaves-the trees-the animals. We are one with it all.

4. Learn the power of a smile - try it now..it's hard to be mad or sad if you just smile : ) if you're feeling stuck, smile, laugh out loud it releases certain chemicals in the body that instantly make you happier. If I feel any sort of agitation or anger coming on I instantly close my eyes, take a deep breath and smile and remind myself how beautiful life is. That anger that was once there is now gone. And a smile or a laugh affects others around you, as soon as you do it, it's like a chain reaction..others start to do it too : )

5. Care about others - of course the number one thing is to find love in yourself before you can love others but if you become so self indulged in your own needs you shelter yourself from complete happiness. Learn how to care for each and every one, people that are close to you, complete strangers...any act of kindness brings peace to you internally. Smile and say Hi to a stranger. Bring a friend out for coffee. There's a little thing that I like to do as I'm walking the streets and I feel my internal flame brighten...I smile at every stranger I walk by and I say a little mantra to them..for example, if they don't smile back and look angered  I continue to smile and internally I wish them much love and peace.

6. Never lose hope - Realize that this is life, there will always be bumps in the road some bigger than others but never lose hope because this is just a bump and you will get over it and move forward. The universe has immense plans for us and if we lost that hope and dwelled on how shitty our life was at the moment we would continue to move forward with a negative outlook. Stop, breathe and tell yourself you're going to get through this, this is just a life lesson that is teaching you something more beautiful.

7. Keep learning - just realize that you don't know everything and you won't know everything. Be open to accepting others ideas and opinions and to learn from them. Too often I have been guilty of this - I've wanted to know it all so in response to what someone would tell me I'd say "I know" it became a bad habit that I caught onto and realized that it was ok to say.."you know what, I don't know..thank you for telling me and I'm open to learning more about it"

8. Live in the present moment - We stress about what's next, we stress about what did or didn't happen. We are continuously looking into the future and wanting to be there but stop and just BE HERE NOW. The only time we have is right here this very moment, who knows, there may not be a tomorrow, the past has happened and is only a memory - even a second ago is just a memory so why put your focus towards any of that. If we continue to focus on the past and the future we will turn around to realize that we forgot about the present moment and that we are living in a fantasy world in our mind.

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”
St. Francis de Sales