Aug 1st stamps the end of the 6-month mark of my traveling experiment. On Feb 1st of this year I let go of my apartment, my part time job, 10 years of connection in Los Angeles and set out on the road in my van. Months later I reflect on the experience and A. can’t believe it has been 6 months, B. that I have had all the experiences that I have had in such a short amount of time. The greatest of all experiences, is that of being able to connect with others in a way that would not have been possible was I still submerged in my self-absorbed hustle of city survival. Don’t misunderstand that statement as a dislike of cities or of the people in them, I have every intention to see the cities (and villages) of the world and connect with the people there, but for me it was time to set off on my own.
I made this choice not because I had a ton of extra finances to just breeze through (I certainly did not), but because I wanted a better quality of life, a smaller footprint, with less expenditure to create and hopefully save more income. I wanted this without having to continuously be in a state of stress and without sacrificing my goal of a life sustained and elevated through art and tattooing. Most importantly I wanted to create and sustain all this through a business platform powered via honesty, transparency, kindness, compassion, and healing. So what I thought was going to be a badass wandering adventure, where I would be giving rides and tattoos to people all over the country, became a surrendering to the kindness, compassion, and healing provided by the world around me (still badass of course). I thought I was going to be the strong caretaker and instead I was given the opportunity to slow the fuck down and see the strength in others and thus consequently see the strength within myself. I have seen heroes and heroines within the people who I have been honored to tattoo, stay with, connnect with, who also want to give to and care for others. They are remarkable in my eyes and I am humbled to have experienced the gift of their ‘touch.’
It has not been easy; there are trade offs and sacrifices just as there are in all other lifestyles. But the journey that I have undergone has been worth every unsure, insecure, exhausted, sad, scary moment that balances out all the intensely happy, fulfilling, successful, connective, growing, and tattoo filled moments. A love fllled adventure package packed with practical and tangible manifestations, indefinable encounters with omens and moments of crystal clarity. I have mingled with the stars on cliffs and rode the storms in and out of many places. Where sidewalks end, I have walked towards what appeared to be ‘the end’ of the scene, which became the beginning thanks to sudden and sometimes delicately subtle shifts in perspective. An outstretched hand, a warm smile, a phone call to check in and see how I am or where am I, a written word in an abandoned book… all appeared to remind me that North was still in front of me and my heading was true.
Life will never be the same. Life in its truest moments, in so many ways, is ineffable.
What I can piece together from the nearly indescribable journey, some new, some old, some borrowed, looks like this from my observations (fair warning that there may be some bias due to the fact, and I think it only fair to reveal, that I have been single and celibate for almost a solid 2.5 years now):
Believe in things and question it all. Keep yourself on your toes. Dance with change often and find stability in the absence of. Chaos is the womb of calm and creation, be the eye of your storms. Stand on as many cliffs and in as many storms as you can. Ride the winds. Follow that inexplicable longing towards people, places and things. Observe until there is legitimate reason to act, most situations reveal the resolutions. Choose wisely, act authentically, and be forgiving when you don’t. Be quiet, be still, and listen. Be, through discovering where your thoughts, words, and deeds come from, otherwise you may never know who is captaining your ship. Aloneness is not loneliness; in fact it is a great tool, assistant, for discovery and self-love. Be single after a break up of any nature or at anytime, let the mind, body, and soul let go, reset, and honor the spaces of the past. Don’t have sex or have sex, but don’t feel you need to settle even for sex, lovers, when chosen wisely can be empowering and great teachers. Do not mistake sex for love, they are both great in different ways, but they are not the same. Be naked or wear everything, but make the choice and other choices from a place predominantly uninfluenced by others. Spend time in nature. Positive messages are delivered from all sorts of messengers. Things happen for reasons, sometimes things just happen and that’s the reason. When it feels right, a mixture of nervousness and excitement, fear and courage, take that time to make leaps, take risks, take chances and support others in doing so. The more we follow our hearts and support others in doing so the more the whole world will do so. Money is absolutely not everything, but it is useful in this current reality and it is nothing to fear if you feel good about how it is generated and expended. There is black, white, grey, and all the colors in between, you can choose what hues to paint with at all times. Sleep as much as your body needs and always loose sleep for creative spurts. Have quality friends over quantity. Being kind and compassionate also includes being firm. Say YES, even to saying no. Ask yourself what you are saying yes to through your choices. Ask yourself what supports your balance. Dream and dream bigger, then work backwards to manifest dreams into reality, practicality is a friend in creation. Science is magic explained, magic is science unexplained. The environment around you generally provides all the necessary options required. Love big and wide without touching and without giving into the need to consume, a burning passion for life will build bigger and brighter. Get lost so you can be found. Don't want everything right now, because if you get it at the wrong time you may not appreciate it. Ask others what is their perception of you. Ask others about their vision. Ask me about the couch therom. Be open to receiving what you need versus what you want. Don’t follow the crowed, the culture, the cool vibe, walk your own uncharted trail, because even ancient wisdoms may need to adapt to modern ways of existing. Anyone who wants to lead should probably not be followed or at least be given ample time to show their true nature. Push your comfort zones and discover your strength. Hypocrisy and contradictions are everywhere; find the balance in it all. Plan often, but welcome the detours that happen. Travel and discover that ‘family’ and ‘home’ is anywhere and everywhere. “The lifting of a finger disturbs the farthest star.’ Life is details and sauce. ‘You get one chance at a first impression, but many second chances to share who you really are.’ Please share! We are not going at this solo, we are not as special and entitled as we like to portray; everywhere certain people are experiencing similar thoughts and events, they share an unspoken bond, so when we are ‘lost,’ too busy to call, needing time to ourselves, know that we will reconnect with those bonds, with the people we love and who love us. It really is never to late to start again... unless of course, it's going for gymnastics training and your 80. Actually, there might just be an 80 year old practicing gymnysts out there.
My eternal thanks to those heroes and heroines who have been a major source of support, my gratitude extends far beyond what I can type out into the digital realm. Thanks to you, thanks to the world at large, I look out over the next several months with a mixture of nervousness and excitement, fear and courage, ready to leap and continue onward.
Painting on the front proch.
It's all about the Crayons.
Machine free tattoo session in Oakland.
found an abandoned journal on a hike in Oakland and flipped to this random page.
All the things swirling and twirling, the wonder of our lives. Life is long and beautiful, colorful and black and white. All the things and all the absence of things. Emptiness and fullness. Ineffable. Life is long and beautiful, to live it like it is short is to cheat the details, the small perfect little things that can create the biggest impacts.
Tattooing in a vintage studio in Los Angeles.
Wandering in the Flagstaff woods.
This is what my tattoo travel looks like.
tools of passion. Machine free tools.
Bruce and his witches planning an Arizona travel adventure. One of the ladies is on Facetime.
Sky for days. Driving from Arizona to California.
Machine free session.
On of my favorite moments to witness at Lightning in a Bottle.
We sister witches three, created our and tattooed our sigil at Lightning in a Bottle.
Sunrise on my 30th birthday, Santa Barbara.
The view from my conference call ont he side of the road in the middle of somewhere.
Panther Beach Santa Cruz.
Big Sur California.
Big Sur California. Biggest fallen tree I have ever walked across.
Rise and shine archery session.
Long Beach California Session.
my temp roommmate during one of my visits to Los Angeles.
Sun Dog in Santa Cruz.
Hipster hang out.
Decided to dip my feet in the ocean. It has become a thing when I land in certain areas. I waded into the water and stood there for a moment. A feather washed up coated in oil from the recent spill and I picked it up along with a black rock that looked like a piece of coal. After a bit I walked back to the sand, kneeled, and placed the rock and the feather together. Using a Green Tara mantra (Om Tare Tutare Ture Swa Ha) shared by Lama Tsultrim Allione I mediated before burying the stone and the feather in the warm white sand. I love our oceans, so fortunate to have them.
Campsite on the California coast.
Last sunset of my 20's.
cliff in Big Sur.
Fist day of vanlife. Feb. 1st 2015.
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