New Year Resolution… More You

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“I know of nothing more valuable, when it comes to the all-important virtue of authenticity, than simply being who you are.”
– Charles R. Swindoll

New year. New beginnings. New resolutions. New and better me. At least that’s what I have tried year after year after year. And year and after year after year, I failed on my resolutions. The only result was me being way too hard on myself. “Bad Jodi!”

Well… not this year. I am trying something new. A gentler, more loving approach to personal development. Instead of new resolutions to be a new me, I am going to be more of the real me.

How about you join me in this challenge to be more you instead of a new you?

We always want to make more money, lose weight, pay debt, get a new wardrobe, etc. All of those are positive and it’s good to have goals to improve your life. I have new goals set for this year too.

But what if in 2018, your focus is on becoming more you in everything you do? How would your life improve if you were unapologetically you? Always being your authentic, genuine self under all circumstances is a challenging but worthy effort. If you stopped trying to change your true self and stopped being a watered-down version, you would be happier and more at peace. I know I will be.

Being yourself takes the stress off trying to be someone you’re not. It requires less effort because you’re simply just being with no agenda, acting out a fake persona, or trying to keep up with the status quo. Things will flow gracefully when you tap into the true nature of who you are deep down inside.

To be yourself requires three key things I am working on: Courage, Clear the Clutter and Say Yes to the Best. Hopefully, these will help you too.

Courage
It takes a courageous heart to be yourself in a critical and judgmental world. Especially when this world exists in your mind. The more you are yourself, the more confident and independent you will become to stand strong in your beliefs, talents and gifts.

Every day, be brave to take off the masks you wear, stop playing the roles you play and choose to be present instead of going through the motions. When you have the courage to show the scars, the rawness underneath, magic starts to happen. This magic is the real you. Being brave showing all of yourself helps you connect with others in a deep and powerful way. Including connecting with yourself.

Clear the Clutter
To be more you, clear the clutter from your life. Physically and emotionally. When you clear what no longer serves you, you clear the space for you to see the light within. Clutter is distracting keeping you away from true joy and happiness.

In your physical space, donate old clothes from your closet you never wear, get rid of those old pots and pans taking up room in your cupboard and clear your table from papers and unnecessary items to leave room for a mindful meal.

In your emotional life, let go of self-doubt, judgements, fear, anger, worry, resentment or any negative thoughts about yourself. Imagine throwing these thoughts and feelings into a big, yellow dump truck in front of your house. One by one throw these negative thoughts away. When you are done dumping everything, see the dump truck driving away from your house. How do you feel? Do you feel more clear, peaceful and at ease?

The more clutter you remove, the more you can see the real you. Just like when you remove clutter from a room, everything looks clear with light shining into the open space.

Say Yes to the Best
Make a commitment to yes to the best and no to the good. When you say yes to what’s best for you, you give your true self permission to shine and take center stage. You deserve to do what’s in your best interest to live aligned with your vision, goals and beliefs.

Never back down from your gifts to please others. Do what you feel is right in your heart. Remember, you are the one who was to live with you the most. When you do things to fulfill you in the deepest way, your life will be peaceful and full of wonder. This will make your loved ones happy too because they will feel your positive energy emanating from your soul.

Your experiences will be vivid and vibrant by committing to the best things. You will have less stress and resentment and will stop feeling overwhelmed by choosing to say no to the good. You enter a sacred space connecting to your true self, God and the energies surrounding you. Living and being the real you and doing things honoring your true self allows you to live in the moment going with the flow of life. You are free to just be.

Join me in 2018 to be more you. It won’t be easy and it will be scary. But you will be energized, happy and peaceful living true to yourself. God wants us to be who we are, nothing less and nothing different. He created us for a reason with a purpose for being here. Let’s honor His will for us and honor ourselves deep in our hearts and souls.

Commit to this resolution with me to be more you.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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Fall Down 7, Get Up 8

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“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”
– Vince Lombardi

I’ve lost dozens of sparring matches. The first time I sparred, I got beat so bad. It was embarrassing…. I hated it. But I got back up into the ring again, again and again. And I lost again, again and again. But over time, I won. And then I won again, again and again. Now I love it!

I’ve been thrown what seems like a million times. I’ve been slammed, choked, arm barred and pinned more times I can count. I’ve failed over and over attempting to get my self-defense techniques, throws, falls, kicks, and punches to even being remotely acceptable. But did I let my failures stop me? Hell no. I kept going and going until my techniques were strong, powerful, effective and correct.

One of the biggest lessons I learned as a martial artist, is to get back up every time I fall. In 2018, I am testing for 5th Dan Master. A milestone I’d never achieve had I quit after falling, failing and making thousands of mistakes along the way.

If you are passionate about a goal you want to achieve, you will fall down. Not once, but LOTS. It’s a part of the process required for learning, growing and becoming a greater more powerful you.

Will it hurt if you fall? Yes. Will you feel stupid? Most likely. Will you improve? Definitely. Will you master it? Only if you stick with it.

Toddlers are miniature masters at this. Their hands climb up the couch so they can stand on their wobbly legs and little feet. With a swift brush of bravery and a sense of wonder, they take their first few steps. Bam! Falling right on their butts. But do they give up? NO! They giggle, get up and try again, again and again. I mean seriously… have you ever heard of a toddler quitting to walk because they fell? They get up and do it again. Some cry, some giggle. But either way, they keep going. Next thing you know, they’re running and off to the races (while driving their parents mad!)

Falling is a gift. It shows you what improvements need to be made to achieve your goals. It gives you a window to peek into your strengths and weakness to know more about yourself and how to reach excellence.

Here are 8 things I learned from getting up after falling time and time again. Maybe they will help you.

  1. The first time you try something, you will fail. Accept it. Understand it. Embrace it. You will fall. But that’s totally ok and completely normal. Learning how to fail develops humility and to respond to failures with grace and dignity.
  2. If you want to be great, you need to make mistakes. It helps you learn and to discover where your holes are. Mistakes are your greatest teachers.
  3. Falling and getting back up again develops perseverance. You learn to stick to your goals no matter what obstacles you face or what challenges fall on your path. There will always be something standing in your way. Never giving up builds tenacity and deep inner strength to accomplish anything you put your heart and mind to. If your goal was easy to achieve, it would be meaningless.
  4. You will cultivate courage. When you fall, it hurts. Mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically. It takes courage to get back up and face your pain again.
  5. You take 100% responsibility for your own life. By taking ownership of yourself, you never let anything or anyone get in your way. It’s all up to you. It’s your choice to get this thing done no matter what.
  6. You learn it gets easier with practice. The first time you do something, you will suck. The more you do it, the less you will suck. Over time, it feels a little smoother, a little easier. One day, it will feel effortless. Easy, peasy. You will wonder why it was so hard in the first place! With this consistent effort and practice, you will improve becoming proficient.
  7. You will move forward. Even if it’s small steps. Whether progress is slow or fast, you will get somewhere. If you quit, you will get nowhere.
  8. Your confidence will grow. By getting up every time you fall and facing your fear of failure, your self-confidence will build. Seeing improvements in your progress creates momentum giving you the inspiration to keep going.

To become great requires years of perseverance, determination and commitment even in the face of adversity. Getting back up each time you fall creates mental endurance and deeply rooted integrity with unwavering strength.

Failing is a part of the process from beginner to master. If you fail but still trying your best, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Embrace the reality you will make mistakes along the way. Your failures don’t define you but it’s your responses to them that defines you.

What matters most is the journey, not the destination. Enjoy every moment…even when you fall. By getting up each time you fall, you will become a better, powerful, stronger and more empowered you.

Time to Rise

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“Rise above the storm, and you will find the sunshine.”
– Mario Fernandez

In times of intense struggle as the world whizzes past your head, you’re granted permission to take a rest, pause and slow down. For our sanity and well-being, all of us need a break to catch our breath, ground our energy and center ourselves.

But there are times we need to suck it up and rise. Above the ashes. Out of the rubbles. Over the brick wall. In these moments, we rise and awaken to see our inner truth creating a new reality manifesting our heart’s desire.

If want it, you gotta go for it. Even when you’re feeling sick, rejected, worthless, depressed, scared and exhausted. Get up and go. Push through it. Punch your obstacles in the face. Throw negativity to the ground. Charge forward. Fast or slow. Doesn’t matter. Momentum builds over time. If you feel like shit, that’s ok. Yes, it will hurt. It will be hard. It will suck. You might even cry.

But the more you move, the less it will suck and the better you’ll feel. Action is natural medicine healing your stress, anxieties and ailments bringing positivity and light to the surface. Stagnation creates pain and suffering, action creates fluidity, clarity and peace of mind. Choose action.

Rise because you want to. Not because someone else wants you to. This is your time to accelerate your personal development and expand your level of consciousness. Your character will build. You’ll create deeper integrity rooted in your values and beliefs. You’ll become the superhero of your own life with strength, commitment and perseverance.

Don’t let that thing, big or small, stop you. Challenges and obstacles are to be expected. It’s a part of the process. Use them as fuel giving you energy to drive your dreams closer to the destination.

Prove it to yourself that you are capable and you can do it. When you feel like you’ll never make it or get through, remind yourself you are stronger than you know. Think about how awesome you will feel in the end. And trust me… you will feel fucking awesome.

Wake up. Get up. Rise. Take one small step forward. Then another. Crawl. Walk. Jog. Push. Punch. Kick. Keep going. Don’t stop. You got this.

This is your time.

Right. Now.

Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

Be Brave

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“Fortune and love favor the brave.”
– Ovid

Do you want to be brave? Be courageous? Be stronger and more powerful? If you answered yes, then it’s going to take work. You’ll need to throw yourself into the fire and swim in the deep waters. Facing your fears head on whether you believe in yourself or not is a must. To be brave, just do it.

Being brave is hard, scary and sometimes paralyzing. But the rewards are amazing creating a better, stronger and more powerful you. You’ll learn new skills and abilities. You’ll discover talents you never knew you were blessed with. And you’ll realize, maybe even surprised, by how strong and brave you already are.

Being courageous comes in many forms. It doesn’t mean you should do crazy feats like skydiving or bungee jumping. It’s about facing your fears with faith and belief you have it within yourself to overcome challenges and adversities. You’ll learn to live strong in your beliefs and do what your heart desires no matter what anyone thinks. Many times, it requires you to do the right thing even when you don’t feel like it.

True acts of courage are built on the foundation of your heart and spirit. It’s easier to be brave when you’re passionate about a goal you want to achieve. It’s easier to have courage when you stand up for someone you love. When your heart and spirit is filled with faith and optimism, you can face the fear of being yourself out in the world.

What can you do to become the brave warrior you’ve always wanted to be? Or I should say… already are. Try these nine things to push yourself out of your comfort zone forcing you to build courage and confidence.

  1. Public Speaking: Yes, public speaking is frightening. But it teaches you how to deliver effective communication with charisma and energy to keep your audience engaged.
  2. Speak Your Truth: When you are talking with someone who has an opposing view, tell them your beliefs. Don’t argue. Respect their position. But respect your position too. By doing so, this helps you stay true to what you feel is right no matter what.
  3. Open Your Heart: SCARY! You might get hurt. Or rejected. In fact, you will get hurt and rejected. But… you will feel love and deep connection. Getting hurt and feeling love are life’s greatest teachers making your soul grow and evolve.
  4. Sit Still in the Silence: Sitting in silence is challenging because we can hear our thoughts and feel our emotions deeper. We are addicted to background noise and distractions to muffle our minds and bury our feelings. Turn off the TV, turn down the music and pause the podcast. Learn to sit still in the silence. Be brave to see the truth of what’s going on within.
  5. Perform in Front of an Audience: Do something you enjoy in front of people. Illicit feedback from qualified people. Maybe it’s a dance routine, singing a song, reading poetry you wrote or a comedy act. Choose something you are passionate about with a desire to share it with others.
  6. Be a Leader: Be adventurous and take the lead on a project, a class or a team of people. Do it even if you don’t have leadership experience. Let of worries of being wrong. You will learn along the way and gain confidence over time.
  7. Do Something You Have Always Wanted to Do: even if you it’s your first time knowing you will suck in the beginning. The more you do your thing, the less you will suck. If you stick with it, you will become awesome!
  8. Do Less and Say No: Simplifying your life and saying no to what doesn’t serve you takes courage. We fear what others think if we say no. We fear we’ll lose out on something if we downsize our life. Saying no to wrong thing and yes to the right thing empowers you to do what matters most and live your life with intention and focus.
  9. Tell Yourself “I Love You”: One of the hardest things to do is to love ourselves. To honor ourselves with unconditional love no matter how much we have failed or let ourselves down takes an enormous amount of courage.

Being brave creates deep inner growth and helps you learn more about yourself and what you are capable of. Stepping out in courage with faith and optimism builds character, strength and integrity. Be brave, be courageous and be the best you.

Photo by Jordan Sanchez on Unsplash

Life Precious Life

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“Be Yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just Be.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Each day passes by with endless to-do lists, working long, hard hours to meet deadlines, numbing ourselves with soul sucking TV and getting lost in the social media rabbit hole. Amid of doing this and that, going here and there, being nowhere and everywhere, we lose sight of what’s important. Life, precious Life.

Life is a precious miracle blessed with many gifts and wonders to offer in this world. Why does it take almost losing it to realize it? Why does it take a terrible disaster to shake us up into appreciating life with gratitude for being alive?

Stop. Look. Listen. You have everything you need. Right here. Right now. Wake up and open your eyes. See how beautiful your precious life is. Without the Universe asking you. Without nature pushing you. Without anything drastic happening to you. Simply be. FEEL the energy of this moment. With devoted time and attention, experience the love felt between family, friends, pets and partners. You never know when these moments will be your last. Continue reading

Be Your Own Guru

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“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”
– Lao Tzu

Your friend will give you advice. Because you need it. Your spiritual teacher will tell you how to pray. Because you need to learn. Your fitness coach will give you a workout plan. Because you need to train without hurting yourself. You read best-selling, self-help books. Because you want to grow and develop.

But, at the end of the day after everyone tell you what’s best for you, there’s only one person who can tell you what’s best. YOU.

No one knows you better than you. No one knows how your body gains weight after one bite of chocolate cake. No one knows who’s the perfect partner for you… or not. No one can tell you the best meditation since you know how your mind works. No self-help book, no matter how well written or if it’s a New York Times best seller, can tell you how to make your life better. Continue reading

Then You Will Be Happy

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“If you want to be happy, be.”
– Leo Tolstoy

If I had more money, then I’ll be happy. If I had the perfect partner, then I’ll be happy. If my loved ones listened to me, then I’ll be happy. If I had my dream job, then I’ll be happy. If I, could I, If I had, If I did…then I’ll be happy.

Or will I be?

Well…no. I won’t be happy. Because the only way to find true happiness is by discovering it within yourself first. It begins and ends with you. Whether you are in a shitty job or have the perfect career, feeling joy and shining your inner light is the key to living a life of balance and harmony.

Searching for happiness outside of yourself or in a bunch of what if’s that may or may not happen, leads you to walking around in big circles. This circle leads you right where you started. Searching for happiness.

Stop searching. Right. Now. Instead look and listen to your heart, your essence, your soul. Within this space is where you’ll find happiness that will sustain you while giving lasting peace and deep inner strength. Only you can provide this. Not anyone else, no other stuff or any other circumstances.

Happiness is also created by living in the here and now. Being fully present while savoring each moment cultivates gratitude for being alive. No matter where you are, how much you’ve suffered or whoever has hurt you in the past… you ALWAYS have something to be grateful for.

Amazing, wonderful and beautiful things will happen. Difficulties, rugs being pulled from underneath you and unexpected traumas will rock your world. All guaranteed. But to remain calm and centered and in all experiences, requires you to embody deep, relentless and committed inner joy.

Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. Or you can choose to be unhappy. It’s up to you. You have free will to decide where to be, what to do and who to be with. If you are in an unhappy relationship, you can work on it or get out. If you hate your job, you can change your perspective or find a new career. God gave you the power to charter your own journey while co-creating your life with the Divine.

Many people claim they are “stuck”. But being stuck is an illusion. No one was brought to this earth to live a stuck life. All of us are meant to experience life filled with joy, passion and purpose with the energy to love and serve others. Taking responsibility for yourself and your life gives you control of your happiness. Not your circumstances controlling you.

Shifting your perspective and changing your mindset, creates the space for happiness to grow. All you need is to see and be aware happiness begins and ends with you. Always.

I don’t a lot of money, but I am happy. I don’t have a beautiful house, but I am happy. I don’t have the perfect partner, but I am happy. Sometimes my son doesn’t listen to me, but I am happy. Doesn’t matter if I, could I, If I had, If I did…because I am happy.

Will you be happy?

Photo by Lesly B. Juarez on Unsplash

5 Simple Things to Create Joy & Brighten Your Spirit

 

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“Joy is the fibre of your Soul. “
– Danielle LaPorte

Life can be challenging, exhausting and heart-wrenching. Let’s face it… sometimes it just plain sucks. But, what if you had a list of simple things to make yourself happy, create joy and brighten your spirit. A go to prescription list to medicate your mind and heal your heart and soul.

Here are some things I’ve tried that helped me and want to share them with you. All I ask is you try one of them, just for one day. If any of these makes you feel happy and joyful, awesome! If none of these make you happy and joyful, that’s ok too. It means this wasn’t the right list for you. But the world is unlimited filled with opportunities to create peace and joy.

  1. Do Not Worry: Just for today, let go of your worries and release your troubled mind. You know those stories of mass destruction filled with pain and suffering playing repeatedly in your mind? Guess what? Never happens. It’s easy to imagine worst-case scenarios. But, in the end, everything usually turns out OK. All worrying does is steal your light sucking the life force energy out from underneath you. The next time you worry, replace it with prayer or a positive affirmation. Worry steals life, but prayer feeds life.
  2. Meditate: Sit in silence for five minutes a day. Yes, just five minutes. To calm the mind and build focus, that’s all you need. Sit on a chair or sit on the floor with your back straight. Focus on your breathing. In and out, in and out. When the mind wanders, and it will, gently bring it back to the breath. Just breathing. When thoughts come, let them go like waves in the sea or clouds in the sky. A simple, daily meditation practice gives you presence of mind to create peace, clarity and stillness in all areas of your life.
  3. Spend Time Outside: Spend 10-20 minutes a day outside in nature. Take your dog for a walk, play ball with your kids in the backyard, look at the stars at night, or read a book sitting next to a tree. When you spend time outside, you ground your energy releasing any negativity from your body and your energy field. Nature is a natural healer balancing and centering yourself making you feel peaceful, whole and connected.
  4. Pray: Talk to God for 5-10 minutes every day. Pray for yourself when you feel lost and can’t see the sun beyond the storm. Pray for your family when they are sick and want to ease their pain. Pray for your friends so they may be happy, successful and prosperous. Pray for your neighbors, the Walmart store clerk, the UPS guy who comes to your office, and even the stranger on the street whom you never met. When you pray for others and yourself, you feel a connectedness to humanity with a deep understanding we are all one.
  5. Read Spiritual Books: Read a book on spirituality. Whether it’s reading a Bible scripture, a chapter from the Course in Miracles or any author whose words touch your heart, it will lighten your spirit making you feel inspired and alive. Words are powerful with ability to penetrate deeply in your soul helping you see things from a different perspective. Reading spiritual books creates positive change within yourself bringing you to a higher vibration.

With the energy of today’s environment and the stress pounding on your soul every day, take a little time to make yourself happy. Even if it’s just for one day, try these simple things to shine rays of light into your spirit and to open your heart. You deserve to feel joy and love in your life no matter where you are. If you start today, then maybe you can feel joy the next day, then the next, and the next… until one day living in joy and being the light is the essence of who you are.

Love Yourself First

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“Do you want to meet the love of your life? Look in the mirror.”
– Byron Katie

Every morning when you wake up, the first thing you should do is to appreciate yourself, your life and your new day. Know deep in your heart you have much to be grateful for. Your alive. Your breathing. Your blank canvas is waiting for you. It’s beckoning for you to paint the scenes of the hours and minutes of your life to come. But, to create a beautiful masterpiece filled with color and vibrant energy requires one vital thing …

Love Yourself First.

If your day gives you lemons and throws rocks at you, be easy on yourself. We all have bad days, but they don’t define us. They are an experience. A learning lesson. Are they hard and excruciatingly painful sometimes? Yes, absolutely! But they are only a moment in time. And this moment will pass until becoming a distant memory fading into the infinite sky. So, when life throws you punches and you feel you can’t take anymore punishment, remember this one thing to keep you strong…

Love Yourself First

When you make a mistake a work, feel fat, forget to pay a bill on time, have a bad hair day with a humongous pimple on your face, get angry at your kids, feel overwhelmed, unworthy and plain stupid… remember you are beautiful, loving, compassionate, amazing, powerful and strong. And, your totally and completely worth it. You will feel awesome above all the shit in your life if you remember this one thing…

Love Yourself First

Creating more light in the world spreading joy and peace begins with you. If you love yourself a little bit more each day, it spreads like wildfire into your soul, into your heart, to your loved ones, the grass beneath your feet, the next-door neighbors, to their next-door neighbors, then spreading to every being in your town. This wildfire of fierce, purifying, magnificent love begins and only begins with you. To ignite this fire of sacred love, all you need to do is this one simple thing…

Love Yourself First

The truth is real love is not outside of yourself. It’s in you. You are love. Yesterday, you were love. Tomorrow, you will be love. This is essential truth never changes. All you need is to drop your guard and see it, feel it, hear it and know it. No matter what happens to you or what challenges you face, the light of love always shines bright even beneath the dark clouds. So on the days you mess up and fall apart to biblical proportions or create magic with your presence, remember this most important thing…

Love Yourself First

Photo credit www.stuchy.com

Heartbeat… Can You Hear It? Can You Feel It?

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“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition – they somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
– Steve Jobs

If you want to live a passion filled life – the fire burning in the pit of your stomach, courageous truthfulness, unlimited creativity, big and bigger vision, then feeding and feeling your heartbeat is essential.

What attracts you? What draws, yanks and pulls at your innermost desires? What fuels your burning need begging for attention? What makes your heart beat hard and fast taking your breath away?

Whatever is for you — listen and follow your heartbeat all the way. Maybe it’s fulfilling a childhood dream that always haunts the back of your mind. Or doing something to overcome your fear with a pure act of courage. Perhaps a call to serve humanity in a way that raises your spirit. Or feeling the push and pull of an energetic connection with another human being. Or maybe it’s the wild, out of this world creative idea dying to get out of your head into the real world.

The rhythm and beating of your heart signals to what drives you, motivates you, inspires you and captivates you. When it beats strong spreading warmth throughout your body, it means yes. When it beats slow or normal, it means no. Listen to the sound and feel your body’s wisdom. Then, follow and act on the messages of truth sent by your heart.

Listening and acting upon the thundering sounds within paves the way to live the life you are meant to live. They’re clues, signals and messages to take the next big step and venture into the uncharted. Trust the messages and believe if you follow, you will discover great treasures along the way.

No one said it was easy to listen and do what excites your spirit. But, if you are crying for more wanting to unleash the veil between the ordinary and the extraordinary, you must say go right now. Not next month. Not next week. Not tomorrow. But… Right now.

What is it that thing gripping your heart making it move. Stop and listen. Even just for a second. Can you hear it? Can you feel it? The boom, boom, boom beating of your heart is speaking to you, beckoning you, guiding you to what brings you happiness, passion, wonder and fulfillment.

Listen. Feel. Follow. Go. Do… right now.

Featured photo by Sergio Rola