Monday, July 30, 2012

Costa Rica - Journal Entry #4



April 26, 2012 

I had never been surfing before but had always viewed it as something that simply defines you as a quintessential badass. By this mere fact, I was allured to the board and becoming a self-proclaimed badass. 

I'm not a good swimmer. I hold my nose when I go under water. I understood surfing would push my aquatic abilities but I'm in Costa Rica and I'm up for the challenge. 

Two locals taught us on the shore. Imaginary surfboards were lined in the sand and we practiced doing an upward facing dog which led to a standing position on the board. After the precautionary information was explained, it was time to head out into water. 

The first trip, would simply be lying on my stomach. I'd ride the wave allowing myself to feel the tide and pull of the water. 

This will be fantastic I thought. I just get to lie here and cruise into shore. 


I was on the board for a total of 3.2 seconds before a wave pummeled over me and swirled me around a bit before allowing my head to bob up for air. 

Alright. That's it. I'm out. What was I thinking? I don't swim. I'm not badass. I belong on shore doing something less strenuous like whittling a stick or applying more sunscreen to my pasty white skin. 

As water drained out of my ears, nose, and eyeballs, I was able to see a bit more clearly. 

Screw stick whittling. Let's give this a real shot. 

I marched back out pulling the board and my new attitude with me. 

It's fierce out there. As Yohan, my instructor, reconizged the right wave rolling in, he'd holler to get on the board. I'm facing the rolling waves and a few crash into my face before Yohan spins my board around to face shore. 

In an instant, I feel the sensation from the wave curl under my board and I know that's my queue to push myself up in preparation to stand. 

As I get up, I mentally check the notes Yohan taught on shore. Foot placement, knees over ankles, butt stuck out and balancing low. Hands straight and spanning the width of my board. 

Everything was in check. I was standing. Granted, it was only for 2 seconds but now I knew I could do it. 

This time, I was ready to march back out before my head had even surfaced. 

I was addicted. A few more attempts, and I was now regularly surfing upright to shore. 

Runs of success pushed me to crave more wins and trips where I was less successful only pushed me to do it again and to do it better. 

By the end of my session, I felt exhilarated. I took some mean falls and succeeded at some smooth rides. In the end though, it was all about the process. 

Far too often, as perfectionists, type-a personalities, and human beings, we beat ourselves up on the status of our successes and failures. Far too often, we let ourselves become defined by a win or a loss. Most often, it's the seemingly failing moments we focus on and sulk into; spending more time basking in a downfall than rising from it to move on to the next wave.

What we should focus on is the ride. It can beat you up, push you down, leave you with shortness of breathe, take your breathe away, balance you, motivate you, make you stronger, and have you bursting with exhilaration.   

But at the end of it, hopfully you walk away simply feeling like a badass. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Costa Rica - Journal Entry #3






April 24, 2012

It's weird. You'd think when you're surrounded by such beauty, it'd be difficult to feel anything but pure joy. Oddly enough, I've felt a range of emotions today; lonely, intense vunerability, and unexplained sadness. It seems downright silly to feel such emotions in a place most will rarely have the opportunity to visit.

Had I been surround by anyone except for this group of women, I would have most likely judged myself for these thoughts and emotions. It is a different mindset here. 

Lori spoke earlier about how small children cope with their emotions conversely to adults. A child often transitions from crying hysterically to running around like crazy. Then, giggling to sniffling tears, falling asleep, and back to playing again with big smiles. They feel their feelings and they experience them fully as they come.

Why as adults do we tend to judge our emotions? 

"I can't be tired now, I have more errands to run." "I'm hungry but dinner is not for another two hours." "I can feel the tears welling up but I'm at work." "I feel like staying home to rest but my friends are waiting."

Why do we judge our thoughts and feelings rather than let ourselves feel them without fear, doubt, or even apologies?

Here it's easier to feel like children do. Just this afternoon I teared up during a conversion with some of the ladies. 

Then, I cried. I cried a really deep cry. 

The day and my emotions completely transformed when a spontaneous dance party evolved out on the yoga deck after dinner. 

There's something to dancing freely under the Costa Rican stars overlooking the ocean and mountains. It is both an idealistic feeling that could be deemed as merely wishful thinking and a moment of jubilant, comfortable, grateful reality. 

The ladies formed a circle and each one paraded through the middle. It didn't matter what had brought you here, what had brought tears to your face earlier, or what was going on at home. This was the epitome of living in the moment and we were feeling our emotions as they came and as the beat of each song played on.  

And this time, I laughed. I laughed a really deep laugh. 


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Costa Rica - Journal Entry #2

Hillary and I about to take our walk to town and the beach!
Hillary and Lora - My wonderful roomies for the week :)

April 22, 2012

I met a lady on the beach today. She came to Costa Rica to visit for three weeks. By the end of her visit, she had decided to stay. She subleased her LA apartment while still here and had family put her stuff in storage. She's been here for several months now and has decided to stay until the end of the year, working odd jobs in the tourism industry.

After Costa Rica, she nonchalantly informed me that she'll probably move to some village in Mexico since she's craving more culture than what she feels here. During our short conversation, I learned that outside of her native LA roots, this early thirty-something has lived in Spain, across other parts of Europe, and NYC. 

She described how a lot of people say they're going to live where most just visit but they never really do it. She spoke while throwing some drift wood into the ocean for a stray dog to fetch who also appeared to be a fellow beach regular.

It came as no surprise when she introduced herself as,"Athea." Athea. Even her name was free spirited. 

I started to think about large life transitions and how she managed to move into an unconventional lifestyle with a confident ease of normality. 

It didn't inspire me to become a drifter. I admired her passion to peruse life in a diverse geographical manner but in a way, it almost made me miss home. 

And now I sit here thinking about my little encounter with Athea and plenty like her who I have met already. You don't need to be a drifter to live an adventurous and free spirited lifestyle. You don't even need to move anywhere. This I understand. 

Although, it's also to be understood that at any moment you can choose to move to another city, live in a place that started as a vacation, or wake up in an enviroment completely different than the one you grew up in if you so wish. It's not just for drifters and it doesn't just happen to other people. It's an option for us all and knowing that we have that choice is pretty damn empowering, whether we travel or seek our adventures right here. 

Thanks for the chat Athea and good luck in Mexico next year. 


Monday, July 16, 2012

Costa Rica - Journal Entry #1

April 21, 2012.

Somewhere above Central America and one hour away from landing in San Jose, Costa Rica! An announcement was just made in Spanish and English to make sure we are seated with our seat belts fastened. For some reason, it still hasn't 100% set in what I'm doing, the trip I'm on, or the fact that I'm going to be in Costa Rica attending an idealistic "bucket list-esque" trip in mere minutes. 

I remember booking this trip. It was during my self-proclaimed, "Year of Crazy Kate" in 2011. Albeit, eating an entire large bag of peanut M & M's for dinner is some kind of crazy, booking this trip was undoubtably the most spontaneous and grand gesture I made that year.

I had gone with a gut feeling. Now, this being my self-proclaimed "Year of Authenticity," it feels harmoniously in theme to be attending an all women's yoga retreat in 2012.

Aside from some organic meals and yoga poses, I really have no idea what to expect for this week and I'm peacefully okay with that. May the journey begin. 


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Proud to be an American.

I am proud to live in a country where I can proudly voice my opinions, speak and write my thoughts, support myself, and create the life I want. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tips on Applying Self Tanner From One Very White Girl

I am white as one can be without being a natural red head. I don't believe in sun bathing (I'd burn anyways) and I don't endorse fake baking (I'd burn anyways). I've recently decided white is the new tan. Though, I'm afraid most of our nation has yet to get on board with this beauty trend. Soon...very soon...

I do realize there are certain occasions where a little bit of color is flattering. For those occasions, I turn to self tanner. Over the years and after a few poor attempts at applying tanner, I've now mastered a system. 

For all you tan challenged folk or those who are just trying to avoid skin cancer but appreciate a nice summer glow, this process is for you. 

Pick your Potion: Choosing the right self tanner is vital. First, you want a lotion or foam oppose to a spray. Unless you are having someone else apply this stuff (and even then I'd still encourage lotion), you want something you can easily control and lotion can be manipulated more than spray. Secondly, pick tanner that is tinted. White lotion will blend into your pasty skin as soon as its applied and it becomes much more difficult to determine if you've evenly covered every area. I personally recommend St. Tropez self tan bronzing mouse. It comes with a foam mitten which allows you to easily apply the foam without getting those weird hand tan lines. (Honestly, I can't recommend this stuff enough. It doesn't even leave that tanner smell). 

The Shower Routine: Shower per usual but be sure to use some type of exfoliater while washing. A luffa will suffice though shower gel with micro scrubbing beads is encouraged. Next, grab a fresh razor. Those legs need to be freshly shaven. 

Pre-Lotion: This is where most people fall short in their self tanning routine. They leave out a pre-lotion. Grab some body lotion and lather up any parts you plan to apply tanner to. 

Get Comfortable Being Naked: Apply tanner one appendage at a time. I recommend the following order: legs, arms, back, front torso, chest, face. Stay naked for as long as you can. (Play this to help pass the time while you're walking around naked in your living room). One hour should be sufficient. It's important to allow time for the product to dry and be absorbed into your skin. Initially avoid light colored clothing. 

Admire Your Glow: You are stunning. 

Almost translucently white, before shot. 
Portraying a human with somewhat normal circulation, after shot.