Grounded

Yesterday, I felt spacey throughout the day. I got to my townhouse at 12:30 AM Friday, slept some and woke up for a morning meeting. Given that my energy felt unanchored from reality, I used what little focus I could muster to finish my work tasks in order to get to the beach and get a workout in. Grounding. If we’re not grounded on this material plane, all else is useless (and almost impossible to do). As much as this century admires bright minds – what is a mind without a body?

This AM I was able to go to yoga – *sigh of relief*! It was exactly what I needed – lymphatic drain, joint moisture, and extensive opening of the hip flexors. Then, I spent hours in the ocean. Currently taking a quick break to head back and read a book on the sand! I’ll end the night with a workout. Finding balance after being in three states with drastically different conditions (I went from the coast to the desert to winter in the high mountains back to the coast in a 72 hour period), can certainly be a challenge. Next week, I’ll be heading toward the Palm Springs area and then up to Michigan. It seems to never end.

Though my travel schedule is up and running (And a little hectic), October is turning out to be a beautifully social month. Things are lining up and it’s all very exciting! Now if I could just figure out this sleep thing….Last week I billed 75 hours in a 5 day period. And because I’m salaried I get paid the same no matter what. Now I’m not complaining – I make damn good money, but a girl wants her rest too.

Home Bound

I feel very thankful to be sitting inside the Idaho Falls airport right now. Earlier today, I experienced a traveler’s greatest nightmare: A misplaced wallet. Luckily, after a bit of search it turns out I had left it at the hotel. Just a little tip: Always leave a form of photo ID at home. For example,  when I travel domestically, I leave my passport at home and use my Global Entry ID at the airport. Had I not found my wallet today, I would have extended my stay for a day and would have asked one of my roommates to ship my passport overnight express. Having paper copies of all of your photo ID’s at home is also a great idea. In case you ever need to replace documents, having even a copy of a photo ID can give you a little extra boost beyond your birth certificate and social security card (if you’re a USA citizen).  Other tip: Apple Pay (or some other electronic record of payment information) will also be a huge life and time saver in case you lose your wallet while traveling.

Idaho Falls was supposed to be in the 50s (per a Tuesday evening forecast), but also experienced a bit of snow and a drastic drop of temperature on Wednesday evening.  Though I would have preferred the temperatures in the 50s, the chilly air was the perfect touch to the gorgeous Teton backdrop. I can’t wait to make my way to Jackson, Wyoming!  So I can touch, feel, breathe and step foot on the Tetons. Luckily, the snow didn’t stick and the temperatures weren’t low enough to create really icy roads. Driving was a breeze in comparison to my experience in Montana the previous night.

After finding my wallet, I had lunch at A Street Soup Market and then headed to the airport (to do a bit more work!). I’m currently  waiting to board a flight to Salt Lake City, where I’ll ultimately end up in San Diego. While I’ve been lucky to hop around this beautiful part of the country (and gain a state in the process) for a few days, I’m pretty tired and looking forward to the rest and routines. Also, the ocean. I really miss her.

Montana

Back to you, ooh Montana
Take me back to you, ooh, Montana

Justin Timberlake, Montana

 

Justin Timberlake has a song called Montana in his Man of the Woods album. John Mayer left his New York and Los Angeles homes behind and found a sweet spot in Paradise Valley. What is it about Montana?

Where do I even begin? For one, it makes the 46th state I visit out of the 50. While I was at the Salt Lake City airport last night I decided to look at the weather forecast and noticed that it was in the mid-20s and snowing in Helena. I instantly felt panic take over me. The week prior I had looked at the weather report and the temperatures had been forecasted around the 50s. All I had were two thick sweaters and a leather jacket. I didn’t bring my full winter coat. I was bound to land in Helena at midnight and had to drive about an hour to Butte on four hours of sleep. To allow the panic to settle , I simply took a deep breath and whispered, “Universe, I need reassurance that everything is going to be okay.” 

Sitting next to me on the flight was an older gentleman in his mid-50s. We instantly started chatting and continued to do so for the remainder of the flight. He asked me what I did for a living and I responded. “Did you study public health? He asked. I was stunned – I typically have a very hard time explaining to others what public health is in a succinct manner, but he already knew! His daughter who’s in her early twenties is currently studying public health and looking to advance her career. He asked me for my business card and I gave him one. As the flight went on, he went out of his way to determine the best route for me to take to Butte and also recommended that I rent a 4 wheel drive. We continued conversing and talking about Yellowstone – he then showed me pictures of when he last went with his family. I knew in the deepest part of my heart that this was the confirmation I was was seeking. Everything was going to be alright. When we landed, he introduced me to his wife whom was waiting for him.

I went straight to the National counter and requested an upgrade to a 4 wheel drive. I’d like to say that this is not a paid advertisement in any way, shape, or form, but that was best customer service I’ve ever received, at any airport (and I’m a freq travel girl!). The guy at the counter, Ben, not only set me up with a brand new Tacoma for the road, but also suggested the best route to take given the weather conditions and the time of day. He also provided me with two maps as guidance. Pro tip: When you’re driving through the mountains in the dead of night, you might want to have a backup in case your phone signal decides to tap out. By 12:30 AM, I was on the road ready to embark on what was supposed to be a 1-hour journey.

The roads were dangerous. The passageway to Butte was covered in ice. Having previously lived in Upstate New York, I was familiar with the conditions, but even still, they were treacherous. The elevation in New York State doesn’t compare to that of Montana. My supposed one hour drive turned into five and half hours. Visibility was almost non-existent and the road lane demarcations were nowhere to be seen. I spent the majority of my time trying to manage the delicate dance between using the gas pedal and a soft break – an art of balance when driving on ice. To make the experience a little less stressful for myself, I started taking deep breaths and blasted the country music that was playing on the radio. Five and half hours later, around 6AM, I arrived at my hotel.

The woman at the hotel was kind enough to let me check into the room although it was already the next day. I was able to sleep for two hours and then head on to work for the day. After my day was finished, I drove back, but this time during the daylight. The drive back, though a little bit clearer, was still intense. However, what stood out this time around, was the beauty of the scenery. I’ve been to the Colorado Rockies, all over the PNW, yet these mountains have a certain age, seriousness, and wisdom that inspire me to revere them even more so.  

Montana. My state #46. The kindness of your people, the treachery of your winter, and the magic of your sceneries will hold a special place in my heart. Next time, I’ll come greet you as you awaken your beautiful spring senses. I can only imagine how brilliant you’ll be when the sun shines and the flowers bloom.

I find it rather bizarre that on Monday night I flew from my coastal home (San Diego) to the desert (Las Vegas) then to the high snowy mountains (Montana). Life can be so wild! Off to Idaho tonight!

46/50

I’m currently sitting at the Vegas airport waiting to board a flight to Salt Lake City, Utah so that I can make my way to Helena, Montana. Montana will be the 46th state I visit out of the 50 states! I hear nothing, but incredible things about the Montana scenery. It all travel goes smoothly I should arrive to my hotel by 2AM. This trip was a particularly successful one. I got to see Mel again! A few posts ago, I had mentioned that I met an incredible professional connection while in Oklahoma City. Here we were working together again!

First, we have a ridiculous amount in common – in regards to background. She’s an incredible woman with an overwhelming amount of experience not just in our industry, but in life. Talking to her is a breath of fresh air. I always learn something from her every time we interact. It’s incredible to see all she’s accomplished in her life despite major setbacks. Grateful we got to reconnect. Luckily, we both reside in the same city! It’s simply a connection waiting to blossom.

I’ll admit that I feel very sleepy. I wasn’t able to sleep well last night and I have quite a ways of traveling to complete before I arrive at my next destination. It’s my hope that I can sleep during the flight! As far a today is concerned, this is all I can muster. There are no deep thoughts nor life-altering realizations today. Today, this little piece of cyberspace is serving as my diary (and allowing me to keep the momentum of a daily post!).

Taking Flight

SAN
San Diego International Airport

I’m currently sitting at the San Diego airport waiting to board a flight. This week I’ll be in Nevada (Las Vegas), Montana (Helena), and Idaho (Idaho Falls). Then I’ll be back home in San Diego on Thursday night. I’m still feeling a sensation of deep serenity – life isn’t perfect, but it’s flowing beautifully, marvelously. Earlier today, when I went to get my full leaf tea, I met an older gentleman that was ridiculously fascinating. He was an opera singer for the San Diego Opera, an actor (has been featured in shows like Criminal Minds), and an Uber/Lyft driver. What most stood out about him was his cheery demeanor and the way his spirit uplifted the room. I then decided to take a lunch break at the beach given that I won’t get to see Mama Ocean until Friday again. At the beach,  someone was playing my lucky song – Toploader’s rendition of Dancing in the Moonlight.

Life is unfolding in magical ways that I couldn’t have predicted. I’m simply following my intuitive hits as they appear on my path. My heart is healing and opening up to all life has to offer all over again. I feel good. I feel excited. Light. Passionate. Airy. The past is now making sense to me and it no longer has a hold on me. I feel free to choose a new path of pleasure without the shackles that once kept me bound me to the ground. I’ve taken flight and I can’t wait to see where this journey will take me.

First Quarter

beauty 1

In 2017, I steered away from Bikram and started exploring other Asana practices. During my explorations, I encountered Vinyasa (including heated Vinyasa!), Yin, Ashtanga, and Kundalini. As I continued to show up to my curiosities, I started to realize that little by little there were major shifts occurring within: I started to be less afraid of looking in the mirror, less afraid of sitting in front row of the class, less afraid of more form fitting outfits. The truth is that all of that stuff that would often preoccupy my mind no longer mattered as much. What truly mattered was the joy that I felt every time I moved my body. Who knew that was possible?

Today, the moon is in it’s first quarter. My life feels both full and balanced. And for that I am beyond grateful. As the days pass by, little pieces are weaving themselves together and creating a beautiful greater whole. I’ve been feeling a lot more joy. A lot more hope. A lot more peace. I’m taking every second to truly live in – in the moment, in a non-hedonistic way. In a mindful way.

I’ve been softly reflective, too. On my walks to yoga, a lot of memories often cross my mind. As I move my body – in yoga, running, or workouts – little by little I am able to make sense of the past few years, particularly the past five. I’m grateful for the ability to slow down.

Next week I’ll be in Nevada, Montana, and Idaho. Believe it or not, I’m not dreading it because I’ll get to stick to the West Coast! If I can save myself 5 hours of flying and a couple of time zone hops – I’m a happy girl! I’m also particularly excited because Montana will be state #46/50 for me. After I visit Montana, all I will have left of the United States is Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. If the 17 year old version of me, would get a glimpse of what she was about to become – she would not believe it. It’s both a miracle and a waking dream. Truly, truly, grateful to be here.

Balance: Lymphatic System

M

I’m on my way to a Vinyasa class, then some ocean time, then a run, and ending my day with a soundscape ceremony. Yesterday, we experienced a new moon in Libra. Libra is the sign of balance, harmony, and partnership. This new moon didn’t feel particularly emotionally charged, but rather action-oriented. I took yesterday’s day to rest and in honor of the moon, to find balance.

When you travel 80% of the time, you have to take extra precautions to ensure that your body doesn’t accumulate too much stress (allostatic overload) and doesn’t start to operate from a state of inflammation. Inflammation as a baseline will inevitably lead to disease. There are some tips and tricks to use when jet-setting. These practices are particularly helpful in keeping the lymphatic system in balance – by promoting healthy circulation as well as excess fluid and toxin removal.

  1. Drink lots of fluids, particularly water. The human body isn’t designed to spend most of its time inside an aluminum tube thousands of feet in the air. Yet there are those of us that do. Flying – with all it’s pressure changes and the lack of movement that come with the activity, is dehydrating. This is why it’s vital to drink fluids. I’m not big on coffee or alcohol drinking (I only ingest those on occasion), but if you are, both are dehydrating! Something to keep in mind.
  2. Movement. Walk to the bathroom, get something from your carry on, stand-up and stretch. Movement stimulates the lymphatic system helping you prevent stagnation in the body. It’s vital.
  3. Exercise. When you land, exercise as soon as you can. I understand that sometimes you land at 1AM, need to drive an hour to your destination, and be somewhere by 8AM. It’s rough. But even a 1 mile run or walk can do wonders. 20 minutes of HIIT can also be helpful. Yoga can be particularly helpful to stimulate lymphatic drainage. Plus, exercise will help you sleep!
  4. Sleep. This is the trickiest of them all. Particularly with time zone changes and delays. Unless I’m traveling for personal reasons, my business travel means that I am not in any location for longer than 24 hours (for the most part). There are helpful sleep aids out there like Melatonin and Magnesium powder (which can also help regulate the digestives process). Sleep plays a vital role in the balance of the lymphatic system.
  5. OMAD. One Meal a Day. This is a personal preference. It’s a form of intermittent fasting that can be particularly helpful when traveling. When you’re traveling, your body is already stressed with all the changes it’s experiencing in the short. Even if you don’t register feeling “stressed”, the body doesn’t thrive on airport food, metal birds, poor air and water quality. By eating one large meal a day, you give your body a break from also having to figure out how to digest on top of having to manage everything else! If you’ve traveled enough and familiarized yourself with most airports, you know where the healthier options are at.
  6. Meditation. In the previous years, there has been plenty of research to show that the way you breathe can impact your mood, your digestion, your weight management, your stress levels, your sex life, how you sleep – the list goes on.  Even if it’s just 2 minutes at the airport – closing your eyes and taking the time to breathe deeply aka slow down your breathing, will send a message to your brain that all is okay, that there is no danger. When the brain perceives danger, the body releases a hormone called cortisol, the stress hormone. Now, if there was a tiger or a bear behind you, you’d definitely want that cortisol released for that fight or flight to take place. Chances are you won’t be getting chased by large mammals at the airport. Therefore, take deep breaths, reduce the stress response and let your body know that it’s all good. A lot of modern fitness trackers have a built-in relax functions. There are also a lot of good apps out there too! The point is just take some time to slow down your breathing – most of us are chest breathers 😉 (For more information, do a quick google search on the effects of quick, shallow breathing on your health.)
  7. Sunlight, bodies of water, and massage. “Spend at least 30 minutes in the sun. Submerge yourself in a body of water daily – no the shower does not count! Stimulate your lymphatic system with self-massage.” Those were the instructions I received from a Brazilian health and beauty expert – and let me tell you, Brazilians really know what’s up! Partaking in these activities when traveling can be vital (if you can manage to). Personally, all I do while traveling is a technique called dry brushing – which stimulates the lymphatic system. The sunlight, body of water, and massage portion, I take care of as soon as I’m back home! It really helps keep the balance.

If you’d like to know more about the lymphatic system and its role in keeping us healthy, happy AND pretty try using the following key words in a Google and/or Google Scholar search: lymphatic system, adrenals, stress, lymph nodes, blood circulation, inflammation, liver, spleen, thymus, lymphatic drainage massage.

I also get lymphatic drainage massages professionally done every once a while (at least monthly) here in San Diego. Here are some sample before and after photos from these massages! https://www.instagram.com/camilaperez.mt/ (You can google where to get one near you).

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to share with you all today. Happy Sunday!