This post was first shared on May 1, 2023 from La Fortuna, Costa Rica as part of my monthly Love Letter series.
I’ve decided to slowly share the love letters here on my blog. If you’d like to receive these letters straight to your inbox and in real time, Subscribe here.
May 1, 2023
—From My Heart to Yours—
Hello hello hello to my wolf-pack. We meet again on the 1st of the month (more like the 5th… oops!) to commune about the previous month’s musings.
I’m so happy to be here writing to you. Last I wrote, I was in a cozy hotel room with a great fireplace in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I began writing this month’s love letter to you from the middle seat of an airplane flying over Guatemala en route to Costa Rica. I finish this letter sitting at a Yoga Resort in Nosara, Costa Rica after 3 days at the Tabacon Hot Springs. Hot springs have been a theme these last two letters, and I’m more than okay with it!
I was looking through my photo album today to find images to share with you from the past month, and it really is wild how simultaneously fast and slow life seems to move when I’m constantly on-the-move.
Since I last wrote, we stopped to see my dear friend and former client, Danie and her beautiful family in Utah. We spent 5 days in Monterey California with Shane’s brother, Nathan. We stayed the night in a historic building in Sacramento, my first time in Cali’s capitol. We drove back and forth to Lake Tahoe area to pick up a new addition to our family (more on this in the coming paragraphs). I had a fun girl’s night with my bestie Ashlee in San Diego, and have spent two weeks at my parent’s property in Temecula.
I often wonder when, if ever, the rapid adventure will slow down. Is this my life forever? I don’t know, so I’ll pursue presence over all else.
I’m going to jump into today’s love letter with a story. Imagine I’m reading it to you in a fun voice like your mother would a bed-time stor
Five years ago, I was 25. I had already received a Master’s degree, and was paying my bills by driving to three different college campuses (and one prison) to teach various communication courses. This kind of lifestyle was lovingly and resentfully referred to as a “freeway flier” by us adjunct professors. I had also begun gaining some traction on Instagram by haphazardly posting in bikinis to promote veganism, and really had no idea what the hell I was doing with my life.
One day, my dear friend Breanne pulled up in front of my studio apartment with her wife in an empty Ford Transit cargo van. They excitedly told me that they were going to make a little house in there. I laughed thinking they were kind of nuts, and also the idea of it was so fun! Like an adult fort on wheels! That summer, the three of us (and many other friends) would go to the beach, and work on building their van.
Once the van was done, it was the talk of the town, and they went into business building vans for other people. In a similar fashion, Bre also had an idea to start an app to help people in the #vanlife movement connect and find places to park, shower, etc. Some time went on, and she asked me to be her co-founder on the app. I accepted her offer, things really took off with it*, and before I knew it, I was figuring out a way to buy a brand new Ford Transit by trading in my Prius and paying every dollar I had to get the thing converted into a home-on-wheels. To this day, I have no idea how I was actually approved for financing.
*I left the app in 2018 to pursue other endeavors, but if you want to check out all the hard work Bre and her team put into it, the app is called SEKR, and it’s badass.*
I sold nearly everything I owned and decided not to re-sign my lease. With my alleycat Lloyd (a female), I hit the road to live full time in my new converted van, Jet. Pics below 🙂
Easy come, easy go
I quickly learned that with barely any possessions, I felt more free than I had ever felt in my life. I felt so nimble, and like the world was my oyster! I did a huge road trip from San Diego up to Banff, across to Vancouver, and down Highway 1 along the Pacific Ocean back home to San Diego. If you’ve been following me for years, you saw the photos. You remember my #vanlife era.
Although I was having the time of my life, a new reality began to set in for me upon my return back to San Diego. I found myself in a new relationship with constraints that did not an easy vanlife living situation make.
I needed to have lots of renovations done on the van, and during that time, I moved in with my ex. I didn’t move out until we split. As our finances merged, and we began to plan life, having Jet didn’t make sense any more.
As soon as her second build was complete, I went on two more trips— one to Denver, and one to Baja, Mexico— before putting her up for sale in early 2019.
A cool Northern Californian guy bought her almost immediately, and I cried as she pulled out of the driveway.
The video below is me 4 years ago in my van when I thought I wanted to make a Youtube Channel!
I could have never predicted…
My life over the last four years has really taken twists and turns that I could have never anticipated. I continued to stay in touch with the guy who bought Jet, and he’d regularly tell me how he wished he could take her on more adventures. I joked on various occasions that if he ever wanted to give me Jet back, that I would take her.
Let’s fast forward to April 1, 2023.
Shane and I were standing in the kitchen of the Montana cabin we were about to leave when it dawned on us that we are van people. At the same time I had owned a van, Shane was living his best life also owning a van. Remember how our lives intersect in all these interesting ways? Well, this is one of them.
Anyway…we started looking at vans, and I said, “I wonder if that guy is still using my old van, or if it’s just sitting there on his property.” Sure enough, I got an answer to my question when I messaged him on Instagram and asked it.
Jet had in fact not been used for over a year. In the past four years, he had only put 10k miles on her as he had opted for different adventure styles. Jet was sitting on his friend’s property with some cosmetic damage after a tree branch had fallen on her. She was also covered in sap.
Less than one week after I messaged him, Shane and I were on his property having Jet’s windshield fixed, and having her towed to a mechanic to get a new battery and alternator.
Yes, you read that right. Four years after I sold my van, like an old friend, she has graced me (us) with her presence once more. We bought Jet back!
Isn’t that a fun story!?
Bringing Jet back to life!
For all of April, I nested and brought my Jet girl back to life! Shane and I feel so excited to have a van, particularly this van back in our lives.
Buying Jet back felt like I was going back in time and holding the hand of a younger me. When I bought Jet, I had yet to go through my most challenging relationship. I had yet to experience the beginning of my spiritual awakening. It was a very innocent and happy time in my life. Metaphorically, reuniting with Jet feels like reuniting with that spirit inside of me.
Don’t get me wrong, this is the highlight reel. In the throws of buying her back, it was a confusing tug of war between three separate mechanics, the seller, and us scrambling to make sure we weren’t buying a lemon just for sentimental reasons. Both her interior and exterior needed some work and we didn’t know what kind of financial commitment we were signing up for.
As it turns out, we got an amazing deal, and I now have arthritis from scraping sap off her exterior for nearly 24 hours of my life.
We aren’t necessarily planning to live in Jet full time, but we did for the last two weeks of April. We got to park on my parent’s property and easily access all my step-dad’s tools and expertise. It’s been a blast to pour my maternal energy into her. It was a bit hard for me to board the flight to Costa Rica as I wanted to bring her with me!
I tell you this story not only to bring you up to date with my life, but to tell you that I’ve been guilty of feeling like “I’ve done so much healing work, and I’m so evolved… I barely remember who I was in my early twenties.” While in many ways, this concept rings true, I also think that often our younger spirits do know what we value and what sets our souls on fire.
I’ve been realizing recently that l am returning to many of the interests I had as a young twenty something. Doula work, yoga teaching, in-person eye contact deliciousness.
Sometimes life is so different from what it once was, and sometimes life brings us right back to where we were.
I think that’s really beautiful.
When we bring this concept into our lives, we can let go of the expectations we have about how life is supposed to be.
This is wisdom that I am constantly striving to incorporate.
To LET GO. To LET BE. To trust that when action must happen, it will.
We can enjoy the ride and trust that we’ll end up where we’re supposed to be should we pursue the flicker in our hearts. We’re allowed to trust the moment and surrender to the unknown. I couldn’t be more grateful to be right where I am. I feel like I have a second chance to really enjoy the adventure mobile that I poured my heart into designing all those years ago. What a gift.
I think she’s the most beautiful this time around!
Writing and podcasting (are still) a go!
Although Jet took president this month, my e-book is still top of mind. I’m currently working on a chapter about opening the body and the ways we can truly receive life. What I thought was going to be a brief guide, has turned into so much more. I can’t wait to share it with you. p.s. If you know of a publisher that might be interested in my work, reply to this e-mail!
With glee, Camille and I are cranking out episodes of our podcast, The Den Mothers. Join us there for the latest and greatest on Sex, Self-Love, and Awakening.
What I’m currently reading:
I’m grateful for this section of my letter as I want to be able to tell you what I’m reading, so I read.
I am almost finished with Songs from the Womb: Healing the Wounded Mother by Benig Mauger. I finished 50% of it in one day, and cried almost the whole time (you can confirm with Shane). I have such a deep connection to birth, although I’ve never given it. I think pregnancy, labor, and birth are the most incredible phenomenon, and connecting to the inner mother inside me has been profoundly healing.
I’ve been obsessed with birth for a long time (I got certified as a Doula 9 years ago), and I have learned so much by reading Mauger’s book. She brings the reader into her client’s stories, and into their work together before and after birth. Mauger acknowledges the harmful effects of such medicalized birth practices in the developed world for both mothers and babies, and maternally holds the reader through healing from our own births and/or the births of our babies. Her writing has moved me to my core and I can’t wait to read her other works.
I’m still working through these babies on rotation:
Ensouling Language by Stephen Buhner
Loving What Is by Byron Katie
What I’m thinking about:
A little over a month ago, Camille and I released an episode of the The Den Mothers called Meditation is not an Option.
Let me tell you that while I truly believe that meditation is not an option, it has certainly felt like an option when I’ve decided to just blow right past it each morning to immediately being tinkering on the van.
I tried to convince myself that my life is meditation, and that I’d be able to meditate throughout the day by bringing my awareness to the space in front of me. Although I practiced this many times during the last 30 days, at this point in my life, there is no getting around it—when I don’t sit in meditation each morning, I just feel more like scrambled eggs than when I do.
I want to be sitting in meditation each morning and I want you to do it with me. I am committing to you all that I will begin my morning meditation and breathwork routine again tomorrow morning (May 6).
If we want to become aware of our minds so we can calm our thoughts and come into peace and harmony with our internal worlds, we must dedicate ourselves to the practices that get us there. Practice, practice, practice.
Before I go,
If you have the financial means (or even if you don’t), go ahead and book the trip.
I think access to travel is one of the perks of being alive at this particular time in human history. We get to really immerse ourselves in different cultures, try food, see different faces smile, witness walks of life otherwise unknown.
Each time I travel (which is a lot these days) I’m reminded of the beauty that exists in the world. I’m reminded or introduced to some of the tragic aspects of life too.
It’s all happening in some balance, and I think witnessing different walks of life does wonders for our creative energy.
Get out of your house, get out of your town, hop in a car, or on a train, or on a plane, and open your senses.
I say this having traveled when I was in debt up to my eyeballs, and when I could actually afford to. I’ve never regretted a single trip. You can do it.
I received such kind messages after I sent last month’s love letter. I cannot emphasize enough how meaningful it is for me to receive your feedback. I decided to write these love letters to keep our connection strong as I separated from Instagram. I had no way of knowing how much our correspondence each month would mean to me.
Thank you for being here, and for reading each month. I hope you continue to enjoy.
I love you,