Grizzly Bears and Rushing Rivers: Letting Go of Anxieties

Bison4

It happened while we were resting.

It had been a long day with heavy backpacks and high tension. Continue reading

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What I Know, I Learned From My Mom

What I Know, I Learned From My Mom

When my older brother walked to the bus stop for his first day of kindergarten, my Mother felt it. Continue reading

Growing Up in Haiti: A Story of Remembrance

Vanessa Ais

Vanessa Ais is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Therapist who dedicates her time and energy to the betterment of quality of life for people with disabilities. Her story is an example of finding strength in your roots.  Continue reading

Cleansing Rain: Releasing Your Frustration

Flashback to the year 2005:

I was grounded a lot that year. I remember feeling so isolated. I had dial-up internet access on a Windows 95 desktop, and miles of forest and fields between my childhood home and town, and no cell phone. I felt claustrophobic. Continue reading

Child-Like Faith

Child Like Faith

I was a creative little girl. I had a forest full of kingdoms and imaginary friends to fill those kingdoms. I was a princess, a witch, a bird learning to fly. Continue reading

Avalanche of Fear

AvalancheoffearI have a history of allowing fear to dictate my life.

I’ve passed up opportunities, relationships, opinions, and happiness because I’ve been afraid.

Afraid to venture outside of my comfort zone.

Afraid of failure.

But mostly, afraid of the unknown.

I think about my fears often. They cycle through my mind like a cyclone of negativity, ready to dash through my hopes and dreams whenever the situation presents itself.

This is how my mind was racing with fear when I began my climb up Half Dome, the iconic image of Yosemite National Park in California. Continue reading

Finding Happiness in the Wombat Parade of Life

Wombat Parade of Life

“Would you like to use my mallet?”

She must have been watching us from her deluxe caravan tent, complete with rooms and windows and even a shower. She must have been watching as we broke an “unbreakable” water bottle pounding in the tent stakes of our tiny backpacking tents, unsuccessfully.

“You have to tilt the pegs slightly to the side, you see? Move away from the tree. Those cockatoos will be back.” Her voice was thick with an Australian accent as she guided us step-by-step on the how-to’s of tent-staking. Continue reading

The Summit, the Climb, or the Release?

Summit, Climb, or Release?We stood in the lobby of the mountaineering club watching the burly adventurers stride through with their crampons and trekking poles.

“White-out conditions and 70 mph winds before you reach the John Muir Base Camp at 10,000 ft,” we overheard from the guide behind the desk. “We don’t recommend going up the mountain unless you have experience in these conditions. Stick to the trail because 200 ft to the left is a drop off.”

I look down at my rain pants and hiking boots. What are we getting ourselves into!? Continue reading

Breaking The Jars: Intention behind my blog.

Imagine this with me.

Sixteen years of age, long brown hair, big brown eyes. Innocence stolen. Her eyes reveal pain. They reveal helplessness. She wants to give up.

She’s seated on the front stoop of a beautiful old farmhouse surrounded by the Amish heartland in all directions. Mason jar in hand, eyes glazed, she watches as dusk falls over the corn fields. She sees the sky fade from blue, to yellow and pink with little conviction. She feels numb. Continue reading