A Saturday Soul Party

Soul party; a gathering of likeminded women talking about real shit.

I had a few friends ask me what I did on Saturday. I was struggling to articulate the life and career coaching/personal development retreat I had experienced.

Was it like a church retreat? They asked.
Oh, a writing retreat?
A women’s retreat?

It wasn’t until a few days later that I realized what Saturday was.

It was a soul party.

Like any good party, there was an incredible spread of eats (more on that later), drinks and funky tunes.

But the real show stopper, the main event, was the conversation.

I walked into Kelsey Murphy’s Carlsbad townhouse, nervous to open my heart and thoughts up for discussion with complete strangers. I thought I might have a Glennon Doyle moment where I share a raw truth and the group looks at me sideways and I think, “Oh. We’re not doing that here.”

After warm hugs and introductions with the other eight women, we were met with buttery croissants, scones and perfectly fresh berries beautifully displayed by Anne, the chief hostess of the group. Signature chocolate-peanut-butter-with-all-the-healthy-stuff smoothies lined the countertops.

Within a few minutes of about me’s and storytelling, it became clear. We were doing all of that here.

We sat comfortably in an ocean view family room, sharing our current career status and latest obsessions. All honesty, no judgements.

There was a momtographer, a real estate agent, a freelance event planner, a copywriter, a nutritionist, a virtual assistant, a former paralegal and one woman who’s taking on field trips full time to find what lights her up inside. We were all there for different reasons; some of us looking for jobs we were more passionate about, others looking for relationships we were more passionate about.

But we were all there to connect.

Kelsey, the truth-telling, entertaining and skillful life coach, led our group in meaningful conversations about everything from particle physics to sacred friendships.  She asked the right questions, going deep into the heart of what each of was looking to get out of our time that day.  There was nothing fluffy about her approach; all actionable items to cultivate more meaning and intention in our daily lives.

She guided us through the skill of practicing confidence, discovering and exploring our curiosities (and saving the word “passion” for the bedroom), and finding and connecting with like-minded people.

As a mom of one and with one on the way, spending the entire day on soul work felt like taking the biggest deep breath I’ve had in months. I took the day to remember me; the things I love, and the person I want to be.

When all was said and done, there was writing, there were women, heck it was even a little like church with all that soul in the room.

It was one of the best soul party’s I’ve ever had.

And the best part? I realized I can have soul parties everyday, in every conversation; from the Uber driver, to my husband and every relationship in between.  

Ideas & Daydreams

I felt a breeze of Australia today. I was putting Maisley in her car seat and out of nowhere this rush of air came through me like a whisper on a whim.

The sun, a smell, the air.

It was transporting and invigorating. It filled up my wanderlust tank in a split second. It was Australia, in Carlsbad. I felt it.

Australia is my daydreamer’s paradise. The place she goes while sitting in traffic or on a walk with Maisley. Specific spots all around the city come flooding into her: Watson’s bay, the coastal walk, Lord Nelson’s Brewery.

Sometimes I think those rush of beautiful memories are more divine than just a daydream.  As if they come straight from the Mother Nature and God collective. Those two creators sit amongst the stars, gleefully sending us beautiful signs of wonder right in front of us, and wonder we once knew.

I asked my beautifully creative photographer friend how ideas come to her. Are they abstract? Concrete? Do they come in color, words, images?

She told me that she writes in her morning pages every single day. While most of it is just stream of consciousness, she finds gems of ideas hidden in the words. She allows herself time to daydream so that she can create and experiment with original ideas, not just those she sees on Pinterest or Instagram. And she travels. Whoa does she travel.

She then returned the question.

An idea or thought typically comes into my mind either from something someone said, or a little pop from another train of thought. It floats around the chatter of my mind for a few days.

From the front, to the back, to the front again. It persists. Sometimes it bothers me.

A few other ideas begin circulating.

Then, without warning, a bigger idea comes into the flow. I call this thought, “the closer”. It comes in hot. It’s an idea that somehow makes the other ideas fit into a story or narrative. Then I write without hesitation. With freedom and ferocity.

Whatever the source, I’m just happy to get a breath of my soul place and a visit from creativity every now and again.

For Jack.

A legend;
humble in his adventures,
wild at heart,
a shipmate,
friend to many.


High wispy clouds,
a golden haze on the horizon.
Deep blue water,
an oasis of childhood memories.

Waves crashed on the three arch bay,
ebb and flow,
ebb and flow.
Bringing in peace,
washing away grief.

Family and friends gathered;
from every season,
from every adventure,
from many parts of the world.

We all shared him in common.

Beers on the beach,
that’s what he would do.

Everyone gripped their memories;
Ray Bans covered wet eyes.

Who loved him and he never knew?
Whose life did he change?

A hundred surfers took to the water;
a circle of stories, a prayer, wild flowers.
Ashes forever amongst the ocean,
forever amongst us.

Live like him;
don’t be afraid,
ignore the chatter,
burn bright,
to the fullest.

For Jack.

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The cap is off!

“He told me that if you put fleas in a small jar and close the cover, they will jump so high that they will hit their heads on the cover. After a few hits they will learn to adjust their jump to avoid hitting their heads. When you release them , they will continue to jump ‘short’. No matter how long they’re out of the jar, they will never return to their full capacity for fear of hitting their heads again.

He explained to me that most people tend to live their lives this way. They limit their future based on what happened in the past…If they had been hurt in a relationships, they might say ‘I will never get that close again’….He explained that when you limit your future based on what happened in your past, your future starts to look a lot like the very thing you are trying to avoid: Your past.

Like the fleas, in order to live your life to the fullest, you must take note and realize the cap is off! Everything is available to you.”

– Punished for Purpose by Lauri Burns