so long 2014

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it's been a wild year.

i feel that i really came into my own this past year... i feel in love with my skin and the soul i house inside of it. i am by no means perfect, but most days i like it that way.

courage has been a mantra of mine throughout the past few years and i truly began to embody it this past year. i decided to take the leap and teach yoga full-time. i dove deep into my passion of photography, playing with the professional waters. i stepped onto a plane, by myself, that took me halfway across the world.

this year was wonderful and challenging. life threw me some curveballs, many i'm still dealing with. facing my shadow side has not been easy, but necessary.

a few intentions for 2015:
-start a self portrait photography project.
-paint again.
-take a pottery class.
-open an online photography shop.
-meditate daily.
-journal once a week.
-set up a fair-trade business for planet indonesia's weaving cooperative.
-begin the process towards going back to school to become an art therapist.

what are your intentions for this new year? dream big, manifest!

an ode to winter

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“Does a leaf, when it falls from the tree in winter, feel defeated by the cold?
The tree says to the leaf:
"That’s the cycle of life. You may think you’re going to die, but you live on in me. It’s thanks to you that I’m alive, because I can breathe. It’s also thanks to you that I have felt loved, because I was able to give shade to the weary traveller. Your sap is in my sap; we are one thing.”

My energy is quickly depleting this days as this is the busiest time of year. Not only with the holidays, but our ski town has exploded in the past couple of days. I am constantly working and finding little time to be still. But this too shall pass and I am trying to enjoy the ride.

I hope you had a lovely Winter Solstice & have a Merry Christmas!

year 23 in review

Since Birthday's are a nice time to reflect, here is a post with 23 highlights from my 23rd year on this earth. I did a post similar to this last year, click here to view.

 photo 23year1_zps748adcc3.jpg 1. Learned how to ski in Champagne Powder, a phrase coined by Steamboat.
Ok, maybe I'm not the best at skiing in powder but this past year I learned how to enjoy the fluffy white snow on my skis. (buying wide skis was a huge help!)

 photo 1of23_zpsef27c528.jpg 2. Fell in love with children. 
Ski school created a deep love for children within me. Yes, they are aggravating at times but then there are those fantastic moments! The moments where children make me realize how silly we adults are. Why do we stress over the little things and make everything so complicated?  

 photo 2of23_zps3c51a6ab.jpg 3. Was able to spend time with my mom and sister in Tucson. 
Oh how great and rare it is to be surrounded by the company of my two favorite ladies.

 photo 3of23_zpsd55780b8.jpg 4. Created roots in Steamboat Springs. 
We thought we'd stay for a winter....... then we decided to give summer "a try". Whew, was it beautiful!

 photo 4of23_zps4ba3bfdd.jpg 5. Went on a road trip to the West Coast. 
Tobias & I decided to treat ourselves after a hard working ski season so we hopped in my car and traveled to the West Coast! Colorado > Northern California > Oregon > Washington.

 photo 5of23_zps09ef3690.jpg 6. Visited some wonderful souls in Hood River, OR.
How great it is to be reunited with friends!

 photo 6of23_zps38525a1d.jpg 7. Did a little diving in Roatan, Honduras. 
The water was clear blue, the fishes ranged in colors, and we decided to wear yellow shirts the last day.

 photo 7of23_zpsd0b21f6c.jpg  photo 8of23_zps69152f9a.jpg 8. Explored night photography & pushed my photography skills. 
Warm weather and long hours of daylight are invitations of night photography. This past year I really put myself out into the world as a photographer and received positive feedback.

 photo 9of23_zps3eec184b.jpg 9. Learned to identify Colorado wildflowers while experiencing my first mountain wildflower season. 
Ladies & gentlemen you are looking at an Indian Paintbrush to your left here!

 photo 10of23_zps18516f20.jpg 10. Photographed my 2nd Wanderlust Festival. 
Always a great photographic experience and way to push myself. Taking photos of people practicing yoga is very intimate and can sometimes feel invasive.

 photo 11of23_zpsaa3ca3b7.jpg 11. Hiked up to Rabbit Ears Peak, a classic Steamboat hike. 
The first of many summer hikes with my friend Shilo and her beautiful red-haired friend Roxy.

 photo 12of23_zps125a040e.jpg 12. Explored the Flattops Wilderness. 
In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act I vowed to explore as many nearby Wilderness areas as possible. The Flattops were a beautiful, mosquito-filled paradise.

 photo 13of23_zps40ce74e8.jpg 13. Witnessed the Steamboat Balloon Festival. 
Waking up at 6 am to shoot the balloon refelctions on the lake was well worth it.

 photo 14of23_zpsec584bac.jpg 14. Hiked the Devil's Causeway, known as one of the scariest hikes in Northern Colorado. 
Another classic Steamboat hike I experienced with Roxy and Shilo on a beautiful summer day.

 photo 15of23_zps4cabfdb4.jpg 15. Backpacked the Zirkel Circle with Tobias.
This 12 mile loop is a very popular route and with good reason. We decided to backpack and explore some lesser-known areas. 

 photo 23year2_zps626ff911.jpg  photo 20140727-Steamboat-4_zpsab22d048.jpg 16. Became a mama to a few new plants.. 
Since I cannot have a pet in my apartment of with my transient lifestyle, I care for plants! Not shown here is my lavender plant from this summer. Aka: My pride & joy!

 photo 16of23_zps1c3060ad.jpg 17. Turned into a sand ninja while on a trip to Southern Colorado. 
The San Luis Valley is a very special place. We got lucky with the overcast weather because we could then play in the Sand Dunes without our feet burning.

 photo 17of23_zps6fda4b3b.jpg 18. Pugsat Eddie.
If you've ever had a pug or pugsat one you know why this is a highlight of my past year..... Just look at that face!

 photo 23year1-39_zpse4d524f4.jpg photo 23year1-38_zps78e3b42f.jpg 19. Survived my first juice cleanse. 
3 days without chewing food seemed like an eternity. I was never hungry, but found myself missing meal prep and cooking. What was even harder were the 5 days after the juice where I reintegrated soft, raw foods back into my diet. This experience truly made me appreciate the food I put into my sacred body.

 photo 23year1-40_zps775fa5a3.jpg  photo 23year1-41_zps8a3ea888.jpg 20. Took an inaugural ladies trip. 
The first of many to come! These three ladies are dear friends from college who hold a special place in my heart. I'm lucky to have convinced Katie to move here to Steamboat but the other to are away in other states so it is rare when we all get together. For this ladies trip we backpacked in Dionsaur National Monument, soaked in Strawberry Hot Springs, and hiked to an ancient Indian Quarry outside of Steamboat.

 photo 23year1-42_zps8b85d0f3.jpg 21. Watched my first mountain fall unfold. 
As you can tell from the yellow aspen leaves above, fall in the mountains did not disappoint.

 photo 23year1-48_zpseb11f07d.jpg  photo 23year1-47_zpsf34d4da7.jpg 22. Traveled to Indonesia! 
At this moment, a large part of me feels like this was THE highlight of my 23rd year. Maybe because it is still so fresh or was such a crazy experience. I traveled alone to the small town of Sukadana where I only knew my best friend, Adam. For 6 weeks I was able to photograph ASRI, an amazing non-profit that links together human healthcare and environmental conservation.

 photo Untitled-1_zps29fa06a9.jpg 23. Reintegrated into American society for another Steamboat winter.
Here I am! Coming from Indonesia to Steamboat was weird, for lack of better words. Hot and humid on the equator > snow and freezing in the mountains was one small part of this awkward transition. Regardless, I am finally settled back into life here and ready for another beautiful winter here. Let it snow!!!

Cheers to 24! I have a feeling it's going to even better than this past year.. 23 was not all beautiful happy moments. There were some very dark, low periods filled with insecurity and self-hatred. But once again I have learned that life events causing such moments are given to us as a gift to find light in.

To every person who has been in my life throughout the past year; thank you. Your energy has touched me in some way.

Indonesia Pt. II // The Hulu

 photo hulu1_zps095e8e82.jpg The Hulu is a series of villages surrounding the exterior of Gunung Palung National Park. My last week photographing for ASRI I went into the field with 5 staff members to witness these communities.

 photo hulu1-2_zps20f2ffe5.jpg  photo hulu1-18_zpsba3ce2f1.jpg  photo hulu1-14_zpsb33e25d8.jpg  photo hulu1-4_zps9ff2d1b5.jpg  photo hulu1-5_zpsbb307717.jpg  photo hulu1-7_zps0c925ba3.jpg  photo hulu1-3_zps3eb4f265.jpg  photo hulu1-6_zpse9a5bedf.jpg  photo hulu1-10_zpsfcf1b1b9.jpg  photo hulu1-9_zps1922e912.jpg  photo hulu1-11_zps5efa22da.jpg  photo hulu1-15_zps9012374b.jpg  photo hulu1-13_zps62ac1692.jpg  photo hulu1-16_zps5b927348.jpg  photo hulu1-17_zps8d67c6ee.jpg  photo hulu1-21_zps1340889a.jpg  photo hulu1-19_zps2da2f02e.jpg  photo hulu1-23_zps102d0b66.jpg  photo hulu1-20_zps5c1cef61.jpgThis was on of the most challenging and eye opening weeks of my life. I experienced extreme isolation with minimal Bahasa Indonesia language skills and no contact with the outside world. There were times when I wasn't sure if the water I was drinking was safe and I had little control over the food I ate. It was like camping in the backcountry except I was surrounded by tons of people and a natural landscape that had been destroyed.

Throughout this week I learned what it really means to be still and live simply. There was no social media, sometimes no electricity or running water. Some communities did not have schools that went past elementary education and water in many of these areas is being polluted due to palm oil and mining drainage. Yet, the people were so happy. They didn't care if I spoke their language, we communicated with body language. This resulted in a volleyball game with the women of one village and soccer ball play with some children.

I witnessed the devastation that the Indonesian rainforest and rural communities are facing. We drove past hundreds of hectors of palm oil plantations, once beautiful lush rainforest. Wildlife was not present until our last day out in the field. On our last morning we spotted a hornbill pair that seemed to be wishing us well travels.

One of my greatest lessons from is this trip is that everything in life is relative.

"Einstein, in the special theory of relativity, proved that different observers, in different states of motion, see different realities."
-Leonard Susskind

To find out more about the incredible organization I worked for check out their website here or their partner's here.