I absolutely love lightbulb moments! I get an adrenaline rush whenever I have an epiphany because not only does it show me my frequency and the type of energy I’m putting out, but to know that I was given the “Big Magic” to create content and share a thought that could spark a fire in others really makes me glow within.
So here’s the light bulb moment I had recently…
This coming March will be my second time attending a women’s weekend retreat that last year had a bigger impact on my life and how I see the world than any other experience in the 26 years of my existence. So big that I plan to go every year until the day comes that it stops running.
Last year, I attended alone not knowing what to expect so the most I could do was receive and send out love and warm vibes.
This year, I feel called to take a different approach and I want to come with something tangible to give each beautiful soul in our tribe. At this event, each attendee is given a gift bag with healthy snacks, beauty products, books, and other treats.
As an up and coming artist, I would love to design a piece of art that each sister could take home; I haven’t finalized on the medium yet, but what I do know is I would want it to have a powerful quote accompanied by a soothing painting.
One that each boss babe can look at every day and remember how amazing she is and to keep following her dreams.
Today (after putting it off for weeks) I finally reached out to the team that is organizing the event and asked if I could contribute to the gift bags.
I had no idea what the outcome was going to be because I wasn’t sure if I had missed the deadline for sponsors or if everything contributed to the gift bag had to meet a certain standard or be carefully reviewed before being given a definitive answer.
That’s when the lightbulb moment hit me…
It didn’t matter what the outcome was, because I was going to bring them and give them out at the retreat either way.
Whether or not I got the “go ahead” to contribute them to the gift bags didn’t matter because if I was told “no”, I was still going to give them out to everyone, I would just have to do it personally.
…And if I did it personally, I would be able to interact with everyone, tell them about my brand and they in return could tell me about their brand. BOOM! Building a tribe one babe at a time.
Then I thought a little deeper, and realized that this applies to so many other things in life. When it comes to something we really want, we don’t wait for someone to give us an opportunity, we go into it full force and design that opportunity for ourselves!
Metaphorically, we don’t knock on the door and wait for someone to open it, we bust that door down and put on a show for the people inside. We make ourselves to be so awe-inspiring, that they can’t ignore us.
Usually in a situation like this I would be discouraged and feel let down if I were told no, but then I realized that I have the capability of shining my light in more ways than just one.
Just because something doesn’t play out exactly the way l had envisioned doesn’t mean that I can’t turn it in to something just as magical if not more than the original idea or plan. This goes for all of us.
And now for the big reveal…less than 24 hours later I got a response from the team and they gave my the YES, the invitation to be a part of the gift bags. I was ecstatic and I can’t wait to create something that will bring everyone to life and let each woman know that anything she is looking for, she has it all within her.
Remember this the next time you are pitching yourself for an opportunity. Instead of hoping/waiting for the opportunity to fall into place perfectly; ask yourself how you can create the result you want without banking on the go ahead from someone else. You got this babe, it’s all within you.
One thing I can say about myself that I mean from the bottom of my heart is that I am entirely authentic and always have been.
When I get ready in the mornings and put full effort into my appearance (which is an every day occurrence) I am doing it for me and only me, not to impress or fit in with anyone else.
It has always come naturally to me to do so, even dating back to my tween days when I would find my way around the school dress code and my peers would comment on my overly edgy way of dressing. I never thought twice about it and continued doing it.
In fact, at 13 years old, I was convinced I would be a singer someday, and a 20 year old I knew at the time once said to me; “Your first album should be called ‘Nothing to Hide'”.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been one to dive into the deep end when it came to my interests in attempts to create something amazing. I have also wanted to make the most of every single moment and turn everything I possibly can into a memory. My point is; the authentic part I’ve got down. I love myself.
However, there is one part of authenticity that I am currently questioning in my mind, and I am curious as to whether or not there are others who share the same wonder.
Although I can’t come up with a name for my style (lifestyle and dress style), there are certain things I know about myself…
❤ I never go a day without wearing a ton of rings, there are some that I never take off (it has been that way since I was 12)
❤ I only feel my best if I am fully done up (hair, makeup, and nails)
❤ I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being outside
❤ I can't go more than a couple of days without creating something…writing, painting, drawing, lettering, jewelry making
❤ I'm 100% meant to be self-employed
❤ animals must be a part of my life
❤ New experiences are what I live for (coffee shops, cafes + restaurants, hikes, beaches, boutiques, destinations)
At the current phase in my life, my main source of income does not allow me to be my most authentic self. Not only does it take up a ton of hours that I could be using to pursue my calling, but also:
-Does not allow ink or facial piercings
-Has a rigid dress code
and most importantly
-Does not align with my values of creativity, pleasure, self-respect, or really anything to be honest.
But the good news is, I am slowly transitioning into being self-employed and my dream with a deadline is only about a year and a half away. It's currently just my means to an end, therefore it is endurable.
When the day comes that I am free to be whoever I want to be and my "work from anywhere" lifestyle begins, there are a few different paths I could take, and I don't know which one.
The non-negotiables that I mentioned above are some aspects of me that are never going to change regardless of the style/lifestyle I choose to take. My inner dilemma is that there are multiple sides to me and I ruminate about what it would take to merge all of them while still being authentically me.
Let me tell you a little bit about each side that is within me and the lifestyles I would live.
THE BOHEMIAN GODDESS
I would live a very laid back and minimalistic lifestyle. I already do so to some degree, but this would be on a much larger scale. I wouldn’t have a permanent home, but would couch surf, acknowledging my wanderlust, and live wherever I wanted for short periods of time.
meeting as many people as I could and documenting their stories. It would be my dream to have a Volkswagen bus to gallivant around the country until I was ready to explore my next destination in another part of the world.
Every day I would wear whatever I wanted.
❤ Flash Tattoos
❤ Flower Crowns
❤ Tons of Gold Jewelry
❤ Hair Extensions, Partial Dreads, Tousled Hair
I would have my septum pierced along with the right nostril piercing that I already have and both tragus' would be pierced.
I would get new ink as the ideas came to me without looking back.
My income would come from several different places.
…Content creating in coffee shops (Do you like the alliteration), selling art and jewelry at farmers markets and online, guest writing for any brand that aligns with my values.
I wouldn't do anything that my heart didn't desire.
I would regularly attend yoga sessions and women circles.
I would make it a yearly occurrence to attend festivals like Coachella and Burning Man.
I would feel no guilt over any purchase that brought me tremendous joy.
-Clothes I love
I would spend my days off writing in creative spaces or painting by places such as the Smith River
I could live this way for the rest of my life and be the happiest girl on earth.
THE SOPHISTICATED COOL GIRL
This side of me would live a little more traditionally. Thriving in a big city such as New York’s Upper East Side or Chicago’s Lincoln Park/Lakeview neighborhood (which I’ve already done) the city’s hotspots would be my everything.
I would dress trendy and elegantly, perfectly accessorized with my hair looking like I went to DryBar every day.
I would be friends with all of the locals, know all of the best boutiques for home decor and clothes, and always make time for spa days and self-love.
My work would consist of writing for blogs, teaching yoga, and life coaching. My leisure time would be spent at museums, concerts, and city events. I would have it all together, and be living it and loving it.
THE BADASS WARRIOR OF STRENGTH
This side of me is definitely the most different from how I live today, but she is on the inside just waiting to come out. Actually, this side of me was inspired by two Instagram personalities I adore and follow very closely, the two babes in these photos charity.grace and shelby.sheene.
Although I eat a very conscious and healthy, mostly vegan diet, the one thing that is missing is the being active part.
With the exception of yoga, I have never been consistent about moving my body, mainly because I haven’t found a strength training or cardio of choice that makes me come alive. But these two beauties have beyond inspired me and I am determined.
I already wear yoga pants on a daily basis and would love to find a way to style active wear to still look sexy and elegantly beautiful.
I would continue to be myself by still wearing full makeup and wearing my hair down and flow during workouts. It would become my way of life and I would definitely post regular videos of any fun workouts I do.
-American Ninja Warrior Competitions
-5ks, 8ks, 10ks
You name it, I would be in it, and no one would ever want to mess with me.
I’m in the process of guiding this side of me to come out.
Although I’m not sure whether or not there are more sides to me, these three are the most prominent and the three that I want to pursue most. If I were to be my ideal most authentic self, I would be a blend of all three.
I just need the secret to how. If you have any ideas, pretty please share.
A couple of weekends ago, I received what was possibly the most matchless compliment I have ever been given ❤
During what I'm calling Warrior Women Weekend, the leadership training I participated in at Gigi Yogini Studio, our final circle was about giving and receiving.
We all went around the circle and gave each person a compliment without using the word “I”. For example, consciously saying “You went out of your comfort zone, that was impressive” vs. “You went out of your comfort zone, I am impressed”.
I had no idea what compliments I would be given, but I couldn’t help but shed a few tears from the sweet and genuine feedback of my spirit sisters.
That being said, in the practice of receiving; the only response we were to give after receiving a compliment from each person was “thank you, that is true”.
I can remember being told “Karissa, you are beautiful” and getting several nods and “mmmhhmmm”s in agreement which made me want to cry.
While it was a very vulnerable experience to hear these personalized perspectives from my sister-friends, it was also all kinds of lovely.
The truth is; I can confidently say that I know I’m beautiful on both the inside and out. I have a very kind heart for all beings and have a tremendous amount of respect for the entire world. Also, my exotic facial features and naturally seductive eyes definitely make me beautiful on the outside which I have been told many times.
Contrary to what many people think, being able to take a compliment or affirm the positives about yourself does not make someone immodest. It shows that you hold yourself in high regard and have self-love.
In fact, did you know that in the original definition of “brag” which simply means “to speak proudly about”, there is no negative connotation to the word? There is nothing wrong with taking pleasure in your most positive attributes or accomplishments and speaking about them.
But back to my receiving experience…There was one compliment that was so unanticipated, I was literally speechless and will never forget that moment.
One of my fellow warrior women looked at me and said “Karissa, you already are the person you want to be”. Damn…
The fact that a beauty I had just met the previous day saw the light in me and my ability to be a confident leader, a shining example for women, and an all around badass lit my soul on fire. I was literally on fuego. “Is this how the rest of the world sees me?” I had to ask myself.
After reflecting on this feedback, I got really in touch with myself and I realize now that others are able to see this in me because of my ability to be my authentic self. I literally have nothing to hide and am an open book in every way. It’s an incredible feeling to know that I have a way of positively impacting people just by being me, but it also got me thinking…Who do I actually want to be? Or better put; What does the ideal me look like?
It’s interesting to think about, because there are literally SO many types of women I admire and want to incorporate within myself. I can imagine the image of a few of them…
*The free spirited hippie babe with blue hair, partial dreads, bohemian clothes, facial piercings, and a never-ending love for art, nature, yoga, and all things local
*The badass workout chick who can make wearing yoga pants and tank tops every day look effortlessly sexy and can handle ANY relentless fitness routine from restorative yoga to American Ninja Warrior
*The sophisticated fashionista who looks perfectly elegant all the time. She works in a high-end boutique styling other women. Her passion is to make sure that when clients leave her presence they have a new found confidence and know that the whole world is waiting for her gifts
*The entrepreneur who lives entirely on her own terms, lets no one and nothing get in her way, is not fearless but instead unbreakable, and doesn’t think twice about what anyone has to say about her endeavors. She lives for herself.
I know that in order to become the person I envision, I have to first have an image of who that bombshell is. Here are the qualities I see in my future self, she’s coming; just wait…
-Does yoga daily
-Does h a r d workouts multiples times per week
-Has a septum piercing
-Somehow a l w a y s has perfect hair
-Attends museums, restaurants, street festivals, and local hotspots regularly
-ONLY shops local
-Volunteers with nature
-Is a l w a y s fashionably dressed and amazingly accessorized
-Writer and Artist
-Travels the world
-Cool and Collected
-Is always by the ocean (Earthing) ]
-Has a vitality for life
-Has friends of all kinds
-Prioritized health and R E L A X A T I O N days
-Isn’t afraid to say “no”
-Knows what’s trendy in her city
-Is a positive role model and fierce leader
NOW it’s YOUR turn sister-friend! What qualities do you see in your future self, your inner bombshell?
Anyone who knows me well can tell you I don’t just live in this city,
I’m O B S S E S S E D with this city for 1000 different reasons.
I understand that no place is for everyone but to be honest, when people tell me that they don’t enjoy LA, I can’t comprehend it even a little bit.
No, it’s not perfect, and sure it has traffic like no other place in the world, but it also has perfect weather year round, activities from day to night, (there’s no such thing as getting bored), the beaches are serene, and the creativity is booming at all times. I don’t think it’s possible to go for a walk around any part of LA and not be inspired or get new ideas, but who knows, maybe it’s just my hippie heart. I’ve been told I’m a free spirit.
Well one thing that I absolutely adore about LA is the street art. It’s literally everywhere. No matter how many times I drive through a certain area I’m always discovering new murals. And then I can’t help but wonder things like:
-Who painted it?
-What inspired this painting?
-How long has it been there?
-Does it have significance?
-Why this particular spot?
-Did the person have permission to paint this here?
I also have to contemplate how many people walk by and don’t even notice…do locals take this expressiveness for granted just because they see it all the time.
Even though I have lived in LA for over three years now, I still fall in love with the palm trees, ocean, AND street art every time I come across them.
Maybe it’s because I spent so long wanting to live here that my subconscious soaks up every possible thing there is to appreciate here; and if that’s the case, I’m so very glad it does ❤ It makes me want to see what the rest of the world has to offer. More travels to come, but for now, I wanted to share some of the recent street art I have had the pleasure of coming across these past couple of weeks. I hope you love it as much as I do.
The past couple of months I haven’t been working a traditional 9-5 position, which has allowed me to attend a weekly women’s circle on Fridays from 11:30-12:30.
I’ve been soaking up every moment of having a flexible schedule that allows me to do this as I don’t know how long it will last. Just like the moon, it all goes in phases.
I’m so ecstatic that I’ve been able to participate in these donation based gatherings and I can say with full authenticity that they are changing me for the better.
I refer to them as goddess circles because the women who attend them are truly out-of-this-world amazing. It’s like being surrounded by a tribe of the most powerful yet elegant warriors you could ever imagine. The format of the circle works like this: We go around the circle three times, individually with a talking piece (usually a gorgeous mini sage bouquet or an African gourd shaker called an Axatse) to answer the question of the week chosen by my amazing warrior yoga instructor of three years, Gigi Yogini.
The first round we introduce ourselves and answer a simple yet thought-provoking question such as:
-What color describes how you are feeling right now?
-What is something you appreciate right now?
The second question gets a little more intimate and is timed with a span of 2-4 minutes. During that time, it is each persons turn to dive fully into the subject filling the space with whatever is within her. Tears, laughs, secrets, they are welcome as it is a place of safety and confidentiality.
Past questions have included:
-What can you brag about yourself?
-What is something you’re exploring in your life currently?
What is something you want to manifest more of in your life at the present moment?
After the timer has gone off and the person has finished answering the last of the question, we take a synchronized breath to inhale the positive and release the negative for that person as she passes the talking piece.
To seal the circle, the final question is typically about how we’re going to move into the next week, relating or implementing what we have discussed in the circle and sometimes we take turns leading a dance move for the rest to follow. Other times we have shared what comes up in our imaginations when we think of a serene space. There are no limits to what you can say…Some of the things shared have been:
-“I plan to go hiking as often as possible wearing as little as possible.”
-“I plan to wear whatever I want to inspire others to be themselves and be free.”
-“I plan to take time to myself this week in a house I have rented that has nothing in it but a kimono and to create several sacred spaces this week.”
It’s so surreal to me how calm and pure yet confident and optimistic you proceed into the world after being a part of one of these circles.
As a leader in the making, and someone with an eager desire to help others see the light, next month I am going to an intensive training that will teach me how to lead a circle like this. More to come on that soon. Namaste everyone<3
At the beginning of this week, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Rob Lawless to be a part of his Robs 10k Friends project, and it was truly an honor to be a part of such a brilliant idea.
Bored with what the career world had to offer, and knowing that there was more to life, Rob came up with the idea to try to meet as many people as possible. It is his goal to meet with 10,000 people for one hour each to see what happens when one “opens doors for no particular reason”.
After finding out that the average American will meet 10,000 people in his or her lifetime, the idea of meeting that many within a decade and actually getting to know them even just a little bit fascinated him.
His goal is to do it aggressively in 4 years, but realistically he knows there is a possibility of it taking longer.
I found out about Rob and his project this past January while listening to his episode on one of my favorite podcasts, The Lively Show. While I was listening to the story of how the whole thing got started, I told myself I was determined to be one of those 10k people. If Rob came to LA, I was meeting him no matter what. So I wouldn’t forget, I followed him on IG.
A lot has happened since January and while I was periodically reading the very interesting stories of the friends Rob was making, I didn’t follow the page closely enough to know his whereabouts.
Well, interestingly enough, about two weeks after moving into my new apartment in Marina del Rey, CA (after a brief stint living about 90 miles outside of LA) I decided to check out the IG page and was ecstatic with what I read.
“In LA through August, DM me if you want to meet!”
I thought I was dreaming and right away sent Rob a message to meet up. Then it hit me, I manifested this experience by speaking it into existence.
I told the universe I needed to make this happen and 6 months later when the time was right, the universe put the opportunity in my life. Wow! Why can’t it always work like that?
So finally, this past Monday, we were able to find a time that worked for both of us and decided to meet up at the Santa Monica Pier. The conversation started very naturally and organically and it’s truly amazing the content two people can discuss in the span of an hour. We talked about our “whys” in life (more to come on that later), the categories of our lives, our ultimate travel destinations, experience with the project so far, and so much more.
He has been featured on the news a couple of times and since starting has received occasional sponsors.
When I asked him if he ever worried about money (because let’s face it, meeting this many people in what usually would take a lifetime is a full time job) his response impressed me. “Even if my savings account goes to zero, I’ll walk away from this knowing I took it as far as I could.”
Pretty profound considering that most people go their whole lives to take any real risk for fear of losing their security.
It hit me once again, Rob spoke this project into existence. He randomly decided that this was what he wanted, and he made it happen.
While some may think that it’s all a little woo-woo, my upbeat, optimistic, spirit-junkie self tells me that he has no need to be concerned about any bank account going to zero, the universe will take care of everything.
Considering that I was number 1123 on Robs list of 10,000 it’s still very early in the game and I can’t wait to see where it all goes. I’m still in awe that I got to be a part of this idea and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next!
So to Rob, way to go on manifesting this project, amazing things are to come!
To the universe for putting this opportunity in my life at the perfect time, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
So you might be asking yourself why you would even want to read my blog…
Totally understandable since we most likely haven’t met in person yet. Well please allow me to speak to that question.
Every day we are all living our own story, and I want to share my story with you. So here goes…
Ever since my early college days, I have had a minor concern that I was possibly the “most boring person in the world”. Literally, those were my exact words.
In retrospect, I have no idea why I thought that even a little bit, especially when everyone around me could confidently say otherwise.
Since my tween years, I have always had a larger-than-life personality, an eccentric way of thinking, and atypical interests that were still wildly cool (by my definition at least). And while I never had a sensible reason to think that about myself, I know where the thought stemmed from.
I grew up in a small town in the midwest that was in no way substandard or unpleasant, but in every way unsuitable and inopportune for me as it lacked excitement and leisure – the two things I thrive off of.
It offered snow, chain stores and restaurants, and seasonal sports. What I needed was ocean and palm trees, farmers markets and local cafes, along with an open community of artists, yogis, meditation, and expressionism.
Where I lived I wasn’t an outsider, I definitely had friends (none of whom I remain in touch with), but I also didn’t fit into the puzzle either.
-While everyone my age was dressing the same, I was fearlessly wearing what I wanted; bright blue leggings, glitter, edgy T-shirts, lacey tank tops, and by age 13 I was dying my hair every couple of months.
-While my classmates spent their weekends cheering on their favorite team or camping by a lake, I spent my time catching up on the media, latest music scene, learning to be glam, or obsessively researching my favorite celebrities and movies. I was known as the pop culture guru. (Ask me A N Y T H I N G and I knew the answer)
-While everyone I knew looked forward to being invited to parties, I looked forward to a yoga class and couldn’t wait for my next vacation.
However, the biggest thing that separated me from my peers was my heart, my kindness, and my ability to accept anyone and anything with no judgement. I simply didn’t resonate with anyone else.
I was out of place, I was bored, and I knew I needed out. My ❤ and soul told me I belonged in LA and I knew I would get there.
By the time I was 18, I was so ready to leave, close the door on my lifeless life, and never look back. I wanted to badly to move to LA, but while my heart wanted to be there, my intuition and pocket told me that it wasn't time yet.
As a new adult, I decided to go to the nearest big city which was Chicago; another one of my favorite places and somewhere I knew very well as I traveled there several times per year. Although there were plenty of beyond difficult times there, along with extremely lonely days, I loved living there and I loved where I went to college. My last couple of years in the Windy City, I was going out to dinner with friends two to three times per week and spent most of my free time exploring the city, writing in coffee shops, or experimenting with art whether it was making new decor for my apartment or making jewelry inspired by a wedding gown designer I was interning for.
I was really good at art, but because of my incredibly traditional path and past, I always thought I would be a career woman and never made the connection that art could be my lifestyle.
A month after I graduated college in May of 2014, with plenty of help that I am eternally appreciative of, I packed two suitcases and was able to make my 10 year dream of living in LA my reality.
One of the first things I did while living in LA was start taking my yoga practice very seriously which opened the door to so many more opportunities.
-Poolside weekend yoga
-Free surf lessons
-Beach clean ups
-Full Moon celebration circles and so much more.
As I was observing the lifestyles of my yoga instructors and their inner circles, my perspective on life was beginning to shift and I was starting to see how small the atmosphere I grew up in actually was. There was so much more to life than a traditional 9-5 career and I realized that I had unique gifts to share with the world. It hit me that the reason I didn’t pursue them is because I came from a place where they were not celebrated but misunderstood.
I was destined for something so much greater. Something that involved a movement, something that involved helping other people love themselves, and live their lives according to their authentic selves and their own values.
Fast forward about 10 months and I was introduced to the world of self-development, podcasts, and life coaching. I was hooked. This world was one I knew I had to be a part of, so I started reading self-help books, attending seminars, and becoming more and more obsessed with the lifestyle. My authentic self started shining through. Not the new me, but the true me.
Since then, I have made it a point to become more clear on the direction of my life and create a specific set of ambitions and deadlines to make my dreams a reality.
This past March, I attended a three day women’s retreat that changed my life. Right after it was over I was on such a blissful high and felt so determined at the same time. I decided I would do “just one thing” every single day to bring me closer to making my ambitions my lifestyle. Some of the things I wanted to accomplish were:
-Start my own lettering/jewelry business (check)
-Become a health junkie and achieve my ideal body (in progress)
-Start my own blog again
-Take the next step towards helping other people become the most authentic versions of themselves
Well here it is…This blog is a way for me to communicate with you. Yes gorgeous, I mean YOU reading this.
In all sincerity, I don’t have it all figured out; just like anyone I still have plenty of uncertainties about my future.
-My ❤ is in LA, but I also have a calling to live in different places around the world. When will I move and for how long? Will it be indefinitely?
-Is part of my calling to become a fitness junkie? I hope so, I can imagine it, but I have no idea the changes to make to my current lifestyle to get there.
– When will I settle down with a life-partner? Part of me so deeply wants that right now, but the other part wants to commit to traveling and lifestyle design for the next decade.
-I've always wanted to learn photography, videography, and editing but will I attempt to learn myself (which would give me less time to focus on my priorities) or will I wait until I have more time to make the process quicker and smoother?
-I haven't achieved financial freedom yet, how can I triple my income? Would it be better to save as much money as I can or to invest in coaching sessions and other things that can contribute to building my future but have no real guarantee.
Like anyone else, I contemplate and over think my options a lot of the time, but what I do know is that we can be stronger together.
My plan is to use this blog as a way to hold myself accountable and to share everything I know about living the most incredible and memorable life possible. One according to your authenticity.
So if you’re thinking about starting your own brand, blog, podcast, etc.
Or, if you’re like I was and have the irrational concern that you’re “the most boring person in the world”, this virtual space is for you. Let’s learn together, shine together, and become our most authentic selves together, acknowledging that there is a place inside each of us that is pure light and love. And regardless of where any of us may be on the map right now, when you’re in that place and I’m in that place, we are one.