• Health
  • Why I Want to Move to California

    Imagine. Waking up to the bright blue and white light of the morning sun peaking in through your bedroom window on a Saturday morning. You stretch your arms above your head, rub the crusties from your eyes and gaze about the room in wonder of this beautiful light.

    You’re inspired by the light to smile, sit up, and get ready for the day. A full day of adventure lay ahead of you. Not any ordinary adventure but the kind that leads you outdoors into nature, where mysteries are solved, imagination runs wild, and insights pour into your system.

    These types of Saturdays can be made anywhere, but for me, I know these Saturdays are meant for me in the great state of California.

    The Trip

    I recently returned from a trip to Santa Barbara. This wasn’t my first time to California, but this trip was different. I was 15 on my first visit, too young and immature to truly enjoy the state and/or understand the impact it could have on my life.

    I held no expectations towards how the trip would be. I simply wanted to spend time at the beach, eat at great restaurants, and sneak in a hike or two. I knew it would be a short trip, so my expectations where low.

    I stayed a total of two and half days, not counting the half day trip to the state and the full day trip back home (lengthened by time zones). By my last day there I simply could not soak up enough California sun to last me!

    It was a Friday morning when I woke up to the beautiful California sunshine streaming in through my balcony door. I jumped out of bed and tore open the curtains to lay my eyes on the angled view of the beach and palm trees that lay ahead. The morning sun coated itself on top of the trees, beach, and nearby motels, kissing their cheeks with a sweetness unknown by the afternoon light.

    It was this light that inspired and energized me to get dressed and gather my belongings, because we (my boyfriend and I) had a full day ahead of outdoor adventure that we were piecing together as we pieced together our clothing.

    The plan: breakfast at a local spot that served the most amazing acai bowels, then a short drive to Gaviota State Park for a hike to the Wind Caves, and, finally, a detour through wine country. Go, team, go!

    We packed a picnic for our trip and were on our way.

    The day felt so natural and right. My energy level was so perfect. I felt full of life, vibrant, and enthusiastic about every aspect of the journey.  It just felt – so good. California felt – so good.

    The afternoon nap found its rightful home on our return to Santa Barbara and our new hotel. A quick rest before a night out on the town.

    That doesn’t end our trip.

    On our last full day in town we ate at our favorite breakie locale, bought a frisbee for playful times, and bunkered down on the most sweet spot on the beach. Sun made it’s intermittent and, at times, lasting appearance. The breeze cooled our baking skin. And a European family made camp nearby. At first, alarmingly close, but at second glance, endearing.

    We read our books, soaked in the sun, enjoyed our packed food, threw our frisbee multiple times, and even caught sight of whales and dolphins not too far off shore. The smell of the ocean soothed my soul. I melted into the towel on top of the sand with an utter surrender unknown to me during any other points of travel. The ocean does me over like no other geological feature.

    But, it wasn’t long, or so it felt, until it was time to pack up. The sun was our alarm clock. It tucked away behind a cloud and left a lingering breeze, cooler than the one before. We dressed ourselves, packed our belongings, and trucked to the car. It was time to prepare for our final evening in the great city of Santa B.

    Nothing too much planned that night due to my early flight the next morning. But – we made the most of it with Indian food and a stop by the Funk Zone. Yes – it’s called the Funk Zone. A place in Santa Barbara they’re trying to revive by promoting local artists and small craft breweries and wineries. We went to a spot based on recommendation, like many of the locations we visited this trip, and were, as usual, completely impressed.

    As we drove into the Funk Zone, I heard music and thought that for sure this was the spot for us, only to find out it was the spot recommended to us! We show our IDs and walk inside to a banging party at like 7:30 at night. At which point, I reminisce on all the conversations my partner and I have had about wanting a cool spot to hang and dance earlier in the evenings on the weekend.

    We grabbed a brewsky and listened to the groovy, reggae-soul band that was getting the crowd dancing. The night so cool and chill with a vibe of ease and happiness. A vibe reflective of the my experience in California and it’s peeps. A vibe I can get down with a regular basis.

    The Reflection

    It’s this vibe that draws me in. I can get nature anywhere, and California isn’t the only state with a beach. Texas even has a beach, for christ’s sake! But it’s the people and the all around vibe of the location that gets me.

    There’s a chillness in the air. A laid back feeling that life’s okay. That’s it’s okay to be healthy, to look good, to have fun, to enjoy yourself, and still move forward in life. Life doesn’t have to be drab or dull just because we have responsibilities but it’s meant to be fun and vibrant.

    Perhaps my vision is skewed because I was on vacation. I’ll accept this as a totally rational thought process, but my main squeeze talks about this vibe being present every time he’s there; and he visits frequently for work, not vacation.

    This gives me the notion that quite simply this place is filled with people that I want to be around. I want to enjoy a location that not only offer nature in its highest form but also people who care about their health. Health is a constant factor for this people. You don’t see as many overweight or unhealthy individuals in this state. People are thin, fit, active, and healthy.

    I want to surround myself with people like that.

    At the same time, California is a state of luxury. Luxury isn’t something I thought I overtly liked but I do love experiencing life in a fancy fashion. It helps that my partner does, too. California does an excellent job of combining an outdoor, healthy lifestyle with luxuriousness. And this is the type of lifestyle I’d like to live.

    Now, let’s get somethings straight. I’m not made of money, which is a huge obsticle to my moving to California, but that doesn’t mean I’m not blessed with the opportunities that arrive for me to experience life in a luxurious way. I am completely open to receiving these opportunities in however they choose to present themselves.

    And, one day, I’d love to be living in California, even if at the sacrifice of luxury, for a while.  I believe that California would be good for my Soul. It would also be good for my relationship(s).

    It’s a great fit for me and my man. I love the beach. He loves the mountains. We both love the outdoor and healthy lifestyle. I can’t see any other reason why we don’t work for California.

    I have zero expectation of moving anytime soon. I simply love fantasizing about all the possibilities and what could be. I believe the Universe thrives on my fantasizing and uses it to show me what’s possible for my life as well as begin building the road to its sure manifestation.

    I believe in a thriving and responsive Universe that hears all calls and answers these calls, should they be in the Highest and Best Interest of for the Good of All. And those are the only conditions under which I would want to move to California, or make any change in my life for that matter.

    With that said, Universe – I want to move to California (to the beach, specifically!).

    Any Californians out there withy any advice? Drop me a line…

    With love,

    Paula D Jones

     

     

  • Wealth
  • Three Steps to Commit and Create a Lifestyle You Love

     

    Everyday I am committed to my health, be that in body, mind, or spirit. My commitment is made clear via the actions I choose to take each day. When it comes to my physical health, I choose to eat a whole-food, plant-based diet with minimal to know sugar or refined or processed food consumption while exercising regularly. I commit to a healthy mind by following through with my creative endeavors like writing, reading, or studying. And I tend to my spirit by allowing myself time each morning to connect with Divine Guidance.

    In the broad sense, I take action on these things every day, but when it comes to propelling myself to the next level, it’s important that I take a look at individual practices and ensure I’m actually following through in order to achieve my goals.

    For instance, I’ve recently made the commitment to deepen my yoga practice by beginning to practice at home (in addition to still attending studio classes). My intention being that I can’t always attend studio classes, therefore on those days I can complete a home practice. I bought a book to teach me how to put together a home practice. I dove head first into exploring this new arena of growth. I was gung-ho for several weeks but then my schedule got hectic, and my 45-minute to hour-long practices were the first things to go.

    Furthermore, I have re-committed to writing daily, and I’ve been inspired to re-open this blog. Upon re-opening the blog I felt the pressure to “have to write” a blog post each time I sat at my computer. I created pressure behind my writing, so I noticed I had stopped writing daily, since it meant I couldn’t always get a blog post out of it. I had switched my perspective and the center of importance away from writing towards creating a blog post. I reversed my priorities.

    In these two instances, I generated a great amount of pressure by insisting I live up to a higher standard than one that I could actually commit to or originally committed to. I felt like I had to go big or go home every time. And that is just not the case! In fact, I have learned to focus on the long-term rather than the short-term gains of my goals, the beauty of one small step a day, and how to keep my priorities straight

    1. Long-term Over Short-Term

    These days I choose to focus on the long-term outcome of my goals rather than the immediate outcome. When I do this I give myself space to play around, try new things, and make mistakes. For example, if I were to switch from viewing my fitness as a long term goal to a short term goal, I would expect that within the next three, six, or twelve months I would be at the height of my fitness. And for what end? My life won’t be over in that period of time (Unless the Universe has other plans, but, hopefully, God-willing, that’s not the case.)

    From this perspective, I don’t intend for there to be an explicit “peak” to my fitness but rather the ability to achieve a high level of fitness that honors my body over an extended period of time. Therefore, being strict on myself to commit and complete 45-minute to one-hour long at-home yoga practices approximately six days a week, in addition to studio classes, is unreasonable, at this point. That type of commitment actually deters me from stepping up to the mat in the first place. Instead, I want to make building an at-home yoga practice an approachable long-term goal. In order to do that, I’ll start small and work my way up.

    2.  One Small Step a Day

    Starting small is the most important thing anyone can do when beginning a new endeavor, especially an endeavor that is intended to make it over the long-term. When you start small you’re able to gauge your capabilities for the day and adjust accordingly. Whereas, if you set up a goal much larger than you’re capable of doing in a given day, then you’re more likely to give up or not even try to begin at all.

    In my yoga practice, I’ve decided that instead of pushing myself to meet the demands of an hour-long session, six days a week, it’s easier for me to commit to putting my mat out six days a week, listening to my body, and doing what comes naturally. That could be anything from an hour-long session to simply meditating (which is a crucial part of yoga, as well). When I give myself this flexibility, I am more likely to show up to the mat.

    One thing I have absolutely learned about myself is that my energy fluctuates. I don’t always have the energy to go hard. But when I do, I know I can push myself to new edges and heights. And I am absolutely willing to do so, when I know I have the energy. I am grateful for my body and mind when I can go to these new places in any practice, but I honor myself when all I have in a day is the ability to show up.

    Don’t let how you feel that day keep you from showing up and taking one small step. Instead, give yourself the flexibility to show up, however you do, with integrity and commitment lying in the heart of simply showing up. Showing up is all it takes to keep the ball rolling. You’ll know exactly what small (or large) step to take from there.

    3. Keep Your Priorities Straight

    Finally, it’s important to keep your priorities straight. As I mentioned above, I confused my daily writing practice with having to crank out a blog post for my now re-opened blog. Unfortunately, this put unnecessary pressure behind the creative act of writing.

    My daily writing practice is intended to express my creativity and get me back in jive with the Universe in a creative and playful way. It was not intended to be a production machine.

    As I sat down to write today, I realized the pressure I had put on myself and the consequence of doing so. I had not sat down to write in several days. This was astonishing to me because I had made the commitment level so low: only five minutes a day. Anyone can do that! That’s the epitome of “showing up and starting small.” But, then I unconsciously attached, “Five minutes a day and one flawless blog post,” to the commitment.

    Fortunately, I’m self-aware enough to realize I did that. And that’s why my final point is to watch out for inadvertently mixing up your priorities. If the priority is long-term health of your body, then going for the short-term physical look could throw you off your exercise/fitness regimen. If creative expression is the long-term priority, then the short-term gain of completing a blog post could distract you. Be weary of these short-term priority flip-flops! They are sneaky and can get you off track easily.

    A Lifestyle You Love

    Going for the gold in my life has taken new form. No longer do I feel attached to having short-term gains, especially when I realize I’ll be taking these actions, or similar ones, for the rest of my life. I’ll have my whole life to achieve these goals. What’s the rush to complete them today? Therefore, what’s the point in being so hard on myself today? Why not start slow and easy and work my way into a lifestyle I love? I think that sounds like a great idea: switch from short-term to long-term goal attainment, take one small step a day, and keep all priorities straight. Over the long-term I’ll build a lifestyle I love! What do you think?

    In love,

    Paula D Jones

     

  • Other
  • Starting Over Again

    It’s not easy hitting the reset button, be that in relationships, at work, or  at home. And yet, that’s exactly what I’ve done with Heart Driven Life (HDL).

    When I started HDL two years ago I had a vision of running a life coaching business. I set up shop and started attracting clients. I was in a coaching academy to train me to coach and build a business. I did all of this while in the middle of nursing school.

    You could say I was a bit confused about what I really wanted out of life. I thought I wanted to be a life coach, but I had already started on the path to nursing. Each time I tried to quit nursing, my insides leapt outside of me and weird phenomenon occurred, like my car getting a flat tire, multiple times.

    Eventually I stopped resisting my path, quit the whole life coaching schtick,  and fell madly in love with nursing. I found my calling – or it found me. Gregg Levoy wrote in his book, Callings, that often what we resist most in life is our greatest calling.

    I graduated nursing school in December 2015 and started my career as a nurse in February 2016. I’m sinking in sweetly to the ebb and flow of my new life. The treasures I am finding along the way taste so good. For instance, working only three days a week!

    Now I have more time than ever to twiddle my thumbs and ponder the mysteries of the Universe. I can do yoga, cook, clean, play with my pup, write, or hang with friends all day long. Either each one individually or all in the same day!

    I’ve been enjoying this time as I deeply connect with myself and the things and people I love most. I’ve returned to writing with new insight and inspiration. Even though journaling has been a normal occurrence for me for who knows how long, I started blogging in 2012. When I set aside my life coaching business, I also set aside writing/blogging. I even no longer incorporated it into my morning routine. In fact, I quit my morning routine altogether (besides my cup of coffee).

    As I’ve spent that last several months enjoying myself, I felt like something was missing, a creative spark of sorts. I felt compelled to create something, anything. I began searching for what that thing would be until I realized that writing was that thing.

    No need for me to start something new. Instead, I’m returning to a craft I had set aside thoughtlessly. I’m re-opening my website as a blog and a point of connection for like-minds.

    I want to connect with women, locally and around the world, who may or may not view the world through a similar lens as my own but who are open-hearted and open-minded. I’ve met the most incredible women through blogging in the past and, also, through starting and building my life coaching practice.

    As I pondered opening my blog, I realized that this time around my motivation is completely different. My motive is connection through expression. I want to connect with you because you resonate with what I write about.

    I’ll write about a myriad of topics on this new and improved blog o’mine. They’ll be neatly organized under three main headings: Health, Wealth, and Love. Each will encompass the following…

    • Health: nutrition, fitness/exercise, commentary on my nursing career, etc.
    • Wealth: personal growth and development topics on success, money/finances, book reviews, leadership, basic tips on how to optimize your life, etc.
    • Love: inspiration, intuition, spirituality, divination, emotions, meditation, wisdom, etc.

    Other topics that could cross over each of these include creative expression through writing, travel, etc.

    One lesson I learned in my prior dealings with blogging and starting a coaching business is to stay open to change. While I may not have pin-pointed an exact niche, I’ll blog on topics that are near and dear to my heart, topics I feel inspired to write about. Over time and through reader engagement, I expect I’ll harness a niche that suites me and you (the audience). For now I am satisfied with my broad niche.

    The point being that I’m interested in living a life in alignment with my heart, and I’d love to connect with other women who are interested in living a heart driven life as well. I want to connect with women who are tuned in and turned on, following their unique divine spark, embracing life’s lessons with love, and honoring their humanness.

    Let’s create something beautiful together.

    Yours,

    Paula D Jones