Why you need to reach outside your comfort zone



I’m quickly realizing the power of networking and took a leap this week by going to my first Meetup event back home in San Diego. I was first introduced to Meetup.com by my lovely friend and favorite yogi Allison, while we were both working as teachers in Taiwan.

Allison is an inspiration and I can’t wait to have her on the blog! For now, you can check out her donation classes @MotherEarthYogaWithAlli on FB. (Credit: Angie Shih)

Especially living in a foreign country, it was important for me to get out there and meet new people, live different experiences and not be boxed in by my self-inhibiting “comfort zone.” I met some amazing ladies through a feminist book club and experienced out-of-this-world yoga with Alli, as we connected back to Earth through outdoor movement.

Being comfortable is great, but it can also be a killer of upward movement, open-mindedness and passion. Without allowing myself to feel that discomfort, I wouldn’t have been able to make those very real connections and realize and develop my potential.

I took that thinking into the blogging meet-up this week, nervous about meeting new people and articulating this digital thing that I have such love, hope & soul invested into. Then I met them and realized they are just real, passionate people blogging and creating because it’s what will always make sense to them, to me. They had nothing but best wishes and fantastic advice and it was so wonderful to meet up with them, share excitement in their successes and empower each other. That’s how it should be. *Shout out to SD Bloggers!*


In other news, Camille, Truly is officially 1 month old! I’m so proud of what I’ve been able to paint on this canvas so far … and I’m just getting started.

❤ Yours, truly.





Why questions about life abroad make me panic

It’s been more than two years since I sat in a cobwebby, shared cubicle surrounded by extroverts and introverts, music – lovers and sports fanatics shooting ideas across the aisles of our student-run newspaper– making shit happen. I loved it. This past weekend brought all of that to the forefront of my mind as we met for a couple IPAs and life updates.

It’s been a month since I’ve moved back to California from Taiwan, where I spent a year teaching English. But everyday, I find my mind wandering back there to the food, the crowded streets, my friends and the vast green canopy and humidity always pressing in around me.

Taipei City from Elephant Mountain Trail.  (Credit : Karl Kachele)

So if it’s something that I think about every day, it shouldn’t be too hard to articulate when someone asks about my trip … right?

Instead, I feel my body tense up with the enormity of the question and the emotions I’ve attached to that tiny island, an island that awakened my soul. Living abroad was terrifying, fantastic, mobilizing and, of course, life-changing. I’m a different person.

I lived in a tiny 400-sq ft space with my boyfriend and thrived — washing dishes in our bathroom sink and hanging our clothes out to dry on the balcony. I adapted to the smell of mildew and sour looks from my sleepy students. I learned what makes them laugh, inspires them … and what inspires me. I learned that my immunity is no match for sticky kid fingers. I got used to sweating through my shirts within minutes, going through the day with a clean face and wearing clothes I could sprint up our narrow school stairs in.


I adored stir-fried sweet potato leaves with garlic and sesame noodles, curry, bamboo, stinky tofu and steamed fish. I inhaled incense, dust, polluted air, cigarette smoke and the calming aroma of oolong tea. I found peace in the chaos and in the power of my body carrying me miles and miles up and down escalators, through the streets with grocery bags in hand, up and down stairs at my English school. I walked and it became an afterthought — no more stinging muscles but a conscious meditation. A reflection of a city on the move, molded by its inhabitants into a clash of businesses, apartments … spilling out onto the sidewalks and into the streets. I bought a dress on a worn-down sidewalk days before we left. A garbage man driving by to pick up last night’s discards complimented me, urging me to make the purchase.

Daily breakfast at our AirBnB– a traditional Chinese house on the outskirts of Sun Moon Lake.

Tiny moments like these fill my mind with color and urge me back … back 14 hours on a plane, back to endless swollen, scarring mosquito bites, sweat-soaked clothes and running to catch the bus. Back to our daily breakfast spot, baby-blue lukewarm waters and crowded subway rides. Walks in the middle of the night and shopping in the neon glow of night markets. And so, so much more.

Night walk through Shida night market in our neighborhood near National Taiwan University of Science & Technology. (Credit: Karl Kachele)

So, how do I even begin to articulate that? I feel myself struggling internally now, and then — back in the corner of that brewery as we swapped stories. Now I’m realizing though, in some shape or form, we’re all asking ourselves that same question. How do I begin? And once I begin, what’s next? What’s my story and who am I telling it for?

A temple a short gondola ride away at Maokong, a village surrounded by hills and tea farms. (Credit: Karl Kachele)

We’re all struggling, but we all also have so much to be proud of. It’s ok to not have all the answers. No one does.



❤ Yours, truly.

Mid-Week Motivation!

So, let’s talk about something really quick. Today, I’m questioning life a little bit, so it’s important to get this out there, as a reminder for me and anyone else who’s feeling the struggle.

Do you know that you can do anything? Really. Anything! Nothing is too difficult, if you set goals and progress a little every day. If you keep your focus on the ultimate outcome, it will happen for you. If it doesn’t seem like that’s the case right now, look back at all you’ve accomplished up until now! You can do it, because you already have!

Copy of Happy

I used to waste hours, days even, stuck thinking through the magnitude of life in my head. I psyched myself out, and as a result, took myself out of the game before I’d even started.

It was so frustrating, especially because I knew I was doing it, but I couldn’t stop myself from going down that rabbit hole again. “Where am I going to be in 5 years? Look at all these things other people are doing on social media! Am I ‘enough’?”

BUT, this is me right now, acknowledging those insecurities, acknowledging that fragile and debilitating frame of mind.

And, this is me letting go.

Realizing that frustration and constant thoughts of what I can’t change are barriers to smarter living. Realizing that I am all that stands between me and reaching my goal. And I choose to stand aside and cheer myself on. I choose to let positivity flow in every aspect of my life, and to feel it returned to me. It’s an amazing cycle. Just choose to be a part of it.

Are you ready to let go of the barriers setting you back?

Answer with positivity, and you’re on your way to becoming you, truly. ❤


What I Wish I Had Understood a Year Ago…

I feel like a new person. There’s been a shift in my soul, grounding me into the Earth and my center of being.



A year ago, I was afraid of the 7,000- mile step away from the world I’d carefully built in San Diego. I arrived in Taiwan feeling really unsettled and unsure of my decision.

But the thing is, I made the decision. I said yes even though I was afraid. And I’m thankful for that choice every single day.

Now, I understand that life is a series of choices. To go or to stay. To be complacent or to chase your dreams. To love yourself and to accept nothing less than the best.

There’s a truly distinct beauty in realizing this.

Now, I marvel in my body and the things it has allowed me to do.

Now, I rejoice in my independence and the peace I’ve found in trusting myself, in embracing confidence.

Now, I understand the amazing, binding power of friendship. The people in my life now are wonderful, hilarious, positive, motivating human beings. I am overjoyed to see them grow and achieve success in their own lives, as they wish me success in mine.

And now, I know that nothing is too far away (figuratively and literally). Taiwan was 14 hours on a plane, which was a little rough. But look at it this way: a little over half a day to travel to an island on the other side of the world?? That’s amazing! Really anywhere is reachable … just extend yourself to possibilities and see what can happen for you!

Do you find yourself thinking differently than you did last year? What are some things you understand more clearly now than you have in the past, or that you are just beginning to understand? Do you feel a shift in your being? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments!

6 Ways to Find & Create Peace in Your Life

These strategies are what I use to achieve peace in my life. I’ve used at least four of these every day, and ALL of them on those days when I just feel overwhelmed, fed up and stressed out! If this sounds like you, these will help!


Realize when things are out of your control: Teaching this past year has been SO many things–a bit difficult to unpack all at once. But I can say it’s been a very intriguing, frustrating, magical, uplifting AND annoying lesson in the ways of kids.

Gotta be honest. There’s times when I’ve felt irritation bubbling up inside me because we have to get through the lesson before the clock runs out and 5 out of my 10 kids won’t stop turning around. GAHHH.

BUT, that doesn’t happen anymore.

Instead, I would have an internal monologue that involved putting myself in their position, realizing the hardships they go through as Taiwanese students (it’s really ridiculous), and also understanding that I don’t know what’s truly going on in their day.

This thought process really helped me to get through my classes and my day with love and respect, and it can be used in so many different situations! It always helps to take the time to understand there’s more going on than what you perceive. Try it out if you feel this could be beneficial for you!

Take the time to check in with your “now”: It’s so easy to get caught up in the race for success, money, and what’s next, but it is more important, maybe even most important, to look at your “now.” Are you healthy, happy, and living in the moment? Are you taking the time to feel gratitude for what life has given you, and the people who have helped you to get here? This is so important!

I’ve had so many distinct moments of gratitude while living abroad, experiencing the beauty of differing cultures and realizing the amazing support I have. Before I moved to Taiwan, I felt stuck and nervous about my future. Which is totally normal. But, you can’t live your life nervously, and you shouldn’t. I’ve learned checking in and appreciating where you are right now, is so important.

But if you don’t like where you are now, you have to do something about it…so you need to set small goals.

Set small goals (they’ll eventually add up to your larger ones!): I’ve been reading a book one of my wonderful friends let me borrow about the power of decisions. Big decisions, little decisions. Any and all decisions.

It’s a stupidly simple concept, but every time I read a few pages, I always have this “Oh yeah, I can do that!” revelation.


Basically, the decisions you make today (big and little ones) can have a really profound impact in the long run. Meaning, you won’t see the result immediately, which can make it easy to ignore the eventual effects of a simple decision, like the choice to Netflix (are we using that as a verb yet??) instead of doing a moderate workout for half-an-hour, or choosing a burger and fries over a nutrient-full fueling salad. It won’t get to you right now, but it will catch up to you.

So you have to set small goals: put some time aside, even if it’s just half an hour or 10 minutes a day. Take the time for yourself to improve in the aspect or aspects you want to focus on–relationships, health (mentally and physically), skill-building, confidence. Just commit to a certain amount each day, and it will add up to success!

Check out The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson if this sounds like what you need to hear.

Talk to yourself (everyone does it): When I used to sing in my family’s Funk band (that’s a story for another day), right before my song would start, I’d tell myself: “You have one chance to do this. You can either have fun and make it a great time, or not. But what outcome do you want? You have one shot to do this, do it right.”

In a potentially nerve-wracking situation, I found peace through this internal pep-talk.

I think everyone needs one at some point in their life, and it can really apply to any situation. It’s ok to sort things through in your head, to take the time to think carefully, and to give yourself a nudge when you know you can do it.

It can be whatever you need it to be: “It’s okay,” “You are wonderful,” or “get your ass out of bed, girl!” So yeah, really whatever works for you.

Practice Mindfulness: I’ve just started doing this, but it’s worked really well for me. Mindfulness can be a meditation, or just something you practice throughout your day. It’s all about dedicating yourself to being in the moment. Thoughts about things outside of the moment may arise, and that’s ok.

Acknowledge, without judgement, that you are thinking about other things, and then make the decision to focus on what you are doing right now. Breathing, listening and being in the moment.

Get outBeing outside your comfort zone breeds creativity, thoughtfulness, and appreciation for just about everything. I took this advice to heart and moved almost 7 thousand miles away from home in search of an entirely different life experience and perspective. I won’t ever be able to put into words how beneficial this has been for me, but I must stress how important it is to get out and experience new things, different viewpoints (figuratively and literally),  and different cultures. Obviously, I gotta say that travel is one of the most fantastic ways to do this, but you don’t have to move 7 thousand miles away like me.

Feeling bored, stuck or frustrated? Go somewhere you haven’t been before, do something new. Go hiking, volunteer in your community, take a road trip, hop on a plane, or try a new activity.


This will help you to gain peace and appreciation of your life and the possibilities in it, and to discover new things about yourself. BUT, it’s not just about you! Doing these things will help you feel appreciation for your community, and for the world as a whole. I hope that doesn’t sound overwhelming, because we all live on this planet and each of us has a responsibility to nurture and elevate it!

It’s a really wonderful experience when you start to gain a worldly view of things. So when something small happens in your day that bums you out, realize there is so much more to life than just this instance of irritation. It’s in your best interest, and the world’s, for you to get out and see what you can do.

Good luck!

❤ Yours truly



Want to subscribe? Click here –> http://eepurl.com/cXBKtf

Behind the Blog

Honest discussion about smarter living, health and becoming you, truly!

I’ve just hopped on a plane back to my hometown of San Diego after about a year abroad in Taiwan!

I’ve been living in Taipei and teaching kids English, and I’ve learned SO much about me in this time. I have become more grounded in myself, body and mind. SO…my passion now is to help you do the same!

My goal for this blog is to share the valuable lessons I’ve learned here, and that I’ll continue to learn as I approach life with love, patience, and trust.

I’ll be writing about smarter living, feminism, friendship, appreciation, adventure, travel, and health. I hope to guide you in your journey to find yourself and your kickass potential. Your best you is truly, just under the surface!

❤ Yours truly