10 Beautiful Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years …

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1. Life moves fast. Really fast. One day you’re 23, struggling with who you are and the next, you’re 34, either embracing who you are or freaking out about it. Make the most of it. Laugh more, tweet less, love where you come from, even if it is a trailer park in Georgia. I practically lived at a Wal-Mart Super Center when I was 16 and I ain’t ashamed. Fight the good fight of life by judging less, and practicing random acts of kindness, even if it feels pointless and slightly new agey. And most of all, get after it. Get after life before it gets after you. Your dreams are rad. Promise.

2. Age is just a number… and I finally don’t give a crap about material things. For a former LA girl, not caring about pretty things or age is almost borderline insanity. At the age of 30, I left my swanky Sunset bartending gig and headed east to North Carolina, where I purchased a fancy loft in an uber cool neighborhood and thought I had surely “arrived”. Ohhhhh looky…. I own something. And it’s pretty. And it’s mine. And I’m established and all grown-up. And….. not happy. I left a year and a half later, with nothing in tow. All the retro CB2 furniture and West Elm rugs stayed behind, along with my weird, hybrid southern accent. I now live in a 500 square foot cottage in a small town in Northern California and I don’t have cable. I don’t own it. I have no utility bills. I work in a restaurant with really great people, all of whom are in their early teens to mid-twenties. They remind me of a time in my life that I truly loved, make me laugh on the daily and completely make me forget that I’m a 70’s baby. “Life is better when shared.” – Into the Wild.

3. Fall in love often. I used to think there was this one person for eveyone. That I hadn’t found my person yet. That I would. That it would be this life changing event. And maybe there still is a person. I have known those who found “true” love at 18, those who found it at 34 and those who have never found it. So love everyone you choose to be with deeply. Love them with an open heart. Love them even when you’re scared shitless. Be vulnerable. Be open. Communicate. Fight less. Know your limits. Love yourself first. Keep following your dreams and let them follow theirs. Be supportive. Trust. Have faith. Live your lives independently of one another and come home at the end of the day and talk about it. Or don’t. Sit in silence and revel in the fact that the silence isn’t awkwardness, but love. And if they don’t love you back, or they self sabotage, walk away. Simple as that. Love the next one. Do it fearlessly. And if they walk away from you first, let it go. No matter how painful it might be, no matter how much it hurts…… don’t fight for someone who won’t fight for you. Regret no one. You learned something valuable from the relationship and so did they. Also, Karma is a bitch.

4. You Are What You Eat. Caffeine, sugar, Caffeine, sugar, Caffeine, sugar. Insomnia, Chronic Fatigue, Insomnia, Chronic Fatigue, Insomnia, Chronic Fatigue. Kale, Quinoa, Coconut, Avocado, Chia, etc. Killer immune system, energy, love, hard body. It’s that simple. Sounds ridiculously simple. Couldn’t be more true. I’ve been addicted to every food vice there is. Changing my diet changed my life. EAT from the earth. EAT clean. Read labels. “Food is Medicine” – Hippocrates

5. Ego Vs. True Self. I know everything. I look down on you. I am adored. I deserve better. I am a victim. I don’t need help. I’m not shut down. I don’t need to change……. I know nothing. I am humbled. I am learning. I am open. I am loved. I love deeply. I feel compassion. I am grateful. I am trying. I AM.

6. Don’t Lie, Don’t Cheat Someone should have told this to my former self, not that I would have listened (Taurus Problems). Would have saved a lot of heartbreak. And yes…. Karma is a bitch. Besides, “Be the Change You Wish to See in the World” – Gandhi

7. It’s OK if you didn’t sell that screenplay, get a record deal, or get married. True story. “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

Nothing happened the way it was supposed to. Nothing. And I’m grateful for it. It’s crazy. It’s awesome. Create the life you want to live. “Life is a journey, not a destination”. The only time is right NOW.

8. Naivety breeds miseducation. I listened to everyone and everything. Every doctor, every lover, every peer, every elder, every boss, every friend, everyone but ME when it came to my body and my health. You are your freaking destiny. Listen to those you respect, but most of all, listen to your gut. When a doctor tells you that the only way to cure strep throat is with an antibiotic, know that a course of spanish black radish will do the same, without harming the rest of your body and your immune system. Say no to the flu shot. Question the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Do more research and tell em’ you’re not goin’ down like that. Watch documentaries on Netflix. They’re free. I can recommend at least six, three of which might save your life. Give your body a fighting chance to do what it was born to do.

9. There are two sides of every argument. Vaccinations, Cesareans, GMO’s, Abortion, Gay Marriage, Organic Food Vs. Conventional, Chiropractic Care Vs. Medical Care, Naturopath Vs. Doctor. I’m not telling you to choose a side, I’m asking you to learn everything you can about both sides and make an informed decision. Go back and forth. Study. Research. Research, Research. When you come to a conclusion, help others and teach them what you have learned. Education is a powerful thing. A closed mind is not. Question Authority and forget everything you think you know.

10. God IS Love, NOT Religion. Over 67 million views and still counting….

Meet Bonafide Bombshell Maria Brickey!

About a month ago, in the middle of getting a pedi and simultaneously instagramming a shot of my toes, I glance up for a moment and see Maria Brickey. She’s adorable and I can’t take my eyes off of her. Fuchsia Pink hair, boyfriend jeans, flip-flops, strategically placed, artsy tattoos and perfect skin. I’d love to knock off perfect points for the Trenti sized Starbucks cup she’s holding, but I don’t … because it’s filled with water. “She can’t be more than twenty-eight,” I think, but I raise it to thirty when she sits down next to me. Not because she doesn’t look young, but because she’s more woman than girl close-up. I want to say something to her, but I stumble like I’m crushing on Macklemore and ask her what brand her boyfriend jeans are? “American Eagle Outfitters,” she sweetly replies with a smile. And then we don’t shut-up. We literally finish each others sentences. Here’s what I find out about Maria in the next thirty minutes:

She’s actually forty-two, married to her high school sweetheart (who later walks in with full sleeves), and a mother of four, one of whom is eighteen!? When she tells me this I look at her the way I once looked at Gwen Stefani in a swanky LA hotel bathroom. The “Seriously You’re Not Just Perfect Because They Airbrush The Crap Out of You, You Are Actually Perfect” look. I’m fascinated by this real life Gwen Stefani, mainly because she doesn’t have a team of stylists, a personal chef, Tracy Anderson kicking her butt and she’s not a millionaire. She’s a local, Petaluma stay at home mom who shares my weird Essie Nail Polish fetish, Iced Green Tea addiction and Coconut Oil for everything mantra. We almost share a birthday. I’m May 7th, she’s May 8th. Team Taurus yo. We both use the adjective “rad” and “bad ass” even though it’s clearly not the 80’s anymore. We’re both health obsessed and quickly learn that even though we got in to this mess via Vanity, it isn’t about Vanity at all, but about finding “Perfect Health” at any age. We eat clean and, at the moment, we’re both doing some seriously heavy detoxing. I love her because if she said anything less than all of this, I’d have to rethink my entire blog. If Botox and processed foods were her jam, and she looked this damn good, then everything I preach would be for naught.

I love her because she wants everyone around her, including her family, to be healthy too, so she painstakingly makes everything from scratch, even pasta and bread for the kids. It’s all about ingredients, even if you’re not gluten free. I love her because after twenty-five years together, she still thinks her husband is hot as hell and refers to him as her boyfriend on weekends. I love her because this is her latest Facebook message to me:

“Bought organic wheat berries from whole foods, sprouted them, dehydrated them, ground them into whole wheat flour, and made homemade free range chicken egg pasta… hell yeah! I bought some sorghum flour for myself, so no gluten for me, I’ll letcha know if it turns out…. Here’s to bad ass health conscious chicks!!”

For Maria’s baby soft skin (and no, I can’t stop touching her arm when I see her), take Dead Sea Salt baths once every few weeks to sweat out toxins. This consists of hot water and Masada Genuine Sea Salts, and no lotion afterwards, just straight coconut oil on entire body and face.

Maria’s Green Smoothie Recipe:

Blend:
8oz purified water with organic
1 bunch fresh spinach
3-4 stalks of celery
1 pear
1 apple
1 banana
1/2 head of romaine or red leaf lettuce
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of sea salt
Blend on high until smooth.

Maybe Maria is who I would have been, had I done the whole marriage/kids thing at eighteen. I would have done it her way. With love and loyalty to herself and her family, and the smarts to take care of herself and her body enough to look like a bonafide bombshell at forty-two. I mean, her kids must think she’s rad, and her husband must think he’s married to a bad ass …..

maria b