Well we know 2020 was a little bit of a crazy year. Although, I have a lot of gratitude towards 2020. In fact, I wrote a love letter to it (will share in another post). I admit, this blog sat on the back burner for the last 7-8 months. Yet, I have been far from complacent in that time.
Just a few updates since my new year post of 2020 and my last post in May. I found my worth. I moved into a tiny home. I started a Wellness Life Coaching Business (www.rebirthselflove.com) and I finished my 52 Hike Challenge. I did well with my poetry for a while and then life just caught up with me. Between all the good, there was definitely pain and sorrow in between. Life has been lived and I am ready for more!
I am making a new addition to NaturaLu Creations for 2021. I have decided to do the 52 Hike Challenge again and to write about my amazing adventures. These hikes have been my saving grace in 2020- with COVID and racism being in our faces all year long, I needed something to settle my anxieties and nature has always been the best therapy for me. Don’t worry, the poetry will be coming back this week too!
So join me on a little hiking adventure each week! Welcome to NaturaLu Creations presents, NaturaLu Excursions!
NATURALU EXCURSIONS: The 52 Hike Challenge 2021, Hike 1: Kickapoo Cavern State Park
Today, my friends and I, went to a brand new place for us. We traveled almost 3 hours to Bracketville, TX to visit the Kickapoo Cavern State Park. Although we weren’t able to see the actual caverns (thanks again to COVID) or stay to watch the bats emerge, we were able to trek about 95% of the trails there and complete 11.2 miles.
If you are a bird watcher, you will love it here. We saw so many birds, including Crested Caracaras and the most American Robins I have ever seen. I am not an avid birder, but I remember many species from my college Ornithology class (I was a Wildlife Conservation Major). I have thought about investing in binoculars so I can test myself from all that knowledge over a decade ago! You can pick up this bird checklist below, inside at the office!
If you are looking for other signs of wildlife, you are still in luck. We saw several armadillos, one of which pretty much walked right past us while looking for food and water. There were also hundreds of javelina footprints around and we did see a fox running by in the morning (we arrived around 930am).
If you are not an avid hiker just yet, some of the trails may be challenging for you. As always, Texas State Parks provide trail guides with a levels of difficulty. Most scale “easy” towards “moderate,” with the Barbado Ridge Trail leading, moderate to strenuous (I will say, for any of these parks, be aware that these maps are not to scale. We typically hike more than what the numbers say). The terrain is pretty rocky and has several steep inclines and declines. The highest point we reached was 1,900ft. Make sure you have some sturdy shoes and ready for those rocks. And if you have any previous injuries, make sure you are prepared. I have knee injuries and always wear my knee brace, but those inclines, plus the distance, can be rough! Those last two miles certainly were for me.
Overall, it was a perfect day with the views and the weather. I usually layer up (it was 34 degrees Fahrenheit when we arrived and moved up the to high 60s). I plan to go back when they reopen the caverns to the public. We only saw three other people on the trails, really just one biker. Seemed like everyone else who was there was utilizing the camping grounds. Perfect park to go to if you are looking for some quiet and no people! Yay for social distancing.
If you enjoying hiking, what are some of your favorites areas to frequent?
“Keep going, and don’t worry about your speed. You’re making progress even if it doesn’t seem like it. Forward is forward, no matter how slow.”
I’ve spent the last month rededicating time to this blog. Hoping it would motivate me back into my book process. It’s been a struggle. I can write daily, but sometimes it was just because I “had” to. I had to follow through with my commitment to myself. The inspiration to write and share was not happening every day though. I’m trying to find a balance between the many work things that I do with keeping time and space for my personal passions. All of this with a looming feeling inside.
We can take two steps forward and six steps back sometimes, but we just have to keep moving towards our goals. Knowing that things will happen when they are meant to in their own time and will. Some days my spirit will move me to non-stop creativity and other days, its rest time. I will honor whatever comes.
I hope those of you who actually read my blog, have been enjoying my words (and photos). I appreciate all your support. This isn’t the end.
“Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”
There’s been a few times in life that a few of my hopeful wishes came true. It always seems unreal, like someone is playing a game. It’s hard to trust it. It’s just “too good to be true.” You have no idea what to do with it, now that you have it. You begin to believe that you don’t deserve it. You begin to think that it’s all a mistake, a misunderstanding. No way is this for me.
But it’s for you. Believe it. Because the ongoing moments you spend second guessing, pushing and turning from it, comes the moment you start to destroy what you had. And everything will leave.
Trust that you are worthy. Trust that your wishes and dreams are truly yours to hold. You are ready for everything and more.
Too busy out living life yesterday, didn’t make a post. And while, I have been making February a “post a day,” I’m not disappointed for missing yesterday. The thing about life is, you truly have to live it. And live it in more than just words daily. But to be in the moment. Cherish the moments. Cherish the people you are with and cherish the time you give yourself. I was busy yesterday! Amazing hiking adventure with one of my besties. Spent time with my mentee. Dinner and relaxing with new and old friends. I have nothing to complain about in that day.
So I’m just keeping it simple and sweet. Continue to be present in every day, with every person you are around. You never get the same memories again. You never know what time you have, so spend it carefully.
Toxic cycles, patterns, relationships and habits are ending. I release anything that triggers me or brings me down. Negative energy is being cleared from my life. I will be rewarded for my positive energy. All of my endings will lead to new beginnings. I trust my journey. I inhale acceptance and exhale judgement. A new journey is starting. What has served its purpose is coming to an end. 11.5.2019
It took awhile, like all great journeys do. But all of that above is leaving and left. Sometimes it’s great when new things come your way to remind you that you do in fact deserve completeness with self. And understanding from others.
I hope whatever you are trying to leave behind, you make changes to do so. Don’t be afraid and to keep things to yourself. Take moments of self-reflection seriously. Say, do, and act accordingly.
“I see fragments of myself in you, While I’m trying to save you, I’m saving myself too.”
Lindsey K Payne
The things that I am finding. I wrote that back in 2011. The younger me was wise, but didn’t take the time to really grow. The today me has been begging for true growth and it’s finally happening. I love the journey I’ve been on though. I’ve had some true eye awakening moments and to be honest, I didn’t always like who was staring back at me in the mirror. I’m thankful for every moment I’ve given myself to create change.
I’m innately a “fixer” and “nurturer.” And while those are honorable things, they are not always the best when in relationships. I am no longer looking to “fix” someone so I can feel better about myself. I am here to love myself and to love someone wholeheartedly for who they are…without the fixing or saving. Learning to love, trust, take care and respect myself wholeheartedly so that I only recognize the love in others instead of the pain. Attract the good and leave the bad.
Always creating and saving space for healing. These things don’t happen overnight and they don’t have an ending. Keep loving yourself.
“I see fragments of myself in you, While I’m learning to love you, I’ve been loving myself too.”