Finding Passion and Freedom in All Forms

I go through long phases of hard-core dedication to blogging. Schedules work for a while, but then I just want to rebel.

I have a different perspective on what I want this place to be. I don’t want to make it completely about advice or inspiration from a “Do this” sort of perspective.

I want it more to be about how I am going about living my life and living in a way that is free, passionate, and bold.

Share how I’m doing it. How I’m making my way through muck and bullshit and money problems and still paving a way, in whatever way I can dream up.

Yeah I’ll still write some inspirational stuff, too, but not because I have a weekly schedule, but because I really feel like writing it.

You know? I don’t like anything to feel forced. Feeling forced feels disgusting. Forced, or fake, or whatever – no. I believe in everything I say and suggest, but I don’t want to plop myself down and say “Okay inspire people.”
People will be inspired or not – it’s not something I can predict.

I’d rather people be inspired by what I do – not what I say.

And sometimes, honestly, I want to lie around and read. I want to go for a dip in the lake. I want to laugh at stupid videos. Sometimes I just want to daydream, or float in the river, or draw elaborate drawings while listening to music or podcasts.

For the last few months I have been overwhelming myself with information, and while I love doing that I eventually need some time to EMPTY myself. I get too full. I need space. And so, while I am dedicated, I can only do that for so long before I need a break to actually integrate that info and then make room for new stuff.

If we get too full of outside information, it doesn’t leave room for our own thoughts and ideas. And that’s where I am at right now. The emptying phase. The time where I cultivate. And the ideas and creativity are alarming. I can’t keep up. I write it all down and want to do it all. It’s crazy – and so much of me is like AGHHH because I just like to chill out in nature and read books. I’m easy to please. I want to eat delicious plant food and write.  I want to go on road trips and dip into swimming holes and go surfing on the coast.

That’s all I really want. Freedom.

Freedom is my #1, it’s my only real goal in life. To do whatever I want – because this is how we are meant to be. We aren’t meant to be tied to anything, we aren’t meant to slave away and grind.
And so this blog is going to be about passion, yes, but really, it’s about finding freedom in all forms.

Lovingly,

Lorra

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How I Found My Inner Strength and How I Plan to Keep It

In 7th grade I had 2 friends: one who stabbed me in the back repeatedly, and the other who did homework during recess.

Even earlier, in grade 4, I had no friends. Everyone just teased me relentlessly. I was an easy target. I never stuck up for myself.

Both times, my mother considered switching my schools, though it really would have made no difference – I was the bullseye for any bully.

I cried easily. I still do. I never retaliated in words as I felt they would just fall flat and I’d be laughed at more.

Thank god I didn’t grow up with the internet. This was bad enough. I got nasty phone calls, I got dogshit on my doormat, I got evil letters in the mailbox, I had rocks thrown at my house.

I lived one block away from my elementary school, and rode my bike back and forth, especially at lunch time, to escape the other kids more quickly because once we were out of the classroom, I had no safety from the teacher.

I felt like the most pathetic girl on the face of the planet. I was a nice, creative kid, yet no one seemed to want to be around me, and I could never figure out why. I wasn’t that weird early on – or maybe I was? Maybe I just had more imagination. Maybe I just didn’t follow the popular kids, though I tried for a brief time, not that it did me any good. The popular girl was my friend in grade 6, only to turn everyone against me the next year, one of the worst times of my life.

Being 12 is hard. But then there is high school.

I know I’m not alone, and things could have been much worse. I don’t envy kids today and the bullshit they have to deal with in terms of the internet and phones and all that- but it still destroyed me, and it still impacts me. It shaped me.

I’m glad it happened.

High school was way worse. It seemed to have potential at first. No one bothered me but that didn’t last long. Everyone was just finding their way, and then of course all the rumours spread from the old school to the new, except now there were 10 times as many people, and way more free time between classes, there were lockers to deface, and people were much more bold in class and now I had to deal with it IN class as well as outside of it. So I simply started to skip my classes and do what I wanted, which was listen to crazy music and write stories.

Any stories I’ve ever really been into have been about bold, fierce, strong women, or rebels, or survivalists. Everything I was not.

This NEVER changed. I still obsess over these things. But unlike back then, when I couldn’t even punch someone in my IMAGINATION (I always missed), I now believe I can do anything I want. I now believe I am strong, capable, and ferocious.

It started percolating in grade 10, when I simply snapped and began looking darker, being weirder, and actually raising my voice. Actually, once in grade 8 I slapped a guy who was about to tell my guy friend that I wanted to fuck him – in the middle of class! Not only a lie, but I was 12! So I hit him, and everyone was aghast – “Did she SLAP you?!” And then he slapped me back. The teacher clearly had not arrived yet. I didn’t cry, and I felt so proud of myself because I didn’t – he even slapped me twice! My guy friend looked disturbed, but he never found out what happened as far as I know.

But in grade 10, I became a bitch. I had to. I had no choice unless I wanted to be harrassed and pushed around for the rest of my life. It wasn’t a conscious decision, I just started to be drawn to harsher things – maybe this was my way of putting up a wall, I don’t know, but it worked. People started to leave me alone. I cultivated a fantastic bitchface that I’ve never been able to get rid of. It has caused me a lot of problems in my life, but I’d prefer that over people taking advantage of me, or picking on me, or seeing me as an easy target.

I always wanted to be a warrior, or at least someone people wouldn’t fuck with. I never wanted to feel weak again – but I still did, for a long time. I still felt it deeply, though on the surface I intimidated people. I was still mushy in the center. I was like a dog who barks ferociously but that could never bite and would just cower in a puddle if something truly bad happened.

This lasted until I was about 30.

When I was 26 I saw Kill Bill and wanted so desperately to be that badass. But pfft, I was 26! That’s too old to start martial arts! And I lived in buttfuck nowhere, a Canadian surf town, where the hell would I learn Kung Fu, let alone anything else?

I didn’t even check to see if there was anything nearby where I could learn. My belief was that I was just not cut out for it, that it was too late, that I was too old – that it was something I’d never be able to do, unless I trained for a decade and then maybe I’d be half-decent and that wasn’t good enough.

Okay so then a decade went by. If I’d actually started back then I’d be fantastic at Kung Fu by now – but I’m not, and it’s all because I didn’t believe I could do it. I was still the little girl who couldn’t picture myself throwing a punch.

I also was super identified with being a victim. Poor me.

In my 30s that all changed when I focused on getting truly healthy, which in turn raised my confidence so much that I was like a different human being. I realized I could choose any other label other than “victim.” I didn’t ever have to be the little girl with no friends who got picked on, I didn’t have to be the reactive bitch from high school who felt so damn alone that I just got used to it – so used to it that now I prefer it but still envy people with really close friends – I realized I could do anything I truly wanted to do, if I only believed I could do it.

And so I started martial arts when I was 35. I don’t care that I started so late – I am getting older no matter what, so I might as well learn something substantial in that time. And not just for MY OWN sake. YES, I want to be able to defend myself if necessary. But I also want to inspire and teach other girls that they can stand up for themselves too.

Not just physically, though that is so important. You’d think such horrible violence against women would be rare these days but it sure as hell isn’t, and while it is NEVER the woman’s fault, we need to learn some basic, effective, sneaky, nasty techniques to ensure we SURVIVE, because these are our LIVES at stake. We want to LIVE. I sure as hell do – I lived in a state of angst, despair, and horror most of my life. I’m so fortunate I never had to deal with much physical harrassment, though I’ve had a taste, and I can’t even fathom any more than that. I don’t want ANY woman to deal with that. Or any man, girl, boy, or transgender person. NO ONE.

The amazing thing about martial arts is that I felt like I couldn’t do it, that I would just suck. Almost everything I’ve ever attempted, I just thought I sucked and soon gave up. The only things I’ve ever stuck with for life are writing and drawing.

And now this. Ninjutsu has consumed me in a way I never thought it would. I think about it all the time.

I didn’t need confidence to start. DOING IT GAVE ME CONFIDENCE. Even when I feel like I’m doing terribly, I keep going because I have the motivation to get better, and it’s not just all about ME.

There is an event every few years where women in this art teach other women their skills, and these will be skills we can’t really learn from men – there are things we have to deal with than men don’t – in general we don’t have as much physical strength, we are more targeted for sexual violence, and we are subject to harrassment on a regular basis.

Ninjutsu and martial arts in general tends to attract mostly men, which is why this event is special.

I implore you to help me with whatever you can spare, so I can learn more skills from these women, and so I can raise up OTHER women in the future by helping them become fierce and capable as well, because damn does this world need more fierce, amazing women.

Please help me become one of them.

http://www.gofundme.com/ninjagirl

or

Paypal to lorrafae@gmail.com

Thank you!!

New Home, New Life

It’s been a while since I’ve written, but that’s because I had other focuses – like getting my shit together.

Winter is always rough for me, but the beginning of this year really strangled me. There was a sudden need to leave my boyfriend’s place (because of my dog and the fact she wasn’t supposed to be there – I had to drive her to my parents’ place 4 hours away, for now), a sudden pay cut right after finding the place I wanted to live, and just general fuckery within Mercury Retrograde, whether you believe in it or not – a lot of miscommunication, misunderstandings, and turmoil in my brain. So, I just got myself together and did what I had to do.

I found a new job – very part time, at a raw food cafe – just enough work to pay for rent on my new place, or most of it. Still, I am having to be a lot more frugal than before, but that’s okay. I cherish my freedom more than a big paycheck. I am lucky and grateful to have so many weird little jobs that allow me to work when I want (mostly) and live a life of leisure and to just do what I please (unfortunately a lot of what I want to do takes money, like it does for most people – so I am still working on more ways to make some of that cash!) Mostly I want the free time and the solitude to write, explore, and create.

The most bright thing in my life came to me because I asked the universe for it. Merely wishing for something doesn’t really work when it comes to the Law of Attraction – you have to put it out there, somehow. For instance, I have always said I want to live in the woods near the city. In a cabin or something. But I wasn’t looking for that. Ever. It was only a thought, a wish. I kept scrolling the ads on Craigslist, looking at the meager choices of places I could afford that allow dogs – either they were too expensive or I would have to share with a lot of very young people, and either choice was not what I wanted. One day, on a whim, I put an ad in the “Housing Wanted” section, and right in the subject I said “Woman and quiet dog seek tiny home/cabin.” My ad was short and within a few days I had a response. A tiny house. CHEAP. In the woods. Near the city. I went to see it, and fell in love. I had trepidations that it would be too small, but when I actually went inside it, it was perfect.

A month later, I moved in. My dog will be here in a couple of weeks. There are chickens, and a big foster dog, and the owners are lovely people. It’s quiet, and for the first time in years I don’t need earplugs. When it rains at night, I am lulled to sleep in a little rain cocoon.

Here’s a little video I made of my home. More videos of my life to come.

Like I say in the video, this has felt more like my home than anywhere I’ve lived, other than where I grew up as a kid. And I felt this way after a day or two! I want to live in the woods forever – crazy weather, cougars, bears, ticks, whatever. There are deer and trees and fog and rain and owls and that air that just clears your lungs as if the rain just got into your pores. I am always exclaiming “I love my house” out loud, and I don’t think I’ve ever said those words in my life.

Video Post: My Raw Food Journey and 80/10/10 Probs

My first youtube video in a LONG time – all about my raw food journey and struggles/triumphs on a low fat high/fully raw vegan diet.

Please subscribe to my channel, as I do plan to make more videos 🙂 Thanks!

Why Freedom is my Highest Value


Image by Sarah Lee

In 2000, I was taking an youth entrepreneurship course. I took it because I was on EI before that and the classes were subsidized, so I actually got paid a bit of money to attend – it was pretty cool, actually. At the end of this course we had this motivational type person come in, and he got us to break boards with our hands.

This was pretty daunting to me, who had zero self confidence at the time.

Before all this, though, we had to come up with a WORD to write on the board, something that represented the thing most important to us, what we most wanted from life – and we had to keep asking why we wanted those things.

I want money! Why? So I can have comfort and nice stuff! Why? So…I can live the good life! Why? Uh…stability! Why do you want stability?

That sort of thing.

My word ended up being freedom. Why do I want freedom? Well duh, to be free. I couldn’t go further than that, and I wrote it on my board. And, with  a lot of trepidation, I did break it. I had a feeling of power after that, like I could do anything. I was astounded that I was able to break a piece of wood with my palm! I kept those boards in my possession for probably a decade.

Freedom to me means living a FULL LIFE. Being able to do the things I LOVE, and not to have huge restrictions. If it feels restrictive to me, I know it has to change. This is why I left my last relationship. This is why I dropped my dogma about my diet (it may seem restrictive to others how I do eat, but it doesn’t to me, and that’s what matters). It’s why I won’t stay in a job I loathe. It’s why I abhor debt and will do anything to stay out of it. It’s why I decided not to go back to school and just learn from other sources and teach myself things that are VERY important to me.

I want the ability to explore, have experiences, and not live conventionally – not because I think it’s wrong, but because it doesn’t feel right in my heart. If I am free, I am never bored. If I’m bored, I know that something is repressing me way, way too much and I must get out, or I will EXPLODE, in some way or another. Life is too short for that. I constantly look for ways around typical lifestyles and there are so, so many if you really dig deep!! This may not be the case all around the world, and that sucks, but if you are living in a 1st world country, you have options and lots of them, you just gotta delve as far you can into your creative mind. Come up with your Plan Z – sometimes when you do this, you realize that a more minimalist life can be the most freeing.

Is freedom important to you? It should be. You should not let anyone repress you. It’s your life. Repression is for control freaks. It’s okay to have boundaries and some leeway, but if you are feeling depressed, sad for “no reason,” or that you are trapped…do whatever you can to get OUT.

Is your BODY holding you back (are you unhealthy, sedentary, immobile, etc)? Is your partner holding you back (are they truly your “partner”)? Your job? Your home? Your country? Your city?

Usually it is just your MIND.

Your own mind is the biggest thing holding you back. Your own beliefs. Question them. When you think you’ve done everything…look harder. There are millions of ways to get through anything – I cannot stress this enough! The mind is the thing holding you back more than ANYTHING. If you think you are incapable of something, because of physical or financial circumstances…you are not being creative enough.

Creativity is the key to life, the key to freedom, just as health is. Health + creativity will take you everywhere, along with a positive attitude. If you have those three things, you are on your way to living the life you’re meant to live!

Photos of My Favourite Adventures

I’ve had a pretty full life so far and it is continuously getting more and more adventurous as I get older and more confident.

Even when I have been self-doubting and fearful, I have pressed forward, traveled alone, moved to new places, and taken daily opportunities for adventures. I’ve always had this need to explore and experience – to LIVE and not just exist. Something as simple as dancing naked in the rain on New Years Eve (done it), or hiking in the dark, or attempting something new – these are prescriptions for a non- typical existence.

Here are just a sampling of exciting times in my life!

Tofino BC, 2001 – this is the first time I ever went surfing, though I’d wanted to since I was 12 (so it took me 10 years to do so).

Raglan, New Zealand, 2005 – that is not me surfing, but it was somewhere I wanted to visit ever since seeing it in Endless Summer.

North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, 2010 – Pipeline – a dream to see this crazy place in person. It sounded like thunder!

Port Moody, BC, 2008 – there was a sign saying there was a cougar spotted in the area, so I pretended to be the cougar.

Coral Bay, Western Australia, 2005 – this is where I went on a swim with whale sharks – still the coolest thing I’ve ever done.

Phuket, Thailand, 2013 – me and one of many beach dogs. Such a fantastic island. Solo trip.

Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2013 – part of my month-long solo trip last year.

Paris, France, 2011 – family trip with my Dad, Uncle, and his wife.

Gabriola Island, BC, 2007 – my dog Leya, and my friend Amy, on a jaunt through the woods.

Squamish, BC, 2008 – on the Chief mountain, with Leya – the first time I’d ever hiked up a mountain. My dog slept for 2 days after and I had a hard time walking for a week.

Lollapalooza, Vancouver, BC, 1993 – this was probably my pinnacle year. It defined who I’d become.

Whistler, BC, 1993 – I’d go here in summer with my mom. Went white-water rafting. Mostly checked out skater boys.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992 – the first time I ever caught a wave was here, on a boogie board. Hooked. Warmest water I’ve ever been in.

Mission, BC, 1990 –  me and my dad at a swimming hole – I was 12.

What are some of your favourite adventures?? Please share with me!

Being a Badass

Me and my ninja man, 2014

I was born to be a badass.

Maybe that sounds arrogant or whatever, but listen to me. This is not me regaling you with tales of awesomeness, it is a story to relate to in whatever way you can. Try and see yourself in this – what were you born to be?

Ever since I was a little girl, the FIERCE FEMALE has called to me. I have been entranced by warriors, enraptured by banshees, and just sucked in by any woman who is Amazonian in nature – femme fatale, vagabond, or fighter. Even when I was interested in modeling, the model who I most wanted to be like was a 6’3 giantess with muscles, not a waif (though I found them beautiful, too – just in a different way).

I preferred She-ra over Barbie, by far.

Why did this come about? I was a weak, sensitive kid, a loner, an only child. I cried all the time – I still do. So how is it possible that I was “born to be a badass?” I WANTED to be tough, because I wasn’t. My path has always been towards strength and wildness, even though I was unaware. Everything thrown in my way has made me more formidable. I have slowly become more and more confident and bold because of conquering all the bullshit in my life – I have never let it DEFEAT me. I never wanted to be rescued, not really. Helped, sure, when necessary – but all the worst hurdles I’ve had were overcome by sheer will to survive. Being a victim was not an option. No princess attitude here.

The path I’ve taken has been slow-moving, but it was all because I was afraid, insecure, and part of me still identifies with my small self, even though my big self is so wildly different. I am still sensitive, but I am not insecure. If I do get that way I find ways to get past it. I am afraid, but still, I always push forward. I challenge myself. I tell myself I am brave and tenacious. I am sometimes anxious, but I trust my intuition. I know when it’s just fear and when it’s my gut telling me to actually STOP. I am at a point where I know what I can do, am willing to do, and I am willing to push through any bullshit to get there.

“We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become.”

“Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.” – Steven Pressfield, The War of Art.

I don’t need to prove to anyone that I am a badass. I know I am, because I go for what I want. I strengthen myself daily – either by pushing through my personal fears, or not allowing myself to do things I know would make me miserable. I would rather live in my car or in a tent than live a cushy life being someone who isn’t true to herself. I would rather write a blog to 10 people reading and RESONATE with them, than do something just to gather readers, money, and “likes” – fuck that.

I would rather learn skills that mean something to ME than to please someone else. I know what makes me feel strong. I don’t have to prove myself to anyone but ME. I do things to prove to myself I can do them. If anyone says I can’t do something, I will prove them wrong (if I WANT to). If something is important enough to me, I fucking do it, even if it takes me years.

You know when you do something and you think, “Oh my god, why didn’t I do this 10, 20 years ago?” I get that once in a while, but I also realize that on our personal life journeys, things happen when they are meant to, when you are ready for them. The right teacher comes to you when you’re ready. So does the right partner, the right book, the right moment – the epiphanies you need SHOW UP when you are READY and OPEN. Pay attention!

I made a sort-of joke to myself not long ago that I’d like to be a badass for a living. And then I realized I wasn’t joking at all.

Recommended Reading:
Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously
Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway