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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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!

I’m Back!

Hello!

I was on a bit of a hiatus due to crazy people and moving cities and finding new work and blahblah blah blah!

I am planning on doing a dedicated blog post and youtube video every Monday (and more if I feel like it). I am just settling into a new flow, figuring shit out, and feeling entirely like myself again. It’s been a weird couple of months!

I enjoyed my hobo existence a LOT, and plan to dedicate a lot more of my free time to my personal projects, so stay tuned, I look forward to interacting more with everyone 🙂

L.

Homeless

Last day in my old house, July 2013.

I’ve felt homeless for a really long time.

Even the places I’ve lived have not felt like “home,” except for my parents’ house, and now they have moved away as well. So I have sort of embraced this homeless feeling and now it feels freeing instead of sad.

Right now I am a nomad in my own city. Since my last landlord was invading my space and swearing at me for unfounded reasons, I decided to split really quickly and now I am wandering, my small amount of possessions in storage, until I make a new move across the waters to Vancouver Island (again).

It was a really easy decision. This whole year has been about changes for me, new adventures, new challenges. I am just going with it. The flow is taking me over the ocean.

For this month I am taking care of other peoples’ animals and homes. I have only a few things with me, and honestly, I do not miss anything I have in storage except perhaps my journals, the only physical thing I am actually attached to.

I like this existence I have right now – I get to be in a large quiet house, comfortable, with animals around me, I don’t have to pay rent so all my money can go to things I want, or pay for things I wanted (like my trip), and afford better food.

The only thing I miss is my dog, who is staying with my parents.

To be free of stuff is very liberating. I want less and less, that way there will be more and more for travel and experiences, and for the lush fruits that sustain me.

I’m still working until the beginning of September at my bookstore job, and then I have no idea where I will be living, no idea where I’ll be working, but after the last year I have learned to let go, to realize that everything will work out, it always does.

All that bad shit I’ve been through – what was it again? I barely remember. I’m still here, so I obviously got through it – and so have you – so to worry is pointless. I am enjoying the ride of existence.

There was a short thunderstorm today, glorious. In Thailand I showered naked in the rain with lightning, something I’ve wanted to do for over 20 years – I cried.

I’ve always gotten what I’ve wanted, eventually, even if it was brief, even if it was 15 or 20 years later, but I have also learned to let go, to realize life is constant flux, and the best thing is to enjoy the moment – the cliche is so obvious, but also true.

There is always more work, places to live, people to meet, so I just keep my heart open and rush towards life, because it’s going to happen regardless – might as well make it interesting.

The Glory of Change

A year of changes already.

A long-term relationship over, the great barrier to my full self – I feel a great freedom at last.

The last months have been full of zest and anxiety, January was so harsh and tumbled that I dare not post, I could not really concentrate on anything, except moving on, moving forward, escape.

I have been so fully focused on me, so I could do hard things, hurt someone I care for deeply, and be a voracious vixen once again. It took a lot of courage, I pushed past my comfort zone, and now I do again.

I am off to the other side of the world, to eat copious amounts of tropical fruit, play with dogs, lay on the most epic beaches, read books of substance, swim, float, write, get massaged, explore, visit friends, sweat, turn even further inward, find that place in myself that was lost, and most importantly, turn wild again.

Freedom has always been the most important thing to me – the freedom to be fully myself, in any situation.

I am now in a good headspace, but I know it can be even better. Now is a month of succulence, melty feelings, and bikinis.

A New Year? Who Cares? Life Resolutions.

Getting Tattooed, Dec.22/12 – My Birthday.

I intend for this year to be my year of freedom.

To break ties with things and people (at least in certain ways) that do not allow me to be my fullest self.

I do not blame ANYONE other than me for feeling like a watered-down version of my True Self (and I have been reading about this, sort of, through someone’s graphic novel version of her own therapy, and it is poignant – I love the word poignant).

I think that ALL of my anxiety over the last year stems from the anxiety of ONE issue, one that has been gnawing at me for a year or more. It is time to deal with it and move on, despite how painful it will be.

I have some resolutions/goals, etc, for the year. I don’t like making typical “resolutions” as they don’t tend to stick. The main one is a LIFE resolution, and really the entire point of my new tattoo.

I also want to get the word “Free” tattooed on me. I want constant reminders. And I think that knowing I am creating my own cages is really what is driving me mental – it’s always me, of course, I blame no one else.

LIFE RESOLUTION: To be my True Self. To feel free, in whatever choices I make. To LIVE, fully, always, and never let money get in the way.

Stumbled on this a few moments ago and it is so perfectly in tune with my current mindset. I must read Alan Watts, as I have meant to for several years and he keeps being pressed into my consciousness from several directions.


I also have some goals:

+ To get back into photography. Every time I see someone’s gorgeous photos, or them walking with their cameras (and obviously GOOD cameras, that take vivid, wonderful shots) it makes me wonder why the hell I stopped. Also, I would not charge people for photos, unless they hired me. Ever. Not digital ones, anyway.

+ To make my blog into an actual money-accruing website. My step-dad knows how to do this, and offered to help me. I had no idea. I lost interest in learning how to “make websites” in terms of coding and whatnot, long ago. I find it dull.

+ To travel, despite money and despite anxiety.

+ To get a VAN, and have it be my little caravan all over the place, a mobile bedroom.

+ To produce large ink drawings, life-size portraits, full-body.

+ To finish my zine, which should be complete VERY soon. I keep saying that but it’s almost done.

+ To begin writing my novel. It’s been in my head forever.

+ To have as much intense, passionate sex as possible.

+ To read more books than blogs or FB posts.

+ To intricately chronicle my life in my journal (I have been doing this, it is wonderful – I always have, but not in such exquisite detail).

+ To stay on a fruity diet, as that is when I feel best. A fancy raw-food diet is easy for me now.

+ To work on my comic.

+ To rid myself of even more STUFF.

+ Write, write, write, write, write.

It seems like a lot, but these are things I want to do with my life, and things i CAN do, especially if I eliminate a lot of distractions. Also, I don’t expect myself to DO all of this in a year. Just start. Just move forward with them all. Then in 10 years or whatever, forever, it will all add up and I will have a lot to show for it.

I have other things I plan on changing, in all other areas of my life. So much needs to change, because I want to align with who I am, totally, utterly. Don’t you?

Officially Fall

Me at Playland, 2012

Now that autumn has arrived, and I have enjoyed a good chunk of the summer, I am more inclined to write, sit inside, and read.

This summer included some wonderful new habits and revived my love of others…it took some time. I generally go through years-long phases of being social vs. being solitary. A visit to Vancouver Island and a group of friends has brought me out of that shell, and even tempts me to move back over there.

I’ve never had a strong friend-group for a long period of time – there was my friends in school, but it was not common for us to hang out in this group outside of school as we all did not live very close together, and our parents had different levels of strictness.

There was a group of gothy types I had weekly parties with in my late teens, but my social anxiety and strange inclinations took over, I felt paranoid that I was being used for my age (to get booze) and my car, and I retreated.

At my last jobs, there were amazing gaggles of people who would hang out together, but when we left one by one, the gatherings got lesser and lesser, and my interactions seem to be one-on-one (still my favourite), and not the grand jigsaw of all us coming together.

And then there were my island friends, all of whom I met through my first time on IRC, a friend named Allen who knew so many wildly funny and eccentric, goofy, and kind people on the Island, and I very much fell into those people, loved them all, and went as often as I could.

So many of these people moved around, and many are now again in one place – some have moved on, but we all have this connected, group-feel, and it is the only one where I feel completely at ease. Groups have always intimidated me and if there is a large gathering where I only know one or two people, or no one, I completely panic. Large crowds? Don’t even go there. The Olympics in Vancouver 2 years ago…the epicenter was right outside of my work, and I had panic attacks daily.

I would spend every weekend on the Island if I was not saving up for my winter vacation, but I love that a 2-day excursion has revived me. THE FEELINGS.

~~

Other things I’ve done this summer:

+ Read about a billion graphic novels and other books.

+ Beach running.

+ Beach gathering with many raw foods.

+ PLAYLAND + a ride that swings 70 kph at 218 feet in the air (overwhelming).

+ Swimming at the pool with my Dad.

+ Much running with my dog.

+ Fruit, so much fruit. I bought well over 100 lbs of blueberries in a couple of months, and ate them all.

+ Blackberry picking.

+ Waking much earlier than usual, and sleeping more.

+ I actually went out to a club  for the first time in years.

+ Many visits to the farm market, to visit the cows, goats, and donkeys (and buy food).

+ Pet-sitting.

+ Beach jaunts with my dog, who loves to run on the sandbars. She is a Chinese Crested and ends up looking very drowned afterward.

+ Another visit to the island to visit my friend and her son (before her new baby was born). I proceeded to eat much of her garden.

+ Fund-raising and walking for the SPCA.

+ Reminiscing and reliving many moments from teenagedom, and planning out a comic based on those years.

+ So much dog-park.

+ Zombie-walk.

+ Went to see the DJ Richie Hawtin with my boyfriend.

+ Much, much lying in the sun.

AND NOW, it is fall, and still beautiful out. The night is colder, but the days are still bright and bloom with happy. I have many ideas and jaunts planned for fall.

Always make the most of the weather, your friends, your time, your health. It’s so easy to say “You only get one life” and not really reflect on that – this time is not endless, as much as I wish it was. I want to live forever.

Mild Anxiety Strategies


Photo of me by Pamm

I used to suffer from major, crazy anxiety, panic attacks, etc. When I went on a raw food diet, my psyche calmed, and I was much better equipped to deal with shit that happened, or imagined terrors. I had way more confidence and joy.

I do still have a mild form of anxiety – I think it is mainly due to being accustomed to solitude – over the last 3 years I have gotten used to living on my own, being with someone who is a loner, and generally fading out of a social scene I had gotten burnt out on.

So now, especially in summer, when there are tons of things I want to do, I freeze. When I make plans, I sometimes chicken out at the last moment or the night before, dreaming up some mishaps that could occur, or problems I don’t want to deal with.

These could be as asinine as: “what if there is no parking and I have to PAY for it? What if it’s expensive! What if I don’t see anyone I know? What if I hate it? What if there is traffic, it’s hot out and I have no air conditioning! What if I look fat! I look bloated today!”

Yesterday I almost bailed out on something I look forward to all year, the Zombie Walk – my boyfriend and my friend bowed out, and so I thought “Oh god, I don’t want to go by myself!” My back is messed up … but it’s only walking. I certainly did not want to drive downtown and pay park, and I started to get nervous about being dressed as a zombie on transit. I didn’t want to be the only one.

Then my brain said, “When have you EVER cared about people thinking you look weird? You usually revel in it!”

And that’s when I knew I really didn’t care, and that I would go anyway. I remembered how fun it was to go out and make people stare.
Even as I left the house, I felt like it might rain – and I went back inside. I said, “NO! You are just looking for excuses not to go! Stop it!” and I locked the door and walked to the bus stop. I got waved at by a laughing Asian man, and the bus driver liked my outfit. She knew where I was going.

Then of course, as I departed the skytrain into the city, there was one other girl I spotted, bloody and beautiful, and I said she looked great. Immediately I made a new friend and then several more once we arrived.

My anxiety was for nothing  – the weather was perfect, I had a fantastic time, and my boyfriend even made an appearance to come and greet me when I walked near his building.

Photo by Thomas Jay Bruyere

So my strategy to deal with these things is this:

1. Ask yourself if you are just LOOKING for reasons to avoid something.

2. Pressure yourself to ignore those thoughts, especially if you know later you will regret not attending something or doing something that you know you’d love.

3. Realize that soon you will be an old fogie and you will have wished you made the most of your life, and that time does not include sitting around watching torrents of old TV shows.

4. Just turn off your brain and DO IT ANYWAY. This is the thing that has helped me the most. I just completely ignore all the dumb reasons NOT to do something. Even if I can’t think of reasons TO do something (other than I’d like to) I ignore the bad thoughts and run towards the destination regardless. Whatever happens will happen. And whatever does, I will DEAL WITH IN THAT MOMENT. Like you would ANYWAY, worrying or not.

Summer Days

Me in my strawberry hat. Gotta keep it fruity.

I haven’t been blogging much lately, oops! I have been trying to stay off the computer – it’s been an addiction ever since I first went online in 1995 – the first thing I looked up was Marilyn Manson. Do you remember your first internet experience?

For now I am keeping myself entertained by reading MANY many comics + graphic novels, actual novels, and forcing myself to go out.

So far this summer I’ve gone to a little beach party, danced at Celebrities while Richie Hawtin DJ’ed (my boyfriend’s a former raver and he got me to go – who knew I would enjoy?), ate 20 lbs of blueberries in 5 days (simple), done some working out to Tracy Anderson videos (oh my god, new favourite exercises), tended the first garden I’ve ever had (and ate some of it), took a few days off from work (need more, damnit), spoiled my dog (and got her some plastic surgery – j/k, she had an unsightly bump removed – but nothing sinister), raided the library (um, 56 books signed out? ridiculous), stuffed myself at raw food places, and took a journey to Vancouver Island to visit my friend, ate all her garden peas, got love bites from her Akita, and swung her little son around in huge circles until I almost fell over from the dizzies.

What else is on my list for summer?

+ SWIM, SWIM LIKE A SLIPPERY EEL
+ Leap into Lynn Creek from the rocks
+ Inhale 20 lbs more blueberries in the next 5 days
+ Dancing, more, undulating, vibrating, writhing
+ More exercise with Miss Tracy
+ Dog walks + dog partying + dog swims in Tsawwassen
+ Drawing
+ More reading (duh)
+ Nude beach
+ Dye hair
+ Fruit gorging (oh nectarines, where are yoooou?)
+ Scrawling in notebooks
+ Hula-hooping (did a spastic, spontaneous, intense session the other day to this.
+ Lolling about
+ Make out like a fiend
+ Naked naps
+ Letter writing (old-school style)
+ Zombie walk
+ Pride parade
+ FINISH my zine.

Oh so much more. I do not want to miss out on summer, ever. It is so fleeting here. Even today it was a downpour. When there is rain in summer I expect thunder and lightning to make it worthwhile.

I often have to force myself to do things as lately I get overcome with anxiety – even simple things that i WANT to do seem scary – but I do them anyway. The anxiety makes it more exhilarating, anyway.

Maps + Update for May

I find that getting motivated and sticking to goals requires some SPECIFIC goals.

Like when I initially went raw, I had a timeline for myself:

Feb 1st, 2008, vegan, no refined sugar. Every week I would cut something else out – tofu, rice, potatoes, bread, other sweeteners like cane juice, etc.

April 1st, 2008, 100% raw vegan.

It worked, I stuck to it. I’ve had some little ups and downs but generally I have been raw for over 4 years with some minor blips. And I have never returned to refined sugars, cheese, cakes, etc – nothing like that. The worst I got was some baguette in Paris.

And so it is June 1st – I have been low-fat for the whole month of May, with the exception of today – it was a bit of a celebration, and also a good-bye – a good-bye to potatoes (which I used to help me stay low-fat this month, occasionally), and a good-bye to salt. I have been eating it way too much (I
don’t want to eat it at all) and I can push out my stomach so far that I look pregnant – that’s how bloated I am. When I gave up salt before I lost 10 lbs in a week.

Now I am dropping the salt. I am keeping low-fat and back to 100% raw.

I am also very proud of my exercise dedication this last month, and my chart has really helped – I took it seriously and wanted to make sure I filled it as much as possible. This was doable because I had very specific goals instead of “I want to be 80/10/10” – why? Without a why, I had no real reason to stick with it.

This last month I have discovered the following:

With low-fat, I get ZERO menstrual cramps. I finally found out the mystery of why I have had awful periods since going raw (everything else improved, that got worse – I had no issues with menstruation before raw, only after).

With low-fat…I can run.

Seriously, in my whole life whenever I have attempted to run, or jog…I lasted a minute at most. When I was trying to be a runner in 2000, I never improved much – I could go 30-60 seconds and have to take a break. This month I was inspired to go jogging and would improve every time. At first I could only go a minute without a break. The next week (I only went every couple of days) I could do 5 minutes without stopping – this for me was amazing.

Two days later (doing nothing on those two days except some arm weights) I went 20 minutes with NO breaks – I was BAFFLED. All this in two weeks of going every 2-3 days. I improved so much, and felt so good, that I started to ENJOY jogging. Now I WANT to go. Now I WANT to be able to do it for an hour! A new goal!

And why am I exercising? To be fit. To have a lean body. To stay healthy. To have strong bones. To have good endurance. To work out my heart – it’s a muscle, and it needs to be worked. To move lymph fluid. To prove to myself I can do something I thought I could NEVER do.

Also when I am low-fat, my skin is better. When I have no salt, my skin is better and my stomach is leaner. So is my face. Food tastes better. I can eat lettuce by itself and it’s amazing. Avocado starts to be delicious without anything added.

And on and on.

Which brings me to the map.

Along with my simple chart, I thought it would be fun to have a simple map I could just add any goal to and then mark specific steps over the month – this way I have something to follow instead of being all haphazard – maybe some people can just be like “Okay, this is this and I’m doing it” – for me, I like to have a basic idea to follow.

Little steps are much easier to reach, and to break down a big goal to small steps makes it a lot easier to get to the “end” – the whole reason I managed to run that 20 minutes the first time (which I would have thought impossible, especially since my max before that was 5 mins) was that I just kept saying “Okay you can make it to that tree…okay now you can make it to that driveway…okay now make it to that post” and eventually I thought…wow, I am almost at Oak street! Maybe I can make it there! Then I did, and I thought holy crap, I am still moving! Maybe I can make it all the way home! And I did.

ALL BECAUSE I USED POSITIVES – not “Oh god, I can’t do it, I’m so tired, omg I need a break” etc – I pushed myself maybe 10 steps at a time, and focused only on those 10 steps, and that got me all the way.

I have no doubt that I can reach one hour now. Maybe not within the next week, but that is my new goal for the next month or two – I am going to stretch it to two, but if I do it before then, AWESOME.

Same with my diet – over the next month I want to really simplify it – first week no salt, and any combo of fruits and greens, low-fat. 2nd week, still no salt, no fats, 3rd + 4th weeks, mono-meals of fruit, salads in evening, low-fat every couple of days.

In July, when it’s blueberry season, I want to do a week of JUST blueberries. Like 10 lbs a day. Oh my god I cannot wait.

I also want to drink 2 litres + of water per day and get as much sleep as possible, earlier the better.

I am going to photograph my physical progress and write down my daily and weekly changes, then share them at the end of the month.

~~

Regarding the rest of my goals in the past month, I did quite a bit of writing – I only missed 12 days of the month for writing fiction, and I only missed 6 days of writing for the blog. I only missed 5 days of exercise. I stayed 80/10/10 (with occasional potatoes) 30 days of the 31 – today being my bye-bye to salt and fancy foods. I had a bit too much fat today! Oh well.

So, bye-bye to May! I enjoyed you and the first sunny days of 2012. June is going to rule!

~~

I have been finding this guy’s videos hella inspiring.