It’s Good to Be Me Again!

Some of you know that I’ve recently been going through some health issues. I found out in early December through working with a friend (Amanda) who’s a holistic healthcare provider/chiropractor that my liver wasn’t functioning correctly. In short, my blood results showed the liver was working harder than it should, and I wasn’t absorbing the normal levels of Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Calcium, Vitamin D, Protein, and my hormones were off. Amanda put me on natural supplements to detox my liver and bowels, and told me I needed to go gluten-free. Initially this panicked me and I felt like I would be missing out on so much. I knew that I had to embrace it though, there were no other choices!

Long story short, I got through the detoxes alright though it was a challenge. I did the bowel detox while I was away on my trip to Seattle, which just happened to fall this way. Believe me, doing a detox while on “vacation” isn’t easy, but I saw the bigger picture that it was essential. I needed to not only detox my body, but emotional baggage around the life I lived in Seattle for nearly 4 years.

I was on a strict diet for the first week in Seattle: juicing my breakfast, having a large salad with veggies for lunch, and a dinner consisting of chicken and vegetables. I’ve never had to be so diligent in my life, but it paid off. The second week I was “just” gluten-free, and it felt like  a world of options were available to me in comparison to what I had been eating. This was the BEST way to transition into a gluten-free lifestyle let me say!!! Total I lost 6 lbs. while away!

Since returning back to NC 3 weeks ago, I have had some significant changes going on within myself. I needed about 2 weeks of down time to recover from the rough trip. Only this week have I started to come out of hibernation, and I feel normal again. Last week I went back to Amanda to get more supplements and since then I’ve been a different person! I feel comfortable, relaxed, excited, happy, and in my flow with energy. I honestly have to say I haven’t felt this way in nearly 5 1/2 years, since I moved away from NC. I cannot begin to tell you what a difference I feel!!!  It hit me tonight how free I feel – it’s like all the pieces are back in place again and I feel I can pick up my life where I left off before leaving NC to move to WA. Wow…

I know that with Amanda’s help and guidance, I’m regaining a grip on life again and feeling like “me.” I cannot begin to thank her enough for her help, patience, and expertise. Whatever we’re doing together is working, and I’m just amazed!!! Even more so, I’m grateful to the Universe who brought us together. The grand master plan of life leaves me in a place of awe at times how we connect with the right people at the right time. :-)DrKeates-400

An added bonus: I’ve even been waking up before my alarm the past few days…that rarely happens! I am curious to see how my treatments continue to make me feel! So far I’ve lost 9 lbs. in 4 weeks….I want this trend to continue! It’s a sign I’m coming back into a place of balance and I am so, so grateful! balance

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Office Space

Last year when I moved back to Raleigh, I wasn’t sure how my business was going to go. I told myself I’d give it one year before making any big decisions, like getting office space. In this year, the demand has been more than I could’ve imagined and I keep busy with business daily. :-) Success! Back a couple months ago I decided it was a wise choice to start working away from home, and it was a matter of finding the right space.  On the one year anniversary date of coming back into town, I found that perfect spot in an old, historic home in downtown Raleigh! HouseI just began working there this week, and just put the finishing touches on the space. When you first walk in through the doorway, you see this: Office1I LOVE all the windows and natural light!! After living in the Pacific Northwest, I value sunshine a LOT!

I have my own private entrance, too. I’m standing at the doorway of that entrance so you can see the room from another perspective:Office2I love the art. It is a print from a local photographer. I found a great deal to get it put on canvas. It was a good choice!

Standing now from the corner of the couch (looking toward the entry way):Office3I was excited to find a storage chest too that’s truly an ottoman. I can store supplies in there, and yet it fits in well.

So far I’m excited to be working away from home. It’s fun to put together this space. Another dream has come true! :-) When we focus our energy toward creating what we want, it truly is delivered.

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Ode to Seattle!

I cannot believe it’s been 1 year now since I left The Emerald City…time has flown so fast! In fact, this has been the fastest year of my life. I TRULY do not believe what a difference a year makes. I was anxious leaving Seattle, not knowing what to expect coming back to Raleigh. Luckily, things are aligning nicely and I feel this was the right choice to come “home” after nearly 4 years away.

Over the last few days, I’ve been finding myself reflecting back on the good times and fun that I had while I was there. Some things particularly that I miss about being there:

- Rooftop deck parties. Every July 4, a friend would always host a lot of people at his place. We’d get this great view of Lake Union, awaiting the fireworks. BEAUTIFUL!IMG_9228

This is the rooftop deck from the apartment building Ajith and I lived in:RooftopEvery time I hear this song, I can’t help but smile when they sing “There’s a party on the rooftop, top of the world..”

- Endless Festivals at the Seattle Center. Seattle CenterI’m aware this weekend is the Bite of Seattle – a favorite where local restaurants showcase their best food. It was GREAT being able to walk 5 min. and be in the middle of all the action without having to worry about parking.

I LOVED walking around here at night, too! My favorite part were these arches by the Pacific Science Center. They change colors for sporting events, holidays, etc. So fun!Night View- The beautiful, breathtaking views Ajith and I would enjoy after work from atop our building View- Health-conscious living. I am still always in awe by the amount of restaurants that offer vegan and gluten-free options. Amongst my favorites:Chaco CanyonPlum Bistro- How environmentally conscious that city is. Recycling is everywhere!  RecycleIf they can do it, why can’t every other place? The apartment complex I live in doesn’t even recycle GLASS!!! How ridiculous is that?!

Anyway…I’m sort of missing the fun summer time stuff this city offers, but am glad to be where I am today, too. I needed to reflect today…it warms my soul. :-)

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Finishing Touches at Home

Some of you who know me well know that I have some strange quirks (don’t we all?) and one of the things I came to realize in the beginning of the year was my resistance to commitment. One of the things I was resisting was getting a washer and dryer as well as a new TV. I’ve had this idea in my head that if I did so, it felt very permanent being here, and I was still in a space of not knowing where I belonged and still sort of in shock from moving. To make myself feel more settled and like I was setting up a real home, I decided to bite the bullet and actually invest in these items. To an average person it seems like nothing, but to me it felt like everything!

I now can say I own my own washer and dryer! I enjoy having them, even though I don’t do laundry very often. It is extremely convenient to have them in my home. I have a new appreciation for dryers after living in Italy where they are few and far between. Having this “luxury” makes life so simple and easy. I’m still blown away we can be done with a load of laundry within an hour and a half, yet in Europe I felt like I had to plan appropriately for doing laundry to be sure that it would dry in time before it would rain, or before you’d run out of clean clothes! washer dryerI am really enjoying my new TV, too! I got a great deal on the 42″ LG. I couldn’t believe the difference. I hooked it up on Superbowl Sunday, and was amazed with the clarity! I just got my new TV stand too. I am VERY happy with how it looks as it fits my decor perfectly for now. :-)TV standMy apartment is almost finished. I ordered a jewelry armoire that should be arriving this week. That’ll be the last of what I feel I need to finish off my home. Yeah!!!

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Thanksgiving – Counting Many Blessings

Hard to believe it’s the end of November already! Happy Thanksgiving!My list is very long of things to be grateful for this year but I’ll highlight some of them:

- Moving back to Raleigh:
I have missed the feeling and warmth of “home” for nearly 4 years. I wish I could explain why Seattle never felt that way to me, but I guess it was a time of learning, growing, and reflecting for me. Whenever we are uncomfortable it signifies growth and change – both of what I did a lot of during my time away. I do not for a moment regret following my intuitive call to go there, instead, I’m grateful for all the abundance that came from it. All the lessons learned and self-transformations are what I’ve brought back “home” with me.

- My support network (near and far):
Without having good friends to call on I don’t know where I’d be. I’m grateful for everyone who’s helped me get through uncertain times and for those who provided support toward me following my heart.

- A successful business in its first year:
Everyone says that typically the first year of a business is when it’ll succeed or fail. I’m very proud that taking the leap of faith (more so, following my intuition and passion) has lead to living my true path with financial security. I have been relying solely upon my gifts and talents for this past one year and I’ve been blessed beyond what words can say. I’m grateful every day for who I help people move forward in life providing clarity, and how fantastic it is that I get to learn from each and every person, too.

- Good health & wellness:
I continue to cherish the special times with family especially as time moves forward, never knowing what may lie ahead. I’m grateful all who I care about are in good health at this time and pray for it to continue. Many new babies have been born to friends and family this year who are happy and healthy! Such joy that brings!

- Emotions to flow again:
I think I’ve been emotionally numb for a while (not realizing it – I was numbed!) and I’m seeing big shifts in that especially this week. I believe that opening up the flood gates will allow me to flow where I need to and be back to ‘center’ where I need to be. I know it’s the energy of being home, being more balanced, and reconnecting/sharing time with those who bring out the best in me that’s making all the difference. I’m so appreciative I’ve given myself permission to again follow my heart to where I feel is right to experience such things. SO GRATEFUL!!!

New Beginnings:
Without the closing of one door, another wouldn’t open. I am looking forward to whatever the change of opening new doors brings, though it’s bittersweet as we close doors on what was, too.

What are the blessings you’re counting this year?? I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving full of joy and happiness (and some turkey!) :-)

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Setting Up and Settling In

By no means was this an easy task – it took 2 weeks past my arrival date in NC for my things to arrive. I was given a range of when my things would show up, and they came at the end of that range. Luckily I lived with Stefani and Bryan during that time.

I was so relieved when the truck came!
All my stuff came (which was a miracle) and only a few things were damaged. My wicker end table has a gouge in it, my jewelry chest lost a screw and the back of it was loose, my bike seat was ripped, and one of my nightstands completely fell apart. Considering the miles that stuff traveled, I don’t think that’s too bad.

I was SO EXCITED to see my stuff again!! It’d been a year since I’d seen it. Talk about one grateful girl…

Here is my place today, all settled in:

When you first walk in, this is what you see:
I LOVE all the natural light! I was deprived in Seattle, so now I’m making up for it. :-)

Living room (on your right upon entering – though I was standing by the built in computer desk taking this to give you the idea):

Kitchen:
Bathroom:

 

Bedroom:

Patio:
I’ve really enjoyed settling in – this is the most space I’ve ever had an it’s perfect (more than enough) for what I need. Also not pictured is the storage space indoors where I have the washer/dryer and all the boxes I’ll use again sometime when I move.

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Our Roadtrip Across the USA!!

What a whirlwind the past few months have been! I left Seattle July 20, 2012 with Ajith and Snickers in my car to start over again in NC. The time I spent in WA gave me everything I needed, and for that I’m grateful for. We packed up my Subaru and East we headed!

We first stopped in Portland to visit with my brother’s family for the evening. I miss them so much because they are growing so fast! The biggest excitement was bringing my cat, Snickers, into their home. They have a dog, Leila, so as you can imagine it’s a change of pace. My niece Julia LOVED Snickers – you can see the excitement on her face!

It was wonderful spending time with them because they are just who they are!

I thought it was neat traveling through Oregon – got to see info. at rest stops about the Oregon Trail. I LOVED that computer game when I was a kid (when computers were new). I sound so old!

The landscape in Eastern Oregon was so different from the lush green in the Western part of the state.

Our first evening, we ended up in Idaho. I had to eat a REAL Idaho potato, of course!

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK:
Absolutely GORGEOUS!

We saw some of the hot springs (and it stunk like sulfer)…

and of course, Old Faithful!

We had to wait about an hour for it to blow again, but it was worth it. It started to pour rain just as it was starting to blow, too. It was still neat though!

As we were driving out of the park, we (slowly) went by this guy:

That evening, we found ourselves in Cody, Wyoming – the home of Buffalo Bill! We ate some good steak at Cassie’s, some neat Western theme place there across from the World’s Largest Rodeo. Fun!

The sunset that evening was pretty cool, too!

We stopped in the most random little motel around 11pm – thank goodness we did because there wasn’t anything else for hours. Snickers usually gets stir crazy when it’s dark outside because she likes to see where she is. We were pushing the limit as it was, and luckily we stopped. We had no idea what we were in store for the next day!

WINDING THROUGH WYOMING:
Ajith and I drove through the most windy, curvy roads I’ve EVER seen and let me tell you – there is NOTHING around for miles and miles! Talk about wide open spaces…

Those roads made me so nervous – you saw some cars going by but not many. Keep in mind, it was at least 100 degrees daily and sitting in the car for 1 min. was too much! I was so concerned traveling with Snickers (especially when we’d have to stop for lunch) because of the heat.  One day I even left the car running while we ate so she could stay cool. Even with windows down it would’ve been risky. :-/

One thing we wish we’d stopped for but didn’t was the Big Horn Medicine Wheel. Next time I guess!

Montana (the small bit we went through) was one of the most beautiful states EVER!!!

Next we found ourselves in South Dakota where we stopped to see Mount Rushmore!

What a fantastic site this is!

We didn’t find out about it til later, but it would’ve been cool to see Crazy Horse, too.
The next day, we also wish we had realized there was a real Old Western Ghost Town in Okaton, SD too but we had already passed by the area when we realized it. :-(

MORAL OF OUR STORY: Do some research before traveling across country! You will have so many more enriching experiences than “Aww…I wish we stopped there!”

We got through Minnesota and the most exciting things were the Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth, MN.

We ate dinner at the most random place in Albert Lea, MN called Taco King. Mmmmm it was some of the BEST Mexican we’d ever eaten! There were some Mexican mammas in the back making it all. Delish!

We couldn’t leave Albert Lea without visiting Pitchfork Pete, too.

The sunset driving through Minnesota’s countryside was a great touch to our day!

We ended our night in Wisconsin.

The next day we stopped at Carr Valley Cheese Co. in Wisconsin (on our way to Chicago) to get some real Wisconsin cheese. Mmmm was it GOOD!

CHICAGO!!!
We decided to stay in Chicago for a day to explore – so glad we did! We did all kinds of things! Upon arriving, we needed food so we found any place that was open late. We stumbled upon this random place near our hotel called Anthony’s Pizzeria, and let me say, BEST Italian food!!!

First off, we had to visit The Bean.

We ate some real Chicago style pizza (Ajith has the pic of that), and went to The Rookery to check out the unique architecture. We also went to the Chicago Cultural Center (FREE!) and I was absolutely blown away by its beauty! I put it up there on the top of the most beautiful things I ever saw in my life (next to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul). Just stunning, and my photos don’t remotely capture how intricate it is.

We of course went atop the Willis Tower (aka the Sears Tower). Ajith has those pics, too. We visited Millenium Park, and the park where Obama gave his acceptance speech 4 years ago.  We ended our evening with an architectural river cruise highlighting the unique buildings in the city. What a BUSY day!

We continued to drive til we could drive no more, and found ourselves in VA overnight. We finished up our trip the next day and arrived in Raleigh around noon. Snickers and I got to our new home!

In all, we traveled across 14 states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina) over 7.5 days and thousands of miles to find “home” again.

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