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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

5 Ingredients for the Perfect Road Trip // Powered by Blue Dinosaur Bars


















Like the ingredients of my favorite road trip snack Blue Dinosaur Bars, keeping it simple is the key to any great road trip. I love these bars because they're vegan (yay!), not too sweet, filling, and super nutrient rich. It's always been my rule of thumb not to overcomplicate and not to overpack, and it seems like Blue Dino has the same concept for their bars.

I too believe that 5 simple ingredients is all you need, and can make for the perfect adventure. By making sure you've nailed down these points before you take off on any road trip, you're sure to make memories for a lifetime.

1. Rad Road Trip-Mobile
Almost nothing is more important on a long journey than a trusty steed. We sprung for a vintage VW van named Rell Sunn from VW Surfari -- she was the star of the trip. Zipping through the winding roads of Big Sur and curled up to the Redwoods in a rainstorm, she always pulled through for us, keeping us dry and safe and bringing a damn good time.

2. Epic Destination
Our pick: Big Sur. Starting off in Los Angeles it's about a 6 hour drive, long enough to make a few fun stops but not too long that all we did was drive. A huge contrast from the busy life of the city, we were wide-eyed at escaping into the Redwoods and enjoying the scenic journey to get there. 

3. Good Friends
I'm not just talking about your best friends, I mean the friends you've got that are down for WHATEVER. Who won't freak when things go wrong (because they will...) and who find solutions rather than problems in the day-to-day. Friends who love to blast tunes and dance under the moon, who will stay up with you when driving gets exhausting, who always want to see what's around that next bend. Some friends are meant to adventure with, and some you should avoid sharing small spaces with for extended periods. Know which are which.

4. Good Tunes
An epic road trip playlist is a must and a good friend won't mind being DJ while you captain the ship. Blast 'em hard and loud, but make sure everyone along is down for the picks, otherwise things could turn sour real quick.

5. Good Snacks
 Food can be the difference between moral dropping suddenly or soaring through the roof! Always have an array of snacks, light and healthy so energy levels stay high. That's why I love Blue Dinosaur Bars, their flavors vary so you never get bored, and their Lemon Macadamia is one I look forward to inhaling after a surf or after the first long leg of driving. No need to reroute or delay the voyage, these bars are perfect on-the-go and make for the perfect road trip companions. You'll be so glad to have them!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Wabi Sabi Well with Brienn Boal




From the moment I met Brieann Boal I knew there was something special about her. She emits a light that emanates to the darkest corners of the room, and her smile is nothing short of mesmerizing. A brief chat at a blogger brunch was not nearly enough to satiate our instant connection, and so I was thrilled when I received an email from her about sampling her Wabi Sabi Wellness training that she offers around the Byron Bay/Gold Coast area. Surfing is an amazing physical practice but I've always found that training for it requires diversity in workouts and strengthening. Plus it was a great excuse to hang out with this funny, beautiful, charismatic creature :) 

For weeks I met with Brieann, some days full of energy and ready to kick butt, others struggling with personal life anxieties and low energy blues. Regardless of my mood, Brieann had a workout to match from yoga to boxing to Thai massage to weights. She was nurturing when I was feeling low and inspiring when I needed a push. Every session began with how I felt on a scale of 1-10, a question I now ask myself before I start any work out. Her integrity to respect your body's ebb and flow is fundamental to her philosophy, and is my favorite part of the Wabi Sabi ethos.

I wanted to find out more about that ethos, and how Brieann curated her one-of-a-kind program, so I asked her a few questions and she was kind enough to divulge the full story behind Wabi Sabi Wellness.



What do the words "Wabi Sabi" mean to you?

Although phonetically frivolous and fun, the term is actually deeply profound and intimately tied to Zen Buddhism. Both an aesthetic and a worldview, it connotes a way of living that finds beauty in imperfection and impermanence.

What does the term mean to me? In a word, inner-alchemy.
Have you ever heard of the practice of Kintsugi? When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. (cribbed from Barbara Bloom) 

The way I see it, Wabi-Sabi is Kintsugi for the soul. ‘mending cracks with gold.’ Re-baptizing all your negative qualities as your favourite qualities - embracing the pock marks of your personality, the frayed edges of your inside world the rust, scars and uneven finishes of your exterior. There’s something about reframing in that way that is absolutely transcendent. 




Tell us a bit about your method and how you came to develop this unique style of personal training? What is your favorite aspect of the WabiSabi workout? 

The ‘fitness industry’ is like a bad boyfriend - more interested in how you look than how you feel and totally corrosive to your self-esteem.  In spite of popular ‘fitness industry’ opinion, your body is NOT something to be controlled, dominated, reduced into parts and ‘target areas’ (that will never be toned enough!) Your body is less like a fixed hunk of meat and more like a flickering flame - a matrix of energetic interconnectivity. It pulses with molten wisdom and stories as old as stars! (truth not voodoo talk)  It was present for every experience of your life and embodies emotional imprints of these events. Answers to lifelong questions are steeped in cells, tucked in the folds of tissue and buried in bone marrow. “There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy’ (Nietzsche) so believe me when I say, you are so much more than your perfect abs or whatever fragment you choose to fixate on.

Clarifying the body mind connection (which is what we do in each session) allows us to access the issues in the tissues. Through this lens, our bodies are not only a tremendous resource but also a gateway to freedom. Via the body we are able to shed beliefs that no longer serve us, rewrite our nervous system and create a different reality. A new way of being – free from broken behaviour, addiction, depression, disordered eating. I know of what I speak. (for the curious catz, my bio is on the site here. 
http://wabisabiwell.com/about-brieann




What does a session look like? 

One hour of self-renewing rituals, concentrated enough to not overtake your day. However, done daily, it has the cumulative effect of shaping your mind and psyche, as much as your body. It’s a tried and true to template, derived from my own inwards travels – seeking solutions to the aforementioned.

Mindful movement, meditation, breath and energy work, chakra balancing, myofascial release and other bioenergetic techniques are married with traditional fitness favourites like core work and boxing (which are wonderful for balancing a deficient solar plexus, FYI) to bring body-mind and spirit into harmony.  

Whilst other fitness models continue to march to the beat of their ‘divide-and-conquer’ drums, Wabi-Sabi warriors embrace body-mind and spirit as an integrated whole. They cultivate intuition, learn the language of the body, listen and respond in kind. You can learn more about the method here http://wabisabiwell.com/about

As for my favorite aspect? I couldn’t narrow it down to a single activity. The very act of exploring the body as a portal into presence. There is a magic to that that never grows old.





What is the feeling you want your clients to walk away with after a Wabi Sabi workout?

That varies and depends on the intention they set at the start of their session. Generally, they’ll come to rest somewhere on the “awesome” end of the mood spectrum. A non-variable element/emotion however, is connection – a visceral sense of connection to their bodies, the body of the planet and source itself.

How do YOU feel after a Wabi Sabi workout with a client? Tell us about the feeling you get from doing what you do.

A mutual afterglow - carried on the wings of kinship and the invisible threads that bind us.

How could someone get their daily dose of Wabi Sabi Wellness even if they're not a Byron local?

These days, geography is irrelevant. I’ll kick off sunrise sessions here (in Byron)…  Sign into someone’s living room in the U.S (for their sunset)… Land in Belgium (virtually) at 5am… Be on a yacht somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean… Then back in an Oz albeit for a session with someone from the city next door. I have Skype to thank for my time-travelling tickets. So, back to the question, if you’re not a Byron local, no worries, we can still hang.  Just decide where you want to workout. Your living room, your garden, workplace, park, studio or gym? If you’re Lex, the broom cupboard… ‘Beam me up, Scottie’

Psst. If you’ve never heard of Skypercise don’t worry you’re amongst the majority. You can actually book a FREE discovery session to learn more about it HERE 

or jump straight in to a 3 or 6 month package HERE

And for those who can’t Skype in, or just want WSW on (keyboard) tap we’ve got you covered. More recently, I teamed up with client-turned-business-partner, Caitlin Nowland. The woman is a mind-body maverick and visionary in her own right, and together we’re bringing Wabi-SabiWell to the masses. 

Our intention is to make that Summer-state-of-mind as accessible to you as possible. If you’ve been following the blog trail for a while, you would’ve noticed the vista changing to make this possible. You can now enjoy FREE guided meditations, WSW workouts, recipes, tutorials by signing up to the email list at www.wabisabiwell 

You can also join the conversation on instagram (@wabisabiwell) or facebook www.facebook.com/wabisabiwell.com. Or email me personally at brieann@wabisabiwell.com

Friday, February 19, 2016

Gypsea Swim in Bahamas















Photos / Carl Rosen | Swimwear / Gypsea Swim

My Grandmother's nickname for me is "Gitanita." In Spanish that means, "little gypsy." Since I was young I always adored travel, it was an escape from all the complications of every day life. And as I've grown older I know there's no real escaping those complications, but I guess I've come to the conclusion that if I'm going to fight a parking ticket, I would rather do it via email from a beautiful exotic island. 

So answering an invite to the Bahamas to visit my fellow Gypsea sister Karina Petroni was an actual no brainer. Waking up at Touchstone Harbour Island was a familiar yet brand new sensory experience; the sounds of the soft rustle of wind through the palm trees, the smell of salt water in the air, and the vision of pristine aqua blues floating alongisde pink sand beaches. What I love most about Karina is her taste for adventure, and straight from the airport she was taking me to secret blue lagoons, hidden caves and her favorite surf spots. It was a week of literally diving into the elements of one of the most beautiful island chains in the world, and as any Gypsea knows, it's a trip like this that floods your inspiration for the next. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bahama Voyage // Amuse Society in the Caribbean





A few weeks ago I lost my passport. Talk about a meltdown...that single booklet of assorted papers was synonymous with a sacred text, a relationship as personal as that of a best friend, and losing it was mourning a death. Three years of documentation of treks across the globe — Tahiti, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Samoa, Japan, Hong Kong and more — a treasure I planned to save for my children someday, gone in an instant. But with the flood of tears came a washing away of attachment, and the movement forward towards letting go and a focus on the next big adventure.




Enter an old friend inviting a new escape. My beautiful friend Karina Petroni has traveled the world through her professional surfing career since she was 12 years old, and in 2010 found nostalgia in the Bahamas in it's parallels to her native Panama. She has lived there ever since, and in the most idealistic of timing, encouraged me to catch a flight down to experience the wonder of her Caribbean playground.





Washing off winter in the Bahamas is like stepping into a dream. Our first stop, Gregory Town, Eleuthera, home of some of the sweetest pineapples I've ever tasted and beaches that are nothing short of pristine. We found beautiful waves at both Surfer's beach and Holiday beach via the Glass Window Bridge, a unique collision of the stunning contrast between the rich, dark blues of the churning Atlantic and the serene, aqua hues of the Caribbean. While the news reported blizzards and endless snowfall in the northeast, we spent our days eating spicy, fresh conch salad from roadside food stalls and exploring secret caves and blue hole lagoons. Our accommodation was on nearby Harbour Island, a quintessentially Caribbean locale with brilliant colored beach bungalows, electric turquoise ocean views, pink sand beaches, and warm, charismatic locals. 





As I look back on the most spectacular of moments from my time in the Bahamas, from surfing to hiking to diving and exploring, there's one element that rings common across the board -- always moving forward. When the beautiful Bahamian Goddess at customs pressed the first stamp into my freshly printed passport, I moved forward in a way that allowed me to never forget that no matter what, we can never go back, and to let go of the past is to set ourselves free.


Photos // Carl Rosen

Swimwear + Kimono / Amuse Society | Activewar / Free People | Hats / Brixton