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Time In The Saddle–25 years!

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I remember the first time I saw someone riding their bike up a dirt trail, I thought they were crazy, “who would want to do that?”

A few years later, I was crazy because I wanted to do that! This year marks 25 years Mountain Biking in The Santa Monica Mountains!

The very first ride was on borrowed bikes. We didn’t know how to change a flat and we certainly didn’t have the tools to do it.

After 3 flats in one day and driving back and forth to the bike shop, we finally finished our first ride. It was Sycamore Canyon in Pt. Mugu State Park—a trail system that goes from the Pacific Ocean all the way to The Conejo Valley–a vast amount of space, deep with connector trails, singeltrack trails, and wide fire roads.

You can spend a whole day here!

Oh the places we’ve been able to see! (naturegirltara.com)

I’ll never forget my first year of riding, I entered the California Mountain Bike Challenge. There were 7 races throughout the State and I just kept crashing! I was a good climber but I didn’t have any racing experience and I wasn’t real polished in my technical skills on the downhills.  I have many scars to prove it!

I asked my competitor, “how do you stay on your bike, I keep crashing!” Her reply has been a theme for my life ever since. She said, “IT’S JUST TIME IN THE SADDLE.”

Time In The Saddle! naturegirltara.com

IT’S JUST TIME IN THE SADDLE!

Apparently, she had been riding for six years and was racing in the beginner category (not cool). She knew from experience that it’s not easy for anyone who takes on Mountain Biking as a sport.

I wanted to be great NOW and not have to go through the process of riding more to be great! Alas, everything in life is a process, time in the saddle. I learned to embrace the sentiment.

It was never an easy sport. There were days we would ride up Puerco Canyon in Malibu–it was steep! We would throw our bikes down sweating profusely, swearing!

It’s true, everything is a process. So going through it is a necessity in order to embrace it and maintain it.

Thank you for the light that shines behind me!

I came in third overall in that California Mountain Bike Challenge (1995) and I realized that I am not a competitive racer girl!  From then on,  I vowed to ride for the JOY of it!

Yep, sure enough it did take some time in the saddle. Even for the JOY of it!

So many aspects of riding has evolved for me — I can now change a flat…anywhere, anytime.

I took the time to learn how to change a flat instead of waiting for some guy to cross my path and fix it for me!  

That, alone, was a major challenge.  A couple of the guys were just so insistent that they change my flat.  I had to be really forceful and firm, “I learned how to change flats and now I have to practice.  PLEASE, let me change my own flat!!!”

Years later, I was able to help two men on the side of Pacific Coast Highway who had a flat and were unprepared. Clearly, they were in the place I was all those years ago when I knew nothing and was not prepared to fix a flat on my own. It felt good to give back!

Today I rode on the same trail system where I rode frequently back in the day. A smile was pasted on my face!

There’s something about it, when you get up there and there is no one around, sounds of bees, birds and trees blowing in the wind. It is certainly a meditative, transformative experience. Being out in the day and feeling all the joys of life in nature!

My ego is no longer involved. I’m not out to prove anything. If I’m feeling unsure about descending a new trail, I easily step off my pedals and walk down the trail. On a good day though, I’m quite competent! I can fly down most trails and I can pedal up any trail.

Mountain biking is my friend but I had to take the time to nurture that friendship. I couldn’t just start out being competent, I had to earn it.

The same is true with any physical practice you take on. Yoga is my friend as well, it pulls me into the present moment, just like being out on the trail.

If you suffer from being in your head too much and most of your friends are busy or far away (like mine), take on an activity that fills you up with joy and a sense of empowerment.

I believe our bodies are our best friends. Sometimes we put them last in line but your body is your friend. Feed it with activities that nourish you.

My friends, when I do get to interact with them, feel like these physical forces. They are a force of validation and aliveness. I’ve never been the friend who has to have somebody with me for exercise, so glad because without my physical practices, I’d be very alone since most of them are far far away!

I am so grateful for my physical friends and that I’ve taken the time and YEARS to nurture the physical practices that make me feel ALIVE even without them. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Today June 9, 2019–Trailer Canyon in Pacific Palisades , CA
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Time To Embrace My Wrinkles

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Hey, Happy Earth Day! As I stand here in front of the Mountain Lilac, I am learning to embrace my wrinkles!  I’m sure this will not be a popular trend but I’ve never gone along with the trends easily.

I feel like we are all so obsessed with beauty and perfection. Every time we look in the mirror and judge ourselves for having real wrinkles, it feels like little bits of self-hatred and it feels so wrong.

We’re all scrambling around trying to get rid of the ugliness, the imperfections. Serums and creams and fillers and facelifts. Oh how we have gone astray.

I think we are mostly filling ourselves with self-hatred, trying everything to get rid of the imperfections, or what we’ve been hypnotized to think are imperfections! It’s really rather absurd when you stand back and look at it.

Yes, fillers make the skin look smooth and pretty and it is tempting, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Mostly because of vanity, again. I’m afraid it wouldn’t look natural and I wouldn’t want people judging me based on my fake face.

Vanity vanity vanity, any way you look at it. We’re all so physically focused. I want a new focus!

I’m tired of all the little pieces of hate I throw at myself. I’m sure I’m not alone here?

Basically the wrinkles are little traces of time written on my face and I have lived 58 years so far and that is a lot to be grateful for!

No, it won’t be easy to get unhypnotized because it’s a lifetime of societal pressures and hypnotisms.

But hey.

How about we get out and be part of nature more often. The more we see beauty out there, the more we’ll see beauty in here. Mind training with Nature!

So here, on this Earth Day, I choose to embrace my wrinkles. For each wrinkle I focus on, I will recycle a nugget, a memory that makes that wrinkle worthy! Wrinkles are signs of worthiness! Yes! Go ahead, zoom in and check them out!

#wrinkles #worthiness #worthy #nature #beauty #embrace #society #hypnotized #imperfection #imperfections

Diary of A Massage Therapist–Energy!

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Sometimes it’s nice to be able to share with someone at the end of a gratifying day, but since I had no one in my physical space to share with, I’m sharing with you!

I’ve been giving and receiving massages almost 30 years.
I don’t express enough gratitude for having learned the art of giving massages. I am grateful. The more I give, the better I get. massagetherapistTARA

I must say, tonight was the QUINTESSENTIAL night for giving massages. All the people MATCHED my energy fully. I shared what I know and they openly received.

To feel a body shift and let go is a really cool feeling. The more present I become, the more tuned in I am.

Tonight, it was all about positive energetic exchange. I’ve learned over the years that energy IS the real deal.

Perhaps the best part of the night was my last client. Usually by 8:15 most therapists are wanting to go home. I’m usually one of them!

But tonight, I was looking forward to another person and their energy to flow with. This woman was so complimentary and appreciative. She kept thanking me for what I do. The last half of the massage, she remained silent and felt all the energy moving through her body.

When she emerged from the room, she was full of gratitude and said, “don’t stop doing what you’re doing, you are meant to do this.” She then handed me my tip which from most clients is $20. This, as I noticed later, was a $50. Now, this is on top of a $47 massage.

No, it’s not about the money but it was a bit of a thrill to receive the extra, unexpected cash. So I say to you, don’t stay stuck on what you “should” tip. If you’re feeling it, GIVE GENEROUSLY! It’s a thrill to receive more than we expect.

And just to confirm it wasn’t about the money, on the Wednesday following that blissful Saturday night, my last client of the day was an elderly woman. She was soft spoken and didn’t speak english all that clearly.

Her limbs totally relaxed and she didn’t fight any movement I made. Her breathing was deep and relaxed. Her energy was AMAZING! She was in bliss. Her tip was $13, far below what we like to receive.

I told the manager that I would work on that woman over and over, regardless of the minimal tip. I LOVED HER ENERGY and she loved mine.

Really, it’s true, EVERYTHING IS ENERGY! Not everyone can feel it but it’s there.

Yesterday a client FELT the energy for sure!

When she emerged from the room she said, “WOW, WHAT WAS THAT!” She made sure to tell me that she isn’t some spiritual “energy” kind of person but what she felt
was an unexplainable “energetic rush of positive energy.”

At the end of the massage, I did some energy balancing with my hands. She was breathing really hard so I thought she had fallen asleep. She said, “oh no, I wasn’t asleep I was breathing as deep as I could to continue to take in what felt like more positive energy than I knew what to do with!”

I told her my technique. And here it is and here is my prayer for you:
I say my version of the “Namaste” prayer silently in my mind and I see and FEEL all the words for both of us while using my hands as an energetic way of holding that loving energy.

I HONOR THE PLACE IN YOU WHERE THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE DWELLS–THE PLACE WHERE THERE IS:
TRUTH
LOVE
PEACE
JOY
HEALTH
EASE and
ABUNDANCE.

WHEN YOU ARE IN THAT PLACE IN YOU AND I AM IN THAT PLACE IN ME, WE ARE ONE!!!

Now, go treat yourself to a loving massage!

Malibu Hikers!

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“What do these women wish to achieve by hiking up these hills in Malibu?”

Imagine a very proper Brittish accent with a sort of chronic, cynical way of being in life asking this question, I was telling her about the out of town visitors I’ve been leading on private hikes in Malibu.

Her words and the tone of her words made me laugh very hard!

LaughingPurple

I quickly produced an answer for her:

wififorrestconnection

When you’re out in nature hiking up a hill, things get quiet.  When it’s quiet, you feel peace and more clarity than you do when you’re sitting in a house with the television and the wi fi and the phone ringing.  Not only does that technology create too much chatter, but all of those interference fields create a bit of chaos in your thinking. 

The women travel here on business and want to carve out time for themselves, time to recharge and rejuvenate.  In my humble opinion, there is no better place to do that than out on the hiking trail in Malibu!

She quietly accepted that answer.

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Now I say to you–any chance you get to be out in nature or out on the hiking trail, TAKE IT!  Nature is the great equalizer.

One of my clients was antsy to get to the climbing part of our hike.  She said that when she is challenged by a hill, epiphanies jump into her mind and she gets answers!

It’s true.  Simple and True.  Try it.

If you don’t have the confidence to follow the trail alone, please let me be your private hiking guide in Malibu.  My goal is to keep you moving in the right direction and to make sure you get the connection to nature that YOU and everybody deserves!

Presence Is Power!

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Did you know– Gratitude is THEE most powerful spiritual practice to cultivate.  I spend my days looking for beauty and I always find it!  I am grateful I can see beauty everywhere I look.IMG_0785

Recently I had lunch with a friend and her sister.  I really wanted to get to know her sister better since I had only met her briefly in the past.  Instead of engaging in conversation, she looked past me and judged every person that walked by behind me.  Granted, we were sitting in a restaurant on Venice Beach and that is quite the place to people watch–I’ll give her that.

At some point though, we need to BE with the people we’re with.  Every comment was cutting and critical.  It was hard to be in that space since most of the people I spend time with have realized that I don’t like to go there.  

Truly, I’m looking for the greatness in others because I know that will enhance who I AM.CriticsEncouragers

I want to be present with people, not tear them apart.

After too many non stop minutes of this, I decided to do what is the biggest NO NO these days–I picked up my phone, started taking pictures of the beauty around me, posting to Facebook.

I’m sure that was frowned upon but, truly,  I had to remove myself from all the negativity.VeniceBeachBeauty

Something I learned a long time ago, whenever you judge anything, you hold yourself apart from all the things you are wanting to be and do and have.  All the attention on “what’s wrong” just pulls more of “what’s wrong” into your life!

The other thing I know is that we are all part of the same stuff, let’s stop tearing ourselves and others apart and start celebrating the greatness within and beyond ourselves.

I want to be with people when I’m in their presence — I don’t want to judge everything that moves behind them!  It’s a practice, it’s an art–to become present in the moment and fully absorbed in that moment with no distractions.

Presence within ourselves and the presence within our fellow beings is where ALL the power resides but it’s only here NOW!  I’m going to celebrate NOW. Please, please, BE With Me Now!

Learning A New Body Language

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If your body could learn a new language that could supersede everything you’ve ever believed about health and all the limits we set up around it, would you want to know about it?

What if you had an energetic intelligence within you that would allow you to transcend all of your physical ailments?  Would you be interested in learning it?

What if I told you that your body already knows it, you just need to tap into it to re-learn it.IMG_0508

Greg Jeter is a licensed NSA practitioner.  Trained first as a Chiropractor, then seeing the magic in this work that can be best described as “energy work”, focuses his entire practice on energy, with an occasional physical adjustment.

Greg is a facilitator, a bridge if you will, to help your body tap into the field of self healing.  “It’s all about finding the tension and the open areas and merging them into an energy that moves and flows into a feeling of ease and perfect health that is connected to all that is.”gregAglow

Dr Oz said on a recent Oprah episode, “As we get better at understanding how little we know about the body, we begin to realize that the next big frontier is energy medicine.”

WE ARE ENERGY!

If that sounds  “other wordly”– I can assure you,  that’s how it feels to receive it.

When I received my first session, I  didn’t want it to end.  I felt a rhythm and a vibration moving through me that is ultimately indescribable.

Some of the comments by long time practice members who receive regular work could make you a bit curious about the seeming magic of this work:

“Loving myself absolutely as I have never loved myself before–felt the omnipotence that babies feel”

“Felt like I had a heart orgasm–had the experience of what it must feel like to be a fish swimming in water”

“absolute joy”

“felt my spine had perfect posture”

“felt as if I was holding the love of the world & the suffering of the world all at the same time”

“felt the VOID of awareness–words really can’t describe what happens but it is like a deep meditative place that connects me to a world that is beyond the material, conscious realm”

You may feel results from the very first session but you will want to continue to regular sessions, since the tension is fuel for transformation.  Once your body learns this language, it will want to speak it and experience it at regular intervals!

Enjoy the process–YOU ARE WORTHY!

To experience the future of medicine, contact Sacred Ground at: (510) 856-0036

Located in the heart of Weed, CA,  the office also offers Massage Therapy, Hypnotherapy and Tattoos!  Weed is one town before Mt. Shasta and a visit to both places would be exhilarating! Sacred Ground is located at 51 Main Street Weed,Ca.
(510) 331-4653

California Dreams–Letting Go!

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I remember my second visit to California, I was 18 years old and loving this place!  Near the end of my trip, I read some graffiti on a freeway overpass, “Tourists GO HOME”! 

I remember feeling really bad when I read it, almost like I had been personally attacked.

I couldn’t understand how someone would want me to go home.  I thought to myself, “gosh if I lived here, I would want to meet all the people that came from all over the world to visit”.  That’s just how I am, I love finding out about people.MeetupPhoto

I’m still the same way all these years later, if I meet somebody new I want to know all about them.  I’ve lived in this state for 23 years now.  I wasn’t born here, but I did live here when I was a baby and I feel as if California is in my bones.  I love this place, it is so magnificent!

Where else can you go to the beach then take a 2 to 5 hour drive and be in the mountains with snow?  Everywhere I go here, I feel at home.

California!  I’ve been up and down the coast and everywhere I go is total bliss.  It really is no wonder that people want to visit here, let alone move here.  If you knew what we had to endure in Michigan, you would have a heart and be okay with us being here.  While it is true, there are lots of people and cars, how can you blame them all?  This a a gorgeous place!

I remember one of the women at the gym complaining about all the cars flooding from the valley to go to the beach.  She said, “vals, go home, we don’t want you here”. 

It’s funny, I thought to myself, she moved here from Ontario Canada–who is she to talk?  Vals are the people who live in the San Fernando Valley.  It is a good 15-25 degrees hotter than on the beach.  Gosh, they deserve to enjoy the beach.  I can see it from both sides, though.  When I spend most of my time up and down the coast because I work in Malibu and live in Brentwood, there can be a huge amount of traffic in the summer months because of everyone flooding to the beach.  It’s all good though, we’re just enjoying where we get to live and play!IMG_0920

I enjoy where I live and play every day.  Today, as I drove the stretch of PCH that takes me to my long time place of work, The Malibu Gym, I marveled at the beauty of Point Dume’ in the distance.

Honestly, I don’t think there has been one day in the 23 years I’ve been driving that coast that I haven’t been in awe of the sight of it when I see it. IMG_0785

I do wonder, how is it possible to love a place so much?

The month of June, 2014 marks 23 years of living in California.  From the age of 10, I spent 20 years dreaming of living in California.onewiththetrailtara

Some might say it became everything I focused upon.

The DJ in the college cafeteria only had to see me and know that it was time to play my song, “California Dreamin”.  Class after class of teaching, I always ended in the relaxed visualizing mode and saw myself here, happy and vibrant!  Then, after years of postponing my move either because of school or a job or a boyfriend,  I made it happen.  I had dreamed and visualized and listened and dreamed some more and then I moved to California.

I had no car, no job, no place to live–I just had to be here once and for all.

So many dreams came true for me.  I live the lifestyle I lived when I lived in Michigan.  I lived it in my own little world there because my environment didn’t really support it.

Today, I am surrounded by health food stores, healthy restaurants,  nature abounding everywhere I turn, near perfect weather, people I adore and so much more!

I love the life I’ve created.  I ride my bike, I hike the trails, practice yoga at my choice of a plethora of studios.  I live in a neighborhood that simply must be one of the prettiest in the country. fuscia flowersAbundance surrounds me in every direction I turn.  I am worthy of it all because I brought it to life with my visions and my strong desire.

Now, after 23 years of fully embracing and loving this place, I had the thought of letting it go.

Let it go and move onto something different.  I am open to that.  Montana seems to be pulsing in my radar these days.  Colorado is another place calling to me although the thought of the Winter months don’t really appeal to me.   Hawaii could work for me.  Wyoming is a mystery to me still. Or, I could stay here and just keep living it in the blissful fashion I’ve carved out for myself.

The feeling I had, though, when I let go of the need to be here and the need to stay here was so freeing.  pacific palisades hike

By letting go, we simply surrender to either something better or keeping that which we have.  It was obvious I had been clinging to being here.  I could feel such a total sense of freedom when I just let go.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring? “I am open to everything and attached to nothing”.  That sounds like a good plan.  I heard Dr. Wayne Dyer say it many years ago and until you experience it in one area of life, you won’t really know how good it feels.

I am feeling this way in several areas of life and it feels like a dream–as  good as the California dream I had all those years ago!purple passion point dume

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