adventure Tag

when your mom gets you

In pops this on my phone from the amazing, selfless woman who gave me life:

Adventure travel

…along with “I saw this the other day and thought of you!” and a globe, airplane, and heart emoticon.

My Mother is so cute, and such a nerd. (See where I get it from?) I love that lady so much! The best is, she continues to encourage me to be exactly who I am and go for anything and everything I want.

I’m currently in Charleston at the beach on a client project that has been a big one and kept me all consumed the past few weeks and far away from computer and writing time. Oh my do I have some exciting things to share! BLR Play It Forward event news, upcoming travels, and a story of a random encounter with a person last night that totally blew my mind.

More than any other time in my life, this summer has proved to me 10 times over that if we stay open and authentic, spend time doing what we love, and share our experience and knowledge, the doors of opportunity will fly open.

When you take a step towards life, the universe responds.

I’m off to be dangerous. Won’t you join me?

#LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #Adventure #NeverStopExploring

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until next time, nica

I just landed in Houston for a layover after being unplugged and in learning paradise for the last week. It was absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to share more here about where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. For now I feel a little shell-shocked at the bustle, cement, and amount of messages I have in various inboxes. Send me back to the hammock and salt air peace I woke up to this morning!

Buena Onda Resort

Nicaragua Beach

Nicaragua Beach

My silent plane ride staring out the window was filled with some great views and much reflection:

Up in the air

Up in the air

Up in the air

Up in the air

Up in the air

Once again, travel to a new place, spending time with new people, and giving back has provided me with perspective like no other. I am so incredibly excited to use all I experienced during this trip for many future life and work adventures.

Here’s to staying outside the drone zone!

#LeaderSurf #AlwaysSayYes #TodayIsTheDay

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get a life! (outside.)

Bright and early this morning and just after writing this last night, I heard something VERY disturbing as I was grabbing a coffee. The TV was on in this public place with me paying no attention until my ears caught a designer on a home show who was being interviewed; “The average American spends 23 hours a day inside…”

Twenty three hours out of twenty four a day, INSIDE?!

What are we doing to ourselves, people?!

This fact is almost as disturbing as a couple others I’ve learned, such as the average American home built in 2016 was something close to 4,000 square feet, and there are an average of 300,000 items in American homes.

I’m about to cry over here.

Holy mother lode guys and gals, these facts and figures are so NOT cool. Are you in Target right now? The mall? Hiding at home with all the windows closed? Please take your hands off the cart, hanger, or remote, and walk outside for a minute. Do me a favor and think of why you are in Target, at the mall, or on your couch. Do you actually need what you’re shopping for? Do you have any bills you could pay where your money could be more effectively used rather than that “I can never seem to get out of Target for less than $200” that I hear all the time? Are you just bored?

Please put me out of business! Remember we declared together (by that I mean I’m pretending like you all agreed) that 2017 is THE YEAR OF LESS CRAP? How about now we add that this year can be the year of more fresh air? The year of more adventure out of four walls with your bestie exploring a new neighborhood, more time to kick the ball around at the park with your kid, extra hours losing yourself on a road trip alone, more fun gettin’ frisky under a tree at the top of a mountain with your shmoopster….oh the possibilities!

Here’s a teeny sampling of my past few months:

In the Mountains

Aspen

Red Rock

Palm Trees

Red Rocks

Colorado

Spain sky

Lake Sunset

I don’t know about you, but this girl sure isn’t staying inside for a minute longer than she ever has to.

Consumerism and isolation are forceful breeding grounds for fear, hate, obesity, misery and all those other things that sound just awful, sad, and not fun.

Life is WAY TOO SHORT to be awful, sad, and not fun…don’tcha think? Yahoo! The bell just rang for recess! It’s time for all of us to go play. Get up, open the doors, walk outside, hug a tree, a person, or both, and find a little more health and happiness on this crazy ride.

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #MoveIt #TheGreatOutdoors

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the life unstuck

Hi there, I’m Diane.

Do you know me? If not, welcome to the world of blue lollipops and Strong Mojo where we don’t waste any time because we know better.

My work/business is the no judgement zone, the no bullshit zone, the running like hell with as many people as I can carry, fast and furious out of the drone…zone.

Why the bleep are any of us doing things we don’t want to do? The choice pool in this life is so big and beautiful it blows my mind…just as much as the fact so many of us don’t take a giant swim in it every day.

WAKE UP!

If I’m not already, I want to be your no judgies friend. The pal that lets you know you are in fact, “normal” and it’s Ok if simply because you feel it in your bones, you want to change your whole entire life so you can feel less stuck. I want to be the one that you call and say, “Um, Diane, I’m like totally drowning over here. I make a boatload of money but I’m miserable at my job and I have been for a long time now.”

So I can say…

Ugh! Sorry to hear! That stinks. Sounds like it’s time to quit and do something that doesn’t make you want to jump off a bridge/yell at your kids every minute/eat more Cheetos and sit on the couch every night.

“Yeah, but I have a mortgage and my husband is going to be so pissed at me and think I’m nuts!”

No kidding, Bueller, we’re adults, we all have bills to pay. Everything will be Ok. You can make a plan and execute it. And if the hubs isn’t on board after you share with him that you’d rather eat glass than go back to that job you’ve hated for so long, maybe it’s time to quit him right along with your soul-sucking gig, too.

Or:

“Hey Di, I was at a friends wedding and I looked down at my ring as I’m only a month away from my own wedding and I thought, oh my god, I don’t think I want to marry my guy after all.”

So I can say…

Holy moly! Ok then, just breathe, you don’t have to of course! Don’t do it!

“Yeah, but so much of the wedding is already paid for, my parents will lose their minds, everyone is going to think I’m a freak show and I don’t know what the hell to do to even begin to stop this freight train.”

Well first and most importantly you need to tell your guy, and like- right now. Then you tell everyone else the truth too, that the wedding is off and things simply did not work out for the two of you.

“Are you kidding? But I’m 35 and want to have babies! How the heck will I find someone else in time? Plus everyone will ask a million questions! My parents will be so embarrassed!”

Really? Do you actually believe your parents would be embarrassed that their daughter isn’t really in love with the guy she’s about to marry and she’s brave and fabulous enough to speak now or forever hold her peace about it? Highly doubtful. And if they are, they’re probably jerks who need to check themselves. You can join my f(r)amily if you need to.

I’ve actually already had these conversations though, and a ZILLION just like them. (Yes, seriously.) Nearly every day from the time I started really traveling around 20 years ago until now, a friend, stranger, or client shares, asks, or says things that make my head spin. I shake my fist in the air at the phantom entities (or worse, real humans?!) not being honest with each other. Those thoughts or people convincing us if we date so-and-so, we are weird, that if we have a house that’s more than sometimes a mess we’re a failure, or that we should stay hating our lives some where or with some one because we’re “supposed” to.

WTF.

Them: You must think I’m crazy!

Me: No, you are not crazy my friend. If you like boys, date boys. If you like girls, date girls. Hell…date them both for all we care. You are allowed to be HAPPY!

Them: This must be the worst house you’ve ever been in.

Me: Pshaw! Do you really think your neighbors have it all together in their neat-as-a-pin cottage? Think again my friend. Behind those doors looks EXACTLY like it looks in here. Trust me. I’ve seen it.

Them: But I can’t do that, I’m 50 years old! I’ve spent my entire life doing this!

Me: Why the hell not? Who says you can’t make a change after living half a century doing the same thing? “Aging out” is so last season, sister. 50 is the new 30. Go on whitchabadself.

Them: I hate it here, but everyone expects me to stay, so what am I supposed to do?

Me: The only thing you’re “supposed” to do, dude, is what you want. You make the rules. Get on your horse and ride. Your peeps that are worth it will follow.

Can we give ourselves a break, already? Like not beat the crap out of ourselves or each other thinking we should or shouldn’t this or that? Maybe we could share whatever heart break, hard day, or shit show is happening on our end of life a little more, so perhaps our friends, family, and neighbors finally find out (gasp!) that we are humans just like them. Clearly we haven’t thought enough about how short this life is, and how making it complicated with anything we don’t actually want is the ONLY definition of crazy.

Today is a gorgeous sunny 70 degree day where I am. It feels glorious for a winter day. It’s bittersweet as well because it also happens to be February 11th, which would’ve been my friend Maria’s birthday who I can’t see in person anymore. She and my other awesome fun, zany friend, Brandy are the original inspiration for everything I’ve done on this Blue Lollipop Road. Let me tell you who never wasted time; those girls. They also never asked for permission and that’s one of the things I loved so much about them. They danced when they wanted to, laughed too loud, and didn’t care if anyone joined them, because they were always having a blast.

I think we should all be having a blast, and worrying a lot less about what everyone else might think. 

In 1994 when we lost Maria & Brandy was the summer I decided to give myself forever permission to go, be, see, do, all I wanted to, and never apologize about anything I did if it felt right. I made lots of silent promises to my friends before saying goodbye. One big one, was that I would always laugh loud, dance a lot, and eat blue lollipops.

MAU Soccer

I’m still dancing…

Dancing in India

…eating blue lollipops:

Road Tripping

…and laughing of course. I hope this never changes.

Let’s all stop waiting for permission, shall we? The Life Unstuck is just around the corner. Everyone is welcome, and no, you’re not nuts. Come dance with us.

#TodayIsTheDay #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #HopToIt

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much more than a movie diary

You should read this whether you like/watch/care about movies or not. This column has been written by a friend for a lot of years now. He loves it. I think it is awesome. (He is awesome, too.) We could all learn a lot from this guy. Some people just make you want to be and do better. Some people remind you about all the things that are really important and worth, (or not worth) worrying about.

Thank goodness for those people.

A line that screamed out to me, in Dom’s latest post from 9/8:

“…I can promise you, if there is someone in your world suffering in some way, even the smallest connection can prove meaningful.”

I could’t agree more. Connection is what makes all of this crazy madness, this life…somehow the perfect beautiful mess.

What are you doing today to reach out to someone you care about?

#LifeIsBrutiful #RealityCheck #DontSweatTheSmallStuff

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just another day at the office

This was my yesterday:

Hoarded House

Hoarded House

Hoarded House

Hoarded House

Hoarded House

Hoarded House

I wanted to make sure I got a photo of myself in case anyone didn’t believe me that I had a seriously interesting day. The look on my face is totally cracking me up:

Hoarded House - Diane

Oh those times to just lift and click quick once to get a photo and don’t even look until later. This one is jackpot accidental perfection for the archives. Hilarious. I am terrible at poker face!

After the visit to this house, I got a milkshake. Because, you know- sometimes you just need a milk shake at the end of a very adventurous work day:

Chocolate milk shake

Never a dull moment here!

What’s the view from your office?

#AdventuresOnTheBlueLollipopRoad #Hoarding #ChocolateShakePlease

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shutting up and being grateful

I ran across this today. A good read. I’d like to hang out with the author, Mark.

On my soap box, especially lately, I’ve preached the word practice a lot, and still don’t understand why yoga seems to have stolen that word from everything else in the world. Why don’t we think about practicing every aspect of our lives, not just yoga, or sports in general? Shouldn’t we be practicing everyday, to be a good sister, daughter, friend, employee, neighbor, or just a good, fun, productive & generous human who’s nice and friendly just to be nice and friendly?

I just walked into Starbucks to hunker down for an afternoon of work and was greeted extra cheerily by a very overweight, nerdy, scruffy, awkward-looking barista guy. This particular Starbucks is in the center of the city and never fail, is always 110% filled with the most strapping looking fit businessmen you could imagine. (Occasionally these groups of men are sprinkled with an equally gorgeous high-heeled business woman or two.) It looks like the J.Crew or Abercrombie & Fitch catalogs exploded in here and the people on the pages came alive. So here’s this barista guy with the biggest smile in a scene of go go go perfectly coiffed, seriously focused executives, who aren’t smiling- throwing in his cheery personality, clearly practicing to genuinely enjoy his work and not be intimidated by this otherwise potentially intimidating scene.

As it becomes my turn to order:

Him: “Hey hey hey! How are you today?!” (in the cutest, upbeat tone)

Me: “Im great- thank you, that was the nicest greeting! Thank you!”

Him: “Why, you’re welcome- what can I get for ya?”

I order, he asks for my name, I tell him Diane, he thinks I says Diana and I roll with it.

Him: “That’s Wonder Woman’s Name! Spin around!”

To his surprise, I spin around.

We both laugh.

Me: “If only I could spin around like that and fix all the problems in the world!”

We laugh again, and agree “yeah…”

I thank him, turn to walk away, and he exclaims- “Have a great day, Wonder Woman!”

So totally adorable.

By a landslide, this very overweight, nerdy, scruffy, awkward barista guy is the most attractive, impressive, magnetic man, in this otherwise model-looking crowd I’m among right now.

In the article above, the author writes “I’m the last one to pretend everything is unicorns and rainbows.” I’m with him on that. It’s often hard to see the forest through the trees, and even harder to be grateful during sad times. It’s not easy to shut up (at least it hasn’t been in the past for me), It’s not easy to keep thinking your minutes will add up to something when you’ve felt like you’re getting nowhere fast. It’s not easy to say goodbye, It’s not easy to feel alone/lost/stuck – most things are not easy, but we all must push and motivate to practice each day, being grateful for the tiny beautiful things.

Let’s practice together!

Right at this moment I’m grateful for the luncheon I just went to with delicious food, the new people I met and connected with. I’m grateful for the notes, check-ins, and congratulations during the past few days from friends & family about a big event I had yesterday. I’m grateful to be able to work from anywhere and do what I love. I’m grateful for the huge challenges I’ve faced during the past 6 months and the lessons I’ve learned. I’m grateful for the few late hours I spent with a good friend last night scrubbing, vacuuming, and sweeping out the last bits of her apartment for a move, as we both exhaustedly and filthily stuffed our faces with a pizza-on-paper-towel party, and laughed about the chaos. I’m grateful that I could still laugh at myself, and this crazy life, as I sweat my butt off in my little car, looking like The Clampetts yesterday while talking to my little brother and almost getting pulled over by the police:

Moving…again

I’m even grateful for the wrinkles around my eyes in this photo. They mean I have smiled a lot:) Mostly today, which kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month- I’m incredibly grateful to have called Kaitlin McLellan not only a tried and true friend, but a very best one, and for many, many years.

Lucky, lucky me. So, so, very grateful.

Enjoy it now, and be grateful my readers- this life, this amazing, nutty life…is far to short not to.

Thank you, Mr. Barista, for making me spin around and bringing extra sunshine to me on a day I’ve been missing my dear friend. I won’t forget it.

#AlwaysLearning #AlwaysAdventuring #AlwaysGrateful

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