Here’s what it’s really like to be a Digital Nomad


I love this insight! The digital nomad lifestyle described is different than my #vanlife, but it’s all so true! This isn’t vacation even tho I live in a lot of vacation destinations. I work 7 days a week- thankfully, I do work that fulfills me.

tread lightly.travel naturally

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For the blog of CreativeLive.com, here’s a post I just wrote about the challenges of being a digital nomad…

(original post here: http://blog.creativelive.com/digital-nomad-freelance-lifestyle-right-for-you/ )

Is the digital nomad lifestyle right for you?

By Suchi Rudra

It’s not just a fleeting trend–the digital nomad way of life is definitely on the rise. Fed up with being tied down, people are quitting their 9 to 5 jobs, selling or giving away their belongings (including their car and house!) and choosing a life of travel while working online to earn income. 

This life of endless travel might sound like a dream come true, a fantastic adventure, a constant vacation. But let me emphasize that being a digital nomad does not mean, as some may think, that you’re on vacation. What is different for a digital nomad, however, is that your workspace has transformed from office cubicle to a beach bar on a…

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Is this one getting me closer or isn’t it?


Like after every long break I take from writing here, I feel I owe an explanation.  For one, I owe it to myself for the purpose of centering and getting myself focused; then, for my readers — because I know there are a few faithfuls out there. (Hi, Dad!)

Looking back at where I left off … OMG IT’S BEEN SIX MONTHS?!  Where did that time go?  The best answer to that question goes like this:

Imagine you have an egg. Now, think about that egg and what it’s made of- the shell, the inside… yeah. Okay.  You also have a hammer. Take the hammer and smash the egg with as much force and aim as you can muster…. what happens?  EGG GOES EVERYWHERE. Shell bits and goo fly in every direction.  That’s where the past six months have gone. All. Over. The. Place. It’s messy and disgusting and just everywhere… but hey- It was just a metaphorical egg and I was able to clean up the mess.

I’ll spare you a recollection of every nitty gritty detail but basically, my life looks NOTHING like it did this time back in August when I last wrote.  At that time I was trying REALLY hard – like spinning my wheels hard – to SUCCEED. (RAAWWRR!)  I was in an okay place… okay as in mediocre, okay as in I was finally getting healthy after that prolonged illness but still having issues, okay as in I had setup a pretty cool avatar for myself after abandoning social media for almost two years, and okay as in I KNEW deep down inside EXACTLY what was wrong with my situation.

When I said that my life looks NOTHING like it did six months ago- I was serious… I’m living in a state I had never been to, I’m surrounded daily by people I didn’t know existed, I’m participating in completely new groups online, my income is 100% self-generated, my diet contains foods I hadn’t been able to consume for years, my body feels like amazing, and well, the list goes on. As the list goes on I get to the most difficult thing I have never talked or written about publicly.

*(Side Note- At this point in writing this entry, I got up and stalled for a good 30 minutes.  Deep breath, hard swallow. Here. We. Go.)*

This is where my entry actually begins… with this pile of word vomit which has been churning in my literary stomach for a long time: from December 2011- January 2015 I consumed a lot of pot. Yup. At first it was just here and there on occasion, then I got more comfortable with it, it became readily available and it took over- sending my left brain and all of its grand ability to create structure on a lengthy leave of absence. There were a few periods where I managed to take breaks for days or weeks at a time… but for a pretty huge portion of that time- I was getting high daily. (Sorry, Dad.) While this is becoming more and more widely accepted and common talk for Americans, I hid this from my family.  Until now, the only person in my family who I know for sure knows this about me is my closest-in-age brother- though I didn’t tell him until after I quit.

Beyond this being one of those “I need to get this off my chest” things, I actually have a much more important reason for writing about this and exposing this part of my past. I’ve been tossing this topic around in my head for a while because with everything I’ve put myself through (for the better) over the past several months- THIS, this one was the most important.  It’s important because I’ve finally put it in my past.  Long ago, I recognized pot as my issue- that it was the mud my wheels got stuck in.  I had become a headstrong young woman in my teens and continued to grow into a force to be reckoned with- constantly barreling forward, pushing my limits, achieving milestones, and shattering personal records were my favorite pastimes. The act of swearing I’d never take a chance on giving pot a try (after seeing both of my older brothers get in trouble with it) – or smoking anything, ever, for that matter – was limiting to me.  The force with which I once opposed pot was immature and closed-minded, so I eased up and eventually gave it a try.  I admit that I have no regrets in partaking of the experience- just perhaps the duration was a tad drastic… but I survived, I have untangled the mess it made of my life, and I’m in the best place I have ever been.

Attempts to construct concise thoughts and expressions on this topic since the day I finally shoved it out of my life have been futile.  It’s all been arranged neatly and completely sensibly in my mind but to translate my brain waves into plain english had been lost on me… until the other night. That’s when the single most enriching human I’ve ever met read to me a chapter from Ram Dass’ book Grist for the Mill entitled “Rules of the Game.” The game in which Dass refers is THE journey out of time and space and toward God. That’s what we’re all moving toward- in our unique karmic ways, at different stages, and at our own pace.  As aforementioned, I had once been marvelously in tune with myself and chugging along at a brisk pace – until I got hung up on a lesson – I knew I was stuck and I knew what was sticky. My experiences with and around pot may have helped me to add to and even clarify my vision for the unfolding here on earth but I could not for the life of me manage to get myself moving closer to it.  Here is the passage that sums up this life lesson and the reason I moved on:

“This game is much more subtle; we have to listen to hear what our trip through is, moment by moment, choice by choice.  Is this one getting me closer or isn’t it? And then we’ll learn how truth gets us closer, how straightness gets us closer. We’ll learn how simplicity of mind gets us closer. We’ll learn how an open heart gets us closer. Certain acts – for example, like smoking pot – may show us the place, but over time they don’t necessarily keep getting us closer. When we’re finally really honest with ourselves about it, we recognize that it showed us a possibility, but it doesn’t allow us to become the possibility. In fact we get to recognize that happiness doesn’t necessarily awaken us faster than sadness or unhappiness or pain or suffering . . . quite the reverse it turns out. Pain and suffering awaken us more , because the only reason we experience pain or suffering is because we are clinging to something or other.”

Everything is a lesson to me, I’ve been learning from every single doggone thing in life for many years.  As anyone who knows me or has read this blog probably knows the darkness I went through with my health and spirit.  I was so close to understanding so many things just before and as my health spiraled downward, but it was being in the pit of darkness I needed to be able to come to see the light anew. Constantly seeking a broader truth, opening my heart wider, and clearing the noise from my mind – these are all things that have stayed at the forefront of my attention and intentions for several years. I reached a huge expansion in the months following emergency surgery. It was also during this time that I really began to see that what I was holding onto with pot was not my truth.  I was under this illusory belief that I needed it for the medicinal benefit, though, it had none for me.  Being one to self-experiment, time after time I would feel the ill-effects cannabis had on me in its many forms… but I kept on thinking about all of the information out there and all of the inspiring stories about it changing people’s lives for the better. There was something wrong with me- as I tried to feel like I did before I got sick in 2012 and wasn’t healed by the surgery, I kept searching everywhere- mostly outside of myself.  The people I was surrounded by daily told me this was the solution and any argument or doubt from me brought the suggestion of a new delivery method.  What was my magic bullet? Was it vapor? Was it a tincture? Was it Indica? Was is Sativa? Was it edibles? What?

None. It wasn’t any of them. I was my magic bullet. It was my ability to squash out the belief that this substance – which had just a hand full of times made me feel so incredible that it brought my mind into a new space – belonged in my life on a regular basis to make me healthy and enlightened.

Seeking escape, I talked about it and attempted it on and off for over a year. It was in my environment, the influence was almost inescapable with where I was and who I was with.  There was a lot more I was denying with this situation and as I began to rule with an iron fist my decisiveness on the matter, my wheels caught onto solid ground and I began to move forward.  The universe began opening doors, spilling beautiful bright light into my world. It didn’t take long for me to feel forlorn in my environment and in my social circle with my reclaimed sober lifestyle.  In my previous attempts over the year to escape, I encouraged and even begged change from my surroundings but the will of it to change was absent.

There’s this quote – Rumi, “What you’re seeking is seeking you,” and as it turned out there were all of these escape routes right there for me, I just hadn’t seen them – as soon as I was decisive and committed enough they were revealed to me. Ultimately, the escape was a breeze and everything that has happened since then has been step-by-step forward motion…

Namaste

xo

Lauren

Day 39. What the Spirits Told Me.


Today ended up being a knockout.  I was too tired to drive home last night after going out with my mom and her life long friend to see the Theresa Caputo Experience so I stayed there and drove home this morning. At home I ate one bite of spoiled raw fermented sauerkraut and wound up spending the rest day in a state of bacterial elimination… if you know what I mean. At least I now know my liver is able to produce plenty of bile on the fly without the backup of its storage compartment. 😉

I wanted to write about last nights’ experience anyway.

Theresa Caputo is a celebrity medium- she has the ability to communicate with the spirit world. I really had no idea what to expect from the show as the previous sentence was about all I knew about her before going.  Her approach at giving readings to an entire theatre full of people was really quite interesting.  She didn’t spend much time on stage; instead, she walked the aisles of the theater followed by a camera crew so the footage could be shown on a large screen located on the stage.  She would describe the spirits last known human identity, how they passed away, an object being held by a loved one of the deceased, or likewise until the most likely matching audience member would rise and take a mic for a few minutes speaking with Theresa.

From the start she told us that while not everyone would get a personal reading to listen to each reading as if it were meant for us.

By the time she got through several readings a common theme became evident.  First, the spirits all wanted to make it clear that they were no longer connected to any physical pain and whatever ailment they’d had in life or whatever trauma they had experienced was released when they left their body.  Second, they wanted to release their loved ones from any sense of responsibility or guilt about their death- reasoning that it had truly been their time and that they accepted responsibility for their passing.  They all wanted their loved ones to have a real sense of closure and be able to move on with lives filled with purpose.

Yet again, life teaches that we must keep moving forward.  While we all move through the multiverse living lives with our spirit friends, meeting them in new ways lifetime after lifetime it is important to keep ourselves moving forward in life.  We must accept death as a part of the cycle and live on knowing that we will meet again.  

Last year Keith’s Aunt passed away and just after her passing many members of her family – near and far – had experiences with her spirit.  The stories were all incredible and from what I know about her it seems she had a tremendously strong spirit.  Her ability to make such a strong connection to her loved ones after her passing was proof.  For all of them she left a message of comfort, love and that her presence would always remain.

Not everyone believes that we are spirits or that spirits stick around, but for me the belief is strong.  Accepting that we never really die and that we keep connections over lifetimes is all that makes sense to me.  I talk about guides and they are part of it.  Guides are not strangers, they are friends, family, pets, and acquaintances from the lives I’ve already lived- here to meet me again and help to remind me why we are here and to comfort me as I move along my path.  While an exact understanding of the spirit is elusive while we are alive, its mystery begs me to be my best.

With gratitude for feeling love from the other side

Namaste

xo

Lauren

Day 38. Reinforcement.


Whirlwind day!  

The day started with a touch of magik as I woke suddenly at 6:45am… the exact minute I had planned on walking out the door to get to Restaurant Depot by 8am to meet my partner to stock up on supplies to get this cookie biz rolling.  I still managed to get all of my stuff together, make a smoothie and arrive at my destination 20 minutes early.  I have no clue how it happened but- HECK YES.  I guess a little bit of late nite prep work, scheduling some extra time, and my to do lists really go a long way.

Sometime very early in the morning before hitting the hay for a few hours, I prepped out my smoothie ingredients and am so glad I did!  I was able to keep rolling on time when I was almost running late this morning.

Sometime very early in the morning before hitting the hay for a few hours, I prepped out my smoothie ingredients and am so glad I did! I was able to keep rolling on time when I was almost running late this morning.

I was so excited about getting to RD.  I had never been before and the place was really cool!  The one stop shop except they were out of some of the containers I needed.  One step forward towards getting Chompz retail ready and an official snack food for the masses.

I was so excited about getting to RD. I had never been before and the place was really cool! The one stop shop except they were out of some of the containers I needed. One step forward towards getting Chompz retail ready and an official snack food for the masses.

The location of my early morning meeting was too close to my old job not to pay the good friends who are still there a visit.  It was wonderful to see all of them- it felt like I had never left.  The group is even still working on finding a solution to the same issue I was working on when I left last November! Government has its own special pace for progress- something slightly slower than snails pace.  I was even offered a job… it’s so funny to me that I was able to spend the last few months of that job in sheer misery- still making an effort to improve the workflow- but grumping around something horrible, using up all of my sick days and was somehow still viewed as an exemplary worker. That is government, it seems.  It’s like they know their employees are going to have their souls sucked out but they like zombie employees.  It was good to see and catch up with the people there who I know as friends- it was hysterical to see the oldest gent on the team grab armfuls of Chompz and then proceed to slip out of the meeting room unnoticed.  As great as it was to see everyone, the visit was a great reinforcement to my decision to get out of there when I did.  So much opportunity has come into my life as a result.

It took a life threatening illness to get me out of there as the pay was awesome and I was able to climb quickly into higher positions with even bigger salaries.  During my visit I spent some time with two of my closest co-workers who are also close to me  in age.  They expressed their displeasure with the job as much as they had nine months ago.  They are both highly creative individuals and I believe that they are both well on their way to personal success- just with a different time table than me. What set me apart was that illness- without it I would have been more likely to sit in that job for years to come but that wasn’t my purpose.  There had to be a way to get me out and I guess the universe will do what it has to do to set your path right WHEN it needs to change course.  It didn’t make sense at the time and didn’t seem fair but looking back I know why I was so miserable- I HAD to get out.  I HAD to follow my heart, solidify my mission and vision, and get to work.  I was suffocating my calling to be a cog in the wheel of the government monotony so I could bring home a steady paycheck.  The waters of life aren’t steady and I realize now that clinging onto something that doesn’t serve you for the sake of personal safety and comfort is a dangerous way to live.

I now welcome risk, opportunity, and discomfort alike- I know that life brings unexpected everyday and to go with the flow, staying on my toes is the best way.

It was a really long day and I’m saving the next lesson for tomorrow’s blog…

Namaste!

xo

Lauren

Day 37. Feng Shui.


Working in a clear space with good energy flow is on of the key factors for me to focus and GET S**T DONE.  Ever since moving from my last apartment which I had all to myself and into a single bedroom in the apartment I share with Keith, I’ve been struggling to find happiness with the space and its ability to satisfactorily house all of my things.

I got rid of A LOT but it still doesn’t seem like enough.  I’ve tried pretty much every possible arrangement of furniture in the space.  I’ve changed the purpose of different pieces of furniture and then got rid of more stuff. In the past few months the space has definitely been its best with freshly painted walls and the removal of my desk.

I let Jenna come in and do her work to try to make it more conducive to productivity and creativity.  She worked out a U-shaped layout and curtained off closet space in order to hide the cluttered feel of the wall shelf containing most of my belongings.  She also made use of things like scarves and sheets to spruce up furnishings and incorporate colors to balance out the craziness that is me.  It feels better but I see room for more improvements. Progress is progress though, so I’ll take it!

I’ll feel it out over the next couple of days and see if I feel any different while I am working before shuffling things around again.

I’ll be adding before and after pics soon… once acquired from Jenna.

When you feel stifled, overwhelmed, cluttered in your mind perhaps you would benefit from placing a critical eye on your space.  Keith likes to describe feng shui as if a dragon needs to fly around in the room- if there’s anything that the dragon would get caught up on, it’s not flowing well.  

Not a lot to say today

So for now it’s 

Namaste!

xo

Lauren

Day 36. Opportunity Knocks.


Yeah. It knocks- or it’ll beat down your door if you’re going about things right!

What do I mean by right?  I mean a positive frame of mind, focused, and driven by purpose.  I’m talking about ALLOWING your heart to blow wide open with what you love.  Opportunity will walk right on in- when given the chance.

Identify blocks and take them down.  We learn limiting beliefs without realizing it. Get friendly with money… in a forum I participate in someone asked how they can manifest more money- do more of what you love! Share that passion all over the place, all of the time.  The guides, the resources, the refined ideas, the problems and all of their solutions will start to appear. One by one, sometimes two by two or more.  

Check yourself for limiting beliefs about money – almost literally… these things can cling onto us like a parasite and feed without is even knowing. Check yourself!  Ever say things like, “Money is the root of all evil”?  Yeah?! You do?  Well, what if someone said that YOU are the root of all evil?  Would that be flattering, would you be attracted to them?  No! Of course not.  Do you see where I am going?  So that also goes for stating that you’re broke- so what if there isn’t a dime in your bank account right this moment.  You have A LOT to be grateful for- yes? Yes. So focus on that because it’s positive.  Keep your chin up, be passionate about your goals, share something valuable with the world and you will be supported. If you’re day in and day out grumping about more than you’re expressing gratitude for- life is going to suck and you’ll probably struggle with money. It’s not a difficult change.

How do you know I’m telling the truth?  Try it for yourself- choose one thing you love and have been neglecting in anyway.  Open your heart to whatever it is, spend time on it, talk about it when you’re not doing it.  This might take a little time but hey- gradual is GREAT because it’s a start.  Start immediately even if for 30 seconds and build from there… keep it ramping up for a week or two and see if anything interesting happens… at the very least you’ll have created a better bond with that previously neglected passion and keep working with it- the magic will come, you will see it.

Have I told you lately that I am grateful for everything in my life right now?  While it may not be ALL the most glamorous of goings on, I know that ultimately- it’s all for the best.  I trust it and it is what it is.  There’s no sense in not accepting what already is.  Just keep in mind that you are powerful and can TRANSFORM.

Who’s coming to knock on your door?

Well, it’s been quite a long day so I gotta say

Namaste!

xo

Lauren 

Day 35. The Mastermind.


This morning started with a great restart.  I smudged my space and spoke with my ghosts, I accept yesterday for whatever it was and moved forward with a lighter, brighter heart.  Today was great in so many ways.

Before this Summer, I was unfamiliar with the concept of “Masterminding”. It was introduced to me at the perfect time because the Universe rocks like that.

So what’s a mastermind?  It’s a group, a team-up, your expert committee.  The term comes from Napoleon Hill’s extraordinary book “Think and Grow Rich.”  Specifically the book defines the mastermind as such:

“Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

I can say for sure that when you find someone who’s driven like you are and has their eyes set on the same goal, has a good heart, and a willingness to support you as much as you support them – things begin to take form and success comes easier.  I was doing this months ago before I knew what it was with my Biology study group.  I knew that I didn’t want to take on all that new information alone- I wanted people to focus with and people to explain things from a different perspective when I was at a loss to understand.  It was brilliant for me and them.  I Aced the heck out of that class despite the fact that it’d been over 10 years since I’d taken biology and didn’t actually remember anything about it going into the semester.

I’ve talked about guides before, the importance of PEOPLE, and even mentioned my Cookie Masterminder.  It was today when I realized *I HAVE a MASTERMIND for my cookie biz!* Let’s break this down:

*Coordination of knowledge and effort: CHECK

*Spirit of harmony: CHECK

*Between two or more people: CHECK

*Attainment of a definite purpose: CHECK

I know how to make my cookies and have been doing whatever I can to get them into as many mouths as possible, I have some good marketing knowledge and all the graphic design skills a new business could ever need.  My very likely soon to be partner is a Culinary Institute Grad, has started food businesses, already helped me get into a commercial kitchen, and is organized and focused.  We bounce ideas off each other, are the same age, and have similar general interests outside of food. Both spirited, blossoming young entrepreneurs who see a brighter future for the food system and improved health through nutrition. 

Having that Mastermind session this morning gave me the focus that I needed.  I walked away with a solid action plan for the next week or so and a renewed sense of “Yes I can! and Yes I will!”

It’s all so tremendously exciting.  

I rounded out the day with a visit to the Vet for Maya’s suture removal – YAY! for a healed kitteh 🙂 and then picked the garden, sauced a lot of tomatoes, and spent quality time with my guy.

Caught the sweet light in the garden this evening. It's my fave.

Caught the sweet light in the garden this evening. It’s my fave.

Just a little piece of the color spectrum from Mother Nature. ROYG

Just a little piece of the color spectrum from Mother Nature. ROYG

Maya cat on patrol in the garden as usual. Happy healed cat!

Maya cat on patrol in the garden as usual. Happy healed cat!

Much happier today,  I knew things would get better.

Namaste

xo

Lauren