Monday, November 2, 2009

Calmness of Mind

I am back from Indonesia and safe. Thanks to all the emails or posts on face book for your concern during the earthquakes there. FYI they have still had minor earthquakes every week since those big ones hit. Feel blessed to not have to worry about that on a weekly basis.

So for quite awhile now I have been on this reading kick and meditation stuff. Most of the books are self-help and inspirational type stuff but I have found amazing insights and solid meanings. This year for some reason has been a reflective one for me. I think part of it is at the stage of life Im at and part is due too my travels and experiences in general. This last trip especially was a pretty powerful and eye opening experience. Today I was reading this book and came across this deep insight that I thought I should share. "As long as there is a lack of the inner discipline that brings calmness of mind, no matter what external facilities or conditions you have, they will never give you the feeling of joy and happiness that you are seeking. On the other hand, if you posses this inner quality, a calmness of mind, a degree of stability within, then even if you lack various external facilities that you would normally consider necessary for happiness, it is still possible to live a happy and joyful life."

I was blown away when I read that. It totally put a finger on my whole experience in Indonesia. I thought I had seen poor conditions and people in Hawaii or Costa Rica which I did, but not to the extent of there. On the other hand, I have never met more loving, giving, warm and happy people as I did in Indo! They lead extremely simple lives and work very hard for what they have which is not much. You could see it in their eyes. Eyes can tell so much of a person. I will blog about the trip and my experiences later but this was another way I learned I have way too much and need to simplify more than I have, and we really don't need much to be content and happy. Truly happy. "The true antidote of greed is contentment".

In my journeys too Indo I decided to bring a friend back with me....

Monday, September 21, 2009


od·ys·sey (d-s)
n. pl. od·ys·seys
1. An extended adventurous voyage or trip.
2. An intellectual or spiritual quest: an odyssey of discovery.

I guess this is what I'm about to embark on. An Odyssey. A few friends and I had hooked up with this humanitarian group to go to Baja to do some building of houses and stuff and a little surf as well. a few weeks before the trip it was cancelled due to the drug wars and violence there. The question then was... What now?..... Since we couldn't go there I wanted to go somewhere cool where I would be completely out of my comfort zone and be surrounded by a totally different and deep culture. After debating a few places.... Indonesia was the winner. Located below thailand and above australia. I know that sounds funny to say where it's located but I have had a million questions where it is and why we chose that place. Indo is made up of 17,000 stunning and jaw-dropping islands and beaches and has incredibly rich culture. Bali is mostly hindu and Java is mostly Islamic. I have had a few friends from Indonesia when i was at school in hawaii tell me to come visit them. One of those friends had past away two years ago due to a sudden illness. Her brothers ended up coming out to hawaii for school as well and I became good friends with them. The day we were buying tickets to Indo happened to be two years since their sisters passing. So I wrote them on face book and let them know i was thinking about them and their sister and had just bought tickets to Indonesia. Within 30 minutes I got a call from their aunt who lives in SLC and she was in the process of arranging places to stay for us and stuff to do. I was blown away by their generosity and how fast the word had traveled. We are fortunate enough to stay with my friends family for most of the time. These people are ridiculously kind. They have completely gone out of there way for us because we were good friends with their daughter and two sons and also since i had organized a memorial in hawaii in her honor while the funeral was in Indo.
There are three of us going on this epic trip and we are stoked out of our minds and humbled at the same time. Here are some things we expect to experience on this trip:

Splendid Beauty Indo has to offer

The culture

The People

The Waves

We feel extremely lucky and are 100% grateful for this rare opportunity to visit such a unique and pristine place in the company of locals and humble people. This is gonna be a huge learning opportunity and a spiritual quest. I almost forgot to mention the lengthy travel time but it will be well worth it. I take off wednesday the 23rd for two and a half weeks. Feel free to leave me any good tips or thoughts or qoutes to take with me. Aloha

Sunday, August 16, 2009

MAY-hem part 2

Back in the blogging world. Took a break for a bit after a crazy summer so far. So back in May/June some friends and I went on a road trip to Nor Cal for my cousins wedding in oakland. This was quite the reunion. My buddy drew flew into SLC and julie holland and a friend of mine here named jen all got in my element and went for a good old road trip to meet up with our good friend Tyler Ryan. The drive was crazy and long. Nevada is not fun to drive thru. We hit up some cool spots and i'll let the photos do the talking. Tell me your top three favorite photos and give me honest feedback negative/positive. It was a fun trip and we had some cool adventures. Some pics were just for fun. Everyone was good to let me photog and document the trip and be models when i found a cool shot.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


My apologies for being absent for quite some time. May was an insane month for me. It was one adventure to the next. A few months ago my brother-n-law and I had kinda started doing a little running to get in shape. He had ran a 10k in southern utah and after we came back from that he suggested we train for a half marathon. My first reaction was laughing. Neither of us were runners nor pretended to be. After some thought on it, I decided i needed to challenge my body and myself mentally in a new way and this would be a good opportunity. Something completely out of my element. We checked out the training schedule and we're already a week behind but we put in the time and worked our way up to it. One day during my longest run, I got that runners high. It was such a good experience. I felt unstoppable. I was in a different frame of mind. So as the race approached we were still nervous since we still felt like we didn't know what we got ourselves into. We drove down the night before and pulled up at 11:30 and had to be up by 4:30. And if anyone knows me Im a night person and at that I don't like running or doing anything that early. The alarm rang and in a short bit we found ourselves stretching to run a race. It was CRAZO. So many things were going through my mind but i knew i was gonna finish. We all got lined up to run and it was such a weird experience. We were a herd of people all just going to run a course. Here is a pic i found on the internet that shows the herd im talking about. It was just such a different thing to be in. Once the gun shot and everyone started running, I just looked around and all you could see is heads everywhere just bobbing up and down. I kinda felt like a bunch of animals in a herd and we were all just following each other. The race was a real intense and challenging experience but was such a good growing opportunity for me physically and mentally. I challenged myself in new ways. I finished the race in good time and had such a good feeling once i crossed the finish line. I took myself to a new level in life. Its important i realized to challenge ourselves mentally and physically. Push the limits. Try new things. I never considered myself a runner but it happened.

So the next week to reward myself for doing that, I went on a last minute random cruise with a couple of my friends. We booked a weekend cruise to ensenada mexico but due to the swine flu, we were rerouted to catalina island. We barely made it to the airport in time. And when i mean barely, They had been calling our names and we were the last people to sit on the plane. It was so nice once we got to san diego to take off. The ocean breeze and smell felt like home again. I missed being close to the ocean. We had such a good time on the cruise even though it was a quick one. Being out on the open water is such a good feeling and catalina was a cool little town. Here's some pics of the adventures..... More MAYhem events to come shortly

Saturday, April 4, 2009

COSTA RICA.. Discovering more then just epic sights

The beginning of march I was blessed and fortunate to go with my parents and brother and his wife to Costa RIca. It was kind of random how it happened. We had kinda been planning on going but with ticket prices being high and not being able to leave work when it was still snowing put everything on pause. Then my brother found these awesome deals on tickets and asked what i thought.... It was a done deal for me. About two weeks later we were boarding the plane. I couldn't wait to get out of the snow and back to the ocean. I couldn't even sleep on the plane. I was so excited too see what adventures were in store. We Arrived super late that night and stayed in a nearby hotel. When I go on a trip, I get into this kind of dream state mode where my eyes are glued to the window and im just trying to take it all in. People. Places. Buildings. Way of life. Its like a movie and the window is the screen. Its hard to realize that you are in a whole different world.

We tried to fit in as much as we could. Costa Rica is interesting because the central section is all mountains so when you have to drive from san jose the capital to the pacific coast your not driving tons of miles but its all through these up and down really windy two lane roads. Its one lane heading east and one west with the mountain and a cliff on both sides. So anything you do takes forever to get too but the drives are so beautiful.

I took a travel journal with me to write down things that I experienced or thoughts i had about their culture or way of life that I could learn from. Their were two major things I kept noticing. The first thing i realized was when we were driving the first day up to this active volcano driving out of the city into the country. A lot of people ride bikes or walk on the main two lane roads to get around. The houses their are very simple and small. Maybe two to three rooms total. Most houses just had a tin roof. I noticed a lot of the houses had furniture on the front porch and spent a lot of time visiting with people outside. On our way back from the volcano, we were heading back through the country and i was looking out my window and for some reason I had an awesome moment. We were passing this house that had the tin roof and was very poor in structure but met their needs. This lady was outside playing with her three kids on the porch. As i watched them, the mother and I made eye contact and she had the biggest smile on her face. A smile that said how happy and good life was and she seemed so content. It was the simple life and things that made her happy. Not the big screen tv or a new car. We were talking in the car and my sister n law posed the question if they were happier people than us. Without hesitating I said i had no doubt. We are too much caught up in the trivial and unimportant stuff in our lives. The news and the economy dominates our minds and thoughts. If we lived with what we had we wouldn't be in such a mess. it made me evaluate my life and to simplify my life. Doing so has made me so much more stoked. Im still trying to continue to do that. I thanked God for letting me have that five seconds of realization with that lady.

The Second thing I learned is about Pura Vida. A simple easy spanish translation is "Pure Life". Nothing to that really. But that isn't the translation for Costa Ricans. It has a deeper more meaningful translation. Its actually more of words to live by and a way of life then a phrase. Its much like "Aloha" for hawaiians. They say it all the time and its a greeting and also like if someone were to say "Hey how's life" you would say pura vida. I had heard this in some surf movies but wanted to experience it. One of our last days we went river rafting. It was with some local tour guides and it was a very small group. The guide and our raft was from there and we kept saying pura vida after each rapid we went down. Then him and I got talking and I asked him what pura vida really meant. He explained it like this. "WE'RE ONLY ON THIS EARTH FOR A SHORT TIME, SO SPREAD CHEER, AND THEN WE'RE GONE". I love that. It just struck home with me. Thats how i feel. We waste time and let our pride get in our way of really just feeling love and wanting to help people around us. I found pura vida and its true meaning. We need less blaming in this world and more love. It puts things into perspective as to what we are really suppose to learn down here. Slow down. Enjoy life. Realize what great things you are surrounded by.

Even as i was writing this blog its just mind blowing the things i was able to experience. It was complete unspoiled beauty. This trip was really unlike any other trip I had been on. I grew to love this place so much and the people. I felt like i was in my element which is such a pure good feeling. Just seeing and meeting the people told the story of Costa Rica. What they were about. One of the nicest things about the trip was not having my cell phone. It was nice to leave that behind and feel unattached and free. No one to call back. Exchanging my phone for my camera. I just felt such a sense of what life was like again without the conviences of technology and not being restricted or distracted. Pure freedom.
I can't say enough about my experience in Costa Rica. It really awakened my soul. Check out some more pictures I took and let me know which were your top three favorites. PURA VIDA!!!!