Your Heart Is Welcome Here

Before I say anything else, I want to say that if you don’t think there is a place in the world where the title of this post is true, please keep reading, because there is a place/space, I promise.

 

The running joke of Heart Camp is that it is this incredible thing that no one can really explain…but after my Mom asked me about it today, I didn’t find it that hard at all…and I think she understood. So, I am going to attempt to share it with you as I did her.

The following photos are from the recent Heart Camp Reunion but I will be sharing about the collective experience.

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It could be really easy to look at the words of the post title, sigh a little, and maybe even roll eyes at the concept of “your” or “any” heart being collectively and truly welcome. It seems pretty impossible to create a space where all of the uniqueness a heart can bring is greeted warmly and offered a seat at the table. Even more impossible for that space to be full of almost a dozen tables ready to be sat at.

This is Heart Camp.

Still in disbelief, you may find yourself grabbing your things and making your way to your chair only to be stopped on the way there by at least 2-3 bright, smiling faces, mindful enough of your space to greet you according to the way you prefer (be it a hug, handshake or continued smile). You are seen.

This is Heart Camp

Chair after chair begins to fill and though the social interactions very with each new face, the vibration of the room begins to change…it intensifies. You begin to feel a lot of things…the urge to cry, your skin begin to prickle, to laugh and possibly vomit BUTΒ  something inside you tells you to hold on for the ride.

This is Heart Camp

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Jamie and The Reunion Crew~ photo by @ebrown_photo

I stepped into this Heart Camp thing a year ago (and then again a few weeks ago) and it is one of the best things I could have ever done for myself.

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That’s me and my friend Kim ❀ ~photo by @ebrown_photo

Authentic ~ genuine, real, veritable share the sense of actuality and lack of falsehood or misrepresentation

Vulnerability ~ the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally

I don’t think authenticity and vulnerability are things you can know are missing in your life until you are met with 40+ examples of it. In life, it is so easy to go through the motions and get lost in them…so easy to try and be someone/something you don’t recognize. And let’s face it, vulnerability, by it’s very definition, is scary. I believe there can be so much beauty it it though, because I found it.

Imagine sitting at a table, in a room full of no preconception, no motive…just people wanting to open themselves up to a deeper understanding of collective community and perhaps be inspired by what they find. Meeting people as they as they are, as you are is like a breath of the freshest air you can breathe.

I want people to know ME, really know me AND I want to really know myself.

 

This is Heart Camp

 

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Matt Willingham ~Photo by @ebrown_photo
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Jamie Tworkowski and Stephan Monteserin ~photo by @ebrown_photo

 

In addition to Jamie Tworkowski ~ (founder of TWLOHA and creator of Heart Camp, author, public speaker, and all together incredible human (also my hero and friend)) Heart Camp gives you access to some pretty incredible people (Sierra DeMulder, Tonya Ingram, Denny Kolsch, Matt Wertz, Matt Willingham, Stephan Monteserin to name a few,Β  all of them on a mission to live life, heart first.

I has been incredible to see what has happened in the lives of Heart Camp attendees this past year. This kind of connection and community can and will change the world.

It all starts and continues with the decision to attend.

Come join the framily and let’s keep lighting those beacons and making the world a little brighter.

For more information…

http://jamietworkowski.com/

 

❀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February

Hello Readers!

It’s the 10th day of the second month of the year and all I can say is that I am grateful I was enthusiastic enough to do 11 posts last month as that will, hopefully, give me some wiggle room for my 2019 posting goal πŸ™‚

There has been SO much going on, plenty to talk about actually, I have just not been “feeling” my writing the past few weeks. One thing I won’t let myself do is force myself into writing (the only exception should probably the book I am working on). I have sat down to write two posts and they have been sitting in the draft pile for a week. One I feel is way too wordy and one isn’t wordy enough. I am overly self critical and it’s hindered me more than a few times.

All that being said, there is SO much on the way to Wanderwood Lane…

-A BIG tea post on how David’s Tea monopolized my Dec/Jan cuppas’

-How an audiobook saved me from completing only one of Jan TBRs

-Heart Camp and it’s ever present ripple affect

-My Ireland post

-How I am doing on my #nc100mileschallenge

-Meeting another hero

-What’s going to be happening in the other tabs On Wanderwood Lane

 

AND SO MUCH MORE!!!

 

Thank you for continuing to stop by and I’ll see you again SOON!

 

The Time of My Life

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When I was creating a loose reading guideline for myself, I added the genre of non-fiction, largely, because of the one that was in front of me at the time. I thought to myself “I really enjoy getting swept away into the great beyond…wouldn’t it be cool if I gave non-fiction a chance to do the same!?”

Now, I may have cheated a little bit, being I was a fan of the subject matter but my non-fiction read for January was The Time of My Life by Patrick Swayze.

Just in case you need a reminder of where you may have seen Patrick, here you go…

 

My first memory of Patrick Swayze was actually from a shirt my mom use to wear when I was a little girl. One of her jobs while my brothers and I were growing up was at the local video store and I guess she use to get free merchandise with the movie shipments and this one was a favorite of hers, and mine too.

The combination of her working at the video store and growing up in the 80’s meant I got to watch a lot of cool movies. I can’t recall exactly when I watched them but I have seen, almost, all of the above movies and have ALWAYS been huge Patrick Swayze fan (and not just because of Johnny Castle).

As it was probably destined, my sweet Momma read this book first and had so much fun telling me about it, until she decided I should read it myself. I am glad that happened because it added to the enjoyment of the book to know she read it too πŸ™‚

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In The Time of My life Patrick takes the reader from his formative years, until the year he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (the book was published before he passed away).

Within the pages you are taken behind the scenes of his career and personal life, as he navigates his passion for dancing, singing, acting, nature and Lisa. Over 30 years are covered in the book and it’s a wild, wild ride for sure.

I wasn’t expecting the book to fit so perfectly with where I am in life. As I get older, my desire to be authentic, vulnerable and totally transparent was met in kind by Patrick as he laid everything out in words written, much as he did in all of his auditions.

Patrick Swayze wanted to bring his best into whatever he endeavored, often suffering physically and personally to achieve it but he didn’t sugar coat it in the re-telling. With every punch thrown, every part not gotten, every breakthrough, every accolade, and every heartbreak, he lets you in to what it meant to be him.

I appreciate every page of this book for the part of his self he left on the pages and I think that it finding me almost a decade after his passing makes the resilience found within in it speak even louder.

 

Over the years, friends/family have often gotten a chuckle out of how deeply connected I feel to people I have never met. I had no idea why I felt Patrick was one of those people until I read it in his words. He was a strong man but also, felt too much, like me and some of the hardships he faced, he barely made it through. His life story resonates with me.

There was a really beautiful reflection on the passing of a beloved animal, Cody (who also passed away from cancer).

Although I knew his spirit was free, I felt an incredibly deep sadness that he wouldn’t be here with us anymore…

When those you love die, the best you can do is honor their spirit for as long as you live. You make a commitment that you’re going to take whatever lesson that person (or animal) was trying to teach you and make it true in your own life.

It’s a positive way to keep their spirit alive in the world, by keeping it alive in yourself.

 

If I believe anything in life, it’s that last line. Somewhere out there Patrick’s spirit knows that he made an impact in the life of little ole me and that brings huge smile to my face and small stream of tears to my eyes.

His story still matters and I am grateful I have the opportunity to share what I can from it with you all ❀

 

****

One of my favorite artist, Matthew Lineham, has something fantastic coming up next in a few weeks…check out his Instagram.

 

Tookish Travels

Welcome to the spot On Wanderwood Lane where I will share the photographic journey of my travels.

While I’ll be starting with the BIG ones, like Ireland and Italy, I want Tookish Travels to become a place that eventually houses all my adventures great and small, as I continue to cultivate my artistic expression through my words and photography.

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β€œThen something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.” – from The Hobbit

 

Until the next adventure πŸ™‚

Woman Warrior and Wanderer

If you have been reading On Wanderwood Daily for the past, almost, week, then you may remember that the first post here had the goals I had written down to achieve this year.

***if you didn’t see it, you can navigate to it now and then come back πŸ˜‰

 

It’s only day 6 so you may be wondering why I am posting about it again, but hang in there.

First, I want to talk about the goal that said Budokon Woman Warrior. I caught wind of Budokon Mixed Movement Arts a few years ago when a Facebook friend shared a video of the founder, Kancho Cameron Shayne, in her feed.

I was immediately drawn to the fluidity of the movement in the video and thought to myself, I bet I would feel better if my body could move like that.

For the past few years I progressively began to follow the Shayne’s, Budokon University and various other warriors on Instagram. It didn’t take long AT ALL to realize that body movement was a small part of the practice itself…there was MUCH more too it.

I couldn’t get enough of the LIVEs that were shared and really began to wonder how I was going to be able to make down to Miami for a training. It was intimidating to think about my extra curvy body mixing in with all those lean, mean machines but MAN DID I WANT TO try it!!

As destiny would have, an Instagram announcement this past summer led me to a newly formed Academy within 30miles of me. It wasn’t HQ but for me, it was way easier to get to than Miami.

I quickly followed and reached out the the Sensei there to inquire about classes. They were offering a great introductory sampling to come unlimited for 2 weeks for $22. It was a no brainer and before I knew it I was meeting Andres at 9am on a Wednesday morning for an introduction.

I had NO idea that I would be the only one there but in a situation that would normally make me have a panic attack, I was at peace. The environment knew I wanted to be there and welcomed me into it, as did Andres. I was led into foundational moves and much to my surprise, my body (larger or not) could do what I required of it.

This was a different experience than anything I had attempted in my life. I cried, of course, as the tutorial was coming to a close, because I knew that I had indeed found something that could lead me to the next level of me…and I wanted it.

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Fast forward to today, when I attended the first Woman Warrior workshop.

**I’ve made it back a few times over the fall but due to so much travel, I couldn’t do it with consistency.

One of the first feelings I got in this space was the sense of community and I had missed it, so though very nervous, I was thrilled to be back there today.

The lovely Irene led us through a morning of self awakening and discovery. I had done the physical work before but we started with peeling back the mental/emotional layers and I got to witness the entire concept of Budokon layed out…I got to feel it. It was followed by a nourishing meal and a discussion about applying this concept to every area of your life.

Upon leaving I knew it was time to make a commitment and I didn’t let myself fall into doubt, fear or anxiety about it because (as I’ve known for years) it HAS to happen.

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2019 is the year I get in touch with the woman warrior in me!

 

****

Second and third won’t take long because they come down to basic math…

I don’t like numbers. I don’t know why, I just never have. So when I think about things like setting number goals, I am not very creative with it.

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For example, I chose the number 50 for my book reading goal for the year. I had done this a few years ago, without much structure and ended up all but quitting half way through. All I wanted to do when I set 2019s goal was finish the old one.

Then I chose the challenge of reading 4 books, because they were sitting there looking at me, and said “I could probably do that every month and blow my goal out of the water”. I was about to comment on someone else’s “read 50” goal, when thankfully, I finally did the math and realized that I would be 2 SHORT of my goal. Now, I know that there are plenty of ways to fit two more books in, so I am not worried about it, I just thought you might enjoy a chuckle at my expense…because I certainly did πŸ™‚

 

*

 

I’ve been wanting to complete the #nc100miles challenge for about 2 years now. Something always comes up…mostly excuses about how could I reach such a high number in a state park, in day trips (as that’s about all I have time for)…

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Having been fresh in math brain, I decided to run the numbers to see how many miles I would need to get in each month to hit the goal…and once again, the palm of my hand hit my forehead…8(ish)…8(ish) miles PER MONTH…now that number is SO doable, without requiring a bike/kayak/horse (none of which I own).

I’m so silly, I know.

**

 

After the three of these revelations and the fact that I am about to hit send on what will be my 9th (I think ;)) (91 to go) blog post, I’d say it’s going to be a good year for crushing goals!

Who’s with me!!??

Should You Need Us

When I began to start planning my reading/posting for 2019, it didn’t take long at all to realize that my bookmark collection was severely lacking. I believe I had a grand total of four when I finally found all of them. As per usual, they were in four different, unfinished books.

As I took them out of each book and put those books back in the TBR pile, it dawned on me that if I wanted to keep my postings fresh, I couldn’t be rotating the same 4 bookmarks around.

Luckily for me, it was the end of the year and a few of the creator accounts I follow were having a SALE.

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Erin, creator at Bibliophile Prints, was one of the accounts I had been following closely since introduction and I couldn’t help but notice, her sale was pretty BIG! The next thing I know, I am down the rabbit hole that is her wonderful shop and I had a great time filling up my cart.

My package arrived yesterday, with a lovely note (I love personal touches like this) and was incredibly pleased with my order!

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Every bookmark is vibrantly colored and individually sleeved for safe transport.

Here’s a breakdown of what I received.

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I edited these a little darker so you could see how vibrant the colors are.

Labyrinth is one of my all time favorite movies. The fun fact here is that I didn’t find this movie until I heard the soundtrack as a teenager. Animatronics and Puppetry have always interested me and Ludo, Hoggle, Sir Didymus and Ambrosius immediately captured my heart. I go back to the story a lot, anytime I need a pick me up really, because I view the characters that I read/watch the same way Sarah does in the quote captured beautifully on the above bookmark.

“every now and then, in my life, for no reason at all, I need you”…it makes me cry every time.

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For reasons that are probably more than obvious by now, I had to include my big fandoms in the bookmark stash because, well, I am a hufflepuff, hobbit and daughter of Eve πŸ˜‰

Jane is included because Tarzan was one of the first movies I watched with my niece and nephew when I use to keep them weekly and that song was the first song I sang to them. They are all getting older and busier now so that sentiment means even more to me.

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I thought these would be amazing to accompany posts and the photographer in me adores that Erin captured my truest self by creating them!

 

On Wanderwood Lane has become such a big part of my life in such a short time. I think about this space ALL the time and am beginning to really have a clear vision for it. I am so grateful to the bookish creators, like Erin, out there, who create a beautiful, quality product that I can both enjoy and share with you all.

 

Thanks Bibliophile Prints!

Who’s that girl?

Maybe it was all the brainstorming and shopping for that costume yesterday, maybe it was watching Night School tonight at movie night, or maybe was Alanis singing to me on the drive home but I am still stuck in 90’s brain…and not just 90’s brain, my 90’s brain.

Among all the things it made me think of, it had me wondering…why?

Why, in movies/books/real life are we always looking back to the things we would change about that time in our lives?

I am guilty of it too, don’t get me wrong. There are a million things I would tell 15/16 year old Candice that might save her a lot of (often self inflicted) heartbreak but tonight I left myself drift to the times when I felt truly invincible…

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It was sophomore year and my first year playing HS soccer. For a first year, all female team, we were good and I loved every minute of “us”. The blend of physicality and camaraderie were second to none and the only thing better than sharing the bus to matches with those ladies, was sharing the field.

I felt like my uniform was my armor and that I could anything when I laced up those cleats. Ok, that’s not 100% accurate. Looking back I took a lot of anxiety and self consciousness on to that field with me but it quickly melted as the match progressed.

It’s the only time in my life I’ve enjoyed running and probably the only setting in which I exhibited any Gryffindor “I can do anything, go-get-em” spirit.

That soccer girl version of me was pretty damn awesome, especially that year and I miss her!

**

My junior and senior year, I followed my passion to the stage and took drama both years. As intimidated as I was by all the talent around me, I didn’t let it stop me from learning all that I could do. Memorizing lines can be daunting but imagining a set when there was none was the easiest thing in the world and I enjoyed those classes more than most of my others combined.

Once again, finding camaraderie fed my soul and brought out the best in me. I didn’t get any lead roles but I felt the warmth of the stage lights, the applause of the crowd and took a bow. I was exhilarated every time I got to step into a character’s life and there isn’t a play or movie that I see today that I don’t imagine myself a character in.

That theatre girl gives me so much joy and I am glad she still makes an appearance.

 

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circa 2000

Love…in high school, it’s most definitely a crazy little thing.

Sophomore year brought with it a great little love. Anyone reading who remembers that time knows that I ADORED him and sharing that time with someone who cared as much as he did was a really great way to spend most of that year.

But we were young, so young and on a week long club field trip he decided to see someone else. If I am honest, it was my first true heartbreak. Oh, as I mentioned I am dramatic, so I thought it had already happened, but I really did love that guy.

What amazes me about that girl is that she dried her tears and said to herself “this isn’t worth being sad about anymore, we lived, we loved and if it’s time to move on, it is”. The next day at school, she put a flowy dress (it was a game day after all), a huge smile and flashed that beautiful smile at everyone she crossed paths with that day, including the new couple.

For a day, hopefully more since, that girl determined her worth and let it shine.

I think that’s the girl I miss the most ❀

**

Β There are probably a ton of other examples of times I surprised myself and I really hope there are but those are the few that stick out to me, at least at the moment, because…

One of my dearest friends, to date, shared that soccer field with me and knowing we will carry that camaraderie for the rest of our lives lets me know that she will remind me that soccer girl is still in me somewhere, waiting to take the field again and for that I am grateful.

Theatre helped me find a home for my creativity/imagination (I still run monologues for myself) and also taught me that you don’t need a “someone” to have a hand to hold, a shoulder to support you or a embrace to hold you. It’s one of the places my heart grew a size and for that I am grateful.

The first heartbreak remains dear to me and I to him. Just because it never led us back to each other, doesn’t mean we can’t adore what we had and wish each other well, which I know that we do. In a strange way, it also helped me better navigate situations in my adulthood when I haven’t ended up with the one I adored. Just because romantic love isn’t the ending doesn’t lessen the adoration (I my case) and for that I am grateful.

 

Since I’m a fan of broody music, I’ll leave you with the lyrics to this Alanis Morissette song.

Thank You

How ’bout getting off of these antibiotics
How ’bout stopping eating when I’m full up
How ’bout them transparent dangling carrots
How ’bout that ever elusive kudo

Thank you India, thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty, thank you consequence
Thank you, thank you, silence

How ’bout me not blaming you for everything
How ’bout me enjoying the moment for once
How ’bout how good it feels to finally forgive you
How ’bout grieving it all one at a time

Thank you India, thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty, thank you consequence
Thank you, thank you, silence

The moment I let go of it
Was the moment I got more than I could handle
The moment I jumped off of it
Was the moment I touched down

How ’bout no longer being masochistic
How ’bout remembering your divinity
How ’bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
How ’bout not equating death with stopping
Thank you India, thank you providence
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you nothingness, thank you clarity
Thank you, thank you, silence