“The Present Moment is So Underrated.”

“We live in an incredibly busy world. Our pace of life is often frantic, our minds are always busy, and we’re always doing something,” says Andy Puddicombe at the TEDSalon London Fall 2012. “The sad fact is that we’re so distracted that we are no longer present in the world in which we live. We miss out on the things that are most important to us. The crazy thing is, people assume that’s just the way life is. But that’s not really how it has to be.” – Andy Puddicombe

No matter what version of myself walks in, I always walk out as me.

Studio One @ Yoga Tropics

Out of all of the places I have been and lived, there is one room, that to me, is magic.

I laid on my mat tonight at the end of yoga class and kind of laughed to myself about how many serious moments I have had in this particular room (Studio One @ Yoga Tropics) over the past five or six years.

I have been in this room through break-ups (& minor break-downs) … I created the strength in this room to prepare me to move abroad … it helped me come home … and this room has allowed me the opportunity to completely feel my high’s and truthfully face my low’s.

I can come here to remember how much I have grown, simply because it houses all of the good and bad times of the past few years … and it is here that I have learned to accept and trust in both.

I really can’t think of any other place on the planet that I grown more. … Well, with the small exception of my bathroom in India (more specifically, the bathroom floor) on the days I came down with major homesickness. Those were pretty real growth moments (that came with some serious puffy eyes). 

Anyway, as I write this tonight, I am pretty grateful that there is a room in this world, that, no matter how lost I am or what version of myself walks in (which, honestly, there have been a lot of in the last few years), I always, ALWAYS walk out as me. I truly hope you have one of these places too.

p.s. Thanks for an amazing class tonight Jennifer … and thanks Tracey, Margaret, Carla and all of the teachers that have guided me here and helped make this room magic.


A story about life.

Kyrgyzstan: An unexpected accident with Life…

By Doug Smith

Life is not your heart beating or your lungs breathing, those are just physical norms we all experience and a necessity of life. Life is how we live our lives, attitudes we carry, choices we make, and the time we spend, those are what is precious.

I’m sitting here with cuts and bruises all over my face, black eyes, bruises all over my body, I can hardly breath, my right arm is in a sling because I just found out I tore my muscle/ligament and slightly fractured my shoulder, I have a brace around my back because I just found out I fractured my lumbar spine and the realization and understanding just fully flooded over me, that the next few months of my life are going to be very difficult. With all that said, I’m the luckiest guy in the world. … Keep Reading

My favorite thing to do in the world.

Photo: Susan Izzo

I feel so lucky that work has allowed me opportunities in my life to do my favorite thing in the world …  travel, learn about new cultures, and most importantly, connect with new people. These experiences always come with an incredible side effect, connecting with myself. Travel is magic.

I have spent the last week in Peru and what a beautiful send off we received via this sunset prior to our departure.

Today, I am especially grateful.

“I promise you, not a day goes by without a real moment of gratitude …”

Photo: outcamethesun.tumblr.com

Wow 2011 … you were a crazy one. With little time for reflection the first half of the year (and no time in 2010), it’s been nice to finally settle a little and figure out exactly what I have learned and realize who I am after the experiences of the last year, actually the last few years.

I am once again in a state of gratitude for all this year has brought me. Although it started with a sad goodbye to India, I am so thankful for the wonderful lifelong friends that I made there, travels to Bali/Thailand, where I met friends that I now can’t imagine life without, a long overdue month with my family in New York, a very happy return to Encinitas, to the ocean that I love, to many new and old inspiring/supportive/loving/creative/talented friends, a new business, an opportunity to write, the process of becoming a yoga teacher, and a new, even greater passion for life and the people in it.

Now that I have been back in Encinitas for a while now, I keep expecting to go back to my old self, to my old ways of thinking, almost wanting them to come back. The other day I finally realized that even though I am physically in the same place I started from (literally 10 feet from where I lived three years ago), through my experiences over the last few years, I will simply never be the same person I was when I left.

Yes, change is a beautiful thing, and growing as a person, yes, also what we all want, but I have to be honest, it hasn’t been easy realizing I had no other choice than to finally say goodbye to a huge part of myself that was never coming back. But, I love New Year’s Resolutions, and I am a big fan of change, so, I am ready for that goodbye, even to some of the lingering old patterns, (you know those annoying ones) that I think I keep around as a comfort thing, that now, just don’t seem natural anymore … and I am so excited for whatever is next.

I have to trust in that, because, what I have experienced, good and bad, amazing and unthinkable, has had such an incredible impact on me. I promise you, not a day goes by without a real moment of gratitude … and that all came from being open to change and letting go, in my case, of literally everything I knew.

Honestly, even though I never could have imagined the last two years, I couldn’t be more thankful for everything, exactly as it has happened. It has brought me to this place I am now, to who I am and continue to become (and by the way, this saying has never been more true … the more you learn, the more you realize how little you actually know).

So, just as I said on December 28th of last year, I still don’t know what’s next, but what I have learned, is not knowing is actually a gift.  You just have to accept where you are, because after all, it is you that got you there. The rest, just trust in it, in yourself, and enjoy!

Oh one more thing, since I am going to be around my family in NY over the next week for the holidays, I just wanted to get this out of the way … Yes, I am thinking about a husband and a family and I am sure it will come when the time is right, just as everything else in my life has presented itself. I appreciate you reminding me that I am single though, I forget sometimes when I am busy doing whatever I want, whenever I want. ;) You know I love you all!

I want to thank everyone that has supported my writing this year, allowed me to support you in the creation of the life you want and deserve, or to create growth in the businesses that you love. I wish everyone the most beautiful New Year full of many adventures, inspiring moments, many comfortable moments and some uncomfortable one’s too (I say this from experience, it is truly good for the soul) … and of course much love, happiness, and some things that you haven’t even thought of yet. There is a big world out there … go see some new parts of it this year. Very Happy 2012!

Written with much love and gratitude.


a week of thanks … flashback.


(Originally posted March 15, 2011 / New Delhi, India)

Well, it’s time … My adventure in India will soon be coming to an end and I seriously can’t believe it’s time to go home. I am facing this fact with many mixed emotions as you can imagine, especially because I use the word “home” loosely … I am actually not sure where that is exactly.

Although, I am again facing the unknown, I am actually very excited about new opportunities and a new chapter (which should be interesting being that I only have four suitcases to my name).

Well, one cool thing about moving to India by yourself is that you can pretty much bet that most things you experience after this just won’t be quite as hard, so I am not too worried about returning to the dangerous streets of Encinitas, California (cue the crickets).  Keep Reading

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”*

To take for granted: to expect something to be available all the time and forget that you are lucky to have it.

Gratitudethankfulnessgratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling, emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.

*John F. Kennedy