Monday, November 9, 2015

Summit Sisters - Women's Wilderness Event

Things are starting to slow down since The Swarm aired and readers can expect some new posts soon, so check back.

Until then, if you are an rough mountain mama or a city lady who wants to take the first step in connecting with nature and yourself, check out this upcoming Women's Wilderness event called Summit Sisters.  It's taking place in Colorado from June 3-5, 2016.  This is for women only, sorry men.  You can sign up for some amazing session, including one of mine.  This is going to be the ultimate women's weekend, so register before spaces are full!  Click on the link to take you to the website.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Naked and Restless

My survival skills and restless genes were put to test during a Naked and Afraid challenge last winter.  Watch my episode tomorrow night,  October 25, 2015, on the Discovery Channel at 9pm Central to see if I was able to survive the wild Panama jungle of Isla San Jose.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Catch Me on Naked & Afraid -Really!

Yes, it's so very true!  If you've been into the show since season 1 or you're a newbie, you'll love this season!  Friend me on facebook or twitter to see all the latest updates and soon to be air date for my challenge.  More to come soon!


Click here to see the season preview!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Seasons Of Change

As autumn approaches (technically on September 23rd, 2015 for the northern hemisphere) and the term “seasons of change” seems to be recycling in my head.  I try not to get too personal on RestlessGenes, but things are changing very much in my life right now and the timing seems right to share.

First, I’m going through a divorce (my choice).  It was a difficult decision and we are moving through the motions and challenges to finalize things.  A couple of months ago my ex mentioned he thought my decision had to do with me being restless and needing change.  At that time the answer was no, but after a couple of months to think about it a bit more maybe 5% of my decision was based on being restless.  I recently read marriages with only one partner as an ADD/ADHDer are twice as likely to divorce compared to marriages without an ADHD spouse, or when both spouses have ADD/ADHD.  It’s sad to think about it, but our marriage has become a part of this statistic.  The whole divorce thing is complicated, however my ex brought up a valid point in which I will continue to think about and reflect on for some time.

Living in the mountains of Colorado is my absolute favorite.   Trying to find a home in possibly a new community is exciting and yet exhausting.  Home searching is not an easy task!  Buying a house, building a house or being more mobile are all options running through my head.  As many of you can relate, when there is a nearly completely open direction it can be hard to focus on just one interest.  Luckily, I’m not locked into any time frame,  so it will be interesting to see what unfolds and where I will end up this time next year. More to come on this adventure for sure!

My lovely daughter is graduating from high school this December and is preparing to enter adulthood and attend college soon.  As a parent, it’s always hard to see your teen move on and start their own life.  Part of me is sad because I will miss her so much.  The other part of me is so dang stinking proud I just want to squeeze and kiss her for hours! She is one of those people who will totally do amazing things in her life.

Lastly, my life is about to made very public very soon.  I was given the official go ahead to share my exciting news, but am waiting until next week to make the announcement.  So, check back here next week or on my facebook or twitter pages! 

In light of all the changes going on in my life,  I recently completed a 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat.  It was definitely an enlightening experience combined with a few very emotional realizations during the journey. If you aren’t familiar with Vipassana Meditation practices, please check it out.   The themes and practice have stood the test of time from Buddha through today.  The themes include being in the moment, observing ourselves and accepting life is constantly changing.  I found a special connection to all three of these themes during the duration of the course, but as you can guess, the theme of change can easily be tied into restlessness.  It was comforted to learn about a meditation practice concentrating on constant change. Accepting change  also helps us become aware of being too attached to things, ideas, people and perceptions.  Yes, having a healthy attachment and love to family members, especially in the infant through teen years, is important.  However this attachment is different.  This attachment addresses clinging onto the past or future and ownership of things and people.   Seriously, check out a course in your area or even travel to another country.  The courses are technically free and students are encouraged to serve (volunteer) in the future and donate what you can based on personal experience, learning and financial ability.  Contact me if you'd like to learn more, however I won't share too many of my details.  If you are seriously considering attending a course,  only look at the Vipassana website and staying away from other people's personal detail stories, as each person will have a different experience during the course.  Attend with a completely open mind with out any expectations, other than you will be safe, it won't be easy and you'll be taken care of.

Change and transition is a definite theme in everyone’s life, but even more so in the lives of those who thrive with it.  What changes are going on in your life?  If so, what are you clinging onto that you need to let go? 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sand Dune Solitude

Recently, I had the opportunity to be one of the ten backpackers issued a back country pass to sleep in and/or around the Great Sand Dunes National Park Dune field.  The park is located in the San Luis Valley near Crestone, Colorado.  Crestone is know for it's positive energy vortex and is full of spiritual people and amazing Buddhist temples.                

I highly recommend this trip for ANYONE who would like a short, but silent backpacking trip into one of the most magnificent places in the world.  The elevation is low enough where you aren't huffing and puffing onto a 14,000 foot peak and is fun enough to explore the different ecosystems in and around the dunes.   You can take as long or as little time you need to hike into the dunes, which means no pressure for speed hiking....unless you set off about an hour or two before nightfall.

Visiting the Great Sand Dunes has always been a person favorite location of mine, but had never slept in the Sand Dunes until last month.  The dunes call to me every early summer, while the Medano Creek still surges and breathes with the with pulse of the earth.  Last year, I heard about the limited back country passes and decided to take advantage of the opportunity this year by completing a solo Sand Dune Solitude adventure.

Upon arriving at the park, I hurried to the visitor center to hopefully obtain a back country permit.  The park only gives out ten permits a night and luckily I was only number four at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon.  The ranger issuing the pass, signed me up to park at Point Of No Return.  Despite the haunting name, I found the very small parking lot and nearby trail head inviting.  I hiked about a 1/2 mile to Medano Creek and played in the water a bit until the mosquitoes were too much.  I crossed the creek into the maze of dunes.  Typically there aren't as many mosquitoes, but Colorado had a record high amount of late snow and early summer rain this year.

After crossing Medano Creek and headed up the dunes. I was able to capture these fabulous views of the San Luis Mountains behind the dunes. Hiking into the dunes themselves isn't too long of a hike as the crow flies, but it definitely drains your energy hiking in the sand straight up to the peaks.  If you haven't hiked in dune before, think of the scenario of one step up/half step down. The sand is also hot during mid day, so I would highly recommend sport sandals.  I was able to hike on the east side w/o a problem since I started my hike around 3pm, after the sun had moved to the west side of the dunes.  Hiking in the evening and early morning is also a good time to hike barefoot.

I set up my bivy and slept inside because of the expected thunderstorms.  Luckily it only rained for about 30 minutes, then I was able to sleep outside under the milky way. Since the temperatures weren't hot and the sand held warmth for part of the night, my summer sleeping bag of 25 degrees did the trick just fine.  I kept my pack light and was able to use my daughter's amazing Osprey day pack.  The food was very minimal- a couple of Luna Bars, 2 hard boiled eggs and lots of water.  This worked out well for a quick overnight trip.

 I decided to summit a dune in the morning right after sunrise,  This photo was take as I was walking up the dune.  Aren't these shadows amazing in the morning sun?

This picture was taken in the morning as I submitted the tallest dune peak by sleeping area.  Taking a few minutes to sit down and enjoy the view is so important to me.  Sometimes being alone and one with earth is well needed to reconnect.  This trip definitely fulfilled that need.  My trip was one of the quietest hikes I ever completed.  I didn't see a single soul past 5 or 6pm, and it was quiet enough to hear the sand blow it's energy around me.  There aren't many birds or animal noises in the dunes, so will confidently call this trip my Sand Dune Solitude adventure.

While taking time to my self I came up with this quote that seems to be a theme in my life.