Travel

Returning Home

On one hand, being in another country for six weeks didn’t seem very long to me after traveling nonstop for several months.  On the other hand, six weeks in a country I had never visited where the majority spoke a language that I barely grasped, seemed way too long.Now that I have returned to San Diego, I feel like six weeks was just perfect for my first adventure in Costa Rica. Yes, I could have stayed a little longer, but I feel so fresh and rejuvenated that I am experiencing an exorbitant amount of gratitude for that time. While I was there, I painted a mural, built a garden fence, helped build a foot bridge and made new friends. Monkeys climbed trees outside my room, toucans were as common as seagulls and I saw a pizote, an animal that doesn’t exist in North America.

My life before Costa Rica consisted of hours in front of a computer or tied to my phone, constant activities, errands to run and a feeling of never doing enough. For the last six weeks, I had none of that. Instead I experienced a slower pace, a different culture and a physical renewal from living in the jungle. I was relaxed on a daily basis. This latest adventure was uniquely beautiful and uniquely quiet. I didn’t zipline across the jungle or summit mountains. I wasn’t there for thrills. I was gifted an opportunity for something new and I never want to forget that.

With my return and my gratitude, I will give a little extra to all of my patrons. This May when you receive your perks in the mail, you will receive a bonus art print. This print is of a nature piece I made while in Costa Rica(image below). You will either receive a print size of 5×7 or 8×10, depending on your contribution level. (If you aren’t a patron, sign up today to receive art prints delivered to you each month).

To all my patrons, thank you so much for supporting my art and writing these past months. Without your support it would be much more difficult and not as inspiring.

 


I’m an artist and writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

Travel

My Bag is Packed

I won’t be able to post much the next six weeks as I will be out of the country.

I chopped my hair even shorter and gave myself layers so my curls could bounce. I needed an easy, dry and go hairstyle for the six weeks I will be working in Costa Rica. My bag is packed and I am ready to fly.

I always thought that I couldn’t travel because I didn’t earn enough money. Through Workaway.info, my family, odd jobs and patrons of my art I am finally traveling and doing so with an abundant mindset.

Thank you to everyone who has and continues to support me. I love you. If you need support, check out my free e-course on healing through depression.

I will return to the states near the end of April and be back in SoCal for a while, at least until it warms up. I’m so excited to speak Spanish on a daily basis!

Paz y abrazos, Leah

 


I’m an artist and writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

Travel

Exploring a Snow Covered Forest

If you don’t travel off the beaten path now and then, are you really living?


That’s how what I wondered this morning, exploring a snow covered forest on the east coast.

At one point as I was climbing over a log, I stepped on a branch causing a loud cracking sound. The noise scared a fox who bolted out of a burro on my right and ran far up the next hill. His rapid movement spooked a group of deer who set off to the right as the fox veered to the left. The moment was beautiful and I experienced it because I chose to step off the paved path.

I’m not sure what I’m going to achieve or if I’ll survive this year of working and traveling, but with 4 months down and 8 to go, I’m hopeful for more unexpected experiences on this unfolding adventure.

Today, I feel like I’m really living after years of just getting by.


I’m an artist and writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon. For as little as $1 a month, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and support future creative healing projects, like my upcoming book collaboration with a dozen artists, writers and therapists who are creating a self-love revolution.

Travel

Living the Nomad Life and Loving it

It’s been two months since I leaped into a new adventure and I’m loving it. There have been obstacles that caused me to stop and wonder what I’m doing, but overall it’s radical.

Back in September, I started doing work trades through workaway. You can see that post “A New Adventure – Working My Way Across the Country“. I’m currently a my fifth work trade and in a week will be at my sixth. Each place has offered me something special and I’m so grateful for that.

My first workaway was at a raw food retreat center where I mostly worked outside in the dirt and beauty of the high New Mexican mountains. That place gave me a sense of peace and calm that only comes when I’m out in the country, away from the constant noise and motion of the city.  Venturing outside at night, the sky lit up with more stars than I could ever see in the San Diego night sky. It was awe-inspiring.

My second workaway was at a homestead in the city of Albuquerque, NM. I also spent most of my time working outside on a variety of tasks including moving mulch, pulling weeds and helping with chores. I got to experience a composting toilet. It didn’t smell bad like I had worried, though there was definitely a smell, but that was more from the hemp mulch that I used to compost my excrement.  The homestead was in close proximity of my sister’s family. I was so happy to spend more time with them than a usual weekend visit would give us.

My third workaway has been my favorite so far. I worked at a house for a couple of teachers south of Boston, MA. Almost everything was outdoors, such as helping with the chickens, gardening and chopping wood. I’m okay with never chopping wood again. Ha! It’s a very physical task. The couple was so friendly and so comfortable, I often forgot that I wasn’t at home. They invited me to some really cool events, like Honk Fest, a music and activism event in Boston, Mass. One of my favorite parts was when a couchsurfer stayed over one night. The next day, we rode bicycles to a cranberry festival. Seeing how cranberries are harvested and tasting their sweet tartness straight off the plant was delicious. That workaway was so enjoyable, that I was sad to leave.

My fourth workaway was in Shelburne Falls, MA, a beautiful small rural town in the western part of the state. My hosts were very warm and inviting. She was an artist and writer. He was an English professor. They made me feel right at home. My work there varied from inside and outdoor chores. The most memorable was herding four goats! I never fancied myself a goat herder, but I think I would like it full-time. It’s very meditative to stand in a beautiful field and watch goats. Having a host who is also a writer and artist was inspiring. I finished my first zine and had fun making art just for fun, not to sell. Click here to read my new zine, “Radical”.

Before venturing off to my fifth workaway, I spent a few days in Salem, MA to reconnect with a long time friend and experience a truly marvelous Halloween. I highly recommend visiting Salem for Halloween or any time of year. Seeing a place with such a rich and tragic history was a learning experience and a good study of human nature.  I plan on returning soon t explore more of the area.

So, now it’s November and I’m in southern Connecticut, just an hour from New York City. This is my first visit to New England and I am excited to see a part of the country that has always seemed so far away and so different. At this workaway my work is mostly indoors, helping with organizing and cleaning. my host family is a fun change of pace with two young children and a lot of activities.

I’m enjoying this opportunity to travel and work, while trying to find a balance with my art and writing. Deep inside, I know this journey is exactly what I need. I don’t know where it’s leading me, but I know that I’m going somewhere good.

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I’m an artist & writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a patron at Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month, you will support the following projects:
Empowering Discussions, Travel

Have You Ever…. Wrote a Body Love Letter?

Why not love ourselves? Why not write ourselves love letters? Go ahead and give it a try. Start cultivating gratitude until your garden is overflowing with unconditional love.  Below is a letter I wrote to myself last night. I hope it inspires you to write your own body love letter.

If you write a love letter to your body, please link it in the comments below and I will reblog it!

Oh Body, you have been with me since day one and will be with me until my last breath. I’m so grateful for you!

Thank you for my  wild hair that is a reflection of my untamed heart. I love having size 11 feet that allow me to walk long distances. I love being six feet tall, having fat around my belly and tiny breasts that will never be considered voluptuous. From my scalp to my toes, inside and out, I love you more than any beauty style or product.

All of our scars tell stories that have made us who we are. From broken bones that healed to bruised hearts that continue beating, I am so lucky to have you. You never stop working to keep me alive and I’m so grateful for you!

Screw this whole idea of hating you. How could I even live without you? I couldn’t! We are one and in love and will be together for as long as possible.

With unconditional love, Leah

 


Diy therapy book cover

 

“D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression” is available through Amazon; available as both an e-book and a paperback.

If you’re suffering from depression I strongly encourage you to seek help. If you can’t afford a therapist find a supportive mentor, teacher or healer who can help you discover inner peace. Healing is possible IF you are open and willing to commit to a self-care plan.


Want more creativity and play in your life? Print my FREE COLORING BOOKS!


Find art and gifts at my boutique store, Zazzle.com/OviedoStyle

Book Reviews, Travel

Book Review: “Gender Outlaws – The Next Generation”

Outlaws have always piqued my interest. Moving constantly as a child caused me to often feel like an outlaw. Also, my family was certainly different than any of the families I knew. I’m very grateful that one of those ways, was having an attitude of love towards the parts of our family that are interracial and homosexual. If only we could all grow up with that acceptance.

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“Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation” by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman “essays, commentary, comic art, and conversation from a diverse group of trans-spectrum people who live and believe in barrier-breaking lives.”

I really enjoyed the variety of stories in the book. Almost every essay had me either laughing, feeling loved or downright stymied by the unhealthy negatives which continue to plague our society in regards to being trans. Each story is so different so I’ve chosen to keep this short and share a few quotes from the book that really stand out to me.

“And what’s coming is only you and I can create. So let’s make it with mercy and compassion and kindness and beauty and amor. We’re all of us going to need it” – Sam Peterson.

“To me being transgender is so much about the hope of change, of transformation” – Micha Cardenas.

“It’s no wonder eating disorders are rampant among women. Women are conditioned to take up as little space as possible in the world.” –Kyle Lukoff

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys outlaws, for anthropologists and all who want to learn more about living trans.  You can buy a copy of the book at https://sealpress.com/books/gender-outlaws/ or check it out from your local library like I did. If you’re library doesn’t have it, request them to order a copy!

If you read this book, what is your favorite quote or essay?

Diy therapy book cover

“D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression” is available as an e-book on Amazon.

If you’re suffering from depression I strongly encourage you to seek help. If you can’t afford a therapist find a supportive mentor, teacher or healer who can help you discover inner peace. Healing is possible IF you are open and willing to commit to a self-care plan.

Travel

A New Adventure – Working My Way Across the Country

Has your life turned out similar to or completely different from what you imagined in your younger years?

Mine has been one big question mark. After High School, I earned an Associate degree in fashion with dreams of creative work, runways, global travels and wealth. Instead, I spent my 20’s and early 30’s depressed, in debt and unable to hold a job. During those years I worked in various occupations and co-owned a somewhat successful retail/wholesale business with my mom, but never felt successful.

Recently I was hired for a 9-5 job that I didn’t like, that paid just a little more than minimum wage and made me feel sick every day, The fact that money doesn’t buy happiness, even with weekends and holidays off to follow my passions, really sunk in. I decided that something had to change…as I’ve said so often in the past 7 years! I felt like there were only two viable choices, spend an unknown amount of time searching for another job, feeling quite despondent, or plan an adventure. With only debt and comfort holding me in place, the decision was simple, yet frightening. Seek and discover my passion, but give up the security of a paycheck and friends nearby? How will I pay my debts? How will I have money for food? What if something happens?

So many doubts went through my mind until one moment at work. I was scaring myself out of the idea when one of those Aha! moments hit. –I have no faith in my ability to take care of myself as an artist and writer. Basically, I do not trust myself.–  Right then I knew that this was a chance I had to take.

I chose to participate in work trades through Workaway.info. What is a work trade? Basically in exchange for 25-30 hours of work per week, I receive a place to live and food for a specific set of time. Through Workaway, you can work anywhere in the world for a variety of people, businesses or organizations for varying periods of time. There is no pay involved, and transportation and expenses to and from the work trade are all on you. This is a big financial decision for someone at my income level.

After research and phone interviews I was able to find a series of four different work trades, each lasting two weeks.  I will be homesteading, gardening, making sea salt, and helping at a bed and breakfast. This month I am in New Mexico and in October I will be in Massachusetts.  The reason I decided to jump to the other side of the country is so I can celebrate Halloween in Salem with a dear friend, who has been inviting me there for years. My plan is to do work trades for about one year, but I am staying open to possibilities.

My first workaway is in the beautiful mountains of San Fidel, New Mexico at the Ann Wigmore Raw Food Retreat Center, as seen in the photo below. So far, I have been helping to clear brush and rocks and learning how to grow wheatgrass. It’s only been two days, but my body feels wonderful eating a mostly raw food diet. I love working outside and living at the base of a mountain. The scenery is beautiful, the air is clean and it’s quiet!

What happens next? I don’t really know, but you can follow my journey by subscribing to updates in the upper right corner.

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Diy therapy book cover

 

“D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression” is available through Amazon; available as both an e-book and a paperback.

If you’re suffering from depression I strongly encourage you to seek help. If you can’t afford a therapist find a supportive mentor, teacher or healer who can help you discover inner peace. Healing is possible IF you are open and willing to commit to a self-care plan.

 

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Want more creativity and play in your life? Print my FREE COLORING BOOKS!

………………………..

Find art and gifts at my boutique store, Zazzle.com/OviedoStyle