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#YOLO!

What do you want to do with the rest of your life left over?  I want to experience more of it. I love exploring new places and experiencing new cultures.  This island seriously stole my heart.  I am working to LIVE, not living to work.  I travel as much as I can!

If you ever want to visit Bequia, SVG and need local connections to show you around, contact my friends @svgsothebysrealty – Peppy & Michelle can connect you with local private villa’s to rent (or homes to buy) and all sorts of insider local deals to scoop up while you’re there on vacation!  There are 32 islands to see and explore!  Pictures just don’t do it justice so I won’t try.  But if you want off the beaten path escape surrounded by kindness x infinity – this island pure perfection!

I made a quick video of my visit on #Bequia, Saint Vincent & The Grenadines.  Here is my tiny slice of Eastern Caribbean Heaven on earth for just for a quick 2 minute water break escape from work if you need one like I always do.   https://youtu.be/uys5EEyCChI

I am going back in April 2017 to the world famous Regatta Sailing Competition and island celebration!  I’ll get better video and be more on purpose now that I am seasoned with the lay of the land and a friend among the wide range of cultures I cherish who all live in unity in one 7 mile stretch.

I am such a lucky girl to go twice in one year!  #YOLO!  My lesson from this trip is…

Always Do What Makes My Heart Happy & My Soul Soar!  

SAY YES!  More of that please!!!!  

What is it that you want to do?  What’s really stopping you from doing it?

Go & Do That, CathyV

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$ Per Hour x 8866

What is your relationship with Time Management and your $ own value per hour?  Let’s do the backwards math in real time, shall we?

I’ve said NO to a lot this week and it felt uncomfortable and pissed off quite a few people by taking a stand around doing this for a while now.  It’s not easy.  I chose ME and finally, I feel so happy and relieved – I DID IT – I CHOSE ME!  No guilt trips allowed. No excuses given. I just say NO and it’s okay.  Let the chips fall where they may.

If people fall away, they were not meant to stay anyway. It’s funny how when we stop doing what everyone else wants us to do, and be, how they instantly evaporate once you stop feeding the cycles. It feels AMAZING to take a stand for myself through the idea of “valuing my time and energy” knowing the 13901477_172878179789391_6991577274971821961_noutcome is for my greatest good.  But it’s still hard to do in a balanced way.  

Side Note: This custom made clock and much more cool wood art is for sale Joey Oso Designs 🙂 #supportsmallbiz

Do the backwards math. How much do you want to make this year in hourly terms?  Decide each day upon what gets your attention in dollars if there are 8766 hours in one year.  

Example: $20/hr x 8866 (1YR) = $177K USD (waiters make more than this per hour after tips).  $50/hr = 443K – WUT?!!!  How much time will you stop wasting now? Or, how much will you charge in your business differently, or spend your time in that cube making more hours count vs. playing pingpong and eating company free snacks chatting it up in the kitchen with your tribe who will forget all about you the minute you get a  new job?  Math doesn’t lie.  I seem to understand math MUCH better when it’s shown to me in this format, in real time and real dollars.  I could be spending mine WAY BETTER! So I will.  Do not get me started on mindless amazon prime & wine spending.  I am fixing that too!

How we use our Time is a curious thing and costs us money; maybe not in real money but in emotional money, spiritual money, mental money – it costs us all big time if not managed and guarded well (like Fidelity does it) on purpose. I even said NO to my dogs and very demanding innocent requests for “a quick thing”here and there – zap my day is gone!  I bet yours is too.  Where does the time go?  I’d rather be in Bequia figuring it out with much more cash flow honoring my time and/or charging for it much more mindfully.

As we all depend on social media to connect professionally/personally or use it on the unhealthy side to procrastinate/deflect reality (all SM platform including texts, phone calls, IM etc..) it’s worth examining in your usage in life, quite often. For me,  it’s a slow energy sucking leak taking over my time if I do not stay aware of my usages and why’s. I have been letting time online rule my day for too long. I feel bad if I don’t like and share all of my friends posts etc…

This week I declared = MY TIME IS WORTH MORE! I AM VALUED! I AM AN ASSETT!

I toiled over making this boundary going forward because I have a nervous twitch addiction like many of us do, that if I am not available 24/7 or on online constantly, somehow,  I’ll be letting everyone down, or I’ll somehow be a bad friend if I don’t reply with an instant SLA expectation that most billion dollar companies do not abide by.

If I am not constantly scrolling, validating, interacting than CLEARLY I am not doing my part to be a good global citizen and the world OBVIOUSLY will come crashing down like I have that much power. HA! I AM SO WRONG. We are valuable. Our time is too. VALUE IT.

I have been more productive in my business efforts and loving people before noon than most days working 12 hours by just logging off for a few hours at a time. I am calling 2017 the THE OFFLINE HEALTHY ZONE.  Doing my part to create an purpose, limited online/offline plan everyday is todays #Miracle #IAMProductive 

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#QualityVsQuanity

Expectations…

15941328_1365501553522840_3212721017848608770_nIf you are human, life will eventually disappoint you thanks to expectations.  

Whether its a lost love, a best friend lies to you, the boss steals your idea, that dream interview flops, or the business idea never takes off… Life is full of experiences that we set expectations around that define the level of our happiness in advance. It’s not fun. There is a much better way to live.

Regardless of my success and failures, and there are many, I SILLL keep trying this life experiment as if I can change its mind or outcome. So far this theory is sadly true for me and many I watch in the process.

Wisdom has taught me to own & create my own joy.

By taking positive actions for myself, that I never really focused on in early years; this naturally creates healthy boundaries with others that protects my heart, mind and spirit.

943942_10208642402046606_1469603517632753872_nWhen happiness does not depend on others actions or reactions, and is not dependent the the outcome of the situation either way it turns out you are FREE!

As always, I have learned the hard way that  no matter what the outcome is…it truly is always for the greatest good even if its disappointing in the moment is the magic of not having expectations.

Trust the how’s & why’s in life to the unknown in a kid-like magical wonderment!  Nothing has to make sense to make life more fun does it?  It’s actually really fun to be happily surprised with outcomes when you do more to create joy, and expect less from others to do it for you.  

Cheers to expecting nothing at all and being happy with it!  

Beautiful Bequia!

It’s Paradise. GO GO GO Visit Bequia, a beautiful 7 mile island in St. Vincent, The Grenadines!  I am a firm believer in setting goals, dreaming big, doing the work, and supporting like minded “doer’s” who take the risk of “owning” their own business and doing what it takes in making it happen to create multiple income streams!  I heard about Bequia from a previous co-worker and new business partner for life. Literally, for living life to it’s fullest and finding ways to make happen together in support of each others dreams!

That said, I reached out and was instantly gifted the most amazing trip over Christmas and New Years when I had two weeks of down time at work so I said YES!   I loved the experience so much I must shamelessly promote this hidden gem of an island in the Eastern Caribbean along with the owners of SVG Sotherbys Realty, my friends and hosts for the week.  They will be your friend for life too!

First of all, staying in a private villa is the way to go! There are not big resorts or many trendy touristy hotels to pick from, so it’s best to get to know the lay of the land before you go through locals via social media or people like me who have been before and can connect you.

I stayed at “The Villa Bellegarde Le Pompes By the Sea” in Friendship Bay which has a few available upcoming rental dates if you’re interested PM for details.  I’d be happy to connect you with the owners Pierre & Michelle Bellegarde!  Always ask about Budget Friendly Rates & Tailored Packages, it’s a very negotiable kind of culture eager to create a great experience for guests on a budget and host new visitors very generously.

Very affordable for an all Inclusive Amenities that included everything from private driver (highly suggested), private island tours (highly suggested), full kitchen/meals (YUM, try the bread fruit, goat cheese, fresh butter on fresh bread ommgeeee, and of course the local favorite Salt Fish, King fish, fresh Lobster & Berracuda – it’s a party in yo mouth good!).  I had a stocked frig/bar (highly suggested), introductions to highly connected people of influence.  I don’t care about that part, but it’s an option if networking is your thing – there are HUGE business opportunities on the island for entrepreneurs to bring their skills and ideas to grow the economy which is very welcomed by the locals and appreciated.

There is just about everything you could want for a red carpet ready vacation experience and then some!  All you have to do is ask and be kind in doing so.  The people of Bequia create a true Heaven on Earth through their smiles and kindness – its magical.  I really felt this difference in culture especially coming from the US during turbulent political times infused with so much hateraide and divisiveness.  

Human kindness was a special gift I found in Bequia over the holidays. So Warm, So Generous! So Perfect! 

Neighboring islands by ferry or boat taxi are, Mustique is known for its celebrity millionaires and Canuaun known or its billionaires – both are very secluded and not much to do on those islands but stalk rich people’s highly secured and gated compounds. There are 32 islands to explore in the area – all very unique and friendly to visitors.

Bequia is really perfect for everyone of any status!  Its the favorite island in between both for the perfect mix of fun for everyone of every income level, very classy, yet casual simple living with over 32 restaurants, clean beaches, translucent crystal blue water, hiking, biking, mountain climbing if you are so brave, quaint shops, daily fresh organic farmers market, internet cafe’s & all kinds of  artsy local flare that everyone just comes together in Bequia for a genuine down to earth awesome time!  It’s a very eclectic mix of cultures, full of expats, locals, Europeans all there to live, work, play, sail, relax, give back through volunteer opportunities and if all goes right, they will retire  there living in the good ways of life – it simply feels like heaven.  But on earth.

Kingstown, on the main island of St. Vincent is a much more crowded bustling urban city where most of the natural farming and other resources to local islands is sent from by ferry. Visit Barbados for the hipsters city vibe & hot techno dance scene, and where most fly into before making their way to Bequia.

Every island has a different personality, so do your homework before you go and choose an island to play and stay on according to your preferences.  I actually landed on St. Lucia before I took a puddle jumper over and it was more resort tourist feeling but still very friendly, affordable and beautiful – they all are very beautiful islands so it’s hard to really compare.  Traveling solo to certain places can be weird, or harder than other places.  I loved every part of this trip.  I felt welcomed and free to be me, I made lots of friends and business connections so that’s always a win win for me!  I’ll be back very soon!

I stayed in a villa rental, most visitors do as it’s not a resort town with many hotels so you need to do the research ahead of time and talk to people “in voice” vs. email to find the best places that might not be advertised.  Locals will help connect you to other locals.

My rental was a large one bedroom Villa apartment that has 2 queen/2 single beds + luxury master bathroom perfect for an “oooh la la lovers escape”, a 4 person girl friend trip or small family get away!  It included WIFI/cable TV (which I never even turned on the TV), gorgeous open and very comfortable living space, private terrace perched right on the ocean, two levels of sun bathing lounge chairs to gaze under the moon light full of shooting stars beside a crackling fire pit and great conversation. And very cute dogs who keep watch over the place named Pablo Waldo and Snowey.  They sat by my side, they chased off enemy lizards, goats and roosters and were such a sweet addition to the essence of my time there.

Within 5 minute walking distance to crystal clear blue waters of everyone’s favorite Friendship Beach for dining/dancing, listening to steel drums, snorkeling, kayaking, body surfing, if you would like to include a day pass to Bequia Beach Hotel gym/spa/pool it can be arranged with the right connections – knowing locals helps big time! Anything is possible if you just ask nicely and know someone – everyone knows someone (shhh)!

I mostly sat by the ocean writing/reading a good book,  sipping rum punch relaxing to the sound of waves and cool breezes. You will love Bequia’s charm, tropical and majestic mountain top ocean views, amazingly fresh local foods, fun people, music & it’s truly the ultimate R & R retreat!  I am voting it the friendliest island on the planet! Be sure to book a day cruise on the famous Friendship Rose too – links below!! #IslandTime! #Bequia #SVG

BEQUIA LINKS TO KEEP AN EYE ON IF YOU GO:

http://bellegardeestates.com/  – (where I found my  amazing villa apartment rental)

https://www.facebook.com/peppy.lepieu?fref=ts – (owner and renter of villas)

http://www.svgsothebysrealty.com/eng – (where I found my dream home)

http://www.bequiatourism.com/ – (where I found local things to do and see)

http://www.friendshiprose.com/ – (a day cruise you must do if you visit)

https://www.tripadvisor.com/SmartDeals-g147383-Bequia_St_Vincent_and_the_Grenadines-Hotel-Deals.html   – (just research)

http://www.svgair.com/  – (ISLAND HOPPING IS FAST & FUN!)

That’s all for this post friends.  Thank you for following and please PM me if you’d like me to connect you to the amazing people I met while I was there! They will love you too!

Loving Life, CathyV!

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Time To Emerge by Darling Castaneda

nomorehiding-1Hey you.

You’ve been sitting on the sidelines for way too long.

What ever excuse you decide to respond with the answer is and will always be,

So what?

You’ve failed. So what?

It’s too much of a mess. So what?

You don’t fit in. So the fuck what?

It’s not time to stay in the cave you’ve been hiding in.

The cave is comfortable, yes.

The cave knows your pain, absolutely.

The cave has helped you see things about yourself that you’ve never seen before. Right on.

The cave has served its purpose.

You’re done hiding in the cave.

It’s your time to come out and the cry of your audience says so.

Do the work.

Finish healing.

Stand on your truth.

Be brave.

Be courageous.

Believe in your magic.

What used to work no longer works.

You feel it. You know it.

The bullshit is over.

You’ve served your time.

It’s time to emerge.

 

Emerge.

Time To Emerge.

 

A Void Dance

What does your ‘A Void Dance’ look like? Mine is ever changing; a trickery of my own doing that I can’t seem to figure out until hindsight.  And then it’s still a mystery.

I enjoy spending time in solitude thinking about philosophies, reading and writing (not so popular).  I also enjoy spending time with friends at parties and celebrations. I really enjoy  the freedom of just dancing – just moving about and feeling the music as if I am really skilled and graceful like on cherish-the-dance-with-the-void-bigger1-1dancing with the stars!

I enjoy nature and traveling to places and cultures I have net yet seen or appreciated; ex. I enjoy Netflix documentaries like Anthony Bourdain’s, Parts Unknown until I can go in person to experience new lands myself!

I enjoy excelling in my career and seeing the fruits of my labor. I enjoy unconditional love of my dogs. I enjoy peace & harmony the most of all.  In my experience, peace and romantic love are not synnomous. ‘True Love’ is the ONLY void in my life.  Or is it?   I have zero hesitation; I choose peace, peace, peace and more peace, to me that IS true love.

I enjoy my simple life. I truly feel blessed and fulfilled. But still, I enjoy many things that also seem to encourage the act of avoidance in one form or fashion, like dating and dealing with the emotions of dating.  If we choose one path, are we avoiding another?  Finding a balance to experience it all is where I find the quandary. I believe what we avoid will find a way into balance in one way or another.

Even coupled, we still must dance SOLO for a fulfilled life. We come in alone, we leave alone. Finding ways to be happy alone is when life falls into place much easier in my opinion.  Is being alone avoidance, or unhealthy?  Society teaches us that choosing to be alone is not optimal.  I tend to disagree.  https://youtu.be/lUmN1GjTjvw 

Alone or not, we still tend to avoid intimacy & deep connections as a society.  We avoid healing hurts, injustice, hatred, illness, politics, fatty foods, booze whatever the media tells us we need to avoid we do it like robotic followers, etc. We can avoid our big dreams. We can avoid the truth. We can avoid sorrow. We can avoid happiness. We can avoid success/failure. We can avoid whatever we choose and make excuses for it quite easily.  In the end it’s a dance with the void that defines our life. What do you avoid?

Like music, its not the notes that make the music, but the quiet stops in between that make the song a complete story.  We all avoid something.  I am being encouraged to dance with it, befriend it, recognize when I am doing it and adjust to find Joy in the void.

Dance with your Void until life changes the song and gives you no other choice but to change and dance a new dance.

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March Forth

 

You were born to march forth.
March forth because you can.
Because, You never give up.
You never quit.
You keep trying.
You walk your own path.
You succeed.
You deserve to.
You fail sometimes.
You keep trying new ways and new perspectives.
You keep going, no matter how dark the days get.
You continue on, no matter how bleak the outlook is.
You create the life you are living with your choices.
You keep your head up, even when others look down on you.
You are tough, You are strong, You are a survivor.
You thrive, and always will.
You will never stop reaching for your dreams.
You will never stop marching forward,
You were born to march forth.

March forth and create your own joy filled life.
March forth to create your perfect world.
March forth being the YOU'est of YOU.
March forth.

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Love…

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Valentine Treasures

Valentine treasures are people who
have often crossed your mind,
family, friends and others, too,
who in your life have shined

the warmth of love or a spark of light
that makes you remember them;
no matter how long since you’ve actually met,
each one is a luminous gem,

who gleams and glows in your memory,
bringing special pleasures,
and that’s why this Valentine comes to you:
You’re one of those sparkling treasures!

– Joanna Fuchs –

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Top Ten Divorce Tips

Have you ever wanted to divorce yourself? Your life? Your choices? Your bad habits and/or outlook on your “situation”. I sure have.

Before you blame everything on everyone else here are the Top Ten Things I wish I would have known BEFORE I got married and then divorced.

Spoiler Alert: The common denominator is YOU shug. The good news is you have 100% control over your choices too! Woohoo!
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I am happy being single but not for the reasons most assume. Some people are just happier solo. I don’t like who I become in tandem so there’s always that to think through. How are you naturally the happiest?

I chose to leave my marriage very abruptly which I do not advise without planning and preparation.

I am pretty sure some of us aren’t built for marriage as well as others, allowing that yo be okay is where a lot of us struggle.

I am one of those women who got married for the wrong reasons: age, fears, societal expectations; a general unfulfilled unhappiness all wrapped into the pressure we put ourselves under to force a timeline of accomplishments and all that should happen by certain ages and life stages.  I don’t live that way anymore and life is so much happier!

The pressure to partner up is interesting. The married friends who feel the most sorry for my single situation are usually the most lonesome and sad in their relationship, but hey, at least they are married right? Blech.

I question the norm; the idea of what my new normal relationship wants, needs and expectations are and what will make me the healthiest, happiest and generously loving person in the world. With so much divorce, why aren’t we all questioning the norm?

I have zero tolerance for bad behavior from others, especially from myself, which is the lesson I am most thankful for because of divorce. If I allow someone to bring out my inner mean girl – that is a NO GO fo’ sho!

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When I focus on this list I would have saved myself a lot of hard knock learning by feet in the fire always reacting in constant crisis mode instead of planning proactively creating the life I want.

First and most important words of wisdom for any stage in life = Practice your 30 second elevator pitch without a sad or angry or weird yucky back story.

Hi, I’m Cathy, fun, creative & fearless ready for adventures!

  1. Forgive Yourself. Redefine what perceived failure leads to change in yourself, for yourself.  Do not compare your path to others.
  2. Know who you are and what you stand for.
    • Visualize what you want your next chapter to be like.
    • Ask yourself what kind of person you are in the world?
    • Who are you mind, body and spirit as a single person (as if marriage or partnership never existed).
    • What is your new title?
    • What will you do on weekends?
    • What kind of married or divorced person will you be?
    • What kind of co-parent will you be?
    • What kind of guys will you date knowing what you know now?
    • What will your identity in the world?

Example: Will you be that divorced gal/guy who acts like a sex starved cougar in denial of her age, the angry/bitter victimized Debbie downer nobody wants to be around, or the hot mess party girl busy staying so busy so she is never home alone by herself, the attention starved people pleaser push over, the man hating relationship expert, the hyper religious judge Judy, the sensitive recluse or the freedom fighting feminist?

You get the drift, you WILL be changed because of marriage/divorce, health/sickness, wealth or lack thereof, [insert all life stuff here]… so its important to just go ahead and think it through before life twists and turns defines it for you. (This “at the crossroads” of personal change rule goes for high school/college age too).

  1. Vacation Alone.  No, not a fun girls trip, not a hobby group with other solo sojourners, but 100% take at least one alone vacation PER YEAR that does not cater to being single or married. Know who you are and what you like. Go to the Beach, Grand Canyon, Disney World or Las Vegas for example – just you, yourself and all the head voices in toe. Just GO, BE YOU! Do you know who that is? If you don’t it’s fun to find out.
  1. Stash Cash. Keep a financial diary. If you don’t save naturally, at least one year before your big DDAY, start stashing as much money as possible in cash because once you start divorce proceedings every account is sliced and diced out of your control. The legal system and very crazy emotions take over and your funds are literally frozen. This goes for saving and planning for a wedding just to turn out being divorced bridezilla in the end.  What I know for sure, who you think you’ll be through marriage/divorce planning isn’t who will show up. That goes for your spouse too. People who are stress triggered, get really weird and unpredictable very fast. In break up preparation make a survival freedom kit.  Why not consider the grocery store check out line a cash back savings option. Simply get an additional $20 out to feed your secret cash stash can if possible, get even more. Save! Save! Save!
  1. Plan your Career.  Do this as if you will never be able to rely on another person to take care of you financially ever again. Career is more than just a job to pay bills (we all need that too), its how you serve and make a difference in the world that uses your skills, gifts and abilities to contribute to the greater good and brings you great joy at the same time pays you very well which supports your lifestyle for the long term.
    • Have your own health benefits, car & life insurances.
    • Visit a banker to create a budget considering cost of living inflation; evaluating your credit as a single person and what you can expect.
    • Meet with an attorney to understand what to expect during divorce and how much it will cost, have your own savings/retirement plan.
    • Research areas of town you’d like to live & have fun.
    • Be realistic about what you will have to let go of in your new life. Be realistic.
  1. Make New Friends that are not associated or determined by your relationship status. Your married friends will change. Count on it.
  1. Make Firm Decisions & Stick to them. Give your self bear hugs, uber-respect, take yourself on selfie dates, offer yourself reliance as security & self-assurance and most of all be gentle with your self through high and low emotional waves.  I found myself laughing more than I expected I would be. At first I felt guilty about it that I should “act sad” or “be angry” or…whatever we are taught to do during crisis times of injustice.  Life is funny to me, so when I was alone I found myself giggling at what a mess I made for myself to clean up!  So, in CathyV fashion I just keep cleaning it up the messes knowing this too shall pass and doing the hard work of learning that lesson to avoid future messes.
  1. Break Your Old Routines….dinner for breakfast anyone?
  1. Ask Questions often –who, what, where, how & why do I believe this to be the right or only way to think about this?  Ponder the alternatives. PS. Do not get funky on Facebook, you look like a crazy person spewing the bitter blame game, it’s ugly, don’t do that.
  1. BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN HAPPINESS! 

If I would have done all of this before I got married to the wrong person, because I was being the wrong person myself, I would never had to have gone through the relational failure lessons and legal pains of divorce. Even though it was the best thing that could have happened for me personally, I don’t suggest it to anyone for obvious reasons.

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I don’t believe God hates divorce IF it makes us better people because of having learned from what it needed to teach us. Especially if we use the lessons to help others in the world avoid the same mistakes, heal etc… But, I will say avoid it at all costs by doing the things that make yourself happy before you make a life altering decision that hurts yourself and so many other outside of the marriage.  But do not ever stay for the sake of others happiness above your own either.

I give all my unhappily married friends the same advice. The grass is green where you water it; feed and water yourself daily first, create your own life, bloom despite next to whom you are planted. This goes for quitting jobs, all break ups, getting married or living together, co-parenting…doing anything for the wrong reasons, or expecting others to fill your souls unhappy void is just dumb and usually based in fear. Learning better boundaries by figuring out how to fill my own voids has been key for me. Knowing what you need and want isn’t easy if you are a people pleaser, fixer, saver or codependent type.

#Interdependent is where the happiness is at!

Being solo wont make you happier, you can choose to be happy or unhappy right where you are, no matter who you are with, no matter what you are doing or what you have or think you do not have. It’s a simple choice.

DONT BE A JERK! … OR PUT UP WITH ONE EITHER.

Make those internal changes for yourself, nobody else. Nip bad behaviors. Its up to you to recreate your life in a way that works vs. the drama, making others wrong in order for you to justify yourself, and all the negative emotions that tag along with that choice. And, It is 100% a choice. Own it – the good, bad and ugly is what you choose life to become.

Being free and single doesn’t fix any of what breaks down in marriage in the first place. Being married doesn’t make you more successful in life either. Cultivating and balancing your own interdependent healthy living habits, inside of any key relationship is always a struggle because we all are in constant change, and that’s okay too.  

Thats the best part, its all A-Okay and do not let anyone make you feel otherwise!

Living, Learning & Laughing at myself  A LOT!