It’s about that time of year. Each year since 2007 (not that long ago) around this time, I sit and think of where I’d like to travel next. Usually two months or so after my last trip (in this case, one month), this lapse in time makes me yearn to be back traveling and in foreign land. Regarding work, I WANT to be in office to build up my PTO. Regarding surf, I want to be out in the water feeling more comfortable and progressing on the smurfstick. yada yada yada. So now, having this stoke continue in the wake of my last trip, I set an intention for my next trip. And for me, if I write something down or say it… at least five times over, Ill do whatever I set out to do. So right here, right now…. my intentions are set on surfing Peru and delving into that cultural wonder of a Country.  Peru. Peru. Peru. Peru. Peru. five times?

“Once you find the truth, no one can hurt you. You can let them off the hook. That is hard! Until then, keep distance, preserve the peace. Eventually it’s like you weren’t hurt.” —Erich Schiffmann Read the rest of this entry »

New House….new art project. I adore this sign. Simple!

I’m going to be moving everything and anything to do with Urban Planning over to a new site that I helped create with a few of my graduate colleagues. If you’d like to contribute to the site, shoot me an email!

“Consciousness settles as one radiates friendliness, compassion, delight, and equanimity toward all things, whether pleasant, unpleasant, good, or bad.”

The Four Agreements- Don Miguel Ruiz. I was fortunate enough to listen to Don Miguel's son speak the other day. The timeless teachings of Don Miguel are encapsulated in this book that has acted as my bible, so to speak, for the past year. At any point where my life seems to have been rocked, I revert to this little diddy. The Four Agreements asks you to consider making four simple vows to yourself to help stabilize and harness individual happiness: be impeccable with your word; Don't make assumptions; always do your best; and, Don't take anything personally.

In my research yesterday, I came across a natural hazard that I wasnt entirely familiar with- Soil Liquefaction. In short, it is when a considerably stable surface is made less sturdy by the applied stress from say, an earthquake for example. At this point, the once solid foundation (soil, for example) takes on the properties of a liquid, therefore effecting the structure and natural environment around it. Interesting, a once solid structure temporarily imbalanced in the presence of stress and pressure.


Just as this is a natural phenomena affecting both the built and natural environment, it is also inherent in the human realm. It is natural (and at times, humbling) to get punched in the metaphorical stomach; to have our foundation rocked, so to say. We must continually remind ourselves that the paths we take in our day to day lives are never paved and the obstacles and seemingly negative occurences that lay within our paths are not dilatory but are rather didactic, in nature. Though these riffs in relationships, career setbacks, or whatever it may be–these happennings exist to test our natural and innate foundation much like the earthquake that rocks the topsoil of seemingly stable structures.

In times of these personal “earthquakes”, we must make sure to revert to and honor the things that maintain our steady internal and emotional infrastructure. Whether it be yoga, meditation, nutrition, running, writing, massages…hell, retail therapy, indulge and never deprive yourself of that which nourishes you. These things,  I call, my vitamins. Without my yoga, writing, meditation, surfing, all of that jazz, I could run myself down to oblivion.  It is entirely too easy to fall without grace and allow those obstacles to become brick walls.

I’ve got alot of things floating around in my head. Marinate on this while I unwind my thoughts…

“Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment,
are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment.
There is a hidden meaning behind all events,
and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution.”
-Deepak Chopra”

This picture just makes me happy; it has nothing to do with the post. I was merely just listening to him as I was writing ∞∞

A mentor of mine once said to me “you know that yoga is really reaching you when your personal relationships start changing…for the better”. Up until hearing that, yoga, for me, was a solo endeavour. Yoga gave me space; cleared my mind; made me both physically and mentally stronger. Good lord, with all of the me, my’s, and mine’s, how could there be any room left over for anything but the ego? Read the rest of this entry »

“Not only to see and find the Divine in oneself, but to see and find the Divine in all, not only to seek one’s own individual liberation and perfection, but to seek the liberation and perfection of others is the complete law of the spiritual being.”
-Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950)

A paper due for my GIS class. A dozen quotes to do for work. A project to begin for my Environmental Planning class. A follow-up call for my Dad’s birthday. Emails to send. People to call back. Eat right. Take care of yourself. I had a laundry list of things to do yesterday (yes, including to eat right). I had more things wizzing by in my head than one could count. We all have these moments in our days when all our tasks seem to lurk over us like a cloud of cannon balls, willing, waiting, wishing to drop at any moment. Read the rest of this entry »

Laurie L. Gartrell

Laurie L. Gartrell

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 8 other followers

Beauty measured in Pixels

Laurie’s Garden

September 2020