To say I have been blessed would be the world’s biggest understatement. I can’t even put into words the kind of energy I am feeling today thanks to the people in my life. The past year has been a whirlwind of awesome things and this past week has been particularly amazing. Today’s #plantPOWER letter is W, so it is only appropriate that I share with you just why I am walking on air today.
When I started this blog I had no idea the kind of community I was going to be welcomed into with open arms. The level of support that I get on a daily basis from inspiring people who are on journeys similar to my own is breathtaking. When I attended the Healthy Living Summit (HLS12) last August on a whim, I couldn’t have imagined the friendships I would form and how much like ME I would finally feel for the first time in my life. That feeling hasn’t stopped ever since. I am happier and more at peace than I ever imagined I would be. The journey isn’t complete, but that’s why it’s called a journey.
At HLS12 I met fellow bloggers from near and far. People who have since become not only blends, but friends. These people have helped me to grow so much as a person and to feel so incredibly happy that at times I can’t help but get teary eyed. Their love is at times overwhelming in the best possible way.
Several of the Boston-based bloggers at HLS12 put together a Facebook group so we can all stay connected, have meet ups, and just generally support each other. When Hannah got offered an amazing job that took her away from Boston, I offered to step up and help Erin run the group. It has been immensely fulfilling. Our most recent meet up was this past Monday at Life Alive in Cambridge.
Erin, Jil, Jen, Katie, Stacey, and I not only got to eat some AMAZING food, we shared our goals and aspirations for the year, as well as our reflections on the past year, with each other. Even though we all bring something unique to the group, we all share a similar mindset about health and wellness that made the experience touch me on a deep level. It was like hearing my heart speak out loud. I walked away from the evening feeling positive and excited about things to come.
Thanks to Jil for taking this photo when my phone died.
Also at HLS12, I met Heather in person for the first time. If you want to find someone truly authentic and just lovely in mind, body, and spirit, this is your girl. Her presence is calming and supportive. She pushes me to try new things and get out of my comfort zone more than she knows. That’s one reason I’ve participated in both #plantPOWER challenges with her and Kasey. These ladies are amazing.
Last night I had the opportunity to hang with Heather again and meet Kasey for the first time at a #plantPOWER meet up at Garden Grille Café in Rhode Island. Let me tell you that I have never been happier to drive to Rhode Island than last night. Along with meeting Kasey and catching up with Heather, I met five other amazing and inspirational women: Ashley, Kim, Jen, Annie and Kristen.
We started out by ordering two rounds of sweet potato wedges with barbecue sauce because all of the women who had been to Garden Grille before swore by them. They were so right. I love sweet potatoes in just about any form, but these wedges with the spicy barbecue sauce were amazing.
Then we ordered our entrees, which was perhaps the most difficult decision I’ve made in months. When everything on the menu is something you’re dying to have, it isn’t an easy choice. I finally chose the Root Vegetable Risotto Cakes with sweet brown rice, oyster mushrooms, shallots and collard greens with a roasted squash and cashew bisque, smoked walnuts, and olives. It was sweet, savory, salty, crunchy, creamy, and just overall DELICIOUS!
For two and a half hours we ate delicious #plantPOWER food and talked about everything from blog branding to workouts, to life in general. It was like I had known all of these ladies my entire life. We had an opportunity to share our stories, our accomplishments, and our worries. The energy in the room was electric!
We walked out of Garden Grille at 9:40 and popped next door for vegan treats at Wildflour, a vegan bakery and juice bar. I walked in and it was like heaven. Their selection of items that were also gluten free was HUGE! Knowing that I could eat virtually everything there without worrying about what was in it was the most AMAZING feeling. Plus everything smelled and looked awesome.
It was a difficult decision, but I finally chose some desserts for me and some to take home to Joe. In total I got a gluten free Peanut Butter Whoopie Pie, two raw-reos, and a chocolate walnut rum ball. I ate the rum ball and one raw-reo on the way home, but Joe saved his whoopie pie and raw-reo for today.
When I got home last night I was absolutely buzzing with energy. Joe was getting ready for bed and I just couldn’t stop talking. I was excited about wha the day had brought, what the week had brought, and the general direction my life is going. I was fired up! I woke up feeling the exact same way, nothing but smiles.
Having such amazing people in my life has been so important to me as I struggle with figuring out exactly how to make my dreams come true. I shared with you all that I have been working toward creating something very specific out of my career to encompass mental health, fitness, nutrition, and overall wellness, so having people in my life who care about all those things and cheer me on has been invaluable.
Yesterday I had a very important meeting that will likely impact this journey, but I can’t say much more about it right now. What I can say is that when I posted about the meeting to Facebook and Twitter, I got an amazing outpouring of support, prayers, and positive vibes from some of the very same people I have met only in the past year.
Those people, along with the supportive people I already had in my life, have made me realize just how blessed I am. At Monday’s meet up someone reminded me of the quote, “Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.” We were talking about how those who truly matter in our lives accept us as we are and support us no matter what and those who have a problem with the way we live our lives or don’t want to be supportive are the people who don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
Last night, as several of us talked about not being totally sure what we were doing or what direction life would take us, someone said “It’s not what we do, it’s why we’re doing it.” We all realized that our passion is what makes us unique and is what drives us to accomplish great things. We may all take a different route getting there, but the WHY behind our actions is what matters.
As we were leaving Garden Grille last night a gentleman asked Heather (who is a regular at Garden Grille) who we all were and she told him we were all bloggers. He laughed and said, “This table could change the world!” You sir, are so right. And change the world we will.