Making Space: An Off-The-Grid Oregon Coast Adventure at the Japanese Forest House

We entered the beginning of the New Year on the streets of Chiang Mai. With paper lanterns floating into the sky, gridlock traffic surrounding the moat, and super cheap whiskey + cokes, we rang in New Year's Eve in a totally unforgettable way. 

Once I got back from Thailand + Australia, I realized that Jeremy and I hadn't gone on any solo adventures together in a long time.

Traveling with kids is fun: It opens your eyes to totally different things, yet it also requires holding back a bit. There's no staying up, or out, late. There are always hungry mouths to feed or mouths complaining about how hot they are, how bored they are, and / or how much their feet hurt. There is a constant reminder that you are not alone or able to make decisions on a whim without first thinking about the kid. 

So we decided to take a mini adventure to the coast for a weekend. Avi is with us every weekend and we bring her on all the adventures, so having a weekend to ourselves was really special.

The japanese forest House

I decided to book an Airbnb on the Oregon Coast. I didn't know where, but I knew what general area I wanted to go. As I searched through the map, I wasn't finding anything worth the prices. For me, traveling is just as much about the place as it is about the experience of wherever you stay. 

Then, I came across the Japanese Forest House.

As part of a sustainable farm and B&B, North Folk 53, the Japanese Forest House sits just off Route 53 in Nehalem, Oregon. If you Google Japanese Forest House, you'll see it's been covered in the press quite a bit.

The whole house was constructed from reclaimed wood within a 10 mile radius. Not only that, but the House is fully hydro powered in the winter (hello Pacific Northwest winters!) and solar powered in the summer.

This means the house requires you to keep it warm. There's no switching on the heat. Instead, there is a small wood stove to heat the space. A small sink sits to the right of the front door, where you can prepare some hot cocoa, tea, or coffee, both of which were extremely welcome on the chilly, rainy night we stayed.

In a space like this, you are much more conscious about the energy you're using, too: It is a gorgeous getaway from mostly modern living.

The trip

Because no trip to the coast is complete without it, we also stopped in Cannon Beach.

I love checking out if the tide's gone out to reveal the crevices and tide pools in front of Haystack Rock. This time, the tide was in. On our way out from the beach, we took a little detour through the vacation homes and found some freshly bloomed dandelions. You'd also be amazed to know about the white, brown, and black rabbits that call the Oregon Coast home, too. They are everywhere!

As we drove south on Highway 101 towards Manzanita, we came across a footpath to the edge of the cliff. With no kid complaints, we were able to pull over spontaneously and go on a hike, not knowing how strenuous it may be. It ended up being quite an easy path, yet muddy, and we made it to the end. The sun was still high enough in the sky and the view was never ending. Looking down, we could see waves swishing against the rocks.

the experience

Since we were off the grid, there was no wifi and no cell service. Since I spent most of my time staring a computer screen, this was a welcomed rest for my eyes. As I sat on the imported straw seating area, I dreamed up our first summer garden. I brought a bag full of books on gardening I checked out from the library to try and decide what to grow and when to start growing. 

What I also dreamed up in that space was my latest project, lagom body co. It seems so simple to move in the direction you love when you just make space. We are so busy and distracted, that it's imperative that we clear the calendar for us and our ideas. Sometimes all you need is to break away into nature alone...

While I read and brainstormed, Jeremy tended to the fire. I liked to call it his "baby" because he was so attentive to it. There is something inherently pleasing about stoking a fire: Perhaps because our ancestors had to do it? It is mesmerizing, yet not something most of us have to do anymore.

In the evening, we watched a movie (we can't fully get away from technology) while resting in a giant bed under a heavy, down blanket.

The night was clear, so the moon shone through the window onto our faces.

...

In the morning, we woke to an overcast sky, threatening on the edge of rain. We dressed and walked across the street to the B&B for breakfast. Accommodating our diet, we were made a delicious, farm-fresh vegan breakfast with polenta, avocado, and fresh coffee. Mmm...

It started pouring down rain and I stepped onto the back deck to watch the river behind the B&B roar. The rain is something you can never get away from in the Pacific Northwest, so we've come to embrace it... To some extent. 

After a warming, delicious breakfast, we ran back to the Japanese Forest House across the street, packed up, and said goodbye to a much needed break on the Oregon coast.

Sometimes you have to make space.

Sometimes you have to fight for it.

For me, making intentional space to cultivate more of what I want in life is crucial for my well-being and the well-being of my relationships, too, and this quick trip off the grid inspired more than I expected.

Making space is magic like that.

Simple Ways To Move In The Direction Of What You Love

Finding out who you are in the midst of a busy life doesn't seem intuitive or natural. Whether you love painting, hiking, gardening, writing, or yoga, we leave those enriching life experiences for only after work or on the weekend.

Often, when we begin to seek a stable existence [aka a stable source of income] where our basic needs can be met, we can sometimes lose sight + separate from what it is that we love so dearly.

  • Sometimes we don't have the time to seek what we love.
  • Sometimes we aren't paying attention to what our deepest desires are.
  • Sometimes we aren't honoring life by listening to our intuition.
  • Sometimes we don't want to see what we love. 
  • Sometimes we make excuses. 

Sometimes we are unsure, thus make no movement at all.

What I've found is that everything I love is a constant, regardless if I'm paying attention. If I'm curating a gift box for my aunt's birthday, I'm finding artwork, books, fair trade + flower-infused chocolate, and natural products to gift. Not only do I love sharing these products, but they are also practical and inspiring for the recipient. I also appreciate and honor self-love + self-care, which also presents itself through the gifts I chose.

What we love - what speaks to us on a deeper, subconscious level - reaches for the surface even when we're not even trying. What we love is effortless. We live what we love, whether we know it or not.

Who we truly are is what seeps out when no one is looking. It's also what presents itself when everyone is looking. A balance. It can be some of the most obvious things, yet what we love also shows up in the cobwebbed crevices of life we forget to take notice of.

Sometimes what we love hangs out in the cracks in the wall or stretches out from a crack in the sidewalk like a teeny plant, seeking life and abundance.

What we want... wants us.

We must mindfully coexist with what we seek because often times it is seeking us, too. 

If you don't know what you love, I can guess that you really do.

Look for the common patterns and themes that come up. What you value is what you do + spend money on. Look at where you spend the most energy + money. It will be very telling. 

Once you find what it is that you love, you can begin to cultivate it more and more into your daily life. It is quite a simple process, especially because what you want, wants you, too. What you love naturally bubbles up and begs you to express + explore it.

You might find yourself doing things you've not done before, but when you dig to the core of it you realize that it's because you value travel, adventure, love, self-expression, creativity, compassion. I started this year with an ambitious list of what I wanted to do in 2016.

Simply put, I want to explore more of what I love that I haven't been able to do much of lately: Creating art, reading, writing. I want to create a version of myself that is borne out of what I love most.

This year is all about re-creating myself from what I re-discovered about myself last year. The only way that I could find balance this year is by moving in the direction of what I love most and allowing my intuition to guide my choices. 

Whatever it is, move in the direction of what you love. It will lead you through another layer of yourself, uncovering a new depth you hold within.

Don't let the busyness of life overtake you.

Don't let another year pass by where what you love stays inside your mind.

Choose to make space for what you love when you find it. 

A List Of Books About Women + By Women I'm Reading In 2016 | #YearOfWoman

This year, I'm focusing on balance. With that comes exploring my masculine side while cultivating my feminine side. I've been using plant essences, flowers, and plant-powered body care to create rituals that feel luxurious, specifically for tapping into my feminine energy.

Recently, I went to a plant medicine circle (as part of my goals for 2016), where we activated our energy + listened to what our heart needed to say. By the end of our circle, I realized that it's important for my personal development this year to continue seeking out the stories of strong women leaders who've existed throughout history.

With that, I've decided to look into the lives of women leaders, whether worldly leaders or community leaders, to see what thread connects them all. Indeed we can learn and improve simply be acknowledging another humans' story.

A LIST OF BOOKS ABOUT WOMEN + BY WOMEN I'M READING IN 2016.png

Care to join me?

It's always time for a feminine awakening! Leave a comment if there's a book not on the list + that you would highly recommend.

xxoo,
Kristen

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