Sum, Total.

Sum. Total.

“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there.  Everything influences each of us…” -Maya Angelou

So powerful.  The sum total.  Each of us goes through this life, soaking up, basking in, running from, running toward.  Life is so messy.  It encircles us.  Life happens to us, we happen right back.  The lies we are told, the truths we refuse to hear.  Each a tiny piece in the puzzle that is us.  The person we become is shaped by each experience.  Lives intertwine, disconnect, support, destruct.  One life reverberates off another.  The great silk thread that links us all.  The underlying consciousness, the feeling of belonging we all search for.  Life is so complicated. So complex, so diverse.  That is where the beauty lies.  Beauty in diversity.  Beauty in each day, each moment being different than the last.

More.  I Want MORE.  I Need MORE.

I have felt so emotional lately.  I want so much more.  Not stuff, not possessions.  I want to help people find their own path.  I want to offer happiness in a world full of discord.  I want to see all the beautiful creations of Mother Earth.  I want to better my yoga practice.  I want to save EVERY animal.  I want to spread smiles like peanut butter.  I want to LIVE!

This past year has been…difficult.  I have battled with dark places within myself.  I have discovered negative thought patterns that threaten to ruin me.  I have learned that NO ONE is perfect, and EVERY ONE will let you down at some point (and that’s ok, we are all human).  I have struggled to find balance in all things.  I have cried, laughed, tasted the harshness of desperation, savored moments of pure bliss.

Looking Ahead.

If I am being honest, I don’t know where life will take me from this day forward.  All I know is that I am going to be ok.  I am going to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I have battled so much in my life and ALL I know for certain is that I WILL NOT QUIT.  I WILL NOT HANG MY HEAD IN DEFEAT.  I WILL NOT SETTLE FOR A LIFE I DON’T LOVE.  I WILL FIND MORE.

Thanks Peeps!

Thank you to everyone who has touched my life this past year.  Thank you for your encouragement, thank you for your criticism, thank you for helping to shape me into who I am.  I am so blessed with so many awesome people in my life.  I hope that you all take a little time and decide what it is that makes you tick.  What is your purpose in this crazy life of ours?  Once you find it…spin WILDLY in that direction!  I hope this year we all LIVE life to the fullest….each and every moment!  Spread love!  Spread happiness! Spread laughter!! Life is too short to do anything else!

Love and light to all!!!



My Writing Process.

Write two incredibly good sentences. Erase. Stare at blinking cursor.

Write another sentence, unrelated to the first two. Erase.

Daydream about unicorns.

Look at Facebook. Check out Pinterest.

Think of  a book idea. Add to LONG list of book ideas.

Go back to staring at blinking cursor.

Think of how many words I could have already written.

Write two paragraphs. Save in a document to come back to “later”.

Stare at list of book ideas.

Worry over which to start.

Start none.

All the Feels

The holidays…sometimes loved, sometimes dreaded.

Yet ALWAYS, for me anyways, a time for “all the feels”.


I cry.  I grin.  I reflect. I plan.



I cry because all the animals in the shelter look extra cold and lonely this time of year.  I cry because there are kids being bombed instead of waiting for Santa.  I cry for the “perfect” holiday moments that I will never have.


Sometimes I know it’s coming, and other times (usually because of those sneaky commercials) ….BAM, floodgates open outta nowhere!


When I’m not tearing up, I find myself grinning like the Cheshire cat.  I look at the kids and their eyes sparkle just a little brighter this time of year.  The expectation and miraculous wonder that this season embodies just emanates from kids around Christmas time.  I watch them sleep and I swear I can see those dancing sugar plums…

I stand there, creepily staring as they sleep….and begin to reflect…



There is nothing better than the holidays to put me in a reflective, “What’s the meaning of life” kind of mood.  Reflection is a good thing sometimes.  I just tend to go into reflective hyper-drive in the months of November and December.  It is during these months that I find myself reflecting on ALL things…. GREAT and small.  Yes, I said ALL things.

Pick a topic…chances are I have reflected on it during November or December.  And if I didn’t get to it this year…I will work on it the next holiday season…

I reflect on Christmases past. Nostalgia takes over.  I remember the excitement of my grandma’s house on Christmas Eve.  I see my grandpa laugh and smile as he opens his gifts (he was always a big kid at Christmas).  I smell oodles of Christmas cookies my mom and I baked in our overly-decorated, yet oh so cozy home.  I sleepily listen for reindeer and hope I to catch a glimpse of Santa.

There is nothing like Christmas through a child’s eyes.

I love that I get to experience this magic again through my own children.

Yet amid these heart-warming reflections, this year I also find myself reflecting on the state of our nation and the rampant hate that seems to have such a vice grip on it.  The state of our planet and the lack of regard for her. World-wide chaos.  Priorities that seem flipped upside down.

I reflect on my life, on past mistakes and past successes. On what I thought life should look like at my age vs. reality.  I reflect on people that have come and gone.  I reflect on the person I was three years ago, five years ago, ten years ago.  So many changes I have undergone…so many truths I have unearthed, so many people I have been.


The one thing, the only thing, all my reflections have in common….


Regardless of whether they are the best memories or the worst memories, the one thing they all have in common is…they don’t last.  Change is the one constant in our lives.

After all the crying, grinning like an idiot and being uber nostalgic, my reflecting turns to a focus on change.   What changes do I want to see happen in my life?  What changes are key to my success?  What changes can I make to get me closer to my goals?


While some people REFUSE to make one New Years resolution, I tend to make a LIST.  Go big or go home right?  Somewhere, in the middle of crying, grinning, and reflecting, I begin to plan.  My list is sometimes beautifully handwritten (those are my favs, all swirly and artsy, colorful and fun), sometimes it is typed, sometimes it is scrawled in barely legible handwriting on a legal pad, it has even been a journal entry once or twice.  It is normally at least 25 items in length…sometimes WAY more, sometimes a little less.

There are just so many things I want to do.  So many things that I want to remind myself to make into daily habits.  So many ways that I feel my life can be improved.

I have so many interests, so many goals, so much I hope to do with my life!  I can be a little scattered at times (which drives my husband crazy…sorry honey…).  This scattered thinking leads me down many rabbit holes.  Some of which I am glad I went down, others not so much…but live and learn, right?!? I am a believer that life is meant to be lived.

For too long I have let life live me.  I’ve gone along for the ride.  My planning this year is all about changing that.

I have plans to take charge of my life.  I have plans to make my dreams a reality.  I have plans to live MY life, MY way.  I have plans to be able to contribute in ways that matter.  I have plans to surround myself with people who are doing these exact things.

The magic of the holidays, the magic of possibility.  Love it.

Maybe I’m the only one who becomes emotionally unstable during the holidays?  I am sure there are others out there just like me…sniffling through those pesky holiday commercials, remembering Christmases past, planning for what is coming next.  Is this you?  What do the holidays bring out in you? What “feels” does this time of year bring to the surface for you?

Sending love and light

to you and yours

this holiday season!!






Addicted To Thought


I’ve officially been MIA from my blog.  Not because I had nothing to say, simply because I couldn’t find the words nor energy to express all the things circling around in my head.  While my writing ceased, my thoughts grew.  That’s how it happens.  I begin going inward, getting lost in my own thoughts, lost in the worry of tomorrow and pain of yesterday.  It feels as if I lack the ability to get out of my own head.  I become trapped there. Fighting. Fighting through depression, fighting through sickness, fighting tiredness.  I become more and more unconnected.  I distance myself from friends, family, even Brent.  I feel alone in my pain, alone in my depression, alone in my cerebral prison.

Unfortunately, this experience is not new to me.  I have become aware of this pattern in my life.  The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

Hello, my name is Kristal.  I am addicted to thought.

Cerebral Prisoner

I have become controlled by my thoughts.  This has led to being anxious, depressed, hopeless…I could go on.

So now what?  What do you do when your prison guard is with you 100% of the time?  How do you escape?

My quest begins!  I am hopeful that I will be able to break this habit.  I recently learned, I am not my mind.  Sounds crazy, right?  It’s not.  That statement alone has allowed me to climb out of the dark caverns I’ve been hiding in.  It has given me freedom to live.  I am not my thoughts.  Instead I am the keeper of thoughts, the watcher of the mind.

I am becoming more aware.  More aware of my thoughts, my emotions, my reactions, my anxieties.

The Watcher

So far, this has been quite a change.  It is changing the way I look at myself.  I am no longer defined by my mind.  I am the watcher.  I like it.  Just this slight change in perception has already helped to quell my anxieties.  Becoming the watcher has made me feel more at peace, more even tempered, more hopeful.

I have so far to go.  My mind is not the only thing that is in desperate need of change.  While hibernating in the darkness I have not been kind to my mind or body.  I know that.  Again…I am admitting…. As I become more and more identified with the watcher I am more aware of the need for balance.  Yes, balance (there’s that word again, my favorite word for quite some time now.  Balance in all things is what I’m after).  I must start feeding my body what it needs.  I must start moving more.  I must keep myself hydrated.

Begin Again

Stoked, to see what this journey is going to teach me.  Happy, that instead of becoming the definition of insanity, I am breaking those patterns in my life that aren’t working for me.

This is just the beginning.  I am retraining my brain.  Taking charge of my mind, which gives me charge of my life.  I WILL run my life, instead of life running me.

Recent Inspo

Women Who Run With the Wolves


The Power of Now


Live Your Legend


What are your thoughts?  Do you identify yourself solely through your thoughts?  Do you think the mind is powerful enough to control us without our even being aware of it?