Inside the Great Smoky Mountains

17425027_10101681141406413_7205767337921029150_nMy whole life I have enjoyed travel. I yearn for adventure. For the serenity of a forest. For the peaceful sounds of the woods, and my feet getting swept away on a trail. Taking me somewhere new. Somewhere beautiful. Somewhere fresh. Somewhere where I am likely to stand there staring for a while, lost in awe. Letting nature suck away my worries. There is such a paradox in the forest. Because I feel small, but filled with potential at the same time. Nature’s beauty (especially mountains, for me personally), is humbling. The world is so vast. So breathtaking. So in need of our respect. How can I be sucked up in sadness or depression or worries, when I am surrounded by such perfect creations? It fills me with the: There’s so much more to life than this, mindset.

Surrender. Let go. 

This is why I travel. Why I seek adventure. To breathe. To let peace and serenity calm my body and soul. To let bliss wash over me. To tilt my head back. To look around and really see. For a fresh perspective. To minimize my struggles, and reconnect with my purpose. I feel most like myself in these moments. I don’t feel society and others opinions weighing down on me. I feel light, buoyant.

17308876_10101681141266693_2837190037945190149_nThis is my first travel blog and I am so geeked. National Parks is kind of my husband Zach and I’s thing. Our bedroom walls are covered with National Park maps and one Big US map with traces of our travels (together & separately) For years I traveled by myself. Yosemite and the Northwest being my favorite areas I have ever been. I patiently waited for my travel companion, for my life companion. And Zach fits into my life more than I could have ever dreamed. How in sync we are with our desires and goals. Last year we traveled to over 10 National Parks on a whirlwind 2 week trip, during which he proposed to me under the stars in Arches National Park.  Continue reading “Inside the Great Smoky Mountains”

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Who am I to be Happy?

self worthWho am I to be happy?

Who are you not to be?

I have gotten back-lash in the past for being happy or positive. Or written off. Oh Brittany she’s a hippy. She talks about love and is always trying to put a positive spin on something. Going against the grain, can mean being categorized and pushed aside.

But we have created this society. A society where we accept depression and stress. Depression is the norm. We talk more about our problems and struggles than we do our joys. We hate our jobs. We butt heads in our relationships. And we just give up on them and let them disintegrate. How else could divorce rates be so high? It is easier to give up and not deal with something or someone than it is to truly feel something. We would rather drink and do drugs, or whatever vice we may have than feel pain. We avoid it. We cover it. We blame. We accept the suck in our lives. But it is not our circumstances or lives that suck, we do. We suck. We accept the negativity as a norm.

We will wallow in our pain. We love that. To complain. To find faults. We bring depression upon ourselves. Our limited scope of the world, of life beyond a current circumstance, limits us. It’s like looking out of a dusty, dark window. As Thoreau has said, it’s not what you look at, but what you see.

Life is perspective. How you view it. Choice.

I am not happy all the time, but I am a lot better at catching myself. When I find myself having negative thoughts. Feeling stress. Being judgmental. Lacking compassion. Feeling sorry for myself. I catch it. I rebuke it. I go back to gratitude. What I am thankful for. How blessed I am. I cannot be down, when I am so blessed. We have to be self-aware. Call ourselves out. Be willing to change in an instance. You can decide not to be depressed. Not to be suppressed. To say no temptations. Reach for joy, rather than allowing yourself to be pulled down. Continue reading “Who am I to be Happy?”

Be the Happiest Person You Know: my tips and tricks to being happy

IMG_1616 (1)I enjoy researching. I feel I will forever be a seeker of knowledge. Infinitely curios. I do think most of my favorites posts and advice, however, come from my own life experiences. Who knows my life and thoughts better than me? As Thoreau says:

So I can research and read about happiness, or I can share my own trials and tribulations. Whish seems more relatable? More vulnerable? More personal? I am a fan of raw real talks, pumped full and pulsating with honesty.

For instance I am NOT happy all the time. My usual state of being is content. I typically feel happy. However, I am a beautifully flawed, imperfect being trying to make it through life’s challenges and struggles and still keep a smile on my face. I am a constantly growing and evolving person. Sometimes I have my shit together. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I am sad. Occasionally I get angry. Sometimes I go weeks without hiking. Sometimes I miss my kettlebell workouts. Sometimes I don’t want to bake or be in the kitchen. Sometimes I want to sleep in. Sometimes I want to be by myself. Sometimes I don’t feel like writing. Sometimes I feel like hiding. Sometimes I have NO clue what in the hell I am doing. Sometimes I doubt myself. Sometimes I question my dreams. Occasionally I feel sorry for myself. Sometimes I want to give up. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I feel lazy. Sometimes I feel like eating ice cream. Sometimes I judge. Sometimes I don’t love myself as much as I should. Sometimes I don’t let go and I try to control things. Often I cuss. Sometimes I don’t meditate. Sometimes I am not impeccable.

I feel it ALL. But despite it all, most of the time I am happy, at least 98% of the time I would say. Pretty good percentage I think. And as Gabby Bernstein said, she judges success by how much fun she is having. Continue reading “Be the Happiest Person You Know: my tips and tricks to being happy”

Hit a Trail

“The day we stop exploring is the day we commit ourselves to live in a stagnant world, devoid of curiosity, empty of dreams.” ~Neil deGrasse Tyson

To fully appreciate this piece you may check out my post from Monday about my torrid love affair with walking (I’ve walked to work everyday this week). I would like to progress further on the piece. Because walking and movement is great, but one of my greatest passions in life (besides connections, cooking, and writing) is HIKING. I crave it. I get restless. My body aches to be outside. I NEED, I HAVE to hike. Period. Ask anyone who knows me. For the happiest Brittany. For the creative Brittany. For the eternal optimist Brittany. For the inspired Brittany. For the clear-headed, serene Brittany. I MUST HIKE. It saves me, over and over again. The moment I step into the woods I feel peace. I feel calm. Gone are my worries, and left is the potential and possibilities I feel in Nature. As if the trees can somehow filter out the bullshit of everyday life.

Tomorrow morning I have my alarm set early so I can beat the sun and be on a trail to chase its rise. Why? Why should we hike? Why should you hike (besides being moved to awe by my words and photos and banter)? Here are some of the given reasons for hiking, but as I find in life I think it’s important to always find your own reasons. How do you feel when you hike? What are you passionate about? What drives you? What do you yearn for?

Reasons to Hit a Trail

  • 1625603_10100900799447953_3973042893055115963_nHappier! A mood boost. Being outside boosts serotonin, those feel-good neurotransmitters. Plus you have the Japanese derived concept of forest bathing. Get in trees, let them swallow you up. Stand in awe of a mountain. Watch wildlife. Take off your shoes, get in there. Lay down, feel the good energy and vibes. Listen. Listen to the music of Nature. Breathe. Smell. Take in the smell of the trees. When someone told me I smelled like the outdoors, I resounded with an affirmative: thanks. This is also good then for depression. When I was going through one of the toughest times of my life, I was at least grateful and able to remain positive because I was in the mountains, for those mountains saved me.
  • Sensory stimulation. Watch wildlife. Take off your shoes, get in there. Lay down, feel the good energy and vibes. Listen. Listen to the music of Nature. Breathe. Smell. Take in the smell of the trees. When someone told me I smelled like the outdoors, I resounded with an affirmative: thanks. Touch. Touch that tree. Dip your toe in a stream. Get all those senses involved. Let them participate.
  • Concentration. Man I can’t tell you the level of focus I get on a hike. How acute my senses are. How connected I am. How crisp my thoughts are. The awareness of my body in time and space.
  • Creativity. Hiking fuels my creativity. I write blogs in my head as I walk. I envision photo shoots. I conceptualize recipes. Ideas flow one after another after another.
  • They say it can trigger our primal regions of the brain and psyche, which if you think about it, seems about right. We used to walk/run everywhere, of course that is going to connect us to where we came from.
  • Sleep. I am a total research dork, I do it for fun. I can not tell you how much I have read about sleep and light patterns. Basically we want to pick up on circadian rhythms. Rise and fall with the patterns of the suns/light and our neurotransmitters. The sun is rising, serotonin kicks in to wake us up. It’s dark, melotonin kicks in and we get sleepy. So if we spend time in the natural sunlight and less around artificial light, would that then not promote a circadian rhythm? To me this logic makes since. And here I will write a post: Hit a Pillow, about all the beautiful benefits of sleep.
  • An Experience. Whether you are taking a few days to camp and explore the backcountry, or a day to climb a small mountains, or you go out for an afternoon park visit with friends, there is always an experience to be had.
  • Change. I am a restless soul. Stagnancy and routine kind of scares the shit out of me. Life is changing. Our bodies our changing. In a decade, none of the cells in our body will exist. Nature is a constant state of change. I remember a view years ago I read that success was our ability to deal with uncertainty. Because as much ‘control’ as we think we have, we are never truly in control. And so I like hiking because it is always different, Even if I tread the same trail everyday. Just check out my pics from my favorite local park in different seasons. The gym is the same everyday. Get outside, embrace change.

Continue reading “Hit a Trail”

Spiced Apple Balsamic Cake

008“The true joy and wonder of life can only be yours if you follow your own intuition aiming to achieve your bliss.”
― Steven Redhead, The Solution

Initially I was going to name this site something typical and dull. Something with a lot of B’s that went with Brittany, because I have tendency to do that. But then I wrote a post last year for my cousin Jacki on purpose. In my bio I gave up a little piece of my heart, saying my biggest dream, the one at my center, which I’d never really shared with anyone (aside from my mom). My big dream was a food bus, and it still is (this site is part of my first steps towards my dreams). Jacki responded right away with some positivity and some input: call it Bliss Delish. I admit I wasn’t convinced right away. But then when I realized working for my family so long, meant I was trying to be someone, I knew I needed to use my own creativity. I needed something of my own. No rules, but freedom to follow my own intuition. So when I began sharing my dreams, Bliss kept coming back to my mind and then one day it was decided, boom Bliss Delish is me Brittany! I’m a bigger time thinker/over-thinker. I put my whole heart and soul into what I write and do (if you don’t like the babble skip down to the recipes at the bottom). Lately I’ve had moments of irreproachable happiness. Why? There was no reason why. I was done defending my life and choices. I was done looking for a reason or excuse to be content with life. I merely was happy, period.

How do you live in a state of bliss then? I recently read Danielle LaPorte’s radical book: The Fire Starter Sessions (read it!). What I got from it was this. How do you want to feel in life? What makes you feel that way? Go after that! If it doesn’t work out big deal, go after a new venture. We always have the power to change. I personally want to feel happy. I want to feel powerful. I want to feel creative. What makes me feel that way? When I am struggling in life, there are certain things that center me. I feel most alive when hiking. Writing allows me to right the thoughts in my head, or simply to get them out so I can move on. Lastly cooking is a way for me to feel at peace. Especially cooking for others. Half the time I make food and never taste it, but I thoroughly enjoy the process of cooking. It is a way for me to express myself. My Continue reading “Spiced Apple Balsamic Cake”