Nairn Falls TBT Pic

Cristina Gecolea at Nairn Falls Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada
Cristina Gecolea at Nairn Falls Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

Flowering Alone

Today’s #TBT photo was taken at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, BC on March 31, 2014.  On this date, I just finished writing my Social Media Marketing final exam (completed online because I was enrolled in a distance education class in the Public Relations Program at BCIT). As I look at this flower, I realize I AM her!

flowering aloneTGD

Flowering Alone by Cristina Gecolea

She is fantastic, vibrant and beautiful. She holds herself up, proudly, to greet the sun. Daily, she basks in its warmth. While most of the flowers in the field are situated in pairs or clusters, this flower is alone AND thriving!

All who gaze upon her are delighted by the joy and beauty she brings into the world. Her radiance bursts forth from her core! She lifts your spirit higher because she is the epitome of fortitude. She has weathered past storms, enduring it all, steadfastly, alone.

Around her shoulders is a cape woven from hours of silent contemplation. You see, she is fulfilled by her own company and her beauty derives from the glory of her inner light. Solitude has only added more depth to her, enhancing her loveliness. She perfumes the entire field with her magnificence. She is not lonely; She is complete!

A few of you readers and loyal followers (thank you) know that I’ve recently split up from my partner of 4+ years. Whereas I’ve received many invitations from interested others to start dating again, I respectfully decline because I value my “blossoming” which can only be done alone. Instead, I go on dates with myself, walking alone, oftentimes in nature. I didn’t realize I naturally started a walking meditation practice until I began reading Thich Nhat Hanh‘s book Anger.

Through zazen, I observe my thoughts and feelings. I engage in deep breathing and focus on awareness. I have been disappointed, sad, angry, and now indifferent to my Ex, all in the span of 2 months.

I am aware of the mistakes of my past such as having very high expectations about our relationship from “just a guy” as he terms himself. Whereas it’s not bad to have such standards, the mistake I made is to want a commitment from someone not wanting the same thing. Also, it’s impossible to seek love from someone who is incapable of being alone. This “aloneness” is distinct from independence. Aloneness is the ability to enjoy your own company, regardless of what you’re doing.

It is my job to provide myself with the love I’m looking for. This is done thru self-love. Since beginning the practice of sitting meditation and just “being,” I’ve come to realize that only when you are flowering in your own presence can you water the seeds of deep love in yourself. This means knowing how to tend to your own garden before being able to care for the garden of another. I know there is much work to do in my own garden and now is the opportunity to do that! My epiphany is solidified as this quote came to me today:

The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it’s not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of another person–without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.


UBC Kinesiology Mentorship Kickoff

2012 kines mentorship program kickoff at UBC Van
Mentor Cristina Gecolea on right

Good morning! Today’s #TBT photo is from the 2012 School of Kinesiology Mentorship Kickoff. I used to volunteer as a mentor for UBC Vancouver since I graduated with a Human Kinetics degree and have been officially working in the fitness and wellness industry since I was 18 years old:)

Bear Goes Swimming

Good morning! Today’s #TBT photo is, once again, from our Frenchie family vacation in August 2013. These pictures were taken while we were on an eco tour with River Safari in Blue River, BC. This small female brown bear was swimming in Mud Lake. Enjoy!

Yesterday’s View

I didn’t eat anything yesterday because I was fasting: I only had sips of water. 24 hours went by quickly because I was immersed in an activity, a new hobby that only 3 people know about – I’ll share details on this later!

When I woke up yesterday, I didn’t plan on fasting. I just felt inspired to do it and so I did! This was the view that kept me company for most of the day. Pictures taken early morning from my balcony.

Great Bear Rainforest Video

Devin Graham a.k.a. DevinSuperTramp filmed this fantastic video of the Great Bear Rainforest in the central coast of BC. I believe Destination British Columbia and the Canadian Tourism Commission were his sponsors. All I can say is “WOW!”

Cranberry Season

While shopping at the farm market near my home, I got myself some cranberries which are one of my fave foods! I like eating them chilled. I also eat them in all their natural glory: plain/raw.

Since switching to a Paleo diet in July 2014, I don’t eat popcorn anymore so I’m glad cranberries are available. These juicy red babies are chock-full of vitamins and are more delicious than (fake) butter-covered air-popped corn anyway!

FYI, cranberries are in season from October to December so now is a great time to go out and enjoy them. Nutritional info/benefits on cranberries can be found on George Mateljan’s World’s Healthiest Foods website.