Update About My New Adventures

Wedding picture editedblog pictures224 weeksbaby ultrasound

It’s amazing how things change…

It feels like just a few months ago I was in Busan, South Korea teaching ESL, eating gimbap and hiking in the mountains. In actuality, It’s been almost 2 years since I moved from South Korea to California to be with my then fiance’ and now husband.

Life is a grand adventure. Sometimes the adventure is fun, scary, crazy, hectic, chaotic, boring, surprising and everything else in between. However, that’s precisely what an adventure is; something unpredictable.

I left Virginia in 2013 to embark on a new chapter of my life: teaching ESL in Indonesia. With that journey, my entire world was flipped upside down and forced me to do a lot of self-reflection. I spent a lot of time alone. It was a transformational time in my life.

In Indonesia, I hit my rock bottom and learned how to dust myself off and pick myself back up.

In Indonesia, I also learned how to meditate, teach young children, self-reflect, be humble, quit drinking, stopped partying, tried out vegetarianism, experimented with veganism, and became celibate.

Indonesia was a whirlwind of an experience. I’d love to share the whole story with you one day.

***Before I posted another pretty picture of a flower or mountain range, I felt it was best to let you know about this new adventure in my life. The journey of a new family.

I got married to the man I love, changed my last name, and now, we’re expecting our first child. Her name’s Rose.

I’m scared, elated, overwhelmed, and everything else…

I’ve decided to embark on the adventure that motherhood brings. With all of its joys, struggles, heartaches, and laughs, here I go… into a place I’ve never been before.

And Rose, She will be loved. Her mother and father are excited for her arrival. There’s so much to teach her. There’s so much for her to teach us.

In this life, if we’re lucky, we wake up to another day, and within the new, we have the opportunity to be better than we were the previous day. This is my understanding of it. We fall, we get back up. Our only choice is to keep moving forward. The saying goes, fall down 8 times pick yourself up 9. Keep moving forward. I believe that quitting isn’t an option…life can be excruciating for us all at times… but it can also be beyond amazing if you allow it.

So, I’m ready for the beyond amazing adventure…and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the experiences with you along the way.

Thanks for reading.

Love, Leslie

 

 

 

 

Naritasan Shinshoji Temple | Japan

temple-5temple-13temple-11temple-10temple-9temple-7temple-3temple-2

Naritasan-Temple belongs to the Chisan Sect of  Shingon Buddhism. The temple is famous for the goma ritual where many votive offerings are dedicated in front of the  Fudo-myo-o and special wooden goma sticks are burnt on the altar. No one other than Shingon priests who have been instructed in the secret rituals can perform this rite. The fire of the goma rite symbolizes the wisdom of Fudo-myo-o, and the wooden goma sticks represent the afflictions of human beings. By burning the goma sticks which have been inscribed with the human afflictions in the fire of Fudo-myo-o’s wisdom, the officiating priest prays with the devotees that their afflictions might be removed.

~Writing segment extracted from, ‘Main Temple Naritasan Shinshoji Temple’ brochure.

Outdoor Gym in Busan, South Korea

gym-1

This outdoor gym is located in a forest in Busan where I love to go hiking. In many places here, it is easy to stumble upon a place to get in a little stretching and exercise FOR FREE in the great outdoors.

Free access to simple health and wellness equipment? What a concept.

North Carolina Museum of Art

img_54532x7gximg_5450

img_5462

Above you will find a few photographs of works from the North Carolina Museum of Art.

My favorite piece, is the first piece. It is a sculpture by Rodin. It is entitled, “Monumental Head of Pierre de Wissant”. The caption states, “In this larger-than-life portrait, Pierre de Wissant’s introspective agony is amplified to an almost unbearable intensity. The tilt of the head, given greater emphasis through the unusual base of the sculpture, makes this agony even more poignant. The source of Wissant’s anguish was his decision to join five other civic leaders who agreed to sacrifice their own lives to win the freedom of their besieged city of Calais.”

http://ncartmuseum.org/

Untitled

In observance of the movement

Experiencing the calm within the storm

Unhinging and reattachment

Chaos surrounds tranquility

All moving apart to come together

The heart beat

Expansion and contraction

Inhaling and exhaling

In essence, the rhythm of life

Picturing the wind blowing and, I, the wind

Moving through the things

Moving through each other

Breathing in, breathing out

The wind is flowing

As life flows through us

I close my eyes to picture this flow

I am the wind as my my chest expands and contracts

All combining to rhythmically keep me intune with the continuous flow of life

I, breathing in the life of things and, this form, that I am, being a part of that life of things

And with eyes closed, I see that we are all connected.

With great upheaval, can respond with silencing peace

Bennet’s Creek at Dusk

img_5399

Enjoying the fresh air at dusk in Suffolk, Virginia.

I swung on the swing, cleared my mind during a calming walk, jumped rope and sat by the water.

I love doing things out in nature; reveling in the sun’s light and feeling the open air fill my lungs and resonate to the very core of me.