An essential part of this life is to do things that make you feel alive. There is a difference between simply existing and living. Existence is merely breath. Living is where you feel your breath in you come alive in all the colors - not only do you see color, you life feels like color. I want to live a life where I am not existing to pass the time. Time will always pass but I want to catch each and every second like lightening bugs on a summer's night. Each moment has it's own magic and its own light. It is up to us to find it. These moments are the lightening bugs - everywhere but we have to have the eagerness to look for them, knowing that timing is everything. Should we forget what this feeling is like we need look no further than existence, which is in an of itself is a gift. It's not a place I want to linger for too long for life is calling me, but it is a place to come back to when we need humbled about how lucky we are to be alive. 


The Mosque of Hassan II

The mosque floating over the sea in sunny Casablanca, Morocco

While it would take me about an hour to recount to you all of the churches and cathedrals that I have been to, never have I been to a mosque before in all of my travels. I grew up Catholic, as well as my parents, so naturally we were always inclined to go to Christian countries. I have been to Vatican City three times and every time I go to Paris I always stop in Notre Dame de Paris.

It has only been through my AP Art History class junior year of high school that I was even introduced to what exactly happened inside of a mosque. More than that several art history classes and personal research later, I have come to learn about the formalistic and contextual importance of Islamic art. For example, no iconography is displayed in Mosques only abstract mosaics and Arabic inscriptions as to avoid the worship of icons because a key belief in the Muslim faith is a worship in one God and one God only -- Allah. Not only are they extremely beautiful, patterns help to create a meditative like prayer experience. Furthermore, each color and each pattern have their own symbolic message and importance. If you want to know more about this click here

2018 is by far the year I am learning more than I ever have about Islam. I am taking an interesting class taught by an atheist Danish feminist theologian about unpacking the Western perspective of Islam using accommodation models, meaning systems and the sociology of religion. That combined with my recent trip to Morocco, in particular the Mosque of Hassan II, has really opened my eyes to a religion that I grew up with a stigma against thanks to my own religion and of course the nature of Western news. This is a classic example of education truly having the power to open one's eyes to another facet of the world to better create understanding to work towards a more unified humanity.

The Mosque of Hassan II was completed in 1993. After construction, it became the fifth largest mosque in the world. It can hold up to 100,000 people for the daily prayers during the month of Ramadan. Each day they have around 25,000 people come for the five times daily prayers.

The most interesting part of my tour of the interior of the mosque was hearing our local guide discuss its architecture. I never realized how intentional architecture was in the construction of a religious site. For example, the Mosque of Hassan II is constructed over the ocean to mirror a description of heaven found in the Qur'an.

More than anything I am breaking down past stigmas through my discovery of Islam and realizing more and more how beautiful it's teachings are. While the mechanisms of delivery differ, I now realize how familiar the messages are to the ones that I have received through my Catholic upbringing.

"The reward of goodness is nothing but goodness" - The Holy Qur'an; Chapter 55 Verse 61

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" - The Holy Bible; Matthew Chapter 7 Verse 12


Life Things

Here in Copenhagen, it is trendy to wear these kinds of pants that resemble pajama pants. It's a concept I am 100% here for. 

I've been spending a lot of time at this one cafe called the Living Room. I like to sit by the window and right across the street there is a tattoo shop and occasionally when I look up I see people oogling at their new tattoo. 

A very snowy Copenhagen.

Call me superficial, but mirror pics are my dorky obsession right now. I literally have one from every day - mostly because I am still getting used to the fact I have bangs!

After I went to Morocco I have three new passport stamps: which is quite the accomplishment since I have been traveling solely in the EU these past few months.

Granola bars with important messages have my heart. 


Some Thoughts

"life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone"

I'm trying to make myself a Monday person. I'm all about embracing the kind of person that you are and not trying to fit a mold of what kind of person you are "supposed" to be ... but for me I really want to be a Monday person. I'm more of a Thursday person, where the weekend is near but there is that one final push and work to put in before rest. I am definitely not a Monday person or a morning person for that matter, so much that I have no less than five alarms go off every morning before I am even useful to the world. Baby steps.

In case you aren't following along on the Instagram journey, this past week was a travel break and I spent in the week exploring all parts of Morocco with my mom. This trip was incredible: no only for the time spent with my best friend, but also the amount of my newfound creative inspiration from being in this country. It was just what I needed after several months of being in a creative funk. I did a lot of writing, observing artisans and thinking out loud with my mom (who really can help me realize what I am making complicated in my life really isn't so complicated at all) and now more than ever I really do feel inspired to get back in touch with the creative person that I am. I literally took over 2000 pictures while I was in Morocco and I have lots of stories to tell ... so keep an eye out over the next several weeks.

Anyway the point of my ramblings here is to share with you some thoughts I have been having and which I have finally been able to put into words thanks to again my mom - she literally knows how to solve anything! 

About a month ago now I wrote about not being afraid, and through this past week I have discovered another, more deeper way to connect with this goal. The idea of my being afraid comes from my fear of the next step. Honestly, I feel hypocritical writing this because one of my mantras is to go beyond comfort zones. Life happens in tiers: you go from one comfort zone to going beyond it and then becoming comfortable in something that once seemed uncomfortable. This is a new realization. Like brand new. I talk again an again about how big moving to Copenhagen was for me, but now that I have been here for a while this once uncomfortable experience has now become my every day life. So here is an example of my new challenge: to take the next step, to look for ways to be uncomfortable and keep expanding the boundaries of the place where I am comfortable. 

I did that by going to Morocco: a country that had seemed foreign to me. Sure they speak French which is familiar but also they speak Arabic and practice Islam. Two characteristics which we have been socialized to be skeptical of by the Western world. Going to Morocco was uncomfortable without a doubt: I stuck out like a sore thumb and had never been surrounded by so many men before but through the uncomfortable I was able to find people to connect to and people that have changed my life forever. I have stories about this that I cannot wait to share with you.

So here is an excerpt from my journal on my thoughts about this concept of taking the next step because I will be applying it to ever aspect of my life: from what can I do here in Copenhagen to make life here different, to relationships (friends, family, housemates, beyond), to school, to building the image for myself and to my newfound practice of self care:

"Take the next step -- 'disrupt business as usual'; do not keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect your life to change; get and remain comfortably uncomfortable; find the edge and go so near it you think that you are going to fall, but have faith in yourself that you are not going to; do NOT accept complacency"

Happy Monday friends ... keep dreaming :)


More Than

I am at a point in life where everything will always lead me back to the time I was in Sorrento, Italy last fall. It was a point where I needed a break the most - to find myself again and to be with the people that I love most in the place where it all began. I'm telling you the craziest most amazing thing is coming back to places that I had been to when I was younger. It's amazing how much you can see how much you have changed, but also how much is the same. 

With all my studying, the biggest takeaway that I have from college so far is to take nothing for granted. This outlook has made me realize that everything, including myself, has value beyond the surface. Since this is my blog, about my life and a way for me to work through this crazy world here is some of what's been in my head ... maybe this can be a way for us both to see what we have in common because underneath it all we are humans :) .  

I am more than: 

where I am from

where I live

where I've been to

where I am going

what I study

what I wear

what music I listen to

what I choose to do with my free time

what my hair looks like

what I choose to eat

what size jeans I wear

how much money is in my bank account 

how tall I am

how many followers I have

who I am friends with

who I interact with (or not)

All of the things above are superficial. Yes, they are key characteristics of what makes me well me. But if you focus only on those things you could never know the real me. I am so much beyond the surface, and if we are being real here I am a tough person to get to know beyond the surface - which I think is a reason why to some I seem distant, standoffish or (yikesss) unapproachable. I think I put on this facade as a filter because underneath I have built someone I am very proud to spend the rest of my life with. Beyond the surface I have so much love I want to give, so much happiness, so much curiosity. I am sarcastic and witty as hell and I am also incredibly smart, brave, determined, powerful yet graceful, soft, and delicate. This and more makes up the real me: someone who I want the world to know but at the same time someone who is so precious that I would say only a few know her truly.

This is what actually my COM professor has helped me to realize: I am on a journey of finding a way to fuse all the parts of myself to create my authentic self - the real person that I want to show to the world. This concept is scary, but also liberating, but overall something that is a work in progress.

The most difficult part of this journey has been not acceptance, but vulnerability and confronting parts of myself and the world that I didn't want to before. To break down walls you have to realize that you won't be everyone's cup of tea - and that in itself is a realization that holds more power than you could imagine.

If you like me are trying to find who you are start and end and do all things under one condition: love.

ps - I am laughing out loud in the library now about how my body is literally 90% legs as you can see from these pics. Let me tell you it is a blessing and a curse - the pants are Extra Tall and they are still stupidly short lol


Sunrise at Park Güell

There's something to be said about getting up early in a foreign country and going for a nice long walk, especially in a place like Barcelona, where the pace is more relaxed than uptight Copenhagen. The streets were empty and the air was warm, not to mention the most beautiful light for photos. I will let the photos here do most of the talking this time around. I've said it before and I will say it again ... there is something special, something romantically magical about the golden light of southern Europe. I am thankful to have spent this time with some sweet ladies and to have found coffee for one Euro along the way (the addiction is REAL).

ps - all photos taken on my iPhone X ... 100% worth the investment.


Changes and Fleeting Moments

While the dark is subsiding in Copenhagen as spring is approaching, this past week has been the coldest here so far with temperatures lingering around 15 degrees Fahrenheit. 

I never thought that this moment would come so soon. It's now March, which means that as of right now I have just over two months left of living in Copenhagen. Most of you know that this experience has without a doubt changed every aspect of the person I have become - it has been the biggest challenge but also the greatest adventure of my entire life. Time flies. It really truly does.

I look back at August of 2017 and everything was different. I was an excited, ambitious girl with a suitcase full of clothes and a mind without expectations. If I knew what I would have been through now, then I would have laughed in your face. I have always told I am an old soul, but I feel aged beyond my years in so many different ways. Everything about me has changed - the way I think, the way that I see the world, how I interact with people. Instead of resisting this change, I am proud of the strong, independent young woman that I have become these past seven months because I have not resisted change. Every single thing that I have experienced I have embraced it with an open mind and an open heart, knowing that it would contribute to the globally centered person that I want to become. That's the biggest tip I can give to anyone moving abroad - do not resist change. Change is terrifying and very uncomfortable. But the way you change will make you ten times the person you were before and 100 times the person you ever thought you would be. Trust the process. And when they tell you that everything will work out how it should this is the truth. Look at me, one year ago if you told me that I would be where I am I would have laughed in your face. It wasn't that I knew where I wanted to be because truly I had no idea where I was going to end up - but I never could have even fathomed the experiences I have had, the knowledge that I have gained or the people that I have met. This experience has been incredible and I am forever grateful for the process, no matter how much I want to throw in the towel and call it quits.

With that in mind, I am still coming to terms with the fact that my time in Copenhagen is fleeting. I think it's best to say that I am based out of Copenhagen right now because these next few months are going to be packed with travel. This past weekend I went to Spain (more on that to come!) which started the spiral of non stop movement and plane rides until August. Tomorrow I go to Morocco, two weeks later I go to France, then back to back Austria, Germany, Scotland and a trip to the Netherlands on my final weekend of being in Copenhagen. Then I go back to the USA for two weeks before moving to France until mid July which then afterwards I plan on a week of unwinding in Spain and Morocco before popping over to London for a weekend before flying home for my yoga teacher training in New York. After that ... real college.


Life is going to be non-stop  ... which sometimes makes me wonder when the heck I am even going to find time to sleep or eat or journal. However chaotic it is right now, through my meditation I have found grace in the moment which I have right now because no matter how big or how small the moment is ... it is precious because each moment is unique and will not last forever.

This is the somewhat melancholic yet at the same time beautifully empowering outlook that I have created on life.

This is why I have dedicated my life to adventure, to connection, to helping others because I find beauty in each fleeting moment. Which is my YES, to show up to everything with 110% of my being and leave nothing behind.

Eat the freaking pasta. Buy the dress. Get the tattoo (oops:). Do homework. Study hard. Love hard. Leave nothing behind. I want to live a life where I don't want to be left wondering what I could have done how how things could have been. I want to live a life where I can say I'm proud to have had that moment and no matter what the outcome was. I want to be proud of myself for showing up.
© Kira Tabor | All rights reserved.