I Dropped Everything and Moved to Hawaii

Letting trust be my guide

It’s fascinating how the Universe has it’s way of taking you where you need to be. Less than two weeks ago, I was living in my luxury apartment in downtown Bend. Today I am free floating on the island of Kauai in my 98’ Subaru. I don’t know where I’ll be a year from now; what I do know is that the only constant in life is change.

It has been a hot minute since I have posted, primarily due to an inner and outer transformation I have been undergoing in the last month. It has been hectic, beautiful, and spontaneous. I had a difficult time trying to write out my experience while in the midst of it; I truthfully didn’t know what to make of everything.

I have been rather inspired since arriving on the island; not only from the picturesque beaches and scenery, but also because of the inexplicable energy here that fuels my creativity. This means you’ll gradually be seeing more content from me!

It is my intention to share my ever growing journey with you as to stay connected to the collective, but also as a creative outlet for me to contemplate on the pathways I have chosen to take. So that is the purpose of today’s article: to update you, as well as to jot down some reflections on this previous phase of my life.

I could go into depth on the logistics of why my boyfriend, Stuey, and I chose to up and leave Bend. The details would probably bore you to death, so I won’t subject you to that. To break it down, there were 3 simple reasons:

  1. Our landlord gave us a 30 day notice (we were on a short term lease)
  2. We felt ready for a change in scenery
  3. There’s no better place to live on a budget than the islands- believe it or not

So, us being rather spontaneous and intuitive people, set out to make the move. We decided we were ready to leave within two weeks. We got rid of a bunch of our belongings, put the rest in a storage unit, sold our trusty steed, bought our tickets, and before we knew it, we were on the beach in 80 degree weather.

There were certainly external events that drove us to leave the mainland but the main influence was the inner transformation I previously mentioned. Another topic I could write a book about but here’s the summary:

Ever since living on the Oregon Coast and Big Island, I have had an inner knowing that I belong by the Ocean. The beach has and always will be a release for me; a safe haven, if you will.

Me, in my natural habitat

Ironically, the Universe guided me to a mountain town in Central Oregon about a year ago. Bend is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places I have been to. It is also my birth town, so I may or may not be biased. My summer there was filled with high desert adventure, floating down the river, growing hemp. It was awesome.

Taken while exploring Cascade Lakes
Overlooking the city of Bend and it’s glorious sunset
Drinking some local beer in the Cascade Lakes
The hemp jungle I spent my days in

As winter kicked in, the mountain parks started closing and I was limited to my adventures because of the snow (I owned a 2008 Chevy Impala- not ideal). I found myself spending more and more time inside, avoiding the icy roads and having to put 3 jackets on before walking out the door. I admit, I am somewhat of a baby when it comes to the cold.

This was challenging for me, as I didn’t have the ocean to escape to and I usually prefer to be outside. Although it didn’t feel right at the time, in retrospect, I know that it was.

Separating myself from a release as powerful as the ocean required me to start looking inward for my healing. Instead of relying on nature, I had to explore the deepest depths of my soul to find comfort. Granted, it was messy. There were suppressed emotions that I hadn’t dealt with for years including lingering grief from the death of my mom, feelings of abandonment from both my parents, and underlying limiting thoughts that have prevented me from my highest potential.

I am being transparent about this experience because I have come to realize that this is an inevitable aspect of life. Everyone has a “shadow self” as well as programs that separate us from our highest being. It is positive to acknowledge this, as it is the first step toward inner growth. Even the most revered spiritual teachers, including Jesus, Buddha, and Terrence Mckenna have had periods of deep reflection in order to ascend to their highest consciousness.

I must say, after looking so deep within, I have come out of it with more understanding than ever. It’s as though the periodical darkness drove me to my limits, pushed me out of my comfort zone, and led me to appreciate the light more than ever. After mending some wounds, I have been focusing on the parts of me that are well polished, and divine.

Back in my natural habitat and feeling recharged

As far as for what’s to come, I feel happily intoxicated with all the possibilities. I have a vision, but for the most part, I am simply waking up everyday and trusting. Trusting in the Universe, that it’ll provide all of the perfect opportunities. Trusting that abundance is running toward me. But mostly trusting myself, and my ability to bring my desires into reality.

If you are pushing through the roughs or aren’t feeling aligned with your surroundings, do not forget that divine order has you there for a reason. If you were in constant paradise, you wouldn’t feel the need to look deep within, and assess the parts of you that require recognition and healing. I promise though, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. When you do find it, it’ll be one of the most vibrant lights you’ve ever seen.

I can’t wait to share more of my journey with you as I continue to pursue my passions and soak up the Aloha energy. I am going to have much more time and resources to create powerful content that will inspire you on your journey, as you attract confidence, strength, contentment, health, and abundance in your life.

I always love to hear from you! As I grow Rooted Health & Healing, I will always consider it a community and place of support and inspiration. That’s going to take more than just my voice, so I am open to collaborations, ideas, or even just transformative conversations. I hope you have a beautiful week and know that you are divine.

The Christmas Illusion

The avoided truth of the holidays: a piece of my story

It’s that time of year again. Bright lights are permeating the streets, Christmas tunes are taking over the local radio station, and Santa Claus is somehow making a presence in every mall in the country. I can practically taste the holiday spirit, and it’s not just the peppermint bark.

It is undoubtedly a beautiful sight to watch the holiday spirit bring families together as well as highlight the essence of giving and kindness. However, although it appears as a reality shift, the truth that most will avoid is that Christmas is nothing but an illusion. It’s a social agreement to change the theme of our daily lives, and for once, designate our focus toward giving our time and resources to people we love. I’m not trying to kill your vibe, but in midst of all of this, there are individuals facing inner struggles, doing everything they can to play into the facade, even if this means burying their emotions to appear “jolly”. A holiday that is supposed to be about altruism and love becomes a time of loneliness and despair for many.

I considered writing a structured article that would bring awareness toward the holiday blues that a part of the collective experiences. Then I remembered my intentions behind sharing my writing is to really help people, even if that means being vulnerable and sharing my story so that others don’t feel alone. So that’s what I’m going to do; share my story.

I want to clarify that my intention is not to gain your sympathy, as I have countless blessings in my life and there are people that are dealing with much worse. My aim is to share a bit of my struggles so that you a) can get to know me better, b) gain some light on the real kind of love that needs to be spread, and c) have hope if you’re going through a hard time, because I got through it and so can you.

Christmas was a lively time for most of my younger years as I was fortunate enough to have a big family that would spoil me with affection and gifts. I was dazzled by the decorations and would stay up all night on Christmas eve, anticipating the excitement of the morning that laid ahead.

Me, getting spoiled with clothes on Christmas morning

That all changed one year, when my dad went missing. He was gone for a few months previous to Christmas. Me, being under 10 years old and used to having him in my life, was worried about him and didn’t understand why he wasn’t present for the holidays. At the time, I lived with my stepmom(who I have always just considered “mom”) and four of my siblings.

The family festivities continued, but I could tell there was something wrong. Maybe it was the fact that my mom was stressfully trying to come up with presents for us five kids on a teacher’s salary; or maybe it was just the underlying anxiety of not knowing where dad was.

Come Christmas day, no Dad. In retrospect, that might’ve been the first year that I realized how insignificant physical presents were compared to the presence of the people I loved.

I was told a few days later that he was in prison, and that he had been fighting a drug addiction. I thought parents were supposed to be perfect, and I didn’t understand how his actions weren’t based off the fact that he didn’t love me; they were merely a reflection of his own human inner struggles. So I felt abandoned.

Little did I know that I’d face many more Christmas’ without him. Some years he’d show up, and others he wouldn’t. My uncertainty developed a subconscious fear of the holidays, because it hurt to wonder whether he was going to be there or not.

After a few years, I slightly adapted to my reality and developed happy memories with my mom and siblings, despite the fact that my dad wasn’t around. I am grateful for the amount of love that was shown from various family members throughout that time, and my mom, for holding it together and choosing to take care of me even though she didn’t have to.

Me & my sibs on Christmas morning (I’m wrapped in the rainbow unicorn blanket)

Then, the Universe knew I had a higher capacity of strength, and chose to test me once again. I was thirteen, it was early November. I was sat down and told that the woman who had given birth to me, passed away. It might have been the fact that she brought me life, but there was an undeniable feeling of belonging when I was with her. She also faced her own inner conflicts and couldn’t be there for me consistently or the way she wanted to; but she was my mother. I always had hope that she would get better so I could see her more. It hurt in indescribable ways to have that hope ripped away from me. The grief I experienced from that situation extended past Christmas.  I was fortunate enough to have another mother figure(my “step” mom) who has always loved me as her own, and my siblings who always had my back. The truth is though, at that point I was so depressed that I couldn’t see the blessings that were right in front of me. The last thing I wanted to do was celebrate Christmas.

There have been Christmas’ since where I’ve been under the impression that I healed completely. Then there have been others, including this year, where I am reminded how much of an impact those events really had on me. I am not perfect. Although I consider myself an optimistic and conscious person, I too, have had to put effort toward understanding my programs so that I can grow toward my higher potential. Healing is a messy process, one that most don’t want to talk about or acknowledge, especially during the holiday season. When I become aware of my subconscious feelings of abandonment, the last thing I want to do is reach out to the people I love and dampen their holiday spirit.

This year I’ve been feeling energy very intensely. Although it has been quite painful at times, I know that is a part of my growth and awakening. Every time I cry and analyze where my emotions stem from, I feel as though I am shedding a layer of skin. I have spent more time in my apartment than I have in years, but I also feel stronger than I ever have. I recognize the pain I’ve been feeling as an opportunity to grow and understand myself better.

With that being said, if you are experiencing stress, loneliness, or resurfacing emotions during these holidays, I want to reassure that there is nothing wrong with you. Christmas is an exciting time of the year for many, but that doesn’t mean that you need to suppress your feelings to fit in. If anything, this is the time for you to feel out your emotions and get to know where they stem from. This is the only way that you’ll grow and have increasingly better years ahead. Although the people around you might be emphasizing the importance of family events, gift exchanges, and holiday obligations, don’t forget that your mental health should always come first.

For those of you who adore the holidays and don’t get why someone wouldn’t, please keep in mind what this season is really about. It’s about love. Not just the act of showing it through buying presents or hosting parties, but the act of extending your compassion toward those who are having a different experience than you are. After all, stepping in someone’s shoes, allowing them to be heard and noticed: that is one of the most valuable gifts that you can give.

If you’re wondering how I’ve pushed through the worst of the season, and have turned it into a growing experience, all I can really say is that for once, I allowed myself to feel. Instead of pretending that I already have my life all figured out, I got in touch with my inner child and gave her the compassion that she’s been seeking for years. I also gained the courage to reach out to a few people, despite how vulnerable it made me. I calmly let them know what I was going through, and they reminded me that it’s natural and expected to feel the way I do. It empowered me to come face to face with that which has been hiding in the back of my mind for many years.   

As the Christmas illusion comes closer to an end, don’t be afraid to feel. Reach out to those who love you. Utilize your hardships to become a stronger person. In the meantime, do your best to appreciate the beauty of the season, and use it’s magic to help you heal (let’s face it, we’ve all got a little bit of healing to do).

So whether this season is your favorite time of the year or particularly hard for you, don’t forget that love is what it’s all about. The past might hurt, and the future might seem stressful, but living deeply in the moment is love, and the Christmas spirit in it’s true essence.

If you need someone to talk to, please feel free to reach out to me. My email is gabdozier@gmail.com. Whether we’ve met or we haven’t, I genuinely care about your wellbeing and hope that you continue to take care of yourself. Remain in a state of growth and grow you shall.

Why I Stopped Using ADHD Medication


Coping with a fast paced mind

I’ll start from the beginning. When I was in early High school, I felt like there was something wrong with me. I had an awful time sitting through class and would often drift into la la land while the teacher lectured us about postulates and linear equations. I took advanced classes and would go home with a stack full of homework. The challenge was, my attention span lasted about 10 minutes. Which meant I would sometimes stay up all night long trying to complete a few hours worth of homework.

Beyond that, I dealt with emotional turmoil because instead of properly processing the challenges I went through, I let my fast paced mind take hold of me. So, under the illusion that a doctor would fix my problems, we scheduled an appointment.

I went in, told my doctor how I felt, and he sent me home with a few evaluations that I was told to give to my teachers and older family members. I brought them back after everyone filled them out, and he had them assessed. He told me I had a high chance of having ADHD. There is no way to physically test if someone has it or not, so it is presented in terms of likelihood.

He prescribed me two medications. Vyvanse in the morning, which is a stomach activated non-stimulant, and then Adderall for when the Vyvanse would wear off.

I can definitely say that it helped me focus. In fact, it made me hyper-focused. I would meticulously clean my room, find enjoyment out of math homework for once, and most of the time forget to eat. I was becoming really skinny because I religiously exercised and never had an appetite.

At first, I was happy with the “improvements” it was bringing to my life. But after some time, I started to see the flaws in which it brought. For starters, I had to continue upping my doses because I quickly grew a tolerance for both medications. I was nervous that I’d have to keep increasing my dosage for the rest of my life. Second of all, if there was a day where I ran out of medication and couldn’t get a refill, I felt absolutely incompetent. I would stay in bed all day and feel brain dead. Lastly, I realized that I no longer enjoyed writing, music, or art as much, and those have always been some of my deepest passions.

I could tell people were worried about my weight and could sense a change in my personality. It was a very serious thing at a young age to be completely shifting the chemical foundation of my mind.

It wasn’t until I started learning more about the structure of our society that I started understanding why I thought I needed medication to be normal. Humans are expected to act and be a certain way, which is why the school systems are seeking high test scores instead of encouraging kids to focus on their passions. I realized I was taking a few pills to conform to the expectations of others.

The fact is that I have always had a strong right side of the brain, and have felt more in tune with my creativity than my logical thinking. As soon as I learned to appreciate this instead of view it as a hindrance, I felt motivated to come off of my medication and find natural ways to cope with my fast paced mind. As easy as it made my life and as addicted I was, I still chose to quit overnight because I knew in my heart that it was taking away from my true potential.

I was on pharmaceuticals for about a year, and it has been almost four years since I have used them. When I look back at my writing during that time, I see an author restricted from her highest capabilities and stuck in structure rather than truth. It has been liberating to find relief in substances that bring genuine positivity to my life, instead of feeling incomplete without taking a few pills.

If you take medication to cope with your inner challenges, that is okay. But if you feel that it is bringing you more problems than solutions, it might be time to start exploring various ways to cope. If you are experiences side effects that are negatively impacting your health, I highly encourage you to talk to your doctor as there are always alternative solutions. If you’ve felt an underlying need to stop taking your medication, again, have that discussion with your doctor.

I want to remind you that are whole, complete, and absolutely beautiful whether you take medication or not. The purpose behind this article is to inspire anyone who feels incompetent in this society to assess your qualities and find the positives in what seems to be your downfalls.  It is also my intention to be as raw as possible so that we can share this imperfect human experience together. And as always, I encourage you to envision the life that aligns to your truth, and live it out.

To see my methods at which coping with my distractions, check out my article 5 ways  to Naturally Cope with ADHD.

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Disclaimer: that I am by no means encouraging anyone to quit taking prescriptions without doctor supervision. This is a touchy subject and I have no intention to offend anyone who uses medication as a tool in their life, as this is simply based off my own experiences. I encourage everyone to follow the path that feels right to you.