Follow your bliss.
If you do follow your bliss,
you put yourself on a kind of track
that has been there all the while waiting for you,
and the life you ought to be living
is the one you are living.

When you can see that,
you begin to meet people
who are in the field of your bliss,
and they open the doors to you.

I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid,
and doors will open
where you didn’t know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss,
doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.
–Joseph Campbell

Campbell said it best – and I felt so called to this invitation that I have the “Follow Your Bliss” magnet on my fridge. I say it frequently, but follow the advice less than I would like. I followed my bliss when I left the extremist religion I was raised in (the Jehovah’s Witnesses) and began a new life. I followed my bliss when I quit my corporate job to freelance write full-time (something I was told I couldn’t do).

And now, today, I have followed my bliss by leaving my home in Oregon and moving to Kauai, Hawaii to live on the beach. This has been a lifelong dream.

Accomplishing it has given me more joy than I can even put into words here. Poetry is pouring out of me and I have spent many moments with tears in my eyes and love in my heart. Joseph Campbell is so right. The Universe has conspired with me as I set out on this journey, and the right people and circumstances have all been provided for me.

Life is such magic.

But you cannot fully grasp the magic of life until you do this very thing – until you follow your bliss. And when you do, you will not BELIEVE what will come together for you. The people that will drop off from your life (and rightly so), the amazing people that will step into your life (blissfully so) and the insights that seem to automatically download into your consciousness (even more surprisingly so).

Why is this?
When we are BEING our bliss (and for me that is living at the beach), we are SO in alignment with who we REALLY ARE, that there is no more struggle, no more strife, only total and complete joy.

I realized over the course of this journey (which is only really beginning) a few key things:

-In times of great transition, the people who are truly your friends step up, the ones who are not (this includes family too), also show themselves. This provides an amazing opportunity for clarity and more intimate bonds with those who are truly in alignment with you.

-Nothing else matters, but right now. Sitting on Poipu beach on Friday, I realized this. It doesn’t matter what I do in my life, what matters is that I’ve done this. That I had a stirring within me, a voice and a message that said “go” and I went. And the going provided me with so much more than I could have ever imagined.

-Happiness is a feeling. Joy is a state of being. I can feel “happy” about circumstances in my life, but when I am living in alignment with WHO I REALLY AM, I feel joy that no outside circumstances can impact.

These are just a few of my realizations and I’m eager to see what’s around the bend.

Thank you to all of you who have supported me in the attaining of this dream (InsideTrack, JenP, and all the rest). I am so excited to see the next bits of unfolding.

And most of all, I have to thank the Universe and Mr. Campbell for reminding me of who I REALLY AM and allowing me to be that.

Much love & blessings,
Heather

P.S. Top photo – sunset at Poipu Beach, Richie & I on my first night living in Kauai.

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Well, I did it.

I made the trek across the Pacific Ocean to move my life from Portland, Ore. to Kauai, Hawaii.

It has been a true adventure – filled with many synchronicities and unfortunately, not much time for cooking. Sure, I made a turkey sandwich on Ezekiel bread for the plane ride, along with trail mix (Trader Joe’s cashews, almonds and unsweetened cranberries) and consumed far too many Luna and Cliff bars – just to get through the last few days.

But, along the way I did make one lovely discovery: Sunspire SunDrops. Now, warning – there are dairy elements, and it is not guaranteed gluten-free – but I had absolutely no problems eating them. They were a great treat, especially as my significant other noshed on peanut M&M’s (which by the way are loaded with bad refined sugars!).

If you’re looking to celebrate and treat yourself – SunDrops (peanut style) are the way to go. Enjoy!

Happy Eating,
Heather

P.S. I hope to get some more cooking in soon! 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

I’m addicted to this recipe right now. It has all the elements–veggies, no wheat/dairy/sugar, plenty of protein and it’s absolutely delicious. Below is the recipe for one serving (although the dressing will feed one, all week long).

Salad Dressing:
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c rice vinegar – recommend Marukan brand
1 T garlic salt
Juice from one lemon

Place in sealed container, shake to mix. Keep at room temperature.

Salad:
Avocado, chopped
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Organic field greens
Artichoke hearts (Trader Joe’s brand!) with one sliced bell pepper (loving the yellow right now)
-Stir-fry artichoke hearts with a sliced bell pepper in olive oil with garlic salt for seasoning.
Chicken
-Grill chicken breasts with desired seasoning. Cool and shred for salad.

Combine salad ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and top with salad dressing.
Pair with the soup of your choice or eat alone. It’s enough for a meal! To spice it up, you can add sesame or flax seeds.

Happy Eating!
Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Valentine’s Day may appear to be just another overly commercialized and silly American holiday, BUT, I encourage you to push aside your apathy and instead take time to ponder what love is to YOU.

We throw the word around so frequently, it can be tough to really know what it is. And not just in words – what does love feel like to you? Where do you feel love in your body?

For me, my heart chakra swells and tears form when I think about those I love. I have the overwhelming urge to hug them and connect with them, in any way possible. I find it most easy to express my love through writing, but I also know how important it is to make eye contact with a loved one and tell them in the most simple, yet beautiful way possible that I do, in fact, love them.

Love, to me, is the unconditional reaction to care for, be present with and honor a person in your life. It means that no matter what the outside circumstances are in life, you love them. In addition, to me love is about ACTION. Actions show priority and when I love, I work hard to make sure I’m showing my feelings. Without that extra step, the kind words, a hug, or a thoughtful gift–how will the people in my life know that I love them?

I’m working on a project around this topic – so I await your responses. What is love to YOU?
Submit your answers/ideas here! Or, email me at: heather@risingupforlove.org.

And in the meantime, reflect and write down the names of the people in your life that you truly love. Then, make a point to show them in a special way that is all your own.

Oh, and be sure to check out Byron Katie’s most excellent article on love. Self-love is a HUGE area that I coach often on, as it also happens to be one of the biggest pieces missing from the love puzzle. More on that in the very near future…

Much love to YOU,
Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

I love this recipe and hope you will too! It’s perfect for lunch during the week. I typically make this on a Sunday and eat it for lunch all week long. Yum!

-1 can black beans
-1 can refried beans (I love chili lime flavor)
-1 can enchilada sauce (red or green – your choice!)
-1 red pepper, chopped
-1 avocado, chopped
-1 package of Lisanatti almond pepperjack cheese, grated
-Salsa, as needed
-1 package small corn tortillas (I love Trader Joe’s brand, of course)
-9×13 glass baking dish

Preheat oven to 350. Soften tortillas by placing them on stove burner set to low for a few seconds each side. Heat up black and refried beans in one pan, add 1/8 cup cheese. Heat enchilada sauce on low. Scoop bean mixture, 1T enchilada sauce, red pepper, avocado, a sprinking of cheese and 1T salsa into corn tortilla. Roll up and place in baking dish. Repeat until dish is full. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of rolled tortillas. Sprinkle cheese over top until lightly covered. Bake 30 minutes.

Happy Eating!
Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

As my impending move to Kauai, Hawaii looms before me (3 weeks away!), my “stuff” is slowly decreasing. I’ve decided to make this move economical, which means selling virtually everything I own and starting fresh in Kauai. I’ve never been a “stuff” person – I live in a 400 sq. ft. studio for god’s sake! But, when faced with parting with every single one of my belongings, bizarre attachments began coming up.

Like my books.

They are literally the story of my life. Each book, from my early Agatha Christie paperbacks to my stack of memoirs to my feminist books from college and my beloved Abraham-Hicks publications share a piece of my life. Each book marks a point of growth, a break-up, a new development, a new career–so much.

I found myself sorting my books into stacks: what I’ll take to Kauai (via USPS), what I’ll store (thanks mom!) and what to take to Powell’s to sell. Guess which was the smallest pile? I kept finding reasons to keep books (it was my first book on freelance writing, purchased 7 years ago after all!) meanwhile reminising about their impact on my life.

And then there’s the stuff that decides to show itself during a move–from past relationships, jewelry I was sure I lost and clothes that no one should ever wear. I mean never, ever. I don’t know what I was thinking (about the boys or the clothes!).

Let’s also not forget about the journals. I prefer handwritten poetry and journal entries, which means a storage container full of my life’s travels. It seems silly to keep them, but I also can’t imagine throwing them away. What is one beautiful life, if not the words and photos that documented it in a way a BMW or a huge house never can?

Speaking of material possessions like cars, I sold my car on Craigslist and even that was tough. It wasn’t anything special either. While my younger sisters have preferred to spend lots of cash on pimped out rigs, I’ve always preferred simple and practical vehicles. They depreciate anyway, right? Even so, I’ll miss Sheila, my white Toyota Corolla–she was a good car.

So, I’m selling it all and trying not to feel too sad–because when I’m spending every day in 80 degree weather, living a huge part of my dream life, am I really going to wish for that Hemingway book or a pair of sneakers? Probably not.

Saying good-bye to my stuff has been an excellent lesson for me about attachment. I’ve always viewed myself as a very non-materialistic person–I don’t need to spend lots of money on stuff and I certainly don’t need a lot of stuff. I am however, discovering my sentimental side, as I keep handmade Christmas ornaments, my Buddhas, hordes of photos (before digital cameras yo), beautifully written cards and lovely gifts. I will be shipping far more than I intended to Kauai, simply because I realized the things in life that really matter to me. Who woulda thought?

Oh, and if you need dishes or candles or a table or a camera or a bookcase, let me know. I just may have something for you. 🙂

Happy Writing!
xoHeather

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More


Try this delish smoothie for mixing up the breakfast routine. Great after an intense workout!

1/2 a banana, chopped
6 frozen strawberries
2 c unsweetened chocolate almond milk (recommend: Blue Diamond brand)
3 T soy protein powder
1 T flaxseeds
1 T honey

Mix well, on high, in a blender for 2 minutes. Enjoy the frothy yumminess!

Happy Eating!
Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

I have a problem. A big problem.

I’m addicted to email. It’s ridiculous. I log more hours on the computer than I would ever like to keep track of. The thing that keeps me coming back for more?That damn refresh button on gmail. Maybe a publisher has gotten back to me and is eager to publish my book, maybe a long-lost classmate will reach out to connect with me…the possibilities go on and on.

My only solution was to quit cold turkey.
I used my recent 10-day vacation to Kauai as a way to kick the email habit. I didn’t take my laptop and made sure that the place I was staying didn’t have a computer either. I was shocked to discover that when one is basking in the sun, the thought of email is completely eliminated. I didn’t even feel the itch to login. I was sure I was healed.

Fast forward 4 weeks to present day, and my email addiction is back. It’s not as paralyzing as it was pre-Kauai, but it’s still there. I’ve limited myself – when I’m on the phone coaching (which is most of the day) I will only let myself check personal email at lunch time and after work. But, I still keep getting the nagging feeling to go completely off the grid. All the time. Is that possible??

The problem is that my work — writing and coaching — almost exclusively require computer and email time. Well, that’s not entirely true. For writing, I only really need access to a browser to search for resources, and word processing for actual writing. For coaching, I don’t need the Internet at all, unless we’re working specifically on locating resources for job and career transitions.

So, there is potentially a lot of time to NOT be on email…right?
I only wish there was a way to do my work and not be stationary all day.

Any ideas?
How do you keep the email addiction at bay?
What strategies do you use to stay focused and be in the moment–not sidetracked by email?

Leave your tips here!

Much love,
Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

When my local grocery store ran out of grain-sweetened chocolate chips, I had to get creative. So, I grabbed a bag of trail mix (with grain sweetened chocolate chips in it, along with dried cranberries and mixed nuts). The result? A delightfully delicious batch of trail mix cookies.

-1/2 c non-dairy butter, melted
-3/4 c sugar substitute (I use Splenda)
-1 organic egg
-1 t vanilla extract
-1/2 t baking powder
-1 3/4 c spelt flour
-1/2 t sea salt
-1 c trail mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in a bowl. Blend in flour, baking powder and salt. Stir well, until completely mixed. Fold in trail mix. Bake for 10-12 minutes until done.

Happy Eating!
Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More