Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

The cover photo for this entry was taken in May of 2015.  I had just passed my first belt test for the martial art I train, aikijutsu. I train at Itten Dojo, in Mechanicsburg, PA.  I became interested in martial arts as a means of self-defense.  As my interest grew in eastern cultures and practices, my study of martial arts grew into a means of studying mindfulness and living a spiritual path.  I enjoy cultivating my warrior spirit and feel this is an important part of my life dynamic to cultivate.

In this photo I am about 40 lbs heavier than I am now. Today I am a different man.  Obtaining my first rank took me way outside my comfort zone.  I twas uncomfortable.  It hurt to grow.  It was tough putting myself in a physically and mentally demanding environment where I knew nothing.  I find that this practice sharpens the spirit.

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Good Vibes at Sleepy Creek

This photo was taken in May of last year, at Sleepy Creek Spring Dig.  For the last three years, I have played percussion with my band, Rivers, up and down the east coast.  In 2015 & 2016, we played 340 shows, from Boston, MA to Florida.  Beautiful adventures, beautiful music, beautiful life.

MattSwoon

Featured Image: Rivers at Creative Being Festival. Photo cred: Karl McWherther Photography.

Dreams to Reality at SalmonFest

Back at the end of 2014 I decided to quit my career as a a full-time real estate agent of 5.5 years to pursue my passion for music.  I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, but had faith that if I followed my heart and persisted, I could thrive.

While contemplating the move toward the end of 2014, I was inspired by other artists pursing their purpose, such as Dustin ThomasNahko & Medicine for the People, and Rising Appalachia.  I was moved by these artists’ authenticity and ability to positively influence the masses using their gifts.  Right before making the jump into music, I sent Dustin a message on Facebook letting him know how he inspired me to follow my dreams as well….

Here’s one of Dustin’s songs I was hooked on at the time I was experiencing this transition.  I wanted to experience this sort of inspiration in my life:

Fast-forward 3 years and I’ve just returned home from a 5 month summer stint working at Stillpoint Lodge, Halibut Cove, Alaska.  This journey was filled with magic from beginning to end.  One of the most magical events of the summer was getting to attend SalmonFest and seeing Dustin Thomas & Rising Appalachia perform right in front of me.

MattWatching

Mesmerized by Rising Appalachia. Photo cred: My Brother, Mr. Thom Angel, with Moving Mountains Photography

After the show, my friend Jenny and I snuck around the side of the stage, where I saw Dustin and Chloe hanging-out & dancing along to the following act.  I reached over the railing and asked Dustin if I could get a pic of he and Chloe together.  Dustin cooly ushered me into the shot and Jenny snapped the below pic…

dustinandmatt

In this life I am constantly impressed with how following our hearts and acting-in-faith, the mot beautiful, unexpected things transpire.

This life is magic, Kids :0)

Friday Night Feature: Racketall

Friday night at the Carlisle Family, YMCA. I don’t know if it’s age or wisdom, but I’ve enjoyed spending evenings in the gym recently.

Racketball is a neat sport. And a fun way to get exercise. Neat AND Fun.

Self-care. Self-Spa Treatment.

Less Nights at the bar more nights of self care & development. Would rather be productive. intentional with my time.

Seeking like-Minded individuals to join the Tribe :0)

My Backyard View for the Summer

I spent this past summer working at Stillpoint Lodge, Halibut Cove, Alaska. We were provided the most luxurious accommodations. This was a the view off our deck, overlooking the cover. The mountains you see across the water are part of Kachemak Bay State Park. To the left is Alpine Ridge, and to the right is Goat Rope. The beautiful orange glow you see on the mountains is called ‘Alpine Glow’ and peaks at its most brilliant phase for just a few minutes during sunset. This was truly the summer of a lifetime. Life is beautiful.

Tea-Time on a Glacier

glacierteatimeThis picture was taken atop Grewingk Glacier, Alaska.  This was one of the most epic trips I took while in Alaska.  We hiked about three miles up and over the saddle of a mountain, until we reached Glacier Lake.  Once at Glacier Lake, we inflated sea kayaks and paddled across the lake the the Glacier.  Once off the kayaks we hiked up onto the glacier, where we had lunch and hot tea.  Definitely one of the most epic trips of my lifetime.