MEET THE BEYOND BLOGGERS
Born and raised in Newport Beach, CA and with family centered around Carmel, CA, my life has consistently moved between hot beach days to foggy Redwoods. I love anything creative - from sewing handbags with vintage textiles to sell at local boutiques, to making movies for my neighborhood featuring each summer’s adventures. I am also passionate about various social issues and have since gotten my degree in Women’s and Gender Studies. I love animals, good Mexican food, red lipstick, lavender and true crime documentaries.
Throughout the majority of my life, I have struggled with chronic illness, anxiety and the issues that follow those circumstances. After years of misdiagnosis, I finally discovered that I have Lyme Disease and other co-infections, which sparked my journey of learning and healing. I have been treated by some of the top Lyme Disease Specialists in the world, to some of the most legendary healers working out of their garage. I have gone from dropping out of school, being bed-ridden and unable to speak to graduating college and even hiking! Although much of my life has been understood through a lens of chronic illness, it has never defined me. I am eager to share my enormous amount of knowledge surrounding health and wellness, as well as the intricacies of shaping self-identity and how that relates to the modern world.
kelly grace SWIFT
I grew up riding horses in Carmel Valley and picnicking on the weekends in Big Sur while listening to Carol King and James Taylor. My mother was an event planner in the 80’s and my father was a land developer, so designing experiences that make people feel special and creating beauty in our everyday world is genetic. Not only that - but my father (the grandkids call him “Poppy”) definitely passed on his quirky, dry humor. I love making people laugh with my stories of what we call “Kelly-isms,” which is just basically me having unexplainable situations arise that you seriously cannot make up. I would categorize myself as being very social - on a day to day basis you can catch me driving around town stopping to chat with everyone, while my dog, Maggie Mae, sits in the passenger seat smiling ear to ear. I adore going anywhere with a fun ambience, I’m always aiming to wear vintage and I’m the type of person who starts listening to Christmas music the moment a Fall leaf drops.
Admittedly, my life is not always as magical as I try to create for others. In one word, I would describe my romantic relationships in life as: unsuccessful. Dating after divorce with two kids and a new business can be chaotic! Not only that, but about five years ago I surrendered to my alcoholism and have since designed a new life for myself with my sobriety being the most important. I have found that the antidote to my alcoholism is connection. I hope to relate to others in the realm of recovery, inspire people to spark their creativity and just laugh about the idiosyncrasies of life.
Born and raised in Newport Beach, California the ocean has always been a major part of my life. From surfing and fishing from a young age, to skim boarding in front of our house, not to mention our family business being a dock and pier building company. So I have spent the majority of my life on or around the water. As I got older though, my focus strayed. I found new interests in cars, from old low-riders to off-road race cars. One thing that has never changed is my interest in food. As a little kid I always loved to watch my mom make dinner and help my dad barbecue. Now I’m 24 and I have adapted my own style of both. One of my favorite things is to prepare a meal out of the fish that I have caught or meat that we have harvested, for my friends and I. One of my favorite shows is Parks and Recreations, because I can relate to almost every character. Some days I’m Ron Swanson and have words of wisdom. Other days I’m Andy Dwyer, the oblivious goof ball. Everyday brings new stories that my friends always get a kick out of because that’s just my life!
Don’t get me wrong, things have not gone easy or smooth one bit. I have almost always struggled with anxiety and depression. I’ve had issues with drugs and alcohol. And I’ve had problems with the law. But for now I’m on a good path and I want to see where it will take me. I recently started commercial fishing with two of my best buds, who push me to keep my mind and body healthy. Whether that means surfing and starting our work day a little later or waking up at the crack of dawn and working our butts off all day. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the people around me and I hope my experiences may help someone else.
Growing up I rode motorcycles, had camper adventures, climbed trees, soccer, skateboarded and my pogo stick! I think these experiences allow me to tap into the gentle but somewhat feisty warrior spirit when life calls for it. I also love water! Everything about it. The way it looks, the feel, the sounds, and the wondrous power nature has. Growing up with a pool I was a little mermaid. Today I get my water fix at the beach or the river, both of which are in my backyard. My perfect day is spending water time with my Husband, two teenagers and the fur babies! If we can add wonderful majestic redwoods to the mix I am in heaven. Speaking of fur babies - Animals hold a very special place in my heart. Love the animals! Sea turtles, elephants, dogs, horses, cats, big and small, donkeys, birds, dolphins, whales, sloths, and it goes on. I am also a huge fan of the adventures and new connections traveling brings. I am grateful for the beautiful soul-sister connections that have been made over the past 5 years. Turns out I have a bit of a wandering gypsy spirit. Can you say Wanderlust?
Starting in High School, I started experiencing feelings of anxiety and by the time I started college, anxiety was having an impact on my daily life. When I became a Mom, my anxiety began affecting the two little loves of my life. They saw Mom often had trouble going through the grocery store line or sit with them at the movie theater. There were times it was difficult to be in my own skin. Amidst my struggles with anxiety, my son was also beginning to experience digestive issues, that turned into a serious health condition. As parents we felt helpless and worried. Thankfully, a friend introduced me to the world of healing essential oils. It allowed us the answers we were searching for him at that time and now. In this essential oil exploration, there was an unexpected side benefit for me. I found the essential oils gave me the gift to manage my feelings of anxiousness. Now, I am a heart-centered entrepreneur! Manifesting, dreaming, connection, Sisterhood, and uplifting others makes my heart sing. My intention is to bring laughter, a touch of silliness, and play into my work. My motto is, “Having fun and getting it done”! It is truly about the art of balancing. I dreamt of the lifestyle I have now and for many years and until recently I didn’t think it could be possible. I am so grateful for these answers and am passionate about sharing my family's experiences with you. There is a bit of magic that happens watching someone inhale their first pure essential oil and being allowed to be a part of their overall health journey.
“How can I help?“ - that question has been the theme of my life. Always a guide, protector, troubleshooter, solution finder and shoulder that most of my friends have cried on. With that prime directive, I figured life was going to be interesting, but planned out — you know, add water and stir, right?? I started my Spiritual practice at 19, while going to college for my Design degree and working full-time concurrently. After graduation I opened my Design firm, got that going, and started into my four year Ministerial program... yes I always did several things at once! When I sold my design firm and started my spiritual work, I knew I wanted to specialize in love and romance, because love is the answer to everything.
Through my 33 year spiritual ministry I have had so many amazing experiences! Being on radio stations throughout the US and Canada, having my own radio talkshow, “Love Talk with Tana Marie“, writing 5 books, 2 screenplays, developing and presenting 18 seminars/workshops throughout the US, while maintaining a client base of private sessions that spans the globe.
What I love doing most: helping people navigate their lives and solve problems; watching the lights come on in the eyes of a client or audience when they’ve had that “aha moment“; officiating at Weddings of previous single clients, who I helped find their soulmate, marrying them, baptizing their babies and being named Godmother to their beautiful new souls! Creating and being co-owner/CEO of five small businesses/Training firms with the love of my life and Soulmate of 26 years, Robert. Recently I received a letter out of the blue from a client I worked with 27 years ago, who outlined how I had helped her and changed her life… through misty eyes, I reread her email three times — I thank you God for allowing me to do what I do!
I’m an over 20, but still under 30 year old woman, who loves peanut butter, cats, and writing (not all at the same time) and I’m attempting to solve life’s biggest questions we all ask ourselves: “Where do I come from?” “Why am I here?” And just as importantly, “What should I wear on my date tonight?”
Through mental illness, alcoholism, getting sober, and the every day societal pressures that come with the price tag of just being alive, I’ve got a PhD in being a human.
While connecting to others through my experience, I’m discovering and sharing the ways we crack out of isolation, lead rich and fulfilling lives and I’m learning to live free from the bondage of...myself.
I had two childhoods, the first one started when I was born to very wealthy pioneering parents in the broadcasting industry. After my mom retired, my second childhood started in rural Magnet Cove, Arkansas when we moved back to the farm that she grew up on. The first phase, we had hired help, fancy parties, and staff were paid to look after me and my siblings. The second phase was arriving in Arkansas at nine years old, as a carefree kid on a farm fishing in ponds, swimming in rivers, and riding horses and motorcycles all around the countryside. I was the Daredevil in the family. How can I go higher, faster or farther? I never passed up a dare. I am also the most curious person I have ever met. I am fascinated by people and their stories, what they do, what they love, what they fear and what motivates them. In a room full of strangers I will know everybody's life story by the time I leave, which is probably why I ultimately settled on a career selling real estate because I get to talk to different people everyday and learn their stories, hopes, and struggles. I like to be the person who helps them achieve their goal or solve a problem when it comes to real estate.
What I am most passionate about is being a healthy role model for my four boys: Zachary, Spencer, Connor and Dylan. My goal is to inspire them and others to live passionate and adventurous lives filled with compassion, being in service to others, willingness to be radically vulnerable and to become fully who they are meant to be- courageously and unapologetically. I do this by living that way... vulnerable and courageous. By showing you my hopes, dreams and fears, I hope to inspire you to become fully who you are and to create the safety for you to try the things that you are uncomfortable with. Some of the ways I put myself out there is that I love to cook for others, I love to create art with my photography, and I am continuing on with my sense of adventure. (For example, my intention is to complete my flight training and have my pilot's license by the end of 2020!)
How I got to this place was a beautiful gift in very ugly wrapping- My divorce. At the beginning of my divorce, I was so devastated I had lost my will to live and had planned every step of my suicide. I was desperate for the pain to stop and I am so fortunate to have had a life-altering conversation with a man from The Mankind Project. And so began my journey into learning about my emotions, the archetypes of the king, warrior, lover, and magician, and how they can be healthy or destructive. I also learned about true accountability and integrity. Now, I am a recovering perfectionist and people pleaser. I spent my entire life trying to make every other person in the world happy- my mom, my wife, my kids, my friends- and I never once stopped to contemplate what it was that truly made me happy. I have never been more content with who I am. I still have plenty of work to do and I am clear about my purpose. My life's mission is to create a passionate, adventurous world where people feel safe to explore their passions and desires and live the adventurous life they were meant to. I do this by recognizing the beauty in others and being radically vulnerable in sharing my gifts.
Fashion is my passion. I communicate best visually, not so much with words…
My mom taught me how to use the sewing machine at the age of 9, that's when I started making clothes. Not that they were wearable then… but I wore them proudly ;)
My parents divorced when I was 12, mom moved us to Corona Del Mar. Money was tight. All the girls in school had beautiful clothes. I remember wanting a Laura Ashley dress so bad, but they were too expensive. So I decided to make my own. I made the pattern out of paper grocery bags by taping them all together. A white top sheet for the fabric. And whatever lace my mom had in her trim bag. I loved that dress!
Looking back at these times, I realize now that this is what shaped me into the designer/creator I am today.
Always start from where you are, use what you have and beautiful things can & will be created.
If you can think it you can make it.
My earliest memories are from the front steps of our house on Empress Avenue in South Pasadena, practicing tying my shoes (I didn’t get the hang of it until 2nd grade) and taste-testing dirt, versus mud. My mom was raising my brother and me on her own, working all the time. We moved to my grandparents’ home in Santa Cruz when I was four, and I loved them both, as they joyously took us into their lives. Grandmother was amazing, always making the best of everything and speaking well of everyone—and teaching my brother and me manners, whether or not we were interested. Later, we moved back to South Pass, then Mission Viejo. Along the way I developed a love of nature, of living things, of building airplanes and playing instruments, of doing things with my hands. In college, then dental school, I turned some of my energies into athletics—crew, running, cycling, lifting weights. My affection for and connection with my grandmother (who, following her husband’s death, had moved to Carmel Valley Manor) led me to eventually settle and start a periodontal practice in Monterey. The Peninsula felt like home from the moment I moved here, and I still sense my grandmother’s presence. I ran a very busy practice for 30 years, one in which personal trust, caring, integrity and kindness gave me tremendous satisfaction and joy in serving.
Some odd symptoms began in the summer of 2017, starting with panic attacks (usually when in the midst of treating patients), then changes in my vision which led to three separate car accidents, and after the third accident, a hospital admission at the end of June, 2018. Three days later I underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor, whose diagnosis came back as a grade 4 Glioblastoma (the same tumor Senator John McCain was battling at the time). The tumor, the surgery, radiation and chemotherapy resulted in loss of nearly half of my visual field, severe G.I. problems, weight loss and fatigue. It became necessary to find a buyer for my beloved practice, and more importantly, of looking past the neurosurgeon’s estimate that I “might make it three months, after that, it’s all a matter of luck”. In the year and a half since, I’ve discovered many things available to me to create a good quality of life. This has not been without effort, every day. And I have discovered a host of blessings, truths, moments and most important, people, that have collectively made my life far richer and more meaningful than it was before my diagnosis.
I was born in Santa Ana, CA in ‘93 then raised between Costa Mesa, CA and my birthplace. The answer to your question is yes, ‘93 til infinity is one of my favorite songs. There are six children in my family from oldest to youngest, including myself: Joshua, Ashley, Josiah, Sophia, Luke, and Christian. What fills me with joy is laughing with my sibs until we cry. Seeing them pursue their passions and what makes them smile leaves my heart singing.
Water is my favorite element along with the activities associated- drinking it, swimming, surfing, hiking near lakes or rivers, and it was only natural that I began to play water polo in middle school. I feel the water’s energy and it revives me. There is nothing like a hot sunny day, jumping into the ocean and surfing for hours until the sun is setting, or sitting on the warm sand with my eyes closed listening to the ocean’s voice as I meditate. Can you hear it? Have you ever tried? Learning these qualities of myself has been a journey and it continues to be daily.
I used substances and deceit as a way of escape, but I didn’t know what I was escaping from.. Through my story of juvenile delinquency with drugs, owning my sexuality, and discovering my true femininity- I dream to inspire others to have the courage to live life as themselves through intention, faith, communication, and action. What does your dream life look like?
These days, I am a new mom and a new wife living in a small mountain town at the bottom of the Sequoia National Forest in California. I sometimes don’t put on real clothes for weeks at a time and I lose my wallet at least once a week. My little family means everything to me and I spend my days cooking, baking and playing with my sweet baby girl. I wouldn’t change a thing.
In older days, I was a kid spending my days at the beach and my evenings running around the neighborhood playing games until the streetlights went on. I was an awkward teen feeling out of place and bouncing around friend groups without ever settling into one. I was a college student studying philosophy and partying way too much. I was a student in Spain, studying cooking and cinema. I was a swim instructor, an accountant, a salesperson and a receptionist. I was a traveler in Europe, a teacher in Spain, a hostel worker in Morocco, a waitress in India and a hostel Manager in Mexico. I was a magnet for crazy situations and the poster child for Murphy’s Law.
I love all of the experiences that I have had, good and bad. The good ones make happy memories and the bad ones make life lessons and funny stories.
I love surfing, camping, hiking and fresh fruit and my favorite food is butter (yes, it’s a food!)
I love learning about non-toxic living, holistic practices and researching anything baby related!
Born and raised in the quiet town of Pacific Grove, California, I have spent my whole life along the pacific coast line. My interests have developed over the years, but recently have been focused on physical and spiritual interests. From CrossFit and Spartan races, to at-home Yoga, I’m a transformation podcast junky. My passion truly lies in developing myself to be a better person and to help others reach their goals of being someone beyond their dreams. You can usually find me challenging myself in some way or another. I hold on to this idea of constantly challenging myself because I know that’s where all the growth comes from. From battling binge eating disorder, drug and alcohol abuse, and coping with PTSD. I’ve held onto the belief that these things do not have to define who I am. They are only obstacles that I continue to overcome.
jody mink elliott
I grew up in Carmel Valley, California with exceptionally loving and balanced parents, with two sisters, and a brother. We had a really good childhood and we are a very close family. When my younger sister died at 34 years old we came together as a family. That was a pivotal time in my life; learning to live through the heart, feeling the feelings, and trusting the process. I also learned a lot about how the mind can play havoc on the body. I've had many losses in my life and they have had a big impact on how I live my life. As a hospice nurse I see this also and I have learned that we have to do what we want to do in life now. We've got to try new things when the opportunity comes, we've got to be kind and accepting, advocate for those that need it, help them find their voice. We have to honor our inside world as much as our outside world. We need to take good care of our bodies with health, wellness, and movement. We need to love as much as possible, love the people who love us, love strangers, love nature, and the awe-inspiring earth we live on. As I continue to learn these lessons over and over again, I am changing some patterns in my life; my occasional walks by the ocean, have now become a habit of daily sunrise walks by the ocean. I have now been vegan for the past 13 years and am always finding new recipes to try and to share. I am also just starting my End of Life Doula work.
What I hope is that I can inspire you in a very human way. To have an openness to explore new things or try new ways of thinking. Life is ever changing, and so are we. We don't have to be stuck where we are at, we can find new ways. There is love and support out there and what is directly in front of us isn't always the lesson, but what’s behind it, is. We grow from despair. We grow from love and loss. We grow.