Seven Magic Mountain, near Las Vegas.  Photos taken on Google Pixel 2

Seven Magic Mountain, near Las Vegas. Photos taken on Google Pixel 2


to the colorful journal of Marissa Berrini, creative director, traveler, artist, and curator living in Los Angeles. Launched back in 2010, as Bourbon and Goose, Marissa's blog serves to be an inspiration for those times we’re stuck in a rut and help expand our community to dive deeper beyond the eye candy and more into the soul all while discovering self-worth, love, being present in the moment and creating the life you were meant to live.

Love Letters to the Universe 01

Love Letters to the Universe 01

It’s been about a solid week since I declared to the Universe that I would dedicate myself to the search for love and presence. I thought maybe doing a little recap weekly on how this search is going would be best to share on the blog.

January / Day 01 / Tuesday
Biggest revelation: nothing changed. I am still me and the world still is spinning. I did noticed that while opening up the house to the morning breeze, that my plants were very excited to see 2019 or maybe I was just noticing that I was excited? A fresh start, a new you, whatever it was, I was indeed drinking the juice. I couldn’t run fast enough from 2018. My goals to get everything done around the house like clean, organize, hike and prepare for 2019 took a backseat to family time on the couch, watching Monster-in-Law, laughing way too much about how different movies were back then (2005 to be exact), lots of puppy playtime and one long ass wait for delivery for delicious food with Sam, my good friend Jenn, and the pups. 2019 was looking pretty good for this slow day.

Editors note: There was a moment of self judgement for not getting everything done that I HAD to do. But then I remembered, my intentions were love + presence. I achieved both without realizing it. Ultimately by giving zero fucks.

Day 02 / Wednesday
Back to work. Sad face but luckily I was working remotely and I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled during my lunch time. This doctor’s appointment was with my Shaman, Redwood. I booked a soul retrieval session in my rollercoaster low during December because I was convinced I lost a chunk of it somewhere between the lunch at Sweetgreen’s in October or on the way to Hollywood Farmer’s Market for some Blode Kuh plant-based (vegan) cheese. After running late to my appointment, having to move my car about 5 times, and then hitting a trash can while trying to park fo the 20th time, I realized how funny all of this was and took peace in the fact that Shaman Redwood won’t judge me for my frazzled parking moves and crazy red beret. Turns out that I didn’t loose my soul, it was there all along but I did gain a power animal, 2 new books to read, confirmation that exploring love + presence is good for the soul AND I saw a humming bird. Take that Snookie-look-a-like.

The love that I felt for my soul was the true gift of the day. Along with no scratches from the trash can incident. I felt vulnerable telling Shaman Redwood my intentions for the year but he was very encouraging–a true light in this world. Clearly I had to work on being present, as the trash can reminded me. This came in spurts after seeing Shaman Redwood. Once at the Village Bakery when I was handed the BIGGEST impossible burger one could ever receive and then next at home, with Sam, enjoying some time together, laughing.

Day 03 / Thursday
Back in the office. Grinning from ear to ear since traffic was light and it was still 2019. Had a nice long chat about life to kick off the morning. Got to work and then took a lunch break to visit my acupuncturist. Had another conversation about love and presence. (Sidebar: I am fascinated by what others are sharing with me about this topic, something I’m excited to share more of as this journey continues.) I asked her if it was possible to open up the heart meridian for today’s session. Needless to say, I had one of the best meditative sessions ever. I was in a heavy theta state and could feel the love slowly pulsating through my body. It was truly hard to go back to work. I was in a dazed, melodic, hazy float. Note to self: book your session later in the day. Presence achieved.

Day 04 / Friday
Jumped out of bed as today I had something VERY important to do. Not an avid ebayer but on the occasion I dabble. This time I was on the hunt for a TreeWorks Chime to add a little more magic to my life. Viola! Ebay had heard my manifestation cry and I became the proud parent of one bad ass chime from TreeWorks. My lunch break this time included coffee with the original owner discussing bucking the norms of the world, living in your truth and him sharing some pretty awesome life hacks. Best part: we didn’t care about our phones. We were present in our conversation, laughing and exchanging notes on life. All of this because of this little magical chime. After saying adieu, I then ran into a gentleman who sold bonsais on top of his car, street side. Got another lesson in love as well as being present. From the tiniest bonsai to the MOTHER of bonsais, this man was committed to his craft. A teachable moment on love, via devotion. Last but not least, had one amazing phone conversation with a good friend that I hadn’t had a chance to catch up with. Love felt through friendship.

Day 05 / Saturday
Woke up FEELING so much love radiating out of my body. This was it. I was truly FEELING it. LA was gray and misty. Rain was on the horizon. Normally on a day like this I would be watching Harry Potter, taking my D3 supplements like they’re candy. (Important note: I grew up in a desert. No sun means I’m a sad clown. Seasonal depression, it’s real.) But today was different. I had Naha’s Transformational Crystal Grid at noon and plans to see one of my favorite witches. Life was good. Transformational grid was excellent. Magic was in the air with the New Moon and Partial Solar Eclipse. Chelsey and I went to Kitchen Mouse to catch up over life and love. We got prime parking in front of Nature’s Perfections, our FAVORITE plant guy in the world, Ollie, AND he took care of our parking while we ate. It was a magical day that included rain and warm, vegan chocolate chip cookies with sea salt. Plus a dash for tinctures from Wild Terra. If you haven’t tried the Passionflower, it’s GREAT for insomnia and anxiety. Yes, oh yes, I was feeling the love and the art of being present was fully engaged.

Day 06 / Sunday
Today I woke up pissed off. Not in an angry sort of way but more like a, leave-me-alone-and-don’t-talk-to-me type of way. Where was the love? My mind was racing, meditation was not working and that made matters worst. Insert GIPHY of Yosemite Sam. Then the thought came that I had to get out of this mindset ASAP. If not, the search for love was over and my biggest fear of being a fraud would be revealed. What to do? I had my favorite smoothie, I played with the dogs, I put on Soul Train and danced, I greeted the house, I tended to the front yard but nothing was getting me out of this funk. Maybe I’m getting sick I thought? No, that wasn’t it. I’ve been downing Elderberry syrup like it was going out of style. But then I got a message from the bestie and it was a poem from Rumi:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jellaludin Rumi (via Mrs. Mindfullness)

Well, love became the teacher once again. The Universe and bestie heard my cry. Message received! The lesson that we must be present with all our feelings, not just the so called “good ones” as Rumi so poetically paints. Not all days will be highs and the lows should not be swept aside but instead felt and embraced, for they are the biggest teachers if we give them a chance. For me, this was a true gift beyond words. My friend, without even knowing it, saved my day with this little ditty from Rumi. I pivoted my attitude and counted my blessings, even the hangeries got a blessing too. My journey of exploration is just that. It isn’t a curated post, it’s the honest god damn truth that life is happening. The more we control it, the more anxiety + stress is felt. It is to be lived and felt, one moment and feeling at a time.

Photo taken on Google Pixel 3, edited in A Color Story

Love Letters to the Universe 02

Love Letters to the Universe 02

Love + Presence

Love + Presence