Expressing Gratitude – Team LOA

As the holidays approach, the LOA team feels as though it’s important for us to express gratitude for what makes us feel thankful and alive. From friends to health, from family to our Mother Earth, here is a list of all we want to convey appreciation for.

David Forston:

I’m turning 40 in 2015 and I have certainly grown more contemplative about life. The past handful of years life has served me up some really painful and incredible experiences.  If nothing else, it seems that getting older is coping with the ongoing loss of innocence and the full appreciation for how beautifully complex and rewarding life can be. With all that said, 2014 was a good year.  Here’s what I am grateful for…

I give thanks for my wife and children, that we have a lovely little family and we all seem to understand what a special time this is right now.


I give thanks for my health, for rededicating myself to improving my physical self.

I give thanks for my daily bike commute from the eastside to downtown along eastbeach, watching all the active people, the Channel Islands and feeling the ocean breeze.

I give thanks for mom, dad, brothers and sister, for my in-laws, I feel truly blessed they are all important parts of my life.

I give thanks for my dear friends. Raising a family and running a business has left so little time to spend with you, but I love you so much….

I give thanks for my work. Eric, Riley, Aaron, Jesse, Alice and the many before…you inspire me and are such a pleasure to be around.

I give thanks for the people and projects that we support at LOA…simply put, your dedication to a better world feeds my fires and gives me faith.

I give thanks for the struggles I have experienced, all of which have given me strength and faith in myself.

I give thanks for all the hustlers, risk takers, advocates, entrepreneurs, and community builders all working to make a better world.  I have deep respect for you and give thanks

I give thanks to simply be alive right now during this time.  It feels like we are at a major crossroads in human history and I love being part of it.

Eric Cardenas:

What Am I Thankful For?

I am thankful for my family and friends. They inspire me, teach me, and are the foundation from which I grow. I love you guys.


I am thankful for my health. Lucky am I to be alive and well.

I am thankful for the earth on which I walk. There is more life under our feet than we realize.

I am thankful for the wind. It helps carry our passions and dreams towards a better day.

I am thankful for fire, the element that defines me and my inner most being.

I am thankful for the water, the piscean source from which all life began.

I am thankful for music. It sways the soul to all the colors of the rainbow.

I am thankful for smiles and hugs. They provide happiness, warmth and light in the hardest of times.

I am thankful for the town in which I live. Santa Barbara provides the magical backdrop from which great things emerge.

I am thankful for yoga; farmers markets; game nights; hearty laughter; friends that live passionately; sunday fundays; furry animals; and breathing deeply.

I am thankful for many things, and I acknowledge that I am blessed. I also acknowledge and share my thoughts and prayers with those who struggle to make ends meet, with those who struggle to raise a family, and with those who struggle with political persecution, racial injustice and lack of access to basic needs. I honor those who fight for human and earthly rights, standing for truth, justice, compassion and empathy – those who live to build a better world for their friends, families, neighbors and all living things.

One blood, one heart, one people, one love. Give thanks.

Riley Hubbell:


This year has been a pivotal one for me. I graduated from UCSB and relocated downtown from the beloved Isla Vista. I was also fortunate enough to start working for LOA, which has been a huge honor. There is so much to express gratitude for. Here’s a short list.

I am thankful for empathy, compassion, love and recognizing that we all come from the same mother. I am thankful for that Mother who gives selflessly, creates all life, and provides for all.

I give thanks for parents who taught me to catch a fish, build a fire, and encouraged me to get my hands dirty. I give thanks to you, mom and dad, for teaching me that beauty goes so much deeper than the skin.

I am thankful for sister and her selfless nature. You have been a major role model and mentor. I am so grateful for my brother. You have the heart of a lion. I am so inspired by your passion for the ocean and your desire to protect it.


I am thankful for sisterhood. To my girls from home and the bond created between the amazing women I met at UCSB. I am so thankful for you.

I am thankful for a partner that supports me, loves me, makes me feel beautiful, and puts a smile on my face day in and day out.

I am thankful for open spaces, land to explore, mountains to discover and alpine lakes.

I am thankful for open communication and expression of thought. It makes all situations so much easier and more enjoyable.

I am thankful for access to fresh, nutritious food. I am thankful for farmers, for your relationship with the soil and the seasons allows others time to dedicate to their passion and purpose.

I am thankful for belly laughs and happy tears.

I am thankful for a healthy, functioning body and a curious mind.

I am thankful for ancestry.

I am thankful for bosses that double as incredible mentors. Eric and Dave – you two truly push me, challenge me, and encourage me to grow in new ways and dimensions day in and day out.

I am so very grateful for a job that I am proud of and being part of a team that allows me to contribute to the good of the world.

Aaron Roessler: 

Thankful for the birth and health of our little bean Lilia who approaches her first year in this universe.

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Thankful for my wife and family who fulfill each day with my three essentials, Laughter, Love and good Food.

Thankful for the time i have to spend with my parents and family each year during the holidays.

Thankfull for being able to watch the leaves fall from the trees outside while i work each day from home.

Thankful for the Music that keeps me going while working those late nights.

Thankful for Bass, to help shake your rump.

Thankful to live in such a beautiful place.

Thankful to be surrounded by other people that are so thankful.

Thankful that I can be thankful of so many things in my life.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar

    You LOA people sure are cute. All your thankful for’s rock our collective world and I am thankful for all of you and the great work you are doing!

  2. Avatar
    Catherine Courtier

    I’m a little late on this, but better late than never! I am thankful for…
    ~Being a part of the LoaTree family
    ~Living in the beautiful city of Santa Barbara
    ~Having loving parents who support my life decisions
    ~My education
    ~Marine Biology
    ~That it rained for more than two days in SB
    ~That life is dynamic, frustrating, mysterious, and beautiful
    ~Music that makes my soul grow and work flow
    ~The freedom to be a global steward of change

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