Costa Rica – Take 2

Two years ago I headed to Costa Rica for a reset. A true reset. I will be honest as to why because this is a place where it’s no holds barred in my life. I was ready to leave my husband and kids. I felt this need – this urge – to start over. I was ready to set fire to this life.

After confessing this to my therapist she made a list of places to go to reset, find me, rest, explore, be a woman and not everything else a woman is. I was strong but fragile. I had returned from my solo trip the previous year ready to take on life. I had learned so much. Experience life to it’s fullest. Upon returning though I returned to the same habits, same everything. I felt disappointment and began to loose hope in a happy life.

Enter Costa Rica. Enter Blue Spirit. It was a retreat center and for a week I surrounded myself in workshops, body work, breathwork and living in a land where the motto is “pura vida” or simple life. I always say I found my soul in Costa Rica. However I want to share some wisdom from there.

This time though I had all of these expectations and if I’ve learned anything in life is that EXPECTATIONS CAN RUIN ANYTHING. Now they didn’t ruin my experience but did have a bearing on them. I remember leaving the first time still in awe of the place but this time I knew everything coming. I think that is something I like about exploring new places. The excitement, the first time seeing something, the unknowing, the brightening of your eyes when something you have never seen in your life comes into your vision. I had seen everything before and wanted everything to still have that new feel. It didn’t but now I know I will continue to solo travel to new places and not repeat it.

I know this one. I tell people this. I write about it. So what happened? I attended an all women’s retreat. I had learned from my yoga trip to Portugal that being surrounded by the same group of women for a week is just hard on me. I love the solo aspect of traveling. I love emmersing myself in myself. I love me. I love the opportunity to spend a week doing me. I like to turn myself “off”. When around a group of people I’m constantly “on”. That doesn’t come naturally to me. Creating, exploring, reading, going inward….I just know me and if I had to choose with my heart I would choose introverted artist every single time. In the middle of the week I has my Tarot cards read. The Hermit card was revealed (along with queen and compassion which has a lion on it)

Set them. I met a lot of beautiful women and by the end of the week I had learned about me and my needs from some of them. We need to share our experiences – learn from our past right? However I’ve also learned from many wise women and my own journey to respect my boundaries for myself. To listen to my body and mind. To listen to my heart….okay I’m working on that one. Being around women 24-7 and having to constantly be “on” as I refer to talking to others in group situations, wore on me. I let it take some from my experience but in that it was a learning experience.

I am lucky enough in life to have found a tribe of women who I can have conversations about my own journey and experiences regardless of how wild they sound and they still love me when I’m feeling open. I discovered at the retreat many women didn’t have that and as much as too many women can overwhelm me I am thankful for the experience to remind me that at home I am beyond blessed to have deep friendships and to always treasure this.

I did immerse myself in the spiritual side of this retreat. That is really what called me for this trip back to Costa Rica. I met with Pascal again. If you may remember she gave me an “exorcism” two years ago. If you haven’t heard the story just ask. It’s quite entertaining to some. For this time around I can still hear her saying “Ground yourself into Mother Earth. She will give you all you need.” in her powerful accent (not sure where it’s from) as she pushed my tailbone down while pushing on my back. She chanted in Sanskrit around me, pushed on my organs, grabbed my back fat (apparently I’m holding onto some deep fears there) and did her shaman magic and poof. She figured out I was struggling with the toxins in my own body and sent me own my way transformed and ready to give up meat. That woman will change your life. She has a force in her that no one else has. She’s a shaman whether or not she really is or not.

I met another shaman who I took a journey (yes it was psychedelic) with and made probably the deepest discovery. On a beach in Costa Rica I heard the leaves dance like capiz shells on strings. The light danced between the leaves like tiny rainbows. However it was more than that. After my experience I talked with the shaman about his own journey and much of what I came to seek out was answered with his wisdom.

His wife led us in a Cacao ceremony (google it) where I discovered I miss dancing. I loved to dance at one point in my life. Now I can’t technically dance (don’t even think that) but I miss just dancing around and going out dancing. I LOVE music. LOVE IT! It makes me naturally move but when people are watching I don’t dance. Hmmm. So I’m gonna dance and play more. Life is short – too short to be serious and concerned with others.

Through all of the mystics and wise women I met I learned that I (my inner child) doesn’t feel safe in this world at times although I think I do. (The inner child is real – she/he is usually the root to all of your issues – if you have them – wait we all have them.) I know I seem so strong to everyone. I learned that until I heal that little girl though there is absolutely no way to get there. Fear. I still have a deep fear in me. On the outside everyone sees me as fearless. On the inside not so much. Like Claire said this morning talking about a friend she said “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

Self portrait of me in the jungle after a week of self-discovery and cleansing.

I opened myself up to the idea that my concept work may one day have a monetary value and not just a cathartic one. I’m currently creating to images for two women who I connected with there. I spent hours in my hammock catching up on reading. I found strength in my ability to go even more deeper in my self-discovery and my reaching (or atleast getting closer) to my highest self or enlightened.

I am truly blessed that I have the freedom and desire to travel alone and be with me and get to know me. I feel refreshed, closer to my highest self, free, powerful and beautiful. I can just feel it in the way I move, speak, work and love.I urge everyone to try it. Kids are not a reason not to do it. We can all benefit if just a couple days away from being mom, wife, chef, chauffeur, personal assistant, career woman, maid….and just be a beautiful and divine woman.

In light and love,