What a wild life it is. More delightful and beautiful everyday. I’m not really sure where to start, so maybe that is exactly where I should begin. Over the last few months, since I was in Nicaragua frothing over life in the tropics, everything has changed.
But let’s backtrack a bit.
First and foremost, Nicaragua is in the midst of the worst political violence (and devastating oppression) it has seen in the last 20 years. I could go on for a while about the heartbreak and injustice happening to these beautiful people in this wonderful country. The reality is that when I bought my property, I could not have known that within two weeks of my signing date, the country would experience an uprising and peaceful protests that have resulted in over 300 innocent civilians dead in the streets and caused an exodus of expats and travelers alike. As the people push for a democratic solution, the economy has tanked and the tourism industry, in which I had hoped to thrive through my boutique surf bungalows, has crashed. My heart goes out to my friends and the Nicaraguans fighting this fight. I am fortunate to have other options and places to shift my focus and energy, as I hope and pray for a quick and peaceful solution for our neighbors down south.
After the realization that my Nicaraguan dream was on hold for a while, my mind shifted back to a free, gypsy lifestyle. I’d accepted, and quite frankly, was feeling stoked about traveling to new parts of the world, (South East Asia, Australia, Maldives, here I come) scoring waves, teaching yoga, and working in boutique hotels across the globe. In the meantime, I was trying to keep up with the American machine, working all the time, squeezing in surf when I could, and trying to grind out the summer months as I planned my next move.
My birthday was in June and if you asked me how I thought I’d spend the summer of my thirty second year of life, I probably would have shrugged and let a little grin dance across my face – let my eyes illuminate a little extra twinkle, as I fantasized about the limitless opportunities of where I might find myself on this gypsy trail, traipsing about this beautiful, magical planet.
Fast forward to now. (how about the “knee-kini” and the one piece?! lol
(and now meaning this time period form Accident unit today…Things have finally started to heal a bit and I’m feeling like I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I visit my knee surgeon Tuesday- Ive been charging the PT hard just trying to regain mobility prior to surgery, fingers crossed we’ll set a date for incisions and things this week. As for the wrist, its on the mend. Casts are off, and Ive been graduated to being allow to carry what they ca;; “coffee cup weight” haha. Big things are happening! As for the smiles and this lovely salty hair!… I got I the ocean yesterday- first time in two months and if you know me- that’s like, LIFETIMES… (by getting in, I mean I sat in the shoreline with my arm above my head and let the waves wash over meeee. but oh the sweet giggles and bliss of magic mama ocean. I feel like I know who I am again. Its certainly not surfing. But it will do =)
So I know for a fact, when musing about how I’d spend this summer, I wouldn’t have predicted surf-less days, left handed teeth brushing, complete immobility in my knee, lizard skin hands, torn ligaments, 7 screws in my wrist, family Costco adventures (I, for one, am not a Costco fan), puzzle night as my Sunday Funday, and for icing on the cake, sitting in the bathtub singing Al Green and Sade laughing so hard I can’t stop crying, as my mom washes my naked body. Yep, humble pie, served up whole. I told my mom it was bathtub music. Haha. A sense of humor is certainly a sweet medicine. And something I’d recommend you never leave home without. It’s been comedy hour around here… But check out these.. eeeep
In my dream-world/part-time reality, I spend my days surfing, teaching yoga, working in restaurants, traveling, playing my ukulele, painting, blowing bubbles, hula hooping, dancing, staring up at the clouds, writing blogs, and poems and short stories for my upcoming book (that will be published soon!), creating future surf/yoga retreats and last but not least, planning my big move to Nicaragua where I’ll be building those boutique surf bungalows. Whew… and when I say I’ll do all these things it mostly just boils down, once again, flirting with complete burnout and too much work. When I’m spending my days in Central America, time, freedom and play consume my soul. However, here in the States (even as a yoga instructor and restaurant server- fun right?), I often find myself overworked and uninspired. I would imagine that many of you can relate?
As of recently ALL OF THIS (play and work) has been sidelined. For the short term, life has a different plan for me. LESSON ONE COMING IN HOT: we have no control- so let go. Release your grip on life. Whatever I thought I was going to do took a bit fat detour. Plans are great, but sometimes they change and it’s far better to let the currents take you where they want rather than fight them all the way to shore. Cool?! =) I have learned, and am forever learning, that we don’t have control over what happens to us. We only have control over ourselves and how we choose to respond. And with this new found free time I’ve been enjoying, said activities (from Central America days…)
So I had a gnarly “skateboarding” (and when I say skateboarding, I mean I was trying to ride a one wheeled motorized skateboard thing) accident at the end of June, resulting in a severely displaced, broken arm requiring surgery, screws, plates, learning to move my wrist again and lots of recovery time. In addition to injuring my arm/wrist, in the same accident I completely blew out my knee, tearing both my ACL and MCL (on which I am still currently awaiting surgery, fingers crossed it will be soon.) I’m out of the water for up to 9 months, when it’s all said and done. No surfing, no yoga teaching, no working, no dancing, no driving, not too much individual freedom at all. Though at least I can use the toilet by myself- hey- it can always be worse right? And, as I sit here and type this, I realize despite all that, one thing I have continued to do non-stop, is smile. If you know me, you know this to be true.
I suppose all those little whispers life was giving me to slow down should have been heeded. But being a believer that everything is unfolding exactly as it should (assuming you show up and do the work- which I do), should have, would have, and could have, are not parts of my vocabulary. Had said accident not happened, I would not be sitting here today, writing this to you. =)
Nobody wants to be injured, but injuries aside, life has given me a gift. Yes, I said gift, and again, I default to focusing on the positive, returning my awareness to all that is -good- in my life. And occasionally breaking down into tears, but if you want the rainbow, well…you need the rain!
Injuries are a beautiful time for growth, self-reflection and discovery. Right? (And what I really mean is more time for selfies and wine?!?! haha…) Jokes aside though, because now I do have more time to spend in good conversation, painting, making music, creating all kinds of projects, and enjoying friends and family. Everyday I am more aware of this opportunity to enjoy a different path that life is taking me on. A path, that I would have not chosen for myself, but here I am, embracing all the madness with a happy heart and an open mind. Humbled and awed by the magical mystery of this human experience. The blessings and lessons that continue to reveal themselves are abundant.
Obviously injuries do suck, but how you choose to experience life, the injuries, the heartbreaks, the ups and downs, is completely up to you.
LESSON NUMBER TWO
(Maybe a bit more subtle with this one, but your mind is a powerful tool, so use it. =) )
With that being said, and I say this a lot, we -always- have a choice. And you can choose to be grumpy, or the opposite. My mom used to always say “choose your attitude” and as a sassy, stubborn, know-it-all adolescent, this drove me nuts, but she’s absolutely right. If a situation isn’t ideal to begin with, why choose to make it worse with a shitty attitude. Instead, I encourage you to find the blessing. And it’s wild, and at first I thought, weird, but it’s not weird, it makes perfect sense. Where you focus your energy is where your life flows. So in looking at this accident as opportunity, in graciously and humbly receiving, surrendering to, and trusting what life is giving me – my mind has been blown by what has come in my direction. (Once again, coming back around to the power of positive thinking.)
In case you missed it, I’d like to say, I would not have chosen this for myself. But the lesson, one of many here, is that life is what you make it. And less than awesome things happen everyday, so it’s up to you how you choose to experience these situations. In yoga well call this Pratipaksha Bhavanam. Cultivate the opposite (If something is bad, your mind and attitude CAN make it better.)
But if that’s too far out there for you…winky face, kissy emoji…I get it.
I just wish you all were close enough to come to some of my yoga classes (and not the extreme pretzel, literally make-you-sweat-your-face-off classes, but the body, mind and spirit, slow-it-all-down, enlightening breathwork classes) so I could shower you with the ancient wisdoms I have learned, that make my heart feel happy, my soul feel peaceful, and my face smile. But for now, one-handed and chicken-pecked stories on my computer will have to do. =)
I’m aware this might sound like being positive is easy for me, but it’s work, it’s a daily practice, one that I absolutely love and is as necessary as breathing. I’ve come to learn that the practice is the reward. If I can advise you in any way, add some tools to your tool box, help you cultivate a better attitude, might I recommend meditation, some restorative yoga, a slow walk in nature, a self-help book, listening to music, painting, ecstatic dancing, cooking yummy meals, trying a new hobby, whatever it takes. But you deserve a life that makes you feel drunk on the delight of both the challenges and the rewards. A life full of joy.
So, if I can sum it all up with a little lesson number three, it would be to emphasize an awareness around the importance of slowing down. Live a mindful, conscious life. Society moves fast and our time here is precious. Enjoy where you are at. Embrace the moments as they come. Make happiness a priority- and whatever road that is to you- take it. Listen to your heart; the longings never stop. Greet yourself and others with compassion and love. Everyone has a story. Focus on the positive; it is forever present. We are beautiful beings on a cosmic journey, all doing the best we can to make sense of this incredible human experience.
Namaste. Aloha. Pura Vida. Blessings.
On a side note, my friends, these beauties above (you can find them at) http://www.thiscolorfulworld.com have brought me on board to help them out with all kinds of fun communication specialty tasks and I’m just beyond stoked to be a part of their powerful, uplifting, conscious lifestyle community. They run a video production company, and have an have a beautifully amazing youtube channel as well! So wether you have video production and photography needs, or just enjoy learning about life hacks for topics ranging from relationship maintenance – self care- mental health – and so many more… check them out! xoxoxoxo