Sometimes You Just Need a Kick in the Butt From the Universe

I have been waiting a long time to write this. Actually, I have been waiting a long time to post this. I have been writing this far before I even knew this post would be a thing. Because I have been manifesting for this to happen. I have been 100% believing that it would. I just did not know when. Or how.

I am leaving my corporate job.

 

Microphone drop.

 

I have put it out there that I want to leave and have been mentally getting myself ready to do that. So getting the push to go has not been scary for me. It’s been liberating. I have known I would leave, I just did not know when or how. When I got the news I am part of a surplus, I felt gratitude and relief. It is so easy (and if we are honest with ourselves, how many of us are feeling this way?) to stay complacent and not act. Because to act is to go into the unknown. It’s to go into something that is seemingly less stable or unpredictable (but let’s be real, how many corporate jobs are truly secure anymore?). I have been dipping my toes in other ponds for a while and now the universe is giving me the push to GO ALL IN.

 

While I have been remarkably and surprisingly cool, calm and collected, when I really think about what I am giving up, I have moments of “what the F am I doing?” My entire career all my job choices have been made on two very basic things: stability and money. I was taught at an early age to never be without them so as soon as they were in my control (aka I started adulting), I made decisions based on that.

 

Yet, every time in my life I have accepted a new job, I always had this knowing feeling it was not right for me. I of course pushed those feelings down as far as I possibly could. Today though, I am at the point in my life where I simply choose to no longer ignore that. It will not serve me going forward.

 

I am a firm believer in timing. I should say that this life changing decision was not one I made on a whim or on a feeling. It has been years in the making. With the help of my spiritual healer, she has taught me to trust in myself, my abilities and the universe. To trust that I would be guided at the right time to make changes, and that until then I need not worry about it or proactively seek out whatever it is I am meant to do. I have spent years working on myself and overcoming my own demons and roadblocks. I have also manifested the shit out of good things to come my way because I have known in my heart of hearts that I was playing a role in my job that was not something I wanted or could sustain.

 

And so the day has come that I am going to start my transition into a new world. A new world of opportunity of positivity and validation. A new world of doing something that I know will have an impact on many people. I am finally being true to who I am and who I want to be. I have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up!

 

For decades I have had so much passion for health and fitness. I am one of those people that actually freaking loves to workout (I know, weird huh?) I absolutely love talking about working out and I can’t really understand those people who do not love it. One of the great things about being an Independent Promoter for Pruvit is that it has forced me to broaden my network. Conversations I am having, regardless if people are interested in ketones or not, have lead to being inspired over and over again. There is no shortage of inspiration in this world when you take the time to hear other people’s stories.

 

I feel like ketones are my gateway drug to so to speak. It has given me a taste of that euphoria of helping someone feel all the feels. It has given me a taste of what it would be like to really listen to someone and understand what it is they need, or what they are missing. I am also starting to realize and understand that while I have that drive and grit to workout and to not shy away from it, not everyone does. There are endless valid reasons why people fear it. Or maybe they want it but they do not know where to start. Maybe they feel like a fish out of water at a gym, which I get because I am completely uncomfortable when I step into a Home Depot. And it’s like everyone there KNOWS I do not belong. And so I quickly find what I need (by find, I mean I have to have someone direct me) and then I get the hell out as fast as I possibly can. That’s how people feel about working out I believe if they have any kind of hang up or roadblock.

 

Or maybe someone wants to workout but they are overwhelmed by choices or they do not know what type of workout suits them. So instead of trying them out, they may not do a thing. Which by doing nothing is really doing something. We have choices and there are so many options out there. I want to be that person that helps someone find what they like so that they can make their dreams and goals a reality.

 

I want to help people stay accountable and be that extra support they need to become healthy and fit.

I want to do this because I know how amazing someone can feel if they take action. It is common and very easy to talk about wanting something, but never do it. Then as soon as you do, and you start seeing results, you ask WHY did I wait this long?
Between what I see myself doing and the skills I am fortunate to have learned over my current career are all lining up to make me kick ass at my dreams. I wish I knew what my “job title” is, but that will come as I work more on the business and marketing side of my journey. (Which p.s. I do not see myself being called a health coach. So for all you marketing geniuses, I am open for suggestions as to how to brand myself).

 

I always thought I would transition into a new career when I had every last detail sorted out and not a second sooner, but I am realizing I don’t need that to go all in. In fact, over just these last 3 days of talking to my colleagues about leaving, I am getting even more validation and support that I ever anticipated. I keep waiting for someone to tell me I am crazy or stupid or reckless. But guess what? Nobody has said that. It’s validation that because I am SCREAMING into the universe that I am more than ready to trust it, and that is what I am getting back. Nobody is trying to talk me out of it because it is meant for me to be taking the biggest leap of faith ever. Being open and honest not just with myself but with those I work with, interact with, friends, family, hairdresser, you name it is opening me up even more for what is in my power to have. The universe gives back what we give to it, and that is why I am more than confident in knowing I am making the right choice, the best choice, for myself.

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A Chat With an Allergist: Perfect Example Of Thinking Beyond Black and White

A few months back, I wrote about Bioenergetic Intolerance Elimination (BIE). I was a few sessions in and feeling optimistic (that post here). In a quick word to explain, it’s a natural approach to healing allergies. Well, I am now a few months from my last session ever and I have to say, that crazy shit works! I have not had allergy shots since June. Can I get a HALLELUJAH?

This past week, I had a check in appointment with my allergy doctor. I went in with some trepidation and uncertainty as to how to tell him that I essentially cheated on Western medicine? A friend of mine who was going to a Western doctor as well as an Eastern healer for a chronic autoimmune disease had a very unpleasant, discouraging experience telling her Western doctor. (That doctor was insulted and expressed that if she was going to try some alternative medicine, there was no reason for her to see her then. Pretty crappy right?)

When I met with my doctor, he asked how I have been and how my allergies have been.  A bit shyly, I said, “Well actually I’ve been trying this other thing. It’s called BIE.  Bioenergetic Intolerance Elimination.”  He had no clue what that was and promptly googled it on his computer. I explained the concept of it that essentially when we have allergies, it’s an imbalance in our body. So BIE is like acupuncture minus the needles and works to rebalance.  He was both skeptical and intrigued and so the conversation continued. Unlike my friend’s experience with her doctor, mine was as close to the polar opposite as possible, for which I am very grateful.

I was very impressed by him and his reaction. I feel it speaks volumes to how we SHOULD respond in situations where we are presented with something less conventional to what we might be used to.

 

  1. He did not right off the bat give me his professional medical opinion nor  did he denounce me for finding something else that works. He instead asked me a lot of questions. He sought to understand what this “other thing” is and why I turned to that.

 

  1. When I told him of my friend’s experience with her own doctor, he said this (I paraphrase): “It is not a doctor’s job to berate a patient for researching and trying something different. It is a doctor’s job to inform and educate someone so they can make an informed decision.” Amen to that. We have a right to make decisions for ourselves. Our bodies. Our minds. Our choices.

 

  1. My doctor was born to Chinese parents and raised in the US. He’s of course a Western trained doctor so he’s a science guy, yet he has had much exposure to Eastern ways.  He was admittedly conflicted and said, “There is absolutely no science behind BIE, but as an Eastern practice, there is 2000 years of history behind it.” I think this was such a remarkable comment because it shows that he is willing to accept, or at least learn more before criticizing something, even if it is against his fundamental beliefs.

 

  1.      He also acknowledged that I sought a different approach to healing allergies because essentially Western medicine failed me. I would need shots every 3 to 4 weeks which means that every 3 to 4 weeks, I felt shitty. I was like a runny faucet with eyes that itched like crazy. A real treat basically. He acknowledged also that as a doctor, it is frustrating to not be able to find a system that works for a patient. So he completely understood why I would try something different.

 

  1. We joked before I left that I completely caught him off guard and that I rocked his world a little bit. He gave me his card and said he is interested in learning more.  He wants me to send him articles on BIE. His interest may stop at just satisfying the void he has in a lack of knowledge. Or it might be something that he recognizes as another way to treat patients. Who knows.  My point though is we live in a world now where there are many different schools of thought and many different methods. We cannot always keep doing what we were doing because what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow.

 

It takes humility to be able to accept that there are other ways besides your ways that might actually work. It takes a certain maturity to not jump to a conclusion without even investigating and learning. For many of us, we go right to a decision often or right to dismissing something because it is different from what we know or think.

Think of the times that someone comes to you with a pretty big decision or discovery they have made. Think about how intimidating and scary that can be. So think about how unpleasant of an experience that can be if the other person judges right away without even trying to understand.  Not to mention it does nothing for feeling supported or loved and likely, that will be the end of ever discussing that. Why should that matter to you? Here is why (and I know, I will digress a lot).

It is a cycle. When people believe in something or are passionate about something, they WANT to be able to share that and be open about it. Whether it is a new Eastern healing practice or a new business venture or a new hobby. Whatever it is, if there is passion behind it, then that absolutely and completely is a big part of who someone is. To not be able to talk about it out of fear of being judged not only diminishes them as a person, but it can negatively affects relationships.  (Do you know the range of reactions I have gotten when I have told people my ghost stories or how I believe in angels? Think I am going to talk about that again to someone that gives me the she-crazy-look? Hell to the no).

We should all encourage each other to listen and understand our passions, thoughts, methodologies. We do not have to necessarily be a believer in what they believe, but at least for heaven’s sake believe in them. Believe in their character. Believe in their integrity. Believe in their happiness. Believe in wanting to be part of their success.

You Can’t Run and You Can’t Hide From Birthdays

I recently had a milestone birthday and anyone that knows me, is fully aware I was freaking out about it. Big time. Like heart palpitations kind of freaking out.  Rationally, I know that age is just a number, but emotionally I have a big time hang up about it.  I am a total ageist. It is terrible. And I am working on it. I often find myself falling into thinking people should be doing things at a certain age or not doing things at a certain age. I generalize and stereotype about age far too much (but millennials make it so easy! I kid…) I worry too much about my own age and are my choices appropriate for how old (or young) I am?

So for all the anxiety I had leading up to August 11th, once the day came, I decided to put my big girl pants on. And. Let. It. Go. I spent the weekend in the desert with 5 of the most amazing friends I could ask for, and it made me grateful for them and for all that I have.

Aside from being a tad jealous of 20-year-old girls who can wear sundresses and shirts sans bras while still having their ta-ta’s where they are meant to be… And aside from having an earlier bedtime than teenagers… And aside from defining “sleeping in” to be not waking till 7 am.  I am quite proud of who I am and where I am. In addition to being alive and healthy (which believe me, I am being 100% sincere about that and not sarcastic), here are just a few of the reasons why.

  1. I am grateful to have gotten to where I am through independence, growing pains and integrity. I am proud of my journey. I am proud of my story. And I am not making any excuses for any of them.
  2. Being stronger today than I was when I was half my age and having far more muscles. (Yup, call me arrogant but I damn proud of every muscle I have earned).
  3. That I did not peak in high school and that my best stories and memories do not begin with “when I was 16…”
  4. Not having to cram 4 girls into 1 hotel room. I like my space.
  5. Every year, I become more and more positive. I am grateful to be shedding so much negativity and self-­­ doubt that I have carried through my 20’ and 30’s.
  6. My squad! My squad is the best ever. I am blessed for all the amazing people I surround myself with. No more hanging with people who do not bring out the best in me (or vice versa).

 

  1. I am leaving lucky #7 to be the last because I feel so passionate about it. The biggest thing that differentiates myself from when I was 30 or 20 is the trust I have in myself. The more spiritual work I have done, the more I have come to trust my intuition. I am very much driven when it comes to decisions and people and places based on how I feel. There are plenty of times I have had simple invitations that I had no reason not to oblige other than I was not drawn to it. So I have learned to listen to that. Because sometimes by not being in a place is to save you from something or to put you in another place that is the right place. When something feels forced, it is often because you are not meant to be there. I listen to my intuition and I also release the guilt of following my own path and journey. This is something that took decades to reach.

It is the same deal with who I chose to have in my life.  I have blogged a lot about energy and how important it is to feel the energy around you. To feel what someone else is giving off. To recognize what feels good and what feels negative. And when it is the latter, I have gotten far better at walking away. As I get older and my own journey takes me to unexpected places, I want to share that with people who I am connected to out of love, spirit and mutual respect. As I just turned 40 (I was wondering if I would be able to get through this blog with omitting my actual age, at last I cannot without being inauthentic) and I can feel so much change around me, I have learned to trust myself. To trust that I am moving closer to where I am supposed to be.  To trust that to get there I have to let go. So 40, bring it. I dreaded you for years, but I am now ready to own it. I have far too much pride in who I am to define myself by a number anyways.

 

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4 Things an MLM Is Teaching Me That Has Nothing To Do With Money

Have you ever done something hoping for one thing and then you walk away with something completely amazingly different? You know, maybe you go shopping for new sandals but you exit the store with the most beautiful pair of boots. EVER?! Ok I am kidding. Maybe. I do love shoes. I want to talk about how possible it is to sign up for something with a specific desired outcome, yet walk away with so much more.

For me, it has been my experience in my first business venture. Before you assume this is a post about MLM’s, please know it is not. I want to share what I am learning about myself as a result of being someone new to having her own business (and new to the MLM world). And just how powerful that all can be. I promise you do not even need to have your own business to have this post resonate with you. Trust.  And read on.

 

  1. People are watching.

Working in corporate America, I find that my brand is someone who can get shit done but also who strives to inspire others. I would say this is true in my business with one exception. When I leave the office, I can pretty much leave my work there until I return the next day.  The majority of my networking and success at my current job happens in a set environment. It reduces anxiety quite a bit because I can unplug when my work day ends.

With promoting, I have realized I need to be ‘on’ a lot more of the time, even in my personal life. I never know who is watching nor do I ever want to miss a chance to have a ketone conversation. It forces me for the better to be very cognizant of what vibes and energy I am giving off to other people.  It is forcing me to smile more, to engage in conversation more, and just really make a concerted effort to ask how other people are doing.  This is so important and eye opening to me not just from a business perspective but from just being a better human being. We all are a work in progress, and for me, this experience is truly helping me blossom. I feel more alive almost because I am not just going through the motions.  I am putting emotion into it. Not to mention, the better my energy, the better the energy is around me. It’s absolutely and positively infectious.

 

  1. Life can be so much more fulfilling when you let people in.

Similar to #1, as someone who is extremely introverted and shy, having my own business is forcing me to overcome that. I find life richer and more fulfilling when I get to chat with other people, whether it’s about ketones or not. It’s giving me a reason to reconnect with friends and acquaintenances. I ­know this will sound contradictory as I am introverted… but I am a social person. I love being ­­­able to interact but typically it is intimidating for me when I am in unfamiliar settings or around unfamiliar people. I am overcoming this as I realize how much there is to gain by talking and learning from others.

 

There is no shortage of like-minded people and that is what gets me truly amped up. My client base and network base potential is endless, which really means that I have endless chances to meet amazing people.  Yes, my initial motivation may be to share the ketone experience but there are so many other gains. I never know who I am going to connect with that perhaps will teach me something. Or perhaps I will teach or inspire them. It gives me renewed hope in a time where there is so much baffling madness around us. It reinforces how kind and good people can be. I know I digress on this point often in blogs, but it nurtures my spiritual side.

 

  1. Branding is so important.
    A huge part of having a business is my social media presence. With that comes a responsibility. People can build whatever persona they want to whether it’s true to form or not. I never want to be anything but authentic and relatable. If I post how hard a CrossFit workout is, it is because I suffered through it. If I post a ­­before and after picture or a photo of my abs, it’s 100% real. I want people to see me for who I am. It is important for me that if I inspire someone to try ketones, that I am not falsely advertising. Being real is what we all are drawn to.

 

  1. I am my own worst obstacle yet my biggest opportunity.
    The only thing that would ever prevent me from being successful is myself and being in my own way. As an introvert, it is not easy for me to strike up conversations with people I do not know, but I am doing more of it (and every time I actually do, it’s remarkably easier).  We all have seen quotes about fear being in the way or on the other side of fear lives happiness.  It is so true. The only thing that separates me from those in the business killing it is myself. There is no reason I can’t be successful (and I whole heartedly believe I will) once I get out of my own way.

 

 

Which also means that I am my biggest opportunity. I have so much to share and teach and inspire that as I do more and more of it, the more happiness and success I will derive. The sky is the limit isn’t it?

 

When you find something that just makes sense, almost like it’s the missing piece to a puzzle, things just organically start to fall into place. Yes you should put in the time and the effort, but when positive intent is there, you become so much more open to things that you may not have ever imagined. There is so much to gain from believing in new opportunities (and I am not talking financial).  We should strive to grow and constantly evolve. We never ever should stop evolving.

You Can Have Your Bad Juju: It’s All Rainbows and Unicorns For Me

Over the last few years, with a lot of help from my spiritual healer, I have truly started coming into my own. I have shifted my mindset as to who I am and who I want to be. I progressively find myself working towards being positive, optimistic, authentic and inspiring. (Spoiler alert: You will read those words repeatedly in this post). It has been a gradual journey and not an easy one. I have YEARS of being a glass half empty kind of girl that I have had to banish from my mind. I have come to understand, accept and embody that you get out of this world what you put in. When you are negative, cynical and disenchanted, then naturally that is what the world will give back to you. If you can stay above the darkness and immerse yourself in the positivity and happiness, then the universe is yours for the taking. This all ties into my new mantra (thanks to my wise healer), which is to do things and be around people that inspire me. It is a constant reminder of how to gauge situations and people so that I can live life to the fullest.

Timing is everything in this world, and so it is no wonder that I was introduced to Pruvit recently. (Stay with me here, I promise this blog is not meant to be a subliminal sales pitch for ketones. Oh wait, is it? No, no, really, it is not). Being part of their company and community, it feels like I have landed on the Mother Ship.  It has been my entry into the world of health and wellness from a very different vantage point. Yes, it is giving me so many amazing benefits like energy and clarity but even more than that, I feel like I have found my people. The culture of the company is so naturally aligned with my own personal mantras and philosophies that it gives me goose bumps.

It would be ironic and just wrong if for a company, or anyone for that matter, to be encouraging others to live a healthy lifestyle and not exemplify that themselves: physically, mentally and spiritually. Would you want to have a personal trainer who frequents fast food restaurants, smokes like a chimney and never workouts themselves? Of course not.  Nor would you want a trainer who complains nonstop about workouts or family or anything really. Negative is negative, and it contradicts living a healthy life.


Every call I have been on that Pruvit has hosted with the cream of the crop, the royalty of the business, they all echo the same message (and it is so simple that  it will blow your mind). Manifest what you want and put out what you want from the universe. Gravitate towards the positive and stay as far away from the negative and the hate as you possibly can. It is so easy, for example to do something as seemingly innocuous as posting something that can be off putting to others. Or to get intertwined in someone’s social media rant. (If you believe in energy like I do, then you understand how being on that level is just bad). So you just chose to NOT do that, and you find yourself naturally gravitating towards people who exude encouragement, good will and positivity.

Being part of Pruvit has given me this organic network of likeminded people. It encourages me to seek out and attach myself to people who do not let me live on the dark side. It is like this amazing support group that I did not even realize I was longing for until I received it. Having a bad day? No problem. We shake it off and move on. Didn’t convince one person to try ketones? That’s ok. Do not fixate on it and focus on the next person.

I want to make a really important distinction before I wrap this post up. It is one thing to have a bad mood, or a bad day. It happens to all of us where we find ourselves frustrated and complaining.  Those are moments. They pass. It is another thing to consistently be irritated, negative and cynical.  And take it from me, I used to have those attributes be my go-to.  I have spent most of my life assuming the worst in people and in situations, but as I mentioned earlier, after years of working on myself, I have let go of so much of that.  It accomplishes very little, and if anything, it gets in the way of reaching goals, success and most importantly, happiness.

I know I am not the first to write about being positive and not cynical (and I certainly will not be the last). I also know that we often have the best of intentions but those can be clouded by what we say or do. I undoubtedly am still on a quest to master this art as the more I practice it  the happier, more liberated I feel. I appreciate when I do have those dark moments that someone corrects my perspective. I need that. We all need that.  My challenge for you is to stay positive and bring people up with you.

 

 

Walking into 2017 Like…

 

It’s a new year.  Time to set resolutions? No thank you. Time to evaluate the past year and identify what I want to keep, what I want to chuck, and what I want to obtain? Yes please. I believe in setting intentions and goals for the year as opposed to resolving to never do something again or to always do something .(Those are absolutes which prove to be more detrimental than helpful. More on that point in a great post about warnings Amy Purdy gives in regards to resolutions here).  When you take the time to really reflect on what the last year meant for you, it is far more realistic to set the framework for what you want out of the coming year. For me, 2016 was a year of much personal growth and overcoming some big things, all of which I am extremely grateful for. For 2017, I still intend to keep improving. (I mean, we never really should ever stop) while reintroducing a few things that got away from me. I have personal goals for myself (maybe a bit too personal to share at the moment), and I recognize to get them, I am going to have to take 2017 by the horns (so to speak).

I am a total routine person to a fault. I stress about doing things during the week that will interfere with solid sleep. I literally count the hours of sleep I get at night (and I wonder why I am single!)  For 2017, I intend to not beat myself up if I do not stick to my day to day routine 100% of the time. Life is about the unexpected and allowing wiggle room for things that come our way. It is okay if I miss a workout in the morning (I can make it up later in the day).  I do feel like I have a balanced life, but I am open to shaking it up a bit. And by shaking it up, let’s be honest here. Realistically, it is not exactly likely I will be out raging on a Wednesday night, but it is more likely that I will be out at a hockey game or literary event. It is ok if I have a raging Saturday brunch that turns into an all-day event. The errands I have to do that day can wait till another day. I need to cut my routine and myself some slack if I want to have new experiences or just some old fashioned fun and shenanigans.

Speaking of shenanigans, I need to have more of them in 2017. To my point above, my routine has probably meant I have missed out on some fun opportunities. I am no spring chicken but I am also not ready to live the life of a 70 year old. (Actually as I wrote that, I was reminded that most 70 year olds I know are living life with far more zest than I am.) I am going to say “yes” to more invitations. If it sounds fun and appealing, no more silly excuses like, “I can’t hang out with them, I’ll be the oldest person there.” Or “But tomorrow is squat day, I need to be in bed by 9:30”. These are true stories. So get ready, friends. You will be seeing a lot more of me in 2017!

I know myself, and as much as I do I intend to break my routine this year, I recognize that I do still need boundaries in certain areas so that I do not undo the hard work  I put in. Specifically, I am referring to my old friend, Alcohol. Since I do not believe in setting a goal that has an absolute in it, I will not commit to never drinking. I will commit though to only drinking when I want to. I wrote a post a few months back about dieting and how social expectations play into it (that post here). One thing that I feel just as strongly about, if not more, is that I am accountable for what I put into my body which means I am entirely in the right to not give into societal or social pressures. I am accepting the fact, whether it is neurotic or not, that for the most part, drinking for the sake of drinking makes me feel badly about myself.  I put A LOT of tears and sweat in both in and out of the box. I strive to continuously improve, not reverse or counter all those hours by having too many glasses of wine. I am giving myself continued permission in 2017 to pick and choose when I want those extra alcoholic calories. I also quite frankly cannot bounce back the next day like I used to after drinking, and so for me, drinking becomes like a 24 hour investment. So if I decline to drink, please know it’s my own deal and internal struggle.  Having said that, as I am devoted to reintroducing fun into my life, when I am up for shenanigans, I will have no qualms if they do indeed involve drinking.

My last intention is more of a not-so-subtle ask for help. I absolutely love writing, and I intend to do more of it this year. It brings me a different kind of happiness and gratitude than anything else I do. While my intention is to do more of it, I am on the one hand trusting that the universe will give me opportunities while on the other, I have to proactively go find them as well as self-promote (which is totally awkward and even more so as I am also not-so-subtly incorporating it into this blog!). I am open for any advice or recommendations on the matter.

For me, I am whole- heartedly believing that 2017 is going to be the best year yet. 2015 and 2016 were dark years (not for me individually but on the whole for all of us in the spiritual sense.  I could spend more time on that but I will leave it there…for now). I want to reclaim a lot of things that have gotten away from me while embracing new experiences to come. I am setting my intentions as I know they will be answered.

What are your intentions for 2017?

The Gifts of Lake Atitlan

My day to day life tends to have me feeling like I am rushing off to my next destination, whether it’s to CrossFit or work or to a doctor’s appointment or to meet up with a friend. I always feel like there is somewhere I am supposed to be. I do not know if it is a societal standard or my own self- inflicted standard, but it is as if I am supposed to fill every waking minute with something. (FOMO  anyone?) I will have moments of being at home, just relaxing on a Saturday with a nagging sense like I need to get off my couch and be out and about (even if every fiber of my being just wants to unwind and do NOTHING).

Recently, being on a retreat at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, I was able to really slow down and disengage from most of the world, without guilt I might add.  Two of the biggest lessons that this trip affirmed for me are:

  1. It is life’s simplest pleasures that matter the most.
  2. I have the ability within myself to find happiness and contentment.

By not getting much of a signal on my phone at the lake (I will thank the portal for that!), it really allowed me to enjoy my surroundings and get lost in the moment. Some of my most treasured memories are the moments where I truly appreciated nature. Being immersed in it gave me such a constant feeling of gratification. I appreciated the simplicity of being able to just lay out on the dock, listening to the water rustling and swooshing around me  which magically managed to silence my typically very busy, obsessive brain. To be able to wake up for a sunrise boat ride was happiness a thousand times over. To be able to witness the lake, the mountains and the volcanoes come to life before my very own eyes was indescribable. To watch the sky change from black to a radiant blue with pops of yellow, orange, and pink is something that is forever engrained in my mind.

sunrise.jpg

When you remove all the noise and distractions from the world, you appreciate what is around you allowing yourself to truly be lost in those moments. It definitely helped me be more centered, and I came to understand something important about myself.  At my core, I really do not require much nor am I very fancy. (I will put this disclaimer in: I do not mean to say that I would turn down the finer things in life. I do drive a Lexus and I did buy myself diamond stud earrings… once). I just mean when I reflect on the moments when I feel the most at peace, they have very little, if anything, to do with materialism.

Being in nature is known to have a calming effect on people, so it is no wonder that I fell in love with Guatemala. There were no TVs nor was everyone on their phones 24/7. It was the perfect environment to really unwind and disconnect.  I used much of my free time reading (I had to feed my Outlander addiction).  I  wrote in my journal quite a bit, reflecting on all the unique things I experienced, like the Cacao Ceremony, my reading with a Shaman  and the Mayan Fire Ceremony. I did not walk away from these events but rather adopted them into my being. They gave me so many opportunities to really think about myself and my intentions in life. It gifted me the knowing that there is plenty that comes from within me to bring me happiness without having to rely on much.

For a few of us who were on the retreat, we keep saying that we have not left Guatemala. In our own ways, we each took something with us when we waved good-bye to that gorgeous sapphire lake. I am eternally grateful to Lake Atitlan for enabling me to slow down and regain a sort of calmness and contentment that I have not felt in a long time.