Pack Light Travel Often
I’m currently on the plane traveling from Belize to New York City. There is an incredible energy that accompanies me as I have taken from San Pedro relationships and experiences that will forever impact me. On every retreat I lead, I learn so much about what it means to be human, and more importantly a good human. This retreat is no exception. So on my journey back to the States, I’m sharing with you the seven most important lessons I have learned this time around.
- The magic is YOU. Chances are, you are reading this from our smartphone or laptop or tablet. Technology is amazing. It allows us to keep in contact with amazing people across the globe. It helps us to collaborate and inspire and touch the lives of so many more people than ever before. Technology can also consume our lives. I know I am not alone when I say that I have lost track of time scrolling through my Facebook or Instagram feed. One of the things I love the MOST about #retreatlife is the lack of Wifi. We take away the distraction of the phone and all of a sudden there is real connection happening. People who otherwise would not have known each other get interested and become life-long friends. The Magic is that connection between people. The magic is that uninterrupted wholehearted listening. The magic is allowing another person’s vantage point broaden your definition of the human experience by opening your heart and eyes to a reality other than your own. The best part is that after we pat ways, this magic stays with you. This compassion follows us back into our normal lives and every single life that we touch after is effected by the magic we created together.
- Wherever you are, be there. It’s easy to get caught up in the momentum of life; we are constantly moving from one thing, person, place, idea to the next. We live our lives in every moment except for where we are. We are too concerned with what will happen next or we are stuck replaying everything that has just happened. On these retreats, our guest have to make significantly less decisions than they do in the normal life. We take care of the planning, the transportation, the meals. We curate the experience so that they can involve themselves full in beauty that is happening around them. When we return to our normal lives, we can bring that sensation of awe and pause with us so that even the most mundane or unpleasant experiences become infused with gratitude and magic.
I woke up today. I get to experience life for another day. Even if things don't turn out exactly as I had hoped, even if I’m sad or hurting or feeling ungrounded, I get to exist. I get to breathe. I get to feel. I get to LIVE.
- Try. Then try AGAIN. Very rarely do we do our best work on the first try. That is why people go to school for years to become experts in their field. Fucking up is a natural part of life. Being scared is a normal part of our human experience. Sometimes, you have to try things more than once to know if it vibes with you or not. The first time we experience some thing, there are so many sensations and stimuli, that it’s hard to take it ALL in. It can be overwhelming and our minds will tell us to abort the mission. The second time though, that's when we can relax into ourselves and the circumstances. When we start to relax, we receive more information; we understand how these actions make us feel. So try again. Let the experience be completely new. Embrace the uncomfortable nature of new and discover parts of yourself that may be hidden.
- Love is real. Nothing gives me more hope for humanity than watching people who love each other. I’m not talking exclusively about romantic love, though that gives me butterflies and makes my heart melt as well. Most people come on these trips knowing almost no one. It's amazing to see how invested we are in each other’s happiness and success after only a few days. It can be easier to not care, to only look out for ourselves, but it’s a part of our better nature to care. It is an incredible act of generosity and love to be vulnerable with another person, to let them see into your heart, to hold space for them to be vulnerable in return. On the ver first day of meeting each other, we looked into each other’s eyes and simply asked “Who are you? What do you want?”. The
- What you have to offer is needed. We are social beings meant to be with other people. Connection is something that we all crave. Yet, we’ve all had those thoughts of not being good enough or what sometimes being “too much”. After teaching and leading countless groups through experiences, I can safely say that each person is an integral part of the community. We all balance each other out. Only together can we create a safe space to try, fail, grow, and change. What you have to offer will change every day, but it will always be necessary.
- We are all connected. We have within us the entirety of the universe. The way that the universe manifests through us is entirely unique. So it can at times feel like we are in our own little bubbles, that our actions couldn't possible effect the person next to us, let alone a person on the other side of the world. Here’s something I learned from the ocean: all of our choices and actions effect all of us. We might not be able to see the effect immediately, but eventually, our choices are felt rippling across the globe. Take for instance, the reef. The ocean provides seventy percent of the oxygen we breathe. If a bare hand touches a live part of the reef, the oils in our skin cut through the protective membrane on the the reef and the reef will eventually die. This not only effects all of the creatures that live on the reef, the ocean ecosystem, but then the air we breathe on land. The vibes and choices you put out in the universe come back to effect the other people in this global community. Vibrate HIGHER.
- Surrender to softness. When we are presented with challenges, our first instinct can be to harden and muscle our way through. We spend a lot of time and energy prepping for battle. We cover up our wounds, we put on our armor, and we fight. Whether we win or lose, we come back from that gift exhausted. What if there was another way? When was the last time you softened in the face of adversity? It’s usually not our habitual response because millennia of life experience has taught us that the only way we come out alive is b fighting. I'm tired of fighting. Instead, I'm learning to allow. I'm learning to be like the water, the most soft, resilient, and strong substance. Instead of daily going into battle with feelings and thoughts, I'm learning to let them come and then let them leave. Instead of fighting with others, I'm learning to listen with compassion and find compromise. Instead of fighting nature, I'm learning to go with the flow. Nothing teaches you these lessons more than being with twenty three other people in a foreign country.
I believe in traveling often, experiencing everything that the world has to offer, and decluttering my life experience by only bringing carry-ons. The more people and cultures we encounter, the more compassionate we are. See the world. Broaden your horizons. Become a global citizen. On your journey start to realize that we are all unique expressions of the same magic.