Waking up to sounds of foreign streets outside the hostel windows. People of various accents and demeanors already bustling in the halls…
It’s not yet 9am on a beautiful Friday morning. I’m in Costa Rica on a journey of the soul; very soon I will be sharing in moments of bliss and tenderness with friends and strangers alike, as we dive deep into the wisdom of the great divine mother.
I am at peace, I am grateful – the bliss of my beingness palpable… To be this woman, to have this life – to witness synchronicity and serendipity at every turn and with each smile – to experience so many amazing blessings in continual succession… I cannot contain or restrain my abundant joys.
It’s times like now, becoming evermore frequent, that I cannot relate to the evermore infrequent feelings of separation. I am wrapped up, indeed fully enveloped, by the majesty and magick of love.
Like the gentle yet persistent bubbling of a refreshing mountain spring, the joy and bliss in my heart enveloped me completely as we began our decent into San Jose this morning. Costa Rica, my beloved, how I’ve missed you! I hadn’t even realized how much until the tears started forming in my eyes.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you…” Overcome with gratitude for the opportunity to come back here again, I whispered my blessings to the clouds and mountains, and even to the big metal birds that provided my transport to this magical land.
Pura vida indeed. I hadn’t even touched down and already I was feeling the infectious soulfulness and spirit of this place… “This is truly Pachamama country,” I breathed to myself, absolutely elated at the thought.
Remembering the ease of spirit enraptured
Maybe it’s not like this for everyone, but personally, this country feeds the deepest and most potent parts of my being. I’ve had some doubts about my trip lately, nothing serious, but I came up against my old friend ego again, masquerading as perfectionism and control as I prepared for this journey. I’ve been trying to walk the line between devotion and beingness, but my doubts and insecurities had me feeling like I just couldn’t win.
I cannot count the times I’ve reviewed my behavior this week, looking for signs that I was still on the right track. “I think their might have been some dairy in that… Oh no, I forgot not to use onion! Damn, that weed smoke smells so good, I hope it blows my way just a bit – but maybe that’s not a good thing?” I haven’t been smoking, drinking, fornicating or eating off the dieta for over a month, yet I was still feeling insecure in my follow through on my commitments.
This is what I do. I am especially hard on myself, and not just when I have a reason.
This was a big lesson for me last year when I attended Apotheosis 1.0 and came to Costa Rica for the first time. I very plainly and painfully saw my own self-deprecation, self-inflicted frustration and my many other manipulative mechanisms of tyrannical self-control for what they actually were: ego drama and disease. I was guided into forgiving, having compassion and being gentle with myself – but I guess the freedom and healing that those things brought me had faded a bit over the past year. Sure, I wasn’t mercilessly berating myself for things that were completely out of my control anymore, but I wasn’t exactly being kind, patient and understanding either.
I had already felt the tender nudges of Pachamama, attempting to guide me back towards my beingness while I was still at home preparing – but it wasn’t until I glimpsed this magnificent country again that I felt the glory of grace in all its fullness once more. “Ah yes, THIS. This unrestricted, unconditional love. This is what it’s all about… Yesss…”
I had been so worried about messing things up for myself that I had forgotten this trip, this soul journey is a gift. I am hear to enjoy my beingness, not to prove I deserve it.
Releasing my expectations
I’m letting go, again. I’m smiling ear to ear at strangers who cut me in line, with genuine compassion and care. I’m daydreaming about nothing but the moments I’m in… I’m embracing the unknowing, I’m accepting my imperfections, I’m surrendering to the fantastic hopelessness of not needing things to be different than they are.
We can know the nature of dislike, shame, and embarrassment and not believe there’s something wrong with that. We can drop the fundamental hope that there is a better “me” who will one day emerge.
– Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart
I am so incredibly grateful and that’s the focus I will maintain for the rest of this adventure. I’m not here to prove anything to myself or anyone else. I’m here to emerge organically, stripping away the needless labels and standards, to break out of the cocoon and take flight with the wings that have always been destined to be mine. I don’t have to know how, like a butterfly I will trust that my true beingness is inherent to me.
When I was looking for an app for prompts, I collected a couple others for inspiration as well. One of them is a question diary and the other a gratitude journal. Both have been very stimulating so far.
This morning on the gratitude journal I was given the chance to think back over the past 15, 10 and 5 years and take note of the ways I’ve grown, finishing by offering myself gratitude for those achievements. It was quite encouraging and insightful. I’d like to share the excerpts and expound upon them in this post.
I’m grateful that in the last 15 years I have grown from a scared, unsure and self-conscious 16 year old who lied to get out of travelling to Peru and didn’t want to learn to drive, into a confident, self-assured, solo world traveler who isn’t afraid to face her fears again and again!
15 years ago, my oldest childhood friend died in a motorcycle accident just shy of a month before my 16th birthday. She, myself and my friend Kira had all been planning to go on a missions trip to Peru that summer. When the time came to finally leave – after all the fundraising, getting to the ministry headquarters in Texas and even volunteering at that campus – I couldn’t do it. I was paralyzed with anxiety, grief and depression that even manifested physically in my body as extreme IBS that had me in never ending pain and passing blood in my stool every time I went to the bathroom. The lie came into play when I was on the phone with my father who was insistent on my following through with my plans. I told him that “God had told me” I wasn’t supposed to go to Peru. It wasn’t true, God hadn’t said anything one way or the other, but it worked and I was allowed to return home. I remained physically ill though for another year. I was also self-mutilating at this time. I eventually learned to drive, but only with great resistance and trepidation, getting my license when I was already almost 17. I just didn’t want to do anything; I was afraid of everything.
I would also learn later that same year that I have Primary Ovarian Failure, that my body destroyed my ovaries, that I am completely barren, and that instead of going through puberty I had been thrust into menopause before I was 13. I had osteoporosis already, and I was also still growing too. Everything in my life at that time seemed completely out of control, hostile and torturous.
I’m grateful that in the last 10 years I’ve grown from an insecure, self-centered and self-deprecating young woman who didn’t know what she wanted, didn’t care for or love herself, and put up with abuse and manipulation, into an authentic, aware, mindful and passionate goddess who doesn’t take shit from toxic people and doesn’t put herself in toxic situations or allow toxic behavior from herself!
10 years ago I was 21, living with my sister and my convicted felon boyfriend (soon to be husband and then eventually ex-husband) in what could only be described as a party house. I was waking up with my cup of coffee, a cigarette and a bowl of weed. I was filling my days with drama and distractions. I was fueling my nights with alcohol, ecstacy, cocaine and whatever else I could get my hands on. Before the end of that year, I wound up in jail on a domestic violence charge for having punched my boyfriend in the face a dozen times in an intoxicated rage.
I’m so grateful that in the last 5 years I have grown from being a woman who felt undeserving of love, disgusting and completely burnt out emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually while suffering through a painfully failing marriage, flunking out of school for mental health issues and barely getting out of bed, into a vibrant, engaged, inspired healing healer who knows what she believes with conviction, experiences joy and bliss every day, and is blessed continually through her service and devotion to personal mastery and universal optimization!
5 years ago I was filled with self-loathing because I had flunked out of college my very last semester simply because I stopped going to classes. I had made the Dean’s list twice, I had recieved grants and scholarships, but I had also been working 3 jobs to support myself and my convict husband while he was in prison for 2 and a half years of my college career. I completely burnt myself out physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually; couldn’t even crawl out of bed most days because of my severe depression. I went to a therapist, I was put on SSRIs, but I continually spiraled.
By the time my ex got out of prison, I was a shell of a person, and he was disgusted with me. Subsequently, I was made to feel worse and worse about myself by the person I had loved the most. It didn’t help that before my complete collapse I had become progressively more and more reckless. Binge drinking, abusing prescription drugs and even eventually becoming unfaithful by putting myself in high risk sexual situations. I had been honest with my ex, telling him everything before he came home, giving him an out that he didn’t take – and then I was punished daily through looks of loathing and malice until he finally found another woman to take care of him and left me for good.
And yet, I’m so very grateful for all of it. As expressed by the letter I wrote my current self from my past selves to finish the gratitude exercise:
Future Mayryanna, WOW! Or more appropriately, though I don’t know it yet, WAHE GURU ❤ I am pinching myself, I cannot hardly believe that I am you! That I am capable of so much strength and resilience, that I will do so much, that I will become so impassioned and inspired! I am so grateful for you, for me, and for our never giving up! For our daring and tenacity, for our curiosity and authenticity, for our love and grace! Thank you, thank you, thank you – for learning how beautiful and amazing you truly are – for never giving up on us 🙏 I am honored and blessed to be MAYRYANNA!
“The first thing that comes to mind when I think of my mother is…”
Her smile. But not just in the physical or visual sense… She has a subtle yet formidably strong comfort and warmth to her entire being – something impossible not to witness in the tender wistfulness of her delicate yet impassioned joy.
Her emotions are genuine, fully felt and even when she attempts to withhold them, most often completely obvious. This potent authenticity is deliciously infectious. Her smile has a natural and unassuming way of making me feel like I’m basking in the pure essence of her happiness as well.
When my mother smiles, the whole world becomes a brighter and kinder place. She’s got a bit of playful laughter dancing in her eyes, tempered by a deep and cavernous knowing that is fed by her insatiable hunger for learning, serving and loving. This juxtaposition of innocence and wisdom is intoxicating and delightful.
I absolutely adore my mother. I am so grateful to bare witness to the majesty of her smile. I am so very blessed by her continual generosity of spirit and soul.
I am the woman I am because of the support, power and inspiration all embedded within my mother’s smile…
Long days filled with writing down things I can’t forget and slowly ticking off tasks in preparation to leave the country… I love this feeling of anticipation and excitement. I love how it feels when I finally arrive at the airport with nothing left to possibly do even more though…
It’s indeed been a long day, and I am tired. I am writing this on my dying phone and then peeling away to bed.
Nothing fancy today my dears, but alas I have blogged something…
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