It’s been a long, great day. I visited a small Costa Rican zoo, a butterfly sanctuary and welcomed more fellow retreat goers. By the end of the day, already 13 of us were hanging out, got dinner and did some community meditation.

Group meditation and share on the hostel rooftop

I have walked double what I do on a good day at home, got some sun and have stimulated my mind and soul with a variety of deep conversations. I am tired, but so happy to be. I am looking forward to officially starting our journey tomorrow and heading to Imiloa.

The returning “2.0 crew”

But for now, I am getting some rest. Goodnight beautiful world!

For your enjoyment, here are some pretty pictures I collected today of the local flora and fauna:

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.

A soulful homecoming

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.

Flying in to San Jose

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.

Big fluffy clouds over Costa Rica

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.

Costa Rica’s majestic landscape

I’ve been on a lot of adventures and I think I’d like to revisit them and sort of catalog them here. I just recently learned that I can make movies with Google pics and also found an old SD card with images from a campervan trip through California about three years ago…

So I bring you my first trip down memory lane: that one time in California…