Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Little Bow

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."
-Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You'll Go!)

(Dr. Seuss will be the honorary poet we have today. 

One of my favorites, with great things to say.
His poems are crafty, swift and complete, offering wisdom in rhymes so sweet.)

Wow. What a ride.
Always has a sense of humor in his approach
and a  helpful hand to offer.
“From there to here, and here to there,
funny things are everywhere.”

Back in the land of the free I arrived safe and sound in LAX at 1am on Sunday July 25th. The superman of my world greeted me with those familiar open arms as I exited the plane. It did not feel like that long ago when he had dropped me off. I remember watching papa pete on January 18th as I took lift off on the escalator and entered the long security line. Feeling so alone, so scared, and not knowing what was in store for me and my South American adventure. All I knew was I was going.
And sure thing I did.
Baby Edu! 

Today you are You, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

After spending the night at my sister’s home and meeting my beautiful nephew Eduardo (I am now a proud auntie of three!) my father and I made the final leap- a boat ride to the island. A sold out 12:15pm departure, thus we were destined to sit separately. I found a place next to a couple from Thousand Pines. Whether they liked it or not, they had their own private tour guide for that hour we shared together. Thrilled to be making the vast cruise across the sea to my familiar landmass, I shared all my favorite things about Catalina with this pair. They only spent the afternoon in Avalon. Little do they know it is possible to spend your whole life over here- much more than meets the eye to behold.
Home Sweet Home
"Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don't matter,
and those who matter don't mind." 

My mother picked us up from the boat in the (barely) still living 1982 Jeep wrangler, how I missed her. Incognito, not yet ready to see everyone and begin sharing the stories of my travels in person, I slipped into the backseat with my glasses on and we took the long way home.

Mother from another brother.
"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"

Other than morning runs and dog walks, I spent my first few days simply being. Celebrating my full reign in a kitchen once again, my diet has consisted mostly of dark chocolate, Mario’s beans, spinach smoothies and my special blend of iced tea… 
i know-bizarre- but all special things I have been without for far too long. I began the long (and yet to be completed) process of unpacking, enjoyed every meal with my family (God Bless Mario!) and didn’t think too much about all that has happened over these past 6 and a half months. A time of transitioning was needed, and was indeed had. Today I woke up and downloaded nearly 5,000 pictures on my computer. Scanning over them once again was like going through a time warp. Wow. I did all that. I was there. That is me. So much has changed. So much has happened. So much I have been blessed to experience.

So, here I am. Tying a pretty little bow around the South American adventure with this final blog post. During the process of writing this blog I have discovered all the more my passion for writing so… stay posted to my "normal" blog from here on out.

This afternoon I waved goodbye as my little sister departed for her first big international adventure. She will be traveling around France and Spain for two weeks along with 20 other students from her high school. Last Sunday I arrived, and this Sunday La is leaving. All things really do come full circle.
"You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights." 

As I wrote last, I finished my travels with a 16 day 200 hr RYT Yoga teacher training course. I successfully completed it and am now a certified yoga instructor! Whoo! Now let me just say if you are imagining a “yoga retreat” where the people are beautiful, yoga is done from morning to night and the birds sing the worlds delight… you would be right. But… it was also SO VERY INTENSE!!! Really, intense. My day spanned from 5am to 9pm. Countless hours of yoga practice and studies of philosophy, anatomy, history, postures, safety, modifications… there was a lot to cover. The life of a yogi. The balance of business and spirituality. A divine opportunity to acknowledge as well as move beyond our own greatest challenge- ourselves.
“And the turtles, of course... All the turtles are free-
As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.”

Although unintentional, I soon realized I had led my way down the hard road, by coming unprepared.  I was traveling for 2 full months before my arrival in Costa Rica where not once did I take a yoga class (outside if my own practice) and my mind was not devoted to the study and pursuit of yoga. Now yoga is a lifestyle, and one I aim to follow daily- so in that extent I felt on board but… I was a tad bit out of practice when it came to the asanas, and it was obvious. Fortunately I was surrounded by wonderful yogis who helped me along with their patient and ever loving support. 

My first week there was nothing short of a struggle. Physically sick with everything from headaches to the stomach flu to back pains (all of which I never usually have) to being emotionally out of whack. However, as I became settled and more comfortable in this new place, the beauty of it all began to unfold- allowing for true presence to pave the way for a conducive learning environment.

I underestimated the intensity of these two weeks and did not know they would demand so much of me. But I am grateful that they did. An incredible learning and growing experience for myself as a teacher, a student, and a yogini.
"The storm starts, when the drops start dropping
When the drops stop dropping then the storm starts stopping." 

Looking back on it now, I understand why my body, mind and spirit reacted as such. And rightfully so. I threw myself into an extremely challenging environment, totally different than anything I had been in during the past half year. During my travels, as I would go from one place to the next I would allot myself a couple of days to transition and settle. I did not have that time to settle into the teacher training. On top of that, my flight from Peru to Costa Rica was 7 hours late, so I missed my caravan, thus leaving me to spend the night in San Jose alone, where I then missed my bus the following (long story), left to wait four hours in a tiny bus stop where… well… I had a (much deserved at this point) mini-meltdown and then I pulled myself together. Learning some pretty valuable life lessons all on my own. Sometimes we are meant to figure things out by ourselves.
"So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact.
And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act.
And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)" 

Then I arrived and all was well at the teacher training. It is wild how the time goes. Here I am now sitting on my couch almost as if none of the past 6 months ever happened. It feels dream like to look back on it all. The same Kyria sits here now who learned to ride a bike in these streets (two times), mastered social skills from these small town people and who developed a sense of “YES I CAN” from all the support of the community. 20 years later, YES I DID.

With that said, this is not the only adventure. I realize more and more it is not about South America, what I saw or what I did, it is how I did it all that matters. The lessons learned, opportunities had and relationships built helped give me the tools I need to better live the rest of my adventure. Every day is the journey. Since I have been back many people have said “I want to hear all about your trip! All the stories and memories made…” Part of me does not know when that “trip” started and ended. If I am only looking at the time in which I was out of the USA, we are missing the real value that was held during that exploration.  It is when I take a step back and look at this one grand event in the context of my whole  life’s journey, that the real significance can be seen and honored.
"You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut." 

I believe that traveling is one way to expedite ones learning and experience, therefore speeding up the process of self-growth and enlightenment. Anytime we go beyond our “comfort limits” we are bound to find something worthwhile. While traveling there are endless opportunities to do and see externally, which in turn allows us to see more internally. The more foreign of a destination, the more opportunity for change and exploration.

When I see people that live differently than I do, I am reminded we are not all the same and that there is much glory in the diversity between cultures. And on the flip side, we are all kind of the same. The Beatles had it right all along, “All you need is Love.” I am biased as I am forever an apprentice to Love, but other than the need to eat, sleep, work, and play- we all need to love and be loved in return. Sounds simple. 

The beauty in all of that is as long as these basic needs are met, and we live within our means, happiness and satisfaction are sure to be waiting patiently in our mailbox. From the homeless to the wealthy rich I have know, the key to opening that box is our mindset. As my yoga teacher loved to say “It is all mental.” And it really is.
"Be grateful you’re not in the forest in France
Where the average young person just hasn’t a chance
To escape from the perilous pants eating plants
But your pants are safe, you’re a fortunate guy
You ought to be shouting how lucky am I" 

Even if we have nothing, absolutely nothing, we still have control over our mind. Ultimately the world is what it is and we as individuals perceive it differently and therefore are different (along with biology, nature, nurture, and all that jazz) but at the root of it all is our mind. If we allow ourselves to view the world in the light that it really is, we not only allow ourselves to be divine as we are intended to be, but we also share that love and light with all whom we come in contact with. Thereby making the globe as a whole that much richer on all levels. Win-Win.

Now perhaps I am just a tired love hippie who is exhausted from half a years travel and has most recently been washed up as a beached mermaid on a stranded island and I am blabbing nonsense about love and life and the pursuit of happiness but, all of this is true… to me, in my mind and soul. But it may not be for you, which is wonderful too. I believe we all need to find our own philosophy, and we can use others for inspiration, but ultimately we are the rulers of our own worlds and must therefore write up a manifesto- or else we may be swooped up into someone else’s.  The deepest joy comes when we find others whom share a similar outlook and passion as we do. There we can really connect and begin to build our own family.
More of these good times to come!
"It's opener, out there, in the wide, open air."

It really is a wonderful world, and I can say that with all the more certainty now. While I crossed some places off on my "must see" list, the list only grew as more days passed in travels. I have a heart to travel and the desire to take me there. But for now I am greatly enjoying the comfort of home, the sweet unspoken joy of knowing exactly where I am and who I am with. The casuality that comes with knowing how the day will probably play out and what tomorrow will look like too. 

There is much to be appreciated about where I am from, this place and the village that it houses helped create the original mold for who I was to become. Only as I begin to venture farther and farther away do I realize it is ok, and at times even healthy, to break that mold and be the woman I choose to be. And it is also perfectly good to return home once again, embracing all that is new within and all that is constant without. 
"Today was good. Today was fun.
Tomorrow is another one."

After 178 days of traveling around 6 different countries thanks to the 14 planes taken and countless number of buses I sleeplessly enjoyed, I hereby declare this little bow tied. I am ready and enthusiastic to continue on this journey of life, and also grateful to close this beautiful chapter that has been one great South American adventure. 

I would also like to thank all of you. I wrote this blog for three reasons: One: to assist me in my nearly mad desire to record keep and remember all that has happened. Two: to help me digest the passing of events as I transitioned from one thing to the next at a rapid rate. And last but not the least bit least… to share it all with you. It means the world to me that you all have taken the time and interest to read a bit about my life. I can only hope it was a beneficial and enjoyable experience, and please do share a bit of your life story back with me too.

We are all in this together, and there is only so much we can learn on our own and via our personal observations. But if we all share some bits of wisdom that we have collected along the way… it is bound to be a much more rewarding journey for everyone.

Pura vida y namaste,

The entire globe I would love to roam, but as Dorothy once said, "there is no place like home."

As I ran today on this land where I am from, 
I was reminded once again of something truly awesome.
The world is vast, mysterious and great- a divine opportunity to learn, grow and re-create.
But it is in this soil where I am always welcomed, loved and known - 
that I can return again and again to rest my heart at home.

And one of my favorites to wrap it up tight...

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities."
-Dr Seuss

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post...loved reading everything along the way...your life has had a great beginning. It will be glorious going forward too, but you already know that...xo