My friend and I go to Blue Spirit, in Costa Rica, for the first time. This holistic retreat is nestled within a jungle of Howler monkeys and a roaring Pacific. The natural beauty, like minded people, and vegetarian food abound. One feels a sense of peace and safety here.
Thatched massage huts dot the hills behind the open air dining facility. Cushioned swings provide a 360 degree view of sunrises, sunsets and full moons. Wooden beams, stone work designs and Buddhas are ubiquitous.
Mornings begin at 5:30 when I wake to the sun and the moon high in the sky. Coffee at 6, yoga at 7. A new (submerged?) part of me surfaces. The days flow, one into another, with indigenous vegetarian meals, seminars on body movement, writing and emotional freedom. Not a stitch of make up touches my face, I dress in cotton and wear no shoes. There is a comfort to this very natural part of me.
I have a conversation with a mother-son team that I am drawn to. I loved that they chose to come together, and thought about my own sons and daughter possibly coming with me someday. Our conversation turned to the topic of mindfulness. The mother gave me a clinical definition of the word, then quickly added, “It must be experienced, your mind will do all kinds of stuff with the definition.”
“You’re right.” I answered. “And if I hadn’t had my own moments of mindfulness, that’s exactly what my mind would have done.” I am not mindful as often as I would like to be, but I am mindful more often than I once was. We exchange phone numbers and emails – but some experiences are complete and whole as they are.
Singular threads of hope, friendship, laughter, and song drop into my life interspersed with loss, pain, and undefined emotion. These seemingly disparate experiences combine and connect and become the people we are today.