I’ve covered many miles since my last post. I’m feeling gratitude for the big, comfortable buses of Costa Rica and the stalwarts who drive them, allowing me many safe landings. I also hold gratitude for the many kind strangers who gave me lifts. Hitchhiking doesn’t have the same taboo of danger that it does in North America. Here, it’s a normal and oft-used way to travel. I’ve been blessed to have had three amazing rides over this time, each with their own pearl of wisdom to share.
And oh the wisdom! I’ve soaked up lots of it over these weeks! I’m reminded of what powerful mirrors we can be for each other. The struggles of each of us reflect back different aspects of the One Human Experience, manifested in the one and in the one and in the all. The smile or frown you receive reflects the energy you send out, and the offer of help reminds you to center back to the beating heart within. Formal and informal, it’s all the same pulsating dance. Remember that as you walk this earth.
The shadow workshop was incredible and deep and profound work. I encountered a friend on the bus on the way there, and was pleasantly surprised to be working alongside a few people I was already acquainted with. By Sunday, we were all a tight-knit group of friends/family/tribe members.
The work was done on the large back porch of a home sitting high in the mountains on the Pacific coast of the country. As red tailed hawks, toucans, and hummingbirds played in the mountain valley that lay before us, we played our own games of poking and probbing, exploring how it feels to leave the world of duality and enter the world of “all one.” Through group and partner exercises, we learned to delve deeper into our own shadows and our own powers of perception. Learning to trust our inner wisdom and to understand our natural intuition.
Tears were shed, old boulders rolled away to reveal fresh growth beneath, and revitalising prana inhaled. At the end of the workshop, the teacher announced that he’d be holding a workshop the following weekend to instruct on how to be a shadow facilitator. What luck! My intention in attending the workshop was not only to work on my shadow, but to learn how to extend the helping hand to others.
I had this Visa to tend to, though, before I could re-immerse myself in shadow work. I had overstayed my time in Costa Rica, and was in search of friendly immigration officials who would not charge me a fine, and would stamp my passport for another 90 days in the country. Word on the street was that the officials in Panama, the closest border to me, don’t like gringos very much. Stories abound of bribes being requested and short time limits being stamped on passports — some as short as two weeks! I’d heard other stories about the friendly immigration officials in Nicaragua, so I headed north to make my Visa run.
With a tight schedule, there was no time for fun and friends on this trip. I spent days traveling by the large buses that resemble greyhound buses in Costa Rica, and half days in the chicken buses of Nicaragua. One night in the country and not enough time to stock up on the inexpensive clothing and bath items I’d been missing in Costa Rica, and I was squeezing my clothes back into my backpack to make the return trip. I was blessed with two amazing hitchhike rides this trip who shared stories of their own shadow work and explorations of the realm outside of duality, and then I was back in the house with a view, preparing a dinner with my new Costa Rican family and preparing to dive into another weekend of learning.
What I enjoy about studying these different portals for accessing the divine is that so many similarities run through them. The shadow work that I learned here in Costa Rica echoes the shadow work I’ve been learning on my study of the chakras and their shadows. This work taps into the wisdom of the body, drawing in elements I’ve learned from my yoga classes and following the breath to find tension within the body, following the breath to access the eternal now. The work I learned stands outside of religion, or rather, extends a steady arm to whatever beliefs you enter with, offering support and freedom from self-limiting beliefs that no longer serve.
Meanwhile, I’ve changed location again to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica to offer yoga classes in a beautiful, eco-friendly space built from bamboo and shipping containers. The yoga shala is high in the tree tops and surrounded by the jungle prana that infuses so much of life here. I’m in a small town, dominated by beach and jungle, yoga and surfing. And so life quiets even more. As the external world drops away, the heartbeat becomes easier to hear.
Om shanti om, one with all, all peace.