Peel Away the Layers – Modern Life and the 5 Koshas

As the holiday season rapidly approaches, it’s easy to see how hectic our lives are.

Even without the chaos of preparing for the perfect day, modern life tends to have a frenetic layer of haste.  We find ourselves multi-tasking throughout the day.  Add to that the layer of noise – from our children, friends, families, the news, your podcast, your playlist, the classic rock station playing while you shop.

With all of this hustle and bustle, it’s difficult to find the time to tune in to yourself.  Each layer of distraction pulls you away from the present moment, from that constant serenity and peace, the infinite space and possibility imbued with Isha, the divine presence, that dwells within each of us.

It is with that in mind that my friend Paty and I set about creating a Retreat to Reconnect.  We want to help you peel away the layers that are stopping you from connecting to your sacred self, so that when you step back into the beautiful whirr of your life, you step from a space of power and truth.

When we lose our connection to self, we might find ourselves reacting to small things with annoyance or frustration.  Perhaps you’ve gone all day today without taking a full breath, or had a full conversation with somebody without really hearing a word.

If we spend weeks, months, or years in this state, it’s easy to lose track of your Dharma, the goal that is your life’s destiny.

Modern life is a constant distraction, and we all get sucked into the mundaneContinue reading “Peel Away the Layers – Modern Life and the 5 Koshas”

Poverty and Community in Guinea

Kçbri – money (soso)

I’ve already mentioned that the poverty in Guinea is profound.  The truth is that I have never seen this extreme poverty before.  Guinea is in the thirteenth poorest country in the world.  That’s the macro view. What this looks like on a micro level is a lot of people who are very hungry and in need and very few with the capability to make some money.

Many walk around in clothes that would have been tossed in the trash long ago by somebody in the developed world.  Shirts with a collar but no material at the shoulders, pants that flap in the font and back because the material is long worn away, t-shirts that looks like netting in the back because there are so many holes in them.  Many colors are faded, the clothes having taken on the color and texture of the African dust long ago.

Clothes dry on a line in the hot midday sun
Clothes dry on a line in the hot midday sun

Polygamy is practiced throughout Guinea. While not everybody has multiple wives, it is more common than not.  In many families, a man will take two or more wives and father a myriad of children.  Continue reading “Poverty and Community in Guinea”

Back in the States

It’s been a week of travel and adventure making my way back to the US.  Flights out of Nicaragua were less expensive, and more convenient than flying out of Costa Rica, so I set about traveling north, this time twith some people.

The thing about traveling with others is that we’re a bit slower together, and there are more opportunities for frazzled nerves.  There is a quote about that:

If you want to walk fast, walk alone.  

If you want to walk far, walk together.

~Unknown

And so true, we did travel further together, albeit a bit slower, than we would have alone.  The highlight of the bumpy bus rides and dirty hostel rooms located over noisy bus stations (read: no sleep!), was the car rental.  My friend and I decided to splurge on a car rental since they are so inexpensive in the low season.  We had many mochillas and maletas, backpacks and suitcases with us, and the ride north to our final destination promised 3 crowded chicken buses and seven hours, versus a cool 3 hour ride in a rental car.

And cool it was.  Our little Corolla, which only costs us $40 for the day, came with air conditioning, a smooth steering wheel, and a radio with a spot to plug in a memory stick.  “Music!  We get to pick our own music!?!”  One half hour of instruction booklet reading later, and we were jamming to reggae and latin and world music as the beautiful green mountains of Nicaragua rolled by.

Mountaintop Trikonasana in the hills of Esteli
Mountaintop Trikonasana in the hills of Esteli

Continue reading “Back in the States”

Stepping Out of Your Own Way

I’ve recently joined the gluten free world, and it’s given me some revelations.  Don’t worry, I’m not here to convince you to give up gluten.  I don’t believe there is one diet plan that fits all the bodies out there, so I will leave the experimenting, or not experimenting, for you all to decide.

What I’ve noticed as I’ve given up gluten is a dramatic change in the inflammation I was carrying in my body.  As swollen glands, sinuses, and muscles shrank back to normal size, I noticed a marked increase in the energy that was suddenly able to flow freely throughout my body.  All that gripping meant that I wasn’t truly able to come into alignment!

It made me sit up and pay attention to other areas of my life where I’d been creating unnecessary roadblocks for myself.

Song of Freedom by Samantha Meglioli
Song of Freedom by Samantha Meglioli

Continue reading “Stepping Out of Your Own Way”

“Living from the Heart”

A dear friend will be publishing a compilation of stories about turning 30. She’s including stories from women around tbe world to explore the cultural and personal significance of this decade for women.

I’m honored to have my story included in this compilation. Follow the link below to read it, and more from Laura’s blog!

“Living from the Heart”.

Laura is still searching for contributors. If you feel inspired to share your story, please do so by connecting with her through her blog.

Hasta pronto!

La Poesia

My last full day in Nicaragua was a blur of color, sound, poetry, and music.  I spent the morning running around taking care of last minute tasks that I’d put off until the ultimo momento.  Tasks such as buying memory for the camera that I bought in November and making a few other last minute purchases before departing for Costa Rica.

I was making my way back home mid-afternoon, and made the fortuitous choice to walk instead of look for a taxi.  There, in front of Iglesia Xalteva, was float after float with poets spouting their poems.  Following the poets were marching bands and row upon row of dancers in colorful costumes all gathered for the Procesion of the Poesia.

Final Dia Nicaragua 003

Continue reading “La Poesia”

Lolo el Mono

Lolo was brought to the Hotel a little more than a month ago by a Nicaraguan woman and her teenage son.  When they told me they had a baby monkey with them, I thought that surely I was misunderstanding with my poor Spanish.  You can imagine my surprise when she reached into her bag and lifted out an actual baby monkey.  She told us that he was only four months old.

Lolo

Continue reading “Lolo el Mono”

Perspectivas

I write often about my perspective of life in Nicaragua.  Today I thought it would be a nice change of pace to get the perspective of a Nicaraguan living in the US.

Meet Frederick.  He moved to Los Angeles a few months ago to live with his father.  Prior to leaving, he spent his whole life here in Granada.  He’s an artisan, and I met him selling his jewelry in the Calzada here in Granada.

Frederick

Continue reading “Perspectivas”

Unattached

Word of the Day:  Erratic

adjective

1.  deviating from the usual or proper course in conduct or opinion; eccentric; queer: erratic behavior.

2.  having no certain or definite course; wandering; not fixed: erratic winds.

3.  Geology . noting or pertaining to a boulder or the like carried by glacial ice and deposited some distance from its place of origin.

4.  (of a lichen) having no attachment to the surface on which it grows.

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deviating from the usual or proper course in conduct or opinion;
eccentric; queer: erratic behavior.

My little path spins onward, wandering and not fixed.   Continue reading “Unattached”

Lovely Limones

I woke with a touch of gripe early this morning.  I used to translate gripe (pronounced grip – ay) as flu, which is the official Google Translate definition, but it is actually more used to define any cold-like symptoms.  So I woke feeling a little under the weather with a runny nose that didn’t improve much even after a small wake up sequence and meditation.  I’ve been reading news stories about the strong breed of flu being passed around the US this year, and I’m grateful that this is the closest I’ve come to it. Continue reading “Lovely Limones”