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”

5 Tips to be a Friendly Traveler in the Developing World

I got a lot of raised eyebrows when I first told my friends and family about my proposed travel plans.  Traveling through and living in the developing world proved some of the toughest and most rewarding experiences of my life.  Here are some tips and things to think  about if you are considering a trip of your own.

1.  Be Not Afraid

The most common advice that I received from well-meaning family and friends was to WATCH OUT.   Continue reading “5 Tips to be a Friendly Traveler in the Developing World”

Once Upon a Time in Guinea

Travel

The snow began to fall the day of our departure.  When I checked JFK’s website for flight info, I saw that almost all the flights leaving between the one-hour time frame as mine were canceled….except my flight!  With fingers crossed and a cell-phone text alert engaged, we piled into my aunt and uncle’s SUV with our small city of luggage.  Only 2 suitcases held personal belongings.  The rest were packed full of the donation of soccer uniforms, deflated soccer balls, as well as an accumulation of shoes, clothes, and school supplies that we’d been buying the previous months. Continue reading “Once Upon a Time in Guinea”

Homeless in the US

“What if we choose not to do the things we are supposed to do? The principal gain is a sense of an authentic act – and an authentic life. It may be a short one, but it is an authentic one, and that’s a lot better than those short lives full of boredom. The principal loss is security. Another is respect from the community. But you gain the respect of another community, the one that is worth having the respect of.”

~ Joseph Campbell

Since I made the decision two years ago to walk away from Babylon, consumerism, and society’s definition of success, I also walked away from a lot of security.  In giving up a traditional job, I also gave up a traditional home.  There were times when this decision felt very precarious to me, but I always landed in a comfortable place and had my very basic needs taken care of.

There was the beautiful home I was blessed to occupy in Granada for a time with my sister and a visiting friend, there are the small hotels and wellness centers full of beautiful artwork I’ve been lucky enough to care for and occupy, and there are the comfortable homes with loving families who have taken me in.  In each moment, I’ve counted my blessings to awake in a dry, warm, comfortable and safe place.

Never before has the decision to walk away from the security of the American Dream felt so dangerous as these past few months traveling and working in the US.   Continue reading “Homeless in the US”

Mendocino County

I’ve spent much of the last few months in Mendocino County in Northern California.  Despite all the traveling I did around Central America, this is my first time traveling to California.  Northern California, especially, has always been a place I’d like to explore.  I’ve always heard of the beauty of the redwoods and the magic of places where the redwoods meet the ocean.  I’ve been blessed to have spent the last few months in this magical place.  Here are a few impressions I’ve accumulated.

People

My trip has been a mixture of reconnecting with old friends and discovering new ones.  I wrote earlier about reconnecting with a dear friend from college on my arrival to California.  I was also blessed to spend some time with a yoga teaching friend of mine I initially met in Granada, Nicaragua.

Kathleen and I were able to spend more time together than we had in Nicaragua!  We shared some meals, camping, and work together before it was time for her to return to the country.

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Continue reading “Mendocino County”

Travels with Shiva

I’ve been making a slow-travel through California on this little trip home to the US.  After a week of being spoiled by girl time and good cooking with a friend in Southern California, I hopped a train to LA and further north.  There was a moment of adventure at the train station when I realized that the tracks there were closed and no train would be arriving.  With only 10 minutes to get to the next station and catch my train, I had some luck with two guys and a pick up truck who generously loaded up me and my baggage and another poor soul who didn’t get the news of the closed station.  We pulled up to the next station just as a train was getting ready to leave and breathed a sigh of relief that we would make our destination.

Beach Tracks

Continue reading “Travels with Shiva”

Gratitudes

I have been a whirlwind of activity lately as I pour myself into writing projects, planning special yoga series and a teacher training, and biking or hitchhiking to and from Puerto Viejo to connect with life in town.  These things add some extra sweetness to my days: Continue reading “Gratitudes”

Thoughts

I’ve been fairly quiet on the blog front lately, but my head has been spinning with new thoughts as I’ve been living and learning and soaking up the beautiful energy of this amazing place.  I’m not ready to write a long post on any one topic just yet.  Instead, I prefer to educate and integrate these ideas.  In the meantime, here’s a peak at what’s brewing. Continue reading “Thoughts”

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”

An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse

When I returned from my first visit to Nicaragua, I connected with all my new friends via facebook. Facebook is a strong networking tool, and I like to use it as a way to keep in touch with interesting people I encounter in my travels in the hopes that we’ll connect again in the future.   So there I was, back in Austin, posting info about all the fun yoga things that happen in Austin.  Whoo, and there are a lot!  Austin is a city that supports a strong and healthy yoga community.

One day, I received a short note from the owner of the yoga studio I’d visited here in Nicaragua mentioning that I made him wish he were in the States, what with all the fun yoga happenings occurring in Austin.  I responded that my desire was to return to Nicaragua and explore the side of life available here.  That’s when he made an offer I couldn’t refuse.  Continue reading “An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse”