Jungle trek

This morning we were told by our guide that we should wear something that we don’t mind getting wet. She also told us to be careful with what we took, anything could get wet if we slipped. We were going to take a hike to a waterfall and wade in a river. So I decided not to bring my phone, as others would be taking and sharing pictures.

The experience was beyond my imagination.

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A local guy named Will who also works at the ecolodge was our guide for this adventure. First, he handed out walking sticks, said they were required.

We started slowly down a wide path as he told us about the native plants and herbs, even tasting some of them. Gradually the walk got steeper, and I was thankful for the  steps that had been fashioned into them. He continued to talk about the plants, trees, and wildlife in an engaging manner. Here are just a few photos: a pineapple (rare to see growing wild), a blue jean frog (poisonous) and this cactus thing attached to a tree.

facebook_15542084600867701877805844060198.jpgWe eventually came to a small rocky creek down in the valley. Turns out, this was the river. It is dry season, currently. In rainy season, it becomes a raging torrent. We were all grateful for our walking sticks as we stepped into the cold water and picked our way over the rocks.

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Then we saw it – a cascading waterfall at the end of a narrow passage. The water was knee deep at times. The fall plummeted into a small pool, and we took our turns getting into the waist deep water, our delighted screams at the frigid temperature filling the air.

I thought that we would have a similar hike back, but turned out that the way back was down the river! We walked through the ankle to knee deep water, admiring the green-covered canyon walls on each side.

Finally, reaching dry land, we had yet another treat! There was a pool, roughly filled in facebook_15542074609002787757350077073029.jpgwith concrete and rocks, fed by the river! As we oohed and aahed, Will gave each of us a chunk of the red clay natural to the area and demonstrated that we should wet it and rub it on our face and body! We had a marvelous time, and my skin felt extra smooth after this beauty treatment. It was like a spa in the forest!

 

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Ending and beginning

I have had an amazing week!

Just as I expected, the five day intensive to wrap up my ayurvedic studies was exciting, confidence building, wonderful, and intense! I got to spend 5 days with my amazing teacher and 20 like-minded people who became, in a very short time, my family as well as my friends – my “peeps”.

As I have been away from home, immersed in study and then for the last two days on a mini vacation, I have also been given inspiration on what to do next and looked at my present job situation with new perspective.

The first thing I am going to do is start a new blog which will be focused on ayurveda as well as my personal journey in finding it and how it can be useful in daily life.  I think it will be helpful to me to pull together what I have learned by writing about it, with the goal of being able to teach others and have my own clients.

Stepping away from my day to day usual routine and the job that provides me with a roof over my head and food to eat is always a mind bender, and this time even more so. I had set a goal a little over a year ago to quit my job in June of 2016, when I finished with this course. And here it is, June 2016. A few months ago I decided to stay, to not be so drastic, and then things started happening that make me think that I am being guided away. My boss quit, and I was evicted from the office space I’ve had for 4 years due to what is the equivalent of office politics in a hospital.  Middle management isn’t supportive, and upper management doesn’t care, and as I write this, it just makes me wonder what am I holding on to?

I’ve had a tendency to hold on to relationships and jobs long past time to let go and move on, and I think that is what I am doing. Fear, again. Uncertainty, as usual. As difficult as it is, it is the known. But I have a new tool that I gained recently. Instead of fighting with the fear, or running from it, I have learned to make friends with it, to look at it as serving a purpose. And so I will sit with the fear for a bit, talk to it, question it.

I will go back to the job.  I want to take a zen mindset with me. Zen as defined in the urban dictionary:

swans on the lotus lagoon

One way to think of zen is this: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts.  

I’ve had a tendency to try to fight what is inevitable, to act as if I have some sort of secret power to change the minds of management if I just dig in my heels hard enough.  I think I’m done with that. I need to stop holding on to what doesn’t serve me well.

I know, deep down that the timing is perfect for great change. That there is nothing to fear. That walking away from a closed door is walking towards an open one.

You can’t win a battle against those who have no honor. There is no reasoning with closed minds and no persuasion that will open a closed heart.  – mystical Cat tarot card

 

And now I turn my heart towards home.

 

And the journey continues

Here it is, January again, with resolutions and intentions abounding. I am not different from others in that I like to use the new year as a time for new beginnings. I also like to look back at the past year, and it is always with some amazement.

I have traveled more this year than I think I ever have, and in doing so discovered how big and how small the world is. Big in that there are so many beautiful places to see and small in that it is so easy to hop on an airplane and go hundreds of miles in just a few hours. That is amazing to me.  I went to Iowa, Montana, Wyoming, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Nova Scotia, and North Carolina!cows by pond

I made a few short weekend excursions, finishing up 2015 and beginning 2016 in a one room cottage near New Ulm, Texas. I had purposed after attending a New Year’s Eve party last year that this year would be out in the country, stargazing. The cloud cover unfortunately prevented that, but it was still lovely. The cottage was warm and cozy, the houses and people were few and far between, the sky was big, the walks were long. The house next to the cottage had a great porch we were invited to sit on, and I enjoyed my coffee there both mornings, looking over a pond and communing with the neighboring cows. It was all very head clearing.

The other big thing for 2015 was my decision to study Ayurveda, and I have completed two of the three terms in the course of study through New World Ayurveda. I love the subject material and already have been able to apply what I’ve learned to my own life as well as sharing some of my new knowledge with a few others who have shown interest. My hope is to be able to establish a practice and be able to truly help others find health and well being for a better quality of life.

On New Year’s Eve, we made a big deal of leaving behind old outdated ways of thinking that no longer serve us well. The biggest thing for me, and surprisingly hardest, was to leave behind, for good, “I can’t”! I do alot of stuff, but I was constantly second guessing myself, doubting my abilities, telling myself I’m too old, etc. No more! I can, and I will.

For 2016,  my main intention is to have more compassion, wherever I go, and with whomever I meet.

Looking forward, I see another beautiful blank slate, with shadows just beginning to take shape on the canvas. I anticipate continuing my studies, with two trips to new places for hands on intensives. I look beyond completion of this course to possibly deepening and continuing in the fall.  I had thought a year ago that I would stop my day job in June, but now I see myself continuing on for another couple of years at least.

I look forward to more reconnecting with my grown kids, more time with my growing granddaughter, more music, more long walks, more yoga, more coffee, more good books, more love, more compassion.

What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me. –Helen Keller