Do you have the tendency to complain about your past?
Meet Tony, the toucan a new friend I made in Panama recently. Tony is beautiful obviously, but he's a go getter! He makes people laugh and he is very wise as well. Tony likes to have fun and enjoys the moment.
I'd like to explain why and how I got to Panama and then share with you some inspiration and encouragement in your life. Ok?
I was planning a retreat to Costa Rica when a 'feeling' ran over me to obtain information about Panama. Not sure really why, but I started some research and posted on Facebook to see if anyone had suggestions. In a matter of minutes I had lots of information and a doorway of opportunity. Have you ever followed a hunch?
A few weeks prior to leaving that doorway of opportunity would slam shut! Hmm... I wondered why and then saw a clearer vision of what I desired. In hours a woman by the name of Anne would connect with me. She now lives there. Anne had visited on a work assignment, fell in love and had married a man from the Embera village. She was going to provide me another opportunity that would be EXACTLY what I needed in the moment. I desired learning more about the indigenous culture and VOILA, there it was!
The day came and my heart was heavy as I was flying to Panama. I was questioning many things and sad about some things that had recently happened. I prayed and asked God many questions as tears rolled down my face. I completed my prayer with "If you desire me to continue to be of service please show me joy now".
And then....I would be reminded.
The plane landed.
My new friend and guide, Anne would take me to the village of the Embera. The young men brought the canoe to travel up the river to a village that is sustainable and filled with joy and love. I did not speak the language, however, I did not need to because SMILES say everything in any language. We had fun watching the monkey show off, spotting beautiful birds and 'observing' a crocodile.
My worries were gone, my sadness lifted and I was smiling again.
It actually started shifting in the taxi ride to the hotel. My driver was a sage. He was telling me about the 'ancient beliefs' that he chooses to live by. He said "you know 'the way' is to live for the now. I do not talk about the past. I learn from it, but I do not bring the things that happened and the old emotions into my life now. I let it go. Boy, i've heard that from many of my kahuna mentors. I do not worry about the future. There is no reason, it's not here. I only talk about the present".
I smiled! It's a concept we may have heard and believe, but how often do we actually apply it? Yes, my taxi driver lifted my spirit and made me smile. He was my mentor in this moment and I felt joyful.
I would soon be greeted by the lovely ladies of Embera! With grace and beauty, adorned in flowers and with open hearts they extended their hand to greet us.
They live in open huts, they support each other, they live a simple life and they are happy!
I was smiling the minute I stepped on their land. (actually before). My heavy heart was light and I was living in the moment.
Tony, the toucan, entertained me immediately. He ate papaya from my hand and pranced around regally.
Later he would jump in the sink and while the water was running, he took his shower. His tail would wiggle and he would find joy in his bathing! I was laughing as he displayed his dance.
The women would work together quietly preparing a wonderful lunch for us. Clothed in beautiful fabrics, with designs they created, I watched how easily they cooperated together and focused on their service. I learned about their crafts and how it could take a month to create one item because of the diligence, humility and love that went into each piece.
Anne and I chatted with a few of the younger gentlemen who wanted to learn English. I was amazed how quickly they remembered each word and made sentences. They are so smart! The young children ran free and their spirits spread a trail of joy everywhere they went. I began to realize I was fully present and nothing was saddening my heart as I stay focused right here, right now in this beautiful community. Guess what? I even got a tattoo... a temporary one, of course.
Anne would share with me that just 5 days prior a huge fire set ablaze in one of their huts and quickly spread through the community, completely burning many of the homes and their school house.
She explained how they live in the moment and fully honor their emotions, which can be intense. However, she shared, like the taxi driver mentioned, they don't hold onto them. Tomorrow is a new day.
The following day she asked one of the woman how she was because she lost everything. She said "I am happy. Now we joyfully rebuild". That's it! Simple!
The community has come together to rebuild and some supplies have been gifted to help them create better huts.
I was in such immense gratitude for everything in life in this very moment!
I began to create some inspirational videos and decided to live my life this way. Easy? HA! My old beliefs are fading and each day it's getting easier. I have made a practice of pray-full gratitude each day for many years, but in all honesty I was not letting go of the past as easily as I thought.
I now remove negativity as quickly as possible. I chose to release and let go and not take things personally that are not mine. The people pleaser in me is learning that I am not responsible for other people's happiness. I would soon attract more joyful people and situations into my travel plans and have a well needed uplifting adventure.
Imagine if we created a life that honored our feelings in the moment. No heavy grudges and anger to take into tomorrow. Imagine if we saw the positive in our lives, honored that we are alive and danced with joy that our family was alive and healthy too! Imagine if we let go of complaining, first for a day, then a week and so on.... life would surely shift, don't you agree?
Anne and I decided to co-create a retreat in 2018 to bring others to this place. She loves to support them and now I would like to join her on that mission. We will get inspired while we open our hearts. We are going to include some whale watching too, as this is a passion of her heart.
My friend, the monkey may have some shenanigans up his sleeve to make you smile too!
Life is amazing when you allow it into your world.
Traveling to other cultures can remind us and teach us of the simplicity that co-creates everything.
A portion of the proceeds of the retreat will be gifted to the Embera Village. I love volunteer tourism!
The adventure continued.... I met up with a friend of a friend. I had no idea what to expect and just 'showed up'. Two handsome men picked me up at the hotel and off we went.