Updated: Aug 31
Savoring simplicity + appreciating the beauty in slowness
Over the last several years, a recurring vision has made a home in my mind. It’s always most vibrant when I’m alone, at peace, and imagining my most perfect life. This is a dream of my bare feet rooted in warm, white sand. I'm standing in an almond grove at the ocean’s edge-- I'm beneath a big, beautiful almond tree, enveloped in the thickness of it's leaves, and I have a piece of macrame art hanging from one of it's branches. I feel a warm wave of satisfaction. I'm alive, harmonious, whole…and lost in the flow of creating art.
I know the almond grove well. It’s just steps away from the casita where my son and I used to live in Costa Rica. I walked through it everyday. When I got to its edge, in the morning, I either turned left to walk down the beach to my yoga studio or right to slowly meander with my son on the way to school. In the evening it was our playground and the place where we paused together to appreciate the setting sun. This was my routine. This was our ritual. And it was the most content I’ve even been.
“Most recently, I’ve come to embrace this time as delicate growth-filled chapter and appreciate living my process of assimiliation. It’s so often a place we try to rush through when the past no longer makes sense and we’re eager to figure out what’s next. In truth, if we wish to grow, it’s a place we should get comfortable exploring and enjoy as a beautiful calm before the next creative storm.”
Lately, I’ve been meditating on this vision—I know that it holds answers. I've been wondering if it’s a deep soul longing to return to this exact place. I’ve asked if it's calling me “home” and if my time here in the US is coming to a close. I’ve also pondered if it’s simply a short-sighted fantasy, preventing me from fully embracing the beauty of my present moment experience. What I’ve come to believe, though, through this questioning, is that these sueños de los almendros , the dreams of the almond trees, transcend any given time or place. I feel it's my intuition speaking clearly, pointing me, instead, towards a life-quality that I desire deep within my heart.
It’s telling me, it’s something I’m no longer willing to live without. If I pay close attention to the visceral reaction of my body during these visions, I am at complete ease. I'm soft. I'm open. I'm feminine. I'm free. It fills me with a sense of quality and connection--to myself and to nature--that I’ve yet to discover since starting a new chapter back in the US. It’s something I crave deeply, in this new world paradigm of speed and multi-tasking, where I often feel over-scheduled, overworked, and out of flow. In my heart, it’s also something I want for so many others that I see teetering on the edge of burn-out, with no frame of reference to realize how much of their lives they're missing in the pursuit of getting it all done. Having made peace with this vision--that I'm being called towards a life quality for which I yearn-- I’ve come to embrace this time as delicate growth-filled chapter and appreciate living my process of assimiliation. It’s so often a place we try to rush through when the past no longer makes sense and we’re eager to figure out how to make our new dreams a reality . In truth, if we wish to grow, it’s a place we should get comfortable exploring and enjoy as a beautiful calm before the next surge of action. I find ease in mind knowing I'm on my way, putting one foot in front of the other, as a very different woman than when I left here, who sees the world with fresh eyes and an expanded heart. I honor my shifting vision of what it feels like to live fulfilled and in service. And I know that any discomfort I have is simply lighting the way back to my truth. If my time living in Costa Rica revealed anything to me, it's how to live with a certain relaxation and simplicity. To let things flow. To live for the moment, to move with life as IT moves. Costa Rican's call it Pura Vida, "pure life". It's an expression of emotion, an appropriate response to most questions, and, more than anything, an attitude towards life
"How are the kids?" "Pura vida!"
"Will you be at dinner tonight?" "Pura vida!"
"It's so nice to see you." "Pura vida!"
"Thank you," "Pura vida."
Uncomplicated, yet powerful, medicine. Yes.
I've gotten clear that this is what I desire to bring to this next chapter... Personally, it’s about shedding the heavy and really allowing myself to take it slow, appreciate life, and celebrate leisure. Yes, leisure--taking it easy. I’m giving myself full permission to savor the everyday experiences of life and adopt a reasonable balance between productivity and pleasure. I don’t need nor want it all. I want quality. Here’s how it looks: meals mean community, time with family and friends, wine, appreciation of complex flavors, conversation and laughter. Less social media, more real connection. Less television, more books. Guiltless time laying in the park, packing picnics, riding my bike rather than driving. Making art, and whenever possible, doing it outside in nature with my bare feet on the earth. Eating healthy food and also indulging in buttery croissants, fresh baked breads, chocolate, and cappuccinos with wonderful , uplifting company at street-side cafes. As often as possible, in new cities. Quiet walks amongst the trees with my favorite mug full of something to savor. Seashell hunting at sunrise without watching a clock and enjoying a sunset with a pencil in my hand. I will write.
Professionally, the vision has shifted. The way I desire to be of service is to encourage others to also give themselves permission to slow down and enjoy a better quality of life. (That can feel so self-indulgent to even consider in this "no pain, no gain"society, right? Let's collectively let that fear go!) I've decided, that after 20 years, it's time to stop teaching yoga. My blog will continue, but with a facelift and, more importantly, a fresh energy. Living Flow has become Barefoot Because.
Maybe this is a new expanded path, personally and professionally, that I'll navigate for a good, long stretch of time. Maybe it's just a stepping stone, as I realize my new calling. I'm open and along for the ride, listening closely as I go.
Let's have some fun together along the way.
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