Anyone who believes in numerology, might just concur that April 15th was the perfect date for me.
Or at least a date that would always hold some significance.
Sadly, in 1984, it was the day my best friend was taken from me, and the world, by a drunk driver — yet gladly, six short years later — and miles above on a flight from NY to LA — April 15th was also the day I met another best friend — the guy I would marry and with whom I would create a family.
And this year — more than 25 years later — April 15th was also the day the door re-opened, to better get to know my truest best friend of all — the one I have in ‘me.’
A coincidence? Or not… Afterall, some say karma comes from where you’ve been, in order to reach your destiny…and we are where we are based on the choices we’ve made, leading us to where we will be…
That said, for a while now, there’s an internal journey I’ve been seeking — actually, just really needing — so much, that when the opportunity came up to attend a yoga/life training retreat, I was “all in.” Not that I knew a single thing about it — not an itinerary, who I’d be rooming with, how many would be in the group, or if there’d even be anything more than yoga. All I knew was that it would be in Costa Rica, and somehow, I was going to be there.
And while karma helped me believe it could have been the best of times… something inside me feared it could also be the worst of times…but just committing was all the action I needed to justify, that no matter what, this would be MY time.
So there I sat at LAX, the evening of April 15th, filled with excitement and just enough fear, to anxiously see what the next 10 days in Costa Rica might open up within me.
It’s easy to think ‘wow, what a vacation!’ – after all, it was indeed a magnificent setting and a world I’d never before had the chance to explore — but more important was the setting of trust and friendships created that opened the channels to think well beyond our daily existence.
Our challenges may have begun with the physical aspect of yoga, and the learning of correct breathing, flows and concentration — but each facet applied to a deeper realm and consciousness — the levels of thought and mindfulness that touch every part of our day, our relationships and the entire journey we as individuals are on, from sunrise to sunset. Taking heed of challenges within ourselves reflect a greater need to touch the world and its inhabitants, and to better understand how that world and the one beyond relates to us all.
While the commonalities among my new ‘Costa Rica retreat family’ surely included the practice of yoga, our practice is so much more than a stand, a stretch or a pose. Our yoga has purpose…it can bring us peace and solitude, along with questions striving for answers that we may not fully comprehend. Our practice allows us to #beinthemoment in everything we say and do. And more fully, our practice reminds us that the world is so much bigger and meaningful when we understand and appreciate all that it provides, allowing us to minimize the attachments of ‘things’ to make us happy and realize that by simply opening our eyes to the beauty around us, we can better appreciate the beauty within.
Many in our group are choosing to become instructors, and anxious to fulfill their 200 hours – but that path was never my intention. I came to Costa Rica to find my own capabilities and determine if the internal strife I face can be rectified, redeemed or redefined. I had the chance during these ten days to face my fears head-on, and through trust and reflection, I’ve obtained an inner peace that with continued practice, I’m hopeful can stay within me… it’s the type of reflection and confidence that will allow me to better understand my choices and determine the paths that are correct for me.
Yes, it sounds deep and serious — and parts were even emotional — but collectively over ten days I achieved the inner voice in me that is pushing me to take the path less traveled, a healthier route in all respects – and one of enjoyment — the one that I can reflect on and still gain perspective from, all the while seeking more.
I can also share that there was indeed a touch of ‘vacation’ involved — it began with smiles and friendship, deepening with familiarity of our group, and grew with intensity and trust in ourselves and our new found friends — to conquer that which we had not done before. Whether hiking in a rainforest, jumping off 20′ cliffs into an unknown pool of water below or sliding down 40′ waterfalls that awakened every thought and body part one held within oneself. And all was achieved by the ability to believe — in ourselves and those we came to love, support and nurture — those we will never forget.
Some might think this was a pretty long distance to go to find oneself….but in Costa Rica, I found so much more than just me… I was enriched with the addition of 27 souls that have become my family, linking hearts and strength in areas that need little explanation. All ages, all backgrounds, and from all over the U.S.
And with their support, I found the ability to reach higher, jump further and dive more deeply. I found reasons to think outside of me….to better begin to understand the universe, so in turn, I can now begin to better know me.
Thank you ESY (http://electricsoul.yoga/training)– for every touch of training — and for every link in our circle — all of whom I keep a piece of in my pocket and heart… my reminder… yes, “that is so…” So while these ten days too shall pass, the learnings, love and reflections will forever remain. And we can say Pura Vida.. as we continue to live life to its fullest.