As I’m about to say Adios (good-bye) Nicaragua and Ciao (Hello) Italy, I lay here in my bed cozy, comfortable enough un-needy of the lime green sheet to cover my tan body. Beneath the beautiful mosquito net I’m protected from scorpions, mosquitoes, geckos, cockroaches that may be lurking the in dark corners of my room. The windows open, the fan just clicked off, the power went out. This is Nicaragua. I lay here with my senses heightened starting to become uncomfortably warm, hearing hundreds of different birds calling to one another in the jungle. A language foreign to me. Not a moment of silence. Howler monkeys are going off, sounds like they are angry but no, this is usual dialogue amongst their tribe, a way to find order and peace. Ahhhh, the sounds of the jungle, not a bad place to be. I don’t think I’ll be hearing these sounds in Italy, I will miss this. Right now, truly a moment to remember.

Nothing exists outside this moment. Only this, now. Not a bad place to be - in the moment.

As I look around the room I think to myself, “I really love this house, it’s hard to leave it.” I see my cat Monty pass by the window, he is outside hunting. It’s hard to leave him too.  Never been much of a cat person but I do love all animals and why I refrain from eating meat these days. Off topic, sorry. I have grown roots here, in the jungle. These roots are deep within but not attached to anything solid. These roots are the connection to my inner body, my energetic body, my spirit,  my soul and to each one of you. Oneness. The more consciousness we can direct inward, the higher our vibrational frequency becomes. This is where light grows and shines from within projecting beauty outward. It is at this higher energy level where negative energy cannot affect us anymore and our light becomes brighter as the days march along. We can share this light to guide others out of darkness or we can use it when the clouds come over and cast a shadow on our hearts. Use your light as a flashlight to guide your way out of a dark tunnel or look for another light temporarily to safely guide you until you can turn up the dimmer on your own light once again.

Building a home in Nicaragua has had its challenges and I’m not going to lie, there were days I have struggled to find and understand the true meaning of Santosha. To live Santosha in a war-torn country that is desperately trying to rebuild itself. Not exactly third world but developing. The collective energy of the Nicaraguans is one of many years of hardship, death and pain endured through time but I think the Nicaraguan culture embraces the true meaning of Santosha quite well. Contentment. Life in Nicaragua is not easy when compared to North America and what I’ve come to know as easy. But the Nicaraguans know no other way. It has broken many gringos/gringas trying to make a life here to the point they’ve had to leave, to return back to the comforts of the modern world. Even yoga teacher friends of mine could not deflect the energy that is indigenous to this country and it’s ancestors. The land of lakes and volcanoes. Fire and Water. The land of Artists and Poets. The Nicaraguans have learned to heal their pain and suffering by creating art. Writers writing beautiful poetic words to create famous poetry, brush strokes on raw canvas are a form of meditation as each stroke brings color to once a world of darkness and devastation. The potters sculpt earth into beautiful pieces that hold and embrace the dreams for generations to come. Beauty can be created out of devastation. When something is in ruins, it truly can lead to transformation. What do you want to create? When we create, we are learning more about our true selves. It is in these moments of creation we learn our truest self.

Learning to live without water, electricity, the bare minimum on most days is what I have become accustomed to. What does one really need? Living a Yogic lifestyle truly is about taking only what one needs. When I travel back to North America it is quite a culture shock because life is so easy, having everything at my fingertips. Modern and clean hospitals, coffee shops on every corner, wonderful restaurants. Going back is an opportunity to appreciate the small things and modern comforts. What did I ever have to complain about before? You see living in Nicaragua has taught me how to embrace and accept. To live in the moment.  Accept what is. I have learned to grow my own beautiful garden internally in a world where at certain times of the year, the heat and dust is so stifling nothing grows. I have been able to create and live out my dreams while learning about my self and bringing me close to my truest self. At the end of the dusty drive down a bumpy dirt road paradise may be found, deserted white sandy beaches and perfectly shaped glassy waves. But sometimes one must take a risk and venture down a road less traveled to find what we are looking for. To help us to discover our selves. We must take a chance, take that leap of faith. We have the opportunity to choose. Not a bad place to be. What are you seeking?

What is that I hear? Rain drops? In April? April does not normally bring rain. Just like March does not normally deliver an ass whooping of hurricane winds and the negative energy that accompanies it. A month of that really did my head in and the hammock therapy only gave it a temporary band-aid fix. It’s been an unusual year for weather. The Year of the Dragon with all it’s unpredictability has really kept me guessing. I’m really happy that mother nature decided to give us a break today from the heat by opening it’s sky to give the dry land a drink. Guess this means I won’t have to water my herbs and grass. I can lay here a little while longer. mmmmmm. The rain matches how I feel inside at this moment. A little sad, a heavy heart because I’ll be leaving in a few weeks. But the rain is a good reminder that when it does rain, it washes the dust away, it’s cleansing and it also waters the earth enabling new things to grow. It is refreshing and necessary. When it rages, it’s like the water inside of us, the water of our own true nature and we should allow nature to flow in it’s intended direction without trying to grab hold to the river bank for safety. Let go.

Back to the transformation thought. Nicaragua has given me the opportunity and lessons that will serve as a guide and foundation as I embark on a new journey. Don’t worry, I have a home and a growing business in Nicaragua. I’ll be back. I’ve become accustomed to “Nica-time.” Tranquillo. It’s a very laid back vibe here. No one is in a hurry to get any where any time soon. What’s the rush when you only earn $5-$10 for the day. When I took my truck to the mechanic recently they managed to rip off the front tires in search of the rotors and breaks that needed a close inspection pretty quickly to determine the problem. But, putting it all back together is a different issue all together and basically a different day all together. It could have been done by the end of the day but why should it? They will finish it up tomorrow, or the next day in their own good “Nica-time.” Why get upset about it? It just IS. It’s the way of life here. I’ve learned to relax in so many similar situations that would have brought unnecessary stress into my life before. The key has been to end the delusion of time.

If you remove time from your mind, it stops, unless you choose to use it. We cannot control another person’s actions, we can’t control the traffic, so we might as well just enjoy each moment as it passes instead of getting upset by it or trying to control it. If we are stuck in traffic, this gives us the time to listen to a good e-book, a new playlist, carpool with a friend and enjoy a conversation or meditate - don’t think at all. Whoa, don’t think at all? How do you teach a cow to fly? I know, it seems almost impossible to dis-identify from our mind thoughts. We becomes so easily immersed in them. Trying to control each moment of life. Each moment of time. The more we focus on time, the past and the future, we miss the present.  We miss this moment and the blessing of now.

Mmmm, now I can smell the rain. I’m going to get up and open the doors. The light sprinkle turned into a downpour but only for a few minutes. And now it has stopped. What is that I hear? Nothing. Silence. The rain tamed the sounds of the wild jungle. But only for a few moment, the birds started up again. The rain fully stopped now and the sky is starting to let more light in. Soon the clouds will wither away, the puddles will dry up quickly without even a trace of what just happened and the cool morning air that was the breath of the rain will once again become suffocated by the sunshine. My cat just ran over me, muddy paws, soaking wet and smelling like thyme. He must have taken refuge in the herb garden when the rain came. Not a bad place to be.

No matter where you are, where your adventures or journeys may take you. When you embark on something new take the time to go inward. Stop. Listen. That inner voice that comes from deep inside you when everything goes quiet...this is your heart speaking, this is SELF, this is YOU. Seek your inner true self. Create something beautiful from your heart so you may come to know yourself better. And then, share your gift and life purpose with the world. After all, we are all in this life together. We can bring each other up or we can tear each other down. We are all apart of the innate oneness. Why do you distance yourself from it? Think of the sun and the rays of the sun. Now think of the tips of each ray. If you are standing at the tip of a ray of sunshine and you look over to your neighbor who is also on another tip of a ray of sunshine you see separation.  But don’t allow your gaze to stop there, if you look to the body of the sun, you will see that we are all connected. We are all one, I am you and you are me. Again, not a bad place to be.

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