I went to the woods (jungle) because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. — Henry David Thoreau, Walden..

I'm a free spirit. If I was the me I am today 15 years ago I would probably be living a nomadic life - a gypsy trekking the world in coach or pulling my Airstream across North America. I love me. I enjoy my own company. I'm a reflective person. I like to look at everything that happens and understand it. I like to ponder. I love the word "why". We should always ask why. Those that don't are at the mercy of others. Asking why gives one power. I guess I should write another post about why. This is not it though. This is a post about Costa Rica - a country that has my soul.

Two years ago I ventured to Costa Rica for one reason only - to save my current life. Not my physical one but the one I had built around my family and career. I told me therapist I was ready to leave it all behind. To start over. As Dave Matthews sings in Grey Street - " she feels like kicking out all the windows and setting fire to this life." So instead I booked a flight to Costa Rica and stayed at a seven day retreat where I learned so much about who I am and that I have the power to create the life I longed for. So I returned and I did.

Two years later I headed back to Costa Rica (and that is what is about) but with a different purpose. See I've been on a journey to my highest self for six years. Many chapters completed but the book to still be finished. I've put in a lot of work to become that person I always wanted to be. If you're not working towards the person you and not others want you to be then you are wasting this life. This time though I needed to refocus and detox my body and spirit. Like so many, COVID had worn on me in every way. I knew for the sake of everything I had worked towards I had to get away.

I stay in one of the Blue Zones in Costa Rica. Fittingly it's named Blue Spirit. It's little retreat center nestled in the jungle on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. I stayed in a little cottage where at night I could hear the crashing of the waves. Sunlight always peaked through the canopy giving way to the moonlight - I was lucky to have a full moon while there. Howler monkeys woke me each morning and as loud as they were I welcomed them. They reminded me that I wasn't in Kansas anymore and I needed that. The best alarm clock. Every morning I hiked 200 steps up to the center where I would do an hour of yoga followed by breakfast with fellow seekers. I spent my mornings reading in my hammock or by the pool. Hours were spent journaling and listening to the message and answers coming to me from new friends, dreams and shamans. In the afternoon I attended a sacred circle where we learned about our chakras.

I wish for everyone the opportunity to spend time with themselves in the jungles of Costa Rica. I wish for everyone to take the journey inward and for me to take it I have to take time away from my life. Costa Rica teaches and reminds me of the beauty of simplicity. Want only what you need. Love Mama Earth - she will give you want you need. Learn from the stories of others. Share your stories. Share story of others if they said that's okay. Wake up early. Go to bed early. Eat only what the Earth gives you. Practice a ritual each morning (working on that one). Leave the stress in the shower. Dance like no one is watching. Except imperfections of you and others. That's what makes you you and them them. Journal often. Read often. Turn off the TV. Delete social media - oh I wish. Don't do things that don't serve your purpose. Make new friendships and let go of old when necessary. Be honest with others and yourself. Spend your time talking about what makes you happy instead of what doesn't (working on that one). If it doesn't make you happy make the decision to move away from it. Take solo trips. Because with those kind of trips you are only responsible for yourself and your happiness. You have one job - you.

Life. I'm a mom, wife, business owner, realtor....that's just the main jobs. I'm an artist, photographer, friend, daughter, chauffeur, free spirit, personal assistant to two girls, chef, cheerleader, house cleaner, drill sergeant....we don't have time to keep listing. All of us have multiple jobs and titles. Expectations. Responsibilities. Our days get filled with these. To do lists, neon post-its, unfinished tasks, reminders and calendars color coded....when do we have time to just stop and go inward. I admit I have a luxury of being able to explore myself more than some. However to do that I've had to give up things as well. One thing though I will sacrifice for are my trips away. My solo trips especially. They reboot me. They teach me. I always return a better wife and mother. This time I returned and I felt a bright light coming from me. In yoga I could balance better. In my art I took on a new direction. In my work life I noticed I was more productive and successful. Costa Rica shifts my perspective every time - it shifts my life - mind, body and soul.

So women listen up! I don't care if you are 18 or 88 - take a solo trip. If just for a few days. Some of us never get the chance to truly be alone. I want you to know that being alone is nothing to fear. If you're a mover and a shaker pick a city. If you're like me and just want to be in nature and listen to the conversations of animals, head to the desert or quiet beach. But be with YOU. You are the most important person in your life. You are the only person who will be with you from the moment you are born until the day you make your grand exit. Costa Rica or a city away from you - go. Make it a habit early in life if you can. If we all learned to just love ourselves and embrace ourselves, oh what a beautiful world it would be.



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