I set an intention during the last Project 40 (http://jungianauthenticmovement.com/project40/uncategorized/project-40-the-current-incarnation/)  I participated in before leaving NYC, that I would no longer use the word ‘fear’ in my vocabulary, refusing to give it power.  As such, I want to change the “fear facing” into “Inspiration Challenges.”  Each day I am faced with some sort of Inspiration Challenge, an incident that forces me to dig deep in some way vs. giving power to something as yet experienced that I‘ve placed false evidence on.

It’s been a week since my last post and a lot has happened!

Mon 1/14- Inspiration Challenge: Went back to Dolphin House to speak to M, didn’t get a reduction on rent yet, but he’s including all util. and wifi (bonus he gave me a better room the next day when I moved in!) I think he will lower the price after high season, but for now it is a great price for the location.

Tues 1/15-  I moved into the Dolphin House, being blessed with the front corner room! So now I have two big windows; one overlooking the front patio/yard and the second looking out on the side patio into the trees.  I’m hoping to score a hammock to set up out there soon- it would be perfect! M moved the queen bed on a high platform in there and installed a great shelving unit for me.  There are four of us in the house now (each with our own room,) the third guy moved in today too, a Pro-snowboarder in his 40’s from Colorado. J’s been coming down and staying in this house for 8 years.  I get along great with all of them and we’ve even made a few roomie outings.  Inspiration Challenge: In yoga I truly let go and was able to accomplish some really tough asana in great form.  I may not have attempted them on other occasions, not wanting to fall on my face, or not fully trusting myself.  Tonight, I was connected to my breath and floating on an ocean, a divine experience. Later, I had my first NYC client Skype session.  I’m looking forward to working with clients this way, it went really well.

Wed 1/16- Sofiah returned today from a month’s travel. I had not yet met her, but I’d heard so much about her since Oct.  She really is an amazing being, she just glows with love.  I have to admit I had butterflies all day in anticipation. Inspiration Challenge: I took Sofiah’s yoga class and once again excelled as I never had before.  Being surrounded by such great people, so much love and the beautiful environment is so freeing, everything seems so perfect, it’s exactly what I wanted and needed for so long.  I’m so happy that I took that leap for my dream.

Thur 1/17- I was talking with my roommates in the kitchen today and started feeling really overwhelmed by a list of things that I needed to get, do, set up, etc.  I made the choice right then to go practice and I found myself dancing, it literally felt like a transformation happening, I was using muscles in a way I had never felt before, I was deep at a cellular level and “POP!” Literally, just as I was saying to myself, “Oh that’s how you do it!” My lower back finally cracked, releasing all of the tension I had been feeling all week (seriously, I had been trying to crack that spot since NYC!)  I skipped to the shower after.  I felt like I had jumped off a cliff in leaving NYC, I had the initial moment where you leave the ground and float through the air, feeling so free. But I had been free-falling toward the water, picking up velocity all week. In the kitchen earlier I could see the water rushing up toward me…..  I plunged into the depth of the ocean, hearing the splash as I submerged and water filled my ears, the bubbles, and then the perfect silence of being under, floating through space as I made my way to the surface.  I emerged from the shower a mermaid, ready to take on the universe!

Fri 1/18- I spent several days last week getting settled in, unpacking, setting up my meditation space, hanging things to make it feel like MY home.  Fri morning I went with my roommates up to San Isidro; which is the largest city nearby (1.5hrs north east by bus, but prob only 30-40 in a car.)  The drive is beautiful, up through the mountains to an elevation of 1,385 ft, with gorgeous views of the valleys.   The city is small, with 2 – 3 story buildings housing all sorts of shops, restaurants, repair stores, etc. They have some bigger grocery stores to pick up staple items in bulk, etc.  I got a blender and some other things for the kitchen that I needed. I have to admit, I found it tough to navigate as there didn’t seem to be any street signs at all.  But by the end of the day I started feeling more confident in the lay of the land.  I think after a few more visits I’ll have it down.    Inspiration Challenge:  Made some more connections with local folk, and created a new resume, always a tough challenge 😉

Sat 1/19- Another fantastic yoga class this morning with Heidi, she is amazing.  Then I came home to meet my roomie J and his friend for a day trip.  We hopped in the maroon VW bus and took off for the mountains south of us.  We went to Nuyaca (I think that was the name of it!) You leave the highway and drive up the mountain to a parking area.  There is a Talapia farm, where people catch fish and then bring it to the restaurant by the parking lot for a meal.  Down the hill a bit you cross the dirt road and take a short walk into the jungle where you come upon a gorgeous waterfall.  There is a huge rock lodged between the two sides of the 6ft chasm and the locals jump from there.  Inspiration Challenge:  I wanted to do the waterfall jump, everyone else in the group thought I was nuts.  I climbed up through the jungle (barefoot, that was an act of bravery in itself!) and precariously positioned myself near the edge.  The view was amazing, the river before the waterfall was so idyllic.  The power of the water rushing over the cliff was mesmerizing as it created a kaleidoscope of bubbles at the bottom.  I had a sense of peace but my body didn’t trust me.  I tried 3 times to jump, I really thought I had it, but each time my toes remained gripped to the mossy rock.  After what seemed like an hour, (it was actually 5 minutes) of trying to calm myself enough to make it happen, my insides felt like Jello wiggling in terror.   (Shout out to LeRoy!) I announced, “Maybe next time!”   And cautiously made the trek back down to the safety of the lazy river and it’s little whirlpools and rock slides.  It was a great day to remain whole and uninjured. After playing on smaller waterfalls and in tide pools for awhile, we headed back up the hill to the VW bus.  Once again I was overwhelmed by the REALNESS of everything around me.  It is almost impossible to even tell a white lie here, when everything around you is vibrating at such a high level it penetrates every fibre of your being, imbuing you, compelling you to live authentically too.

Sun 1/20:  Happy Birthday Dad!  Today I made fresh gazpacho, cooked my soaked beans, made delicious green smoothies, met with a prospective business partner to discuss some plans, Skyped with a client, caught a gorgeous sunset, picked up my laundry AND made it out for the Patriots/Ravens game (yea Ravens!!!)  Inspiration Challenge: I sat in meditation for 40 min today.  I haven’t done that on my own in a very long time.  It felt great to ‘get back into the saddle.’  I also faced the one person I’ve met here who has been a challenge.  I offered love up and remained shining the whole encounter.  It felt really great and I felt them melting a bit too.

Mon 1/21 – Today I am sitting in my living room looking out over the river to the mouth wear it meets the Pacific.  I am so in Love with my life!!!  I miss all of you up in the US but I don’t miss the commuting, the daily grind, the American mentality.  My roommates and I are planning our projects for Envision Festival which is about a month away.  We’re going to set up a little stand to sell organic/raw treats, teas, beach jewelry & trinkets.  It’s fun being around such creative people who are also business minded and follow through on each idea.  And this afternoon I’m going to face my taxes again.  After the 5 hour fiasco in December, the culmination of 2 days straight in preparation- this is my Inspiration Challenge today!

Thursday night we had a beautiful New Moon Ceremony at Bamboo Yoga Play.  It was a small group of 8 women, 3 of whom work here as yoga teachers, massage/healers, or in the office.  Just before we began it started to lightly rain, creating a gorgeous soundtrack in the background as it fell on the tin roof and wide leaves of the trees surrounding the studio.

The ceremony was lovely as we were all encouraged to make suggestions as to how we could set our intentions for the new moon cycle and empower ourselves.  We spent three hours meditating, doing healing massage, doing free-movement/dancing (yep, that was my suggestion,) connecting to our sense of inner goddess and sharing our stories of current challenges.  As the night progressed the rains came down harder and gave the feeling that we were being cleansed to start new chapters in our lives along with the moon.  Then as we finished up with a big group hug, the rain also dissipated and came to an end.  It was a magical evening. I had such a wonderful sense of peace in my heart and being “at home.” 

There are a few other people residing here at Bamboo Yoga Play on their travels, they have all been very inspiring. One couple in their mid-40s, gave up high paying jobs as lawyers and have been traveling the world for 2 years. She has a blog called “Escape the Predictable Life.” They have such a beautiful, loving relationship, truly living as a couple and helping one another in every way.  

Another woman is in her late 30’s and has also been traveling the world the past few years.  She too felt stifled by her previous situation in an office 9-5 and married to a man that she was growing apart from.  They divorced amicably and have remained friends but live drastically different lives now, as she hops around the globe staying in each place a few months at a time.  Her ex bought a house boat and resides off Vancouver.

The last woman is a yoga teacher, originally from the Ukraine and currently living in Queens NYC.  She came to Costa Rica for 2 months of travel, to learn surfing and take in the culture.

 I feel so blessed to be surrounded by all of these great people. While the travelers will all change in the next few days the people living in town and working here are really amazing.  

I can’t wait for all of you to come visit!

I saw a room yesterday here in town that I think I am going to move into tomorrow. It is right on the river and by the bay to the ocean, just two houses away from the beach. It’s called the dolphin house 😉 There are two guys living there an older gent around 61 and a 30 year old retired navy mechanic. They are both really cool, very into surfing and yoga, they have a huge garden out back and they actually have a roommate contract similar to mine from the old days in BK! The room is pretty big (surprisingly within my budget!) and the window looks into the palm trees. I’m super excited to have found it. Due to the fact that it is high season most places are booked or charging per week since they are looking to make a lot of money now while the tourists are here.

 

I went up the river road to see more apartments and houses so I have great leads on places for lots of people to stay.  Keep in mind this was a sleepy beach town before the tourists began flocking here and in an attempt to keep that vibe the locals have purposely kept things simple.  The roads are not paved, homes/hotels are nice but not extravagant. Although there is lots to do here and there are many retired musicians (some were famous in their day!) so great live music is always happening at the bars.  Sunday night the drummer from Grand Funk Railroad was playing with others who’ve all toured with famous bands around the world.  They performed some pretty awesome classic rock and swing music for several hours without a break. I even had to head home to bed before they ever stopped!

There are few local bars that have DJs too, but my sunrise runs have had me in bed by 10 each night so I’ve yet to make it out to see them.

The sports bars all have flat-screens and play the NFL games so I’m trying to find out where the best Super Bowl Party is going down!  I need to be prepared 😉

Sending lots of love to all!!!

Shine Bright & Live Love ~ XXXO 

 

F – false

E – evidence

A – appearing

R- real

So, what is fear?  I like the above definition.  Fear is simply thoughts.  Our minds create a lot of stories to convince us that we should be afraid of doing things.  But most of it is false evidence.  Yes there are plenty of things that we should be cautious of in life; fire, being mugged, eating poison, etc.  But most of these things can be avoided with awareness and are supported by facts.  Many of our fears are of the unknown….

I have decided to face at least one fear a day for 2013.  I started about a week late, so I will throw two in some days 😉

Here is what I have faced so far:

Day one 1/8/13 – I moved to Domincal, Costa Rica; where I knew no one and didn’t have a specific place to live, nor an actual job lined up. How’s that for facing the unknown?

Day two 1/9/13 – Still dealing with the craziness of the day before, I faced a small fear today, yoga in a new place, with a new teacher, in 90 something degree weather.  It was actually quite fantastic!   

Day three 1/10/13 –  Tonight there was a New Moon circle being held at the yoga studio.  I attended a lot of similar events during my time in NYC and I have been craving that spiritual & human connection for some time, so that part wasn’t scary.  But in the circle (of all strangers to me) I piped up and made several suggestions for activities (as we were instructed we could do.)  I led us into a free-movement session (facing my fear of having strangers watch me at my most vulnerable- versus being on stage and performing choreography) and then taught the women some ‘confidence walks,’ a way to connect to your inner goddess.  We had a great time and I felt amazing after.  

Day four 1/11/13 – I would not call myself a runner, in fact in the past I really only ran to catch a train, bus or cab.  Today I woke up with the sun at 6am and decided to face my fear of looking dumb while trying to run.  I went down to the beach and ran to the end in three segments, doing ab work/leg lifts in between. I don’t actually know what the distance is on this, but it seemed pretty far to me! 

Day five 1/12/13 – I am usually more of an observer in new situations, I am rarely the person running up to strangers to make new friends. So today I vowed to change this as I looked for a long term place to live.  I went into every shop on the main road in town and asked if anyone had leads on a room or apartment.  I met a lot of the locals and made some great connections!

Day six 1/13/13 – Update on the running, yesterday I only took two segments and today I did the length of the beach all at once.  It was probably only a three – five minute run in total, but for me this is huge!  I am also going to try to negotiate the price of the apartment I liked most so far. Not sure why this seems so scary to me today, maybe because I really want to be friends with the owner, so I don’t want him to be judging me in any way, I don’t like feeling judged 😉  But I am going to ask, because if he goes down on the price it would be great and if he doesn’t it really isn’t that big of a deal I guess.  Since the house is right here in town, versus a 20 min walk like the rest, I will probably be saving a lot on taxi’s or other transport etc.

I will start each new post in the future with my Daily Fear Facing to keep you all posted!

Shine Bright & Live Love ~ XXXO

So it’s my 3rd day here in my new home and I love it more with each passing moment.  

If you spoke to me at all in the last year I’m sure you heard me say at one point or another, “All I want is to wake up with the sun each day, do yoga on the beach, play in the jungle, maybe do some work, eat organic food, and relax in a hammock.”

Well that’s basically what I’ve been doing everyday 😉

I’m going to make a video later so you can see more of this amazing place (thanks MOM for giving me the video cam for Christmas!!!)

There are a few other people staying here at bambooyogaplay.com – one American couple who are in “soft-retirement” (they are in their 40s and travel all of the time while doing work here and there remotely by computer or phone)  Another Canadian woman in her late 30’s who has also been traveling for 3 years while working remotely.  And a Canadian couple (he in his 50s, she in her 20s) who are on a 2 month “study/vacation” taking yoga and dance workshops around South and Central America.  I definitely feel blessed to be surrounded by such free spirits.  I finally feel ‘at home.’

Look for the videos to be posted later.

We also have a New Moon Workshop happening at the studio tonight, Envision Festival preparations and the Jungle Jam in Jaco next weekend!  So I’ll have a lot to blog about in the next few days!

PURA VIDA!!!!!

Bhine Bright & Live Love ~ XXXO

 

So I am starting this blog to share my adventures with my family, friends and others in hopes of inspiring people to live their dreams!

As you may or may not know it has been a goal of mine for some time to move to Costa Rica, to eventually start a wellness retreat center for yoga, dance, and other healthy living vacations.  You may be asking yourself, “How did you come up with that?”

Well the answer is…..  I’m not exactly sure 😉  One day a friend (who was a motivational speaker for the Tony Robbins company at the time) asked me what my goals were.  I had been running The Perfect Space (my Organization & Life Design company) in NYC for a few years already, but I knew I had much loftier goals for myself.  So when he posed this question to me I had to stop and think for a second, then out of my mouth tumbled this idea.  He looked a bit surprised and maybe even perplexed; which was sort of how I felt too!  I hadn’t ever been to CR and at that moment I didn’t know anyone else who had been either!  But I knew the answer had come from my heart and I felt very connected to it as he led me through a series of questions delving deeper into the goal.  “What does it look like? How does it feel? What color is it?  How does it smell? What emotions come up?” And so on….

By the end of our conversation I knew that I had to make this dream a reality some day.

Of course I was living in Brooklyn, running a small business, and living the glamorous NYC life 😉  Basically avoiding this HUGE step.  WHY…  Well looking back I think a lot of it was fear – of the complete unknown, of leaving the US, and my friends/family, etc.  I was still in my mid-twenties and figuring a lot of stuff out.  Fast forward 4 years and the goal was still on my mind.  In fact by then I had told so many people about it that I was itching to make it happen!

In January 2012 I went on vacation to the Jaco area of Costa Rica with some friends and I knew that first night there that I HAD to get back ASAP!  I felt so at home, my heart was over-flowing with love, excitement, and so many other emotions.  I did not want to leave, but I had so many responsibilities left in NYC.  So after 8 glorious days we went back to the cold and faced the reality of life as it was.  But my heart kept saying, “Don’t give up!  Be brave and make this happen!!!”

So at the end of the summer I read “The 4 Hour Work-Week” by Tim Ferriss and it finally helped dispel my lingering fear and gave me the push to get into action.  By Oct 2012 I had booked my flight and was looking for someone to take over my lease in Brooklyn.  

After many weeks of packing and so much help from my wonderful friends I finally landed in San Jose, Costa Rica yesterday, with my 4 suit cases (double what I wanted to bring, but I’m doing my best here!)   

I was picked up by a gent (a friend of a friend) who lives in Domincal (which is where I plan to live for awhile.) and he brought me to my new home.  The gorgeous 3 hr drive along the coastal highway gave me time to take in the sights, the lush green hill sides, undulating rivers, and beautiful blue ocean.  I was brimming with tears as my lungs filled with air just as I imagined 5 years ago and experienced on my first visit.  This is everything I have wanted for so long!

I have checked into my temporary home here at Bamboo Yoga Play.  The property is really lovely, very rustic and natural, a big departure from life in NYC, but I am so happy.  I watched the sunset over the ocean last night and was so grateful to the entire Universe for guiding me through to here and now.  There are still many logistics to get in order, but the sense of calm I have felt throughout tells me this is right.  I may not stay here forever but it is the next chapter on my journey and I am so joyful to share it with all of you.

Today I woke up to the birds chirping outside, the cicadas singing and the little lizards scurrying through the brush under our deck.  I went to yoga (the studio is connected to my home!) and had a wonderful class.  Then I took a shower in our outdoor facility, with the sun shining down on my through the palms.  Once again my heart is over-flowing as I write.

I’m about to head down to the beach and then run some errands in our cute little town.  It is bordered by the river that leads right out to the ocean, enclosed by a wooded “jungle” to hide it from the highway.  Dominical is small but lovely, the people are so friendly and many ex-pats own businesses here.  We have a Thai restaurant, Sushi, Gelato, Mexican, Italian, a few bars, boutiques, groceries, surf shops and more all within walking distance!  

In the words of Annie (you remember that little red-headed orphan right?) “I think I’m gonna like it here!”  🙂

Huge hugs to all!

Shine Bright & Live Love ~ XXXO

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More Back porch at Bamboo Yoga Play - My temp home in Costa Rica

That’s one of my bedroom windows on the left! So nice to lay in the hammock and enjoy the gorgeous view off the back deck!