Heading into trek, I try not to have expectations. Every trip is different. However every trip is always a mirror, a reflection into how I am living my life and how I wish to be living my life.
This trek was no different. I walked into a community, and into a family in particular, full of love and joy. A host father with a sweet soul, who shared how his family is choosing to live differently, to live happily, to raise their children in love.
They accepted me into their family with trust and unconditional love. They didn’t know if I was a murderer, a thief, a liar, and it didn’t matter. They opened their home and their heart to the essence, not the story.
Peace. Calm. Balance. -Words to describe how I felt when I stepped foot into Las 40.
I felt at home. I often feel more at home, when I am far from “home” as we define it. However, I am starting to fully understand that home is within us. It is that place within where we are calm, in balance, and at peace. This trek was not without challenges, it was not without tears, it was however without fears. (Well except maybe for my fear of spiders, but even that brought about some good laughs ;))
Often when we travel outside of our perceived comfort zone we find ourselves in a dance with various thoughts, feeling, and emotions. These thoughts & feelings
Like the mind jars we recently made at my friend’s son’s birthday party, when the glitter finally settles a clear vision, line of site, is revealed. The murky water becomes translucent. As my glitter begins to settle, I am first overwhelmed with a sense of guilt.
The guilt for me stems from a belief that I take more then I give during these experiences that are “supposed” to be about giving. But what I have come to know is that these experiences are exchanges, and I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities I have been given to participate in these exchanges.
Brene Brown was quoted frequently this week. She often talks about our culture of lack; of the feeling that we don’t have enough, that we are not enough, that we don’t do enough. Yet, many times we head to places to serve, to bring knowledge, materials, etc. to those in need, those who we perceive are lacking/deficient in some way. I have always struggled with this, feeling like who am I to be imposing things on another, to be interfering with someone’s way of life, feeling that I am the one lacking in so many ways, and what do I have to give? But these treks, these experiences, are an exchange. And this exchange was once again affirmed for me this week, in Nicaragua, as I experienced the exchange of love, trust, energy, of heart and soul.
I hold so much gratitude for all the community of Las Cuarentas has taught/shown me in a short amount of time.
I have learned that in order to genuinely give, we must learn to receive.
In order to show up for others in any way, we need to be showing up for ourselves in those same ways. Practicing non-violence towards self, and those closest to us. Continuing to disengage from the drama and letting go of the story. Loving ourselves unconditionally in the midst of challenges and negativity, in order to truly love and interact with others in this way.
Living with my host family, and connecting with others in this community, being welcomed with unconditional love and trust, there was a shift.
The desire to truly live from a heart space, and to genuinely disengage from the drama, to see the good, the essence, that exists in each of us and to inspire others to do the same, emerged.
The pull to create space where we all really see each other strengthened. Allowing ourselves to see the essence, not the story, theirs or ours; allowing judgment to drop away and holding space for others to shine. A place where we feel safe to let go of our stories, shed our armor, to give and receive without condition, without judgment. Space where we do not need to numb, and disengage, but where we take comfort in fully engaging with life and all that it brings.
I wrote in my journal on the first flight, back from Nicaragua, “It’s all a story and we write our own. I want mine to be one of love, laugher and joy.” I lost my original journal during this trip, it was returned, but all of the pages were washed away. A message, a reminder, that in any moment we can always start anew, we can always create a new story, a new message, a new beginning.
There is power in letting go of the stories we have created and tapping into the essence, the love, from which we have all come and to which we will all return. Power in creating a space that feels safe enough to explore.
Last week not only did I spend four hours a day working on school construction, I also connected, engaged, and allowed my heart to burst wide open.
For now I’m allowing the glitter to flow, to swirl, to move freely. I am taking in what lands and letting go of what doesn’t. All the while working to keep my heart open and carry this idea of unconditional love into all that I do and all that I am.