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Back from my trip...!

apollina baker

Hello!  I'm sorry it has been so long since I've written!  I am back from my getaway - and a get-away it really was...  I got away from everything, work and the city, friends and family (no computer, no cell phone) but also from the numerous demanding and conflicting thoughts that are typical to my daily life. Here are some pics I took while I was there.  The sky and the water were perpetually that blue.  I stayed in that cabaña and slept in that bed; it was so big!  They wrote up the menu for us each night.  The menu below was on Thursday and it was the first - and only - time we had a dessert, I thought it warranted a photo.  The bowl is full of Mayan clay which we covered ourselves in and then washed it off in the ocean, along other "dirt" we wanted to cleanse ourselves of.  That is the beach I laid out on every day - some say I was out there a little too long;)  The lovely woman with me is Saffron (isn't her name cool?), one of the many awesome women I met there.  At the bottom was my closet - I packed light.  And the room on the bottom is where we practiced yoga everyday.  It was awesome.

There was a lot I learned while I was gone.  Such as...

1. I don't need a lot to be happy.  I packed incredibly light, one small bag.  I ate very simply:  fruits and vegetables in salads and soups - it is amazing what flavor you get from just lime juice and pepper!  There is a wealthof information you can glean from just being alone withyour self.  I didn't need to be constantly entertained or employed.  The simple pleasure of just being quiet and thinking in an uncluttered mind with no schedule or time constraints , was freeing and truly enjoyable.  Things that seem like major life decisions back in "reality" became no-brainers to me while I was gone.  My perspective became clearer and more focused and I could see my life distilled down to what I really valued and what I really wanted.  That, I have been realizing more and more, has been a challenge to me - having awareness of what I want and understanding what that means.

Things I think will make me happy - career success, wealth, material possessions - won't.  Chances are, if we aren't happy right now, we won't be happy when we obtain whatever we are looking for.  What is that saying - "Desire is the source of all suffering".  Meaning, to want, to focus on results and outcomes, is the cause of emotional pain and grief.  While away, I was very still, very concentrated on the moment at hand, and I felt good.  I do believe that wanting or desiring causes depression, stress, and anxiety because you are essentially admitting to yourself you are not satisfied and happy in the here and now.  I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting a different life, job, home - if it is the basis for a vision and is directed so as to provide transformation.  I think selfish and self-defeating desires makes us sad - not hopeful.  I certainly have been caught in a period of wanting lately.  I am so blessed yet my focus is on what I do not have and what I have yet to do in my life.  Guilt over not doing enough with the life I was given falls on me like a wet wool blanket thereby restricting any forward movement.  During my trip, I was focused on my own heart and felt empowered to make decisions unhampered by external forces or pressures.  Self-awareness and self-actualization are powerful things!

2.  I don't need to "be found," I've been right here all along.  It's funny how easily we lose ourselves and then need to search to find ourselves again.  Have you every looked in the mirror and felt like you are staring at a stranger?  Sometimes, I don't recognize myself for who I am.  While away, I started spending time with myself and began to own myself as a person - just like I accept a friend or family member by understanding who they are, what makes them that way and not faulting them for it.  We should look at ourselves more objectively sometimes, not with so much judgment and criticism.

3.  I'm a lot more physically capable than I thought!  There were rigorous workouts of at least 4 hours each day in 90+ degree weather and I was able to complete each one, finding new strength and energy each time.  I realized that I had been wussing out way before my actual physical limit.  Turns out, I'm a lot stronger than I previously gave myself credit for.  It's just a couple moments after the painful stuff that the strength you thought you didn't have shines through (I'm sure there's a metaphor there somewhere).

4. These delicious recipes!  Along with complicating our lives, we also complicate our food.  Simple ingredients make delicious meals and meal compliments.  Here are some of the flavors I reveled in while away and will now be staples in my repertoire.

Marinated Veggie Sticks

  • Cut sticks of carrots, cucumber and jicama (pronounced hikema) and marinate in fresh squeezed lime juice, a dash of salt and pepper and a bit of chili powder.  (Can't tell you how much we all loved and devoured these little appetizers!)
  • Serve with hummus or fresh guacamole (avocados, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, onion and tomatoes - jalapeños if you like;)

Amazingly Good Salad Dressing (why didn't I think of this??)

  • Extra virgin olive oil, black pepper, fresh lime juice.  Yeah, that's it.  Mix ingredients together to desired amount and taste and pour over salads, fish, chicken, etc.

Avocado Salsa Verde

  • 2 green tomatoes or tomatillos, 1 Serrano chili pepper (2 for extra spicy sauce), 1 avocado, cilantro, salt, pepper, water (to taste/consistency).
  • Poor into food processor or blender and mix together.  We ate this pretty much every day on salads, fish, chicken and eggs.  It will be awesome with tacos and tortilla chips;)

Why am I learning these things now?  I am less than 3 months away from my 30th birthday and I am just now accepting myself and recognizing my own autonomy, instead of seeking external approval and affirmation... I've always been a late bloomer:)