Tuesday, 24 May 2016

There's Something About San Marcos

I was only ever planning to be in San Marcos La Laguna, Lago Atitlan for a couple of days. But in a very short space of time I felt an overwhelming sense of belonging - something I had never really experienced before. Those two days turned into six months, and I now know why everyone calls this place "The Vortex". So many amazing people come through this town, either as travellers, seasonal residents, or to become permanent locals. Each one inspired to follow their dreams and hoping to be part of a more conscious community.

There's Fede and Rudy from Guatemala City who are starting up the health food store/crystal shop/juice bar, Flor de Vida. Different artists roll through town and are able to contribute their own paint creations to the walls of the store, making for a very vibrant spot on the street!

Fede painting crystals on the shop front

Then there's Michael who set up Amor y Paz, a vegan-ish comedor that serves up some of the most delicious food in town. Its also sold on a sliding scale, so you pay how much you can afford depending on your budget. Now a local hang out area, people come and catch up, eat, and sometimes spin fire! The food is always colourful, as are the characters who serve you.

Wes photobombing my lentil burger with tempeh

The people here inspire one another, creating a mentality of anything is possible. This is infectious, and is what keeps people coming and staying here. Its also an excellent place to work on your "stuff". All types of therapies are available - yoga, massage, crystal healing, sound healing, Tai Chi, Ayurveda, meditation, Tarot, acupuncture, dancing, cacao ceremonies, and the magical healing power of swimming in the lake itself.
View from my house of Lake Atitlan & San Pedro volcano

Although with many people working on themselves, it can make for a fairly intense environment. For the most part, everyone is pretty supportive of one another and their processes. This means there is more understanding and less judgement... this has been my experience anyway.

Doing my inner work has been like peeling an onion - every time I bring my awareness to something, as I deal with it and let it go, all it does is reveal another layer of conditioning that I need to look at.. and make me cry :) After releasing my need to compare and conform, I could see relationship patterns that weren't serving me. As I acknowledged those patterns I discovered a huge lack of self love. 

For me, this lack of self love comes in the form of putting other people's needs and feelings before my own, and not standing up for myself enough. I then get upset when others aren't considering my needs and feelings to the same extent. This cycle is both depressing and destructive.

As my time on the lake comes to an end, I know that I now have the tools to do this inner work away from its magical waters. I feel more strength rising within me each day and try to embrace every experience as a lesson. I have so much gratitude for San Marcos and all the people I've met here. They have supported and inspired me to be the best version of myself. Through the highs and the lows I have gained so much trust, not just on the Universe, but more importantly, in MYSELF.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Wild Woman

Since my last post I have been taking it easy on myself, just focusing on eating, breathing and sleeping! I'm slowly but surely coming back down to earth and have to thank all the friends who have reached out to offer their support and encouragement. You are my support system and keep me going, and for that I am truly grateful.

If the last couple of months have taught me anything, it's that I do not have to apologise for how I feel. It is my duty to love myself, putting my happiness first and finding fulfillment from within. Only then can I be in a position to help others.

Living in San Marcos means I have the opportunity to encounter some amazing healers, artists, teachers, energetically powerful and enlightened people. A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop where we learned about the power of the Divine Feminine and the female energy archetypes. There's the Virgin, the Mother, the Enchantress and the Crone. These represent stages in life, as well as the monthly phases of the moon.

The Enchantress is the one that resonated with me. She is connected to the waning moon, bringing about introspection and increased focus on the Self. She is the medicine woman that knows you can't keep fighting forward if you don't properly reflect, accept and integrate all of the experiences collected along the way. 

Wild Woman Samtosha :)

Often referred to as the Wild Woman, she can be energetically sensitive and when the tools aren't there to fully embrace this, reactions can become extreme. It is clear to see that I have been embodying the Wild Woman! I have not been honouring my own needs and extreme reactions have bubbled to the surface. (Important Note: This archetype is also connected to the pre‐menstrual phase!)

So I've decided to set some clear boundaries for myself to allow time for introspection, growth and transformation. I need time alone to take care of myself, refine my new direction and take aim! This spiritual journeying is all well and good, but as Matt Kahn points out we can become so caught up in the practice of being spiritual that we are not actually spending time with ourselves, which is how we learn to truly love ourselves - which is ultimately the purpose of the journey!