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.