Monday, August 6, 2012

Decisions, decisions

That there is started to be so much to absorb, so much change, that I am starting to feel overloaded and beginning to shut down. Though it is understandable, I feel that if I can work through this and re-engage, there is growth available to me on this trip. 

So perhaps now is a good time to see what in me is saying, "Enough!" and why I don't want to push past that. Not that I have an answer...

For example, this morning, we all gathered for breakfast, each arriving in our own time, until at some random moment, we were all there. I knew that I wanted to get green juice and get going to the Casa, but instead got into a great, fun conversation with a subgroup. For some reason, I couldn't pull myself away from it, as much as I knew, deep inside, that I needed for myself to sit at the Casa. 

One by one, or two by two, people peeled away to do crystal baths, shop, go to the waterfall, or do whatever called them. Only three of us remained in that conversation when I finally and reluctantly pulled myself away. By then, it was 11 a.m. I still hadn't had my breakfast (green juice), so I walked to Fruitti's, with the intention of sitting down, mindfully drinking my juice, then going to the Casa.

At Frutti's, I ran into two women from my group. They had been shopping and raving about their purchases. I wasn't pulled to go shopping, but they were going on and on about the beautiful crystals at a store just down the street, and saying things like, "Get them now. When will you be back?" and "The prices are so much better than in the States." Against my better judgement, I decided, well, it is worth a look. I knew I wouldn't go on my own, so maybe I should go now, with them.

This is a tiny town, at least, our part of it. The road is paved, but barely. The side streets are dirt. Beautiful, red dirt, but dirt. The road itself is wide enough for two small cars and about two people walking. There are a few places on the street to shop, a few to eat, and a few pousdas (little hotels). It takes me less than five minutes to walk, at a slow pace, from one end of the street to the other. That is it.

We passed only a few storefronts before we came to one crystal store. Sure, the crystals were beautiful, but I wasn't pulled to buy anything. I saw some earrings - hmmm, maybe these? Then I realized that I was buying just to buy, not because it was something I really wanted. I left the earrings there.

We went to another store and by then, I had broken down and bought a few things. When I left, I didn't feel great about my few purchases. Sure, they are nice, but not really anything I wanted or needed. 

We returned to our pousada for lunch and I recommitted myself to figuring out why on earth I couldn't get myself to the Casa. Or, if I couldn't figure it out, just DO it.

After lunch, I went with four other women to the waterfall. There was a long line and we were waiting for a long time, possibly an hour or more. I didn't time it; that would make me crazy. I found myself slipping into old habits that make me crazy in other ways. For example, there were 24 women and six men in front of us. (You go there in groups, usually with your own gender.) I could not see the waterfall, but I could hear it, and I focused on listening to discern when someone was under the falls, and counting that, hoping they were moving along so we could get our turn. Or I would calculate, if there are 30 people ahead of us and each person takes their allotted five minutes, how long would we be waiting here?

I was getting annoyed with the folks in front of us for seemingly taking so long and resentful of having to wait my turn. I didn't like the way all that made me feel.

So, I used all that time waiting to help myself work to shift it internally. It took a bit, but when I did, I was relieved to be back in the zone. That felt much better, and after our turn in the waterfall, it was easier to get myself to the Casa for the next couple of hours.

When I finally did get to the Casa, I sat on a bench under this enormous tree with large, long, deep green leaves. Shortly after I settled in, I heard the snap  of a yellow leaf fall off the tree, and it landed with a thunk onto my right wrist. That little wrist-slap made me giggle, and I stayed there for a couple of hours.

Later, after dinner with the gang, I wandered over to the local (juice) bar and ran into my new friend, Nigel, who I met while singing my heart up at church services on Sunday. Then I met two guys who just landed from England. One of them, Rajesh, follows a diet like mine and we got right into food-speak. While we were talking, the woman behind the bar mixed up our order (and my change) and the other one, Fabian, cleared it all up in such flawless Portuguese that you could see the shift in the woman behind the bar, as she visibly relaxed and started smiling. We hung out together, for a bit. Rajesh shared some hemp protein with me (he, like me, travels with a suitcase filled with food!), Fabian demonstrated more of his many language skills, speaking, at various times as needed, Spanish, Italian and, of course, English. And that was the evening.

It was all such a blast and I can't get over how openly and easily everyone connects. Maybe it is like this everywhere and I just haven't traveled much.

Tomorrow morning, we can again help to prepare the soup and / or go to the waterfall. It is likely to be our last unstructured day before I return home, as we see John of God again on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

I hope you are having some interactions that make you smile big, with old or new friends, or both, and that you are doing the things that feel right to you!


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