Monday, January 21, 2013

Finding Vision in Oaxaca

The Ruins of Mitla
It´s my last day in Mexico and I leave for Peru later this afternoon. This whole week here has felt so surreal and has been quite the enriching experience.

I definitely arrived to la Ciudad de Mexico a bit shell shocked- finally having the travels, the departures, the preparation, the beautiful realization that all I had envisioned was actually happening.. well all of it finally caught up with me and started to sink in.

Puebla, hometown of Molé
As I have already expressed, the first couple of days in the city were trying for me. I think a lot of it has to do with what it means to travel as a female, solo, and gringa on top of that.  My usually tendency to be incredibly open and trusting with my energies has to be checked, and I don't like that. I appreciate living in a place where I can be so trusting and don't have to walk around with a jaded energy about me. So it is definitely somewhat of a transition and a reality check to have to do so and to really decide who to trust. But the added effort it takes to feel safe and secure is most certainly worth the effort (o se dicen, vale la pena!). Because with just a simple change in attitude and demeanor, I am privileged enough to get to travel around some of the most colorful, warmest, and most flavorful cultures I have ever known.

The Schmalzbauers in front of the
classroom they helped  make of mud and bamboo.
Upon arrival in Oaxaca I got picked up by Leah, a friend of mine from Bozeman, and her delightful family. I met Leah through two of my best friends, Jessa and Jenna, upon my return from Argentina. Together they were creating a non-profit called Tias y Tios, working through MSU and the Latino community in Bozeman to bridge gaps and embrace diversity within the Gallatin Valley. Leah so graciously allowed me to audit her Sociology classes (Latino Migration and Globalization) and I can honestly say that her classes changed my life. She is one of the most wonderful professors I have ever known and also happens to be one of the most incredible women I have ever known. Which is why I was so ecstatic to have the opportunity to be welcomed into her life abroad in Oaxaca.

Her whole family is surrounded by a beautiful glow that this year of sabbatical and adventure has provided them. On Friday we went to visit their self-described 'hippy' school for the kids. Walking through the cobblestone streets of San Felipe, donkeys and neighbors passing by, a sense of tranquility all around, is just a normal part of their daily routine. I arrived on the right day because the kids were recieving a special surprise, a new pig named Pepé! Just another hands on tool for the type of learning they do which involves being outdoors or in an open air classroom most of the day, growing their own vegetables, and lots of arts and crafts for motor skills. You know lots of people in the states would see a school like this and immediately consider it inferior.  But these kids are passionate!! About learning, about sharing, about cultures, about life, about health, about living peacefully. And they have 4 teachers for just about 13 students, with over 3 different languages spoken throughout the day (primarily Spanish and English). I think we have a good thing going in the States but we certainly still have a lot to learn in terms of education. This is yet another example of taking a second look and the beauty and enrichment that can come of having an open mind.

With Micah and Zola and our fresh fruit breakfast.
Leah, Steve, Micah, and Zola took me to famous markets and shared with me many of the idiosyncracies and intricacies of Mexico living.. We ate amazing food, absorbed culture, and had stimulating talks (including how to incorporate teaching yoga in Spanish on a broad-reaching, community level upon all of our returns to Bozeman, very inspiring and rewarding indeed).  Their children and they're ability to truly thrive in this time abroad touched my heart. It certainly made it hard to leave!

So going back to my last blog (I added a meditation picture, as promised), remember how I mentioned the change in perspective that enhancied my yoga practice on my very first day? Did you think about where you can find fresh perspective in your life yet? Well now I urge you to tap into that fresh perspective, new inspiration, and envision what it is you truly want for yourself. Don't doubt yourself, be limitless and unapologetic, you deserve it! If you bring to mind what you want with enough clarity and heartfelt intention, then you can rest assured that what you ask for and envision, or something even better, will already be making its way into your life.
(see exercise below)

Tulle tree, filling me up with some
amazing energy and light!
I envisioned this PERUsing adventure. I manifested it out of seemingly nowhere. It started off as the simple inclination to spend time around old growth forests in Peru. Picturing this, feeling this, knowing it could be true. And everything just sort of fell into place and took off from there. As a result of this trusting, this believing, this feeling of deserving, it is all coming true. And to top off, this added time in Mexico allowed me to visit one of the oldest trees in the world (2,000 years young- talk about old growth!) which is also the widest tree in the world.  Another great opportunity that came my way (there are no coincidences) and furthered my mission.

Lastly, I was blessed to spend time at a place that has adorned my desktop for months (look familiar? it's also the background of this blog)! A place that I had found so meaningful and captivating in a picture and I got to visit it in real life. These petrified waterfalls, called Hierve el Agua, have some of the best energy  that I've ever had the honor of immersing myself in.

The stunning panorama of Hierve el Agua.
So when I say that in setting intention you allow for whatever it is, or something even better, to make its way into your life... this is the something better I am talking about!
Try it out for yourself! Dream big and enjoy.

Sit comfortably (or stand, you can do this throughout your day, or wherever you are).
Bring your attention to your breath.
Perhaps even place a hand on your belly, feeling it rise and fall as you breathe in and out.

Exhale relax. Inhale inspiration.

Exhale clarity. Inhale fresh perspective.

Use whatever mantras or words come to mind for you in the moment.
Repeat 5-10 times or as many as necessary to feel relaxed and open.

Bring your minds eye inwards to your heart center.
Let your attention rest there and ask for your heart to express itself with grace and ease.
Listen. And breathe.

Now bring your attention to the space between your brows and about 2 inches back.
Imagine there is a blank screen (like a crystal ball!).
Still listening to your heart center, let it speak without thinking too much about what it says. 
Start envisioning your desires being played out, and in as much detail and clarity as possible.
Feel these desires and visions coming true. Know that they are.
Stay as long as you like, envision as much as you like.

Find GRATITUDE in whatever was you like.

Sharing morning yoga with Leah and the kiddos.
They thought it was all so magical!
Have to say I agree.

Another huge thanks to all of you, to Mexico, to the Schmalzbauers, and to Alex and for helping me to expand my vision far beyond my wildest dreams.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Jess! The Ripplinger family says hi , we love you and miss you! Your blogging is amazing so far!