Reflections while living with the circus in Guatemala.
I sit on my porch with the light sounds of hand pans echoing in the distance. I listen to the soft breeze of the gentle waves brushing against the shore of Posada Schumann in San Marcos La Laguna.
As I write in my journal, I am reminded of the journey I took to get here. Its taken me 4 days to truly feel like I’ve landed in this space.
San Marcos embodies an ever-so activating energy. One that is calm and gentle, yet brings to the surface what you need to work on internally. The indigenous, sacred Mayan culture that occupies this space on the planet carries an energy of motherly softness, simplicity, and love. Spirits here are vast and expansive.
Lake Atitlan is an ancient portal encompassing a true energy vortex unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
The first two days, now - upon reflection - I realize, I almost forgot who I was. I was thrown into what I can only describe as a gentle identity crisis.
My mind could not comprehend who I was in this new space and energy. My senses were hyper active - enduring the smells, sights, and sounds, of Guatemala.
I remained quiet, nearly mute, until my first actual night in San Marcos - I had arrived the evening before and stayed in a hostel in Antigua. I couldn’t speak Spanish - now I am learning, of course. But communication could only be received for me through body language and energy.
Imagine being unable to understand anything and only being able to rely on your intuition. That is certainly a deep exercise of trust in oneself.
I had no choice but to accept this challenge, and return to my breath at any moment of uncertainty.
My story means nothing here. No one knows who I am. The opportunity to present oneself without any assumptions or background stories is liberating. Who am I Now?
I find myself asking again and again.
What a gift to be able to express myself and present myself in the truest embodiment of the present.
I still have moments of disbelief and questioning of - is this real? HOW is this real?
A place so different than I have ever known. I have been in the space of my inner child, seeing the world for the first time.
I had heard that many people who come here (San Marcos) get sick physically upon arrival. The body needs ample time to adjust. To be honest, I was expecting getting sick too and prepared accordingly. But this wasn’t what happened. For me it was mental and spiritual dislodging, nearly out of body. I found myself in a place of deep observance and presence.
How the energy is “woven” here is different than back home, besides, of course, the obvious differences of less clean water and more flavorful food. It goes beyond the physical. What I mean by this, I suppose, is that beyond the cultural differences, the energy is fast here. It moves in quick cycles, like a circle, or perhaps a spiral. As you learn and process, this accelerated energy continues to challenge you, but with it comes a deeper understanding of Self.
Anything that you want to find, comes easily.
Anything that you think, actually happens.
Anything that you need to work on, comes up and you are guided to learn and progress.
Little tip in case you decide to visit - listen to the call.
My transformation began so quickly and has progressed enormously simply over the past few days.
Momentom Collective (http://momentomcollective.com/) is the artist residency I’m staying with. It’s a community filled with all kinds of artists - dancers, aerialists, flow artists (fire spinning, hooping, poi, staff), acrobatic yoga, astrologists, herbalists, and so on. Being in this community is so high vibrational - I am inspired. Every single person here is also extremely accepting.
As you can imagine, coming from a place like New York, where many of us stay in our “bubbles”, I’ve learned that my safety comes from being only in my bubble. It is new for me to feel safe in a community, besides of course my circle of wellness folks back home.
These people are all strangers. 50 of them. All of which came here, too, aiming to learn, vowing to grow, and progressing in their various crafts for the benefit of the collective. We all have a shared purpose. We have a strong community to hold this container of safety, support, and liberation.
Even so, it was a strange feeling for me to actually speak to these people and know that I was safe to speak my Truth. Literally - ANYTHING I want to say or do, I can do. There is a class schedule, but nothing is mandatory, which feels natural, because I hate rules.
Shift in Perspective
I felt very restless my first night. I kept feeling like there were things I needed to do, people I needed to take care of, work emails to respond to…but there wasn’t. It is okay to just do nothing, I remembered.
I resisted this at first, until I started surrendering into the present moment, speaking to others, and embracing whatever I was feeling. I learned quickly from so many beautiful community members that I was safe, and anytime I had a question, it was answered with love, sincerity, and compassion.
I am constantly reminded that when I walk fast out of habit, the force of the San Marcos slows me down. The tenseness is leaving my shoulders, day by day. Trying to “get” somewhere is impossible here, I am convinced. Everything I've needed has been more easily acquired and provided when I just flow.
Even the simple question of “what are you doing today?”, I notice myself not dreading the answer, like I sometimes do back home, knowing it usually has come from a sense of obligation and responsibility that is not always related to my passion. What am I doing today? A whole lot of whatever I want.
It is a constant checking in with myself that over the last 8 years I never felt I had time for. Radical presence. Consistent body check ins.
I made a practice of taking a selfie every day, and noticed a great transformation just simply shown in a photograph. My glow is turned on.
So here are my biggest takeaways from the first 4 days in San Marcos.
When an environment is created and supported by humans with clear intention, fueled by love of self, other, community, and planet,
When land is respected and honored,
When food is blessed and fresh, emitting a high vibrational frequency,
When there is space and safety to express,
When we are encouraged and supported by community,
We create space to embrace our highest potential.
We are free.