It was the first time I’d ever left the country and went on an plane. My family was definitely active in travelling throughout Ontario and I’ve been to Buffalo and Michigan but never “International” so this was a huge trip for me.
I was hesitant because there was so much going on at the time but once I got the vacation time approved by my boss at the beginning of December after talking about the trip throughout November it was hasta luego for me.
Without knowing anything of what to expect, the beginning of the trip had me feeling like a sponge. The room was overlooking the ocean and was nothing short of breathtaking.
I’m an early riser, usually up around 6am so being in Puerto Vallarta, an hour ahead of Toronto’s time, I was waking even earlier. I wasn’t disturbed at all because it meant that I could grab a coffee from the lobby and find a perch on the balcony, watching the fishing boats go out to bring back the various catches of the day for each hotel along the shore.
Once the sun rose, it lit up the world around us so that on the first full day there, I did what anyone would do and took about two hundred pictures of the same landscapes.
Hearing the waves of the ocean crash into the shore was a new and beautiful sound too, which permeated the solid patio doors. I wasn’t complaining though, because it lulled me to sleep in a perfect rhythm each night. It differed from the lapping waves of lakes that caressed the shore where these came in a steadier beat, consistent and persistently reminding us of the power of the ocean just beyond the mountains.
The mornings started with what felt like perfect ease and I was eager to explore Puerto Vallarta and surrounding areas.
While wandering through Bucerias, Nayarit, there was a trail I stumbled upon which led to a small market, after wandering through wooded area that was apparently frequented by crocodiles. There was a noise-maker going off for what I thought was the purpose of keeping them at bay but each time bushes shook as smaller and harmless lizards ran through them my senses were on high alert. Luckily it was just lush scenery and birds on the trail, along with locals getting to and from work.
The further into Bucerias I walked, the more signs appeared, of a community that held its art very near and dear to it’s heart. Without knowing what to expect, little pieces of what were just part of the everyday for residents was like a feast for my eyes.
Much of the trip had me thinking about how there was more than enough for everyone and that our experiences were truly abundant. While away on the trip I was processing situations with some who were treating attention like a game and I was no longer willing to stand at that altar offering up my energy. It felt too much like lack and it was draining to try keeping up. I didn’t buy into the drama and because I didn’t put any offerings forward to try and “win”, I fell out of favour.
Though it was a hard lesson that stretched from that December well into February, I found myself in a stunning place to reflect on the way life was asking me whether or not I was truly ready to act like abundance was important. It’s more than just an affirmation related to money- it’s the way we do life. Do we look for situations that cause us to use energy to fill in gaps or prove things to others, or do we use it to create whole things more than just filling in the cracks? The difference would be like using our energy to make pottery of our own rather than using our precious clay to instead fill in the cracks on someone else’s broken ceramics? We sometimes buy into the drama of lack without even realizing we’re doing it because we think we’re just being helpful.
It was an important lesson the scenery gently reminded me of and in which I found a great deal of comfort.
While wandering the streets I thought about how I knew minimal Spanish but that in the history of this place, there were likely hundreds of thousands of people who walked through the same spots, sat at the same tables who worried about the same thing: am I really enough. The world didn’t stop spinning, nor did it cease being beautiful. I was just making a choice to either miss that beauty or be wrapped up in it more than in my mind. I could choose to be exhausted by the game of figuring out this new space or I could be in awe of it.
The streets were filled with houses and buildings that didn’t fall under any category of “natural beauty” but there was something to be said for the way it all fit together rather effortlessly. I had to remind myself of the fact that the most important things in our lives may take effort at times but there’s an easy way they fit into it. When every day is a struggle and it undermines any part of you, whether in friendships or relationships, it’s no longer worth it.
Walking through the town felt like a little rebirth of sorts, where I let go of the need for anything to be other than exactly as it was which turned out to be the best way to stay happy while allowing the universe to do her thing and align the best outcome. I began feeling hunches about the full release of something that would come to fruition in February. I didn’t think it was possible to feel an ending start to evolve before your eyes without some kind of sadness but in each moment of fear, love rose to greet me with the whisper of, “The landing doesn’t have to hurt that badly if it comes. Just go with it and make happiness your priority and choose to change how you think about this.”
They say some places are easy on the eyes, but Puerto Vallarta was easy on the soul and hearing birds chirping and the intermittent cars driving on pathways made my journey through Winter a whole lot easier.
While making my way back to the hotel after spending the day wandering, I stopped where the trail began and a heart popped out on the street as if in perfect synchronicity with what I realized on the last full day of vacation…
Life may not go as planned but that’s usually a good thing because it’s taking you not where you want to be at first, but exactly where you need to be in the end. There’s also more than enough for everyone to have that good show up. There’s enough success, attention, love, appreciation time and love to go around and moving forward from those places serves you in far more fulfilling ways. It also just feels better.
When you feel like you’re in competition for something most of the time, it’s because you’re putting more faith in lack than in the outcome. It’s a low energy that doesn’t help to build momentum or the fires of creativity to birth a new solution which jams your motor stuck in either a backward motion or a stagnant one, but it doesn’t move you forward. Once you redirect your attention, it’s often the case that the new view suits everyone so much better anyway.
Here’s to the hearts and days spent in ocean-side cabanas that bring you back to ease with deep breaths of freedom.