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Costa Rica: Pura Vida

Pura vida, goes the saying here in Costa Rica. Pure life. At first, I thought it was just a marketing strategy created by the tourism industry to attract more tourists. It turns out, it is the way of living for the Costa Rican people. To reflect their perspective on how to live a truly untroubled life. In a state of just going with the flow, always. No matter what may be happening to you or around you.

Spending some time at a surf camp here, in the beautifully expansive (and blue!) Pacific coast. I can say that it has been difficult to adjust to this lifestyle. And I ask myself, why? This is the life I have been pursuing for most of my adulthood. Now that I have finally committed to it, I have been questioning myself everyday this past week. Feeling restless. Overthinking everything. Wanting to give up. Wanting to scream and say: fine ego, you fucking win! Doing my best to reel myself back to the good place I was in before. A place where the true, happy, full of love self was floating in a cloud of excitement and perseverance.

How do we keep ourselves motivated when life gets weird? How do we recognize our true voice in the midst of confusion and emotional blurriness? After sometime of practicing meditation, it is still very hard for me to acknowledge, that the negative emotions I am feeling are not my true self. I must confess, I know how to indulge in emotion very well. A habit that is very hard to break. That I have been fostering for decades. Early traumas that I’m still trying to breakthrough. And It feels easier than being happy. Sounds odd doesn’t it? Because being happy (at least for me) means that I have to let shit go.

Pura Vida my way out of it. Leave the baggage behind. Or take the baggage someone else gives me and throw it out the fucking window. You, I, we, are not responsible for it. We are only responsible for ourselves and our own emotions. Take Pura Vida and roll with it down the mountain. Straight out of the blurriness and on to a path of equanimity. It’s been hard. But on those moments, I show compassion to myself. Acknowledging that I am confused and sad and allow myself a minute. Just A minute. As I walk (or drag) myself back to equanimity road. Taking a deep breath. Thinking of good moment filled with joy and love, then getting back up and continuing down the path towards true peace and a life lived with heart.

All of a sudden the path seems clearer and golden with endless possibilities around me. Butterflies, hummingbirds, wind, rain, trees. All seem to be walking with me cheering me on. Pura vida they say, Pura Vida!

PS After writing this. I stumbled upon this lovely passage from Zen poet Ryokan, that is worth sharing:

The rain has stopped, the clouds have drifted away, and the weather is clear again. If your heart is pure, then all things in you world are pure… Then the moon and the flowers will guide you along the Way.

Magic is real!

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