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Perspective from Costa Rica

I wrote the following blog post while in Costa Rica last month & had to share it with my fellow Kor180 bees!

I'm here in Costa Rica taking some time to rest and reset. This morning we were sitting on the beach when a woman walked over to us selling various little gifts. We quickly said no thank you but it was almost like she didn't hear us, continuing to bargain with herself. Instead of buying, I wound up talking to her for half an hour. Although I don't consider myself to know Spanish well, we are able to hold a pretty decent conversation.

She told me that she actually lives in Nicaragua with her four children, but every few weeks her husand and her take a 14 hour bus ride to the beaches of Manuel Antonio where she sells her crafts and he sells coconuts. She explained that there is no business in Nicaragua and she's not a Costa Rican citizen so she can't work in the hotels. I asked her about school and she said she started studying but it was too expensive so she couldn't continue. I know this sounds like the typical sob story to get me to buy her products, but I already told her I had no money with me. After a few minutes it truly felt like two gals chatting it up over coffee.

She wound up asking me how old I was, and when I told her (31, I ain't ashamed) she exclaimed "me too!". We compared birthdays, she showed me pictures of her kids, gave me a hug and thanked me for talking. As she left, my heart sank. We are the same age. This woman travels 14 hours on a bus so she can sweat her ass off walking up and down the beach making $4 for a bird whistle. She does this to feed her four children, who live with their grandparents in god knows what type of "house". The thought kept running through my head: we are the same age. I am here vacationing on the beach and she is worrying about feeding her children.

I, on the other hand, worry about missing that end of day Kor180 class because of downtown traffic, whether or not my newest online purchase will fit (ugh how annoying if I have to return it), if my conscious eating workshop will fill up or not. I've heard your worries as well. We are all worried about losing that last 5 pounds, whether getting pregnant in December means we will be too hot by our 8th month, what school district to send our kids to and so on.

I don't mean to diminish our experiences, I just want to provide a little perspective. In fact, I met this woman because I needed some perspective. We get so caught up in the nucleus of our day to day, we forget what is truly important. Health is important, thigh gap and the last five pounds are not. Happiness is important, things are not. The present moment is important (in fact it's all we have), the past is not.

I think that I work very hard in my job, but the next time I have a scheduling conflict, a computer glitch or any difficult situation that comes up, I am going to remember this woman walking up and down the beach, hustling to provide food for her family. I am going to be grateful for everything I have instead of being stuck in the cycle of always wanting MORE. I commit to practicing this so that I can be the teacher for you, and allow you to feel more peaceful and happy with where you are at this very moment.

There is a saying in Costa Rica, "pura vida". It means simple life, no stress, easy living, no worries. What a great motto to live by. When you feel axious or stressed, repeat this mantra to yourself and ground yourself in the present moment. All is truly well if we trust the flow of life.

Take a deep breath, pura vida. #bGrateful

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