It is 2pm and I am at the beach.  Today I don’t want to go to my usual, private spot because it’s just too far and I am tired.  Instead I have laid out my sarong along the main section of Cocles Beach – one of the most popular (and crowded) spots in Puerto Viejo.

After coming off a whirlwind of events (a trip to Texas to visit family, a visit from my brother and his friend here in Costa Rica, and also being thrown for a loop by a failed romantic connection), my feet are struggling to find the ground again.

It’s absolutely mesmerizing how quickly I can lose my serenity and get caught up in all that is happening outside of me instead of remaining connected to my true essence.  When this happens, it seems like I revert back to old patterns in the blink of an eye; I view my existence solely through the eyes of others and my actions follow suit.  This leads to my decisions being based on people-pleasing and self-shaming which leads to more people-pleasing and more self-shaming; a continuous cycle that digs me deeper and deeper into a state of anxiety and stagnancy and further away from creation and flow.  My practices that serve to keep me connected and grounded begin to dwindle and then each practice drops off completely, one by one, while I remain blissfully unaware that I have turned over the proverbial hourglass – It is only a matter of time until the last grain of sand slips away, leaving only emptiness.

It begins when I “forget” to make regular check-ins with my higher power.  This doesn’t seem like a big deal because these are not dramatic events but simply pauses throughout the day to connect and say ‘Hello…how are you doing?’ to the deeper part of myself.

Next: Yoga, my Al-Anon work and conscious eating seem to quickly exit the room as well.

“I don’t really need to plan my yoga class for today.  It’ll be fine.  I have more important things to do.”

“I don’t have time to think about what I’m eating…I’ll just stand in front of the fridge and eat THIS.”

“I know I should work on my ‘Step four’ Al-Anon work, but I don’t really feel like it.”

Thus, the spiral is born.  The longer this pattern continues to descend into a madness, the harder it becomes is to pull myself out of it.

What I have come to realize is that I can either voluntarily kneel down in gratitude and humility on a regular basis (which my aforementioned practices allow me to do) OR, if I choose to abandon these gentle offerings to my higher self, the Universe will force me down to my knees instead, but only after a long and painful resistance to doing so. It is my choice. It has always been my choice.

Today, I have nothing left with which to fight which is why I have come to the beach.  I drag myself off of my sarong and to my feet.  I remove my dress and my hat and any remaining armor to which I have held on tightly for the past few weeks.  Step by step, I make my way through the hot sand (the tickling pebbles between my toes serve as a reminder of that which has already fallen from that proverbial hourglass) and out into the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.

I swim out away from other humans and gently allow the salt water to hold me in a soothing embrace as she rocks me in her waves.  She lets me know that I am still loved despite the fact that I have abandoned myself and my connection with her.  The tears begin to pour from the corners of my eyes – my very own salt water merging with hers.  I bow my head.  “I’m sorry.  I can’t do this alone.  Please help me,” I whisper.  With that, I instantly feel a tingling sensation deep within my chest.  Hope.  A bit of hope has seeped into the small  crack that has finally begun to permeate my heart.  Now the light has a way to get in and I am determined to continue to allow that crack to grow and grow until I am once again open and in flow with the Universe.

It has been a week since that day and, thanks to reconnecting with Al-Anon, Yoga, conscious eating and enlightening conversations with like-minded friends, I have witnessed incredible gifts coming into my life again: Synchronicity, “coincidences,” psychic-like abilities.

And, you know what?  These gifts are always available for me.  It is only my closed heart that refuses to see them, my stubbornness that laughs at such nonsense and my self-abandonment that overpowers this inexplicable magic with anxiety.  In order to continue to be in this flow, all I need to do is honor the practices in my life that connect me to it.  But, therein lies the mystery of our fallible human selves:  If it is this simple to remain in the light, why would we ever choose to leave it?