I swing my feet off of my bed and place them on the floor, purposely taking a moment to feel the ground beneath me.  The tile is cool to the touch, which is more than I can say for the day ahead.  Though it is only 7am, the sun has already begun to warm up my small studio casita.  Thank goodness for my standing fan, which manages to stave off the heat for now.  I must enjoy it while I can because in a couple of hours this measly wind machine will not have a chance at winning the temperature battle.

I begin my morning routine of creating my – fairly complex – smoothie.  I have been working on transforming this process into a meditation of sorts in order to keep myself in the present moment.  My mind has managed to get the better of me lately, sending me into tailspins of anxiety and depression, so I am back to square one:  My number one job is to stay as mindful as possible.   This may seem like a waste of time for some, but being fully present to the reality of the moment instead of a prisoner to the thoughts in my head is the difference between freedom and confinement; joy and hopelessness; heaven and hell.  In other words, it is definitely worth the time and effort.

I remove the blender from the cupboard and fill it with a few ice cubes, sure to listen to the ‘tink-tink!’ of each square of frozen water crashing to the bottom of the container.  Next comes the kale.  I rinse each leaf and remove the green from the stems.  Into the blender they go.

You really should go to yoga this morning.  You can still make it if you hurry.

I acknowledge the thought and then let it take a back seat as I slice into the papaya.  The knife glides through the fruit with little effort, indicating that it is very ripe (as if I couldn’t tell by the gorgeous yellow color of the skin!)

You really shouldn’t be spending this much time making your smoothie in the mornings. You need to be productive with something else.

I acknowledge the thought again and slice up the perfectly ripe papaya, sneaking a bite or two into my mouth as I continue to fill the blender.  The flavor sends bursts of life to my taste buds. I savor the sweetness before sending it to the back of my throat for the swallow.

I pick two of the mini bananas (they are the sweetest ones!) from the bunch that I purchased at the farmer’s market the day before, unpeeling them and setting them atop the papaya in the blender.

You really aren’t going to go to yoga?  Then you should go for a bike ride later or something.  You need to get some exercise.

A spoonful of almond butter and a dash of spirulina and moringa powder are next, along with a handful of roasted cacao nibs.

It’s pretty sad you are doing this alone.  It would be nice if you had a partner.  But, no, you’re all by yourself.

I grab a knife from the counter and a pipa (which is a young coconut) from the fridge before opening my front door to the outside world.  The birds are singing, the leaves are swaying in the wind and the sun is warm on my face.  I begin to hack away at the little brown ball until I hear the familiar ‘POP!’   The top is now cracked and, using my knife to create a bit more space, I go back inside and pour the water content of the pipa into the blender.

You are going to need to get more pipas later.  You probably should have gotten more at the market yesterday.

I place on the top and turn the power on, watching the blade join all of the ingredients together into a sea of green lusciousness.

Are you just going to stay in Puerto Viejo for the rest of your life?  You need to find a man.  You are 35.  Are you going to have a baby at some point?  You need to decide that soon.

THIS is the one is so loud that I unconsciously indulge it.  It’s true.  I am 35.  I have chosen a life that does not fall into any category for which my society was setting me up.  I watch friends back in the USA do the  ‘right’ thing:  Get married, have children, excel in their careers and I sometimes wonder:  Why couldn’t I have just shut up and been content with that?

Don’t get me wrong.  When I am able to stay present and take each day as it comes, I am grateful for my choices: I live in a jungle by the beach and I teach yoga and I write.  I am living the (anti) American Dream.  In truth, I don’t actually believe this was even a choice…this was always how it was going to be.  It was my fighting to be a part of what everyone around me was doing that hurt me the most.  To this day, I have to work hard to NOT fight anymore, but to give up my control to life; to the Universe.   Because, hey, let’s face it: Like my fan on a hot day, there is no way I will ever win that battle but only make myself more miserable by trying.

Here’s what I have learned:  My self-will is a force to be reckoned with.  It is indeed strong enough to make any of my ‘wants’ a reality.  Even today, I could go back to the USA, find a man and have a baby.  I know this is not the right choice for me, as frustrated as that sometimes makes me.  My issue is not in the ‘doing.’  Instead, the kink in the machine is on the front end; They are in the dreams themselves.  It is some of my DREAMS that are distorted because many of them tend to spring purely from my own sense of ‘should’ instead of from deeper sense of passion and love.  So, for now I try to take it one day at a time, continuously striving to give my dreams up to the Universe and letting her guide me instead.

Because the reality is NOT that I am doing something wrong with my life, nor that my future will be bleak because I don’t know what my ‘hopes’ and ‘dreams’ are.

The reality is that I have a green smoothie in front of me.  The reality is that the tile is cool beneath my feet.  The reality is that the sun is out, the birds are singing and the leaves are swaying in the wind.