I have struggled a bit lately to express myself, both in spoken and written word. Maybe it’s the linguistic fatigue of adding hundreds of new words into my vocabulary. Maybe it’s the struggle to remain focussed on this moment, as I sit at the bottom of a mountain of newness and try not to look up. Maybe it’s wondering whether or not I’m even staring at the right mountain, or if I should just stay at base camp and eat tacos and teach English for the rest of my life. Whatever it is, it has kept eloquence and clarity at bay.
I think it’s a bit of all those things, but ironically, the main culprit appears to be the difficulty of incorporating mindfulness into my life. As a future planner extraordinaire, quieting my mind and inviting presence into my life has not been easy. As a get-shit-done impulsively excitable do’er, slowing down and inviting patience into my life has not been easy either (Confused? Me too!). In an effort to reign in those very needy and pushy brain occupiers, and also to gain more experience with mindfulness as I’m very interested in bringing it into the classroom, I began a free, online 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Relief program. The reading and videos are absolutely incredible, as is the wildly fulfilling experience of practicing daily mindfulness- I recommend it to everyone who is interested in applying neuroscience research (and of course, thousands of years of practical application, but we’re Westerners and don’t believe something until research backs it up) to the daily practice of stress relief. But be warned, as I found out in the Vipassana meditation course, the mind does not give up control easily. In other words, it appears as though thought withdrawals are impacting my ability to think. So that’s interesting.
But instead of blabbering any more about my internal goings-on, here’s a brief update and then lots of pictures:
My Spanish is coming along pretty well. My tutor’s name is Saul, and he’s a brilliant teacher who has taught me so much about how to guide someone through language acquisition. I’ve been practicing music with my grandma to learn Mexican folk songs and the family music. I met a friend of the family last week who invited me to practice yoga with her and her friends at her home, and we’re going to a workshop this weekend entitled Armoniza, Conecta, y Disfruta. I’m pretty sure that means Harmony, Connection, and Enjoyment, three things I’m all about. I went out solo last weekend for the first time which was awesome, until the end of the night when I made a not-sober decision to get in the car with a couple and had hands on me the whole way home- kinda cool in a good for them for maybe practicing consensual non-monogamy way, but mostly creepy in the I don’t know if he’s cool with this and am I going to be kidnapped kind of way. The next day I was verbally smacked upside the head by a number of people regarding this experience, which served as a sobering reminder that Mexico still has some pretty serious issues that I need to respect. I’m exploring the idea of starting a side gig with a friend from Mexico City. We want to sell hand made Mexican tapestries in the States both online and at farmer’s markets. If you like beautiful, handmade rugs and blankets and want to support fair trade and local Mexican artists, please let me know. We’re trying to gauge our market at the moment.
That’s all for now. Focussing on language, yoga, mindfulness, cooking, music, hanging out with the folks, and maybe starting a business, and doing so with a smile on my face. Needless to say, the smile comes naturally.