Do Less

“The less you do, the more you do.”

Kunu

The sand is black and grainy, massaging my toes as I step into the water. I crawl onto the board and begin to paddle out to the middle of the lagoon. The waves are small, tiny peaks, moving towards me in all directions. I watch as they rise and fall, tossing the board from side to side. I stand up, sending my energy downward as I spread my toes to balance, joining the same frequency as waves.

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Laguna de Apoyo

I go to the lagoon to rest within the tranquil minerals and calm my spirit. After swimming in its waters I always hope that I take with me the same peace that envelops me, feeling held and supported by the natural wonder that it is.

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I’ve felt more restless lately. Maybe it’s because I’m doing so much less than I use to. I get to take my time eating breakfast with my kitten after teaching class at Pure, sipping my coffee slowly and reading my book. I don’t have deadlines or angry bosses. I don’t have to sit in traffic. Life is pretty simple. I teach yoga. I do marketing for the studio. Sometimes I take trips to the lagoon or the islands in the lake nearby. When I can afford it, I’ll take more trips. I have freedom, and I use it as wisely as I know how. But I have my challenges.

On the phone with my sister yesterday I shared with her what I was doing with UpNicaragua and what I’ve learned about the economy here, struggles, progress, etc. This organization just formed this year it supports a small group of young girls by providing mentors, activities and education that gives them the opportunity to thrive as strong women in their community. I’ve taught them a couple of yoga classes and spent time learning how to make beads and just hanging out.

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Makin beads
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Ice cream!

I love my private and group classes here. I love my students and I love teaching. It’s been such a cool way to grow as a teacher and share the things I’ve learned.

My sister and I talked for over an hour, and I could feel the passion in my voice coming from deep down in my belly. She handed the phone to my niece for a minute and the first thing she said was, “When are you coming home?” My stomach dropped. All the excitement and passion for what I’m doing dissipated into silence. My mind wandered back to recent memories of jumping on the trampoline with her. I smiled to myself and told her I’d be back for Christmas. I told her about some of the animals I’ve met and how I’d send pictures. She then just laughed in her sweet little voice and asked again, “Ok but you’re coming back right?” I told her yes, I’ll be back soon. She didn’t care what I was doing. She didn’t care about the stories, she just wanted to see me. And when I realized all of this, all the work I’ve done and what I’m doing just didn’t matter and I wanted to go home.

I never planned to make a home anywhere else. I came to explore and learn. I wanted to be alone and I’ll admit that I wanted to get away, not to escape, but to be refreshed. I wanted to find meaningful work and to travel purposely. I got everything I wanted. But when you have it all and your best friend is a cat, your books and your traveler friends who leave every week or so, it can feel a bit lonely.

That’s your practice right?

What do you run to?

Can you sit in it?

I’m trying to see this as an experiment, approaching every situation with curiosity. But there are still many unknowns that are scary, the biggest being how I can continue to adapt and handle my choices and the future that lies before me. There’s no way of knowing how long times like these are meant to last. Sometimes it’s a short time meant to inspire you or change your path. I don’t know. I’m open. But I’ll admit that although beautiful and exciting, I have hard days too.

I found something good here in Granada and it’s challenged me to learn to slow down. And what comes with the slow, empty spaces in between is the toughest part. I still face the same memories of things I need to let go of, the same judgments of myself, and all the same bad habits here that I’ll experience anywhere else. I have to face myself and continue to draw inward to look at the places that scare me and the places that keep me feeling alone.

The push and pull inside my stomach often feels like the waves on the water in the laguna, moving in all directions. But I can’t let it pull me under or wash me away. I don’t need to fill up my time to feel satisfied or happy, but I do need to feel good about the work I’m doing. And I do. Now that I have a good foundation set up for the way I’d like things to be I have a place to start building so that I can invite a little more of what I want into my life. And from that perspective things look a little brighter.

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