Here I am finding a few minutes to spare while one of my loveliest of guests is out adventuring. So I’m using those minutes to write about the first 48 days since unofficially opening the doors to Serenity Retreats Belize.
I’ll save most of the details of the travesties that ensued for the book, if there ever is one. For now, I will focus more on the power of the universe, of our own thoughts and the energy surrounding. This illusion we call life gets stranger everyday. Stranger for me here and for anyone that spends enough time here.
Life has become surreal, 4-dimensional and slightly figured out. The biggest challenge for me today will be putting into words an explanation of how powerful a role we play in our own destiny. Not just with our intended actions, but our thoughts, our energy, our beliefs and both our understanding & misunderstanding of how we manipulate our own circumstances based on what we project into the universe.
I think that first we need to let go of this urge to eliminate ego from the equation of enlightenment. We are here as human representatives with human traits having human experiences. Ego is very much a part of this current existence. Sentients are ego-based. There is a hierarchy within most, if not all species. Our demise will be allowing our egos to control our destiny and distract from our mission and purpose, rather than simply using it as a tool to encourage and enable us. Balancing sentient ego with spiritual well-being will be one of humanity’s greatest challenges. First we need to achieve nirvana in some sense before we can understand the ego as nothing more than a part of our human experience. It shouldn’t be taken so seriously. Once we have a slight understanding of the dream state that we exist in, we can appreciate the ego for the character we have been dealt. Ego helps us to succeed in life and in happiness. It’s when we live only by the ego, that we starve our spiritual well-being of any real form of enlightenment.
The first 48 days were a plethora of events. From inflated egos, to conflicting egos, to bruised egos. There were also many happy events in between as well as some very memorable and lovely guests. But the egos, oh the egos...
I didn’t open Serenity Retreats Belize because I had a passion for Yoga. I opened it because of my passion for veganism. The philosophy of Yoga goes hand in hand and makes sense with the environment I am in and path I am on. Plus it opens the door for more people to have a vegan experience. The only problem is that I have to rely on others to teach Yoga, as I am not a teacher and barely a student. The situation I found myself in, wasn’t just a matter of personalities clashing, it was a matter of energy turning toxic and triggering a domino effect of negativity in a garden so magical, that it can turn a clear blue sky into a hazy grey downpour of locusts within minutes if provoked.
In less than two months, I went through two Yoga teachers. Each lasting less than two weeks. Before there was even a distinct sign, I knew immediately upon meeting the first teacher that the energy wasn’t compatible. But I did what I normally do and ignored my intuition and hoped for the best. I knew either way that the universe would make it clear if the energy wasn’t a good fit. I know how insane that must sound to some, but there really is a method to this madness called life.
There was a sequence of unfortunate events that took place from the first night of his arrival until the day of his final departure from the premises that told me in no uncertain terms that this was not a good fit. The energy in the air was toxic. Dogs were barking incessantly from all angles and all hours, all the time. Even the surrounding nature felt tense. When you become so connected with the elements, everything around you takes on your energy and feeds off it.
Paradise turned dark and I felt trapped and didn’t wanna do any of this anymore. I wanted no part of a venture where I would have my energy drained and live among negative energy. I didn’t remove myself from society for this.
So I put an end to that chapter and gave upcoming guests the option of cancelling. Some did and some didn’t. The ones that didn't, came and enjoyed vegan meals, deep conversations and much desired alone time.
It was immediately following the first teachers departure that order in the kingdom became restored, the skies cleared up and I could allow myself to hear the birds singing again. But I was still without a Yoga teacher and needed to figure that situation out, as I didn’t want to have to keep cancelling bookings. So I put the word out and received many responses. I went with one that I wouldn’t have normally gone with, but did because it felt safe. Referred by a friend of a friend of a friend..
Now I don’t know if the energy was off to begin with and I just didn’t see it because I was so happy and relieved to be over the first nightmare, which I expected would extend until the end of March. But things felt good at first, even with the not so little things early on that I hoped I wouldn’t have to address and would just stop on their own, or through subtle hints. For the first week most things were great. There were future retreat plans being loosely discussed and lots of fun events to be in the works.
Then the energy slowly changed with every test the universe handed to him, that he came just shy of passing. The ground had settled and at this point it was apparent where this direction was going.
~ Let me trail off for a second here... as I mentioned before, this is a magical place. It is as alive as you think you are. It will test your loyalty, your patience and use that to determine your longevity here. Really every place is magical in that aspect, but we don’t catch on to this universal cycle as easily in the industrialized world because we’re surrounded by so much conflicting energy that we absorb from so many different souls that we cross paths with daily by the hundreds. We can’t see how the universe is affected by the energy we put out there, because all we see is each other, our egos and our superficial human challenges in our physical realm. We can’t connect with concrete, so we rely solely on human connections and forget that earthly connections are so much more powerful and nurturing to our individual souls. We can’t receive from others the energy they were not meant to give. We are all here for a soul’s purpose and need to feed off the elements, not each other and use that to empower each other, rather than take from. But we also like selfies, praise, money and power. This is where learning to balance ego with spiritual well-being, should come in. ~
This is a very relaxed environment when the energy is good. But when something is off and needs to change, the universe will be sure to make that clear. When I ignore the signs, they escalate, and escalate they did. While there were all these big plans being made, it became quickly apparent that the only plan was vacation mode and being looked after. The more I found myself being challenged and having my energy being taken, the more my energy changed and the more the environmental energy changed. Suddenly paradise was without birds singing and replaced with rattlesnakes rattling, mice scurrying and fleas biting. This is the jungle, so having four dogs being treated for fleas at any given time is not uncommon. In fact it’s often an ongoing process. Throw in flea season and good luck. Throw in the wrong energy and watch your world explode.
Everything happened all at once, suddenly there was a flea problem, a mosquito problem, all three waterfalls stopped working, my cleaning person didn’t show up for 3 days before informing me of not coming in and my yard person had to cancel working til the end of the week. All four dogs were barking incessantly again and two even broke out into a heated fight. The energy couldn’t be more toxic.
Here I am a one woman show cooking three meals a day for three guests and one teacher and picking up after all with zero help. I’m not making excuses, I’m 100% taking responsibility for how this played out. I allowed this situation to occur. Here’s where I went wrong - I relied heavily on the universe to fix this. I kept thinking this will work itself out, it’s fine, the universe will kick in and guide me through this, and we’ll all live happily ever after... It wasn’t fine and it didn’t work itself out. It slapped me in the face and made me seriously re-evaluate everything I am doing here. There is a fine line between understanding how the universe works and realizing that the universe doesn’t work for you. You work for you. It just shows you the signs you need to see and enhances them until you make the changes you need to make.
... Naturally the situation needed to change. Change it did. By the end of the week the second teacher was gone, all three waterfalls were working, mosquitoes were mostly gone and so were the fleas.. for now. I also got a fantastic new housekeeper out of that experience. Silver-linings :)
So here I am, having had three other guests since all of that
happened last week and absolutely loving it. I opened my doors to guests that wanted to come and enjoy plant-based meals in a beautiful serene setting and enjoy their own Yoga practice in the studio on their own accord. This works for me. There are still Yoga teachers, as well as other specialized teachers that will be visiting and doing retreats here and some classes, but as an ongoing daily live-in presence? No, not now. I realize I can’t rely on others to create the world I want to see here. I need to be able to work with others without having to depend on what they have to offer, to make this a success. That will never happen otherwise, because their vision and energy isn’t invested in this like mine is. This is my business and my passion and it’s up to me to make it a success, nobody else. The happiness it has given me so far, has already shown me just how successful this venture is. I expect to face many more road blocks and obstacles along the way, but I won’t refer to them as such. I will refer to them as what I now understand them as, challenges that I need to face in order to further understand my journey and to keep growing.
I'm not gonna sugar coat it. It's been rough at the best of times. But in the morning riding my bike to the sea with my happy dogs whipping in and out of the jungle and jumping in the water together, makes every challenge I encounter, worth facing.
Next chapter is about to begin soon! Serenity Grove Vegan Bistro will be opening onsite soon! The journey has only just begun.
Welcome to my Belizean world.