I'm back from Costa Rica. Predictably, it was wonderful. Like it was more wonderful than last year--which was pretty darn great--and filled me with a deep sense of hope about life. The reasons for that could be that it's such a nice retreat center and the people who came were so open and the gift of taking a big time-out from life to stare out at the sea from a hammock. or maybe it was the food--all organic, local and prepared con mucho amor--that had me wondering if I was going to adjust to living back in the States again. I've been joking with Adam that he was going to have to cut up fresh fruit for me every morning for a week so I wouldn't be too shocked on the realities of living in the real world. He seems to think I am kidding about that...
But home is good. Today I mapped out photo albums, planted window boxes with arugula and scallion seeds, met a dear friend for Thai food and had the most surprisingly fast experience of getting my car inspected. I love it here and hope that every time I leave it's so that I can come back to my real life with more joy and hope and love to share. So in that spirit, I choose this photograph of a the view from my plane ride from Houston to Washington, DC. I spent the whole week freaking out about the beautiful sunsets that we saw from the yoga deck and thought about how I never see anything like that back in the States. And then I saw the most ridiculously beautiful one in the home stretch of my massive travel--probably somewhere above Oklahoma. I love it! It was the perfect reminder to me that we are all living in paradise, we all walking in beauty. We just have to pay attention and call a thing by it's proper name.
I started my first day back in DC with this ridiculous grin on my face, wanting to share the love with everyone. Then in the afternoon, someone innocently said something that challenged me and my big bad ego. It was small but big enough that I stopped smiling and started worrying. When I realized what I was doing, the phrase that came into my mind was that I had to "double down on my happiness." I'm not a gambler and don't even know if I am using that in that in any kind of right way. What I mean though, is that if we are ever lucky enough to find what we are looking for, then we have to work extra hard to keep it up. This means giving more when we start to feel stinginess invade our sense of generosity and loving deeper when the person we care about is really challenging us. It's about paying attention, having intention and again and again, choosing who we want to be.
Because it's precious--our lives and what we choose to do with them--and if we are lucky enough to know how to pay attention then we have a responsibility to keep trying for what we really want. Deep down I believe that what we all want is to access our own hearts and know that we really belong here in a meaningful way. I've felt that a few times in my life and it's so big and whole that I know I'll spend the rest of my days headed in that direction. And you too? Maybe it takes you a week away doing yoga in the jungle to get there or maybe your life dictates that your own sense of inspiration must be found in the walk home from work each day. Regardless, know that I am there too, looking up into that sweet night sky, savoring the bigness that's there.