13 E – Reflections on the Journey

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Today is 13 E in the Mayan calendar.

E represents the path, the spiritual journey, the stepping stones of life and practice. 13 is the last number in the cycle, the day when the veil is said to be thinner between our mundane, everyday experience and the magical mystery of divine energy that animates the universe and each being in it.

It is a full circle day for our small family. We have arrived back in Guatemala. Our epic journey began three months ago. We painted a sparkly spiral across the Americas, visiting family and friends who are like family.

Guatemala – Mexico – Texas – Ecuador – Colombia – Mexico – Guatemala.

We are arriving home lighter and heavier simultaneously. The trip was full of all things: adventures, routines recreated in each place we settled, celebrations, holidays, death, grief, boredom, surprise, irritation, acceptance, yoga, coloring, working, writing, playing, reunions, music, laughter, tears, noise and silence.

My grandma died on 13 Kej, in late November. Kej is my nahual, the sign of the deer, the four directions and the spiritual leader. I was fortunate to spend several precious hours by her side in the days before her passing. On the day she died, we flew to South America. I felt her in the air all around us, in the vast sky and poignant sunset.

Our nuclear family team became stronger and more united thanks to this trip. We weathered storms with humor and mindfulness as much as possible. We walked everywhere and took in the views with awe and gratitude. We fought and bickered at times but not too much. We adapted to our frequently changing environments. We ate what we were served, mostly.

We are coming home lighter, having shed or gifted many material possessions — including my phone, which a thief on the metro in Mexico City relieved me of yesterday morning in the chaotic crush of people cramming ourselves onto a packed train — and having let go of many judgments and preconceptions.

We are coming home heavier, having acquired a plethora of gifts, toys and souvenirs along the way.

We are coming home clearer, having gained countless experiences and having learned innumerable lessons along the way.

We are heading home today, yet Home never left us. Home traveled in our hearts every step of the way, in every taxi, bus, hotel, house, train and plane.

Here’s to the journey and all the destinations, all our relations, the teachers, the teachings, this breath, this one wild and precious life.

 

 

3 Ways to Travel with More Light

This is not a story about lighter luggage or embracing minimalism.

While traveling with less stuff is great, I’ll be honest: my husband, daughter, and I are moving across borders with three stuffed suitcases, two backpacks, and a couple of handbags.

The past almost-three months have been beautiful and challenging, exciting and exhausting. We’ve explored new places, reconnected with old friends, celebrated the holidays in new ways, and redefined our day-to-day routines.

A solid six weeks of the trip was spent in my husband’s hometown in Colombia. We hadn’t been there in over four years. Back then, our then toddler daughter was walking but not yet talking. This time around, we celebrated her sixth birthday with a very pink, Hello Kitty-themed party thrown by her adoring relatives.

At birthday parties in Colombia, a photo is taken of every guest with the birthday girl or boy after the candle is blown out and before the cake is cut. After the cake, each guest is served a plate piled with popcorn, a couple of boiled potatoes, and a chunk of pork, along with a tiny plastic cup of soda. I offer these details as a tiny sample of how far from my comfort zone I, a mostly-vegetarian, earthy, yoga mama had traversed.

Of course, it wasn’t just the birthday parties that challenged my norms and prompted me to be more open-minded, accepting, and flexible—it was just about every aspect of every day.

This is the amazing thing about travel: we learn that we can adapt to anything. We are free to redefine our boundaries and recreate our ways of being in a novel setting.

Here are a few helpful ways to travel lighter—while letting our inner light shine. May they be of benefit!

Read full post: https://www.elephantjournal.com/2019/01/3-brilliant-ways-that-traveling-light-can-wake-us-up/

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