Fear, Faith, Sattva…and Mi Sueño Casa!
Hola Amigos! This is a blog about an experience I had moving to Costa Rica, letting fear get the best of me but poco o poco (little by little) using the tools that yoga and Ayurveda have taught me to not only get through it all but to remember there really is no grain of sand out of place and the Universe has my best interest at heart!
I Love the idea of Sattva!
Sattva is one of the three Gunas and one that I thrive for in most all of my practices! Sattva is Calm, it is Peace, it is Clarity, it is Contentment and most certainly it stands for Faith! Whereas Fear… fear is the opposite. Fear is Rajasic and Tamasic!
Yoga and Ayurveda say one can be in fear or faith, but never both at once. One represents resistance, and the other is flow. From one moment to the next, we make decisions about the direction we choose. And the direction we choose or what we practice will be our experience.
I have witnessed this in my own life numerous times and having faith while going with the flow never failed me. But the thing is I tend to forget, resist and even get stompy before I ride those waves into surrender.
After the purchase of (what we thought) was our dream home (sueño casa) in Costa Rica fell through, I got panicky. I had spotted this home in the jungle, Casa Papaya while on a Spanish immersion and it felt like the Universe was divinely guiding us to take this leap of faith. We absolutely loved Casa Papaya and felt deep inside that it was time for us to leave the US. By the time our house purchase plans changed (due to a very flaky French lady), I had already announced to all my students, friends and family that I was leaving Shanti and the USA! My husband, J had started shutting down his own mental health practice and so for us, there was no turning back. We weren´t quite sure where but we WERE moving to Costa Rica! I had looked at a lot of other homes while on my Spanish immersion and I liked most of the places I saw. (You can buy a really beautiful home in Costa Rica for cheap)! SO since we did not have the money to rent a place while we hand picked another dream home, I chose to buy one that I had briefly seen… and without remembering some of the small details.. one being the road that it was on.
When we arrived to our new home, I immediately realized that even though the house we bought was super convenient to all the shops, restaurants and a beach which was less than a 5 minute walk, our new home also set on one of the busiest paved roads in Samara where the tourists walk and the motorcycles and quads zoom by! Yes, we even had monkeys, iguanas, pizotes and all the wild animals one could ask for but my romantic dream of me living in the jungle with only noises of Nature felt shattered! At the time, I saw no way out and even though there many were times I felt I was in paradise, there were other times that I felt I was in one of those moving to Costa Rica Hell stories! I was spiriling down into the world of Rajas with an overthinking anxious mind as well as Tamas as I was becoming depressed and feeling doomed about the location of my Costa Rica dream home.
The worse thing was - I felt like I was stuck. After an exhausting move from the US to here, my husband made the comment that we were never EVER going to move again! Oh my God this was my life and there was no way out. Why God why? This was not my plan. We were suppose to land in Pura Vida and pure paradise with no glitches. In high season, it seemed as noisy as living in New Orleans during the Mardi Gras! Yikes, how could I find peace and Pura Vida here? Why did the Universe do this to me?
The first few months, I cried. Partly due to leaving my kids, my friends and leaving Shanti but mainly because I thought I had made a huge mistake in choosing the wrong place! I kept it inside for some time, embarrassed and ashamed. But eventually I talked with my teacher (many times) and to my close friends. I eventually opened up to my children about my mistake of choosing this particular house. The more I confided in the people I love, the more I sat, meditated, prayed to God and most especially connected to the Nature that was actually right here before me (in spite of the road traffic) in front of my house. The house itself became very sweet and special after we put our energy into it.
It was simply on a noisy road. Anyway I started to soften. I started to feel the gratitude for such a sweet and easy stroll to the most beautiful beach each sunrise and sunset and I starting appreciating each and every new and unique plant, flower and critter that I would see. Once I softened, I found gratitude and the fear started to lesson, I would casually bring up ideas of maybe someday we would find the perfect home located closer to the jungle but I was content with where we were for the time being. Through my softening and contentment J also became open to one more move… maybe someday.
One day we were with our great friend (and real estate agent) 😉 Peter Marte. I mentioned something about the location of our house (without attachment) and he said “would you like to put your house on the market and just see what happens”? J and I looked at each other and agreed yeah sure but also realizing that it may take three or more years, especially during a pandemic to actually sell! On another visit with Peter, he mentioned maybe we would like to consider buying a piece of land and building our very own dream house. This thought got even J very excited! We started thinking Holy wow in just 3 to 5 years we may be able to build our very own dream home here in Costa Rica. It wasn´t like we were waiting a life time… only a few years. I could live with this… and be happy and grateful. We really turned the house into something very special building a yoga shala and installing a pool.
The more I sat with all of “it” I started to realize that God, the Universe, Nature could not have planned this transition any better! There was no way we could have moved here, paid rent for a year while finding the perfect home. This way was the absolute way! I started to feel this genuine gratitude for what I have and honestly the traffic noise started to fade. We all know when we express gratitude, the world will naturally soften and brighten for us. There is something super powerful about being truly thankful for Nature and to the Universe. My becoming grateful for all the other graces in my life were signs that I was guided and supported the whole way.
Our house was on the market for about five months when the perfect person came along, took one look and fell in love with the house and the location! He offered us cash money and wanted to close as soon as possible.
In the meantime, we found a little chunk of paradise that is in the sweetest little tico neighborhood and backs right up against protected jungle. We will now be a 15 minute walk to the beach and on a beautiful dirt and bumpy road where it is impossible to zoom by and too far back for tourist to frequent. Most will be the sounds of Nature! We are about to start the construction of our new dream home(s). A casita especially for our Airbnb guests (I hope you come)! and the other casa for us. Another blessing in all of this is with the improvements we made at the original house, it raised the value enough for us to have these little extra things we want in a traditional Costa Rica home. So every little thing on our property is created or chosen by us which totally make it our dream home!
And even though it is all life practice, my only regret through all of it is that I did not have faith from the start. I really do know! I Know from all of my experiences… several that felt even more devastating than this house thing. But every one of the challenges I have faced have been necessary in one way or another and looking back each circumstance has worked out perfectly. It would have been nice had I not acted on such fear those first few months here. But as I said in the beginning, that seems to be my style. Deepok Chopra says “Sometimes when you’re at your most desperate, you shine the brightest because in these moments you’ve arrived at a point of surrender. This occurs when you realize that whatever you’re up against is out of your control”. Swami Satchidanda says the deepest darkness will take us to the brightest Light. Thank God for this because for me, I often have to kick and scream and go really dark before I can surrender and relax into what is. I think God understands this!
Sattva is a great tool to calm Fear
The energy of fear and faith have always existed in the world. Through our yoga and daily practices, we can decide which of these we cultivate and bring to life. Fear is tamas, or darkness. It can feel overwhelming to be surrounded by it but yoga and Ayurveda teach us there is a way out: point yourself in the direction of Sattva balance and harmony.
Sattva is gentleness, harmony and love -- the embodiment of faith. We find it when we slow down and tune in to the subtleties of life. Sattvic activities, such as making a healthy balanced meal while listening to chanting or finding stillness in a simple yoga pose like child´s or even down dog to allow us to reconnect with the natural rhythms of life and turn off the urge to feed fear through constant busy-ness.
Sattva builds faith, because it shines the light of the divine on any situation. From the viewpoint of Sattva, you see that there are no good or bad people or situations, just the law of cause and effect in action or karma. By living in faith, we contribute to positive effects for ourselves and the world around us.
I am always trying to move toward Sattva.. mentally, physically and spiritually. I think about it a lot! It certainly is a life long practice for me and I am so grateful that Yoga and Ayurveda has shown me the direction to that state. If I am in a state of Faith, I am in a state of Sattva and visa versa and here there is no space for fear!
I am very excited to share the progress of our new home construction with you as it comes and I am always sending you and the entire Universe Peace, Love, Faith and a Sattvic life! 😊
Mucho Amor, Bhakti