Monday, November 28, 2011

The YOUniversity of Life: Lessons from the School of Hard Knocks and Clue by Fours

Having many, many people come to my property in the rainforest of Costa Rica over the years to “volunteer” or work, I have learned to be VERY clear about what it is, what it isn’t and what is expected before people arrive. And so it was with the yoga instructor, the sound healer and their three year old child who came to stay with me at the beginning of November after many emails. It was the most clear I have ever been. They needed to work 2 hours each a day, 4 hours total, five days a week. 20 hours a week for a family of three to live in paradise. Such a deal!! But I really wanted the yoga instruction and of course the massage and sound healing so I thought it would be a great trade. An hour yoga class counted as 2 hours. Sound healing/massage, 2 hours. So on the days we had yoga or sound healing, they only needed to work 2 more hours in the garden or whatever needed to be done.

On the second day I took them for a walk around the property, showing them what needed to be done in the garden, where the tools are, ask me if you have any questions. I showed them how to cut the heliconias that were done flowering, what needed trimming etc.

After about a week of seeing nothing happening, I sent her an email reminding her of our emails and their agreement with me, wanting things in writing, learning from the past. After she received it, we sat down and talked to get even clearer and I said I wanted yoga every other day, massage/sound healing every other day and the rest in gardening. They agreed. I told them how in the past people came here with great intentions but beach/jungle fever takes over and it becomes party vacation time and that I would not let that happen again. They agreed. Yes, Yes, we understand.

But the days went on and there was time for the beach, time for play, but nothing was happening in the garden except the one hour he worked and cut a bunch of heliconias that hadn’t flowered yet. NOT what I had asked them to do. Ahem. I got sound healing and shiatsu massage here and there, but after three yoga sessions it rained a few mornings and she said she didn’t want to do yoga and then she was going through a “healing transformation” and all in all, there have only been 3 yoga classes since they arrived almost a month ago.

After the second week, I started to feel used, taken advantage of, disrespected. I had been so clear!! I had been so upfront and honest and forthcoming!! How could they just blatantly ignore their agreement and act like they were on vacation and with an attitude that their presence was doing me a favor? I had been sooooo clear! I had done it right this time, why wasn’t it working??

I gotta say, a family of three made a big impact here. And if the agreement would have been kept, all the little things wouldn’t have bothered me so much. But once it became obvious that they did not want to work and they expected me to finance their vacation, I started to do the broken record mind spin. All the “things” were going through my head and they were constant and many. Like walking into the kitchen and finding the bare assed three year old sitting on the kitchen counter where we prepare food. Or putting a dripping wet towel on the line right over the mattress we had put out in the sun to air out. Or coming to the dehydrator to flip my coconut wraps over and finding they had moved them around, put their own stuff in the dehydrator and it was now turned up to 125 degrees. (Things lose their enzymes and are no longer raw when cooked at over 118 degrees) Or finding my cloth bag of pink Himalayan rock crystal salt that I had placed on top of the dehydrator with a towel on top of it to dry it out with the towel gone and the whole bag exposed to the humid air. Or taking things and not putting them back. Or breaking my ceramic knife and not saying a word. Or giving the baby my expensive professional hoola hoop to play with and scratching it up. Or the dinner dishes piled on top of the lunch dishes on top of the breakfast dishes in the dish drainer so there was always a scummy film of dirty water at the bottom and putting clean dishes on top of that. Or the use of my Blendtec blender. Let me tell you the blender story…

I have never in my life spent $400 on a kitchen appliance, and my Blendtec blender is my baby. I use it 2-3 times per day and it is an integral part of my raw foods diet. I brought here from my storage unit last January and after it getting overfilled and liquid going all over it and it now having a short (I wont mention any names Dana J) I decided that it was not for community use and it would be my personal appliance. There is a regular Black and Decker blender for community use plus my juicer and my dehydrator. So on the first day, I showed them around the kitchen and where the community blender is. I also showed them where my personal things were, which included the Blendtec. So I was quite surprised when I came into the kitchen to find them using my Blendtec. Grrrrrrr.

All these things were going on and for the first week and a half I was so proud of myself for breathing through it, being allowing, saying what I needed to say with love and a smile, like “Can you please not put your baby’s bare ass on the kitchen counter?” And I would have continued that way if the agreement was being kept, but all these things were going on and no work was getting done. It was just beach, eat, rest, beach, eat, rest. There was no feeling of community, doing what is best for the highest good of all. It was all about their needs, their timing. And I was getting more and more angry and frustrated.

Under other circumstances, I would have just asked them to leave, but I am leaving for the States the first week of December and I was just trying to breathe through it and last until I left so that there would be people here besides my regular worker while I was gone. But in trying to “get through it” I was getting angrier and angrier and feeling more and more taken advantage of. Every time I saw them waltz down to the beach, or walked into the kitchen to see the mess or heard the baby screaming I could feel my blood pressure rise up and I would keep taking deep deep breaths. If it hadn’t been for running on my treadmill, I might have blown up but I was able to release some of the anger through running like a wild woman.

My usual shifting tools would help for a short time and I’d get my mind out of the broken record loop, but then something else would happen and the merry go round of thoughts and angry, frustrated feelings would come up again.

One morning my mind was doing the broken record of how they were taking advantage and doing this and not doing that and I cut my finger very deeply while opening up a coconut. It took me almost an hour to stop the bleeding. I knew I had to relax or I was really going to hurt myself. Once the bleeding completely stopped, I got on the treadmill and started to run and even with my running high and good music, so did my mind again. Then I don’t know exactly how it happened, but the next thing I knew, I was flying through the air and the moving belt rubbing against my ankle. Luckily, even though I didn’t have the safety clip on, somehow when I was falling I must have caught the string that leads to the safety and the treadmill stopped… but not before I had road rash. I got up, glanced at my scraped leg and my now once again dripping finger and turned the treadmill back on and kept running because I was right at that point of the highest runner’s high and I wanted/needed more.

I finished with the treadmill and went to tend my leg. Oooops, it was worse than I thought when I had just glanced down. I knew that my anger and frustration was going to get me seriously hurt and already had. It became so clear to me that no longer could I do things the way I used to. Shutting down communication once I was misunderstood was my old way of doing things, but it had crept back in again. I had been really clear, but when things then didn’t go as I expected them to even after my clarity, I shut down, reverted and went into mind fuck mode. I needed to get to the heart of this NOW before I broke a bone or worse!!!

I started looking for my golden nuggets in the situation. What was this about? What was really bothering me? First of all, it was that I had been SO CLEAR. I had been so so clear about what was expected before they even came. I had taken all my lessons from people in the past coming, everything that went right and everything that went wrong and used those experiences to create this one. I had spoken my truth but it still didn’t work out how I wanted it to. I HAD EXPECTATIONS ABOUT SPEAKING MY TRUTH!!! That’s when I asked for guidance and received this:

“When we clearly speak our truth from the heart, others still have their own filters and perceptions through which they hear it. People hear only what they can and want to hear. So speak your heart truth and let go of how it is received. Speak your heart truth for you and then trust in the outcome even when it’s not what you thought it might be. When spoken from the heart, your truth will always create the highest possible outcome.”

I was sooooooo attached to the outcome!! I had spoken my truth and it did NOT turn out how I wanted it to. And it pissed me off!!! Anger was running through my veins. The same thing happened even when I had been clear. Hippie vacationers. My mind was doing a total running mind fuck. I needed to let it go because it was obvious what the anger was doing to my body. This was instant physical manifestation of my anger.

How had speaking my truth created the highest outcome? I wasn’t seeing it yet, but I always know it’s there. I breathed. I looked within and at the broader perspective. I realized that I was settling. I was putting up with all of this because I was leaving and wanted them here while I was gone. But with all that was going on and the effect of the anger on me, I thought it might be best to just ask them to go. The worst that will happen is that David, my regular Costa Rican worker, will be here alone while I am gone again. Nothing gets done, and he just hangs out smoking pot with his friends, but my cat gets fed, nothing gets stolen and it’s only three weeks this time. I knew that was the right answer. It is what made me feel lighter, happier. It was my truth.

And I just knew there had to be something even better. I never ever EVER have to settle for anything less than a divinely desirable situation. There is always a perfect solution. So I demanded it!!! I said, HEY UNIVERSE, THIS IS NOT WORKING. I WANT, DESERVE, DEMAND SOMETHING BETTER. SHOW ME WHAT TO DO, WHAT IS NEXT GIVE ME A SIGN NOWWWWWWWW!!!

Within three minutes I received an email from a FB friend whom I didn’t know (imagine that!). He was in Costa Rica and wrote “I am a Body worker with an emphasis on cranial sacral manipulation/Energy worker, carpenter, plumber, electrician, gardening. There is really nothing i cant do. Self taught raw food nutritional therapy. I’m really into Raw Cacao as Medicine and will set up a raw Cacao process somewhere, want to get locals involved. Also raw Coconut products.”

Imagine that!!!

We messaged back and forth and somewhere in there came the big wink from the Universe. He wrote, “Shall I bring my blender?” Ha!! Oh how I love how the Universe plays with me to let me know they got my back. It was a divine message of the divine orchestration and timing going on. I told him no, he could use mine. :)

That’s when I posted this status: I had the amazing experience today of demanding something better from the Universe regarding a certain situation... and an email coming not even five minutes later with something MUCH better!! Oh how I love shopping at U-Mart, where the Blue Light Specials never end!!

It was the most amazing unfolding. He heard my call!! And he got here within two days!!

I took that time to do some more processing, being the observer where I can get my core, grounded, divine guidance and perspective. I still had this couple here and I needed to get to the root and release and create resolution. Every time something would happen with them, my leg would get worse and was infected. I was chugging chaga mushroom extract and applying it directly, I was using hydrogen peroxide and my zero point cream and laser, but nothing can help a festering physical manifestation when your thoughts are festering. Simmering, boiling, festering, non-communications and anger are toxic for our bodies and for our souls. This is not about not getting mad. It’s okay to get angry and express your feelings, in fact it’s essential. What is toxic and causes illness is the unchecked, running anger.

When I got an email from her letting me know that usually when they go places, their presence alone was enough, my finger, which had been closed for two days, started to bleed again without me even touching it. When the guy came to my room and said I could give him a list of things I wanted done and he’d look at it and do what he wanted to do when he wanted to do it, if he wanted to do it, my leg throbbed.

The Universe’s message to me was strong. There would be no more getting away with any of my old, unserving behaviors of shutting down, withdrawing from communication, letting anger and frustration run wild. It is STAY ON YOUR TOES OR FALL ON YOUR ASS!! With my bruised and bleeding body as physical evidence of painful manifestations, the message could not be denied. I know when painful manifestations come up, it is like a clue-by-four from the Universe to DEAL WITH IT SIERRA.

Ok. First of all was the disappointment. I was so looking forward to the yoga and the sound healing and the massage and gathering my tribe and getting things moving towards the YOUniversity I want to create here. And the thing that made it hard, was that they are really nice people. They have no bad intentions, they just have a different way of seeing things and didn’t fulfill their agreement, but they are kind people. I might not agree with their way of doing things in the kitchen, with the laundry, with the work they didn’t do but I still liked them as people, especially if I didn’t have to live with them. So there was sadness and disappointment going on.

Then there was the anger and frustration. The anger was about not being heard, being disrespected, this whole thing happening again when I had taken every precaution to prevent it and frustrated because I could not understand how they could so blatantly ignore our agreement. Like… what were they thinking??? I did not want to be mother, boss, policeman. I wanted people who could work on their own, clean up after themselves, take the initiative. And they were NOT that.

Then there was the feeling stuck by circumstances, and this was the key. Feeling stuck. I couldn’t move through the disappointment, sadness, anger and frustration because I was feeling stuck because I wanted them to stay while I was gone and thinking I really just had to put up with this and survive the best way I could until I left for California. I really thought about this. How often do we put off doing what we know is right, what we know is the logical step, what feels good until the perfect circumstances arise?

The ongoing mind fuck anger happens when we feel we do not have a choice and are stuck. Oh but that is ALWAYS an illusion. There is always choice, always options and always the right time to do what feels right is NOW. Not when I get back from California, not when I have someone else lined up, not later. NOW!!!! I could not wait for change, I had to make the change. I knew what I needed to do and if I didn’t do it now, I was going to have a very bumpy ride.

And there was my pattern of behavior of shutting down from communication when I am misunderstood, ignored and things are not going my way. I thought I had gotten past that a long time ago, but it came up again and it was time to dissolve it. When did I shut down? I started to shut down a few days after our meeting after they had been here a week. The one where we had made clear, again, what was expected and which they agreed to. Once I felt I had been really, really clear and still unheard and ignored, I shut down communication. That’s when I started to feel stuck, that I was going to have put up with this for two more weeks because I was leaving for California. The moment I knew it wasn’t going to work out and decided to settle and put up with it is when I shut down and the painful manifestations started. Feeling stuck leads to self-destructive behaviors because we are not doing for ourselves what we know is the right, divine, feel good thing for us.

My new friend arrived, and the difference in energy was staggering. “How can I help you, Sierra?” And once he had walked around and figured things out he started getting inspired and coming up with ideas and plans and has a whole list of things he will do. It was like night and day!! It was a sign from the Universe that I never ever ever ever ever have to settle for less than everything I desire. It was like HERE SIERRA, THIS IS WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR AND WE HAVE DELIVERED IT IN FIVE MINUTES FROM YOU ASKING. Yesssssssss!!! He is my kind of people. My soul pod. The perfect blend of spirituality and practical common sense, groundedness, initiative, inspiration, intelligence and humor.

This also helped me to get really clear about further screening of people before they come. There are people who are not spiritual at all, there are people who are only spiritual and then there is the perfect blend who are my kind of people. I have no judgments about those who are not a match. They are perfect for them. There is a difference between judgment and observation and clarity. I have observed the kind of people who are a match to me and that clarity will bring them to me.

Why did I ever think I had to settle? How could I ever doubt that my beloved, benevolent Universe would provide everything I need just when I need it? How did I end up in these old patterns? I remembered that things really started to go wrong after 11/11/11 and how my guides had told me that everything that needs to be cleaned up is going to be coming up because it is no longer a match and cannot survive in the new higher energies. All my old crap that still needed to be resolved and released came up into the light for me to see and boy did I see it!! All I had to do is look down at my finger and leg to be reminded.

My new friend had to go back to San Jose to get the rest of his stuff. In the morning before he left we saw a beautiful rainbow as the sun came up. I let the couple know that I needed them to go before I left for California. I felt deep, deep, relief and release. I had spoken my truth. I felt my whole body, mind and spirit rejoice. At sunset, another beautiful rainbow was a beautiful wink and smile to let me know that all was in perfect divine order.

The Universe had one more reminder for me through this experience. One of the reasons I was feeling stuck in keeping the family here is that they have a three year old and I couldn’t just throw them out into the jungle, I had to give them sufficient notice about leaving. But as divine orchestration would have it, the very next day after I let them know they had to leave, they ended up going right next door to my neighbors which is a much better match for them. By allowing my highest good, they received their highest good. Everyone got their highest good!! How could it ever be any other way? We had a GREAT talk, lots of hugs and laughter and insights and now I have more cool neighbors and friends. WINNING!!!

Oh how I love this Divine, Benevolent Universe and the YOUniversity of Life… even when I take a class at the College of Hard Knocks and Clue by Fours. Those seem to be the classes I don’t easily forget.