Brave, Foolish, and In Love with Life
Have you been lately? One, two, or intentionally all three?
Somewhere along the way -- probably years ago -- I began marking a really stellar, A+ sort of a week as one in which each of these three heart expressions is fully embodied. It’s my reference point to make sure I’m getting outta the box and way outta my head. It wasn’t until stumbling upon these exact words written in Secrets of the Talking Jaguar a few days ago that I realized this type of soul measurement had a name.
Okay. I promise a maximum of three more blog posts will include a reference to this book! But… you know that feeling when you read or see or hear something and you just SIGH. Because somebody *gets* what you get, and found a way to define the mystical workings of your very own heart? That happens nearly every other page, and I am definitely taking inspirational note for retreat development. 50+ dog-ears later, I may have taken Monster to a whole new level. I suppose it's not one of my nicknames for nothing...
So… Brave, Foolish, and In Love With Life. I finally have a name for my trusted sounding board, my Dharma instigator, and my most provocative best friend. It’s a recipe for adventure, misadventure, immeasurable awe, wonderment, [at times shockingly] close calls, and a whole shit load of humility. Maybe probably most definitely more humility than that.
I’ve learned to really like it there in that breathless, humble space. When the moment stills and my mind catches up with my pulsating heart… “Oh, Monica. Seriously?!?” Yeah, “Seriously,” I reply.
I felt that.
Believed so fully in that.
Walked right in to that.
Walked boldly away from that.
Cracked my heart wide open for that.
Grew some real balls and went for that.
Hurt more deeply than I ever have because of that.
Said ‘fuck off, rules’ in favor of experiencing that.
Will really struggle to forgive myself for that.
Participated in the exhilarating creation of that.
Witnessed the immense and intense Divinity of that.
Surrendered my absolute everything to… THAT!
And moment after moment, day after day, week after glorious A+ sort of a week, I’m left stunned and speechless at how freaking big and small I am all at the same time.
I could just drop to my knees and single-handedly solve So Cal’s drought issues with my very own tears of gratitude and loss and happiness and excruciatingly joyful uncertainty.
But I have to show up for… that. Sometimes it really pays big to be brave and foolish. And it could be easily said that at times it most certainly does not. In truth, however… if it deepens the love affair with life in even the smallest way, it’s always worth it.
It’s all too easy to share the pretty, tidy, and soul inspiring micro-bits of the journey on Facebook. So here, in the interest of sharing the true soulbare vulnerabilities and mishaps of being an intentional nomad… a real blooper moment from the Western Highlands of Guatemala.
Just half-way in, April was proving to be one kickass month. Like pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming in love with life mode. And I needed it! It was coming right on the heels of an intense period of summoning all that I had in terms of bravery and 1000% trust in the process of the unknown.
Four-ish months into this journey, and I was down to my last couple hundred dollars. Yet my trust is unwavering and I had no doubt a windfall of good fortune was heading my way. It... it simply HAD TO so I could keep my dream alive.
And sure enough...
In addition to providing several private Intuitive Reiki Healings, I was asked by three amazing women to guide them through the certifications of Levels I, II and/or Masters. Right before my departure from the US last fall, the investment in my Reiki masters was a difficult financial swallow, considering I wanted to make it a whole year on the… *ahem*… rather unimpressive savings I had put together. But it was exactly that… an investment. I bravely trusted being called to that process and these moments were such a reaffirming return.
I soft-launched marketing for January 2017's Wisdom of the Elements adventure retreat. This is a HUGE personal milestone, as the architecture and hosting of international retreats is a top priority and focus of my move to Central America. No exaggeration… within one hour, a remarkable and admired colleague fully registered to attend. More have committed since. Just 9 spaces remain <3
Completely unexpectedly, two esteemed mentors asked me to step into the role of master educator for retreats in later 2016. After nearly 90 days of “putting it out there,” I landed a part-time online job - configured *exactly* as I was trying to manifest it - with one of my dearest friends. I finally got the ball rolling on the SoulBare blog (capturing my journey in writing feels oh-so-yum for the heart space).
And I booked some much needed solo time away from the lake to a stunning Mayan sacred site. I LOVE solo adventuring through new villages and new territories... the moments in which I feel the most challenged, humbled, and truly alive. It's not hard to see why.... behold glorious Chicabal!
So much Bravery. So much Love! Surely the Fool must be dying to come out and play, too??
Man, was it ever foolish of me two Fridays ago. I was working the night shift at the lodge and opened the oven to start a dinner order. Standard process. Remove the metal grate, give the gas knob a good crank and light it up. As I reached for the dial, I noticed that it wasn’t all the way off but, in a hurry, I didn’t entirely think through the potential implications. One tiny spark near the pilot and PHWOOOOOOOSH!
The entire space between me and the oven caught fire in a fraction of a second, and my head certainly didn’t lag in joining that party. Yeah. My HEAD.
The deafening sound. The horrendous smell. The look of horror and concern on the face of Paulina, the sweet Mayan woman working with me that night, as she told me that my entire head was en fuego muy grande. Luckily my swift Leo instinct moves faster than the speed of a gas fire. I immediately whipped away from the flames with a surprisingly mediocre yelp and began furiously patting my hair and face and neck with my bare hands. Paulina's much-less-than-5-foot frame scooped me up in a big strong hug, I think for her sake just as much as for mine. As she held me tight, my initial shock moved aside for tears. My face felt so hot, little burnt hairs were all over the kitchen, and I was really expecting the worst.
My guests encouraged me to grab a beer and go calm my nerves lakeside, so I sat under the full moon with my feet in the cooling waters and just b-r-e-a-t-h-e-d. When I rejoined the group on the terrace, a thought: “Oh my god, my eyebrows! Do I still have any eyebrows?”
“You know what,” Kyle said, “you still have a freaking face!!”
We all broke into disbelieving laughter, cheers’d our cervezas, and continued with yet another chorus of “But seriously. Oh. My. God. That SOUND!”
And damn, I have never felt more grateful for my very own face. It was still there. All of it. Aside from a pseudo-sunburn on my forehead and nose, every millimeter of my dear skin was spared and miraculously intact. My eyelashes and hair must have the same effect on fire that they do on men… the flames were immediately drawn to them first. Hey, humor is a fool’s best friend ;)
I love you, skin. I love you, hairs, for protecting my face and being so capable of regeneration. I love you, life, for your ironic reminders of the precious transience of it all...
Sometimes, just when you think it couldn’t get any more perfect, shit literally just blows up in your face.
But fill yourself up with good instincts, good hugs, good beer and good hair… and ideally, you can come out a bit shaken, a lot wiser, and generally unscathed.
Thank you for reading and joining me in celebration of the inspiring, the beautiful, and the sometimes woefully misadventurous. I feel it, I need it, it moves me and propels me forward to the excruciatingly joyful unknown.
So can I ask for just one more favor?
Please allow me the incredible honor of celebrating YOU with you… the inspiring, the beautiful, and the sometimes woefully misadventurous. Tell me about your most recent or most memorable moments of being Brave, Foolish, and In Love With Life.
Your stories are my rocket fuel. Let’s journey together to the farthest star.
All my love ~