Friday, Mar 10, 2017

attachment awareness

Sunset over the Ecuadorian Pacific

How Can You Not Be Attached to This?

It has been a great week! There is literally too much beauty for me to take in. I wake up in the morning and see the blue ocean expanse out my window. All through the day I hear the soft roar of rolling waves falling on the sandy shoreline, and at some point I usually swim in them. Every evening I watch the sunset create brilliant colors in the sky. It feels too good to be true that I am here, living like this, yet I am.

The Brain Is a Crazy Thing

Let me share something crazy about the human brain, or at least my brain. When everything is great and going as it “should be”, I start thinking about problems. I think about “what ifs”. These aren’t good what ifs either. They are along the lines of loss, problems, and issues that would ruin my way of living right now.

Stuff like this runs through my head: What happens if my investments tank? What if I don’t get my coaching business to the level I want it to be?  If the landlord doesn’t renew our lease IN A YEAR, what will happen? What happens if living in Ecuador all goes to shit and I can’t ever get a job as a pharmacist again at home. Seriously. Can you believe I do that? This kind of thinking only serves to destroy the joy and peace of the present moment.

Freedom From Attachment Is Key Wherever You Live

Let’s face it. I was struggling in Cuenca, and partly it was because of my attachment to the idea of where I would be living in Ecuador…ocean, beach, palm trees, and tropical sunsets. Moving to Ecuador didn’t exactly work out the way I thought it would after the first four months with the earthquake and all. It wasn’t “bad” moving to Cuenca. Just different. The more I could let go of my attachment to “my idea” of living in Ecuador, then the more at peace I became while living in Cuenca.

So after ten months I’ve come full circle, and I’m now back at the beach. My very happy place! And damn if I don’t find myself dealing with attachments again. It is no longer attachment to “the idea” of living in a tropical paradise in Ecuador, but now the attachment is to the place itself. Attachment..and the fear of loss. They go hand in hand.

Presence Is the Antidote to Attachment

This is what I am doing to restore sanity to my poor brain.

  1. Stay present in the moment. This has been said in so many different ways by so many different people. I believe it! Living present in the moment is fundamental to experiencing a great life. There are so many fantastic present moments for me. I do not have time to be thinking ahead or looking behind. I came here to experience life in a new way. That happens every day, moment by moment…with my family, my surroundings, and other people who move across my window of the world.
  2. Acknowledge I don’t control anything other than my response.  I can plan to go here or there, or do this or that. If MY plan however is interrupted or changed outside of my control, I can still find joy and peace when I’m not attached to the plan itself. I get to choose my response, and in doing that I always get to choose who I am. There is power in choosing who you are.
  3. Be Curious. Often times change creates unseen opportunities. Sometimes the worst of things creates the best of things. We have all heard these types of stories. As I embrace the unfolding of my life with curiosity, I can discover new possibilities, new skills, and new abilities. Every moment is an opportunity for something good. Look for it!

So this is what I’ve been thinking about this week as I settle into my new surroundings, create my new routines, and live my life in a new place. Outside of the occasional mini-strokes of insane thinking, I am having a blast…creating the life I want to be living and doing it with people I love!

I Am Here and I Am Present

I finally got on board with the exercise routine Chase, Easton, and Heidi had been doing for several weeks in Cuenca. It is a routine that we now do on the beach or on our terrace. Either way our view is the ocean. I am bathed in the beauty and wonder of a gorgeous world while I huff and puff and get my body in better shape.

Walking the beach into Olon is a one hour and 15 minute endeavor from our house. I know this because on Thursday morning the four of us walked on the beach to Olon for the first time. It was low tide, and the firm wet sand stretched out in front of us for miles. Barely a rock to be found in our path.

olon ecuador

Our Beach Walk to Olon

Olon Fresh Fish and Produce Markets

We got a later start than planned and ended leaving the house at 7:30 am. By 8:45 am we were in Olon, and picked up some camarones (shrimp) and trumpet fish. Besides the vendor with the stack of “whole” fishes on his table, this was our selection today. Everyday varies as far as what is available. I will say the stack of whole fishes seems to be a constant.

The fish market here only consists of two or three vendors selling their catch. Probably because of the heat and lack of refrigeration, people buy early. If we are going to get anything, we need to be here before 9 am. This is the same story with the fruits and vegetables. Anything that was trucked in during the night will sell fast first thing in the morning.

There are two small vegetable tiendas across the street from the fish tables. We snagged some big red strawberries today. Heidi also got the last four avocados of a certain type she likes. Shopping in Olon is a different experience from Cuenca, where the plethora of options at Feria Libre goes on vendor after vendor after vendor. Even though the “market” in Olon is very small, I like it. I’m reminded to be happy with what I have, with what is available, and don’t worry about the rest.

It has been a week of getting my bearings, enjoying my blessings experiencing life in this beautiful place, and being grateful to be alive in this present moment.

It really doesn’t get better than this.