To gain, you must let go

Release.  Since my last birthday, that’s been my mini-mantra. Somewhere along the way, life started to feel really heavy… like the joy had been sucked out with a straw. It’s true, I think of myself as a work to live person but words don’t mean jack if you’re not actually living that way.  So, when my friend, Wendy, asked if I wanted to join her on her next trip to Tulum, I took her up on her offer.  This trip was the perfect time for me to put “RELEASE” into play.

I went skinny dipping.  That’s right, folks!  I am 36 years old and somehow I have managed to never go skinny dipping in my life. I don’t know how that’s possible, but it’s true. And the best part is…I didn’t see this skinny dip coming at all.  I went for a Mayan massage where they cover you from head to toe with Mayan Clay.  It was my pleasure to have a hot Spaniard as my masseuse and I am still a bit conflicted that they don’t rub down your booty or tattas (kidding…kind of).

At the end of the massage, Hot Spaniard Masseuse whispered to me, “Would you prefer to shower off the clay or wash off in the ocean?”  Now, I wish I could tell you I didn’t hesitate. I wish I just said “Ocean! Let’s go!”  But, it went more like “I can do that? That’s an option?” Meanwhile my mind was racing with thoughts like but I’m covered in yellow clay and look crazy and…do they have a tunnel that goes straight to the ocean so no one sees me? 

“You should definitely wash in the ocean, Nicole. Come.”   So, I followed him like a smitten kitten. We walked across the street through a resort restaurant and onto the beach where I discarded my tiny red towel and walked buck naked into the ocean for a bath. While he watched.  It felt wonderfully free to have nothing between my skin and the water. I may burn all my swimsuits!  Look, if I’d not released my worry about being naked in front of strangers, I’d have missed out on the feeling of pure freedom …of the warm salty sea water, which is the closest thing I have experienced to what I imagine it must feel like to be in the womb.

Then came the Mayan Ruins in Coba.  The main ruin is a mother to climb. Over 90 super steep, totally uneven steps. I was, again, hesitant about the experience. I fretted over being in a long dress. About wearing sandals with a slippery sole.  I was really just nervous about how I was going to get down the super steep stairs once I got up there, but then I remembered that advice I gave not long ago about focusing on the 5 feet in front of you.  S0, I grabbed hold of the giant rope that hangs down the middle of the stairs to aid the climbing-challenged, and with the supportive words of Wendy, I made it to the top!  And then I made it back down. All in one piece. If I’d not released my worry about the outcome, I’d have missed out on the feeling of victory and the spectacular view from the top!

My most precious moment from the trip was our visit to a small Mayan village. We went there on a recommendation from Wendy’s friend so we could do a Mayan Cleanse ceremony with a shaman. This is not the kind of place where there’s a big obvious sign that says “Shaman’s House.” No. This is a village straight out of the movies with wild chickens and turkeys running around and dogs so blissed out on the simple life they don’t even bother to move when you drive up next to them, nevermind bark at you.

Through a series of broken Spanish/English/Mayan conversations we found the Shaman and he performed the cleansing ceremony on me and Wendy. He humbly let us take photos of his home, which was essentially a series of outdoor “rooms” that were tucked into the natural vegetation. He showed us his bee hives and tried, as best he could, to tell us about his herbal cure for infertility.  It was a humbling experience to know that I have “so much” and he has “so little” but really, it is the other way around. If I didn’t release any fears I had about not knowing what would happen if we wandered into a village where we didn’t even speak the same language, I would not know the peace that I now feel. 

On the last day, a storm was blowing in from the North and the ocean was choppy.  We had a fishing trip planned with Wendy’s friends over at this cool little place called Mexidivers (highly recommend if you go to Tulum).  I wasn’t well equipped for the weather (no hat or sweatshirt) but we went out anyway. And I reeled in a giant Mahi Mahi. It took twenty minutes or so to pull the line in and there were a couple of times I thought about tossing the fishing rod to the Captain because the fumes from the fuel coupled with the giant waves were making my stomach flip.  But …. I released my worry about tossing my cookies (so what? Wouldn’t be the first time that happened on a boat) and about whether or not I’m OK with even catching a fish. I released the over-thinking and I just fucking did it anyway.  And I got a great big fish and a stupid smiley photo momento, to boot!

Life is so much more joyful when you release. Release expectations, limitations, hesitations, and any other person, place, or thing that is not serving you. Just let it go and I promise you will feel so much better after.

Musical pairing to enhance your reading pleasure:






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