The Road to Shambala.
There literally is a “Road to Shambala.” Shambala is described in many ways, my favorite is “a mystical kingdom.” In Zipolite, Shambala is the name of the first resort to be built here, on the same hillside where Las Casitas is. Of course, this all reminds me of that Three Dog Night song, which I just listened to on Spotify. I have probably been looking for the “Road to Shambala” most of my life, and I believe many of us have. Just as Jesus himself said, “the Kingdom of Heaven is within you,” so is this magical kingdom of Shambala. We strive so hard to find our happiness outside ourselves, through our outward successes and the approval of others. If I could just sell more stuff, be more fashionable, hold a plank pose longer……for me, I’m ready to flip the switch and give it up.
I found an old cookbook of Mexican dishes on the bookshelf at Paco and Javier’s house. I have borrowed it for the duration of our stay, and I have been flipping through it for new ideas for cooking. I seem to be cooking a couple of meals a day here in our open-air kitchen. If I go to the market in Puerto Angel on an early morning, I can find inspiring fresh produce. I am enjoying the cooking here. Shop, cook, eat, and wash dishes. I love just hanging out on the terrace of our little casita. Maybe I’ll make a picture of something I cook, maybe I won’t.
We have been here for nearly three weeks and I have crossed the line from “vacation mindset” to just living my life here for the winter.
Fred and I retired a year ago and it has taken me all this time to just settle down and find out what happens when you can basically go through a day just doing what you want to, when you want to. Naps are included. While I’ve been here I have been very motivated to spend time every day studying Spanish, because I want to talk to people, and to get some workouts in (using those stretchy bands and yoga) because I am mostly wearing shorts and tank tops, and I know that as the years progress the fitter I am the better I will fare. And, of course, we are taking walks on this long, beautiful beach. But, those are slow walks.
But, most interesting to me is seeing my type A, achieving, self turn off the struggle. For the past many years, I have spent a lot of energy worrying about things that never happened, dealing with BS from people that I really didn’t need to have in my life, and constantly trying to figure out how to make myself better. I was always taking on projects for the reward of achieving, instead of the simple joy of just doing whatever it was, and without understanding that sometimes the process can be more important than the product. And I was caring too much about what others thought of me. While there’s always room for improvement, I think I’m ready to believe that I’m pretty much okay just the way I am. I think I am on the road to Shambala. There’s a lot to be said for getting to this place of mind, even if it takes a few decades to do it.