Reflections from the Riviera Maya, Mexico

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Oh warmth, where are you? It seems like forever since I was here, in Riviera Maya,  Mexico, soaking in sun rays and feeling the warmth surrounding me. It seems like forever since I sat on the beach, looking at the ocean, pondering where my life is going. But, it’s only been a month. A month since I had some of the most amazing food and drinks. Since I swam in the most beautiful pools and splashed in the ocean. A month since I had the most amazing massage EVER- yes it was that good.

Right now, in North Carolina, the last bit of snow is slowly disappearing. There’s barely any trace of the 11 inches of snow from last weekend. This has been the craziest and coldest Fall. We rarely get snow this early in year. Heck we never get snow this early. If we get snow, it’s after the new year. Usually, I can still go outside in a light jacket and hat. Now I need snow boots, layers of clothes, and a wind deflector. It’s like we skipped right over Fall.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Winter. I love the crisp cold air and the barren land. I live for snuggling under the covers, with some hot chocolate, while watching movies and home improvement shows. For me, it is a time of death and rebirth. The cold comes in and kills all, that no longer serves a purpose, in order to bring in new life. I’m taking a look at my life in this same way. The Riviera Maya was gorgeous and warm, but it also served as a way of me clearing out old stagnant energy and bringing new energy into my life. As I sat on the beach watching the sun reflect on the water, I also reflected on the last year of my life – the good and the bad. Thankfully, there were a lot more good than bad days. But, I also realized it’s time for me to let some ideas I had for my life die. The vision I had for my life no longer applies. Maybe I was holding on too tightly to the idea, in my mind, of how I wanted my life to be, instead of allowing in what I needed to create the life that was best for me – yeah, just a little too tight.

So now, I let go and bid farewell to my vision, or nightmare, I held in the prison of my mind. I will take this winter break to go inside and hibernate, and look forward to waking up in the spring fresh and renewed – reborn.

 

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Enjoy the pics of Mexico! Also check out my photo gallery at https://happilycurious.com/portfolio

 

 

Why Can’t I Just Start a New Book

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Since I’ve been out of work my anxiety has been in overload and my motivation has been stuck in park. Usually I write poetry or blog posts, or take pics to motivate me. My dream is to be a travel photographer and blogger. Even though I have turned my life upside down and went all out to make my dreams come true, nothing has materialized.

One of the things that helps take my mind off the world is reading. In the last two months, I’ve read over 30 books. I usually average about 3 to 5 books a week. One thing I’ve noticed is my taste in books have changed. I usually go for romance novels but that hasn’t been satisfying me, so I switched to fantasy and mystery. Mostly books on angels and demons or assassins. When I tell you this has opened up a whole new way of enjoying books for me, man…let me tell ya. Now, I watch a lot of movies and tv shows on the subjects that’s why I gravitate to romance with books. But, reading the books allow me to immerse myself in the world and get more enjoyment out of it.

I know you are wondering where I am going with this and I’m about to tell you. I asked myself, why can’t I treat my life like a book? Why can’t I treat my interests like the books I read? Maybe I’m too focused on the things I’ve always liked and gravitated towards. Maybe it’s time to pick a new interest (book) and see where it takes me. Or just, look at a different genre, like romance with assassins…lol. Yea, I know it may sound crazy, but you know what I’m getting at. Photography will always be my number one love, but maybe I need to explore something else besides nature photography. Maybe it’s time to try a new book. OR, just maybe I’ll start writing the fantasy book I’ve been reading in my head.

Is it time for you to start a new book? Tell me about it.

 

Don’t let the storms stop your growth

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For the last couple of days, we’ve had storms here.  I feel it is a reflection of what’s been going on in my world lately. I haven’t written, in a while, because of inner storms.  I’ve had my gloomy moments when my brain is cloudy and I didn’t want to get out of bed, my lightning moments when just little things set me off and I am quick to strike back, and my thunder moments when I let things stir inside creating a rumble but never fully letting it go.

Even my daughter noticed the changes.  She tells me Mommy are you grumpy or Mommy don’t be grumpy.  One time I raised my voice and she said Mommy you yelled at me.  It wasn’t a yell, but from her perspective, it was  louder than I usually talk.

We all have storms in our life.  Some are self-created and some come from external forces.  Sometimes, these storms can catch up by surprise and turn our whole world upside down and cause us to stop and reflect on what’s really happening in our life. Sometimes, we see the storm coming but just can’t stop it.  Maybe we don’t need to stop it.  Maybe it’s coming as part of growth.  Yes, it may cause floods of tears or damage to our existing structure, but like all storms, it will pass.  Storms are a necessary part of life and sometimes they force us to make changes we don’t want to make.  But remember, a new day will come, the sun will shine again, we will adapt to our new circumstances, we will survive, and grow stronger.

 

The Dominican Republic No One Wants To Talk About

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“How was your trip to the DR,” is the question I keep getting from family and friends.  Do I tell them what they want to hear or do I tell them what I really experienced?

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Dominican Republic, for a retreat.  The host home, where I stayed, was beautiful.  The architecture and landscaping were amazing.  The view was breathtaking. After a couple of days of being housebound, our group decided to go to the beach, which was over an hour away.  Riding through the streets and outskirts of the city was a real eye opener and reality check.

Back story – Before I left, my co-worker and I were discussing my trip.  He is Haitian and warned me about the treatment of Haitians and darker skinned people in the DR. He also told me of how unsafe it was for women to be there.  I knew of the conflict between the Haitians and Dominicans, but I did not know it exactly how serious it really is. 

While in the city, you can’t help but notice the lack of people with darker skin.  When you did see them, they were poorly looking, standing on the corner trying to sell fruits, vegetables, or anything to make money.  As we traveled through the countryside, that’s where you saw the darker skin people.  The villages were so remote and the houses were shacks, dilapidated buildings, and huts.  I saw children walking barefoot through garbage filled yards, playing in unsafe places.  Hiding in the corner of the doorway, you saw the elderly with the look of despair on their faces.  But, it was not just the elderly who had this look, it was the young also.  My heart broke for them them.

I cannot lie, the beaches are beautiful, the tropical drinks are damn good, and the weather was amazing. Even when it rained it was relaxing and calming.  That is one expect from one of the Caribbean’s perfect vacation spots.  The brochures and movies would have you believe that it is the most welcoming and safest place on earth.  If you are on a resort, that may be true, but outside the resort is another world.

One of the ladies, in the group, was Haitian and while on the beach, men kept approaching her and asking where she was from, and not in a friendly tone.  It got to the point where she was actually scared to go to the bathroom.  At one point she almost said Haiti, but she caught herself. I and a couple of the ladies, in our group, were actually scared for her safety.

If you’ve been keeping up with world news, you know that Dominicans do not want Haitians in their country. Thousands of Haitians, born in Dominican Republic have been sent back to Haiti, killed, or denied basic rights, such as schooling, work, and healthcare.  Many Haitians have also been killed or disappeared.  It’s not just the treatment of Haitians, but the treatment and separation of darker skin Dominicans is also apparent.  My family and friends were shocked to hear about the struggles of darker skin people and the treatment of visitors, Haitians, and women, in the DR.

My trip and experience in the DR was mine and mine alone.  I can’t speak for anyone but myself.  I did enjoy my time in the DR but I also have a very different view of the country from what I’ve been feed from the media and brochures.

 

A Week in Pics – Dominican Republic

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Reclaim Your Voice

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It’s great to have friends, mentors, and people you can depend on.  It’s good to have someone to talk to, bounce ideas back and forth, or just converse with from time to time. That is the beauty of have wonderful people in your life.

One of the draw backs is you may start to lose your voice.  You start taking their advice so much that you no longer trust your instincts – your inner voice.  You start to repeat the things they say, act the same as them, and, in some cases, start to look like them. All of your ideas are what others told you they should be, and you no longer question what they say.  Even when having conversations with others, outside your circle, you find yourself repeating their ideas instead of your own.

It’s time to reclaim your voice.  Time to trust your intuition and ideas.  Time to be you.  This may take distancing yourself from these people, retreating into your safe place, and taking a deep look at what or who you have become and who you want to be.  Yes, I know it’s hard. I have been there before and it’s easy to let someone else make decisions for your life instead of voicing your opinion and following your instincts. But, it is so much more freeing and exciting to follow your inner voice and make your own decisions. It feels wonderful to know that you can make the right choices or wrong choice and still be you.  You don’t have to be a clone of your friends and mentors. Everything you need is inside you and once your realize it a whole new world awaits you. Own your life, own your decisions, and reclaim your voice.

Nature Walk

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