Good morning from Costa Rica!
I arrived in Costa Rica, Playa Negra three days ago to take my Integrative Yoga Therapy Teacher Training. My training begins tonight, but I wanted to come a few days early to relax by the ocean and get familiar with the area.
On my first night here, I was in the community kitchen and met a fellow Canadian from Ottawa. It’s quite possible we were in the same yoga classes back when I was in Ottawa – small world.
This new friend told me she saw a scorpion in the community showers. I asked about other “wildlife” since our Canadian wildlife is more along the lines of deer, moose and grizzly bears. I was told I could expect, monkeys, snakes, scorpions and tarantulas.
At that point I realized it’s a good thing I was ignorant in booking this trip and didn’t do much research. I’m not a fan of snakes, scorpions or tarantulas. I promptly went to my room for the night and covered my drains.
Last night I was in the community kitchen cooking up some beans, rices and veggies when I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye. I only had one overhead light on in the kitchen so it was fairly dark and dim in there.
No here is where I may be exaggerating. I saw a spider. It was bigger than a golf ball but smaller than a tennis ball. Needless to say, when compared to Canadian spiders, this thing was freakin huge. I’m no expert on tarantulas, but I’m pretty sure it was one. It tore half way across the kitchen floor in a second and then froze. And I gasped, then froze.
Now here is where I am impressed with how far I have come with my anxiety, thanks to mindfulness and yoga. If this was 2007, I would have screamed bloody murder and ran from the kitchen, leaving the gas stove on with my beans cooking away.
But, after a slight gasp, I decided to focus on my breath and breathe through all the fear pulsating through my body. I knew I only had a few minutes left to heat my dinner and then wash my pan so I stayed there, holding one wooden spoon to mix my dinner and another wooden spoon to throw at the tarantula should it decided to move towards me.
I spent a good five minutes cooking and washing three feet away from this creature who had triggered my nervous system and all my fear based stories about how they will attack me and I will die.
The longer I stood there, focusing on my breath, the more I was able to calm my body and mind down.
In the end, as I turned off the lights and headed back to my room, with the tarantula in the exact same place, I was a little proud of myself for how far I’ve come. Immense gratitude to all my mindfulness and yoga teachers who have helped me achieve this.
And now here I am, in Costa Rica, and our teacher training begins this evening. I know that I am going to learn so much and am so excited to be able to add these teachings to the mindfulness and psychological strategies I am helping people use now.
I won’t be writing regular Friday morning notes this January because I don’t know what this schedule will be like, but I will be posting about new things I am learning throughout my training.
For some more pics and details of this trip, come to my Facebook page, it’s easier for me to upload to Facebook than blog posts.
Sending you good energy from Costa Rica, I’m off to the beach for an early morning ocean swim via the Jungle Path – where I will be breathing through my anxious thoughts that there are snakes waiting from the trees to drop on my head…. just like in my 80s nintendo games;)
ps… haven’t seen a monkey yet, but they sound like Godzilla out there!