Shopping in a Mexican Walmart is quite an experience. Aye yai yai. I will sum it up in one word: SLOW.
Or should I say, SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW.
When we arrived in Playa del Carmen for an early December get-away with friends, our mission was clear: check in, drop bags, speed-walk to the Walmart for food and libations, and get back to the condo as quickly as possible so that we could start working on our tans and get the blender going. This is our standard first-day-of-vacay protocol, so we were mentally prepared….at least, we thought we were.
Let me just tell you that I have been to a lot of markets in a lot of places, and I have never seen a mass of food-shoppers move so slow in my entire life. People perused as if they were viewing an exhibit in a museum, floor workers stocked shelves and walked the aisles in almost backwards motion, and cashiers seemed to be holding a secret competition to see who could scan items and count change the slowest.
We conquered and divided in order to speed up the process, and I was placed on snack detail. To the overhead sounds of foreign Christmas carols, I frantically raced up and down aisles and searched for the items on the list. I huffed and sighed as I impatiently whirled my cart around all of the aimless wanderers and searched for the chips and salsa.
Where in the hell was the Pace Picante??!!! Guess what? Mexican people don’t buy pre-made salsa, amigos. They make their own. Duh! It took me about 15 minutes to solve that frustrating mystery. My irritation was quickly diminished when I discovered that a case of Corona was $9.00 (NICE!!!).
Finally, we re-convened, combined our goods, and chose a check-out line (which really didn’t matter, because they were all a mile long). As we stood waiting, my husband, Marty, and I scanned the scene, met one another’s gaze, and quietly laughed. He leaned in and with a hint of his vintage sarcasm, he mumbled, “clearly, none of these people know how thirsty we are.”
They didn’t know, nor did they care. They were probably thinking that we were just another bunch of panicky American tourists rushing around so that we could hurry up and relax.
Hurry up and relax…yup, admittedly, that’s about right. As Marty would also say, “I resemble that comment.” I resemble it too.
What’s the hurry?
We. All. Move. Too. Fast. We don’t even REALize how quickly we are zooming through our moments and days until we find ourselves smack in the middle of a Mexican Walmart, stuck in line, and forced to stand uncomfortably still and REALly think about.
We move quickly, and we expect things to happen quickly. We tend to have zero patience for anything or anyone that falls short of immediate responsiveness. When we make the decision to do something, we swiftly spring into action, and we anticipate prompt (if not instantaneous) results.
ASAP is our unfortunate mantra here in the United States. Depending on which part of the country one resides in, this exists in varying degrees. At the end of the day, however, most Americans move, think, and talk at an extremely hurried pace. While acting fast can absolutely be a positive approach in some situations, the unconscious and deep-seeded effects of a habitual rush-mode lifestyle tend to sabotage our best intentions.
Our learned and routine sense of urgency and immediacy undermines our relationships, our physical health, and our general wellbeing. It disrupts the path to our goals and our overall progress, making it challenging to create REAL and lasting change in our worlds. It’s just not a productive way. Not good at all.
We have to rein it in if we want to win the race.
We are energized in a unique way during the months of December and January. The turn of the 12-month cycle is symbolic and inspiring, and most people experience it as an ideal time for new beginnings.
True to our hasty and impulsive nature, we typically waste no time taking advantage of the super-charged motivation that we have when we are standing on the edge of a new year. We begin to mentally draft our resolutions and goals long before the presents are wrapped, and we start jotting them down and talking about them before the holiday ham is even in the oven.
When that first week of January hits, we come out of the gate like thoroughbreds in a Triple Crown horse race, ready to plow through our intention list and transform our worlds.
Statistics indicate that about 10% of us will finish the race. Yikes.
It takes more than speed and lists, friends.
The REAL work starts long before the horses get to the starting gate.
Why do so many of us struggle with maintaining the resolve around our resolutions? Simple: We pull the trigger on them way too fast!
We are hyper-focused on rapidly diving into our newly-envisioned lives and goals ASAP, and it doesn’t occur to us that pressing pause and taking a bit of upfront housekeeping and stage-setting time might be useful. Our impatient brains shout, “I ain’t got no time for that!” and our conditioned minds urge us to launch into immediate action. Per the usual, we rush things. We jump the gun. I don’t have to tell you what typically happens as a result of that…the data speaks for itself.
We have to take out the trash before we can bring home the treasure.
What most people miss is that before we can successfully bring new and renewed elements into our experience, we must first make room for them. We need to pre-plan and proactively carve out space for our new intentions to cultivate and operate within. We need to sweep our chimneys before we strike the matches and ignite the fire of REAL change.
Think about it this way:
Life is an experiment. Life is a dance. Life is an adventure. Scientists ensure that their labs are free of germs and toxic variables before they test new methods and procedures. Performers ensure that their stages are clear of obstruction before they start to twirl around and move to new steps and beats. Explorers analyze their maps to plan for potential obstacles and hindrances before they set off on excursions to new territories.
We have to clear a path and remove the debris and excess out of our way before we can pull new things in and add them to our existing landscape. There must be a purging of sorts. All solid renovation and construction efforts start with a cleansing and a clearing out of the space to be altered.
There is a lot to be said for a little time and space.
There is only space for so much in our lives, and this is true regardless of whether it’s mental, physical, or emotional collateral we are storing. When we overcrowd that space by trying to heap new stuff onto old stuff, it usually doesn’t go well. The pile will, at some point, become imbalanced and topple over.
So… we have this finite amount of space to work with, space to hold our mind, body, and spirit inventory. We now intend to refine and refurbish that space by trying some new activities, changing our thought patterns up a bit, tweaking a handful of our behaviors, and making some shifts in our routines.
Before we spring into action, though, we need to slow down and ask ourselves the following:
What will we remove from our daily dockets in order to make room for those new activities?
What perceptions and internal narratives will we work to wipe from our minds in order to make space for the newer healthier thoughts?
What behaviors will we be looking to rid from our repertoires so that we can make room for the new inventory?
What will we scratch from our schedules so that we have time to account for those shifts to our daily regimen?
The cornerstone component of REAL living is simplification. The aim is to refine and innovate our daily experiences so that we are less taxed and more at ease. It is tempting to shortcut the intention-setting process by just adding the new to the existing and hoping for the best, but that approach will only leave us feeling more burdened.
The alternative? We can slow down and take some time to survey and analyze our space. We can identify what needs to be discarded, cleansed, and/or moved around in order to make way for the exciting enhancements and additions that we will use our REAL power and energy to create.
We will set intentions with clarity and a clean slate.
We will detox before we develop.
Renewing with a REAL Ritual: Clearing the Way for REAL Change
Over the next month, I invite you to join me in an across-the-board REAL living detox.
This will not be a competitive game or a difficult challenge, but rather a soothing and healing ritual.
Together, we will literally clean and clear out the spaces in which we live and breathe. In doing so, we will make for a more organized and polished start to the year, and more importantly we will set the stage for the mental and emotional cleansing that will inherently become part of the process as we move closer to operationalizing our 2019 intentions and goals.
Over the next four weeks, we will clear the channels and scrub up all types of spaces and places: where we eat, where we sleep, where we lounge, where we work, where we travel, and where we digitally live.
Our Mission: De-clutter, cleanse, clear, tidy, and detox all spaces in our lives.
Our Target Areas:
• Our refrigerators
• Our closets, cupboards, and drawers
• Our living spaces
• Our cars
• Our lockers and desks
• Our calendars, routines, and to do lists
• Our social media pages and walls
• Our inboxes and TV viewing lists
We will take this at the gradual and manageable pace that REAL living calls for, and we will allow ourselves about one month to cleanse and clear. Each week, for four consecutive weeks, I will pass along applicable info and tips and share my personal progress and insights with you.
We will complete our detox and clearing ritual during the week of Valentine’s Day, a fitting time to honor and applaud the fact that we love ourselves enough to take the time for this invaluable and healing exercise. The best part: we will culminate and celebrate our efforts together with my very first REAL Tea YouTube video!
Clean your gear and grab your bag, we are headed someplace new!
Creating, renewing, and manifesting change are inside jobs. Internal work is key. At the same time, though, we need to recognize and acknowledge that our outside worlds, the environments we move around in and the spaces we occupy, are a direct reflection of our inner landscape. There is a very REAL connection between these two sides of our experience, and we have the REAL power to use that relationship to our advantage when it comes to promoting change and newness within our moments and days.
Through the act of consciously detoxifying and cleansing our outer spaces, we are giving advance notice to the universe that we intend for our inner worlds to mirror the crystal clear and clutter-free backdrop we are carefully preparing. When the work of cleansing is complete, we will be standing together with wide open spaces and hearts, ready to inspire REAL change and build our REAL lives upon the foundation of our REAL intentions.
I leave you with an excerpt from my newest book purchase, Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie. It is no coincidence that these words crossed my path this week. Cheers to the transformation and joy that await us in the new places we will discover together as we explore the wonders of REAL living.
January 9, You’re Going Someplace New ~Melody Beattie
You are opening up more and more. You are becoming clearer each day. Embrace the changes taking place. They are good. They will last. They will take you and your life to someplace new, someplace you can’t fully imagine now because it is so different than where you have been.
All will be changed. Your love, your life, your friends, your work. Your quiet moments and your times of sharing. Your play time, your rest time. Your attitude will change. Your ability to fully enjoy and joyfully experience your life will change.
Things that used to bother you, hold you down, hold you back will roll off easily. Problems that used to plague and pester you, making you feel weighted down, will be lifted easily. You will know and trust that the answers you need will come to you.
Your powers will increase. You will find yourself doing, knowing, and feeling things that you thought only certain others could do. You will find yourself gliding through life in a way that brings you joy, and touches and heals others.
You will laugh a lot. And yes, you will cry a lot too, because an open heart feels all it needs to feel. But you will not think twice about your emotions. You will feel them with the purity of a child and the wisdom of a sage.
You will see, touch, taste, and feel life’s magic in a way you never imagined. You will love, and you will be loved. And you will learn that it is all the same.
You are open now, more open than you’ve ever been. Trust the process and trust your heart. The journey is not in vain. Its purpose is to lead you to love.
And that, my friends, is the REAL tea.