Three months ago this beautiful journey of life brought me to Costa Rica. It began with a vision board, and for some reason, this far away tropical paradise had always called to me, speaking in tongues that my mind could not understand. My heart, however, recognized every word of this unknown language – and to put it simply, I trusted. There have been many teachings, but the most profound of them all has been finding my own strength.
Strength had always been a foreign concept to me. I grew up programmed to believe that this was a masculine quality; I observed this human characteristic frequently from a place of curiosity. I spent my time in the creative realms of the feminine, writing, dancing, singing with my younger sisters, always comfortably residing in my softness. But when I moved to Costa, I witnessed a shift within myself; there was something missing, I was yearning for this strength within my own being.
I watched my own wombyness changing before my very eyes. This way of life is not for everyone, I wasn’t even sure if it was for me, I caught my mind in the act of being uncomfortable with all this newness, so I kept on trusting. I was challenged with being an alien in a new country that spoke a language I didn’t understand. I spent hours on the side of the road hoping for a ride that sometimes never came. I carried my heavy bags of groceries for miles. I questioned whether this life was really for me countless times. Then, I noticed slowly that I was changing.
There were new patterns of light flashing in my cellular body. I started to experience new ways of thinking and perceiving the world and myself that I had never before. Spanish started making sense to me. There was a new foundation of fortitude that was sending its tendrils down into the belly of the earth; I realized I am strong, and I am here to stay.
I had been scared of going deep into the jungle beside my house since I had arrived in this place, and one day I decided I was over being scared. I slipped on my husband’s rubber boots and slid the long blade of the machete out of its sheath. I hopped up onto the concrete wall along the gate, and I jumped waste deep into the unknown. I thought snakes or not, I have to get over my fear of all of the unknowns, so I did. I started hacking away, making my way through the thick jungle. I cleared a path through all the vines that had been keeping out the light. I felt the resonance of the blade echoing into and all through my being, clearing out the overgrowth of old beliefs that had been choking out the flourishing of my sacred inner garden. Every wield of the machete in the jungle cleared more space in my inner realms, until there was enough light shining through the canopy to kiss every leaf of every plant of my seeded intentions. When I arrived back at my house after hours of tireless exploration of the unknown, I was pouring sweat, heart gleaming, soul shining. I felt absolutely magical.
Ever since that day I have been facing fears, finding strength, and learning the lessons of this great Mama Gaia. I enjoy this newfound fearlessness by scaling waterfalls, journeying joyously through this jungle, and riding a dirt bike. When we are running and jumping on rocks along magical rivers, my husband will offer me his hand, and smile when I don’t take it. I trust myself more these days. I trust that the strength of my body will pull itself up when it needs to, that my mind does not look at things as limiting anymore, and my heart knows that I am a wombyn, and I am strong.
I am grateful to the jungles of Costa Rica for their wisdom and their medicine, and their crystalline reflections of my challenges, my growth, and my truest heartsongs. Blessed be, may we all find strength within our own beautiful beings.
This article was published in Grandmother Kaariina's Newsletter: Building Fortitude