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When the opportunity to spend two and a half weeks in San Miguel appeared for me, I knew this trip would be a spiritual experience. And it certainly has been! A city named for Archangel Michael himself, a thriving historic city that welcomes Mexican and foreign tourists alike, is not your typical city. While I traveled and stayed on my own in two different rental apartments, I was fortunate to have good friends living there to give me an easy and comfortable introduction to San Miguel! I thank them for being expert guides and for sharing so much of their time with me.
I could tell you that San Miguel is a gorgeous old city that has kept its character, has many beautiful churches and buildings on a foundation of river rock cobblestones, that the restaurants are plentiful and every meal was delicious, and that everyone I met was friendly, polite, and helpful even when my poor Spanish was sadly lacking.
However, that wouldn’t really tell you about my San Miguel experience. As the days quickly passed with some time off to relax, and hours every day to walk, shop, play with my friends, explore on my own, and eat good food – I gradually realized that I was living important spiritual truths for my life’s journey. These are the true treasures I bring home with me from San Miguel. These are the travel gifts I’d like to share with you this month.
What is initially foreign, strange, and even overwhelming, when revisited quickly becomes surprisingly comfortable and easy to navigate.
I arrived late Thursday and Saturday morning, my friends and I hiked up to the Organic Market, much of which is only open on the weekends. An eclectic gathering of small st
alls offered everything from organic grass fed lamb burgers (which were delicious), plants, fresh honey products, handmade jewelry and ponchos, to organic fruits and vegetables. These booths surrounded an open area set up with tables so people could have a meal while listening to music. Everywhere I turned there were people of many nationalities enjoying the experience and new things to see. I found it confusing and all the noise and energy quickly exhausted me. When I returned with my friends the next Saturday, I was astounded at how I immediately felt completely comfortable. I zipped off on my own to personally thank the French chef for her tasty quiche from the week before, visited all my favorite stalls to see if they had anything new, and had a terrific time looking at everything. Only one week later, I was sad to leave the Organic Market!
Greet everyone with a cheery hello and a smile – whether walking the streets or entering a store.
This friendly San Miguel tradition set a tone of happy resonance and connection with all I met. Even young children carefully said polite good mornings to me following the example of their parents. I could see their delight when I smiled and replied in my best Spanish. This simple practice created several special moments of intercultural and intergenerational bonding that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Walk some every day.
I walked for hours most every day because that’s the best way to navigate San Miguel. This was a major change from my normal very sedentary life. I found in return that I looked forward to each day, was eager for every meal and slept well, even with nighttime traffic noises, tolling cathedral bells, firecrackers, and barking dogs. Walking daily is the one thing that I’d truly like to find a way to incorporate into my home life.
Admire and appreciate the creativity of others.
Whether it was the harmonious mix of old and new architecture that looked so exotic and gorgeous to me, the plethora of hand embroidered or woven garments of distinctly Mexican style, the colorful murals, or the simple beauty of a freshly cooked meal placed before me – all fed my creativity and inspired me to bring more color and zest into my own life. I found beauty everywhere. All I had to do was open my eyes.
Learn a new word every day and practice using it often. Whether it’s in a new language or just a new word in my own language, I realized that becoming more proficient and comfortable when communicating with strangers also brought me into a more profound communication with the Divine. I felt the truth that we are all One.
Choose to walk on the shady side of the street – or the sunny side – depending on how you feel.
I became very attuned to how my body was feeling and enjoyed allowing myself to be as comfortable as possible wherever and whatever I was doing. Once again, I realized that I am always at a moment of choice. I just needed to pay attention so I could make my choices with awareness.
When you have interesting things to look at, you can walk for hours.
This one translates for me into many other areas of life such as learning, cooking, working, etc. When I’m interested in what I’m doing, I have the energy and desire to pursue it for long productive periods.
Everyone will help you. They’re all angels in disguise. Just ask!
When the airport shuttle driver, who spoke no English, still managed to work out a way for me to retrieve the phone number of the manager of my first apartment and then kindly stayed with me until he arrived to unlock the door, I had my first taste of angels in disguise. I greatly enjoyed the openhearted nature of the locals and the friendliness of other Americans I happened to meet.
Flexibility is essential.
This came to my attention the day my friend and I discovered at the last moment that neither Plan A nor Plan B were going to work that day, so we fluidly and without regret, moved right into co-creating Plan C. The result? We had another great day together. Travel, just like life, is filled with many opportunities to do things differently. I enjoyed the effortlessness of it all.
When you next have the opportunity to travel, even if only around where you live, I hope my spiritual discoveries from San Miguel help you to enjoy your Life Path more deeply.
Blessings of Inner Growth for 2017!
In Radiance and Love,
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