Creative exploration and tales from the jungle
So, I found myself 30,000 feet in the air contemplating my next moves. Nearly 14 hours before I had been sat on a cold bus taking me away from my love. I was hugging my backpack, but it was no substitute for the warmth of his body. What the hell was I thinking disappearing out of my normal life for 4 weeks on my own?
Adventure, that was what I was thinking. Big ass adventure. It’s something I craved, something I needed and the pull inside of me was too strong to ignore it. This adventure was a big deal to me. I had left my home and laid out a huge chunk of savings from working like a dog the year previous to do this. When I made the decision to book this trip everything within the fear zone screamed ‘what the hell are you thinking?’, but my heart voice held fast and got busy with making plans for the trip.
So, at 7pm local time I landed to the 35° heat under the Costa Rica skies. The next day at 5am I was on a American style school bus, travelling for the entire day to get the a place called Santa Teresa where I would be spending the next 2 weeks; the first of which would be spent at a retreat to learn Qoya; a movement practice and philosophy that connects women back to their truest essence of being wild, wise and free.
But something was off
As I made this journey across the beautiful wilds of Costa Rica. I felt awkward, self conscious, clumsy and stupid. Even as I watched the sun rising from behind the landscape it didn’t do much to lift the heaviness I had been feeling, and feeling for a LONG time. Like a void of nothingness inside my soul. It didn’t make sense. Everything in my life was just as it was supposed to be; I have a love that nourishes my entire being, I have a happy roof over my head and a wonderful extended family, my friend family are my rocks, I do a job that I love with my whole heart, I have freedom and the means to take a month off and travel, but something just felt off. Really off.
When I finally arrived to my destination at the resort I would be studying Qoya for the week, I had keep checking in with myself to take note of where I was. This place is paradise here on earth. I knew I could be content just sitting and simply staring at the surroundings or the week. But I had a job to do, and that was to connect back to my heart which had been wrapped in layers of grief and pain over the last 10 plus years. I knew there were feelings inside of me that I just wasn’t able to access, so Qoya meant digging deep to get to them. One thing I was convinced of though – I wasn’t going to make friends whilst I was here. I have enough of those. I don’t need any more. I can just be here, do the retreat, learn Qoya and be on my way. I had a book to write, so Qoya first, and then book writing. Nothing else needed. I was pretty damned sure about that. So I keep my locked up heart to my locked up self and started introducing myself in a very polite but guarded way to the women who had assembled for the retreat.
Qoya is a movement practice where you move your body through yoga, free dance and sensual movement; i.e. the way women’s bodies are designed to move -movement through your shadow; and – my favourite bit – free dance. For me, there’s nothing more liberating than hearing a banging tune and beat that fills your soul with the kind of dance where you’re totally abandoned to the music and how you feel in that moment. That for me is pure joy. Yes! joy. Little-by-little and every day more joy was finding its way into my body. With every dance, with every moment that we share our hearts and our voices, with every ritual to release, awaken and fill our cups the layers started melting and my heart started to unfurl its petals. And my creativity started to fizz. I could see in the colours of my soul, and see other peoples shining like bright jewels.
And what’s more I fell in love. In love with every brave, honest, pure soul that I shared that week with. Every day together my barriers melted and the reflections of each of the beautiful hearts I was sharing beats with were radiating out and off of each other. We held space for each other to learn and understand more about ourselves than any years of therapy could achieve. The wisdoms of our bodies guiding paths for each of us to step into a new world. So needless to say that by the end of the week I had a new sisterhood that stretched across the globe, each of us unique and special for the gifts we have to share with the world, and on our way to do so with grace and sensuality that could raise any roof!
The next 3 weeks of my trip would be moving up the coast and writing, writing, writing. Now I had unleashed the beast of this creative spirit it was literally bursting out of me. But I needed the right environment, and I found it sitting in the middle of a jungle treetop house with 2.5 hectares of jungle and a dried up riverbed all to myself to walk through and explore. I can’t even explain the sensation as walking through the jungle I would have to stop every 5 minutes as wave after wave of the book flooded through me. This is what Elizabeth Gilbert would call Big Magic. And magic it was. Prose, poetry, ideas, creative vision – I felt it all in every bone and flow of my body. I would walk amongst the sometime chaos, and sometime peacefulness of nature as wave upon wave of the book surged through me. It felt as though I could create every single moment within nature and its calls around me with the rise and fall of my energetic flow. I was in a creative trance. And one thing I knew for sure; this wasn’t coming from my head, this was a direct transmission from my heart through to my hand and into the world around me.
And it hasn’t stopped
I’ve continued to flow with the patterns of my body, listening to her and feeling into my creativity as it comes calling. I dance Qoya every day and my body and soul shine. I am feeling more love, more passion, more vibrancy than I have felt in years, and I cannot wait to share this with the world.
What this month long adventure in Costa Rica and Qoya have given me has been the space to allow me to dance life back into my entire being – to welcome myself back, to open my heart and other energy centres within my body that have been stuck for so long. I have felt a calling home to my body. I’ve made the re-connection back to my wild creative spirit, and magic is pouring out of my soul. It is my intention to continue this creative exploration of my own essence, and to help other people connect to their wild colours in order to ignite and explore their own buried treasure.