Week one. How do I even start? Where do I even start? With trying to find words to describe to you the amazing beach view? With the plethora of flies, bugs and peeling sunburns? With the incredible life changing food? Yes, I did just refer to FOOD as life changing… it’s that good.
Arriving at Piracanga was quite the process. From the last tiny airport, it was about a two-hour drive into… well… the middle of nowhere. A drive that can only be described as “back roading and 4x4ing” – all my redneck country friends know THAT term – we traveled across the Brasilian terrain, full of bumpy, brutal roads and clear, tiny streams. These back roads ended up taking us to the middle of nowhere… But when we arrived to the middle of nowhere, we discovered that it was truly paradise.
Hmmm. Hold up. I should clarify, or at least break down, the idea of paradise for this specific posting. Looking around you, it is beautiful, surreal and a perfect heaven. The white sand beach stretches out “as far as the eye can see” completely bare, and not tainted by a single human being body. It’s bare. Empty. The ocean crashes in with a flawless rhythm that is almost hypnotizing, and a breeze that lightly tickles your sweaty, sun kissed (more than likely sun burnt) body. However, this paradise can take a little getting use to. It is home to not only a community of people who have purposely disconnected themselves from the rest of society, but to many bugs and creatures who also take up “residence” here.
That means massive spiders, flies, lizards, cockroaches and bats (and many other “things” that I have yet to encounter directly, in a one-on-one situation) are not only your neighbors, but your roommates in paradise as well. The people of Piracanga told us to have gratitude towards these creatures, because they have essentially let us into their living space. Well then… I’ll work on that one.
There is electricity, but it is solar powered… meaning an overcast day can present obvious problems. Running water? Yes. But it isn’t exactly plentiful and so you have to be quite mindful of what you use. (Which… really… shouldn’t we be doing anyhow? A little reminder folks!) The small room I am staying in luckily has a closed off shower, which I learnt this morning is not the case for everyone staying here. A girl described her shower to me as a “hose over a tree branch.” Ayecarumba.
Regardless, it’s neat. It’s interesting. It’s kinda freaky and takes some getting use to. But it’s imperfectly perfect. And for the next month, it’s home.
Our morning’s start early with meditation practice beginning at 6:30 am. Let me just say that this 100% challenges me. To sit still for 15 minutes is HARD. Try it. I know it doesn’t sound like it would be, but it is. And not only that, but to not think for that time frame is also damn near impossible. Curious as to what I mean? Here is an idea of what is going on in my mind, as I try to sit there and just be…
“Okay. Breathe in…. and breathe out. Breathe in…. Ah wow, that sunrise is so frigging beautiful. I really need to get up extra early on my day off and go check that out. Opps, close my eyes. Annnnd breathe… oh man that breeze. Thank gawd there is a breeze this morning; it’s pretty warm out already. I wonder what the temperature will get to today? Ah fucking hell, something just bit me. Great… another bite. What the heck man, these bugs have chewed the shit out of my legs. It looks like I have chicken poxs! Weird, I wonder if I have ever actually had chicken pox? People get them young… so yah, I’ve probably had them before. But Noah just got them, like, last year? And he is pretty much my age. Huh. I bet that really sucked for him. Oh yah, for sure, it tooooootally would have sucked cause he had to pull out of his fight to deal with them… That’s caaa-razy. I wonder when he will fight next… whoa, I wonder when I will fight next. I really need a solid fight camp, so maybe it won’t be until… Ugh… Erin… stop thinking… Focus… breathe in… breath out…”
Yup. That’s my “meditation.” Probably with a few more F-bomb thoughts thrown in there, cursing the flies, and my wandering mind. But I’m trying. I’ll get it in due time.
The days are long and have been ending anywhere between 7 and 9 pm. It’s been manageable, so far. We are running off giddy energy, sort of in the surreal state of, “holy shit I’m in fucking Brasil doing yoga twice a day with a bunch of peace-loving yogis, living like a hippie (as my guy friends at home would say) and I’ve committed to do this for the next month! So cool!”
I wonder how long that will be our mind frame. Surely, the giddiness will start to wear and the affects of the long days will settle in. “Fuck I can’t believe I’m still living in this jungle. I’d kill for a cheeseburger. And these fucking bugs. I’m sick of living with them. Ugh. If I hear the word Namaste one more time I’m going to throw my fucking hippie loving water bottle at the damn sun burnt fool that said it.” HA. Hopefully we don’t get to that extreme. If I do, I’ll blame sunstroke or something. 😉
But, here we are. Giddy and present. Each of us on our own journeys and here for different reasons, but with the common belief that our path could eventually inspire or help change the world. And that’s what it is all about… chasing and living your dreams and desires, regardless of where they take you. It’s about moving forward out of your comfort zone and into a future that is bigger than you can imagine. Even if out of your comfort zone means into the Brasilian jungle. We are here. And that’s big. And while the bug bites, spiders and cockroaches may be too, there is a vibe and energy here amongst us that makes it totally worth it.
Week one has already been challenging slash incredible. And who knows what week two will bring, but I’m optimistic. Bring it on. I got this.
Sending love, hugs and buttslaps,
PS – please pass the bug spray. And the sunscreen, too. Rightoooo.