My iphone took a little swim 3 days after I arrived in Costa Rica and I spent a whole week without a phone.
No phone in the bathroom, no phone while driving places, no phone at dinner, no phone while waiting in lines, no phone while walking places. No GPS while driving, no music, no audiobooks while hiking, no way to contact anyone when I got rear-ended, no way to take photos (if you know me, you know this hurt the most), and no way to post to instagram stories 😝
First-world problems, to be sure. Not looking for any pity.
It was inconvenient and it was great.
The past month life has snapped me out of autopilot and familiar habits of staying comfortable in a multitude of ways.
Whether it was being in so much body pain for days on end with a hell virus over xmas 🤒, or navigating Costa Rica with bad Spanish and no iPhone, or barely able to stand upright for 36 hours with a stomach bug on my last days at the beach 😩, or getting rear-ended at a stop sign in a little Costa Rican town, or trying to sleep with dozens of tiny ants crawling all over me all night, or being randomly searched at the airport and realizing I absolutely had illegal substances in my possession 😳, or any of the myriad small moments that never go according to plan or preference in life, my practice has been….
1. Recognizing the assignment: what is the invitation in this experience?
2. Accepting it: can you say yes?
👉 What is life/God inviting me to refine and strengthen and am I willing to accept the moment as it is rather than fight against it?
This requires letting go of the familiar and comfortable narrative that life is being unfair to you or God is punishing you, or any other nonsense that makes you feel uniquely victimized by the human experience.
For me this looked like laying in bed wondering if I had pancreatitis, meningitis, or just the flu, while repeating “I allow this discomfort. I allow this pain. I allow this fear. I allow, I allow, I allow.” Patience, trust, compassion, equanimity.
In other words, I accept the moment as it is because resisting it only adds to my suffering. Surrender, full breaths, open body.
Of course, I also leaned into my awareness that everything uncomfortable is temporary. I felt this in the moments of pleasure too, when it’s equally true. This night of being eaten alive by ants will end. Six months from now, I won’t remember the money spent to repair the bumper that someone else hit. The total bliss of this facial massage at the thermal springs will be over soon so let yourself fully receive the pleasure now. Presence, gratitude, resolve, humor.
The mundane events of your life ARE the spiritual practice. Psychedelic ego-dissolving trips and tantric sex and God-consciousness meditations are not more spiritual than how you handle shit not going your way. They’re the bonus moments to help remind you of what’s true, what’s worth living for, and what’s possible.
Life will continually show you where you’re ignoring, avoiding, attaching, egoic, and trying to escape death (the literal and the metaphorical).
If you’re here to evolve consciousness, if you’re here to be a transmission of love, if you’re here to learn to experience more beauty and suffer less, you have to be willing to see what you’re being invited into. You have to accept the invitation.