Be Where Your Feet Are ( & what a trip to Mexico taught me)

August 30, 2016

Last Sunday I boarded a plane bound for Mexico.

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After being sick for over a month, bedridden for almost a week, and plain sick and tired of Karl the Fog, there was nothing I wanted more than this: quality time in the sunshine, tropical heat, warm ocean water and oppressive humidity with new friends.

So I dove in.

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With only a few days of tropical sunshine, I decided to devote my trip to one thing (besides tequila & getting to know some truly awesome people): practicing presence. 

Being present is one of my biggest challenges– I am constantly looking ahead, making plans and scanning the dates on my schedule and doodling concerts and parties and trips onto the squares of my calendar. I’m a daydreamer, I write stories in my head and scribble scenes behind my eyes in faraway locales without even leaving the seat in front of you. That’s me. 

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Well it’s gotten to the point where I will get so caught up in the next or the elsewhere I forget the here and the now. I love having events to look forward to– but what happens when the date is here  and then just as quickly gone  and suddenly you wake up a year later like where am I? Where did time go?

Anyone else? Yea. Thought so.

So Mexico.

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Flying in over that blue, blue water, (me, crying tears of excitement per usual) I was reminded of a Hannah Brencher quote I had recently read in her Monday morning email: be where your feet are.

Be where your feet are. 

Every time my mind began to wander into September, my plane ride home, heading back to work and doctors appointments and concerts the following month and weekend plans and when was I going to do that one thing again?  I looked at my feet:

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I wiggled my toes in the sand, I kicked them through bathwater-temperature waves. I dipped them in the pool, followed them down the water slide, knocked them against the special someone next to me under the table. I splashed them overboard on our fishing trip and danced them across discoteca floors, planted them in front of breathtaking views and in the middle of both silly and stellar conversations.

Be where your feet are.

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We walked on the beach and swam in the warm ocean, we jumped off fishing boats and reeled in lines, ate fresh ceviche prepared with our barracuda caught a mere hour earlier, dined on fresh fish tacos from the massive fish we pulled from the water, sipped margaritas and tequila shots and beers in the sunshine and under the stars and danced into the wee hours of the morning.

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We practiced our Spanish and slept in, spotted iguanas in the palm trees and sea turtles laying eggs in the sand, napped in the shade and sang along to our favorite songs, played college drinking games and watched sunsets paint the sky and manta rays dance on the surface and sunburned our noses and drifted laps around the lazy river and forgot about work and worries and what ifs.

Presence. 

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I left my heart buried in the sand, sunk under ten feet of clear turquoise water, swimming with the fish. I left my phone tucked away for 90% of the trip and only texted to tell my mom & sisters & best friends that I was alive.

Instead I grabbed my notebooks, returning pen to paper, sorting my thoughts and stories in my script instead of on the screen.

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Sure, there was the occasional tremor of anxiety. It sure loves to roll out its red carpet, march into my heart and make itself at home whenever it finds a crack in the door.

But even when Tomorrow crept into my thoughts and threatened to take my Today, I could send it away with the help of others– grasping my hand, showing me how to breathe in squares and hold it, pause, right there at the top & the bottom, find the space in between the inhale and the exhale, hold it, let it go.

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Breathe in, hold, breathe out, let go.

Be where your feet are. 

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What happiness ( + few margaritas) looks like

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Catch #1 of the day & our dinner that night

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Ready to reel it in

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The crew

3 Comments

  • Reply Lori September 7, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Wow! Where in Mexico is this? Looks amazing. Thanks for the awesome post!

    • Reply Avery September 7, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Thanks, Lori! It is Puerta Vallarta.

  • Reply mom August 30, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Never saw Mexico look that good! No crowds! Sounds like such a lovely, relaxing time.

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