Hands down, this might have been the most epic visit to Playa and multi-day birthday celebration to date! The 2.5 weeks slowly picked up pace as I dragged myself slightly tattered to a place I consider a nomadic home. I found and grounded myself through the things I love: Mexican and expat friends, sharks, shark friends, yoga, yoga friends, yoga teaching, writing, karaoke, swiping, touristing, strip clubs, cake face, puns, inside jokes, fresh juices, cheap healthy food, Celebrity, won tons, acupuncture, running, brownies, divine dancing and internet wars.
This sounds dramatic, but is quite literal…I started to find pleasure again in things that really sustain me and that made me feel strong and whole again.
I also had to face many fears about:
- Diving: panic is still a part of my experience, one that I’ve grown to better self-regulate through singing ABC’s in my head and breathing deeply
- Rejection and obsessive desire: seems like opposites but closely related. Got ghosted (again…by a hot blonde) but I really am falling in love with myself. I’m tired of trying to convince people to like me. They either do or they don’t. I like me!
- Stating my needs and boundaries and then standing up for myself sometimes with the necessary use of force/leverage. I hate confrontation but sometimes it’s necessary to act reasonably with leverage. I had to do this to get a large sum of money owed to me (I brushed up on small claims court knowledge along the way) as well as process being bullied by a restaurant on my birthday!
- Weightlessness: let’s just say something didn’t sit well with me during my bday party and I found myself in the fetal position for 30 min. and was later joined in bed by all my girlfriends! I’ve never felt so anxious and then so comforted and safe!
- FOMO / loneliness / wasting my life / death: I’m starting to see that these are all related and having to do with unwieldy expectations for grand moments all the time
- Pain: physical and emotional
I also learned/internalized some really deep lessons:
- No one can take away what’s cosmically yours (but you can muscle up in the meantime)
- How warm and comforting the feeling of belonging is. I feel like I fit in and belong here in Playa just by being myself, quirks and all. I constantly feel in bigger cities like SF that I’m trying to fit in, but it doesn’t feel super authentic.
- The immense power of real connections to others and to self – it doesn’t have to be romantically validating, or even a source of validation at all. When you feel it, especially with yourself and even in glimpses, there’s a lot less seeking.
- My ongoing fascination of the unconscious has opened a whole new arena of self to explore with curiosity. I do believe that we constantly re-create/reenact past trauma on a similar level of intensity to be able to process and integrate it
I can’t describe how much love I feel for Playa…mostly because of the love I feel for my diverse friends there…yogis, divers, expats, Mexicans, dancers…I feel like I’m able to express many of my authentic selves and that feels grounding and liberating. Good weather and fun times don’t hurt either!
Midnight on my birthday: after a fun reunion of yoga teacher training classmates, I headed to El Tapanko, apparently Playa’s best strip club. It was pretty impressive with aerial performers, $6 lap dances in the back, and a weird game where a stripper slaps male volunteers in the face if they can’t get glow rings around a stick (oddly sexual, yeah?). When the stripper left the stage and they needed a new slapper, I voraciously threw my hand up, pointing at the crown of my head and got to slap people on stage. In a stroke of inspiration, I said we should slap butts instead, only to have it back(end)fire on me when the emcee pulled the guy’s pants down and I had to spank a bare ass. Qué asco! Oh well, I’ve been missing my strip club VIP status!
A local restaurant almost made me cry with their rude service and my expat friends banded around me in-person and then on all the online forums! I’ve never felt more loved. I think after confronting bullies and needing to set my boundaries and stand up for myself, it was really heartwarming to have my Mexican friends stand up for me, no questions asked! I realize that bullying/setting boundaries have been a theme for me in the past 10 years – first, being a bully with Tom, and then enabling bullying by taking on the other side of the same coin at Burning Man and with my ex-best friend.
The party continued the next day at a Girls’ Night where I learned what “Mordida!” means…I already knew what the word means “a bite,” but I learned the tradition around it of shoving someone’s face into a cake! So fun and I had wanted to do a food fight for my bday, so in a way I manifested it! We have this awesome tradition of writing letters to ourselves and reading the ones we wrote 6 months back. And it seriously manifests shit as I’ll describe in a later post!
SHARKS (and other marine animals)
Simply put, I love sharks. I’m quite conflicted about feedings but the pregnant bull sharks are so magnificent up close… It was great to get back in the water and feel the surge of excitement and panic, and sometimes both at the same time and being able to tell the subtle differences but appreciating the duality of the high energy. See my cool shark video here.
Other cool photos