How Getting Lost Was The Best Detour To Harmonious Living.
My first two or so years of living in Costa Rica, I was really lost.
I’ve been getting better at admitting that, but I surely didn’t announce that in big bold letters at the time. There’s a few reasons for that.
One, I didn’t fully understand that I was actually lost (hindsight is 20/20).
Two, since I wasn’t totally off my path of harmonious living, it was somewhat difficult for me to see and acknowledge that things weren’t as I had imagined they would be.
It’s not like I was using drugs or not honoring my commitments to work or really doing any major harm to body, mind or spirit. I was just making some choices, both in my personal and professional life, that weren’t really wholeheartedly supporting me in living a happy, healthy and harmonious life.
Looking back, I was, in fact, living like I did when I was 16. It was like spring break all the time. 24/7. I’m totally okay with admitting that as a teen, much of my time was spent in the land of the lost. And it was fun. Lots of fun. Like a combination of Alice in Wonderland meets Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
Here I was again, hanging out on the beach at 10 a.m., drinking a cold beer and soaking up the tropical sunshine. Except I wasn’t 16. I was 38. And in my world (which could look very different from your world, and that’s okay) that just wasn’t acceptable.
In my world of living a truly meaningful and fulfilling life, I’m not on a beach at 10 a.m. drinking a beer. Not every day at least! But because I hadn’t gone completely off the deep end and joined in with my compadres with their drug use and alcohol abuse, I just didn’t quite see that I had fallen off the path.
That I was indeed lost. That my life was not in balance. That life had gone a bit awry.
Eventually though, after many a beer, a cigarette here and there, and days spent lounging around listening to town gossip and doing, well, nothing really, I did begin to realize that while I wanted a fun and happy life, this was not what I had originally envisioned. And while I believe that our visions and dreams can change, that nothing is permanent, I began to realize that something just felt off.
Over time, I knew this lifestyle wasn’t the life for me. That I had taken a not-so-great detour on my path of harmonious living.
Had I never gotten lost, I may never have truly found what is most important to me. I’ve always known that I wanted to live a happy, healthy and harmonious life, but now I have a much more profound and clear meaning of what that means and what it takes.
I know myself better now. I know what’s right for me in the core of who I am, and I’m better able to make choices based on that deep knowledge.
While I have some very fond memories of hanging out on my ocean view porch, drinking (somewhat cold from the mini-fridge’s freezer) vodka all day, having interesting conversations with my Australian neighbor, I also know that can’t be a daily practice for me.
I will still, at times, find myself jumping down a rabbit hole like Alice in Wonderland. But no longer am I on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Life, like the tide, ebbs and flows. I have learned how to find the rainbow and to celebrate my wild spirit without sacrificing my sanity or being reckless.
I believe that every day needs to have meaning. That every day we’re given 1,440 minutes, of which a third are probably spent sleeping (which, by the way, is an absolute necessity for living a happy, healthy and harmonious life). The other ⅔, I want them to be filled with purpose.
Fun can definitely be added in. Fun in making a compassionate meal for friends. Fun in taking a day to get outside, breathe in the fresh air and soak up the tropical sunshine, and even fun in having a beer or a glass or two of wine. But it’s about balance. And for me, fortunately, I love the work I do, so there is a fun (but still mindful and healthy) element in my every day.
Have you ever felt lost on the path of life? How do you balance living a fun and happy life while also being healthy and creating harmony?
Chrissy Gruninger mentors people on how to live their one beautiful life, wherever they may be. Her latest book, Lost and Found in the Land of Mañana, explores her life in Costa Rica and both the challenges of working and living abroad as well as the beautiful life we can create from those experiences. She loves her rainforest beach shack in Costa Rica, the sunshine and the rain, and passionately believes that through intentional actions we create more happiness, health and harmony in the world. Her goal: to empower others to thrive in an imperfect world. You could connect with Chrissy via her website, Facebook, or Instagram, and listen to her podcasts here.