Thursday, April 29, 2010

Notes on Gypset

A spiritually mature person can act according to guidance that would strike the financially motivated person as foolish or risky.
Caroline Myss PH.D. Anatomy of the Spirit

Less than a year ago Chloe introduced me to the Gypset concept. The term Gypset, coined by Julia Chaplin, is explained as follows on her website
Gypset (Gypsy+jet set) is about an emerging group of artists, musicians, fashion designers, surfers, and bon vivants– who lead semi-nomadic, unconventional lives….They are people I’ve met–or been inspired by– in my travels who have perfected a high-low approach to life that fuses the freelance and nomadic wile of a gypsy with the sophistication and global references of the jet set. Its an alternative way of traveling and living that’s based more on creativity then money. Instead of a luxury hotel in St Tropez or St. Bart’s, you might find a Gypsetter in Montauk, Cornwall, or in a teepee in Ibiza.

We have recently encountered two Gypsetters (as labled by me, not them) in San Miguel De Allende, and their stories were endlessly inspiring.

The first traveler we made the acquaintance of was PJ. He is from Martha's Vineyard, MA and travels around the world serving and bartending in the regions of his choosing. Before Mexico, he was on the Caribbean island of St. John. When asked where he was off to next he responded as if we were asking what he was having for dinner a month from now, he blankly said "I'm not sure" and walked away.

The second drifter we met was Sara, a 30 year old Italian woman also employed in the service industry. Before Mexico she dwelled in Australia, Brazil, and Spain to name a few. She is trilingual and commited to living life "the way it should be lived."

I find it fascinating that these two people who wait tables for a living lead existences desired by most of the people I know. I believe their successes stem from a mindset not limited to mainstream thoughts about money and circumstances. As a former server, I never thought it feasible to travel around the world given financial restraints and lack of resources, but in meeting these two young people who encapsulate the Gypset philosophy, my eyes were opened to the world of possibilities available to me should I choose to embrace them. I realized, or am in the process of realizing, that the only factor stopping me from leading the life I desire is me.

Creativity and resourcefulness are the only prerequisites to leading the life I want. If I can break through the brick walls of naysaying from elderly influences, I can find a way to do anything. Another brilliant concept inherent in the Gypset movement, is that, contrary to the subliminal messages sent by pop culture, we don't ever make it, happily ever after doesn't exist, life is a constant process and the exploration must continue until the day we bid our spirits adieu.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


7 1/2 months ago, I began to suspect that either I was pregnant or I had some sort of obscure illness that made me nauseous, tired, and extremely cranky. As many people who know me are aware, children were excluded from my "life plan" a long time ago, so as you can imagine, the positive pregnancy test was met with sobs of fear and anxiety. My mom cradled my head to her heart as she did when I was young, and I wept uncontrollably repeating the words "I don't want it" as if they were a sacred mantra. She rocked quietly for several minutes before whispering to me "The universe will only give you what you can handle." I didn't sleep that night. I lay on my back, eyes shut, envisioning all of the possible outcomes of my predicament until a feeling of warmth and openness trickled into my body assuring me that keeping the baby was the right decision. Early the next morning I went up to my mom's room, hesitantly approached her expectant gaze and uttered "So how do you feel about being a grandma?" We both burst into tears and embraced. Thus began the healing of our turbulent relationship.

In the months to follow, we had some of the worst fights we've ever had. We'd scream and slam for hours over tiny things escalated by attitudes (mostly mine) and finished with us sitting in opposite corners with our arms crossed. In several instances I found myself so uncomfortable or displeased that I faced the possibility of leaving Casa Montana. However disruptive, each of these blowouts lent us snippets of insight into each others lives, gradually making it easier for us to understand one another. 

The combination of the constant arguing and the inevitable thoughts of my first child started to lead me on a path of alternative thinking. I began to see the necessity in taking responsibility for my actions and relinquishing control while simultaneously coming  to see my mom for what she is; a stunning woman, who in spite of her years of hardship, has always strived for greatness and offered me unwavering support and compassion. In turn, I believe she started to see me clearly as a young woman starting a new life chapter, unsure and in need of guidance and affection. 

Now, for the first time in years, my mom and I are able to enjoy each other's company. We laugh, and play, and work together in a harmonious manner that I have never experienced. I feel as though a burden has been lifted and I can finally take pleasure in the innumerable wonders my mom has to offer.

It is a funny thing that in the anticipation of becoming a mother I have made amends with mine. And as usual, she was right, not only did the universe give me what I could handle, it gave me precisely what I needed.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Favorite Things

In an effort to pinpoint my desires so I can begin adding thought and action in their direction, I have made a list of things that provide me with feelings of pure bliss. This is my virtual Dream Board.

Grapefruit with Agave Syrup the combination of acidity and subtle sweetness inevitably brings me joy

White Walls unblemished and neat give me a sense of lightness and serenity

Silver Hoop Earrings I never feel more attractive than when I am wearing them

Jacaranda Trees and Bogenvelia there is something about these colorful plants that always seems to take my breath away

Sunny Skies enough said

Organic Cold Press Coffee Smooth and rich

Windows As I prefer natural light to synthetic, wherever I dwell must have an abundance of windows

Writing the most therapeutic way for me to express my many thoughts

My Family despite our differences and frequent arguments I learn from each of them on a daily basis

Comfy Couches let all the other furniture in the house be austere, just give me a cozy place to curl up with a book

Crossword Puzzles and Scrabble I love word games

Summer in Minneapolis beautiful weather, great food, art, parks, festivals, what more could you ask for?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Notes on Resistance

The stone that the builder refuse will always be the head cornerstone.
-Bob Marley (and the Bible)

I have heard my mom speak the words "what you resist shall persist" more times than I care to recall, and they were usually met with a giant eye-roll. It is in my recent stage of knowledge seeking and intuitive thought that I am seeing the real truth in these words. That which we push away will push right back at us until we learn that negative thought is just as powerful as an affirmation. Consequently we will receive the things we give thought to, and if our thoughts are predominately that which we refuse to accept, that is what we magnetize.

Keikai left because he hated everything about Mexico. I frequently heard complaints about the food, people, language barrier, noise, and the fact that his job here was a customer service one. He also blames his departure on the volatile relationship he had with my mom, the Leo. He is now in Minnesota getting a job at Chipotle working with a largely Mexican crew (the manager needed an interpreter to interview him), in a customer service position, making Mexican inspired cuisine. He is living in an apartment with three Leos.

Davis left because the physical labor required of him was too much at the age of 50. He screamed expletives at my mom for making him assist the workers in moving an oven. He is now working 2 jobs in Minnesota: one as a rock hauler and one as a furniture assembler.

While some refer to such instances as irony or coincidence, I believe these words are simply methods of rationalizing an extremely important and seldom recognized notion. Constant thought of what you don't want will play undesirables in your life like a broken record. Focus on what you do want and forget the rest.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Finding Peace

Being medically intuitive has helped me learn not only about the energy causes of disease but about the challenges we face in healing ourselves. Of great significance to me was the realization that "healing" does not always mean that the physical body recovers from an illness. Healing can also mean that one's spirit has released long-held fears and negative thoughts toward oneself or others.

Caroline Myss, PH.D., Anatomy of the Spirit

A large cultural anomaly I am faced with on an hourly basis is the presence of great amounts of noise. Whether it be church bells, flare guns, hours of drumming, blaring megaphones, street dogs, or the thousands of other sounds that vibrate my being, I am coming to accept that Mexico is simply a noisy locale. Add to that my Italian family, 3 puppies, and construction from 8 am to 6 pm 5 days a week, and you have a place where silence is a rarity. All this withstanding, I have found more inner peace in the last few months than in the rest of my perfectly quiet existence. Every day that passes, I become more in tune with my spirit and through reading and listening, I am learning that though I can't control the external noises, I can calm my inner voice and regulate my reaction.

Until recently, I have made most, if not all of my decisions out of fear and self doubt. I have lived with many strong personalities who I let sway me in one direction or another. I have held onto years of negativity stemming from teachers, friends, family, and myself. I have limited my own opportunities by being tenuous and cynical. Though I have many queries about why I made certain decisions, I am coming to see that all of my encounters, good and bad, have led me here.

In reading about Ayurvedic practices, spiritual healers, and the Law of Attraction, I am seeing the enormous value in allowing others to do that which pleases them and allowing myself to do what makes me happy. Though the practice of this concept is extensively more difficult than the thought of it, I feel that being conscious of it's merits is the first and very important step to attaining a long, prosperous, and peaceful existence.

I am that which I am and I am willing to allow others to be that which they are.

Monday, April 19, 2010


In the past few weeks, the subject of change has come up in several of my conversations. The most recurring dialogue is that regarding Bronte and Tyler whose father left them one night offering little more than $40 to each and giving a vague reference to when he would return. In the face of this, the children, ages 13 and 9, have gone on living there lives joyfully and with little variation outside of the extra chores Davis left behind. While one would think that this type of trauma would have a profound impact on people of such influential ages, they are able to openly express their beliefs that their father is better suited elsewhere and they feel relief more than sadness.

This repeating conversation usually begins with my mom saying "Isn't it weird that they're OK?" to which my reply is always "Not really..." and I'll tell you why:

These beautiful, intelligent, and above all resilient beings are a product of constant change. They have been given the gift of perpetual adaptation, partly due to my mom's restless nature and army brat upbringing, but mostly due to her leading by example, showing them to embrace change rather than resist it, and always allowing her children to be exactly as they are. The children have been trained to act as a rubberband instead of a brick wall in situations that present upset. They see that in order to balance, one can't rely on rigidity but must continuously adjust and breathe to successfully maintain steadiness. Though they may not know this on a conscious level, they understand the concept viscerally , and are therefore able to handle themselves with maturity and wisdom beyond their limited years.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finding A Purpose

Welcome to Planet Earth. There is nothing you cannot be or do or have. -Abraham

I want to know what I want. Simple as it may seem, this concept has evaded me until now. I recently rediscovered the Law of Attraction CDs, and in listening to the brilliance of Abraham I realized that I have no idea what it is that I want. Although this thought disturbed me, it also made me realize that being where I am at this moment, a country endlessly different than the one in which I spent all of my prior years, is where I am finally beginning to find some clarity. I feel that I am on the cusp of something magnificent.

My mom, the renegade, is starting a real estate company, building a chemical-free pool, designing and developing an eco-friendly home, baking, cleaning, and marketing, all while raising two children under 14 and frequently disciplining our three mischievous dogs.
Chloe, the free spirit, has had 3 stories published, won a literary contest, worked for her school newspaper, been hired by one of the hippest writers in the US, and been accepted to an art academy in Greece, all in the year before she turned 20.
Nana, the woman who proves it is never too late, lost over 60 pounds and regained her fading health at the age of 68.
In the company of these extraordinary and beautiful women, I feel that anything that I want is within reach, and I have never felt closer to knowing just what that is.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


While arguing with Keikai a couple of weeks ago, I brought up the subject of faith. I told him that in order to flourish in this environment, he must have the same faith in our project as he has in his God. There is no proof of this God or the stories inspired by it, yet he maintains an unwavering belief. Keikai is leaving Mexico on Friday, it seems he wasn't able to let himself trust our endeavor with the same conviction he maintains in his religion. Another non-believer left us in March, my mom's husband, Davis. Davis is also a religious man, brought up in a God fearing country guided by the rules of the Christian church. Ironically, he was also not able to develop faith in our family venture.
Emotions have swelled in the last few weeks in light of these happenings. My mother is working on coming to terms with losing her companion of 15 years. I, a woman in my third trimester of pregnancy with my first child, am coping, or trying to cope, with the fact that the only man I've ever loved and the father of my child won't be a witness to this fantastic journey. In the midst of all of this, I can't stop thinking on the concept of Faith.
Many people will argue that faith and fact are two distinct categories with opposing definitions. Facts are true, inarguable artifacts backed by proof. Faith is a matter of uncertainty, believing in the unknown. If asked which they are more likely to abide by, my wager would be that most if not all would answer "fact." My question is...Why?

I was recently introduced to the book The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles. On page one of the introduction Wattles boldly states
I expect the reader to take my statements on faith as he would take statements concerning a law of electrical action if they were promulgated by a Macaroni or an Edison. By taking these statements on faith, he will prove their truth by acting upon them without fear or hesitation. Every man or woman who does this will certainly get rich. The science in this book is an exact science, and failure is impossible.

I'm fairly certain this statement may prompt scoffs and snickers from the person trained to think of life in a linear fashion. My question remains, if we can have faith in religions that navigate our moral compasses based on many absurd, abstract writings and guilt, why can't we simply trust our intuitions and manifest our own lives?

As we become more conscious and recognize the impact of our thoughts and attitudes-our internal life- upon our physical bodies and external lives, we no longer need to conceive of an external parent-God that creates for us and on whom we are fully dependent. As spiritual adults we accept responsibility for co-creating our lives and our health. Co-creation is in fact the essence of spiritual adulthood: it is the exercise of choice and the acceptance of our responsibility for those choices.
-Caroline Myss PH.D. Anatomy of the Spirit

Thursday, April 8, 2010


The first noise I hear is the 3 dogs play fighting outside my window. The second is my brother doing what I can only describe as his immitation of a whale mocking a dog. The third is the gas truck, playing and replaying the same melody to notify habitants of Pozos that gas is available. Though the order of these three noises alternates from day to day, I can mostly count on them all disturbing my early morning sleep and forcing me out of bed. 
First stop in the morning is always the kitchen, where I am usually dwarfed by the fact that my mom has been up for hours baking, doing dishes, or researching her next project. As I make breakfast I can rest assured that Bronte and Tyler are snuggled up in their room watching cartoons and will soon be scolded for doing so. Keikai is sound asleep and Nana is doing laundry. 
I eat my breakfast on the sun-soaked patio and listen to the chatter of birds and murmurs of the workers...