I´ve been living here in Samaipata, Bolivia for about 2 weeks now. 2 hours from Santa Cruz, this small, tranquil town is just what the doctor ordered. I felt so wonderful and peaceful while living on Isla del Sol, but I just chalked it up to the island and lake´s powerful energy and the community I was surrounded by. When I returned to Cusco I got so caught up in the hustle bustle energy of the city I had no time to breathe and was really not in my body. Online all the time, watching tv and movies, going around the city with friends, writing, but just going going going with no time to breathe, no space to think. Here, in Samaipata, I had to adjust to the pace of the pueblo. I had to take the time to be present and feel my way through the day to get in sync with the town. My volunteer work at the hostel consists of me making beds, folding sheets and the like, but it only takes about an hour to do these things. The rest of the 7 hours of work I just have to be present to receive phone calls and guests, so I have a lot of free time to fill. It kind of feels like being on a meditation retreat, which I welcome whole heartedly. I´ve been knitting a scarf for Sakira and have finished three great books- Siddhartha, The Little Prince and In the Garden of Beasts. My dad suggested I read a book in Spanish and so I´ve started reading the Alchemist in Spanish and it feels really great. In order to understand I read, look up the words I don´t know and write them down. After just one day I can already feel my comprehension and vocabulary growing.
I´ve encountered a few emotional days, but the pace of this town has allowed me to be with them and not escape from them like we all are so tempted to do. Meditating, checking into my body throughout the day, writing in my journal, always consulting my heart for guidance. I feel stronger, more aware, more present, happier and lighter in general. I wake up, say hello to the sweet women who work in the mornings, Justina and Marina, greet the owners Dora and Andres, make my breakfast and espresso and hop out the door happy to be alive. What a gift.
Ever since the turn of the New Year, I´ve felt the clock ticking. . I can´t believe how fast this time is flying by, while not flying at all. I love living in South America. The pace, the values of the people I meet, speaking and learning Spanish, hardly grooming myself, being able to feel present and not feel guilty or pressured by my culture to constantly do more, be better, be productive 24/7. Constant ´productivity´ isn´t a good thing? What? I feel it´s much more productive to be present, listen to your heart and take wise action rather than constant action.
Gosh this time abroad was SO necessary! I couldn´t imagine, then or now, staying in the states, starting some mindless job just to fill the expectation of a college graduate. Going on auditions when I didn´t want to or feel like it. I´ve known my mission since I was a little girl, just like I knew then I had to leave the oppressive culture of my homeland. One of the most valuable gifts I´ve cultivated, and am still cultivating, is faith. Without faith I couldn´t have travelled across the globe with zero job prospects or volunteer opportunities, friends or relatives and knew I was going to be ok. I couldn´t have left LA, the city that everyone thinks is the only place for actors who want to make it in film and tv, my classmates, friends, the only strong creative community I knew to live in South America and learn the valuable lessons I´m learning. This time is irreplaceable. I most likely won´t return to LA. It´s not where my heart is and it´s not the kind of environment I feel will properly support my artistic and personal growth. I will be a working artist, no doubt, and I will make my own way in the unconventional, heart-driven, Sophia-sticated way I always have.
So thankful for this beautiful life experience. The act of living itself is creative expression. We are here to create. And I enjoy and appreciate every day to continue to create the beautiful artwork that is my life.
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