As I turned fifty years old last summer, I wanted to dedicate the second half of my life to leaving “great” footprints behind. I have taken the steps of eliminating my trash by only using items that I can recycle (no more paper/plastic bags.) I organize my time in order to drive less and reduce my carbon footprint. All small steps, but when you start to add them up, what a difference it makes in your life.
In planning my family’s holiday vacation, we wanted an adventure that would be unique, memorable and also ECO friendly. Where do you start? The internet seemed the best place to me. WOW, was I surprised at all that came up! Enter into frame “Azulik Hotel and Maya Spa” in Tulum, Mexico. This placed is tucked in on a busy road that you can miss unless you are looking for it. Welcome to the jungle and let the adventure begin!
New Year, New Footprints began as I took my first steps on the bamboo walkway dome to the entrance. As I entered the heart of the resort the unique star and moon chandelier caught my eye. What a piece of art. The pace there was very relaxed and quiet. I was very aware of the bohemian vibe of being one with nature. Tucked into the trees are the adult tree-houses that boast outdoor bathtubs and swings over the ocean. No need for clothing if you don’t want. Want to take a nice siesta? Look no further than your room where the custom hammocks hang over the rocks with the waves crashing around you. You can get lost in your own mind here, as the days slip away. Isn’t that the point?
There are many journeys to take at this resort to help reunite you and your soul. The stairs and bridges get you as close to heaven as you choose. I mean adult tree-houses. What a brilliant idea. Take me back to childhood anytime. I decided to partake on two journeys that would take me all the way back; first was the Mayan Rebirth Ceremony and my second was the Temazcal Ceremony. What a beautiful way to start 2017 by uniting with my ancestors and becoming one with nature.
What is a “Mayan Rebirth Ceremony” you ask? It is a ceremony that includes cleansing, balancing, purification and flourishing. As I entered the sacred circle of the heart at the edge of the cliff, a blessing was bestowed upon me and my process began. With the removal of my clothing, I was placed on a table with special herbs spread across my body like butter. The banana leaves were used as a wrap and it forms a cocoon. The meditation begins with a chant and then silence. I was then placed in a beautiful mosaic outdoor tub filled with flower pedals. You are washed clean and you gather all peddles from tub to place in a bowl. This is the process to discard your old life. You are given new flowers that represent life, love, happiness and healing. To start my new life, I was then brought back to the table for a massage to concentrate on my healing corners. To say this did not move me is an understatement. At the end of my massage it started a downpour of rain and I believed a cleansing of my soul was taking place.
As the next bridge to heaven called me, I headed over to the scared ground of the Aztecs for my Temazcal (Zum Pul Che) ceremony. This ceremony takes you all the way back to your mother’s womb (on a bonus note, I did these ceremonies with my own mother). How is that for an adventurous family? We entered the sacred circle that represented, North, South, East and West. There was a traditional blessing and prayer placed on us along with medicinal herbs placed on coals (to represent the four doors) and they were blown all over our bodies. At this point our Shaman guides into the structure (to represent the mother’s womb). It is dark and periodically more stones and herbal medicinal tea is added to create steam and open each of the four doors. Over the next few hours we are guided through our childhood, youth, adulthood and old age. We connect with the four elements, seasons and cardinal points. We connect with our ancestors who have passed on to guide us through this process. It was at this point our Shaman asked my mother and me to climb into the water and represent the breaking of the umbilical cord and rebirth.We then toss our bouquet of herbs in the fire and water to represent a complete circle of connection. How’s that for a new start in 2017?
The world is changing and our experiences are making it easier to connect with the natural world around us. We are blessed as humans for the capacity to see how we can modify and change our choices and create a brand new experience that makes us, our environment and planet a much better place to inhabit.
Each day is a new opportunity to change our footsteps and create new footprints. What are your footsteps? What new footprints to you want to create? It all starts in your own mind and where you stand. Take that first step and let the spirits guide you. Start appreciating all that is around you in the natural and spiritual world. It will bring rebirth every time. Happy 2017 planet earth. I am taking giant footsteps this year and hopefully leaving great footprints!