Living Pura Vida: Days 6-8

Day 6: Own Your Day. It’s Yours. 

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I decided to go zip-lining with a few others from the retreat. Zipping across the river, seeing mountains along the way, and feeling the energy of the natural world is amazing. It’s definitely something I encourage everyone to try if you can. Zip-lining is a tangible way to feel and really understand the importance of being present in life. When you’re present you notice things. Sometimes even just little things, a flower, a feeling of contentment, a sound, a smell can completely change the course of your day. When you’re present you can lock into the positive things that you notice and really own your day.

Another girl on the tour who was visiting Costa Rica with friends said she was conquering her fear of heights through zip-lining. I thought that was amazing! There were 13 courses on our tour. Ironically, the first course was the lowest and the scariest at the same time. When you think about it, isn’t that so true about most things in life? Anything you do or try for the first time is the scariest even if you manage to do even bigger, greater things later. Make each day an opportunity to try something new. Stretch your boundaries. Own your day! I’m gonna get super cliche here but the present really is a gift, so rip open that wrapping paper and start enjoying it!

Day 7: Believe in You and You’ll Manifest Greatness

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One of the girls on my retreat, Kara, is super adventurous. She has a go pro and got a lot of awesome footage on the trip. I was super nervous about paddle boarding in the ocean so it was good to have an adventurous buddy (who is also a pro at paddle boarding—like she does handstands on the board!!) to go with. After falling a few times, I managed to stay on the board and paddled out super far. Literally, it’s the furthest I’ve ever been in the ocean. Ever. Even just swimming. I was so happy. I told my instructor Alfredo that I used to be terrified of the ocean and he said “Really? Well I knew you could do it.” Once I had a good handle on the board, Kara was like “Ashley, do a yoga pose. I’ll film it” It was good to have positive peer pressure and I successfully managed downward dog into child’s pose without falling off of the board! Best. Feeling. Ever. Especially because I didn’t even know what the hell those were before the trip. Paddleboarding was awesome and the experience really showed me that when you surround yourself with positive people, even people who are way better than you at something, a little bit of their coolness can totally rub off on you! You gotta believe in yourself enough to believe that you can manifest greatness!

Day 8: Reflection

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It was tough saying goodbye to all of my new friends, but I know we’ll all stay in touch forever. I really do believe it. I came to Costa Rica to do cool activities and see cool things. I never imagined I’d walk away with new friends, a dedication to mindful eating, an even greater desire to live happily and authentically, and even greater confidence. Here are a few takeaways.

-Gratitude makes the universe want to give you more.
-Nature nurtures you in mind and body.
-Continually surround yourself with great people in all areas of your life.
-Dream big, really fucking big. Want it. Believe you can have it. And it will come.
-Work to change yourself, but work to love yourself more.
-Try yoga, meditation, and buy some essential oils to supplement your mood.
-Self-care isn’t selfish. You’re the only one who can truly take care of you.
-Expectation is our ego at work. Expect great outcomes, don’t expect the details of their realization.
-Forgive. Doing so will transform things into something beautiful.
-Be authentic. Don’t try to be what you think you should be. The only thing you  should be is the best version of your amazing self.
-Stay open-minded and open-hearted. Everyone has a gift and special knowledge to share.
-Take a vacation. Do it. You know you want to.

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