I've spent the past week in the Galápagos Islands - a dream come true for me - it's on my list of "must see or do" travel destinations. It's also my first touchdown in S. America. I've been here on Santa Cruz Island staying at the incredibly beautiful Semilla Verde Lodge on a yoga retreat with Ashley Turner (www.ashleyturner.org) leading and guiding our small five person group.
I've seen and experienced more than I could have imagined: The Galápagos are magical with their quirky animals and landscapes that forever changed the World through Charles Darwin's experience that informed Origin of the Species and the theory of evolution. The people are kind, tribal in their customs yet open to tourism, which I hope will be embraced sustainably. Meeting new people, forming bonds and friendships, learning their stories, sharing those stories and creating new ones together has enriched me as a person. The twice daily yoga practice has kicked me back into high physical gear and given me a renewed appreciation for the spiritual and mental practice of yoga, which I had admittedly lost a little.
The patterns of nature, of evolution, of human relationships, of culture and society all lead in the same direction: growth and interconnectedness. Though I'm literally in the jungle or on a crazy moonlike island with beady-eyed birds staring me down or giant iguanas loafing under cactus trees, I never feel disconnected. Not even when there's no wifi. Right, I'm not talking about the Web, I'm talking about how each of us are connected to larger patterns and stories playing out in our individual lives and in our World no matter where we are. We all have a role to play and a hero's journey to fulfill.
As we wrap up this transformative week and I get ready to head to the Highlands and the Ecuadorian Amazon, I'm grateful for giving myself this trip, this time and this experience. The combination of the nature, the significance, and the history with deep spiritual yogic practice is an alchemical potion for my mind, body and soul.