Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas in Cozumel

Christmas (although I only really felt Christmassy for 24 hours) has been nice in Cozumel. People here are pretty religious so Christmas is a big thing. Most celebrate on Christmas Eve. I went to a friend's house for Christmas Eve and ate chili's stuffed with cheese and rice - very nice. I stayed up talking until 2am which is pretty late for me. I enjoyed spending Christmas with one of my new close friends. I have to say I did miss family. My parents went to church with my brother and his new girlfriend. They did all of the usual things on Christmas Day - family gathering at my uncle Rob's House; lunch at home - I imagine they all sat around and watched television having over eaten in the evening; Boxing Day with Judith and Robin.
So last night I decided to walk around town tonight practicing with my new camera - taking shots of Christmas in Cozumel. I took a little video of this Santa - I pass this house every day on the way to yoga and see Santa rocking away:

The town square has a big nativity scene:The main Ocean Drive is festooned with street lights:A huge tree, complete with snowman family, stands by the Ocean just West of the main square:Lots of Church Services (and no Mam and Dad, I did not make it to Church but I do now have the schedule on my refrigerator - which is a step closer):I'm looking forward to a year even more full of changes next year. My fortune cookie today said 'don't let doubt bar your progress' - a good piece of advice for 2009.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Here I am sitting at my computer thinking about the New Year and its Christmas Eve tomorrow:)

We had a last yoga class for 2008 last night and Selene suggested that over the holidays we sit and write down a list of the bad things in our life from 2008. For for me these are mostly to do with negative thoughts and feelings - insecurities/ self doubts. I made a pretty specific list.

She then suggests that we go to a quiet place and read this list and make a conscious decision to say goodbye to those negative patterns - I think I'm going to find a nice quiet area of beach and burn my list and perhaps tell those feelings I have no time for them any more - if I'm going to be talking to myself it will have to be a pretty quiet area of beach!

Then we are to put together a list of things we'd like in our lives in 2009. My dreams for 2009 are pretty simple. I'm going to meditate on that list, in the sun and then again try to manifest those wishes by saying them out loud. I guess praying is what I'll be doing.

This has been a pretty mad year for me. I feel very contented since I moved to Cozumel - but I still think I have a lot of fucked-up-ness to let go of. 2009 will be an interesting year.

I think I'm going to take a day between Christmas and New Year to go to the beach and meditate on throwing out the old and being brave enough to press ahead with the new, because I have friends in town over New years and I think things will be pretty hectic.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wind and Kite Surfing

Miguel had an ear infection and was not able to dive for much of last week and so when I heard that there was a Kite and Wind Surfing Competition near to my hotel I called Miguel and we went to check it out:
Those are my feet walking through the sand (notice the lack of any nasty blemishes). It was a nice day, despite Miguel sneaking off to hide and taking lots of video on me! We didn't manage to get much of the kite surfing but, believe me, it was pretty cool. This was on Friday and the wind was pretty good. It had calmed down for Saturday which was a bit of a fly in the ointment for the competitors.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rich vs. poor

Its funny, since I've been in Cozumel I have not missed my NY salary. Now, by New York standards I was not wealthy by any means, but if I was careful with my money I could go on nice vacations/ holidays several times a year. I could afford to buy myself nice clothes. If there was something I wanted I could usually buy it and pay for it later without too much to worry about. I could eat out with friends whenever I wanted, buy nice birthday and Christmas gifts for friends. I earned more than anyone in my family and most of my friends in the UK: I guess its not that nice that that meant something to me - but it was somewhat of an accomplishment. I'd set out to do well in business and I had. BUT I became very disallusioned (not sure how the heck you spell that word) with wealth. I found wealthy people to be not at all content. I found myself reading books on Buddhism and the connection between mental anguish and the material world - always needing to be better, richer, have more possessions is not good for the soul - I agreed with this.
When I left New York part of what I was making a conscious decision to leave was the materialism of the city as well as my healthy New York salary. Its funny, yesterday was the first day I had anything like a pang for my wealthier past. My friend's Christine and Cat are coming down for New Year and its suddenly struck me I could look online for clothes and have them shipped to Christine for her to bring down. Suddenly I was crazed by the urge to spend ridiculous amounts of money on clothes as I trawled through Banana Republic, J Crew and French Connection's web sites. Then I realized that my Abercrombie sweat shirt had not made it to Mexico with me. Suddenly I desperately needed THAT sweatshirt. Also that day, I'd had a telephone call with my mother, who is now retired but running an increasingly successful child psychology business. Currently she has two part time jobs (1 & 1/2 days a week) I think which will pay her more money in a week than I make in a month. Don't get me wrong - I'm really proud of my mother and not jealous so much as feel like as my parents get older I should be the wealthier one so that, if I need to look after them one day, I am able to. Well that, and again I guess, a pride thing.
I also got an e-mail from my friend Lisa telling me her kids would miss me at Christmas time and it reminded me of how I would love to get them nice Christmas gifts. My mum also told me that she and my aunt had talked about how they would miss my gifts this year (I guess I'm the only one who buys them girly gifts - from NY too - which was nice for them). All of these things just hit me, as things I missed, a little yesterday.
Its funny though - I earned good money today and yesterday at work (we work only on commission so it varies) and really since I've been here money has been fine.
I don't really recall wanting to do something but not being able to because I didn't have enough money. Most of what I do here does not cost a lot. It is bound to be a little difficult for me when I see Christine and Cat who are living my old kind of lifestyle, but on the whole I think I have gained more than I have given up. There is no need for me to feel like I have to spend money and go out to dinner every night. Cat has already told me that she wants to have a really relaxing time and have a detox and I know Christine understands and respects what I am doing. Its me hankering after my old ways that worries me, not Cat and Christine. I guess its a bit like being an alcoholic in a bar. But really, who needs a bunch of new clothes, or to eat and drink tons! I have to admit that I recently spent $20 on two Clarins lip glosses which is not really in keeping with my new lifestyle - but I do like to buy myself little presents from time to time.
In summation - I'd say I had a little panic attack about not being wealthy anymore and then decided all is fine. I have no debt, money in the bank, air miles to fly to New York, a brother who works for BA and can get me free flights home and a pretty darn good lifestyle down here. If my parents get sick I have time to go home and be with them, and they don't need money. I have not been stressed since I arrived and smile everyday on the way to work. Right now I'm off to meditation to work on my manipura chakra. Life is good - but I may have to re-read some of the Dali Lama's books to calm my little material desires.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

26 Again

So a few weekends ago I went out to a party and then Carlos and Charlies with my friend Jimena (on the right) and her two friends from Mexico City. Jimena is only 26 but very mature for her age and with my immaturity we're pretty much the same age:) There girls are all gorgeous and skinny and I felt like a bit of an oldie. I'm usually not a big fan of Carlos and Charlies but this was the 5 year anniversary and it was a little less crazy than usual (or perhaps that is just because I said my goodbye's at midnight. Anyway a very nice night out being 26 again! Of course the next day I had to have a long afternoon snooze!!!