As the world turns these days it turns out that at least part of my learning experience with staying or leaving Dolphin Bay was a deeper look into myself, as it always seems to be. I confirmed that I am a very patient person, I offer many chances, I hold out hope for change, I believe, I care deeply, but when the last chance has been used up and the behaviour of another is affecting me negatively I put myself first. If that means walking away, I walk away. I walked away …
As the world turns in this story I was dropped into one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, ever imagined, it was everything I had hoped for; it was everything I thought I needed, it was paradise but unfortunately this paradise had a few blemishes. Generally we can eliminate or reduce blemishes with and ointment or salve applied daily for a period of time or maybe sometimes indefinitely; it takes consistency, patience and time. In this case, the ointment did not produce results; the blemishes continued to grow until the beauty underneath was becoming skewed, unrecognizable.
The beauty that encompassed this paradise was found in so may ways, in so many different forms, in such a variety of people, places and things. First, its what we can see, the place, the environment, the cabina, the space, the bathroom, the common area;
Next is the humanness that comes with the place, the connection, this I found immediately with the host, Vianca, a beautiful native of Panama, superhost Vianca. She was the person who greets you when you arrive, she was the one who showed you to your cabina, she was the one who cooked your breakfast, cleaned your room, took you for a walk in jungle and gave a lesson in all the native plants, she was the one who pointed out the sloths in the trees, the monkeys swinging in the branches, she was the one who was always there if you needed anything. She was the one who brought comfort, caring and connection. She was the one who cooked beautiful meals. She became my friend, a person I could talk to when all around me it seemed like I was surrounded by beauty yet there was this tazmanian energy that I could not yet understand. It took some time and some open communication to start to understand this vast discrepancy, this contradiction, this imbalance, this pristine beauty along side this ugliness unseen to the naked eye. Day by day the pieces started falling together to form the picture that was so beautiful yet so blemished. Vianca and I became fast friends, confidants and sounding boards for one another as things unfolded.
So much beauty on the property, the jungle that sat just behind the human inhabitants occupying this property. The sounds of the birds, the howler monkeys, the crickets, the roosters, the constant roar of the life just behind …
It is in the beauty, the magic of a firefly that reminds me to be in awe of all that surrounds me. As I sit on my porch sipping peppermint tea enjoying the quiet, the silence, the calm, the pure astounding beauty all around me, dusk making its way upon this beautiful place, the fireflies starting to ignite, first one, then two, then three, four suddenly little sparks sprouting everywhere reminding me of all that is invisible to the eye, all that we don’t see. The jungle is a constant reminder of all that is … the sounds of the birds – kook ka choo kook ka choo; round and round in circles, the howler monkeys with their deep throaty growls, the churps, the snaps, so many foreign sounds, so many invisible creatures letting us know they are there, they are close, they are aware. In our own unawareness, we miss so much; we are presented each and every day with so much information but it is in our own blindness that we do not see. Each person put before us is an angel, a light worker, a soul who has come here to ensure we get the experience we have asked for; perhaps the birds, the monkeys, the dogs, the dolphins, the geckos, and spiders all have messages too.
So much beauty in the three dogs that call this place home; Jenna, Mila and Jacques. I love animals and the dog is one of my personal favorites, all kinds. I have often said that I would be deliriously happy to live on a property with myself and a bunch of dogs. I have a special kinship to this animal; I know the unconditional love these animals bestow upon their humans. There is nothing that compares to coming home to your dog’s wagging tail, their uncontrollable excitement at your mere presence, their contagious unconditional love, their lack of judgement and radiating approval. They provide companionship without all the issues that usually come with the human. Did I mention that there were puppies? Six little black puppies born only days before my arrival, over the moon!
The sunrise and early morning yoga sessions on my private dock with the ocean out in front, the jungle with all of its calls, sounds, noises trailing behind me, surrounded by dogs, natives paddling by in their “home made” canoes, spying starfish through the cracks the planks, so much gratitude.
Rocky, the native caretaker of the property, paddling up each morning in his canuko to start his day of care taking of this breathtaking property; a kind, gentle soul with few words.
Friends, so many new friends! In the nine days that I stayed on this magnificent property I met many people from all over the world, fast friends, connections made. Germany, England, Holland, Tel Aviv, Netherlands, Spain, USA, Quebec, and Argentina.
The beauty of the full moon lighting up the world; bringing light to the darkness!
Moments, simple moments that capture the magnificence, the beauty of the stunning oasis!
The confusion of being surrounded with all of this and a feeling, a knowing deep down that in all this beauty lies a infectious disease, slowing creeping in drawing attention into the edges of his darkness. Apprehensive in this difficult decision to stay or to go; back and forth. Insightful enough to appreciate the pain and suffering this human being is experiencing, a calling of my ability to help, to see, to understand, to give nourishment but at what expense. I ponder the decision over and over not wanting to leave this beauty, tears well up in my eyes at the thought of leaving the network built over the last 9 days; the puppies, Vianca, and believe it or not him. My heart hurt for him and I wished with all my might that something would happen and he would choose a different path. I prayed, I hoped, I wished, I sent messages of love and support.
Then something did happen; the medicine man came! A shaman man, Pablo, suddenly was on the property to help, to deliver medicine from deep in the jungle, yopo (see medicine man post for more details). He had great hope that this was his ticket out of addiction, he wanted to change, he wanted to stop, he believed this could be it and I believed right along with him so much so I had decided that I was staying; I had just purchased a load of groceries set on settling in and writing now that I had my new laptop. The ceremony was on a Friday night under the bright almost full moon. I was hopeful. The next morning I awoke with a new feeling, the energy had changed, he was sober. Pablo’s energy radiated through the entire village, everything changed when he was there. I knew things were going to be different; a conversation happened, me letting him know that I was here to support him if he wanted to talk, to share, anything I could help him with this steep climb he was about to undertake.
One day passed; sober.
Pablo left on Saturday morning to Bocus town to perform another ceremony, more healing, to deliver the medicine to a group of people at Genesis yoga studio. Pablo and I shared dinner together the night before and got into deep discussions about his work, his medicine, his spiritualism and I just knew he was here for a reason other than to help this wounded man; he was here offering me an opportunity to dive deeper into the spiritual realm. I decided in the few days that he was at Dolphin Bay that this Shaman man was put forth on my path for a very specific reason and this was a chance to experience the spiritual world of yopo. (see medicine man post for full details)
I arrived back on the island on Sunday morning having had no sleep from the night before I retreated to my cabina and slept for the next 24 hours processing, organizing and writing. Upon my awakening, I realized that nothing had changed, he was full of excuses and all the reasons why he could not stop drinking and drugging it was everyone else’s fault, he had no one to support him, he had to do everything himself, he never had a break, he was going through a divorce, everyone was against him, he was too generous on and on it went by day three he is drinking heavily and using drugs again.
All good things must come to and end just like every little thing in our lives “this too shall pass” the good, the bad and the ugly it all passes in time. Sometimes we have to hold on for the ride, sometimes we bask in the glory of something joyful all the well knowing it will pass and soon something else will arrive.
“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning is a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor…
Welcome and entertain them all.
Treat each guest honorably.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”
The only constant in life is change and the less we resist the more comfortable the ride. I surrendered to the fact that I may have been brought here to this island as a light worker, a helper, an angel; I may have been brought to this island for him to be my my light worker, my angel to facilitate a deeper level of healing, to peel yet another layer of the onion. Either way, our journey together was complete and it was time for me to go.
More gifts were bestowed up me in the form of some very special people, friends but more than friends, angels the came at just the right time. Annie and her daughter Manu, an instant connection, a recipricol exchange of kindness and support.
Mateias & Marlot, a beautiful dutch couple, arrived and we became fast friends, quickly sharing our lives with one another, moving easily into deep conversation; I felt a connection, an ease, my heart opened and I shared so much of myself, they too were there for a reason. We spent time together exploring Red frog beach, sloth island and snorkling; a distraction to take our minds off what was really happening right outside our front doors. With many more adventures to come, read on …
With the decision to leave made only hours before and waiting for him to return to the island after driving the German woman to Amarante my mind and body filled with anxiety as I rehearsed the words I would say to him. I started preparing myself for the departure starting with the puppies filled with sadness as I held each one and spoke to them one at a time; I would miss them it had become a daily routine to visit and care for them at lease three times a day. Only days before I had bought headbands as collars putting a different colour on each puppy so we could tell them apart, named each and every one. I was sad not only because I would miss them but worried about their care; feeling myself losing control of my composure, tears burning in my eyes.
I simply let go of the need to control my emotions and I cried openly when saying goodbye to the puppies, Vianca and Rocky, the dogs, and this beautiful island I had hoped to call home for a month. Following all of that was the dreaded, open, honest conversation I had to have with him. As he maneuvered his boat into the dock, my heart pounded, my pours sweating, my mind racing, I breathed long, slow deep breaths calming myself. All the guests were sitting at the table ready to start breakfast, I was sitting on the deck with my tea, waiting. He came outside to ask how I was doing, cowering and shameful from the behaviours of the night before, I think he already knew. We went somewhere private and I looked him in the eye and asked him to look at me; he declined at first but I continued anyways explaining to him that I was leaving and all the reasons why, I cried openly and told him I cared about him and had really hoped that he would get better and choose another path, I told him I wished I could have helped him more. He said he understood. My heart broke for this human as we stood there eye to eye knowing that our time together was cut short, it was over.
Dolphin Bay will always hold a special place in my heart for so many reasons, the good, the bad and the ugly. I am grateful for a deeper level of healing that took place inside of me, grateful for the deeper look into my own past and witnessing myself, my reactions, my ingrained conditioning come rising to the top as I was presented with this situation, some more awareness, some self compassion and love for myself and another and a pealing of yet another layer of the onion.
Thank you mysterious man I will hold a special place in my heart for you and will always hold out hope that you will climb to the top!
Forever grateful for each experience, gift and lesson!