A few weeks ago I went on vacation to Puntarenas Costa Rica with my partner, Ian, and my daughter, Bea, as a celebration for Bea’s graduation from high school. Let me put this into perspective that in all my adult life I have not once gone off on a family vacation of just my family, usually I vacation with my brothers and parents. Add to that, this was the first time in nearly 20 years of being a business owner that I took 10 days off without doing any work including checking email. And it was liberating! 

In Costa Rica we never heard anyone yelling or acting irritated or being aggressive. Oh, except one lady yelling at a spider monkey for stealing her strawberries at the beach in Manuel Antonio and that was pretty funny to see. This is a country with no military and hardly any police presence. This is a nation without guns. If a line was long we all just waited patiently – after all, what’s the rush? As we traveled through little towns and along highways that were never more than 2 lanes, the drivers used short beeps of the horn to communicate and they worked cooperatively in a most amazing maze of navigation through some very tight spots. If you were in a restaurant ordering food it could take up to an hour to be served but it was always mucho delicioso and served with so much simple joy. These are a humble people, embracing the life of Santosha, yoga speak for content with what they have and not reaching for more. Pastel painted concrete houses with tin roofs were the most common abode and these couldn’t have been more than 3 – 4 room houses with covered porches that served as their family room. The weather here is nearly always in the 80’s during the day and so their lifestyle doesn’t change much month to month.  By Day 4 in my travel journal I was so inspired by La Pura Vida lifestyle in Costa Rica that I decided to make this a challenge for us all to try to live the Pure Life here in the US. 

What is impeding our ability to do that in our daily life? What if we tried to slow life down? Here in America we drive fast, eat and cook fast, do fast yoga, and even can’t wait for a natural birth and often opt for c-sections to fit in with busy work schedules, and then we have a fast maternity leave. Think of all the things you have sped up in your own life. Americans are on hyper speed. Let’s you and I change that!

Our lifestyle is driving us to be mentally and physically sick. We are stressed out and filled with anxiety because of the pace at which we try to live our lives and it simply is not sustainable or as enjoyable as it could be. 

So, will you join me for la Pura Vida Mindfulness Challenge? From the moment you wake up, move slower and more mindfully. Sit an extra 5 min. in your morning meditation (you do meditate in the morning, don’t you??). Sip your coffee or tea while enjoying the view from your window. Eat without a screen or conversation and truly enjoy your meal. Slow down your work day to really appreciate what it is you are doing with greater awareness and presence. Put your phone down and put it on airplane mode for a few hours. I read an entire book on vacation (The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls) and I’m ready to find another great book to read now that I am back at home. Pick up the phone and call friends instead of hiding behind text and email. What else would change for you personally if you slowed down? 

At the end of the month leave a comment on this Blog to let us know how this challenge changed aspects of your life.