I quit drinking just over 15 months ago. Around the four month mark I fell into this really beautiful relationship, and found myself feeling thoroughly convinced that I had it all figured out. Six months later that relationship disassembled, leaving me incredibly confused. I was almost a year sober now but immediately felt very similarly to how I had on day one. I had NOTHING figured out. I was so fucking lost the word doesn’t even do itself justice. Living in a very fragile state, with not a clue what to do next.
I had however decided I was going to complete my Dive Master in Scuba, and a series of Omens insisted that I was to do so in Boracay, Philippines. One of the more beautiful islands on this planet, but everything online claimed it to be ridiculously over run with capitalism. A raging party scene, that didn’t even have adequate AA meetings (a nearly universal support group). The exact opposite of what I was looking for, of what I perhaps needed. Reluctantly, I chose not to question these Omens, and to let my life unfold as it would.
Before I even got to the island the Universe began to seriously screw with me. (Something you can read more about in a recently posted piece – Angels in Boracay.) My life became continually more difficult through the ensuing week and I found myself so frustrated I just wanted to punch everyone and everything all at the same time! Why in the actual fuck did I choose to immerse myself in this chaos?!
Then things started to settle, as I found myself getting situated. I now had an apartment and a gym membership. I was diving daily and I had finally found some yoga, things were looking up. Except, I now had the space to begin realizing that 95% of this island was tourists. The kind of tourists that blindly bump into you and then get mad because you ruined their selfie. And they were all drunk, like all of the time.
My ego began to rear its ugly opinions all over the place, and I soon realized I was in dire need of some spiritual centering. A simple conversation with someone of this spiritual nature might do, I just needed some understanding energy to bounce my thoughts off. Devoutly searching I found nothing, and ultimately resolved that I was in this one on my own. I did not have one single spiritual conversation of any real significance in the entire two months I spent on Boracay. And although this was at times quite difficult for me, especially with ‘Old Jonos’ playground just around the corner, in the end it actually became one of the greatest learning opportunities I have yet been a part of.
It’s very easy for us as human beings to succumb to our surroundings. We are all naturally pack like creatures, craving both mental and emotional reassurance from our peers. We find ourselves, perhaps too frequently, encompassed by things we do not necessarily agree with. Still yet, we go along with these things, letting it all happen, as we blindly turn the other way. I think too often we allow ourselves to get lost in others. Feeding off the energy of our surroundings, as opposed to creating energy from within.
Initially I wanted to blame the island of Boracay, its tourist inhabitants, and capitalism as a whole, for making my surroundings so unbearable. At some point, however, I realized that the energy I was currently surrounded by was only detrimental to myself, if I chose to let it be. I realized that although, yes, it may have been easier to stay positive were I surrounded by a bunch of earth loving hippies, it was not entirely necessary. I concluded that my energy, was mine, and that its source of creation was something I alone controlled.
Diving deep within myself to find this peace and to procure some positive energy. Letting it flow to the surface and expel itself from my being, regardless of the surrounding environment. I found solitude hiding among the masses, and although I was surrounded by chaos, the world became quite still. It would seem, at times, as though I am living inside the pause button.
I believe, perhaps, this is my place of Zen.