“You are not meant to go where it is safe, where love is—you are meant to go where you are sent, and bring love.”
The woman who shared this quote with me is remarkable. She is a stringer of beads in jewellery, saturated in spiritual storytellings, weaver of the tiniest details into the most subtly grand expressions, a dreamer who made a home out of visions, time, and nature; she is an offerer of wisdom, space, and laughter, a believer in magic, a woman who’s words I wanted to wrap my tongue, pen, and heart around. Words like:
“You lose the experience of human evolution when you are lost in routine.”
“Make things glaringly different.”
“Decide which of your wants are needs; learn what you can be happy without.”
I met Claudia while visiting a friend in Yelapa, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. This was my second time here. I first visited and fell in love with Yelapa as a chef cooking for a yoga retreat; this time I came to write, teach and immerse myself, seek refuge even, in the place that had once upon a time stirred something in me, shown me sides of my self that were so drawn to, so fully connected to nature in all of her healing magic, so free. And I will come again. In fact, one day my story may continue on like Claudia’s and so many other gringos here: frequent visitor to calling Yelapa home.
From her handmade home (literally pouring, laying, and artistically designing every inch of concrete, and every thoughtful detail from the seashell faucet to the pelapa studio overlooking the river) Claudia lives quite privately, with the trees and macaws as her closest neighbours.
The day I met Claudia I had no idea what I was walking into any more than I knew what I would be leaving with: taking a piece of her spirit with me—we are bonded, she says, and I smile at that as I remember a story she shared.
She spoke of eight people, including yourself, at a well. You are getting water from this well, pulling up buckets of clean, elixir-like refreshment. This brings you joy, delight. But none of the other seven is filling their buckets. None of the other seven is celebrating receiving this revival of spirit, this life source. Your joy then, is limited to you. There is no sharing, there is no extension of happiness. The water is God, the divine, actual source—whomever you pray to—and when you are fuelled by something greater than you, when we all tap into that immensity, our vitality, our happiness extends.
In my interpretation: we are enough on our own, but together, on a soul full level, we are so much more.
And every woman that I have met here, travelling in Yelapa, Mexico, has continued to remind me of that. Reminded me that we all have wisdom, we all have a healing energy, we are all seeds with the propensity to bloom into our uniquely gorgeous selves–abundant in offering and expression. While I was in complete awe of Claudia, truly one of the most generous spirits I have ever gotten to share guacamole with, her wise self listened so easily, so fixedly to each of us, sharing in the enrapture.
We are rapturous women. Meant for the sisterhood that I have found here and the one that is my tribe at home. Meant not to compete, judge, or compare ourselves to each other but to join hands and hearts and walk home together. Meant to empower each other, permit one another to show up as we are in movement, voice, full amplitude of self, by embodying our very own majestic sovereignty.
A goddess is not some ethereal, unattainable being limited by a convoluted changing definition of beauty, but a woman alive with joy for her fellow femmes, grounded in the wisdom of the mothers before and the one’s that are nature herself.
Yelapa herself is a woman. Hare Hare. Pachamamma. The ocean is her voluptuous womb, her Earth fertile with cycles of life and possibility. She unravels herself to you in offerings when you accept her nurturing. She is often called a vortex, for you lose all that you created—a false sense of necessity out of when you are held in her arms and come to know, sweetly, what truly matters. In every contour, every intimate space that she lovingly receives your search, knowing, self with is another detail of her feminine beauty: the ginger plants blooming, the side of the mountain painted red as the sun sets, Our lady of Guadalupe hung from beams and tucked into stone crevices, every woman that for however impermanently, calls her sanctuary home–the women whose singing voices echo in the caverns of every soul here, who drum with the power of the sea, and call the hummingbirds home with a harmonica.
Yelapa is more raw, more honest, more than any poem I could hope to write. She dances and you dance with her. And, women, we were meant to dance.
On my first full day here I felt her. Under my feet and in the heat of the sun, in the women who have welcomed me and the kind men who respect her and hers, in how she pulls my heart to the sea and to home. She calls me to connect to what I know is constant, is God, and extend my happiness. And while I was asked to come and have been shown nothing but love, the love I feel sent to give is not ignorable.
To my sisters, mothers, grandmothers, to the newest extensions of my tribe who offer me their wisdom and allow me to share mine: understand your reverence, fill your soul, extend yourself. I love you.
Author: Tiffany Anderson
Editor: Katarina Tavčar