I just spent the last 3 weeks living with 17 other people. That number will probably make most people cringe, thinking about how complicated it must be, and that it would be overwhelming with a lot of drama. But I am happy to report that I’m actually sad to leave. It was both comfortable and pleasant to have such a big, wonderful family and at the same time it was difficult at times. It definitely challenged me and made me more self-aware of so many things.
It all started with a listing on HelpX. The project was to work at a wellness center focused on giving people the opportunity to become limitless. They were looking for “Dreamers” skilled in anything from social media to building to cooking to teaching yoga and so on. In exchange, Dreamers would help out, get 3 vegan meals a day, and the opportunity to learn and grow themselves. I was so in. When I applied, I got one of the craziest responses I could have never thought up myself. After several reschedulings, all for personal reasons, I finally got to Brazil and arrived with 23 days left of my 90 day visa, in Barra da Lagoa, Florianopolis.
I’ve learned more than I can convey in this little blog post, more than I could convey in a single conversation really. What I suggest is that you get in touch with my soul-brother, Comoran Lee and the Dream Team at Rosemary. If you are so lucky to be able to have the opportunity to help Comoran and Yaniv make their dreams become a reality, then take it. Go. Experience what Rosemary is.
The marketing team and the founders have spent hours trying to put into words what Rosemary is and figure out how to market it, but the truth is that the only qualification of a person who will benefit from Rosemary is a person with an open heart. I have felt what it is to feel real life, real feelings, to be alive. And I am all the better for it.
I will miss doing yoga at 6 am on The Old One Deck and almost crying because it was so beautiful to see these hawks and birds flying past me in the tops of trees. I’ll miss Chelsea and Gina’s crazy adventures and running to our private beach late at night for a swim. I will miss Comoran saying “sweet-o burrito” when he sees a great meal laid out for dinner or someone tells him something he likes hearing. I’ll miss Dana’s sweet, genuine smile, the dog’s following me to the beach, Kel’s quiet demeanor, EB’s laugh, Isa’s funny phrases, Yaniv’s fast dish-washing skills, Sarah’s elegance, Chak’s midnight push-up sessions, Tom trying to teach me how to do handstands, and Aoife’s down-to-earth caring manner. But most of all, I will miss the feeling of being at home, 6,000 miles away from anything close to the traditional definition of family.
This experience has made me realize that family truly is not the people you are born to, it is who you choose to open your heart and lives to, for the worse or for the better. These were the lessons that I took away from my time at Rosemary that I wanted to share with you. Everyone probably takes away something different from their time at Rosemary, but these are the realizations, the ah-ha moments that I had while I was there:
Think about others, not yourself.
Stop worrying about the pebbles and getting your socks wet.
Don’t let others opinions influence yours.
Walk in the rain.
Let the beauty of life and nature move you to tears.
Be open to change.
Don’t let yourself believe that you are a certain person.
Be the person that you need. Someone else may need it as well.
Don’t wait for someone else to do something that you can do.
Ask for help.
Be open to saying yes.
Have the wisdom to know when to say no.
Don’t underestimate the power of a smile or a hug.
Get to know where other people are coming from.
Never be too busy to hear someone’s story.
Change negatives into positives.
Lower your expectations, and let them be exceeded.
Know that you have the power within you to do anything you want.
Change is the only constant in life.
Be as steady as the rock, but as flexible as the stream.
Don’t judge yourself.
Don’t judge others.
If you give a deceitful person everything you have and own, there is nothing they can steal.
It’s not wrong, it’s just different.
Everyone thinks differently than you.
Be within, not without.
Rather than thinking how you are different, start think about how you are the same.
Remember to be grateful for everything you have. Nothing in life is a given.
Be grateful for your sight, sense of touch, smell, hearing, and speech.
Be thankful for the roof over your head, the food in your belly, and the love of everyone around you.
Focus on what you have rather than what you don’t have.
Everyone has something amazing in themselves.
Expect nothing and you will have everything.
Be flexible to others opinions.
If you tell yourself you’ve got no time or that you don’t have enough of something, then you won’t.
What you tell yourself will become your reality.
Giving to others or sharing with someone does not mean you have less to give or share.
Love is not a box. It does not get filled and leave no space.
Try a little bit of everything. Even if you used to think you didn’t like it, maybe this time you will.
When you let go of things is maybe when you will find something else, something better.
When you build walls, you don’t just build them around yourself, you keep yourself in and everyone else out.
Love is doing something for someone else, even if it isn’t something you want to do, because that person needs you to do it.
It is being outside of yourself.
Remember the bigger picture. We are one small iota, on one tiny planet, circling a small sun, that takes 200 million earth years to circle around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, which is only one galaxy out of 500 billion galaxies in the known universe.
A big aloha and obrigada to my Rosemary family – for making me feel at home and letting me learn more about myself and the world around me. Your warmth and support will not be forgotten. If you’d like to know more about Rosemary or are interested in doing a work stay, visit their Facebook page.