After two seasons in wonderful Colorado spent delving in the beauty of big mountains, cold rivers, and good hearted people I've emerged with good news. I am officially a Fulbright Scholar and Grant Recipient. This means the universe has decided that my determination will be rewarded with the opportunity to return back to Ecuador for another 10 months to study amphibians. The Mashpi Amphibian Conservation project will begin in just a days time and I couldn't feel more charged.
There are a multitude of ideas I am excited to announce in collaboration with the amphibian conservation project. The two largest are yoga and wilderness medicine to promote community sustainability. Both are two subjects I believe aide in the success of any biological exploration. Keep in tune to see how they both develop into their own throughout my time here.
I've been thinking a lot about the difference between want and need lately, trying to understand what separates the two in our heads, in our guts, and in our hearts. When it comes to material objects there is very little we actually need but a whole lot we want. I wondered if this is the same for spirituality. Do people want spirituality because they believe it will bring them happiness or is it a need to become your true self? And perhaps as I leave the United States once again in search of exploration, what is it this time that feels more of a needing to go as opposed to just wanting to? I cannot quite describe how I am so sure of why I need to complete this journey but it is the sort of thing you let your intuition guide...
So here we go again. Not just on another journey, because the whole past year has been filled of those, but almost déjà vu of a scenario I was faced with before. The difference this time is I'm not going to search, I'm going to find. I want to leave this experience with a lifestyle, not just habits. I could feel myself growing with this need with how I began to distance from society. I notice the number of napkins the restaurant gives to every customer, I notice every item made from plastic, I cringe at the sound of toilets flushing unnecessarily, I bite my tongue walking around stores carrying goods no one actually needs, my stomach drops looking into the horizon and seeing car lights taking over the skies- leaving stars to the imagination. I can't help but become frustrated with the view that life must be surrounded by objects and ideals money has created. Simply put; I began to loose touch. Not with myself, but with society, and the hardest part was the realization of how involved I was with fueling this lifestyle. I felt I couldn't express the ultimate way I wanted to live being so distracted by the convenience of modern tendencies. So I'm more ready than ever to challenge myself to a sustainable existence. I've practiced for this, I've done my warmup, I'm ready for the race. And I don't know what it means yet but the biggest nerves I have is to come back. Although that will be the biggest journey of all and I am excited to return understanding how to live on both sides of life and find the balance between living in nature and with society.
I am not quite sure how people come to finding themselves, or even if most people would say they ever do. I do know, for me, it will be a case of secondary succession. I've learned I fall into distractions easily and to truly detach from these I need to eliminate as many of them as I can to discover who I actually want to be. Maybe that is the key, in order to get to choose what you want in life you have to first figure out what you need. So I've packed my bags and said my goodbyes for what now feels like the hundredth time. I do believe moving is becoming the most consistent thing in my life.
"So, when you run make sure you run
To something and not away from "
Cheers to the beginning,
Below are a few pictures that wrap up the 11 months in the US.