The word abundances brings about many thoughts. Often times in our western society, we associate abundance with excess and material things. Over the past year or so, I wanted to really bring abundance into my life. I had been feeling I was not living abundantly, not squeezing every drop of juice out of life.
Along the path of my journey, I began to realize that I do live abundantly, and became very aware that my up bringing helped to create the way in which I live my life. Those of us who have chosen to live in Costa Rica, have already chosen a path of abundance. Now we must soak up all the experiences, culture and natural beauty this dynamic country has to offer.
So what is the meaning of abundance? For me it is simple. Living abundantly means living life to it’s fullest. Being grateful for everything, from the most extravagant to the simplest of pleasures. Growing up, one of the ways we lived abundantly was through food. Our family in particular loves to eat, and you better have enough food on the table for family and any guest who come around. My mother and grandmothers would spend all spring canning vegetables and making fresh preserves with things like tomatoes, corn, green beans, black eye peas, mustard greens, lima beans, strawberries and peaches. Durning these times not only did we have an abundance of food, but we had an abundance of love, stories being told, time being shared, and families coming together. Lessons were also taught on how to prepare these fantastic treats, and on where your food comes from, and the work it takes to get it to the table. You see, before the canning started we had to go to the fields and pick the produce! Every Friday when I go to the feria here in Atenas, I go back to my childhood and I know and appreciate all the hard work that goes into me being able to just by my produce and food ready to prepare. With something that just “is”, our life becomes abundant. Someone else’s sacrifice of time, creates an abundance of time for us.
Yesterday I was feeling completely drained. After weeks of running like crazy, I was ready for a break. I needed some “me” time. I wanted to be pampered and absorb the beauty that surrounds me. The answer? A deep tissue massage and herbal jacuzzi soak at Xandari Spa in Alajuela. I arrived at 1 p.m. and Conrad the spa director greeted me and we had a nice chat. Luck was on my side and he would be giving me my 90 minutes of pleasure (and at some points pain). Afterwards I would have a one hour soak in a private jacuzzi that has been infused with herbs to create a green tea colored water, with an aroma that stimulates the senses. The setting is glorious and is just as important as the massage and jacuzzi.
Xandari is located up in the mountains above Alajuela, overlooking the Central valley below. The Spa, features a beautiful reception with many had made gifts that can be purchased and a nice waiting area. Behind the reception are 5 private bungalows, all open air with massage tables, sinks, showers, and private jacuzzis that overlook the jungle with amazing views of Alajuela below. Each bungalow has a palapa roof which is the traditional cone shaped roof covered with palm fronds. Everything is set up perfectly. The massage bed with fresh crisp linens, a flower tucked into the sheets, fresh flowers on a side table, soft music playing, and the views! The jacuzzi is set up and bubbling with a huge cloth bag of herbs brewing away, giving off steam and an amazing aroma. Placed on the side of the jacuzzi is a carafe of water, snacks, and of course more fresh flowers. The bath mats are set perfectly on the floor, with you guessed it, more fresh flower carefully placed on opposing corners.
While having my massage I allowed the experiences of the past weeks to release from my body with each knot that was massaged away. I listed to the breeze, and the sound of a soft rain that fell on the lush foliage outside my bungalow. A cold mist hit my back, while the rest of my body was being warmed by a heated bed. The smell of lime teased my sense of smell, as Conrad worked the lime infused oil into my tightly knotted back and shoulders. At one point I wanted to cry as the stress was being forced out of my body. After my massage it was time for the jacuzzi of green tea! I was in a state of pure bliss. This is heaven on earth I thought as the clouds drifted by and small birds darted in and out of the trees, seeming to play in the rain. With the cool breeze outside, the jacuzzi which was 104 degrees, felt like pure heaven. In a completely relaxed state, I could absorb and appreciate every detail of my surroundings. The forest, the birds, butterflies, hummingbirds, and the distant views of Alajuela peaking through the clouds. I again became aware of my body and all the areas I hold stress, as the tiny bubbles continued to massage my aching shoulders and neck. I truly felt at peace and appreciative of the abundance in my life, and accepted it with open arms.
A friend of mine from long ago would always say of life “this ain’t no trial run, baby”. In this modern world in which we live, we all have to find a way to slow down and absorb life and make room for the abundance life has to offer. Enjoy a cup of cafe con leche with your Tico neighbor. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, happiness is a universal language. The experience will enrich your life, I promise. Go have that massage, or manicure. Climb that mountain, Chirripo for example, or explore that new beach that is off the beaten path. Accept help from someone you love, or who loves you. Give to a local charity your time or financial support. Abundance cannot come to you if you have the doors and windows to your soul closed. Below I have created a list of things I enjoy here in Costa Rica that create abundance in my life. I hope you can find ways to do the same for yourself.
“ Abundance” ideas in Costa Rica
- Invite your Tico neighbor over for coffee. You provide something from your cultural back ground, and ask them to do the same. Even if you don’t speak the same language, happiness is universal, and who knows, you both might learn something!
- Treat yourself to that massage or other spa treatment at XANDARI. Check them out at: http://www.xandari.com/
- Be adventurous and climb Mt. Chirrpo. You can reserve with the offices of MINAE in Perez Zeledon at: 2771-5116 or 2771-3155.
- Go immerse yourself in nature and soak it up in the hot springs at Termales El Bosque, San Carlos: http://www.termalesdelbosque.com/
- Make a special homemade dinner for your family or loved one. Don’t cook the same old thing. Make things that have a special memory for you. In our house something that does that for us is Grandma Murphy’s Sour Cream Pound Cake, Aunt Jewel’s Pumpkin Pie or my Nana’s Chicken and Dumplings.
- Take some “me” time. Even if it is just a few hours, a day or weekend, we all need to relax and be ALONE. Here are some of my weekend getaways:
- Tabacon Grand Spa and Hotel: www.tabacon.com
- Refugio del Sol: www.refugiodelsol.com
- El Trogon Lodge: www.grupomawamba.com
- Termales del Bosque: www.termalesdelbosque.com
- Hacienda Pozo Azul: www.pozoazul.com/cuculmeca.html
- Hacienda Guachipelin: www.guachipelin.com
7. Plant a garden and watch the fruits of your labor mature. For me getting my hands dirty in the earth, grounds me and takes me back to my roots. There is nothing better than eating a fresh, home grown, tomato and mayonnaise sandwich, with a big glass of sweet tea!
8. Creating abundance for someone else, is the best way to give it to yourself. Give back to your community anyway you can, be it with financial support or your time. There are may people who can help you with volunteer work in the Atenas area. Speak with Marietta Arce, Tina Newton, or Francis Jones, all of which are very knowledgable about projects going on in the area.
Costa Rica Realtors Chamber
Tours in Costa Rica
Pure Life Development of Atenas is a full service tour company. We feature full vacation packages and day trips for the family. Our tour director Nelson Conejo is very experienced and provides a personal service and attention to detail second to none in Costa Rica. Please write Nelson or give him a call to arrange your next Costa Rican vacation at (506)2446-0447 or
Retirement Living in Atenas
Interview with Pure Life Development co-founder and certified realtor Dennis Easters, about Costa Rica ranked by AARP as "one of the best places to retire abroad".