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The Power Of Noticing
Dated: November 3 2016
I just got back from my second amazing trip to the Sacred Valley in Peru. One of my dreams since I was a teenager was to visit Machu Picchu's ruins. Last year, that dream became a reality when my dear friend Amanda Love, also known as the barefoot cook, and her life partner Ron Bañuelos, an acupuncturist and Chinese medical doctor; organized and facilitated a nourishing cleanse retreat in Peru.
Amanda and I met while participating in an eight-week-women's group facilitated by Guillaume Vincent, a French family & systemic constellation facilitator, licensed acupuncturist and herbalist who lives in Austin. When the eight sessions were over, Amanda, some of the participants of the group and I, decided to meet once a month to continue the work we had started in the group and to support each other. Amanda and I have been participants and facilitators of this intimate women's group for almost 2 years now.
Last year, after the nourishing cleanse retreat was over, Amanda and Ron stayed in Peru a little longer to explore other ways of healing their bodies and spirit. Their experience was so healing and transformational that they decided to put a second retreat together, this time the focus would be on healing the human spirit. Eleven months later, I ended up back in Peru with Amanda Love, Ron Bañuelos and six other women who had decided to join this life-changing retreat.
The retreat took place in Willka T'ika, a magical, enchanting and inspirational setting surrounded by beautiful mountains and landscape near Urubamba, Peru. Just being there is healing. I am one of those people who avoids taking pills as much as possible, so I did not take the recommended supplements to address the altitude-related issues that a lot of people are worried about when they think of visiting the Sacred Valley. Other than feeling I needed to breathe more deeply on my walks, my body seemed to adjust to the altitude as I had been born in the area. I felt great.
When I turned 50 this past July I decided that I wanted to live a more connected, meaningful and intentional life. I felt this trip to the Sacred Valley of Peru would help me redirect my life. So, even though the retreat center has Wi-Fi, I put my phone in airplane mode for the 5 days I was there. I just removed the airplane mode to contact my husband and my sister a couple of times. Other than that, I had no connection to the world outside Willka T'ika. My intention for this trip was to reconnect within myself, with Pachamama (Mother Earth in Quechua) and notice what the "noise" in my daily life in Austin covers up for me.
Not checking my phone every 5 minutes was transformational. Surprisingly, I did not miss my phone at all, quite the opposite, I felt "liberated". The phrase that kept coming to my mind was "just notice." So, I took my shoes off, put comfortable clothes on and went for a "discovery walk" inside Willka T'ika Center.
Aside from this place being magical with its incredible flowers and aromatic trees, I noticed the fragrances coming from every angle in a deeper way this time around. I particularly noticed the amazing fragrance of the lemon trees and I immediately thought of my grandma, "Mamma." When my grandma visited us she would bring with her a little bouquet of lemon tree flowers she made with the trees she had encountered on her walk from her house to our house in Buenos Aires. My beloved grandmother passed almost 6 years ago but she is very present in my life. Noticing the smell of those lemon trees brought her to my walk that morning. I felt she was walking beside me and this incredible sense of comfort filled my spirit. As I continued on my discovery walk, I noticed how good the grass felt on my bare feet. I then reduced my pace to notice each individual grass leaf that touched the sole of my foot. I felt this deep connection to the ground, I felt more "grounded". The power of noticing turned a "walk" into an extraordinary experience.
My husband and I have lived in our home more than 3 years now. I know we have had pecan trees in our front and back yards but even though I love pecans, it never occurred to me to do anything with them. The squirrels got to them before I did. After my trip to Peru "all of a sudden" I noticed the pecans in a way that I hadn't before. Not only I am walking barefooted in the yard now and can easily feel them, but also I "notice" them and as a result have a bowl full of them on our kitchen counter. They are delicious.
The power of "noticing" is transformational and it is cost-free. I wonder how many other things I have missed in my life by not "noticing." More importantly, I wonder how many I could miss if I stop intentionally paying attention or "noticing" what is around me in my daily life. I have made a commitment to intentionally notice the wonderful things that surround me on a daily basis. I just noticed that my back is tight from having been sitting in front of my computer for a while now so I will get up and go for a barefooted-discovery-walk in my backyard. It just rained... I can't wait to feel the wet grass and connect for a few minutes with our wonderful Pachamama.
Much love to you all,
Marcela Alfonsin, Realtor since 2008
Marcela's Blogs: http://marcela.buyinginaustin.com/blog.php?agentid=20655
Born and raised in Argentina, Marcela is calling Austin "home" since 2004. She is versatile and multifaceted - being fully bilingual (English-Spanish) and possessing extensive experience with national....