Surrendering to win

quote-joseph-campbell1

There’s a saying in recovery circles that you have to surrender to win. Throughout my journey of recovery, I’ve found that most of the things I have learned which work in my life are counter-intuitive to me. It was me, and only me, after all, who ended up needing to be in recovery. So it kinda makes sense that I would need some help which does not come from me in order to recover, surrendering that which I know in … Keep reading…

Meeting Juan and Maximon in Santiago Atitlan

Maximon close

I recently read the memoir Secrets of the Talking Jaguar by American man Martin Prechtel. It is an intruiging account of his time living among the Tz’utijil Maya community in the village of Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, an ancient indigenous culture which is usually very much closed off to outsiders. I love visiting places I read about in a book or see in a film but I have a propensity to romanticize them in my mind. So on our second morning … Keep reading…

My Pretty Things store is now open!

Dressing up Santiago

My favourite day of this Guatemalan adventure so far was when I dragged Tyrhone around the markets of Santiago and Panajachel on Lake Atitlan. After being lucky enough to witness a traditional Mayan ceremony taking place a ‘sacred house’ in Santiago Atitlan, we wandered through the local market selling every fruit and vegetable imaginable. A Shaman performs a ceremony in the sacred house of Saint ‘Maximon’ a Mayan saint. Clusters of women from the Tz’utujil Mayan community gathered to buy, … Keep reading…

Destruction and Renewal: Experiencing Easter in Antigua, Guatemala

Easter procession Antigua

I went to Catholic school for twelve years of my childhood and adolescence. The teachings of the religion mostly fell on deaf ears as far as I was concerned. None of it really spoke to me, I doubted most of the stories’ validity and the bearers of this message (my teachers) rarely inspired me to faith. I developed a rather large chip on my shoulder about what I perceived to be the hypocrisy of religious people and gave all spiritual … Keep reading…

When Things Fall Apart: My Messy Beautiful

Sarah Somewhere

I’ve spent so much of my life trying to get it together, to arrive at that place where everything is aligned and balanced and right. For so long I believed that if I did A, achieved B or attained C, all my external ‘things’ would come together and make my insides whole. When things fell apart for me a few years ago, I thought it was the end. I thought that failing dismally at ‘getting it together’ was about the … Keep reading…

Surrendering expectations in Lake Atitlan

Panajachel cloudy

Traffic. Closed roads. Detours. Our car judders over the cobble stones as we try to negotiate a path out of the city. Brightly painted ‘chicken buses’ hurtle down narrow streets spitting black clouds of smoke into the air. All of these things remind us that Antigua is a walking city, not a driving one. We have been lost in its one-way labrynth and diverted due to religious processions for lent enough times to appreciate the fact that sometimes, having a … Keep reading…

The Paramotor Blues (and mangoes)

Tyrhone working hard

I said to Tyrhone today that I don’t think I’ve ever seen him stress about anything as much as he has about paramotoring. In fact, he has always been the calm one, the one who doesn’t sweat the small stuff, who says “she’ll be right.” Nothing usually gets to him, until now. I can understand it, of course. From the financial outlay and logistical nightmares of starting out, to the physical, mental and emotional drain that this adventure has brought, … Keep reading…

Tending my garden

Two flowers

I’ve been so touched by your emails, comments and messages of encouragement and love in the last two-and-a-bit years, especially the last few days. I feel like we are building a rather beautiful thing here, something very important to me: human connection. Human connection is the thing that saves my life on a daily basis in my recovery from alcoholism, the reason I travel, read and also write. The language of the heart is universal and always understood, no matter … Keep reading…