The Heat of Mexico

BrockaHealth & WellnessLeave a Comment

A few weeks back, I flew into Cancun Mexico to divide my time between two friend’s condos over a period of a week. My very best girlfriend since the age of 8 has a place there with here 3 yr old daughter and her husband. After traveling there over the past few years and building up great friendships, they bought a place. They live in the city center of Playa del Carmen, a mere few blocks from the beach. Even though they’re in the center of restaurants, shops, discos and store fronts catering to both locals and tourist, it is still a concrete jungle. The day sun is relentless; the concrete could sear a piece of meat. The air is almost suffocating to breathe and the dust from the gravel streets and constant construction upgrades makes your sweat turn to grime. In other words, unless you are at the beach or in the pool of the condo, you have to stay inside till the sun goes down; then everything seems transformed. It becomes a breezy cool, sexily clad, illuminated, tree lit-up environment with Spanish guitar string wafting through the neighborhood. Regardless, extreme temperatures of weather, too hot or too cold, give me migraines.
Our first night out, I met a number of their friends and local community members as they strolled by our outside dinner table and paused to drink wine or just say hi. We were invited to a dinner party the following evening. Most of their circle are teachers and healers and yoga practitioners, spiritual, holistic and healthy. We are in Mayan territory afterall. The Mayan descendants and communities only live across the freeway.
The stroll to dinner the next night was a great cultural insight. They love their Italian restaurants…or maybe there are a lot of Italian expats?! Daycares were more often than not entirely outside. How is this possible in the heat? The minimalism most people live with is worth noting, at least to appreciate everything you have and have access to. Any time I’ve ever traveled to a 3rd world environment or other parts of Mexico, this theme is a constant.
When we entered this ex New Yorker guy’s apartment there was already a barefooted, doo rag wearing, hippie skirted woman holding up a raw octopus over the sink in a preparatory cleaning before her paella endeavors. I was glad to not be hungry. At least the fish had no smell. The heat of the day had been weighing on me and the pressures of a headache had been progressing with it. The windows were open and fans were on, but this guys place was still too warm for my comfort. A few of us sat around the dining room table chatting, me having water while they were having wine. News and tales of the life and food scene of New York seemed to be our common ground. I completely dropped out of the circle when a joint was lit and making the rounds. The smell only made my head begin to throb more. Without any shame I asked to go lie down in his guest bedroom and shut myself away. At least I could turn on the a/c unit in the room and freeze myself out! Let them have their evening and their dinner. I have slept through bigger things….like concerts.
I laid down reflecting on the irony in which people practice their spiritual connectedness or religion while also under the influence of drugs; kind of like what instigated the rise of acid. It is almost like a religious person committing a crime in the name of their religion. This makes no sense.
By the time I roused myself, more people had arrived; a highly revered man, Oscar the local shaman/healer, and his wife. My girlfriend was anxious to introduce me to him. He is also an ex New Yorker but from the ‘lawyer turned Wall Street broker’ angle, now extremely transformed into this life of healing he now practices. I’m talking ‘sage burning in the woods’ kind of stuff. This has been his life for a number of years and now he has a great reputation amongst his peers. I admire any type of person that can transform themselves so dramatically into any other type of person or different lifestyle.
The crowd is hanging on the balcony, so I make my way to the door frame and lean into the handshakes of introductions all the way around. As soon as I retract my hand from this shaman Oscar, he lays into me with a tirade of questions, barely pausing for me to answer him: ‘Why do you think you have headaches, how long has this been going on? Are you ‘choosing’ this? Do you want to be healed?…..’ And on and on ad nauseum. This person is a stranger to me and vice versa. All I hear in his breathlessness is irritation for my ill presence amongst his circle of happily spirited friends. All I see is his ego. I don’t even disclose a few explanations, instead unblinking, looking him directly in the eyes as his last question lands, I turn back into the room and walk away, obviously just ignoring him. I don’t care who the hell this person is or what evidentiary credence he carries. He is rude and running on Ego, obviously supported and fed by his circle of friends. All I could think was he reminded me of a t.v evangelical preacher and was displaying all the reasons why people become appalled by the church going experience.
Nobody wants to be shouted at or beaten down into transformation. He was not genuinely asking about my well-being or even just politely acknowledging it and dropping it; which would have been the most appropriate thing in a group setting. He was on display. A number of his friends and clients were semi-circled around him, so he used it as a great opportunity to fluff his feathers. Again, the irony.
For any person who actually practices a connectedness with G*d or a higher power, knows the source is not us, it is OF us. Humans have to set the intent to be the medium for all the spiritual good, wellness, love and light that passes through. We are fallible, our brains are animalistic and our desires are carnal. The good and the G*d must be learned and practiced.
I don’t entirely discredit Oscar nor do I doubt he serves his community well. On the walk home, my girlfriend apologized for his behavior, acknowledging that ‘he came on too strong, but he has the best of intentions’.
Honestly, I have gotten a lot of great reflection out of my experience meeting him.
Two quotes I always say seem to fit here too:
‘It’s all about perspective,’ and ‘never apologize for another person’s behavior.’

BrockaThe Heat of Mexico

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