In the heart of Playa Tulum, lies a hidden sanctuary - eco-community and retreat center, Uno Astro Lodge.
The beachfront property is a complete sacred space - holding hidden alters with candles that burn 24 hours throughout the day, swaying dreamcatchers and mobiles, gardens with peacocks, simple cabanas and tent structure built into nature and a temple overlooking the sea...Uno is considered home to some of the most eclectic group of people I have ever met. It is a space where healers, musicians, holistic health practitioners and creatives collaborate. The atmosphere is always relaxed and well respected - when you walk into the space it's as if you can instantly feel the love and integrity that lies within its (wall-less) property.
Spending only a little over a weeks time there, I was shown how transformational simple and mindful living can be. Daily rituals included yoga and meditation, eating high vibe foods, dance, laughter, sunshine and plenty of relaxation. We lived barefoot and enjoyed the ocean as our shower, the sunrise as our alarm clock and the full moon as our light. We slept amongst the trees with the sound of the waves crashing - and without electricity, mirrors or walls, it was if you could feel the layers of our conditioned and separate selves melt away. With less emphasis on the superficial and external aspects (that we can so easily become disillusioned by) we became more receptive and observant, which allowed space and time to dive deep into our practice and enjoy true connection as a Kula, a family of the heart. We shared some of the most intimate experiences without any sexual intentions behind them - looking eye to eye, extra long hugs, chanting, signing and dancing. We faced the people who stood before us, regardless of their age, gender or story. We truly listened and became empathetic to one another, and allowed our individual lens through which each of us views the world, to fade away - ultimately, leaving us with the realization that we are all one and the same.
Todos Somos Unos. We are all one.
We hear this phrase often, especially in the context of yoga, however, the most potent teaching is and always will be the first hand experience...to live the truth so you can fully embody it.
By the end of our week it felt so clear, and so simple...the healing powers were within the kula! Although we each arrived with our own small stories and ideas on how we personally wanted to transform as individuals, the process really began once we set our intentions together and supported one another along the journey. There was no doubt that each one of us felt a stronger presence of abundance of joy and love as the week continued. Our hearts vibrational energy amplified and spread like wild fire.
When you naturally feel loved, supported and empowered, we connect to highest states of consciousness with ourselves, the part of us that knows we are completely perfect and whole, leading us to overcome obstacles, fears or limitations. It was an experience that preserved my faith in humanity, especially amidst a current time of global fear and terror.
Although we have left Uno for now, I truly believe this week gave us the opportunity to see more clearly what the world needs -- communities, tribes, brotherhood and sisterhood that goes far beyond our own limited personal spiritual practices. Yes, we still need to show up for ourselves and loved ones daily, but most of all, we need to show up for the 6 billion 'strangers' that are really not so strange to us after all. We need to embrace each one with love, kindness and attention as if they were our loved ones.
We can begin to manifest this change every single day through small actions. No one person, project or corporation is exempt. Today, we can actively stop using so many products, chemicals and processed foods...we can choose to turn off the fear based propaganda and instead educate ourselves on the local issues within our communities to make a difference...we can avoid competition and aggression by switching our perspective and choosing to align ourselves with those who share like-minds...we have the power to shift our vocabulary and eliminate negative words, encouraging us to speak and act from a place of truth from the heart...
This is how we will change the world. Small acts that will have a huge impact, when practiced mindfully across the world. Image 6 billion strangers working together in harmony...
Our intention needs to move from a limited perspective (far beyond our small stories) and raise our standards of how we want to live. No one is forced to live a life that feels negative or constricted. It is our personal decision and human birth right to be happy and free from suffering. So lets get real with one another and question our personal realities...lets open up the conversation and explore new territories and push beyond our comfort zones. May we encourage ourselves to be love, to seek truth and freedom.
Thank you to each one of the magical souls who spent time with me at Uno Astro Lodge...an experience I hold close to my heart and will continue to tap into.
LAUREN LEE E-RYT 500 is passionate about living with purpose, exploring the world, and empowering others to live as their most authentic, radiant Self. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated teacher and forever student on the path of yoga, she leads transformational workshops, retreats and trainings to awaken the individual and collective consciousness. Read more about her here