Internal Dialogue: The Costa Rica Effect

Yoga instructors arriving to Costa RicaThe Dominical area is becoming a center for “wellness” of various types. Yoga, meditation, vegan, organic, vegetarian, raw, are all words that one hears with regularity here.

As I meet with people in my real estate work, I’m always interested in the “why” behind their interest in Costa Rica. The answers I hear suggest a trend away from the complex, and in many cases, the frantic living of the more developed countries. People are simply tired of the stress and the effort of having to run as hard as they can to simply stay in one place. Costa Rica is viewed as a possible help, or even a solution to the problem.

So, the question: does Costa Rica really help to quiet the internal dialogue that we have in our minds?

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: I live full-time in Costa Rica, punctuated with regular visits to the States every 6 months. I do this as part of the unspoken agreement that I have with my brother & sister who are entrusted with the care of my mother there. I go up and relieve them on a regular basis for a time so that they can refresh.

These episodic visits provide an interesting perspective on life in the States. I should mention that I have no connection, media-wise, with news of the States while I’m in Costa Rica. I don’t know who is in the Superbowl this year, World Series, what country the US is having battle issues with, what celebrity is getting a divorce or having a boob-job.

I have written of this in the past in my real estate blog. One article is called “The Wall” and the other talks about my 4DOTS theory (4th Day Original Thought Syndrome). The Wall is a practice I do when I fly into the States. The first international airport I arrive in, I bee-line it to one of the newstands in the airport and stand in front of the wall of magazines.

There is a brief period of time after leaving Costa Rica where I feel sensitized to the frenetic lifestyle that I find myself in. Its important that I visit the wall quickly because, I am Gringo. I am from this culture and quickly slip back into it.

So while in this sensitized state I scan the wall and get a read on what’s going on in the good ole U.S. of A. The magazine covers tell the tale. There is always a political issue, tech issue, and various celebrity issues. I take note of these and sit-vigil on them during the course of my stay. I observe the media’s work of massaging these issues from every which angle and spin, keeping us all mindful of what they report. The issues season many a conversation during my stay and they (the issues) morph and fade with time – into the next one.

When I come back home to Costa Rica, I observe my own thoughts and watch as they return to the very different patterns of thought that I live with here. Now, I don’t in any way want to suggest that if you are having personal problems in your life, just make a geographical change and all will be well – not so! However, there is a difference in the “air” of more developed, consumer focused cultures and this little 3rd world country where I live.

This is not to say that Costa Rica is not consumer focused. It is as well. It tries with all its might to provide all the items & banter about politics, technology and celebrities that the bigger brother & sister countries elsewhere have – it (Costa Rica) is simply limited in its wherewithal.

I watch my prospective property buying clients as we go through our days of looking at property and getting to know the area. It seems that right around day 4 of being here that the internal dialogue, programmed by the media chatter prevalent where they come from, quiets down AND, they start to experience thought originating from just themselves. This may be whatever innate skill, gift or propensity they have. Poetry, music, technological development, philosophy, answering the big questions etc…

The stealers of the show here in Costa Rica’s southern Pacific zone are the jungles, waterfalls, beaches, friendly people, monkeys, toucans, all the other birds, mind-blowing sunsets and so on. And these things are nice, its true. However, I think that in this salad-blend of characteristics, we should not overlook the fact that the media chatter is also quite a bit quieter. The mix results in a quieter mind – well… this is not a given. We may insist on having incessant banter in our minds – fine. But for those who are looking for it (a quieter mind), time spent in Costa Rica might just be a helpful resource.

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