by: Jen Lacey (GSCP Spring Intern)
Occasionally I have the overwhelming urge to write down random epiphanies. At some point during my time in Peru, in hasty, barely-legible characters, I scrawled:
“Surfing is love is life is everything. Everything is connected and we are all one. This physical form keeps me separated but in truth we are all one. In the ocean, I am free. I’ve seen the face of God in a barrel and met people who changed my life. I spoke the language of the waves and transcended time and space. Because we all come from a place of Divine Light. The ocean breaks down all the confinements of my dark, twisted mind! Cochamama connects us! She gives us Bliss! Surfing is practicing death and embracing life to the fullest. So begins my journey on a Surfer’s Pilgrimage. First stop: Huanchaco!”
In three weeks and one day, I move to Huanchaco, Peru. In one month and three days, I will be an third grade teacher at the Montessori International College.
Some people think I am going crazy--for a while I did, too. But now, I think I am becoming more and more sane. I am beginning to fathom all of my heart’s bendings and feel as though my life finally has a direction.
Know that the other person is You.
I am here to reveal the light that connects each and every one of us, as we are all diverse expressions of Divinity. Every person, no matter who they are or what they have done, has an essence of light--that universal understanding that transcends all of the manmade barriers that separate us--within them.
Our inner lights are reduced to a faint glimmer because our society is dark, increasingly disconnected, and pushes the agenda that you are the centre of the universe. We can go days, weeks, months without confronting our brothers and sisters in other corners of the world who are suffering and dying without just cause. We don't always confront where all of our waste goes--most of which never goes away. We refuse to make eye contact or strike up a conversation with a fellow human being standing next to us because we have something too damn important to check on our zombie screens. We eat murdered animals and processed chemicals that come in a single-use plastic container, because we are too busy to sit down, let alone cook our own meals. We buy clothes that come from child slave labor, poor working conditions and environmentally pollution for the sake of fashion.
And then we wonder why we’re so miserable? Why depression is the leading cause of illness worldwide?
I cried and cried. It breaks my heart to know that if we continue on the tract of overconsumption and waste, our marine life will be more fucked than it is already, and future generations will not be able to surf and swim in the water because of all the pollution.
After I cried all my tears, I made a vow to do all that I could, as a teacher, to change our next generation: to teach kids to live compassionately and sustainably; to reconnect with nature and each other; to follow intuition and discover passions; to be conscious creators of their own worlds. Regardless of the subject, my lesson plans always contain elements of art to encourage freedom of expression and creativity. I have made it a personal goal in my own life to not buy any new art materials, but to make beauty out of the waste that is already there.
I belong to Mother Ocean. Wherever I am in the world, I will always be close by her side. She has given me so much joy, healing, gratitude, grace, and wisdom. All I can see are waves, and I know for damn certain that I will surf until the day I die. For all that She has given me, I want to be a good child of Cochamama, and do all that I can to love and protect Her.
I check the waves twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. Usually, I will pick up any trash that is right in my path, but do not go out of my way for it. Today, however, I brought a reusable plastic bag and filled it all the way up--twice--with litter. Once you start consciously looking for trash, you begin to see more and more of it everywhere. And people, too, see you picking it up. As of today, I decided that I will make a greater effort and bring a reusable plastic bag and take an five or ten minutes to collect trash every time I check the waves. I will continue this in Huanchaco, and find ten times as much. It's not anything groundbreaking but a small step in the direction of change I would like to see in the world.
All things are possible.
This is one of the most terrifyingly wonderful truths I have ever encountered. As long as we are on this earth, we are free, and can do anything that we truly set our minds to. Each and every one of us is made for greatness. Once we discover our passion and connection to the Source, we inspire others by such. Light spreads. I believe that when I am living in my truth, others will catch on and live theirs.
Maybe I am just crazy, overly optimistic, a radical dreamer, and happy-go-lucky believer. But I will never lose hope for a more beautiful world.