A couple of years ago, I attended a Mind, Body, Spirit expo, in my home town. One of the speakers was a Reiki Master, Medium, & Life Coach. I was quite drawn to her and had the opportunity to have a conversation with her at the end of the day.
When I sat down to speak with her, I felt a flood of emotion. She told me she has sensed a deep sadness in me, even when I was listening to her workshop earlier in the day. We talked about what things bring me joy, and about learning to love myself. She encouraged me to buy Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life”.
This conversation and an introduction to this book, triggered a desire to travel somewhere in the world to volunteer with children. It was something I had filed in the back of my mind a few years earlier. A few weeks before meeting this woman, I said good-bye to Bailey, a 15½ year old Old English Sheepdog. She had been my faithful companion since she was 5½ weeks old. So, without her to care for, I was free to travel and explore other things in my life.
Over the next few months, a series of intuitive nudges led me to discover a beach community in Honduras. I had never travelled by myself before, but I decided to step out of what I knew and get on a plane to travel to Central America to a place where I knew no one and hardly knew the language. Fifteen months later I arrived in El Porvenir, which means “The Future”. I stayed in a home owned by a couple that had moved there five years earlier from Hawaii. Their home backed onto a river that emptied into the Caribbean Sea. It was a two minute walk to the beach.
I volunteered in a Children’s Village a short distance from this town. I worked with a wide range of school aged children, during their winter vacation. I have many stories of experiences with these children. I was only there a few weeks, and I had limited knowledge of Spanish, but somehow we got through that together. These children were all there because they were abandoned by parents that left to work in other countries or couldn’t afford to care for them, or were taken from abusive situations, and yet they were filled with an amazing spirit. It gave me a great deal of joy to be with them.
In El Porvenir, when I would walk down the street, I would exchange greetings with everyone I met – “Hola” or “Buenos Dias”. Along my journey through the streets I would encounter cows, chickens and other birds, horses, goats, dogs, cats, children playing, families spending time in their yards together, or visiting with their neighbours, women doing laundry – everyone is outside during the day. People were so content, and happy, even though they didn’t have a lot. As I walked I would randomly encounter people wandering the streets selling stuff – bags of cut up mangoes, bags of caramel popcorn, or even disposable cellphones!
This place was very alive. All day and all evening you would hear something – people visiting, children playing or crying or laughing, the sounds of choirs from the churches in the evenings, or music from one of the cantinas around town. At night you would hear the sound of chickens or roosters, cows, frogs, dogs, geckos or whatever else was stirring.
A few times, I was able to enjoy the sunset on or near the beach, exercising with a group of local women. There were usually a few other volunteers participating as well. This group was started by an initiative of a past volunteer and continued on by these women. It was their only opportunity to gather together away from their family and regular duties.
My late afternoons and evenings were spent writing, reading and visiting with the couple I stayed with. We had a good connection and had many beautiful conversations. They have become good friends and mentors to me. I learned of them shortly after I planned to go to Honduras and was drawn to meet and stay with them. They have greatly impacted my life.
There is something about that place that is stuck in my heart. It is the children, the warmth of the people, the laid back culture, the beauty of the ocean and the surrounding mountains, the simplicity of life there. That journey – stepping out of my comfort zone into the complete unknown, doing something I have never done before, the opportunity to connect with people, serving children, experiencing that place, has greatly impacted my life in ways I haven’t even discovered yet.
Over the course of contributing to this blog, I intend to share more of my life journey – my transformation, much of which has unfolded since this journey to Honduras and continues to unfold as I go. A little over a year ago, many of the things I am experiencing in my life right now, weren’t even on my radar. It is really amazing to me how much life can change when you step into a space of honouring yourself and trusting your intuition to guide you. It really is a gift.
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I am a Reiki Practitioner www.lifeforcehealingservices.ca and Financial Advisor. I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. For most of my 46 years this has been and currently is the place I call home. I have been working as a Financial Advisor for the past 15 years educating people about their finances, helping them restructure and reduce debt, invest for the future and properly protect their families. A strong sense that there is something more I am supposed to do in the world, a fascination with energy and a series of intuitive nudges has led me to begin practising Reiki. I have a desire to learn and practise other healing modalities, as well as serve children and empower young women around the world. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts and stories with you. Leah Schroeder