March was a whirlwind and a month filled with beautiful experiences and wonderful memories. We were fortunate to get married in Hawaii surrounded by our six daughters and people we love and then blessed to spend a few days in Costa Rica for our honeymoon. While there are so many amazing things I could write about there are two words that continue to swirl around in my heart and head: PURA VIDA.
Costa Rica is beautiful and I fell in love with the stark contrast between the rain forests surrounding the Arenal Volcano and the beaches of Papagayo. While the lush vegetation, the majestic views of the volcano and the beautiful sunsets captured my attention, the beauty and kindness of the people captured my heart. The Costa Rican people were generous, loving, warm and we felt welcome at every turn.
The words Pura Vida became a constant each and every day and it became clear to me that Pura Vida was so much more than a phrase. Pura Vida was a way of life and it quickly became contagious during our stay. I loved hearing it from the people in Costa Rica and I soon found myself saying it too. So what does it mean….
Pura Vida means pure life but it means so much more. It is a life philosophy. It means enjoying the little things and finding happiness in moments that may seem meaningless like a colorful sunset, seeing a hummingbird or the kindness and joy in a smile. Life is about moments. Pura Vida is a way of life.
Words are powerful and the meaning behind words can change lives. Life is busy and there are many days that are filled with chaos, craziness and can leave us feeling exhausted and stressed. It is tough to relax and we often find ourselves craving peace, solitude and for things to slow down. Costa Rica and Pura Vida reminded me that while it can be really difficult to take a step back and to feel at peace amidst the chaos of life, it is really important to stay positive and to live in gratitude. We need to remember that even when things get hard, there is always something good in our lives and something to be grateful for. There is beauty everywhere if we take the time to look for it.
Pura Vida reminded me that it is up to me to choose happiness and to find the joy in each moment I am blessed to live. It is about embracing each and every day and focusing on the little things and what is important in life. Pura Vida was yet another reminder that it is so important to be kind to one another, to forgive, to be positive and to give. We need to smile more, hug often, help others and to say I love you every chance we get.
Leaving Costa Rica was hard and I was struggling with how fast the trip had gone. I had been on cloud nine while in Hawaii, during the wedding and our honeymoon and while it was good to come home, I found myself feeling a bit depressed. It was hard to get thrown back into the busy and crazy schedules with work, kids and the responsibilities of home. Neal and I had to face the reality that we would be apart 29 days out of the next 35 days due to opposite work and travel schedules and I craved the peace and joy we had shared during our trip. The time had gone much too fast and I found myself feeling letdown after experiencing such an amazing high.
I missed the wonderful moments and the happiness I had in Hawaii and Costa Rica. I missed Pura Vida. But then…. I remembered what Pura Vida stands for and all that it means. Pura Vida is a way of life. Pura Vida is a choice. Regardless of where I am or what I am doing, it is up to me to choose happiness and peace. It is up to me to appreciate all of the beautiful things in my life and to embrace every moment every day. Pura Vida IS a way of life and as I settled into the glorious routines of home, family and work, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to choose Pura Vida to be my way of life.
My wish for each and every one of you is that you too can find a slice of Pura Vida every day of your journey. Choose peace, choose joy, choose Pura Vida.