Wow is all I can say about the past two weeks for me living here in Camerino, Italy. I can hardly believe that it was just two weeks ago this day that I was standing in the Rome train station, hearing everyone around me communicating in Spanish that after eight years of study I couldn’t understand (it’s because they speak Argentinean Spanish!) and thinking “what in the world have I gotten myself into??!” I feel totally embarrassed to admit this right now, given what an incredible time I’ve been having, but I was so unsure about coming here when I first got here. I even thought “Let’s just go, Catt – if it’s really not going well then I can always go back to Milan it’s not a big deal.” Wow. How ridiculous, I should have been excited beyond anything I’ve experienced since the last three years.
I am so, so grateful and thankful that I said YES, and that I have been saying yes to so many things, even if they didn’t turn out well, because it has made me say yes to this experience. I honestly did not know where this experience would take me, and I was slightly weary as the previous experiences I’ve said yes to have created some wear and tear. But I stayed open to the possibility, and said yes.
Logically, it didn’t make sense. I didn’t know anyone who had done this program, I hadn’t heard of anyone who even knew of this program, I don’t like school in general, the appearance of their website made it look like they would be winging things, they said the apartments don’t have internet, and remind me again why I was in the middle of hundreds of native Spanish+Portuguese speakers from South America? To my mind, there was every reason for me to stay in Milan and chill, use the internet, cook, and coach.
Fortunately, I’ve gotten used to not doing what others think of me, and not needing to find people to agree with me to do something. I’ve also gotten used to not following my mind pretty much any of the time. I can’t begin to talk about how incredible this experience has been so far, and feeling so grateful and scared at the same time that I’m half way through the program.
First of all, my fiance’ told me yesterday while we were in Bologna together that my Italian has gotten better. This is incredible for me because I can already speak Italian fluently, but there were just some final bits and pieces I desired to learn and hone in on, like incorporating the subjunctive tense. Well, the four hours of lessons every day and the fact that the only common language we have is Italian (98% of people do not speak much English) has really helped to improve my Italian and really take my language to another level. Every single teacher here is a really good Italian teacher. I really mean that, and they also take turns doing guided tours on the excursions, increasing our contact with the language.
Second of all, I am much happier than I have been in a long time, thanks to this pattern interrupt. My vibe shifted, and it’s easy to see that, as this place is absolutely beautiful. Being able to live in Camerino, a quiet town nestled the mountains while going on trips almost every day all over Italy has been such a relief for me. It is truly the break I’ve desired for the past few years that I couldn’t seem to define. I love going into the churches in every single city, as they are just so beautiful and seeing the beautiful artwork reminds me to contemplate on truth. I’ve been having really amazing food as well – the pizza actually feels quite wholesome and healthy to my body here, no joke! I’ve also been back on the mat stretching every morning and evening and connecting with my body again with so much more SPACE.
Third of all, and I may leave it here for now, is the friendships. I cannot believe that two weeks ago I was like maybe I’ll just be by myself all the time, and that’s ok. A girl in my class just left because she is on the two week program, and she came to say goodbye, crying. I realized that that’s how I would feel at the end of this program too, because these people have been so fun to be around. I haven’t danced with so much joy I don’t think ever in my life until the dinner party we had this beautiful medieval castle. Karaoke nights at a delicious restaurant and dancing with everyone have just been one of the most fun and joyous experiences for me that somewhere long long ago, I’ve always desired.
What I want to point out in all of this is how pleasantly surprised I am at a decision to say yes. I had been saying yes to many things, and not all of them turned out great. But you know what? They always show me something about how to relate to energy, and I get better at discerning what would be a great thing to say yes to or not as I make mistakes and grow.
Prior to meeting my fiance, I had said no to almost every boy unless he met certain requirements, or he somehow snuck past those barriers because he was very attractive or something that drew my fancy. It wasn’t until I looked at myself, what I had been experiencing and made the bold decision to say yes to ALL men who “send me an arrow,” and really open myself up to that experience did I start meeting authentic guys, and more than that, know how to carry myself and my energy in situations where I met inauthentic guys. Most people thought I got lucky, but I knew much better than that.
I’d like to encourage you to think about what you’re saying yes to and what you’re saying no to, and see what comes up. It’s truly worth it in my experience when we say yes and just keep going, even when we mess up. It’s the only way we get better at it and improve our alignment with our desires.
So what do you think is waiting for you to say yes to that you have been saying no to?