Eat, Pray, Love - In the Tropics!
By: Alannah Codrington BASc., CNP
So here I am in the tropics, Union Island – a Grenadine Island of St. Vincent during some of the record coldest temperatures in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. My, my, my what perfect timing.
I'm staying for six weeks and my mission is to Eat, Pray and Love. Not exactly Julia Roberts style, but there definitely will be some comparisons.
When I walk out of the plane the beautiful smell of Union Island hits me. I remember the smell from eight years ago. The air is moist, hot, smells of clean grass, ripe tropical fruits and vegetables with a calming breeze. Instantly, I feel at home and I start to relax.
As a holistic nutritionist, I think of the 'whole' person. The emotional, physical, mental and spiritual aspects that make a person complete.
I believe food fulfils a:
Physical physiological purpose by providing nutrients.
Emotional purpose by making you connect to a feeling and a memory when you take a bite.
This time of year, too many of my favourite fruits are not in season. I'm pretty sad about that, but there are many starfruit, coconuts, sugarcanes and other goodies to be had, so I'll survive... right? I have been eating delicious and fresh food daily and I don't even need to read the label because the food all came from the garden. I have been practising mindful eating daily, every meal I close my eyes, say 'yumm' and go straight to my happy place. Pure bliss.
For an island that is 5 by 2 kilometres long, Union sure does have its share of churches, okay there's probably about ten. I brought like two church outfits, but I don't really intend on going. By pray, I intend on using this time to connect deeper with my spirituality and my subconscious mind. Unfortunately, I'm usually always-on-the-go and not living in the present. God leaves me a lot of voicemails, such as moments of undeniable coincidence that I reflect on later. I say God or sometimes the Universe, you may call Him/Her something or someone else, like the Universe, Yahweh, etc. God is hilarious, speaking to me in different ways - in the quiet, some near danger/death moments (Ekk!) or big events that I have no choice, but to take notice and acknowledge my blessings. I decided to quit my full-time and stay in the Caribbean for 6 weeks because I need answers. I need to strategize. I need to confirm that I am truly walking in my purpose-driven life.
I've realized in order to become more peacefully balanced and decrease my anxiety I have to see my blessing and have a grateful heart. In this beautiful, quiet Union paradise Island, peace and joy are definitely happening here.
In the quiet, the answers to my questions appear; my desires, my intuition, my purpose, I feel and hear them stronger. Accepting the answers to my questions is another story, but because I ask, I'll be 'ready' for the answers anyway. I am ready to receive the goodness that is in store for me. I am destined for greatness.
Now this love part isn't even scandalous, it's not even the whole 'How Stella Got Her Groove Back' type of love. Not even the go to the Caribbean, meet the man of your dreams and don't return to Canada type of love. It's the take this time to reconnect with Alannah type of love. The 'Wow, this is the most family together at one time, that I've seen type. The I'm getting connected with family for the first or re-connected after a long time type of love. My cousin is getting married and that's the first wedding in ten years for our huge family, so that's super exciting. It's making me rethink my views about marriage. Making mw feel like real love and marriage can happen and are possibilities for me. Family members are asking who's next, you Alannah!?.... Me?!?! I'm re-working ideas, i'm not fully there yet, it's scary..Yikes! This trip I decided to reflect on the relationships i have back in canada too. How valued do I feel? Do I show that I appreciate people enough? Which ones should I further develop? Which ones should I let go?
It's so hard to keep up with everyone, but I feel a growing urgency to connect with my grandma, understand where my 17+ aunts and uncles come from. Connect with my cousins more, even though we're spread all over the world. I want to fall in love with Union Island again, like I did twenty plus years ago.
I have the privilege of being on this trip, so it will be awesome and I will enjoy it! I hope to gain a deeper understanding of myself and my next steps in my 28th year of life. What a blessing. I am ready to Eat, Pray, Love!!