By: Anna Merel

Balance is such an important factor in life, especially when I’m talking about spirituality. How far do I want to go? When is it enough? How seriously do I take this? Does this matter for me?

I go practice yoga in the morning and drink a beer at night. I have been living in rainbow communities with no electricity, internet or substances, while I’m sitting here writing a blog on the internet and a cigarette in my hand. I am an (almost) vegan chef, while I love to eat a steak. I go sing at a kirtan (Bhajan/mantra) and dance to electronic music all night. In other words, I am living on either ends of the spectrum of what the spiritual world is calling “good” or “bad”.

So, is there any “good” or “bad”?

Finding my Balance

During the last couple of years living as a nomad and exploring spiritual communities and training in yoga, dance, tantra, reiki, etc., I found one common thing that continues to bother me. A lot of my teachers believed that the way they explained spirituality to me was THE way and that all other ways were considered “bad”.  

Am I not a real yogi because I am terrible at sitting still and at meditating with no motion? Is it really bad to go to the gym, while I balance it out with more “spiritual” movement practices? Am I ever going to feel fulfilled with no dedication to one practice?

I find myself insecure, asking if I am doing the “right” thing. It took me quite a while to figure out that I was taking everyone way too seriously and that I had to find my own truth. I admire the dedication it takes to walk a single path, but I simply don’t want to. I don’t ever see myself dedicated to any one specific practice.

You Do You!

If you feel enlightened by following an astrology path and it makes you happy, then go for it! I feel that our date of birth cannot tell us who we are and I just don’t feel a calling to figure out how our mystical universe and the alignment of the planets is working in my favor or not.

If you are feeling the power of stones, crystals or other raw materials, that’s great! And I will support you to keep doing what you’re doing. Even though I don’t feel attracted to the power of a certain stone or crystal, I do feel the power of a gift and I value and appreciate the story behind the object I receive.

If you are a Reiki practitioner channeling powers from higher above, I would be happy to receive your wisdom. However, I don’t believe much in powers from higher above and the idea that we are a channel. I do believe in the power of a touch and sending our own love and attention to the areas where another is open to receive healing.

So, I am not following an astrology path, the power of stones and crystals or the path of a Reiki practitioner. This doesn’t mean I can’t take any wisdom out of a good conversation about these topics. I just take it with a pinch of salt. I find the moments that are serving my truth and make a mental note about that specific shared wisdom, while deleting everything that does not serve my interest. I basically read between the lines.

Spirituality in Guatemala

I am living in San Marcos la Laguna, Guatemala – a town famous for its large population of spiritual expats who have settled down on the shores of Lake Atitlán. Together, with the indigenous Mayan citizens and curious backpackers, this town is full and alive! Those who are close to me know that I definitely have a curiosity to hear all wisdom that is shared in this village, while also having my down to earth and sober side.  

This town is a perfect “ninja training” to collect wisdom in the spiritual world, while also not drowning in other people’s truth. It is an exercise for me and many others to not lose ourselves in all the activities that are going on. Don’t get me wrong, I am super grateful for all the heart opening events, workshops, retreats and training in this town, however, it is important to find the events that are serving my truth and to skip the ones that don’t.

I dedicate myself to my own truth – the mix of many (spiritual) paths. For some people, it might sound confusing, but this is me! My biggest lesson out of all these teachings is this: I will never stop being me. I wish to inspire others to do the same because this is what makes me happy and allows me to discover my fullest potential.

About Anna:

Originally from Holland, Anna came to San Marcos out of her passion for cooking and traveling. She uses her background in music to let her creative spirit soar in the kitchen and in her yoga and Acroyoga practice. She is now turning her hobby of cooking into a career with launching the Eagle’s Café. Anna is using her creative spirit to create a fresh and evolving menu complete with seasonal and local ingredients.

She loves to have balance in her diet, with eating healthy meals while also indulging in some of her favorite desserts. Her vision for the café came out of this idea of balance as she offers both healthy and guilty pleasures. She is excited to be a part of the Eagle’s Nest team and work with her partner Greg to create nourishing and delicious meals for the body, mind and soul.