The first and only real problem I’ve had in Mexico is the heat. The temperature hovers between 83-87 degrees Fahrenheit (dropping to the mid-70s in the early hours of morning), but the humidity is thick and AC is a rare luxury.
The first night I slept three hours straight, maybe less. I got up in a daze every hour or so to walk to the bathroom and splash cold(ish) water on my face and neck, to slide my hand over my lower back and marvel at the sweat droplets that came off against my fingers.
During the day when I go to the beach and attend my Spanish classes, I can manage. I don’t mind sweating while I eat, nor do I mind keeping my hair in a permanent bun or having my thighs slide against every piece of plastic furniture I sit on.
I’ll cool down with a fresh juice, coco frio, or glass of cold water from my fridge. I’ll dive in the ocean or choose a table under the fans when I go out for lunch. But at night it’s a different story.
At night, lying on my cotton sheets in my underwear, a frozen wash cloth strategically placed against my neck, the air from the manically swirling fans above me blowing stray hairs into my face, the sheets damp from the sweat behind my knees, I want to wail in discomfort. But I don’t have the energy.
The air is full and thick, but its heaviness is even more apparent in the late hours at night when the breeze stops and everything is still.
It’s safe to say the heat has been testing my patience. It was particularly difficult this past week because I caught a nasty virus that forced me to stay in bed for several days staring at my ceiling in a blurry haze and trying to eat whatever I could stomach (canned peaches won out, for the record).
But if there’s one redeeming quality about heat, it’s that it teaches you—through intimate, unrelenting pressure—about the importance of surrender.
I'm always looking at how I can let go and learn to flow in my daily life. One of the easiest ways to do this is to surrender to my reality. Surrender to my emotions, my fears, my aches, my discomfort, and my circumstances. Let go and accept what is.
Every day in Mexico, I’m forced to surrender to the heat. It demands so much more of my effort and strength (and sometimes sanity) to do something, but any pushing back, complaining, or agonizing I do only makes it feel that much more fierce. All I can do is breathe deeply, move a little slower, and do what I can to cool myself down.
The heat has also been forcing me to let go of other things, too—things like vanity, expectation, and anxiety. There’s no need to wear makeup down here, no need to style my hair (not that I normally do that, anyway) or get bothered about repeating outfits.
If I take a longer time writing this blog post than I anticipated because I stop frequently to stare at the sea from my patio or refill my water bottle or just pause and inhale, that’s okay. It’s all good. None of it matters that much.
The heat out here is a steady, persistent force decorating our foreheads with glistening beads of sweat, coating our arms and legs as we walk through town in the bright sun, coloring our cheeks red, softening our chatter, melting our thoughts, and pushing us—ever so slowly—to the inevitable and irreversible point of not giving a fuck.
And there is some serious beauty in that. For that reason alone, I am doing my best to embrace this heat. To be grateful for the way it’s causing me to slow down, take long pauses, and listen to my body.
I’ll leave you with this: surrender to what is bothering you then adjust accordingly. Accept what’s in front of you, make whatever changes you can make to better adapt, then let the rest go. Once you do, you may even start to see the magic in whatever brought you to your knees in the first place.
What are you working on surrendering to these days? Any tips for dealing with the heat?
P.S. More Monday Mantras this way. And stay tuned for my Mexico photos soon!