Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Here's to Pura Vida, the pure life!

My favorite saying these days? "Pura Vida!" It's my new life's motto and I never want to forget it. Authentic, real, peaceful. My latest column via Divorced Moms.

Living Pura Vida. 8 Steps For Living "The Pure Life"
by Lizzy Smith                    
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April 19, 2016
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We just got back from Costa Rica and Nicaragua for my daughters’ Spring Break. For an entire week, we rested in the hot sun (with loads of sunscreen on!), ate amazing grilled fish, veggies and fruit, and recharged. Pura Vida is Costa Rica's motto, which means the “pure life.” But its true meaning goes beyond those two simple words. I went to Best Costa Rican Tours web site because I think they describe this “pura vida” mindset best:
 
Associated with many different English interpretations like “pure life”, “take it easy”, “enjoy life”, “all good”, “purity in life”, “hello”, “goodbye”, “this is life!” and many many more….
 
Pura vida! means that no matter what your current situation is, life for someone else can always be less fortunate than your own. So you need to consider that maybe… just maybe, your situation isn’t all that bad and that no matter how little or how much you have in life, we are all here together and life is short… so start living it “pura vida style.” You want to know what living a peaceful, simple, uncluttered life with a deep appreciation for nature, family and friends, just come to Costa Rica and experience it yourself! PURA VIDA!

I bought a Pura Vida bracelet to remind me that everything that I am, everything that I want to be, is in the meaning of those two simple words: pure life. I've said it before but here I go again: Cancer changes a person. So does divorce. I know many who shut down-- they give in, struggle with depression, and barely function. And there are others who take an opposite approach: life is a gift. Enjoy every moment. Live big and grand.

The latter describes me best. I live the most amazing life I know how. Sure, I struggle with fatigue and fear. But until God calls me home, I am living life with purpose. Purely, authentically, honestly. Throughout my divorce, as hard and ugly as it was, I stayed honest and true to my values. Well, first, I really discovered what my values were and what mattered most. It was a pretty simple list: health, family, relationships, making a positive difference in the world, and creating memories. And then I never waivered from living those values. I might have been in fighting mode during divorce proceedings and chemo; I might have even been a bitch at times. But I stayed authentic ME and I write about it. Raw, honest, always true to, well, TRUTH. Why do I care to document my life? Because it matters to me. It's cathartic. And it will matter to my children one day who will, if they want, learn why their mom made the decisions she did. And, lastly, I know it helps scores of my readers out there to know that they are not alone in their struggles in life. And despite life's tough times, we can still do amazing things, accomplish what we never thought possible, and have loads of fun doing it.

So on our trip to Costa Rica, as I re-commit to living Pura Vida, here's how I try to do it:

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