I am feeling grateful this morning to be back in Querétaro, México among great friends and a people whose food and culture and love of life that I feel privileged to experience when I am here. While I come here often each trip feels like a journey anew, with new sights and sounds and smells and foods. I’m reminded of the diversity of life that is easy to lose sight of when I am in my own country. Although the United States of America is quite diverse we seem to have lost touch with how precious it is and how celebrating diversity is an opportunity to honor and celebrate the expansiveness of all aspects of our own selves. The implications of this are broad and run deep.
When I am immersed in another culture it is easy to reconnect with the diversity that makes up who I am. Hearing another language predominate around me, enjoying foods that I don’t find so easily at home, observing how people express their connections to each other, participating in the celebrations, and even the nuances in the differences in how I do things here that I also enjoy at home such as lunch al fresco in a vineyard just outside of town after arrival yesterday… These are all things that leave me resolving to celebrate diversity more everyday in my life wherever I may find myself.
As with so many things, I realize that I must start within. There are questions to ponder: How often do I celebrate and honor all aspects of myself given how exciting I find it to celebrate these things in others, especially those aspects I feel less comfortable with? Do I feel fragmented in some way or am I pretty well integrated? Are there parts of who I am that I tend to avoid showing others, or try to hide altogether? Do I gloss over certain parts of me even from myself?
We’ve become quite a compartmentalized society. Across the country we have “Polish Towns,” and “Little Italys,” and “Chinatowns,” and neighborhoods where Muslims and Asians and gays and people of a great variety of cultures and lifestyles congregate in empowerment and solidarity of a core aspect of who they are. While this is wonderful opportunity to embrace a culture that may be defining in some way it also leaves us at risk of segmenting ourselves and hiding, in a sense, of hiding in plain sight. And how often do we all do this with core aspects of ourselves, as well. There is great beauty in these communities but I can’t help in feeling that to a degree they also exist out of necessity because of our overall lack of appreciation for the differences among us.
The next few weeks here in Mexico will be an opportunity for me to see what I notice around me as a metaphor for the diversity within my own self, and to look for ways to celebrate who I am as I appreciate the cultures of others whom I spend time with here. And I will ponder some questions: How can I make it an even trade? For every aspect of what I experience around me these weeks can I dig within and bring out a part of myself to celebrate as well? What parts of what I experience here are most difficult to align with? And how might they represent parts of myself that I have a hard time embracing?
In the end opportunities for growth abound. And I resolve to embrace them over the next few weeks. Will you look for opportunities to embrace diversity around you in the coming weeks as well, and to look for the inner correlates that you can practice honoring and celebrating?
When we do this we make our inner and outer worlds a finely woven tapestry with seemingly no division from one piece to the next, while at the same time we honor the differences among fragments as they are joined together and experience the ultimate gift: How the sum of the pieces is transformed into something so much greater than each piece could ever be alone.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
With blessings and gratitude
from Querétaro, México,