Change: Moving to Mexico …. Living in Mexico

July 25, 2013

Where are your treasures?

We humans love our “ruts” .

We get up in the morning,  (shave?),  wash (?),  make coffee,  fire up the computer ….

… daily following some unknowingly-programmed but carefully-honed combinations of morning ablutions, dressing, eating, drinking, conversing gently with those we love (?), and we predictably start thinking about the coming day.

We really are much like deer who take the same trails for centuries

~ even when that trail no longer makes sense. ~

and then…   the phone rings…  or the doorbell rings … or someone gets sick ….  or someone dies…  or some deadline looms (~ like having to renew our Immigration permits ~ or  ~ dealing with getting our previously-legal cars out-of-the-doghouse).

Each,   and all,   bringing change

that is beyond our control.

If we briefly step outside our ruts, and step outside our frustrations and our reactions to these changes,   we might notice that change is a constant.

================================

If you can still see-light-and-hear-thunder,  then things are changing.

.   .   .  Continue Reading ……………

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You can read the full article at: Change: Moving to Mexico …. Living in Mexico

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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
<em>© Steven M. Fry</em>

Read on, MacDuff.

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15 Responses to Change: Moving to Mexico …. Living in Mexico

  1. cozumeldeb says:

    Excellent, would that we all take this to heart..a lot of angst and frustration would be avoided. We are all visitors in this beautiful country. Imagine how the immigrants/visitors in the US feel when they listen to the insane Congress members refer to immigrants as dogs and lizards..Outrageous!

    • yucalandia says:

      Dogs and lizards?
      US Congress members bear more than a little resemblance to tacitly-approved Mexconnect comments, like:
      …. ” But what the hell do they know, they’re just Mexicans. ”

      jw

      • yucalandia says:

        Here’s an earlier version – with minimal edits. Thanks! to David Bodewell who kindly volunteered his very good editing services –

        Where are your treasures?

        We humans love our “ruts” .

        We get up in the morning, (shave?), wash (?), make coffee, fire up the computer ….

        … daily following some unknowingly-programmed but carefully-honed combinations of morning ablutions, dressing, eating, drinking, conversing gently with those we love (?), and we predictably start thinking about the coming day.

        We really are much like deer who take the same trails for centuries

        ~ even when that trail no longer makes sense. ~

        and then… the phone rings… or the doorbell rings … or someone gets sick …. or someone dies… or some deadline looms (~ like having to renew our Immigration permits ~ or ~ dealing with getting our previously-legal cars out-of-the-doghouse).

        Each, and all, bringing change

        that is beyond our control.

        If we briefly step outside our ruts, and step outside our frustrations and our reactions to these changes, we might notice that change is a constant.

        ================================

        If you can still see-light-and-hear-thunder, then things are changing.

        If you breath-out, and then breath-in…. things have changed.

        If we are living in the same settings where we grew-up, matured (? *grin* ?), and live around neighbors whom we sort-of-know, then we have at least a reasonable shot at understanding the changes.


        What happens when we are living in a different place – and the slap-in-the-face-with-a-wet-fish inevitably comes?

        What happens if we don’t speak the language of where we live?

        What if we are foreigners – living far from from our original nests and regular haunts ?

        Do we really have much of a chance of quickly or clearly understanding the inevitable changes, as a foreigner living in a foreign land ?

        Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, Nestlé, satellite TV, Magic Jack, Skype, ~ alcohol and internet ~ offer momentary physical comforts – briefly distracting the psyche – but they are not foundations worthy of trusting when the slap-in-the-face-with-a-wet-fish inevitably comes. …

        ============================

        What if most of our day-to-day interactions are mainly with other out-of-place foreigners –

        – living and chatting together in our little enclaves –

        – unknowingly isolated from the real lives of the local community –

        ~ experiencing “locals” and learning-about-Mexico through the maid and the mozo ~

        =========================

        As change rolls through and over us:
        Do we tend to repeat our same very-limited-understandings with the other members of the enclave tribe, until we have heard the same thing we proposed last week, now repeated from multiple seemingly-different, seemingly-independent sources – where in reality, it is all just oft-parroted variations, all originating from a single source –

        When the same message is repeated within a closed-community, and then reflects back to us from multiple different directions, then even heavily-flawed and false-messages/ideas … take on an air of reality and truth….

        Subconsciously, when one person claps, it incites others (a slight distance away), to start clapping….

        The clapping spreads – as the primal urge to be part of the group – part of the tribe

        ~ washes over us, triggering our most primitive internal wiring to fire, fire, fire….

        The clapping swells ….

        and grows…

        and ultimately spreads to everyone in the once-apathetic crowd –

        All applauding ,

        for… what was actually a mediocre, modestly-flawed performance.

        =================

        How do we deal with the daily

        sometimes-jarring

        inevitable changes ?

        Dive even deeper into our ruts ?

        Repeat our mantras-of-comfort ?

        Go buy something to distract ourselves ?

        Take a drink and escape into well-worn routines of “WTF” or “WTH” ?

        Phone a friend ?

        Reach-out and touch the other members of our group

        seeking re-assurance

        from “reliable” people, whom we trust,

        unknowingly nurturing ever-deeper thickets of US v. them

        even when US … are people we imagine must magically be ” like us

        ~ fellow “clappers” ~

        Creating loud clapping by an apparent group of us‘s

        ~ who simply share similarly-impaired abilities to understand what is happening ?

        Can you feel the power of the crowd?

        Can you feel its hunger for even more power?

        … its hunger for even more members …

        swelling Our Tribe to impressive proportions ….

        driven by the drumbeats of conformance

        building on internally-reflected waves of self-approval and assumed acceptance

        How dare one risk rejection in the face of such forces …

        The forces of the GET !

        (gringo enclave tribe)

        ==========================

        Really, it can be very challenging to live in a foreign land

        where change comes in seemingly random ways,

        from unanticipated quarters,

        forced onto us by seemingly uncaring unreasonable-but-powerful individuals,

        in unexpected w
        ays ….

        All experienced using past-templates and past-models that just do not fit our new foreign “home”(?),

        Clashing with how we think things are done .

        Colliding with how we think things should be done .

        Jarring us out of our once-comfortable ruts.

        Just who do they think they are, making big fresh pot-holes in our carefully-rutted-roads… ?

        Just what gives them the right … to disturb my world ? … Our world ?

        Just who are they, that they think they can take advantage of me ? … or US ?

        Why are they doing this … to me ?

        IT’S NOT FAIR !!!!

        THEY are abusing their power .

        Must we get them, before they get … us ?

        or

        Do we take a breath

        Inhale

        Exhale


        slowly

        . . .

        and

        then,

        smile knowingly

        ~ inside and outside ~

        because we know at very deep levels

        that

        we are survivors

        we always have options

        we are ultimately safe

        we are ultimately and profoundly … secure …

        as long as the things we treasure

        are tucked deep inside us.

        steve

  2. slilley says:

    Awesome article and timely! Thanks for all you do!

  3. Richard Clay says:

    Bravo! I’ll start the clapping, now let it grow.

  4. Edward says:

    An interesting rant. Yet the local (English) paper says over 60% of foreigners donate time to organizations. The more difficult question is what can one do to really get to know Mexico? I’m searching for ways and am very open to suggestions.

    Yes, I have learned Spanish and, for the most part, can communicate. Those who have ideas, please post them.

    • Judi says:

      Walk amongst the people and look them in the eye – in a friendly way. Smile and silently ask for that same energy back. Make a Mexican friend, then, when he/she asks you into his/her home – GO! Go to the fiestas and eat the food. This is how the life and love of living in Mexico grows.

  5. peter says:

    Well said.
    Assimilate is my mantra… And that requires me to shun Americans and their gatherings.

  6. swans007@aol.com says:

    Our “Rule #1” “Don’t think like an American.”
    Your essay is good to read inside-out, imagining the experiences of an immigrant in the United States.

    • yucalandia says:

      “… imagining the experiences of an immigrant in the United States. ”

      I LIKE that…

      Sidelights:

      Overall, I wrote this piece in a free-verse stream-of-consciousness narrative – as an unplanned/unexpected gut response (upwelling) to the waves of negative and strikingly petty (and sometimes mean and bullying) gunk that has been passing through forums around Mexico pretending to be discourse or dialogue… foisted onto us as a core group of truly grumpy, controlling, and very-frustrated (often Right Wing) folk have vented their ____ …. in response to their group-frustrations over how their personal situations have changed, and due especially to them changing to Permanent Residency, and how “lawless” and “forbidding” and “universally corrupt” they imagine Mexico to be. Not without a little irony, some of the most bitter complainers actually made personal mistakes that they are now paying-for, but are embarrassed to admit. Is it easier to admit publicly that you cannot easily permanently import your car, because you lost your paper copy of the Temp Import Permit, or that your car actually has a “salvage title” that reduces its value by 75% – and that you are boxed-in by your own past choices like never renewing the expiration date on your Car Permit – or that your INM permit lapsed – making your car illegal – Or … is it easier to lash out at others, and repeatedly complain about how “unfair” the new Mexican INM and Aduana policies are ~ versus the “old” prior policies where they could keep their illegal and compromised vehicles here indefinitely undetected ~ ?

      sad… (when feeling like a victim, to misdirect personal frustrations over our situations via venting onto others or sniping or back-stabbing) …. sad …

      so, I wrote this, hoping that they could, maybe see how they got to where they are???
      steve

  7. Nancy Walters says:

    You are always a joy Steve. Thanks again for making my day…

  8. Millie Phinney says:

    Very nice. Looking forward to the final version.

  9. Great post….’change is a constant’…love it.

  10. Elizabeth Brown says:

    Hi Steve: It´s an interesting coincidence that I have been thinking along these same lines myself, and not just because of Mexico, but life in general. Andrew Weil said that “stress if a zero sum game”, so avoiding stress isn´t an option because if one thing is out of control, usually something else gets out of control (one kid graduates from college, and another gets a divorce and wants to move back home. You buy a new fridge, and your stove breaks down). Bikram Choudury (of Bikram Hot Yoga fame) says that one should be able to meditate in the middle of chaos, not just in a quiet room. My current way is to get up at dawn and do Bikram Yoga in the pool (I´m too stiff and awkward to do the standing poses on land just yet) as many days as I possibly can. It seems to be helping in terms of my ability to withstand change. As far as Mexico, I´m trying to put the whole INM/Car thing behind me and move on. Next step Citizenship. Yay!.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Elizabeth,
      Interesting perspectives.

      You wrote:
      My current way is to get up at dawn and do Bikram Yoga in the pool, …. Bikram Choudury (of Bikram Hot Yoga fame) says that one should be able to meditate in the middle of chaos, not just in a quiet room.

      If every thought is a prayer, if every intention is a prayer – then are we totally responsible for our thoughts and intentions – then why is a meditation time of disciplined/controlled thoughts – only when doing yoga? …. if our prayers have power – and answered prayers have results – then are we responsible for the consequences of every thought and every intention. … If meditation is about controlling (disciplining) the analytical thinking mind (monkey mind), and about disciplining the emotional mind – and meditation is simultaneously about awareness – then why not intentionally make a life of awareness? Why limit awareness to yoga time… or a meditation ceremony ? People who go to these classes and read these books, and quote “the gurus“, seem to talk a lot about awakening and enlightenment. Is not continuous awareness a form of enlightenment… Is not a truly enlightened life one of continuous meditation?

      ( if you are not aware, then your thoughts and intentions can fire off like shotgun blasts – “random” undisciplined thoughts/prayers scattering bird-shot out into …. , hitting ….)

      =====================
      You wrote:
      “… (Bikram Yoga) seems to be helping in terms of my ability to withstand change. …”

      After considering how we can limit meditation to some pre-specified time of either quiet room or time in a chaotic place…

      and realize that meditation (like awareness) is a state of being….

      Where does change fit?

      is change just another thing that you notice…

      like the ever-changing swirls, moving around a rock in an ever-flowing stream …

      which says what … about our intents, … and the effects of our choices about:
      ….”my ability to withstand change
      steve

      -==================
      You also wrote:
      … As far as Mexico, I´m trying to put the whole INM/Car thing behind me and move on. Next step Citizenship. Yay!.

      ME TOO ! YAY !

      Have you encountered the issue of having a “current” apostilled birth certificate that has also been translated by an SRE approved translator…? One atty we know is saying that the official SRE translator for the Yucatan peninsula lives in Cancun …. (?)

      Your experiences?
      steve

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