My Costa Rican spiritual quest for more meaning began with a rocky start…

I recently returned from a yoga and mediation retreat run by Wendy De Rosa in Costa Rica.

I was so excited about this trip. It was my first retreat… my first solo non-work trip… and something that I had dreamed of doing for many years.

And it all began with a rocky start.

The morning that I was scheduled to leave, I found out that all of my flights had been rescheduled. I would have to spend the night in Miami and arrive late on the second day of the retreat.

Needless to say, I was frustrated, disappointed, and a little scared. Due to the delay, I would have to take a 2.5-hour taxi ride to the resort by myself.

I tried everything that I could to get onto a new flight… and I actually even fleetingly contemplated not going.

After fighting as hard as I could against the reality of what had occurred, I eventually gave in and said to myself, “Well Nayla, I guess you’re going to Miami for the night.”

And everything shifted for me in that moment.

I felt lighter, less afraid, and more open to whatever life might have in store for me on this spiritual quest of mine that had been a long time coming.

In other words, surrendering set me free.

I like to believe that things happen for a reason. So I then started to wonder who I’d meet and what adventures I’d have in Miami.

Somewhat to my dismay, I simply had a uneventful detour that included a beautiful, quiet, and contemplative taxi ride to the resort.

But the detour did get me thinking about our journeys through life.

We often want certain things to happen so very desperately.

We work as hard as we can… we spend sleepless nights trying to become more self-aware, more compassionate, more self-loving… in essence, more awake. And more often than not, we simply arrive when we arrive in spite of our best efforts to get “there” sooner.

Ultimately the detour reminded me to just do my best… and then let go and enjoy the ride. This was also one of my biggest insights at the retreat.

So maybe something special did happen on that little detour :)

Luckily I also had a wonderful book to keep me occupied – Paulo Coelho’s Warrior of the Light: A Manual. It’s my second time diving into this treasure and it inspired me to write a few short posts about spiritual warriors while I was in Costa Rica.

What are spiritual warriors?

A spiritual warrior is someone who:

  • Feels deeply called to step into her higher self.
  • Is relentless in her pursuit of personal growth.
  • Knows that she alone holds the key to her awakening.

I hope you enjoy them and that they help you appreciate the detours that occur in your own life.


Post 1:

The spiritual warrior knows that the real battle she is fighting is against her higher self.

And that the only way to win is to surrender.


Post 2: 

The spiritual warrior sometimes feels like she is rehashing old ground. But she does not lose faith, for she knows this is always simply one of two things.

(1) She has not yet learned the lesson.

(2) She is learning the lesson at a deeper level.

Either way, there will be growth.


Post 3:

The spiritual warrior knows when to rest and appreciate the spoils of her victories.

These are not material treasures.

They are things like greater inner peace, more self-love, and more compassion.

She takes the time to notice how far she has come.


Post 4:

The spiritual warrior sometimes become frustrated with her journey.

When this happens she remembers that she is always exactly where she is supposed to be.

And this helps her to carry on.


Post 5:

The spiritual warrior is fascinated by the lives of others.

She soaks in the lessons from their struggles and victories.

In learning about others she feels less alone and learns more about herself.


I’m curious to know if any of you relate to the definition of a spiritual warrior and the posts above. Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

4 thoughts on “My Costa Rican spiritual quest for more meaning began with a rocky start…”

  1. Oh Nayla, I think I may be a budding spiritual warrior! I love this definition. I think the detours is where all the work happens. I remember when I was first learning to speak Creole. It was so frustrating day-to-day. However, when I would leave the country and take a little break, visiting other places, I would have dreams that I was speaking fluently and each time I went back to Haiti, my Creole would noticeably improve. So, it’s not surprising you had such a beautiful insight into the path of the spiritual warrior while on a detour. It’s in the detour where we really absorb the lessons. Thanks for this beautiful reminder.

    1. It’s SO WONDERFUL to hear this Janelle! And WOW yes, you just blew my mind. The detours are where so much of the hard work happens. They force us to confront things that we otherwise would never have the chance to work through. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with speaking Creole. It’s amazing how hard work, big dreams, and internal alignment always pay off :)

  2. I definitely fit the profile of a warrior of light!! What a great story you just shared with us today, thanks Nayla! And to add to your story, for similar type of events, I come back to the saying: “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the voyage…”. This is a very inspiring story and trip you just did, and I might consider the same for myself. Cheers, Namaste.

    1. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this Julie. I’m thrilled to hear that you fit the profile of a warrior of the light :) It’s these types of journeys that we remember for the rest of our lives… so if you feel called to go on one, definitely listen to that inner tug. You won’t regret it!

Questions? Comments? General musings to share? Yes please!! Type away.

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