My heart is open as I board the flight from LAX to Liberia, Costa Rica. I have no expectations for my trip, as both Costa Rica and Rythmia Life Advancement Center off the Pacific coast of Guanacaste are new experiences. I feel excitement for what the next week will bring and am completely open to the possibilities.
The flight was easy - direct and inexpensive via Southwest. I feel a sense of relief to be out of the highly regulated, stressful energy of my own country. Breezing thru customs and out the sliding exit doors of the airport, I am greeted by a warm, tropical air and a scent reminiscent of summer in Japan. A beaming young man holding a "Rythmia" sign awaits me. Instantly I feel embraced as he rushes to grab my bag and escorts me to the car. "Pura vida," he says, the classic Costa Rican greeting. It is late, but you would never know it by Byron's energy and aliveness.
The hour-long drive passes quickly as we make our way through empty roads in the middle of the rain forest. There is magic in the trees, an energy that is emitted from the wisdom of ancient customs and rituals. I feel like I am on the set of a Hollywood movie, a woman whisked off to a remote location in search of deeper meaning and a connection to her Soul. I am aware of the blessings and magic that continue to unfold in my life - I have been before - welcome to the Miracle.
We enter the gates of a private community and pull up to the front desk of Rythmia Life Advancement Center, where I am greeted by the warm, welcoming face of Gustav, the night staff.
"Welcome, Nykki. How was your flight?" The nature of this culture is incredibly pure and genuine, and I immediately feel at home. Gustav provides a brief rundown of how things will work the following day, loads me with snacks and fresh coconut water, and shuttles me off to my room.
It is pitch black, so I see very little, but the air is warm and inviting, the energy is calm and peaceful, and I get the feeling Spirit has something very special in store.
I sleep like a baby in my oversized king bed and wake the next morning with only 10 minutes before breakfast finishes. Popping up and out, still in my PJs, my eyes are delighted - the grounds are beautiful. The property is a fusion of a tropical resort, a beautiful rainforest and a zen Buddhist temple.
The staff greets me by first name and sends me to complete my entrance exam - a visit with Dr. Jeff, the resident psychologist, as well as the on-site medical doctor, for a check-up and live blood cell analysis. Rythmia's intention is to provide a labyrinth and sanctuary for transformation, and they have done an amazing job of creating a "campus" and "curriculum" designed to support each visitor to experience miracles of healing and awakening.
I first meet with Dr. Jeff and we uncover that we have the same best friend in Los Angeles. There are no accidents, and I laugh quietly as I am reminded of the interconnectedness of all beings. It is confirmation that Spirit always puts us where we are meant to be. We instantly hit it off and dive right in to a broad range of topics, as we are both in the healing arts and our life purpose and mission perfectly align.
Next I visit with Dr. Natalie, the resident medical doctor who has the most beautiful energy. We take my vitals and she pricks my finger for live cell analysis. I learn that my blood is perfect - there are no deficiencies, it is clean and flowing, and my cells are healthy. I feel a sense of accomplishment, as only a few years ago, prior to starting my own cleanse company, formulating herbal supplements and creating my 21 Day Cleanse & Nutrition Program, I had been told that my blood was toxic and congested and that my cells were dying. I acknowledge myself for dedication to healing my body through consistent cleansing (three or four times a year) and plant-based nutrition. The effort has paid off.
Next it was off to receive my aura reading and book the complimentary massages and Dead Sea Cleanse Colon Hydrotherapy that are included in the cost of the room. One of my favorite things about Rythmia is that it is an all-inclusive resort/retreat experience - one price per night includes all food (which is organic and delicious), massages & spa amenities, Deep Sea Cleanse Colonics, twice daily yoga designed by Shiva Rea, meditation, and a broad range of classes designed to support personal transformation. There is "The Answer is You" by Michael Beckwith, "Truthenomics" by Gerard Powell, and other classes offered when thought leaders are visiting. They also offer nightly plant medicine ceremonies for those who want to participate. The place is like a playground for big kids, all geared toward healing and cultivating happiness from the inside out.
I book my appointments, ponder the schedule and feel an energy approaching from behind. Immediately I know this is a friend of a friend whom I am meant to meet at some point in this journey, and as luck would have it, I was correct. We set off for the pool in deep conversation and I can't help giggle that I am living my own version of the Celestine Prophecy. I have found myself in the vortex and energy field of flow, where all events and circumstances line up in harmony so that everything happens effortlessly. I acknowledge my inner state of presence, non- attachment, openness and lightness of being. I acknowledge and express silent gratitude to the energy of the divine. Everything exists in its inherent state of perfection (and I am still in my pajamas).
The day becomes the evening and it is time for dinner, where guests gather in a beautiful open-air restaurant that serves the most delicious, fresh, organic food grown just outside the grounds. The meal is served buffet style and all palates are honored. Vegan, raw, macrobiotic, ayurvedic, carnivore ... whatever your preference, it is available. The setting of the restaurant is family style, and that truly is the energy and experience here. Whomever happens to be at the center instantly becomes family - if that is your choice - and at every meal guests gather to share life, experiences, healing and nourishment. The owners also live on the premises, and when in town, can be found dining with the guests.
The evening comes to a close, but not before a final stop at the pool to take in the stars and the energy of the rain forest. There is a whole week of this, and it is something I can definitely get used to.
Time slows and diminishes into the nothingness that it is. This allows the week to be longer, as healing and connection both internally and externally unfolds brilliantly. I experience a miracle awakening catalyzed by the class "Truthenomics," the manifestation program designed and taught by Gerry Powell, the founder of Rythmia.
During our class, Gerry's discourse triggered a deep pain inside - one that had been lurking beneath the surface for decades. I exit to my room, creating space to honor and process what was coming forward. I find that by simply embracing the pain and actually loving it, a new perspective was immediately created and I experience a shift in consciousness. Happiness floods every cell of my being and I feel more alive, inspired and empowered than ever before. I am ready to conquer the world.
Bowing once again in reverence to the Divine and the inherent perfection of all things and all beings, I offer my gratitude for the healing and to myself for a willingness to do the work. It becomes even more clear how important it is to listen to ourselves on the most subtle levels and to create space for sacred time such as this in special places such as Rythmia.
But it takes a willingness to feel our pain in order to transcend and create freedom within. This doesn't happen on a beach sipping cocktails or at a casino betting blackjack, although I could have made a choice to spend my time in other places than here. It doesn't happen when my nose is buried in my Facebook feed or my fingers are busy responding to text messages, although I could have chosen this option during my stay here. Instead I choose to be a student of life, to take advantage of the opportunities available at Rythmia to learn and grow, and to unplug from the world and technology to show up for myself in honor of experiencing the majesty of my Soul.
Perhaps my favorite part of the trip, beyond healing, was the relationships formed with the other guests. You become family. It is a level playing field - a group of individuals gathering in board-shorts and bathing suits, yoga gear and workout clothes - here to heal and ascend. Capitalism and consumerism have diminished (thank you Rythmia), titles, resumes and bank accounts do not exist. We are all one.
My last meal at Rythmia was spent dining with Gerry and Dr. Jeff, and in our final conversation I ask, "If you could have anyone say anything about Rythmia when they leave, what would it be."
Dr. Jeff blurts our before I even finish my sentence, "That they are happy!"
A feeling of warmth spreads through my cells and a smile spreads on my lips.
These guys are the real deal.
They get it. They are in it for the right reasons. And they have created something truly special and unique in service to helping the world wake up and embrace the beauty of the human experience. A labyrinth designed for healing, and to cultivate happiness.