Guatemala Transformations!

Photographer drawing a bus (image by

Ever notice how your home environment feels different after returning from a vacation? Perhaps you note changes in your perspectives and feelings after completing a project. We notice this often after teaching workshops and being with so many amazing world travelers at Lake Atitlán.

These transformations in our perceptual field are courtesy of the reticular-activating system. Its role is to sense things around us and sort them out. It acts as a filter in your awareness. Essentially, the reticular-activating system is the “autopilot” of your consciousness.

When we change environments, we open our perceptual fields and are more available to connect with the “now moment.” New environments expand our perceptual field and we are able to take in new data—colors seem more vivid. We become more consciously aware. Alternatively, we can become a bit overwhelmed and fatigued by travel. It is important to stay in the present moment and decide how much activity is inspiring versus tiring.

The beauty of Guatemala provides ample food for the perceptual filters. Changing environments, diverse foods, changing your sleep space—all these things stimulate your biology. You can use this biological function to your advantage.

When creating a travel agenda it is common to over-book your time. Guatemala reminds us that colors, fabrics, soil, smiles and flowers are the essence of the natural world. Why not be bold? You can shift your schedule and take a moment. Perhaps simply enjoy the many sites at the Parque Central in La Antigua. That hour spent “doing nothing” will do more for your health and happiness than any planned event. You will cultivate your ability to enjoy the moment and feed your capacity to be peaceful.

Transformation happens when we recognize the need to change or when circumstances force us to change. As a conscious tourist, why not use the heightened perceptual system to enhance your self-awareness? For example, after a travel experience, take a few minutes to reflect and journal. Instead of writing about the agenda, journal about how you feel, what was the impact of your adventure on you? Harvest the full bounty of the experience.

Each time we bring our attention inward we discover our authentic truth. This is a great opportunity. When we are conscious of our true feelings we can make new decisions that support us. When we numb or distract ourselves with pre-set agendas, we miss the opportunity to be fully awake to our inner truth.

Life happens. Transformation happens. Living consciously simply means using everyday experiences to build our peace, happiness and self-confidence. Sitting at the shore of Lake Atitlán you will discover countless interactions, from dragonflies landing on your arm, to the wind dancing on the waves of water. The miracle of a stunning sunset takes root in your core, and transformation happens automatically. Consciously participate in your life and discover that even the most ordinary of days have countless miracles. This is why we opened TOSA La Laguna Holistic Retreat Center at Lake Atitlán; it is nature’s gift of restoration to all who visit.

Be daring! While in Guatemala do something just because you want to. Perhaps you might even join us at the lake and discover just how full the now moment truly is.

Sri and Kira have authored several books and are the owners of TOSA La Laguna. Email:

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