Merri and I learned this lesson from an Andean Yatchak when he used gratitude in a most powerful way. Here we are with him in the sacred LLanganatis cloud forest.
Merri and I were spending the entire winter at our Ecuadorian plantation with this shaman and his apprentices. We lived in a tiny wooden shack, no electricity, no phone and no hot water…for all those months.
The hacienda’s main house where we stayed is really remote, on the tip of this plateau in the middle of this shot.
The view we saw each sunrise is spectacular. Here it is.
The shack is still there..in ruins now. But I cannot bring myself to tear it down. Too many wonderful memories.
Our goal was to understand how the shamanic apprentice really lived, thought and felt. We did not expect to learn how truly blessed we are in life and how much we have to be thankful for.
Though the apprentices had nothing and earned about $30 a month, the joy and happiness during that time with those people was infectious, laughter always just waiting to bubble over at any event.
One day Ecuador’s economy shut down…almost everything.
Gas ran out and all the banks were closed. The shaman and the apprentices lost every penny they had in the banks.
Upon learning this the shaman called for a mingo (this word means circle and represents a meeting) where he performed a ceremony of thanks for all the change that these losses would bring.
Later after this circle, we sat on the front porch and watched the setting sun drop in a burst of purple and mauve. The wind was warm and a symphony of insects gave a serenade. This now penniless shaman looked over and whispered. “Life is good”.
Changes in his financial life did not rob him of a penny’s worth of living. He filled what others considered a loss with gratitude.
I can’t put in words what a sense of peace and harmony rolled over us as we looked down at the lushness of the valley below, the mists rising, the waterfalls folding in lacy cascades, bird songs trilling through the clear air. The river although far below us was a great bubbling sound along with the strangeness of some of the bird calls. This was a joy we had not felt since we were kids.
As Merri and I sat last night enjoying our very different Blue Ridge sunset, we felt incredible joy knowing that in this world of problems, we can have the gift of helping.
We thank you for letting us share and hope we can help make your life better in some small way.
We look forward with great joy to sharing more ideas in the year ahead with you. If we can in some way make your life more joyous and help you laugh, learn and be grateful, we will truly be blessed. There is such beauty on this earth and in this world at this time and we feel privileged to be able to share it with you.
Reading daily papers or watching TV in these days can be depressing. They focus on negative minutiae. The reporters, editors and newscasters forget that these are the most materially abundant times mankind has ever known.
During this time of apparent turmoil, there is order and we can still do what the wealthiest people on earth could not even imagine even a century ago.
The global population remains. The global resources remain. The global productivity remains. Nothing has really changed except few of our social economic illusions are being corrected…for the good. We may have never seen a time of such great opportunity.
Today Merri and I send our greatest hopes that you share with us enormous gratitude that “Life really is good!”
Join Merri, me, Steve, Kjetil Haugan and Peter Conradsen of Jyske Global Asset Management in Cotacachi, Ecuador. We’ll review economic conditions, Ecuador real estate, my entire portfolio and investing and business ideas for the months ahead.
Nov 7-9 2008 International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador
Enjoy Cotacachi sunrises.
Nov 10-11 Cotacachi-Imbabura Real Estate tour
Then travel to the coast and enjoy Pacific sunsets.
November 12-15, 2008 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour; Quito Real Estate Tour