When I first arrived to Zipolite, I spoke to The Universe directly; “When I leave this place, I will be a completely different person. I am ready to learn what I need to learn to move closer to my highest self. I am ready. Challenge me.” It is worth noting that Zipolite, at times, feels like a vortex, one of those places on the planet with an open window to another dimension… or something like that. And it wasn’t long before my expansion would begin.
Nicolas is like no one I have ever met. I firs made his acquaintance, a 30 something from Chile, living in Zipolite. Physically, he resembles a gymnast who models on the side. Energetically, he is a son of God… The Universe… All That Is… WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT TO CALL IT. His energy is strong, his spiritual evolution is evident, and his desire to play is inspiring.
One day Nicolas said to me, “I will help you with your back.” I had surgery for scoliosis, 19 years ago and while I am in impeccable physical condition, overall, there has been room for improvement in the area of flexibility, in my back. He first invited me to run with him from Zipolite to Mazunte; about a 5 mile run, with both inclines and heat combining to make a rather average distance, into a CHALLENGE. When we arrived in Mazunte, we headed straight for Punta Cometa, running off the road and through the trees, at full speed. Running down the cliff, jumping from rock to rock, until we got to the beach. Washed our bodies off, briefly, in the water, which is curiously silent until the moment the water comes in and what was previously a serene scene transforms for just a few seconds into something potentially violent.
We immediately jumped into a yoga session, which he led and afterwards, he headed in the water for a swim. Before Zipolite, I had not spent a great deal of time at the beach. And swimming was not on the top of my list of “Things to Do.” An experience, being knocked over by a wave at the age of 4, dampened my interest in the water, severely. So, I just watched Nicolas, as he so elegantly floated with the soft waves and violent crashes. Coming out of the water, he asked if I would like to join him. “Oh, I can’t really swim.” I replied. To which, he simply responded, “Puedes.”
Anytime I attempted to explain why I could not do something, Nicolas would respond with, “Puedes” and nothing more. And each time, I learned that I indeed, could. Our regular yoga sessions were right before sunset in Zipolite and I would participate, completely nude. Being naked while taking on challenges of will and dispelling fears can feel like a vulnerable experience, and that’s why I did it and I didn’t care who sat and watched as I stretched myself in ways that scared me. ME. And Nicolas would guide me, breathing through, and stretching further than I ever thought possible.
And something remarkable about my experiences with Nicolas, is that he was just a peer. Another guy, same age, similar interests, who said, “I am your friend, I am going to help you.” He didn’t judge me in moments of vulnerability, he was actual rather indifferent. It was as though, he knew what I had forgotten and would patiently wait for me to remember, “Puedes.”
This was also the most fraternal experience I had had since college. Somehow, it had been years since I had been around another guy who was confident, nurturing, into physical closeness, and not consumed with sex. I felt I could exhale around him and not worry that he was after something else. I remember standing in front of a mirror at his house and he was explaining an area of my body he thought was really developed, and because my Spanish is not 100% and he does not speak English at all, he came over, stood behind me (looking in the mirror) and pulled down my pants to point it out to me. And I melted. Just at finally having a friendship with this level of closeness, trust, and growing with another guy.
When we first met, I told Nicolas, “You have something that I would like to see in myself and I would like to be around you, so I can learn how.” And so I did. And to this day, whenever I have a doubt in my mind about my ability to do something, I hear his voice in my head, saying, “Puedes.”
listen to my new ep, “Veritas,” on spotify