I am back and almost recuperated from my trip to Cuba!
It was a challenging and fulfilling time – I learned so much about the people we met and their lives and perspectives, and in the process I learned a lot about myself.
The people we met were genuinely happy to have us in their country and were very generous and helpful. Especially in helping us understand what they love about their lives and what they dream of making better.
The music and art were fabulous and a there’s a spirit of confidence and grit, joie de vivre and independence that I saw everywhere, particularly in the women I met.
They made everything seem easy, even though objectively, almost everything is difficult.
The cars are all ancient and falling apart, things we take for granted like toilet paper, coffee, flour, eggs, home goods, new cars, are difficult or impossible to come by, or way too expensive, and many houses and streets seem on the verge of disintegration.
Yet the streets are clean, cars lovingly maintained, houses patched up, and everyone seems to have good clothes to wear, enough to eat, a home, and an education – however humble.
Is it because there is so little material wealth, that people find happiness and joy in other ways? This is an age old question.
In our conversations with many different people, most of whom were entrepreneurs, there were two things that I was struck by –
- a sense of purpose in the ideals Cuba is founded on – even though the problems and limitations of that ideology are recognized
- an expression of overall gratitude – yes, things need to change, a lot, but there is a foundation to build on
Still, coming home was like entering a dream. I feel like I am sitting in the lap of extreme luxury.
Everything I would have normally felt stretched by – picking up our car at the airport, driving home after a long day of travel, finding healthy food to keep us going – it was all so easy, so absolutely not a problem.
I didn’t foresee this, but as a result of my trip away, I am so much more grateful and appreciative of what I have, and how lucky I am to be living in this country.
Which brings me to my word for the 2019:
Choosing a word that represents my goals has become one of my favorite rituals for marking the start of the new year.
My word for this year is GROWTH! It embodies all the areas I am excited to work on –
>>> expanding my work with women in business and leadership
>>> learning to speak Spanish
>>> optimizing my physical strength and stamina
What’s your word for the year? Comment below or Post it here in the Radiant KickAss Women’s Club.