The town itself (not including visitors) has a round year population of around 5,000. It has what I would describe as a Mexican “hippy” vibe to it. The locals are friendly and talkative with strangers. The people who live there are mellow and not very ambitious, many enjoy consuming various recreational drugs. The longer I stayed, the more locals I met who invited me to hang out with them. I spent a month there. My goal was to live the beach bum life while writing on a daily basis at the same time. This was a mistake on my part.
You see I was pulled into this care free lifestyle and before I knew it, I had lost all my motivation in regards to my business and writing in general. My motivation to write, to research, to be a digital nomad and travel seemed to dissipate the longer I was there. When I first arrived, I was writing every single day, by the end of my time there, once every four was the norm for me. I stopped reaching out to potential clients.
What happened? I got sucked into the local lifestyle, this is a lifestyle where people (mainly ex-pats) work just enough to get by and live. The goal for them is to pursue other hobbies and activities, such as surfing (which is big in Sayulita) or in some cases, simply do nothing. For someone such as myself, who fancies himself a writer, this is not a good situation to be in. I WANT to write; I love the creative process that it entails. Also, it allows me to process my thoughts and feelings. I also love working with my coaching clients. While living a block from the beach, surrounded by people who lived in the moment (as well as a lot of partying tourists), I no longer fed my muse. I became content with running on the beach, playing in the sand and surf.
However, in the back of my mind, the little voice was always present. The voice telling me “this is not what you want...you need to write, you need to engage with clients...this is not for you.” For several weeks, I was very successful at ignoring the voice but people would constantly ask, “how’s the writing going?” I would lie and tell them, “I’m being very productive!” Productive at getting a tan. One evening, during my run on the beach at sunset, I had an epiphany. If I were a spiritual person, I would call it divine intervention. I suddenly remembered a passage from a book, from my high school literature course. The book was The Odyssey by Homer.
Many people have read this classic of ancient Greek literature in school. For those who have not, it is a story about an ancient Greek sailor trying to return home after a long war in a foreign land (the Trojan War). However, the protagonist Odysseus manages to offend the sea god Poseidon. Poseidon decides to make Odysseus’ journey back home long, arduous and fraught with danger.
The reason this story came to mind during my run was one of the lands that Odyssey sails to in order to resupply was called The Land of the Lotus Eaters. Here, the people ate some sort of narcotic fruit which made them apathetic and unmotivated to do much of anything but sleep most of the time. When Odyssey sent out sailors to reconnoiter the area, they too ate the fruit and became so entranced that they did not want to continue their journey. Odyssey recognized the danger immediately and forbid the rest of this men from leaving the ship and sailed away after he resupplied. Those who had tasted the lotus were restrained, keeping from attempting to go back.
I too had tasted the lotus and was becoming docile and apathetic. So I mustered what little discipline I had left and went elsewhere to start over, much like Odyssey drifting back out into sea, into unknown waters, leaving the lotus eaters behind. I have work to do (important work in my mind) in both my writing and life coaching business.
However, I was tempted to stay by that beach for the rest of my life, eking out some kind of existence, while the outside world continued to evolve. I am in the process of building my brand again and developing my business, it feels good to write again as well. However, sometimes I still think about the Land of the Lotus Eaters and its succulent fruit.