Crossing The Bar

by Nate
playa del carmen beach

It all came together quite magically…our home renovation, our Mexican visas, and us being in the right place spiritually and emotionally, free from our jobs, and with everything we need for the journey ahead. From idea to execution in 18 months, it has been an uncanny adventure.

Despite our renovation and move plans being delayed repeatedly, all the various threads of our escape to Mexico wove together perfectly such that we put our house on the market, sold it, and were approved for visas, all in the same week. Before long, all the obstacles that had spun us out and tied down for months were quickly -abruptly- cleared away.

Watching all the various loose ends of our plan tie themselves up neatly at just the right times was nothing short of magical. Through the looking glass and on the other side of our great adventure, now feels like the time to reflect and recount the winding path we’ve took to begin our new lives in paradise.

Our last selfie, standing in our garden at our old house in Dallas, TX just before hopping in the car and driving to Mexico.

Best Laid Plans

Let’s rewind the timeline a little over 18 months to when we first decided to move to Mexico and compare what we thought would happen to what actually took place.

We thought we would do this:

  • Both have jobs (and income).
  • Fly to Mexico (and wouldn’t have a car).
  • Be on tourist visas for a year or two.
  • Rent for a couple years at least.

We actually did this:

  • Quit our jobs (Sarah is actually retiring).
  • Drove to Mexico.
  • Became Mexican residents.
  • Started looking for land to build on immediately.

Each of these differences embody a host of changes to our plans. Not having jobs means living differently. It means having a mandate to invest well and the time to focus on what brings us joy. Being legal residents affords us many benefits, like being able to own a car and use the Mexican health system. Driving meant having more of our favorite books and roof racks on the car for the water sports equipment we’re now going to buy. Purchasing a home in Mexico (for cash) means eliminating our largest expense and adding stability and resiliency to our lives.

Our current plan is fundamentally better than where we started but we’d never have been able to conceive of it a year and a half ago. It would have sounded so insane…sell everything, move to a different country with no income, and simplify our lives so that we can focus only on things that bring us joy…who can do that?

We’d never have come up with this plan because, frankly, it’s not our plan. It’s no exaggeration to say that this endeavor was divinely inspired and its progress spirit-led. Long meditations on desire, months of devotion to Venus, and a long, windy path of spiritual awakening brought us from the desert of directionlessness to the outskirts of the promised land.

We crossed the US/Mexico border in Piedras Negras to avoid any potential risks from crossing through cartel country in Nuevo Laredo.

Swimming Upstream

Divinely inspired as this journey may have been, the path ahead of us hasn’t always been clear. We spent as much time getting in our own way as we did making progress. When spirits guide they seldom bother with an explanation…probably because we resist when they try. Anything truly miraculous sounds crazy and implausible at a distance.

So we tried every possible permutation of thinking and planning our way to paradise; especially when it came to money. We’ve been hard workers for many years; career-minded by necessity as we saved up a nest egg to fund a better future. Even our magic was focused on prosperity and “success” in those days; often at the expense of our joy.

There’s nothing wrong with success magic. Financial stability is an essential component of personal liberty in the modern age. Money may not bring you happiness -or freedom- outright, but a lack of it virtually guarantees you’ll have neither. However, money rarely translates to wealth and success at one’s job always implies that your efforts benefit others more than yourself. Working magic to hit our numbers, to meet our business goals, etc…was simply shortsighted.

And this shortsightedness caused us to focus on the means rather than the ends. In preparation for our transition to Mexico we performed rituals to turn Sarah’s job, as the head of a small marketing agency, into a remote position with the intention statement, “Full Salary In Mexico”. And miraculously it worked…but when it came to pass we quickly realized that it wasn’t really what we wanted, or more importantly, what we needed.

We were so focused on the potential for scarcity that we were unable to see the abundance that might arise from simply letting go. Honestly, it’s tough to do anything else when you’re in the middle of an experience like this. So much of it is beyond control that it’s only natural to cling to what you know you can manifest on your own. But it makes little sense to ask the gods to change your life and then only allow them to work in typical, predictable sorts of ways.

Our magic worked remarkably well, creating all kinds of problems. Sarah’s boss agreed to allow her to continue her job abroad, with her full salary intact -in a manner of speaking. As tends to be the way with magic, we got exactly what we asked for in a way we never would have predicted (or wanted). In order to continue working with the company she started, she had to be officially terminated…and paid as a contractor. Not shockingly, this meant no benefits or PTO, but it also meant her boss would treat her differently, penalizing her in various ways (such as only paying a small portion of her earned PTO upon termination).

The momentum of the magic we’d worked to secure her salary in Mexico earned us about six hard weeks of undoing -wrestling with the decision to end the job and enter Mexico with no income. The spells we worked to keep her salary were effective, to be sure, but not beneficial; and this offers much to contemplate when choosing future intention targets.

Sometimes our magic works well, but not to our advantage.

As we sit here now, in Mexico, on the other side of this story; it’s fascinating to think about how much better off we are without the burden of that responsibility. It would, for reasons we’d have no way to have known at the time, been an unnecessarily stressful cross to bear. Strange (and wonderful) that the gods both gave us what we asked for, and also what we really needed, without doing too much damage to us in the process.

Faith, Doubt & Spirit Timing

Spirit moves in mysterious ways. I think that’s because of how different their perspective of time and meaning is compared to our own. Their own timeless perspective may be able to see outcomes we cannot -and potentially cannot even fathom. We were told again and again to “have faith” and “trust the magic”; which I now understand is the divine equivalent of “you wouldn’t believe me if I told you…”

Things came to a head with Sarah’s job and many synchs, tarot readings, and funny feelings lead us both (separately) to the conclusion that her job (and our only stable income) needed to go for all the other pieces of our proverbial puzzle to fall into place. So she quit her job and the following week, those pieces began to fall, one by one.

Quickly, the entire endeavor gained traction and then speed, as our home renovations completed, the house was listed -and sold- within the same week that our visa documentation was finally accepted and our appointment scheduled. This too came and went quickly, and less than 14 days after Sarah put in her notice, all the obstacles to our move to Mexico had been cleared away and the road lay open before us.

If fear is the mind-killer, then doubt is the ruin of magic.

Belief is the medium with which the narrative of the universe is painted in living color. Thankfully, we managed to let go enough -and soon enough- for our egos not to ruin the work of many months of devotion, ritual, prayer, and planning.

large palm trees in the yucatan
There are gorgeous palm trees everywhere you look here!

Closing (The Loop)

Two short weeks later, we closed on the house on Monday the 12th of July, 2021, and then drove to the US/Mexico border -the proceeds depositing into our bank account shortly after as we crossed over into Mexico to begin our new life. But before this could happen, we had to live through the process of cleaning, staging, showing, and finding a buyer for our home of 11 years.

The market in Texas at this time, is wild…a raging wildfire of demand…an economic bubble swelling to a bursting point. But as intimidating as it would be to a potential home buyer, it was a strategic blessing to us. Our renovation of roughly $50,000 netted an increase in equity (from the time we began the project) of about $120,000. That’s remarkably good if you know what you’re doing –and we most certainly did not.

Even more eyebrow-raising was the nature of the showing and selling phase of this project. We were told to prepare for a slew of showings; with other sellers in the area having dozens -even up to a hundred- families viewing their homes due to demand. We’d all but moved out, into a mini-storage, weeks before and were living in a truly liminal state; with a bed, a TV, a few plastic tubs, and a small amount of kitchen gear to get us by. We spent our time cleaning the house furiously; bringing it to a state of shiny, polished perfection that it had never been in the 11 prior years.

The house went on the market on Wednesday the 23rd of June and we had our first showing the following day. On the morning of of the 24th I made a final offering to our house spirit and petitioned it for help (again) with attracting the right buyers. I left the house (in immaculate condition) with our dogs in tow, and walked the neighborhood for an hour. The visit lasted longer than scheduled and we sweated in the Texas summer heat until I saw them finally exit the house from a shaded vantage point down the block.

They must have fallen in love with the house because they offered us our asking price almost immediately. We were thrilled, obviously, but decided to wait for additional offers because of the state of the market. Yet, after 2 more days without so much as a showing, we divined on our situation (with tarot) and opted to take the only offer on the table.

By any traditional standard of logic, this was crazy -maybe even reckless- because waiting surely would have yielded more offers; maybe kicking off a bidding war. After all, we had done substantial magic to drive up the price of the home and were fully anticipating dozens of showings and at least a handful of offers.

In our situation it was easy though. We realized that we’d done the magic, kept faith while it worked itself out (to our great benefit), and we were awake enough to recognize this uncanny, synchronistic unfolding of events for what it was -an enchanted, animistic universe responding to our petitions. So we accepted the offer and moved forward with our plans.

Being “In Flow”

An enchanted and spirit-led life is one full of synchronicities and improbable occurrences. There is a tangible sense of having the wind at your back and gliding (almost too) easily over the types of obstacles that hold others back. When you have the gods on your side your life feels “in flow” with the universe.

Holding onto this feeling -staying “in flow”- is less about acting and more about listening (feeling, really). It’s necessary to regard the future as potentially mysterious; as more than just the echoes of deterministic prior actions. Leaving space in one’s cosmology for the divine, terrible, and unknowable, situates one in a living, magical universe of possibility instead of cold, dead materialism.

As Sarah and I embark on the next leg of our lives’ journey, there is much to review and process; much to assimilate from our experiences. There were plenty of shortcomings, missed steps, and ignored signs and synchs.

Could we have made this process easier on ourselves by not trying to plan and predict as much?

Would more situations have simply clicked into place if we’d had deeper faith -or stronger conviction?

But then again, how could we have had a deeper trust in the divine without an experience like this? Lessons were learned, in any case. New habits were formed, new praxis adopted. As we move into this new timeline and fully disassociate from our old lives it is becoming easier to remain in the enchanted version of the world.

Committing to this path is intimidating, to say the least, because it exists in a reality that is mercurial and unpredictable. Navigating it requires faith we’ve only just tested; and it needs to be honed and refined. But as we set off across the 2,700 miles between Dallas, TX, USA and Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico, we were confident; knowing the roads were open before us.

Leaving the US and crossing into Mexico was a strange and awesome experience. It felt fated; portentous even. I figure crossing a border is tantamount to crossing the bar (setting out to sea), so I’ll close with Tennyson’s poem by that name.

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Crossing The Bar, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

You may also like

Leave a Comment