TIP: My Staycation in Mexico

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Don’t have time or money to travel? I enjoyed a trip to Mexico minutes from my home and discovered traditions and a rich culture that I never knew existed – especially meaningful in our divisive times.

Guelaguetza is a like a big party of cultural exchange. Indigenous folkloric dances and performances honor the diversity of traditions from eight distinct regions of the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

After two years of planning, this festival was proudly shared for the first time in Austin, Texas.

The audience spontaneously sang beloved songs and stood while they sang the national anthems of the United States and Mexico.

Between a couple of the performances, colorfully costumed women served mezcal, a cousin to tequila, in orange peppers that were the size of jalapeno peppers.

Another first for me, just one sip went down very warm and smooth.

When we finished the drink, we ate the pepper.

Well over 50% of Oaxaca’s population is native indigenous, compared to 20% of Mexico as a whole.

Another way of seeing this, more than half of the people come from distinctly different cultures.

As it was described to me, “these tribes gather annually to celebrate good wishes, goodwill, friendship and love between each other.”

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This photo was taken as the women completed their dance. Each wore a different costume representing her region. Their headdresses represent food they brought to share. Apologies for the fuzzy picture. I thought it better for you to see it rather than not include it because it wasn’t perfect.

“This event celebrates cooperation with each other instead of war.

“Our planet is filled with people who are different. Guelaguetza acknowledges and revels in our differences.”

What a gift we’re given in our modern times to witness people who honor their differences through celebration!

Let that sink in a moment.

If other humans on our planet can co-exist, respect and honor differences, so can we.

We don’t have to be afraid of people who aren’t like us.

What if we had conversations that opened us to each other’s uniqueness?

Think what this can mean in your business and life.

Instead of feeling anxious because you don’t know somebody and don’t know what to expect because they might be different than you, enjoy the contrast.

What are your chances of creating a better business or personal relationship if you approach people in the spirit of appreciating their uniqueness?

Here’s an example of this giving spirit before the event began.

My friends and I arrived early, and I ordered a Oaxacan specialty dish from a food trailer.

Although there was no line when I ordered, it took 15 minutes to receive my food.

When my friend inquired about the delay, she reacted uncharacteristically with a disapproving tone.

I received my food and found a place in the shade to eat it.

But where were my friends?

I watched an ever growing line of people waiting for food.

When my friend saw that the guy was working by himself because he wasn’t expecting a crowd, she felt she needed to help him.

He didn’t look at the long line of people standing in the direct sun of over 100 degree heat; he wanted to cook.

But he couldn’t do it all by himself.

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It was taking 15 minutes per person to receive food as people waited in the hot sun.

She didn’t ask if he wanted help as she went into the little trailer.

She told the overwhelmed, young man that she’d take orders, and he could focus on cooking.

For the next two hours, she worked in the “sauna” taking orders and managing the kitchen as family members came to help.

Her older brother stood by the side door. Instead of going to watch the performances, he cheerily said he was standing there to be entertained.

Actually, he was watching out for his sister and smoothing the emotions of the customers who questioned the wait time.

Later, when I asked why she did it, she replied.

“I had a feeling that someone had to help him. When you’re some place, there’s a reason. I felt in the moment, I need to help him. And, I enjoyed the experience of taking orders.”

She refused any payment and accepted some soda and water for us.

We had lots of laughs about it later, and no one even hinted at a word or sentiment of complaint.

Your TIP is to take inspired action by doing something you feel guided to do. Be open to allow your inner spirit to lead you… not because of duty or what you think you should do.

Let’s take it another step.

When you take action have a feeling of goodwill and appreciation in your heart.

Imagine how powerful, productive, compassionate and loving your business and personal interactions can be.

Do this often enough and you’ll feel so great that your life can be as if you’re on a perpetual vacation.

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