5 Ways I've Evolved Since Moving to Caye Caulker, Belize
As many of you all know, my family of 4 and I moved to the small island of Caye Caulker, Belize on March 17th, 2022. In the year+ that we’ve been here, we’ve not only learned so much about this magical country we now call home, but we’ve learned so much about ourselves as individuals, entrepreneurs, spiritual beings, as spouses and as parents.
One of the biggest things that has really shifted for CB and I since moving here last year is the ways in which we have allowed our creativity to run wild; with raising our kids, growing our businesses and manifesting our intentions. I think because we now live in a space where abundance is all around us and we are no longer operating from a “hustle” or “scarcity” mindset, there’s more space for us to think, imagine and then take the leap to bring some of our wildest intentions into fruition. For example, prior to us coming here, I’d always said to Pooh that I was feeling a shift in teaching ESL exclusively with international professionals and wanted to hone in on my innermost passion of working with my own people; Black women. I wasn’t entirely sure what that would look like but I had this gut feeling that in moving here, something would come alive in me that would align my path with situations and circumstances that would allow me to lean into a calling to work with Black women as they heal, manifest and curate a life of their wildest imagination. Well, in the past year that we’ve been here, we’ve successfully executed THREE sold-out retreats through The L.E.A.P. Retreat (learn more HERE), I still lead my monthly, virtual Intention Circle (learn more HERE), I’ve been featured on a number of different podcasts led by Black women and more recently, was interviewed by a beautiful Black Queen for publication in Travel Noire.
I also took another big leap and launched my personalized, online consultations (learn more HERE) that allow me to connect with my tribe more intentionally and provide assistance, guidance and insight to those who are considering moving to Belize or for those who are simply looking to make the most of their vacation here. I’m honored that many women have booked consultations with me (some have even come to the island for a visit) and despite how uniquely different all of my consultations have been, one of the most common questions outside of healthcare, education, housing and taxes is:
“How have you changed (if at all) since moving here and if so…in what way(s)?”
Given how frequently I’ve had this conversation, I wanted to take a moment to share with the tribe 5 different ways in which I have truly evolved since moving here last year.
Y’all ready? Let’s get into it.
1. More in tune with my spirituality
Let me say this: I have always deeply respected followers of many organized religions and indoctrinations; however, many years ago I found myself diverging further and further from Christianity (the religion of my upbringing) and transforming into a more holistic and spiritual practitioner, who over the years, has become much more in tune with my own divinity and its inherent and most powerful connection to nature. Prior to moving to Belize, I felt that my spiritual practice was becoming a big stagnant because living in the suburbs of MD, I just didn’t get that much exposure to nature and safety issues in the DMV forced me to be more mindful about being outside (especially alone). I now realize that being immersed in nature, where I’m in direct communion with The Elements are the exact things my spirit needs in order to truly thrive and the limitations of that in the US were stifling.
My soul had been yearning to reconnect with Spirit especially after 2 years of dealing with COVID, navigating pregnancy, delivery & postpartum complications, and stress & severe anxiety about raising Black children amid heightened police brutality in a very polarized US. So once we got out of there and came to Belize, I immediately felt like my spiritual practice was finally positioned to be nourished and fed by the environment within which we now reside.
What Caye Caulker lacks in certain amenities I’d grown accustomed to in The States, it certainly makes up for in spiritual offerings. For example, every establishment that offers yoga, does so on a “donation-only” basis because the belief is that yoga should be made available to any/everyone regardless of your financial background. There are also several different local establishments that specialize in chakra balancing & cleansing, reiki and more. The Mayan and Garifuna community here offer number of different resources for detoxifying the mind, body and spirit, allowing for me to exist in a state of centeredness, relaxation and peace and because they are so affordable, I find myself tapping into these offerings on a regular basis.
With a deepened spiritual practice that is reinforced by my surroundings, I’ve been able to also *see* people more clearly and lean into my own powers of discernment with regard to the role that they may or may no longer play in my life. Without sounding arrogant by any means, by moving away from my family & friends, the distance coupled with a newfound sense of Self has allowed me to differentiate with the greatest clarity than ever before those who should remain in my small circle from those who’ve served their purpose (for which I am deeply grateful) but must go their own way…with love, grace and appreciation for the experienced we’ve shared.
2. More intentional about spending time with my children
We live in a place where the vast majority of the island has children and this has afforded me the luxury of feeling perfectly content disconnecting from social events, from entrepreneurial responsibilities and instead simply witnessing the magic that resides fruitfully in my children. Our greatest intention in moving here was being able to realize a life for our two Black boys where they exist in an environment where the color of their richly melanated skin is no longer used as justification for subjecting them to centuries-old oppression. We wanted to see first-hand just how far their spirits could soar never having to worry about the limitations imposed upon and enforced on them because of the color of their skin and truthfully, the ways in which our two boys have uniquely blossomed since we moved here has exceeded any/all expectations we’d had an intentions we’d set.
They’re learning Creole & Spanish, weekends are spent at the Sea, evenings are spent looking for crabs, throwing seashells in the Sea and waiting with anticipation for the Moon to rise and because of this simple, soft life we’ve afforded them, they truly embody everything it means to be a black boy in full bloom.
3. More clarity with my intentions
When you do something as crazy as having 2 babies back-to-back during a global pandemic, buy & sell a whole damn house within a year, buy & sell the very car you’d always wanted in under a year and sell ALL of your brand new furniture to move to this itty bitty island off the coast of a central American country…the world really becomes limitless, possibilities become endless and opportunities become abundant.
So since moving here, I’ve decided that no dream is ever too big and that no matter how many setbacks I’ve faced in the past, they have all aligned my path to situate me exactly where I am now. And given that we’re in such a deeply spiritual place where I feel more connected to the Divine than ever, I have learned to become way more clear and specific about the things I wish to manifest with regard to my personal growth and development, with my role as a wife and a mother, my professional pursuits and my endeavors with my personal brand. The only challenge then is being patient as I await for the things I’ve set intentions for to manifest but then again, we live in a place where the motto is “go slow”, so at times when my anxiety attempts to get the best of me, I simply take a deep breath and affirm, “everything is happening for you, Bree, but in divine timing.”
4. Better situated to establish and enforce boundaries
This was one of my weaknesses prior to moving to Belize; allowing people to overstep boundaries that I’d never even known to enforce, let alone reinforce. I kept finding myself in situations where I felt taken for granted, taken advantage of and disrespected but time away from that lifestyle has taught me that often, I was the root of it all because I’d neglected my own needs at the mercy of making others around me comfortable. Since moving to Belize, however, I’ve found myself so deeply protective of my energy and my space because I now live in a place where every single day, I get to experience pure, uninterrupted bliss. Nothing nor no one can disrupt that anymore unless I willingly allow them to and at this point in my life, after everything I’ve done to get to this exact moment, that’s just not a sacrifice I’m willing to make anymore.
In becoming so protective of my energy, I’ve had to have tough conversations with close friends and family about what I will no longer tolerate, establishing a boundary that had never been set before that honestly, has subsequently caused some relationships to end. As hard as it is mourning the loss of those relationships, I find that I now have a tribe both on the island and back in the States who is as committed to honoring my transformation as I am theirs, who is as invested in my ascension as I am theirs and who truly sees me, as I do them, through the lens of grace and love for everything I’d been, currently am and working towards becoming.
5. Deepened sense of commitment to my husband
Whew, honey! Moving to Belize was one of the absolute BEST things CB & I could have done for our marriage but before I deep dive, let me say this:
The same way that the pandemic either nourished or destroyed partnerships/marriages because it forced spouses into an unfamiliar (read: uncomfortable) situation where there’s no escaping one another (particularly during times of conflict), there are few distractions due to limited outside interaction and engagement with one another (even and especially on your worst days) is the standard, living abroad with a spouse can absolutely have a similar affect on a couple.
When we moved to Belize in 2022, we knew no one but each other; no friends, no family, no community…literally just us. And in a place where Spirit’s presence is felt in every fiber of this island, there are a number of things that had once been buried deep into our subconscious minds that began to resurface; grief, doubt, fear, Imposter’s Syndrome, FEAR, anxiety, etc. In the year and a half that we’ve been here, more has been revealed about each other than in the (almost) 8 years we’ve known each other and we’ve had to confront those things together. We’ve had challenges for sure and we’ve had disagreements and arguments, but in sifting through all the things we’d ignored in exchange for nights out with friends or family, we’ve uncovered the true essence of who we each are and subsequently, the true meaning of unconditional love, grace, forgiveness and support.
It makes life abroad so much easier knowing that no matter how slow/fast it takes to build a community here, home is found in each other because it’s there where no matter what’s going on in the outside world, yes even on this tiny island we now called home, we hold space for each other where we’re both safe, seen and loved; deeply, intentionally and unconditionally.
If you've gotten this far, then I THANK YOU for reading this blog post. Thank you for journeying with me as I continue to acclimate to island life and thank you for alllllll of the love and support along the way! Having you all bear witness to my growth is humbling but the love is felt and that's all that matters. Please leave a comment below if any of this resonated with you and share with your tribe if you know of others who are considering taking the leap and moving abroad.
With love always,