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Follow the Sun to Soulful Living

Carol Adrienne, Ph.D.                   

December 2009

Emily Aiken is an enterprising young woman.  She has managed to set up what many—including herself—would call a dream life. 

During a recent conversation about her new ownership of the very successful Web site,, Emily told me about how she came to buy it.  As her story unfolded, I was fascinated to hear how, by following her passion and being open to the message of synchronicities, she was able to move to Panama from the United States, and manifest her college dream of retiring to a Latin American beachfront home.

A Passionate Intention Started a Chain of Events
Emily, now in her early forties, first got the idea of living abroad in college, where she  majored in business. She says,

I kept hearing about people going off to live in other countries like Costa Rico, Argentina, or Mexico.  The idea of an early retirement to a Latin American culture and living on the beach really appealed to me, so this was in the back of my head early on. 

After college, I started travelling rather than looking for a career job. I settled in Colorado for awhile, where I supported myself by waitressing, teaching skiing, and being a river raft guide.  But, even though I had a lot of variety in earning money, I didn’t have the sense of freedom I craved. 
I decided to go to massage school, and soon had my own massage practice, as well being the manager of the training clinic.   However, I knew that in order to support my goal of early retirement, I needed another way to finance it.  I decided to buy and sell real estate on the side as the quickest route to gain financial freedom.  Along with the investing, I was still very involved in alternative healing and massage, which was my real passion.

In 2003, my father passed away, and I inherited some money.  This allowed me to start looking in earnest for a place to retire—as I thought of it then.  In the past, when I traveled, I found it fairly easy to make my home almost anywhere by following synchronicities. 
Once I had the ability to move out of the country, I knew I was looking for a place on the beach, that would be affordable, safe, and in a Latin American country.  After reading about different countries, I concentrated on Costa Rica, Argentina, and Panama.  I was looking for the right culture to surround myself with, people who were relaxed and happy and open to real connection.  Panama turned out to fit me just right.  I knew on the first day I arrived that it was going to be the place.  After that, I traveled all over the country looking for a place to settle.

Intention is Nourished by Practical Solutions, Adventurousness,
Following Intuition, and Openness to Surprise

Emily demonstrates important aspects of following a dream.  So far we see that she has a strong desire to relocate, and she’s focused on a goal—settling in a Latin American country—but she’s also open to letting the right place reveal itself.  She’s practical enough to pursue various routes (e.g., real estate investing) to fund her dream, while not losing sight of her original intention.  She continues:

I actually found my property in a part of the country that I originally hadn’t even considered visiting.  This area is fairly far from the airport and basic necessities, but on a whim, I thought I’d look. I arrived late in the day and had no idea where I was going to stay. As it turned out, the owner of the hotel I found also owned the piece of property I ended up buying.  I knew immediately that it was what I had been looking for. It is three acres of beachfront paradise, and I was ready to make a decision.
I live in the province of Los Santos, which means the Saints.  Obviously, this name resonated with me on a spiritual level.  Not only that, but the nearest town is called El Ciruelo, which means plum tree.   This seemed like another synchronicity, because plums are my favorite fruit, and for awhile I toyed with the idea of buying a plum orchard in Argentina.  So the name of the town meant something to me.
For me, the most magical part of finding my property was a dream I had right after making my decision.  In the dream I had a little baby boy.  He was so adorable and his name was Agape, a word I had never heard before.  I looked it up on the Internet and found it’s a Greek word meaning pure love.  I named my property Agape, and I felt like this is my baby—something to care for and something that would teach me. 

Deal with Obstacles
Our curiosity and desire generally help propel us into adventures.  To stoke our creative fires, we also tend to idealize our outcomes, which, in some cases, allows us to move forward despite difficulties.  Otherwise, we might never undertake difficult, but necessary, steps. Emily recalls that while the first year was “glorious and fulfilled all her expectations,” her experience at building a house on her property had some nightmarish qualities as well. 

I didn’t speak Spanish then, so the lack of communication really depressed me. Most people said, ‘Oh, you’re so brave to do this, and so forth.’  I didn’t feel that brave. I had no choice but to build a house to live in, but it was very difficult.  In addition to the new culture, the language problems, and sense of isolation, I was also going through a divorce.

Right Place—Now What?
After the house was finished, Emily was much happier, but after awhile became restless. She was successful with her real estate investing, but wanted something more.

At this point I had my dream house, my dream lifestyle in a wonderful culture, and a community of friends.  It felt great for about a year, but during that time I couldn’t help thinking, ‘Who am I?  What am I going to do with the rest of my life?’ I had a kind of spiritual breakdown.  I kept coming back to my passions for alternative healing and spiritual teachings.

During this period of questioning, Emily returned to the States.  She took a workshop with Sondra Ray, one of the pioneers in conscious breathing and rebirthing techniques. Returning to Panama, she continued practicing meditation and breathing techniques.

Since I was far from any places that taught workshops, I discovered online virtual classes. Then, the bell rang.  Why not invest my money in myself and continue to be involved with the spiritual community? I wanted to do what I love—promoting spiritual and alternative healing. Early in my life I had been interested in what seemed like two opposite directions—business and spirituality.  Now it seemed clear that my path is to combine them.
I did a Google search by typing in ‘spiritual Web sites for sale,’ and up popped  After seeing the site, I just knew that it was right for me.  I made the decision to buy it almost immediately.  I love what the site already has to offer, and I see the potential for expanding it.  My dream now is to inspire people to be active in their own personal development.  I want to put together teachers and information that can reach out to people from all different angles.

I asked Emily what insights she could share with others who want to realize a dream.  She replied,

Listen to what turns you on.  I realized that even though I had created a wonderful material life for myself, my soul still yearned to do something meaningful. I need to work at something I believe in.  I think that honest work—any kind of work that makes a positive difference in people’s lives--is an essential part of what our soul needs.  Even though I have other outlets and other ways to make an income, I can’t truly be happy unless I have a personal creative expression that is so much more than just making money. 
Trust what feels right for you.  I’d say that one of my biggest lessons has been—and still is—being truthful to myself about what I want and need.  I have to trust that I am on a path that is taking me to a place that is right for me.  No matter what others tell me, I have to follow what feels right—and yes, joyous--for me.  When I am in touch with my inner self, my life has a flow.  Things tend to work out.  I’m not saying it’s easy, but we have to listen to the voice of our spirit. 
Don’t put off taking action.  I think that if something is hurting, you have to take action.  If you aren’t happy, at least spend some time thinking about what would make you joyous.  Think about how you could take steps to change your life for the better—and do something. 
When a door opens, be willing to walk through it.

Thank you, Emily.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Happy December, and I’ll see each of YOU next year,
Carol Adrienne

Carol Adrienne, Ph.D. is an intuitive counselor and life coach who has helped thousands of people work through doubt, procrastination, and obstacles to create the life they want to live.
Her books include, The Purpose of Your Life, and When Life Changes, Or you Wish it Would. 

Private consultations and coaching available. Contact her at
Please email Carol with a story or question about your own life for consideration for her column.

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