Forums Community Announcements Reinventing Your Life in Cuenca by Karla Freeman – Part 2

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      Mini Article Series: Reinventing Your Life in Cuenca by Karla Freeman – Part 2

      It’s a sin or is it?

      When I first came to Cuenca I was suffering from burnout. I didn’t know that this city would heal me. I only knew that I had to stay, had to walk the streets, look at the indigenous women selling vegetables on Sundays at Mercado Diez de Agosto.

      My question: Was it a sin to feel happy? To have a simple life? To be kissed on both cheeks by my dentist?

      After six years living in Cuenca, the magic continues. I don’t overthink the flow of a day walking by the river nor do I question kindness. At times, I need to remind myself to have paciencia because I can rush around. Sometimes I need to slow down to feel the vibe of this vibrant city.

      Yesterday, I wanted to visit a store I hadn’t shopped in before. I met the owner, Tyrone, at King Smokehouse. Not only did I have a tour of his specialty products but then a chat led to sharing about how much we liked helping others.

      Tyrone wanted to know if I knew where his artist friend could sell his work. I had just come from a meeting at IdiomArt with the director, Sarah. We had been organizing to offer my class on improv storytelling. At the door as I was leaving, she asked if I would be coming to an art opening for Philip Hall and Pedro Pablo Tocabens Friday evening. Her invitation led to telling Tyrone about the event. He quickly texted his artist friend who then contacted Sarah. Easy breezy to make the connections.

      In my book Creating Magic in Midlife, I write about three sin’s that stop your magical life in the following excerpt from the book. (see below).

      Also, I describe the three syn’s that do work. The previous Facebook post excerpted the chapter about synchronities (happy accidents).

      The happy accident of Tyrone’s request to help his friend and Sarah’s invite combined neatly to create synergy. Read about the idea of synergy (two or more together) where the energy of supporting each other provides a win/win. At least that is my experience.

      Did you have any happy accidents recently? Please respond to the original post in the Cuenca & Yapas Facebook Group or in the comments below because you never know who you might inspire to remember their magic. Let’s see what happens if we tell magic stories about Cuenca.


      Chapter 6: What is the difference between “sins” and “syns”?

      I want you to commit life-affirming, creative “syns,” but not the “sins” that limit you. Let me explain. Your three syn tools – synchronicity, synergy, and synthesis – each have accompanying sins that keep you limited. I consider it “sinning” to neglect your deeper longings and unmet dreams. Don’t you feel more alive when you pay heed to what you know is right for you, even when it doesn’t always make perfect sense? By this I don’t mean rushing off in all directions and ignoring your commitments. But I find that most of us need to loosen the grip on our deeper desires.

      For example, the sin linked to synchronicity is over-controlling – avoiding your intuition by overriding yourself all the time. The sin linked to synergy is the belief that you must do everything yourself – that you can’t trust others. The sin linked to synthesis is impatience – because you don’t have all the answers, feeling that you can’t live your dreams, and that things won’t work out.

      Syns give you energy like taking deep breaths on a beautiful beach. Sins, on the other hand, suck away your energy like a vacuum. Sins against yourself limit the magic. You can have lists and goals, but do you define yourself by lists and goals? Do checklists make you feel important?

      For myself, I think I am much more than what I do. I value my excitement and life-expanding urges. When I value growth and expansion, I make choices to go to new classes, to write a book, to call my niece because I’m thinking of her.

      Every day you are pummeled by society’s ideas of success and failure. These ideas about money, status, and achievement can drive you to backaches and migraines. Have you chosen your guiding principles carefully, or are you like a lemming following the pack?

      What happens when you ask yourself these questions:

      • What gives me energy?
      • What enlivens my day, this moment?
      • Do I want to continue on this path?
      • What am I missing? What is the meaning of life?
      • If I were to die tomorrow, would I have regrets?
      • Am I happy? Why or why not?
      • Who am I living my life for?
      • Am I making choices to prove what a good person I am?

      Karla Freeman, storyteller, world traveller and Cuenca resident. Author: Creating Magic in Midlife (available on Amazon –
      It's a sin or is it?
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