This post is going to be a bit more personal, so if you’re interested in what’s going on in my life at the moment, keep on reading. If not, stop now before it gets too late!
So, I’ve been in India for almost five months now. Five months! How did that happen? It seems like the right time to give you a little overview of my time here. What has changed? And what has remained the same? What did I learn? What was the greatest challenge and how do I feel about coming back to Europe?
I remember when I got here in October. A bit overwhelmed, but excited about what life had planned for me. I had to get used to things again – surviving on the cow-filled roads, the heat, massive cockroaches and other insects, living in a small town where everybody knows everything…
I remember driving around on my moped, looking at the lush green palm trees and watching the sunset in a quiet, secluded spot atop a hill and thinking how lucky I was to be here. Escaping the winter freeze and spending six months on the sunny beaches of Goa doing what I’d loved and wanted to do for a long time. Could life really get any better? Well, it could. And it did!
I had no expectations of what my time here should be like. I just wanted to enjoy every minute of it, get my life back on track, regain balance and stability after a sharp curve my life has taken. Leave the past behind, stop worrying about the future and just allow myself to be in the present. And this was probably the greatest challenge. I’ve known the theory for a long time. All that truly matters is here and now. You’re not your body, you’re not your mind. All negative emotions are just reflections of your thoughts, they all come from the worries, insecurities and fear your mind has created. But knowing it and being able to utilize this knowledge in real-life situations are two completely different things. My biggest achievement over the past months is not all the arm balances I’ve managed to do (although, I must admit, I’m pretty proud of those!), but the awareness I developed through daily asana, pranayama and meditation practice. Whenever I start feeling down, anxious or scared, I straight away think: “Right, where did this come from, what was I thinking?”, then look back on my thoughts and find out which ones have brought the emotions. Sometimes the realisation is enough to stop the feeling completely, other times it takes a bit longer, but in general it is the most powerful tool I’ve ever discovered. Being able to look inside and notice what is going on and why. It allows me to see things clearly and recognise what I am looking for in life, work, relationships. And helps me to remain patient and calm while waiting for it all to happen.
"Wow, you HAVE changed”, said one of my friends a few weeks ago when we were watching the sunset, drinking wine and having one of those “meaningful conversations”. Yes, I have. My mum has told me that as well when we spoke on Skype a while ago. She said she couldn’t take her eyes off me because I looked so healthy, glowing and happy. And that’s the best thing that can happen to a mum, especially when her child has been so far away for so long.
But at the same time, I’m still the same. I still love a good party, a drink and dancing till dawn. I have an occasional cigarette when I feel like it. I didn’t go all vegan or raw and although I try to eat healthy food, I would indulge myself with a pizza, ice cream or a chocolate fondant if that’s what my body is craving. I don’t talk about opening my chakras and connecting with my inner-self all the time and I often enjoy the company of people who have nothing to do with yoga much more than those who can’t really talk about anything else. I just live my life the way I want, not caring what other people think, following my dreams and passions and sharing them with others. Because all the barriers are always in our minds and if we really want something, we’ll find a way to make it happen.
And how do I feel about coming back to Europe? I’m pretty excited, I must admit! The thought of seeing my family and friends puts a big grin on my face! I’ve managed to stay in touch with people I really care for through skype, facebook and e-mails and I can’t wait to see them! Some of my friends have had babies who I’ve seen on Skype and/or on photographs and would love to see in real life. I know it won’t be easy to get used to life in Europe again. It will probably shake my world and balance a little. But I know how to deal with it and I am open to whatever future brings. I’m ready to take risks and listen to myself. Because it’s true that once you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. So, cheers to India, yoga and the power of now!