13.04.2017 - 13.04.2017 20 °C
Jealousy is a word I loathe. The way it spits from the tongue, the way it implies we are all entitled to the same things. Instead of recognising peacefulness, success or bravery - it's envied as if it is something easy to achieve. YET, as they kick-start their dirt bikes, with the rain beating down on their helmets, I sit back in my hammock and sigh: "I wish I were that brave and riding off into the distance." "Don't worry" he says, "Our time will come in Australia."
The truth is, we have been riding into the unknown together for a while now. Almost eight years actually. Our journey has been truly amazing, full of adventure and together we have been growing stronger, wiser and more thankful for all the people and places in our lives. But, with that said, I'm growing more fearful that it could all be taken from us whenever the 'supreme being' decides. I choose my risks wisely (riding a motorbike currently not being one of them), as if I have some control over our fateful path. But I shouldn't be scared of dying so I will face my fear in Australia and learn to ride!
A bit about me
For now we have three weeks left in Laos, and India seems so long ago. I woke up to the sound of the rain beating down on our tin roof. He pulls me closer and I pull the duvet closer still - the first time it's been cool enough to hug in weeks. Two year-old Jimmy, our host-family's son, is crying outside so we decide to try and console him and keep the peace.
I pour my coffee (yes I now drink coffee), sit back in my plastic chair and have butterflies in my tummy. I'm feeling euphoric. My heart feels electrified by all of my senses and I notice and savour everything I feel, think and see - the banana tree leaves dripping with rain, the clatter of pots and pans in the kitchen and the other guests chitter chattering away. I'm so overcome with happiness that I can feel the pressure valve linking my heart to my mind filling up, until my tear ducts might flood open. But as quickly as the feeling comes on, it goes away.
I often experience these feelings, sometimes several times a day which can leave me feeling exhausted. Often it's the look from his eyes which stare right through to my soul, he knows me so well and I feel grateful that I owe him no explanations.
Sometimes it happens when I'm with family or friends. I fill up with so much overwhelming love and energy that I have no idea where to channel it. So I let it run free, connecting with theirs too if they let me, or otherwise making them feel dizzy. There is no way to really explain how I feel when I'm in that moment, I'm unsure if they feel it too. Not everyone wears their heart on their sleeves, but perhaps they feel it too inside.
River valleys are gorges!
After eating breakfast, a butchered fried egg on bread, I move over to the hammock. Sitting cross-legged I stare out across the murky Mekong River, less holy than the Ganges but just as impressive in character. She's opened her banks to the pouring rain and everything surrounding her lolls in the breeze, exhaling in relief from the stifling sunshine.
I feel inspired to write and don't want to stop in case I don't feel it again for days, weeks or months. I'm on a quest, I don't know why, but I knew we had to come away again. Sure, we knew we would feel sun-kissed, enriched and triumphant from escaping the rat-race - but that morning we woke up in our new, very own home that we'd been working towards for years, something else led me to ask him to come away again. But I don't know what exactly. All I do know is that India has set me on the right course to discovering why.
Lessons from India:
- Our natural state is separate from the present and the mind. I'm trying to self-improve and free myself from my niggling mind and ego - I need to practice patience and meditation to achieve this. But I do not want to follow the path to enlightenment as in my opinion our senses are a gift and to pacify them would make life so boring!
- I need to live in the present! Stop planning for the future all the time (this I have been working hard on and have been making tough progress).
- The practice of yoga makes me feel incredible. It helps me to be mindful and self-observe. It helps me understand how my mind and body are connected and their functions. But I hate doing yoga when surrounded by mosquitoes!
- I should observe my emotions and recognise how they manifest so I can stop them from materialising. For example when I feel anger building up, observe where it is coming from and how I behave so that it is not a part of me and I can overcome the feeling with peace.
- Take more care in what I eat and when I eat. Swami Veda Bjavati said not to eat for pleasure. I disagree with this because food is awesome. But I can be greedy, overindulge and justify to myself that I deserve to eat (which is why I got Delhi Belly from the potatoes). So instead I am eating smaller quantities, more fruit and nuts and I have taken the vow to be vegetarian (for ethical, environmental and health reasons).
- To let go of the past. The sense of 'I am' is not personal - so by letting go of my personal issues and attachments of thought to things that have happened in the past I can be more peaceful and positive (this one has been difficult to learn but I have been achieving this).
- I am NOT entitled to anything. I have to work hard for it and be grateful for everything I have and for everything I am learning or hope to learn.
- Life is fun without alcohol and I felt (past tense) so much healthier and happier for not drinking. However I am drinking again now but in much more moderation and I hope this will continue (although with the friends I have it will be hard!)
- Seize the day and be BRAVER! Don't be scared of dying, death should be celebrated as it means the end of one life and the start of another which will be even better and learned from the previous. "Death is just a door to another dimension... We never lose our loved ones. They don't disappear from our lives. We are merely in different rooms... We keep on, meeting and saying goodbye for all of eternity. A departure followed by a return, and a return followed by a departure." (Aleph, Paulo Coelho).