Brené is right
‘Do you ever give each other treatments?’, I asked, while laying on the wooden massage table in the Ayurvedic hospital, being massaged by two lovely Indian women, my therapists for the next 14 days. ‘No ma’am, we poor. Maybe if one day sell house’. Bam! A huge feeling of shame entered my body. What a stupid question, what was I thinking!? It was a very well-intended, though very naive, question of mine, because I would love them to experience the indulgence they were giving me. And then Brené Brown popped up in my mind. I watched her ‘Call to courage’ the night before. ‘Shame is of the ego’, she said after 20 years of researching it, so she knows… So there was no escape for me as to deal with this struggle: the shame I felt in my body, my mind knowing Brené is right and meanwhile turning over and over on the table like some kind of oily manatee. A very naive manatee!
Study, work or holiday?
‘Are you going on holiday again!?’, people asked, when they heard about my India trip. ‘It is no holiday’, I said, ‘I am going on a study trip’. It didn’t sound very convincing, but I am in the process of practicing ‘The art of not giving a fuck’, without having red the book yet ;-). (Now I hear you thinking, perhaps you should read it and you’re right, so the book is ordered and waiting for me at home ;-)). I am trying to ignore what people think about me. Very challenging. And I am telling the truth; this is not a holiday! Holiday, to me, is totally tuning off, spending time doing fun things, drinking cocktails. I came here to start writing my book, develop strategy for the next decade, study, grow my financial intelligence, bring back discipline in my life and practicing yoga and meditation….no holiday to me! And what is work, by the way? Especially for an entrepreneur and with all the connectedness 24/7, even in India? My laptop is my office…whether it is from a hammock or behind a desk. And then there is this part about living your purpose, that puts ‘work’ in a totally different perspective. ‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life’. Is work what you do to earn money or is work living your purpose?
Retreat like Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu retreat every year. The Dalai Lama for two months, Desmond Tutu for one. Now I wouldn’t compare myself to these ‘guys’, but, to me, there is a big truth in what they say about the importance of retreating regularly. In the book ‘Joy’ (which I can truly recommend if you’re interested in living a purposeful, joyous life and not taking yourself too serious), they explain why. With all the impulses of nowadays and people being switched on all day, it is of crucial importance to your health to regularly retreat. To reflect, integrate, clear both your body and mind. To reset and refresh yourself. To hear your Self.
Ancient wisdom and homo cooperans
The doctors here walk around very graciously, in sari, doctor’s coat and barefeet. They are not in a hurry, laugh frequently and joke around with each other. The therapists radiate joy, although they work really hard, making long hours, treating all these chubby western bodies (to put it mildly ;-)). There is an enormous beauty in it all and a sadness at the same time. Ayurveda is the science of life, it is an ancient wisdom of 5000 years old. How can it be, that in the part of the world where I live, we have forgotten the art of living? Taking care of mind and body, acknowledging its obvious interaction? It is so lovely to reconnect to yourself, feel the energy flowing again. I wonder more and more where in the world one can find more civilisation. I recently red an interesting article in the Dutch newspaper about the necessary shift we should make from ‘homo economicus’ to ‘homo cooperans’. On all my travels, over and over again, it is the native tribes, that truly know the art of living. They live it! Their way of living is about community, caring for each other, using what you need, being humble and grateful. Working from God’s own country, as Kerala in India is, rightfully so called, you feel it. You feel the wisdom, the love, the laughter, the peace. It is so inspiring! In a long time I haven’t been this efficient, effective and nurtured and reset at the same time…