Feeling: LIKE I’M GOING TO ANNOY THE SHIT OUT OF PEOPLE
Whenever I’ve come across people who are all peace-love-nature in the past, I’ve always felt a sort of kinship but dismissed them. I feel an affinity with them, but perhaps because of my social conditioning I never delved further into their beliefs or explored my draw to it. As I said in an earlier post; I feel like I am a mix of different characters and at any given time I can take on the personality of any one. There is that one hippi-like Pop that does rear her head occasionally but for the most part, I’m far too busy and hectic rushing through life to just stop and observe the beauty.
But now I’m getting all serene, peaceful and “finding myself”, and I’m looking at everything in a more appreciative light. Especially after a pushing, intensive yoga class, I’m all springy, light and dancing around in my room.
I was lying on the grass today and a caterpillar crept past on a blade of grass. I was so awestruck. I lost track of time and just watched this creature as it manouvered through its jungle. I thought it was incredible. Reading this back it seems so airy fairy but I was entranced. Before coming here, I wouldn’t have had the time to even notice it, let alone watch it for an extended period.
Ants have always disgusted me, ever since my Nanna told me a story when I was about 10 years old. A friend of hers was partially blind and one morning her pot of jam was overrun with ants. Unable to see them, she spread the swarming army all over her toast and munched back the lot.
Ever since, ants have caused me to involuntary shudder. I squeal whenever they crawl on a body part of mine, feel bile in the back of my throat whenever I see them on food and flick them away or dose them in Mortein whenever I spot a congregation.
But here, ants are everywhere. And I mean everywhere. The walls, the grass, table legs, my shelves; there is always a trickle marching along. My first day I was disgusted. I considered them dirty and invasive. They made me feel nauseous. But now, I’ve taken a full about turn.
Ants crawl along my legs and I only notice if they creep across a tickly spot. Today there were a few ants scattered on my bed and I barely registered; I let them trek the mountainous pillow terrain. At lunch there was even an ant floating in my vegetables (my plate was a bay leaf picked fresh from the garden – the kitchen isn’t an anthill) and I calmly picked it out and continued my meal. I wouldn’t say I’d down a jam sammy crawling with ants (to be honest, the bread would put me off more now), but I’m no longer considering them as repulsive, stomach churning pests.
Researching ashrams when this sojourn first took seed, the only aspect of the courses that did not appeal in the slightest was chanting mantras. My first day I was a bit self conscious when having to repeat the words, but now I’m absolutely pelting them out. It’s in extreme polarisation to my Baradene College days when I would stand and smirk at my friends and never ever join in the hymns. And not only am I singing the mantras, I’m singing them with force and with belief.
That is one thing I really do like about the prayer here; although we are attending ceremonies and prayer sessions that hold certain religious significance for these men, they do not at any time try to pass off their beliefs onto us. Instead, they instruct us to pray to our own idea of God, with the statue we are praying to symbolising what denotes our own faith. Growing up with a Catholic schooling and having undertaken baptism, communion, reconciliation and confirmation, I myself loosely identify with being a lapsed Catholic. So to be encouraged to pray to what I myself believe in is quite significant and comforting to me. As our philosophy teacher, Ram Gee (I just always get a picture of Ali G in my mind and have to bite my cheek so as not to giggle whenever I say his name) expressed to us: it’s just different terminology and different depictions, but it all encompasses the same ultimate higher power.
Anyone who knows me even slightly knows of my love affair with fake tan. At any given time, I have about seven varieties on the go to maintain a golden hue and keep me bronzed (although for the most part this also includes orange-tinged hands, streaky calves and splotches on my forearms). Probably for the first time in years, my skin is fully naked and I’m embracing my pale complexion. And makeup? To hell with it! Even my much depended on eyeliner has remained ignored in my suitcase.
I can tell when I return home I am going to seriously fuck some people off. The whole “Just chill out and love the moment” side I’m hoping to take home will definitely get on my family’s nerves from time to time, especially as I’ll be back living at home for the first month or so. I can clearly forecast having me floating through the house embracing and gazing wide-eyed at Daddy Long Legs spiders won’t sit well with Hank. I can’t imagine my brother will be too thrilled at having a live conscious ever-present and not shy on voicing her opinions either.
It’s all yoga. And while yoga cannot provide a cure for life, it does present a proven method for coping with it. (And stop you from killing creepy crawlies).