I am invited by an Australian online blog to share my story about how I came to live in India. It is supposed to feature in a week or so from now, I’ll keep you posted on when that’s coming up!

The common theme was supposed to be ‘fearless woman’. Although I agreed to contribute to the blog I have to admit that I do not consider myself fearles. I surely have some fear and anxieties for one of the other. Like, today I was walking to the next village McLeod Ganj. There are these humongous monkeys on the road. They are reaally big, really! They kind of scare the s#%t out of me! So I could do two things: not go to McLeod Ganj anymore by foot or face my fears. And without a second of doubt I choose the latter option. I love walking, I love being in McLeod Ganj once in a while so… And like anyting in life this situation is giving me such a beautiful opportunity to learn and practice. I am seeing it as a practice to keep walking, keep my breath steady and just continue on, without freaking out.

Now usually the monkeys are very busy picking food from the trash that they don’t bother to look at me. No problem. However, sometimes they do bother me being there and make a scary sound and kind of walk up to me and show their teeth. Well, thats kind of scary really.  But they wouldn’t attack me and so I keep walking. This happened a few times and I started thinking: isn’t that what we as humans do too? We scare the monkeys away too, we make gestures to get the monkey out of our way. So why wouldn’t it be ok if they just do the same? Understanding that they are just defending their territory, protecting their little ones made me look at the situation much different and I am more and more fine with walking past them, even accepting a hissing sound here and there.

For me this is not really about the monkeys in particular and overcoming my fear for them. It is an example of not walking away from that what scares me, for not hiding. I do not hide from the situation but instead face it. And I keep observing myself. I try to understand, my behavior, their behavior until it all makes sense. This is what I try to do with many more things in my life. For example, coming back to ‘my story’. I studied Medicine and decided to quite my studies at the very end. I was sooo afraid, really I didn’t know what would come. But I decided to do it anyway, not run away from the decision, as I knew if I would stay in the situation (continue studying, become a medical doctor, etc.) I would surely not be happy. And here I am, many years later in India, teaching yoga. Off course many more things happened along the way, but the initial intuition to trust myself, to trust all would work out was the key.

 

Merel

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