RYS 200, 300, 500 in Rishikesh
The tea has gone cold in our cups. The café is buzzing around us, people coming and going, eating and drinking and we are sitting in our own cocoon of understanding; the kind of cocoon weaved between two kindred spirits when connectivity is established beyond age, background or gender. No, we are not two lovers... Instead, the woman across the round wooden table could be my mother. The spotlights in the ceiling make her hair glow like a halo around her head and sincere blue eyes shine in a face marked by the passing of time.
When I started teaching in Sweden, she became my first student and has faithfully remained so, but I know who is the she wolf and who is the cub. The past hours have gone by quickly as we have shared our life stories... She shared her romances, her heartbreak, her travels around the world and I shared mine. Together we agreed that regardless of pain we would do it again, without hesitation. It's just part of life and any good cook knows that a tasty dish contains both a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Some people like security, others head for the unknown... We belong to the latter ones and between us a current of wordless understanding vibrates. We know. We know what it's like to love with more passion than sense, hurt, weep and rise again. We know the desire to smell new countries and dip our feet in new oceans.
We know what it's like to happily choose to be alone, to follow our own mind and bliss... being selfish in the word's most beautiful sense. Strength is always challenged. Being a strong-minded woman is never going to be smooth sailing... but who promised it would be?! We're all players at the Casino of Life, aren't we? Sometimes winning, sometimes losing... At times we're given an awful set of cards to play with and sometimes we're lucky enough to get a straight flush. But whatever the cards we keep on gambling because we know that life is like this; sometimes it rocks and sometimes it sucks and you just have to learn to enjoy both! If you can only enjoy the peaks then you will miss half of life... would be a shame, right?!
If we live to grow old, then one day we will all be wrinkled. Pretty girls, ugly girls, good girls, bad girls... the time will come when we're too tired to make love, the food doesn't taste anything and happiness is when we're not in pain. Today, we think our decisions are important, we think other people's opinions are important and somehow we foolishly imagine we will somehow be remembered. We won't be... 99,9% of all humans who have lived on this planet are forgotten. No one knows their names, dreams or fate... the came and went in silence and so will we. After one or two generations, the imprint we pompously imagine we have made on the world will have dissolved like morning mist (if it even remains that long!). Gone. All that matters is that we enjoyed life while it happened and that we evolved spiritually. That we lived with authenticity, that our choices were truly ours and not society's. We don't need to outsource the managing of our lives to anyone, do we? We should become professional memory-makers... experts at involving ourselves only in the meetings and activities which create the most precious memories and has the extraordinary bonus of making the present moment awesome.
But what is required for enjoying life? Intelligence? No... the fool is often happier than the clever one, isn't he? Money? No, because the best things in life can't be bought (and that is not just a cliché). Awareness. Seeing things as they are with bright minds and open hearts. With awareness we fall in love with life and not just with a person. With awareness we become boundless, unlimited... beauty and bliss is everywhere, if only we open our eyes and become aware of it. Love is always flowing towards us, it's just that we need to become aware enough to embrace it.
The woman across the table is this: aware... she is awake, understanding the essence of being human. A treasure-keeper of a lifetime of memories and queen of the present. When others went right, she went left... when others stayed at home she traveled, when others slept she was awake. Now she is radiating humble dignity and subtle confidence - a natural result of claiming the right to live her life as she pleased; the most fundamental of human rights, isn't it? living as she pleased. Doing it her way, not asking for permission and accepting the consequence with grace.
Because there's only one way your life can be lived and that is your way, isn't it? Anything else would be absurd and may even suggest mental delusion! Yet so much of our energy in our youth (and for some throughout all life, sad enough!) is spent on fighting for approval, for someone else's "OK-stamp" on our life-choices... Our parents, friends, society... the list can be made endless!
I don't know about you, but I really can't be bothered about that anymore... I just don't see the point!? At the end of the day nobody will care about your pride, your reputation, your principles, concepts... only one part of you cares: your ego and when the light goes out so will your ego. As I look into the eyes of this human she wolf I hope that thirty years from now I will also have a memorable life to look back on...I already know that some memories will bring tears to my eyes and others will make my toothless mouth giggle. I know whose face I will never forget and which conversations will never fall silent...