I used to keep thinking about ‘stuff’ all the time whether in train or bus on foot. I never realised that there were so many things happening around me all the times that I kept missing because I was too observed in myself most of the times.
Since I have started travelling and taking pictures I realised that I have changed – changed from a thinker to an observer. No matter where I am – in a bus, plane, train or street, I observe most of the things around me. Is it good or bad? Good of course as I am able to appreciate my surroundings and feel more aware. And how does that help? Yes, it does believe me as this way I am living in the present rather focusing my energy either on past events or future plans.
This does not mean that I have stopped thinking but only when needed and not like a lost soul in her thoughts all the time. It is amazing as I don’t feel sad about things in past and I don’t feel pressurized but the future plans. All I am doing is just live the present and accept things as they happen. It feels very different as I am the kind of person who is more indulged in past and future than present usually. And not to mention it always makes me feel either frustrated/sad/hasty/excited/pressurized thinking about stuff that I could have done differently or things I have to do in near future. Where the truth is I can’t change the past and future is yet not there. All I can do is planning for future in an organized way possible and then leave it for the time being till it become present to actually execute it.
I feel freer as well as living in the present means only to deal with things that are there in front of you and not to burden yourself with everything else in the world. This is what Mahatma Gandhi said that one should live his/her life as if he/she is going to die the very next day. And I think travelling has changed my habit in such a way that I am indirectly living my life that way only.
Last day in Sydney was not as I was expected. It was a mixed feeling of leaving the place that I felt home for two years with a hope to come back one day. It was the bitterness of leaving the loved ones and sweetness of seeing the family back in homeland. I was not sure what exactly I was feeling as it was not one clear feeling but mix of a lot of emotions. I was supposed to be happy like other times when I fly as it starts a new adventure. But this time it was more like leaving some unfinished business and not knowing what future has got in store.
Saying good bye to each friend personally with lunch or dinner was like bidding your last good bye. But I am sure I will be healthy and wise to come back and many more dinners and lunches will follow. I was more emotional to leave my new place which was home for less than 2 months as it became like the peaceful place where I could retire after a tiring day or feel safe when feeling frustrated from everything else. I had a lovely evening walk with my friend/flat-mate the day before I was leaving. It was first time in 2 years while living in Sydney that I had a family in form of friends. So in total it was like when you are a kid and you have to leave your friends and known surroundings when your parents move to a new town or new country. Although the child was my inner self and adult in this case was my higher self.
Anyways flight boarded with the same attitude of a traveler – old habits die hard. All rough and tough look on my face as if saying – ‘Who Cares’. It was an evening flight so right time for dinner. First flight was from Sydney to Singapore where I quenched my thirst of movies with two new movies. It was only towards the end of the flight when I was falling asleep. A jolt woke me up and before I could behave as if the plane hit a disaster, I soon realized that we had landed in Singapore. I walked out like a Zombie but still trying to look super cool, being the single girl travelling. A staff person helped me with the next flight details to New Delhi and I killed an hour doing some window shopping which made me feel sick as I am usually never in mood of shopping when I travel (because I travel light and with only one carry on back pack, excluding this trip, and this usually doesn’t allow me to buy anything extra).
Following other fellow passengers I boarded another flight for another meal and few entertainment shows to keep me awake. It was 2:40 AM in the morning, people were trying to continue their sleep and I felt the pressure to follow everyone else. I had one extra vacant seat next to mine where I got the luxury to keep my body in horizontal position in last 20 hours.
It was funny how a little bit of space can make you so happy at times where you can spread your clumsy body parts and feel yourself for some time. But it was not supposed to continue for long and I woke up by the menu offered by the air hostess to the passengers in the seat ahead. Anyways I felt compelled to eat for what I had paid hence I got up and tried to open my eyes to see till where the crew had made progress in asking for menu preference. I thought of using the entertainment unit to help keep me awake. I soon got indulged into a movie and then it became easier to keep an eye on the staff serving food. I ordered vegetarian food although I was not sure whether I was hungry 3:0 AM in the morning or not. I gave myself the benefit of doubt thinking that it might be morning back in Sydney. So I threw another plate of unwanted food into my stomach. I felt like an eating machine as since yesterday I was up and eating and walking and sitting and many other routine tasks but sleeping. I think this is exactly what happens – you lose track of time and also the capability of making the right decision, when you are so tired and sleepless. Reminds me of Sleepless in Seattle 😉
Two and a half movies on the way to India and time to land in New Delhi now. Again my traveler spirit jumps at the right time when almost everyone in the plane had left; I bid my farewell to the nice staff of Singapore Airlines knowing that they had been serving me especially when I was the only passenger awake all through the flight. One time the air hostess actually handed me over the full can of juice when she realized I was demanding water or juice every twenty minutes.
Now time to get on high alert as I was entering New Delhi airport. It is an old habit of being aware of my surroundings (don’t confuse it with spirituality) as this has more to do with making sure I do not become a victim of any pick pocketing or theft. It was only when a lady tapped on my shoulder and asked if I had an iphone. It made me feel a bit anxious as to why she is asking such question but she soon answered my silent question by telling me that she wants to inform her family that she has arrived here. I quickly emailed her family regarding the same. Custom clearance was easy and spotting my checked in luggage didn’t take me long either. I was now on my way outside the airport when I realized that taxi and other services don’t accept any card. I had to request the security in the airport to let me in to change currency. I know right I should have done it before but I learn this new rule when you can’t take your luggage in the premises of airport once you check out. After changing some money I was on my way to get a transport home when I simply asked a guy outside airport if the metro services have started from airport. Good news was that it was up and running for a month now. I paid 30 Rupees (way cheaper than hiring a car or taxi that is 350 to 450 Rupees) and went to Sector 21 (near my destination). It is advisable to check where you are going to stay as you can always take the metro from the airport. It is cheaper and very convenient air conditioning option.
Journey home was not very simple but it was nice to be in India with friends and family. As no matter how much different India is from other countries but it is the warmth of people that makes you smile and feel good. And now that I am in India be ready for many interesting posts to come from this colorful and spiritual culture. Also soon here we will be celebrating one of the biggest festival – Holi (festival of colors) in March. Hence I will update you with the same.
We hold on to things since we are born. We clutch our hands on whatever things we can as a baby. May be because we leave a world where we felt safe and secure for almost 9 months and then we came to this world full of people and new scenery. It’s the feeling of belonging that we all want. Although sometimes we mix that with things and emotions and memories. We are good with sticking to habits but not very good in choosing them consciously first. And since childhood we start to see the change in everything around us. If we can make ourselves flexible to do that then it is ideal. But not all of us can cope with changes that take place around us all the time and we try to hold on to different things, emotions, memories to keep ourselves in an impression that things are the same and we are living the similar life as we used to.
It hurts when we start holding on to negative emotions like anger or feeling of revenge. Any such emotions leads to frustration and as found by science that emotions work as “on-off switch” for learning. And every day we have to learn or use our brain productively most of the time. Once we have the negative feelings then our brain interpret any information as negative and we lose interest quickly. And if we are happy then the brain interprets the same information as positive and sends a message of purpose and excitement that in turn directs the behaviour towards a goal.
Just like food, it is very important what we feed our brain as well. And we are not referring to the information but rather talking about the emotions as they are the key drivers of how we are going to perceive that information and how effectively we are going to make use of it. You must have observed when we are sad or grumpy we tend to miss bits and pieces of information that we either read or watch in television. Whereas when we are emotionally light or I would say emotionally available then we are more focused on what we are reading/watching.
Let go of such emotions. Holding on to old things is not as bad as holding on to the old grudges. Every time someone either treat us bad or make us do things forcefully, we get angry and if we hold on to that anger then it stirs the negative energy in us from time to time. Also if we have fear in us about failure in life or work then again that emotion drives our behaviour. We will have to first learn what emotions we might be holding on to. We can do some exercises like writing down the past memories that still makes us feel bad and observe how we feel when we think about it. Most of the emotions can be related to fear and anger. Now I understand that process of let go is not as easy as we say. But I would say that take it as a decision you make. We never harm anyone else by hating them or fearing them but we are our own enemy when we do that. It hurts us and no one else. So why not give yourself a gift and let go of such emotions. Forgiveness is the best way to do it. Decide that you want to forgive people who hurt you. Decide that you want to change the association of your fear to certain situations and see them in new light.
It’s just a start and I am going to write more about how we can use various techniques to let go as we move on. I would like to hear your perspective and problems that you face when you try to let go. As I am no expert but I am trying to let go as well. Why not we do it together as we all need support when we try to become a better and happy person.