"About the Sun"
That sun above your head is
the gas balloon that escaped your fingers
where you were small, the light bulb
above the table where you answered letters
regularly received from a certain Address,
an alarm clock ringing
when you make love, the picture of the moon
the child points at and says: -
"it's the sun, its the sun!"
The sun?Yes! its up there
so that forever you will drag behind
by Sapardi Djoko Damono translated by John H. McGlynn and Kratz
I talked to my mum this morning via the phone - the realisation that in this changing time - my parents that living half way across the globe and most relatives i know and many other people - experiencing this global changes. My mind wonder, what in the future I would remember in this particular time?
While like everybody else - I am deep into my own thoughts of going along in this big wave questioning my day to day living and survival and continuing in the way I am living currently - if not more (now be honest - who on earth never wanted more of anything they have). How would things changes after this period of time?
Living abroad alone with two children with language I am still learning in a place I am now calling home, in culture I am constantly adapting and trying to make it mine - its fun but at the same time can be challenging. Plus - no family nearby - but lucky enough to have friends that “genuinely” help (I underline the word “genuine” as the study of altruism were one of those subject that interest me - if not amazed me).
While I am busy-ing myself - news from home always keep me back. I can count 123 of things that did not or does not work for me as I hoped for - but yet here I am physically mentally healthy. I have the most resources I could perhaps hoping for.
See the thing about gratitude or “syukur” or blessing or lucky in Indonesia - means it taught me to see half full cup - most of the time. When someone had an accident and had to lost a leg for example - we always said - “luckily you are still okay and living”. There is always a blessing in disguise in anything - if we have a brave enough heart to continue. “Gratitude” of the living and our existence in each present moment is not only concept that we had to applied for - it is already embedded in our culture. And if we continue with these, seeing the cup is half full - I learnt that it would worth it.
Clinically diagnoses with anxiety and panic attack once in my life - with prognosis of asthma since childhood - i physically understand how it meant by the idioms “gasping for air”. Luckily (again! I have asthma from childhood although clinically diagnosed later - i knew what it meant by breath deeply, haha!), I had been living with asthma for a long time and had been trained for years via yoga how to breathe, but yet it shows in my experiences that in my own imperfections - I had suffered from it. These clinical suffering of physical sensory of gasping the air which called asthma attacks luckily only last for a very short period of time in each moment - and at first it occured repeatedly in short period of time - then its reduces less and less. Luckily - this timeframe only last for a while, only for months.
How did I do that - I wonder sometime. How was I able to get through it - here I tried to express it for you who perhaps have similar experiences like me.
See with suffering - the more we attach to it the more we intertwine it with ourselves. The first thing I did were watching what creates the anxiety - understanding my own triggers and slowly detaching myself from that. I watched how my breath changes in these particular moments. Sometime I couldn’t even understand - just that urge that something does not feel right.
So at the beginning of my journey of unwinding myself from anxiety - I follow what feels right, even if my cognitions could not understand or express it, even if myself question it all the time. I will find the answer later - that what I keep saying to myself.
of course, these doesn’t mean all the decision I made were without me regretting some part - but even so at this point as I write this I already detached myself from the concept of right and wrong, good or bad - to whom is it regarding as right or wrong, good or bad depend to who sees it. While I am writing this - the understanding of the hole I dig that left me feeling stupid at particular times - now it is also easing away. I am allowing myself to make mistakes and grow over it. I see this mistake as a hole in my ground as I plant the root I could put myself into growing a better version of me. I make peace to myself that in that particular time - that was the best decision i could have made - and I am living with it too.
From political circumstances right now globally - where all the voices argue one or another - I learned that this too can escalating anxiety by raising the numbers of my worry list. For my personal sake, i started reducing or being selective with what information I would like to take in.
Once I understand to listen to my intuitions and converse with my triggers by being aware of my physical changes of visceral stimuli, I started to see behind the fog in my worry list. The anxiety were at the beginning creeping over me as if something behind me caught me without I noticed, then slowly I can feel as it coming. The more skilfull I am, the more it moves as if its in slow motions - the more I understand how this altering my physiological and psychological state and decide what can I do for this not altering any of my state of being. I then felt much more free from anything. I then understand my shadows walking behind me - and it had always being shadows.
From then on - the journey of being constantly aware - or balance - is one of the lesson. The mind and the emotions - its coming and going - its fluctuative - its high zone and lower zone - its the peak and the valley. The ability to recognise my own shadows show me that when we are hurt - it is easier to hurt back, if not worse. We want so much to show how much we've feel hurt so we hurt back even more. We play a risky game of competing who feel hurt more and convince the other by impacting the same amount of pain in any way we can possibly do. The cycle would never stop.
If we perceived we are being hurt in any possible reasons we could think of - we then intutively push this people away as much. But yet, there is this maturity of a character - how can we response in such circumstances to be not responding as bad as we perceived hence stopping the cycle of hurting each other more. Yes, in some occasions I still did the same, playing a pain paid with a pain, but I am done with that.
I can not always demand myself to be a perfect human being, so by the time I wrote this I came to term that in some part - I did not do as I hoped for - and I am okay with it. The beauty of being human tho, in my perceived world - is our ability to accept our imperfections and growing with it - to be the greater versions of us - better than we were ever before. That a genuine mistake is finished when sorry is spoken and the intentions and attitude toward it has changed.
In this balancing pendulum of spectrums of our cognition and emotions - as well as our physiology - each context and situations bring it is own horizon as the baseline for creating this middle ground we call centre of the self. Recognise what it is we are putting onto the table in this centre of the self. So if anything in our life collapses in a blink of an eye - what wouldnt we exchange for anything else? If all people in the world we know for some reason had turned antagonistic toward us - what you would not exchange for anything else? And if you find that - there you’ll find your anchor, your ground. -
Check my instagram channel IGTV for the meditation and forrest yoga ceremony to easing the path toward more compassionate living with integrity toward your own value.