Awareness, a travelers perspective…
Once upon a time I traveled to South America all by myself. People around me told me to be very careful travelling as a woman alone. I personally believe that it can be dangerous anywhere in the world. Especially after I got sexually insulted in my own house twice. Once in Germany, once in Denmark.
Being fearless and being careless are not the same. So I prepared myself as good as I could. I traveled threw Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Some of the legendly more dangerous countries. And returned just fine to Chile, one of the legendly more save places. By now it was a routine to leave my credit card and passport in the safe of the hostel. Admittedly, I wasn’t using my second skin back under my pants anymore as I started to feel more confident in the streets. You start speaking some Spanish and adapt to the cultural differences bit by bit. Also becoming more confident doing hikes on my own, and going to non touristy cities. So one I was returning form this local festival in the North of Chile, and went to a supermarket on the way home. The store was just 3 blocks form the hostel. I was caring my fanny bag around my shoulders, in each hand one of the grocery bags. I was walking and talking to a friend next to me and the sun was setting. This is when it happened. Literally out of nowhere, a boy came, Unclipped skillfully my bag and started running. The following part of the story is not recommended. I started running after him, screaming like hell. People on the street started screaming as well. The thief got distracted and turned around multiple times. A group of foreigners came out of the supermarket and one girl jumped in front of him and the guy managed to grab my bag. The thief ran off. Luckily no one got hurt. But what did I learn from that. I was thoughtless. It wasn’t very smart to carry my bag like that. I had the skin close bag. or just could have had my fanny bag closer to me. It is not about being scared all the time. But just when we become comfortable the auto pilot sets in and we loose awareness of our actions. First was getting careless about my stuff. And running after the thief was also more reaction than action.
Why I am writing this now, so many years after the incident. Because a similar thing did happen during my current stay in Guatemala. When I wake up in the morning I always shined my torch out of the bed to check if there are any spiders or scorpions in front of it, so I may not step on them. Every single morning. But two days ago. I didn’t. I thought after a month there was never some danger in front of my bed, I should be less paranoid and mistaken fearless for unawareness. So first step that morning was on to a scorpion and it got me. It is hard to be so aware in the morning, especially as we often just stumble out of bed into the day. How can we practice awareness even in the morning. Take a breath or two when the alarm kicks in. Feel your body and see where you are. Take even the first step of your day mindfully and aware. Practicing yoga off the mat. If you have been to my Yoga class, you probably heard me saying, we do not hurt ourselves in the practice as we do every movement fully aware and listen to our body, how far we can go. This is just an other example of how practicing yoga can benefit in the other 22h of the day. Practice everyday, walk mindfully, talk mindfully, eat mindfully, get out of bed mindfully.
I thought I write down some thoughts at the last day of 2019. It doesn’t feel real. In the end it is just an other day tomorrow, but every other day means a new beginning. I am grateful for each morning I wake up, having my shit together, be able to move my physical body and I usually smile in the first 15 minutes of my day. I am grateful that I have a roof over my head and food in my tummy and I am even more grateful that I can do work that truly feels like have been born to do that. Every single person who comes to my class, seeks advice, wants a hug or just smiles at me is a gift. I appreciate each and every soul. I am enormously grateful for all the amazing beings I have met in the journey of my life and even if there is no we anymore, I know there was a bond once and a thank you for that. I feel deep gratitude for my loving mum and that she always support me, even with this idea of becoming a yoga teacher and I thank all my friends who believed in me and also those who said „do not do it, you will be unemployed“ and then said, Julia we are proud you made it. I wouldn’t said I made it. It is just the beginning, like every day. Getting up and knowing we change the world one step after the other. In the last 2 years I also became more outspoken about a plant based diet. It honestly doesn’t make sense to me to support cruelty and harm in our modern times in the places most of us live in. On the one hand I am wondering why I became so loud about it, the same me that said 8 years ago when I had my first vegan friends in Hanover, that is a bit extreme. But change needs extreme. Rosa Parks was seen as extreme. We have a voice and we should use it. We can make a change one meal at a time, for your karma, for your health and for the planet.
Just a month ago I was sitting there with a broken heart. Being in the illusion of a perfect relationship and then standing there literally in the middle of the night all alone. No warnings. Just someone who did not want to continue his journey in life with me, one day to the other. I was most shocked about the abrupt ending than about the end of a love affair. Those things happen. But I believe a lot of pain would have been avoided on both sides when we get more vulnerable and talk about our feelings. If you engage in a relationship, make sure you are ready to do that. It is part of the deal, and yes, men are also allowed to have feelings and emotions.
Now I am sitting here in the big house of my friend. Wondering if I will ever have a home like this, asking myself at the same time if I really need it. Leaving for my next yoga adventure in just a few days, feeling ready to be in nature, to be with myself, to spiritually, physically and emotionally detox and listen what is there next. Being scared of not having the answer. Being grateful for not needing one. You might wonder, can she make up her mind? But that is life, we want one thing the one day and an other the next. Some things are ment to stay and some will just be there for an episode of our lives. Knowing deep inside me that security is an illusion and that every breath can be the beginning of something new or the end. I feel I am ready for that big adventure that is to come. My intention for 2020 is trust. Trust that everything will be ok, that I will come back to the city I love and beautiful souls are still joining my classes. That I will find a new home and can go on that dream roadtrip to Lofoten. Trust that everything comes to it’s time. Trust that the Universe will guide me in the right direction, as it so often did in my life. Trust in me and my capabilities as a new yoga teacher, as a loyal friend and an honest lover. Trust in love. Just trust.