Artwork: Viola Yesiltak
This week, I graduated alongside three hundred “shamballa warriors” as a mindfulness and compassion teacher from the University of Berkeley California.
This two years journey was amazing, and learning these tools have been life changing, though I didn’t come out enlightened…
One thing that I did take on though, are the concepts of acceptance and self-compassion. Doing my best to look at life through those lenses has somewhat made it so much better, aware that I have little control over the outcomes but that I can choose how I deal with what life gives me.
We are human, perfect in our imperfections, and are going to mess up at times, so what better than add some self-compassion into the mix?
Whilst we are at it, our mind is going to resist a lot of things, always looking for something better or for what is not right, so the concept of acceptance, accepting what is, how we operate is also soothing.
This feels as if we are done fighting for change, and can relax into what is.
Last week, as I was back in Brussels, thinking that it feels like home, I realised that I did not necessarily need to say ” I live in London” because the truth is that I also live in Brussels.
My heart is there, friends, family and I go back a lot. Some people cannot decide their sexual orientation and call themselves gender fluid, whilst others cannot decide where they want to live and call themselves city fluid.
It feels so nice to have taken this on, and not fight what is.
Having been to an international school, some of my friends (with families) see the world as their home.
And though I don’t get on a plane as much as I used to, I like to believe that the world is our home.
Politics and terrorism create separation through fear, but wherever I go, I get to meet men and women who struggle with the same universal topics of self acceptance, identity, love and tax bills.
Regardless of financial means, some of us will be grateful for what is, and accept times of struggle as a natural cycle of life, whilst others will believe that the world is one big dangerous place.
Mindfulness meditation uses the breath or the body as an anchor to come back to, connecting us with what is, beyond the noise in our head, rewiring the messages we have learned to believe in.
Pain is unavoidable, but suffering is optional. If you feel called to learn a little more, I have started uploading meditations on my website that are free and easy to listen to.
I hope the critic in your head will spare me, and if it doesn’t, I am encouraging your to find that middle spot amongst all the noise, that sweet spot that is connected to the present moment and where you can always come back to.