During my last travel experience in South-East-Asia earlier this year, I attended a Vipassana retreat at the beginning of my trip. One of the most significant insights was about my inability to find peace in my mind. So I kept meditating almost every day even after the retreat. A month and a half into my journey, after I recovered from a high fever, I fell into a depression.
Of course I didn’t know what was happening at the time. In the middle of paradise I went to bed early and hoped to wake up late the next morning to make the day as short as possible.
ImageBut with the sunrise I kept waking up, and I couldn’t stop wondering what to get up for.
“You are in paradise, for christ’s sake, why don’t you see that? Why can’t you appreciate it?” I asked myself. All I saw was grey, all I tasted was flavourless, and all I did seemed pointless.
I even considered flying back home earlier than planned. Staying in bed and crying for no obvious reason I could do in Austria, too. But I stayed.
I became friends with an Italian woman who seemed to be in a similar situation. We had long conversations and we both felt understood. She then asked me for a Shiatsu treatment and offered me a Cranio Sacral Therapy in return.
Even though I didn’t feel like being in a suitable situation to do energy work, I did it anyway. I put my emotional tornado aside and focused on her, and on the Shiatsu treatment I gave her.
That helped. I finally had a foothold.
During a conversation with an important person the next day, I realized that none of the things that I had told myself on both a conscious and subconscious level were true.
It turned out that those lies in my head that I had believed, had a huge impact on my emotional situation.
It felt like for the first time in two weeks I could breathe again, as if the lies that I had told myself up until then had drowned me in sadness and apathy.
ImageThe mornings were still the hardest part of the day, but I forced myself to get up right after waking up, even before I had the chance to consider staying in bed just to get stuck in my restless mind. By taking a few breaths, I silenced the arising “whys” and “what fors”.
I began a daily routine that started with my own Yoga practice and meditation.
The days I spent with amazing people who I became friends with, relaxing on the beach or exploring the island, and in the evenings I went to guided meditations.
Slowly my appetite came back and with it the capability to see and appreciate the beauty around me. In my mind I finally found some sort of peace.
While it seemed like the worst time of my life back then, it now turns out to be one of the most important ones. As usual.
I truly understand now that my whole life is subjective. I experience every situation I find myself in from my point of view. Another person experiences the same situation most likely in a totally different way.
What I see depends on my perspective and on what I believe.
No matter what I think, no matter what story is created by my mind, I now know that I can just look at the situation without creating an opinion about it, without getting stuck in it, without becoming the story.
And that is the most precious gift that allows me to stay in the present moment more and more frequently.