Sunday, May 25, 2003

i'll have to write a thank you note to harilal, the yogacharya who taught the yoga-workshop that filled this weekend. apart from excellent asana practise, more than 3 hours on both days, he gave us several lectures on yoga and yoga-therapy.

this afternoon, as we all sat around him, listening, me kneeling with a meditation pillow, silke leaning on me so that i could stroke her head (in my experience yoga and these kinds of weekends always make everyone touchy-feely in a very good way), harilal said something that was like he switched on a lightbulb inside my head.

it wasn't a thought that is completely new to me, in fact, i had thought along similar lines before, but the way he phrased it was a revelation.

we were talking about spirituality.
the essence of what he said is this.

"we don't need churches, mosques or temples. we should be spiritual everywhere we go, in everything we do. we should look after ourselves, our bodies, our minds at all times. our lives should be temples. our bodies should be temples. our homes and our families should be temples.

if we do that, if we rest in our lives, our bodies, our families and our homes, we won't need anything else, we won't be rushing around looking for happiness and contentment anywhere else, with far-flung travels to other countries, with ever-changing things."


now here we have the reasons why i was so dead-set on emigrating to australia, why i held on to the relationship to evan with such fervor, even though i felt so lonely, and got so hurt, and doubted so much.

three years ago my life wasn't a temple. it wasn't spiritual. i wasn't at home in my life, my body, in this city, with the people that surrounded me.
- going away, searching for "salvation" and happiness in melbourne seemed better than what i had.
until i met evan, i was never one to rely on a man, but with him, i did, and did so completely. - i clung to him, and a relationship that was faulty from the start, because it seemed like all would be lost if he was lost.
falling in love with evan and making these extremely lonely emigration plans for these three years was not exactly conscious escapism, but being unable to see myself go on the way i lived back then definitely played a major role.
when evan appeared on the scene, i suddenly had something to occupy myself with, an excuse for withdrawing myself from people, an excuse for not searching out better, healthier friends and making a career change. everything was suddenly solved - i'd "simply" go away.

truth is, nothing was solved. - the problems just kept piling up, because i was so lonely, and so unhappy in so many ways.

these days, my life is a lot better than it was for most of the past 3 1/2 years. - it surely feels like i am on the right track to being at home in my skin and my life again, to making both a temple.
right now, the desire to live somewhere else, outside this country, this continent, is still there, but it has little to do with escapism and more with knowing i can be happy in many places, with many people, doing things i might not even think about yet. i does not have to be melbourne, with evan, no house in carlton or hawthorn, no ip law firm job.

i've finally realised that the only way that going away and a relationship can ever work is when i am already happy with where i am and who i am. for emigration to be a good, healthy thing to do, it can not be about fleeing from a situation that is unbearable. for a relationship to work, it can not be clinging to someone for fear of not having anything left if i let go.

thank you for making me realise that, harilal.