Optimist

 

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I don´t know if you have been feeling it also but, there´s something in the air… Challenges that are asking for the best of us, expansion is on it´s way. Yes, I am talking weird but what else can I do?

My last weeks have been full of challenges and a really deep understanding of myself has come to the surface. At the beginning I was amazed, confused… I thought Wow! I never saw the others clearer than today but the truth is that I never saw myself clearer than now. It´s scary. Many of the patterns that have been defining my life up to this point are so clear that I can´t do anything but see this as a huge opportunity to transcend them. For the first time I can see the purpose of my life in terms of the expansion of “my own” soul.

I always saw myself as an extremely contradictory person. I used to describe my “style” as a line moving in zig-zag between two parallel lines: Going from one extreme to the other was so natural for me, giving all or nothing. By paying these high energetic prices I was able to move forward towards my own spiritual and practical goals.

Actually: three weeks ago.
Years = three weeks ago.

I never fought against this tendency of mine because I actually did create a lot of amazing stuff. I used to just observed it and allowed it to show me what I thought it was important for me to understand that way: through the shock of contradiction, expecting that there was going to be a moment when I was going to be able to understand what was hiding behind…

Now it´s that time:

Cold becomes warm and warm becomes cold.

Weakness becomes strength.

Hell, heaven.

The extremism in the others helped me to crush my boat into my own harbor, understanding the reasons behind that way of being. Well, we know how much easier is to put things in perspective when they are outside of ourselves. Thank God for the others.

1520812_441528782639274_287793576_nNow, again, I am in the middle of a huge wave of changes where all my thoughts about life, death, love and self-love are in the blender: PRRRRMM!!! PRRRMMM!!!!

I feel that I failed in my most precious enterprise, extremely sad, broken and I saw myself as a coward. At the same time, I am going forward in my search of understanding; I feel hope and being broken feels like an opportunity. Uncertainty is my friend, the future seems at times black; sometimes, full of sunshine.

And there I go again: radicalism is in my DNA.

But there is something different now: I saw the comfort hiding behind my way of being; I realized how easy it was for me to go all the way or not make even one step at all. Now that comfort feels suspicious. Today, I don´t identify myself with any of those thoughts and feelings that are either up or down. I don´t identify myself with the sadness or the happiness. Now, I know I have the power to bring harmony to my life.

Now, I will invite the extremes to come towards each other…

Finding balance.

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Mountains and me.

I have always been surrounded by mountains, well, coming from a place like Chile is actually very hard to not be close to one. I always remember that amazing feeling of seeing the Andes after a day of rain in Santiago. In that monster-city that Santiago is, we had only some days a year, maybe only some hours a year, the opportunity to smell the rain in the fresh air and find a ray of light behind the trees, to only realize that the amazing Cordillera was there, in her splendor, shining, huge, like witnessing all our movements from the heights. It was just perfect! Words are not enough when comes to nature.

Here, in Chamonix, I REALLY am surrounded by mountains. They are a little bit different from the Andes though: they are closer and are, at the same time, smaller (objectively) but bigger (from where I am standing perspective), the Alps are sharp mountains, the Andes are more soft. I find the Alps very masculine, the Andes are more feminine (this is a VERY personal thing I guess). There might be many other differences and I am sure that a lot of people around me might know more about this subject but, there is something that doesn’t change and is this feeling that I get when I´m staring at the mountains: I simply become quite. Their beauty, majesty and every-day-changing presence touches my heart deeply and I just love it. I feel extremely grateful for this.

I still don´t get the urge to go up the mountains to explore and conquer them. Maybe in the future, who knows.

Meanwhile I will continue enjoying seeing the majesty of nature, enjoying the quietness of my astonished heart.

All of this is because I wanted to say that I feel that I, in my heart, understand what Kōdo Sawaki, zen master (Taisen Deshimaru´s master), is talking about:

Look! Nature is sublime. I understand the problems people have, yet I have never met somebody worthy of my admiration or submission. But the Takagamine Mountain is always looking down on me saying: Kōdo, Kōdo…

Those are beautiful last words, don´t you think?

Not conquering the mountain. We took a lift to this place. Photo by the amazing Daniel Rönnback.
Not conquering the mountain. We took a lift to this place. Photo by the amazing Daniel Rönnback.

Beginner.

Stay Open. Photo by Daniel Rönnback.
Stay Open. Photo by Daniel Rönnback. 2014, Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France.

One of the things I love about yogasana practice is what mister Iyengar clearly says: “I know the postures from yesterday but today I become a beginner.”

This is a huge challenge.

I like to think that what happens on my yoga mat is a reflex of the things that are happening outside of it. I feel it on the good things and also when a challenge appears.

The challenge of feeling like a beginner is important for me.

What I´ve learn through my yogasana practice is that, everyday I am dealing with a new version of myself. Everything changes constantly and if I forget about it, stagnates my practice immediately.

I love those days when I feel clean, fresh and new not only after the practice but before.

Those days when I am open to the adventure that I can see ahead of me and when, even though I know how to begin, I never know how it will end.

I love when I feel like I am open to find new ways to approach to the “problems” that the practice puts in front of me and that, instead of taking the regular way, I allow my self to experiment and create new points of view. I love when I feel creative. Makes me feel that I am growing.

One of the goals of the yoga practice is to go beyond our egos and, even though I am crushing with my ego constantly, I like to think that, when I feel inspire and creative I am going further in my experience of myself re defining my own limits because, rather than undergo regular mental processes -that do nothing but to strengthen the ego- I can find a new way of dealing with myself, my “problems” and my experience.

It´s beautiful because keeps me humble in front of the beauty and it´s not only my mind that opens, it is my body and my heart also.

New cycle.

It´s been a while since my last updated in my website and now, after 6 weeks in Chile, my homeland, I just came back to the mountains and to the fresh smell of the summer, with a completely new energy.

During my time in Chile, I felt like meeting myself again in this place that it´s full of people that knows me for so long and that loves me no matter what. My family and friends were showing me with love what´s left of me after the movement of the last year and half. Long and honest talks, hugs of infinite love and whole evenings doing nothing more than be there, left me with a feeling of gratitude and a sensation that, all the external movement is nothing more than an opportunity to let fall all the things that are not yours in the way, until you see yourself again and you realize that, instead of being far away, you are closer.

Closer to what?

Closer to That.

Listening to the sunset.
Listening to the sunset.

I took some days for myself and went to the beach and rediscovered meditation.

During those days, a friend of mine shared THIS link on facebook. If you are interested in meditation and Buddhism, please read it. It will be good for you. Read it also if you are interested in happiness (who is not interested in happiness?).

I´m sure it will inspire you too.

The Fool.

I feel like I´m new in everything nowadays: A beginner in life or something like that. It´s a pretty honest feeling and sometimes it´s like: “THIS IS AWESOME!!!” but sometimes it´s like “But, come on Ale, I thought you learnt something from the past!!!”

The other day we went to Vågakallen.

It is the biggest mountain around Henningsvaer and after a long walk; you can climb to the summit.

The route we did it wasn´t a difficult climb at all, perfect for me: a super beginner.

When I go with Andreas somewhere in the mountains I always feel like a child, learning from someone who knows A LOT about what he´s talking about.

At the same time, pressure and fear, make my learning process a little slower than I´m used to so I deal with a completely new picture of myself.

Nevertheless, that day we went out and I was thinking all the time: Don´t take this personal, trust yourself, do your best, enjoy.  Like a mantra. Once and again. Breathing consciously (as pranayama taught me), walking as fast as I could and following Andreas´ advices.

Until we came to this place:

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Probably between those rocks there is around 1, 1 ½ meters distance. It´s not that much if you think about it.  Andreas went there and jumped like nothing. Without thinking, just like if jumping over 40 or more meters high it´s a normal thing.

And I was like:

No way.

I can´t.

What happens if I fall?

I´m definitely not going to do this.

Andreas was there, waiting for me on the other side, while I was dealing with myself divided between the fear of jumping, the fear of falling and the fear of being trapped for hours on that rock.

Andreas was VERY nice.

He was there trying to communicate me that it wasn´t that dangerous and that I needed to trust my feet and legs.

In my mind, all the time: No way, I can´t.

Andreas took some precautions while I was there thinking and thinking, saying: Ale, you can do this… One, two… NO I CAN´T!

We were there around 15 minutes, (Andreas says it was between 30 minutes and one hour but, for me time flew faster than ever!!!) Anyway, dealing with yourself and your fears it´s not that easy and, in other conditions, definitely, takes more than 30 minutes.

Until I jumped.

And –since I´m writing this- I survived.

That experience was, by far, one of the most important moments in my life: Taking the chance of doing something even though your mind it´s telling you that there is no way you can do it.

Sometimes in yoga it´s like that.  At the beginning it can be the opposite: your mind saying “Of course I can do that, it seems simple”, but then your body don´t answer. After a few years of practice, when you have to do something new, your mind is more like: No way… Until your body achieves it (and your mind, suddenly, silent.)

On the other side of the jump there was Andreas and I realized why I love him so much.  Also I realized how good he is in what he does. And how much I trust him.

I did the jump, yes, but he was there for me.

My brother made me realize how familiar this experience was with the “first” tarot card: The Fool.

In the regular representation of this card we can see a man standing at the edge of something that looks like a mountain with, probably, an abyss in front of him. But he doesn´t seems to be bothered by that.  Innocent and trusting in the universe, in his dog, in his feet or whatever you want, it seems that he will continue walking no matter what.

Actually, the fool is one of the “unnumbered” cards of the deck.

The fool represents the beginning of an important journey.

Maybe feeling like a beginner it´s not that bad after all. Its the fool a fool after all?

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