Since the beginning of this year, I had the urge to close myself in the room and to be really still. Of course life has interfered, the to do list and so on and I never got to follow through what my intuition has been pointing me to. I thought going away to Thailand was going to provide me with the space I needed to get still and listen to the guidance, which came from within. However, the Thailand adventure didn’t end up the way I had expected it to. You can read more about it here.
I had to learn that the silence comes from within. Sounds pretty obvious I know, but some things have to be experienced before they start really resonating and making sense on the deeper level. Over the last seven years, when I started my personal development journey I would always look for someone else to answer my burning questions. Every time I felt disconnected, confused and lost I would think that others had the better answers and the solutions for my next best move. Instead of looking and accepting the guidance from within, I was looking for someone else to create my life and make the decisions for me. I was afraid to take the responsibility for my actions purely because I was so afraid of failing.
I would give the advice to others, ‘never be afraid to fail, that is where you grow and learn from your mistakes’. But here I was in a position where I was looking for others to create my life and my destiny. This way I would have someone else to blame when things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to. Taking the responsibility for the actions you’ve taken when you have to face a failure is uncomfortable, but as the advice I was giving everyone else said, that is where you grow. I failed at taking responsibility for my life, because all the way until now, someone else had been making all the decisions for me. At the beginning I had my parents, then my ex, allowing me stay in my comfort zone.
By decisions here I mean the decisions that shape who we are, that create our lives. Instead of honouring what I deep down wanted for my life, and myself I ignored that and instead helped others to create their lives and their dreams. Have you ever heard the stories where the child ends up choosing a profession not because that is their deep desire, but because that was something they parents wanted to achieve themselves, but never had enough courage to do so, hence they ended up inflicting those desires on their children. I had a similar pattern going on. Instead of following what I wanted for myself, I was achieving someone else’s goals and dreams. Subconsciously I was doing all of this because I had a deep imprinted block of wanting to be loved and accepted when in reality what I had to learn was to accept myself.
Self-acceptance has definitely been a journey for me. I realised that healing and self-growth comes in layers. I would get a big ‘aha’ moment, where I would be able to see why I have been making certain decisions the way I was. Then I would come to realisation that I am now in a place of complete self-acceptance, just to realise moments later that there is more to that story. Growth comes in layers. We get triggered by posts on social media, our parents, friends colleagues, strangers on the street, latest news etc. In those situations we have to face ourselves and notice what is it that we are not ready to accept about ourselves, because everything we see outside that makes us uncomfortable shows us a path to a deeper self-growth.
Our lives and our choices are run by our belief systems. If we have enough courage to face them, we are able to create what we want in life from relationships, health, financial freedom and happiness. If we choose to be affected by all the triggers that these people bring in us, we get stuck in our heads running the stories and looking for the excuses of why we can’t achieve something that we deep down desire. That is where the power of self-acceptance comes in. When you are in the place of complete self-acceptance, these triggers no longer catch your attention. That girl on Instagram with a perfect selfie becomes your inspiration. She might inspire you work on building a level of confidence that she has. Having a power to get uncomfortable is one of the biggest gifts that we can give ourselves, because in those moments we grow not an inch, but a whole mile.
I ended up my Thailand adventure doing a silent meditation retreat, Vipassana. It has been my first silent meditation retreat and it was something like I have never experienced before. All the comforts that we get in our lives were taken away. We slept in a dormitory full of wooden beds, no mattresses or fluffy bedding just a thin bamboo sheet, a wooden pillow, blanket and a mosquito net. The day would start 4:30am with the morning bell giving us 30 minutes to get ready and to start the first meditation practice. The schedule for a day was as bellow.
04:30 a.m. Wake up
05:00 a.m. Morning Reading and Sitting Meditation
05:45 a.m. Yoga
07:00 a.m. Sitting Meditation
07:30 a.m. Breakfast and Chores / Free Time
09:30 a.m. Dhamma Talk
10:15 a.m. Walking or Standing Meditation
11:00 a.m. Sitting Meditation
11:45 a.m. Lunch and Chores / Free Time
14:00 p.m. Meditation Instructions and Sitting Meditation
14:45 p.m. Walking or Standing Meditation
15:30 p.m. Sitting Meditation
16:15 p.m. Walking or Standing Meditation
17:00 p.m. Chanting and Loving Kindness Meditation
18:00 p.m. Tea / Free Time
19:30 p.m. Walking Meditation
20:15 p.m. Sitting Meditation
21:00 p.m. Bedtime
21:30 p.m. Lights Out