For the last year of my life I have surrounded myself with something VERY different from what I was used to. I have seen my (American) culture from an outside perspective & everything in my world has changed drastically because of it. Today is the first time in a year that I will return to my home country and see it again after my inner transformation. I forgot how intense the American culture is (in its many forms), it has really been a while since I have emerged with it.
Today is the big flight travel day, we flew from Bali to Seoul (Korea), then to Tokyo (Japan), then to Seattle, and finally to Denver. It all hit me once we were in Japan, we walked to our terminal and almost simultaneously as I saw the sign for Seattle (USA) I got a HUGE wiff of McDonalds. I choked it down and walked to the desk to change our seats (Matt & I were scheduled to not sit by each other during the loooong 10hr flight). Only to be in line behind an obese pissed off Guchi wearing American woman screaming at the Japanese clerk about God knows what. I noticed her thriving off the fact that she was causing a scene as she was twisting her head like an owl to see who was watching her. I felt anxiety rush through my blood & disgrace fill my being. After this episode we moved on to another obese individual (mind you I haven't seen an overweight individual in a long time) who was struggling for each breath just from standing in place. Again, I choked this down, took a deeeeeeep breathe & said to myself "OK, here we go!"
One of my goals returning to the states is Non-judgment, I think I underestimated how difficult this task would be considering all of my mental shifts about America. I will stay strong with this and remind myself that we are all connected, and although I see & live life differently, I too could have been in their shoes in a past life.
4 Days later....
From Rustic Bali to luxurious Denver my mind is filled with difference, indifference, beauty, and openness. Today I really felt at home and in my body as I took in a deep breath of the sweet fresh Colorado Rocky Mountain air. It was like medicine to my soul. When I am in the city I am shocked by the constant development & consumerism, but when I am here in nature I am awe-struck by the exquisite natural beauty this country possesses. There is nothing like the fresh smell of sprouting Aspen trees & pungent Juniper pine needles. We bought an annual pass to the US National Parks. I am so eager to spend the summer in some of the most geologically beautiful places in the world!
I woke this morning reading this:
"Joy is transformative as I allow it free and fill expression through my thoughts, words, and actions. Joy fills my heart as I hold the hand of a loved one in need. Seeing past any human flaws and frailties, I behold their true essence. Our connection is life-affirming and joy-filled.