Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Esoteric stuff? Yuck! Or...

I will be honest with you: I am not the most open-minded person when it comes to esoteric stuff. Sorry if I disappoint you. I have a pretty good reason though: At primary school my best friend's mom was with the Bhagwan. There were pictures of the man (also known as Osho) all over their house, including on the toilet - where he stared at you while you were peeing. One day the mom held a ceremony to also include me as a member and gave me a mala (a beaded necklace) with Osho's picture on it. The mom, the house and the movement scared me to death and I didn't want to be initiated to this sect at all. You can imagine that this whole episode in my life traumatized me somewhat. Ever since, I have not been very open-minded when it comes to meditation or people going to India to find their inner selves.

The eyes of Osha aka Bhagwan 

Lately, I have (luckily) realized that I was limiting myself and fortunately had the opportunity to try new and (yes!) esoteric things, and now, I can't seem to stop. The coming months I plan to write a bit more about this spiritual journey I am on. So, be prepared!

'What happened?', you may wonder. In September, I participated in YourLab, a program that is almost impossible to describe. Yet, I will give it a try now. Crap, I know that it will sound way out there which is not what I want it to. But well, after YourLab things all started making more sense. I feel a stronger connection to other people ('I didn't think it was possible for us to interact in this way. If only we had been taught this at High School...' a fellow participant told me). Most importantly, I feel more positive about the future of the world (more about this soon).

But what is it? It's a program of two weeks or four days, for young people, to learn about themselves and their place in the world. It sounds like something I would like to start for myself one day. So, I wrote them and asked if I could participate (despite my age = older than 'young'). Potential participants met with each other and the organizers one Wednesday afternoon, and I was slightly skeptical (read: very unsure about participating). They told us to bring comfortable clothes since we would be working out a lot. "I hear lots of talk of yoga, but what are we actually going to DO?" I asked. My mom and a good friend finally talked me into it, saying it would be great to start something unknown (thank you!).

From the first minute I entered the room and met the other participants on Day One, I felt at ease. There was trust and good energy, despite people's nerves. Two weeks filled with impressions and emotions passed by at the speed of light. But they continue to last until today as well. I learned basic stuff: That it's possible to care for someone you don't know, if you open your heart. That we are more than just our minds and two typing hands; that we have bodies we can and should use, bodies that say a lot about us. In the two weeks, I did Aikido, Tai Ki Ken, Yoga, Meditation, Family Constellations, Transformational breathing, dancing and singing. With the group we made 'art' and came up with ways to use an empty building in the Southeast of Amsterdam.

Alexandra and me doing Tai Ki Ken (Chinese boxing)

The main things that stuck with me were:
  1. (from Tai Ki Ken), be square on the inside and round on the outside - in other words, stick to your core self, but be flexible so you can interact with others. 
  2. You can change your state of mind by changing the state of your body, by grounding more. 
  3. There is an amazing power deep inside of us, which is hidden underneath layer of stress. If we peel off these layers (through transformational breathing), we can connect to this power. This was the most amazing experience for me. I suddenly felt this strength, this determination, this love inside of me, that had me high for a day or two. 
  4. We all have our own unique dance and voice.
YourLab showed me that I was not really in touch with my body nor with my soul. I tend to over-think everything and - even though I am a sensitive girl - I lose track of what I feel. I think everyone can use YourLab time at some point in their lives. I used to always say this about psychologists, but I don't believe that anymore. I don't think it's so important to try to understand rationally how your psyche works. On the other hand, I do believe it is important to value the body, mind and soul that you have and to feel how it is connected to other people. How's that for esoteric? Ha!

This is what a fellow Your Lab participant wrote (in Dutch).

No comments: