This article explores letting go when you get on a plane, bus, or train. Give up all hope, and give, to live in the present — and thrive.
Live in the Present.
Parents of young kids are told that children thrive on routines. I’m no expert on that, but I can understand how routines feel safe and comfortable. But boring. And I don’t know how healthy, in the grand scheme of things. Imagine peanut butter and jelly every day, all year. Yeah, maybe sometimes you switch grape for strawberry, but are you really satisfying your taste buds? And your RDAs? They say you need to eat the color of the rainbow for a healthy diet.
The same goes for yoga. Yeah, I love Ashtanga and Sivananda and Bikram, but my Vata mind doesn’t always want my body to do a prescribed series. I like to throw in some crazy stuff now and then. Belly dance moves. African dancing. Or steep myself in a yin pose for what seems like forever. I don’t like the scripting. I prefer to move intuitively. Likewise, I frequently tell my students to listen to their bodies at that very moment and move accordingly.
I take that concept a bit further. Why live in one city, or one culture, without ever stepping outside your self-defined boundaries?
Merve is from Turkey. While she’ll never forget her roots, she’s chosen to live in the present and enjoy all parts of the world. Right now, she’s living in Monterrey, Mexico. She’s taking Spanish lessons and has hosted her mom for a six-month visit. For some, a visit with the in-laws for a full day is all they can handle. But for Merve, her mom, and her husband, they seem to cherish the experiences. Not only those of cohabitating, but getting out of the comfort zone and exploring, locales, cultures, and relationships.
Big Bucks Don’t Matter
Merve is married to an American. He left the high-powered big bucks of the corporate confines to fulfill his wanderlust as an English teacher. Before they arrived in Mexico, they lived together in Egypt for two years.
It wasn’t that easy to adjust to Egypt, especially with the political unrest that was going on. Following the tenet to live in the present, Merve told herself, “accept this.” She took Arabic classes and started venturing out with her camera. By the time they were ready for their next adventure, she felt a bit of sadness letting go of her life in Egypt. But she let go, to live in the present, and move to her next adventure.
Not everyone embraces the wealth you obtain by learning different languages and cultures. Merve and her husband treasure their ability to really deep dive into other parts of the world. Languages are not barriers for them, rather challenges that they can overcome. Religious and cultural differences aren’t barriers either, rather something to accept and honor.
Cherish People, Culturals, and Experiences
Deniz is Merve’s mom. She has an Om tattoo on her right forearm, bleached hair, and smokes a cigarette outside a vegetarian restaurant in the boho-chic Barrio Antiguo. She says of Merve, “My daughter always asked questions. With the help of my husband, he had her research things herself. He wouldn’t give her an answer. Her journalist father, thus, instilled in her the ability to problem solve, and probe on her own.
Turkey is a rich country for cultures, explains Merve. Although they lived in Istanbul, Deniz was from the south, close to the Syrian border. Hatay, also known as Antakya, is home to places of worship to Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and is considered a city for cultures. In fact, this is where the first Christian church in the world is said to be.
While they may not have been jet-setters, they appreciated the cultures their country had to offer.
“I’d watch local people to see how they followed their traditions,” says Merve. “It’s the family structure.” Both families were open to respecting and appreciating the cultures and religions of their neighbors, and Deniz is very spiritual.
So, Merve is on her way to learn and share in the traditions and culture now of the Mexican people, and then—who knows. The world is theirs.
Read more about crossing boundaries and getting beyond your comfort zone, as part of self-study (svadhyaya), or ideas on mother/daughter transformational trips.