How To Embrace Change And Find Inner Peace In Tough Times
A grey day in Kuala Lumpur…the weather perfectly reflects my inner environment today. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is perhaps the MOST BEAUTIFUL article I’ve written so far, so do read till the end. This article cover image was taken in Langkawi, after a tough period in my life, in 2019. Today, however, it’s pouring outside.
I feel called to share these reflections, from a great place of authenticity and complete rawness. How tightly we hang on to people, places, things, experiences thinking we can, for a moment, hold these experiences forever. In an instant, things might change or rather – things WILL change, as law of impermanence reminds us that NOTHING lasts forever.
It’s been eight years since I left Bolivia back in 2012. Moving to Asia was the most exciting chapter of my life! I had sold my house, my car, given my golden retriever away for adoption to a very loving family, all in pursuit of finding myself of expanding my horizons and feeling complete, welcomed, received, loved, understood by my tribe, my people. Back then, I thought these were feelings weren’t available for me in what others called “home”.
My first stop in Asia was Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City. After the honeymoon phase of three months, I started to see past the rose-colored lenses and experience the reality of the city: dirty, loud, unapologetically grimy, poverty everywhere….exotic, albeit yet also a massive gap between the wealthy and the poor diving the country.
Vietnam was indeed a great kickstart to my journey of self development. After only three months of living in Ho Chi MInh City, my ex-husband was let go from his job as Vice-Principal at the International School we both were hired at. He was not re-positioned to a new role, no negotiations, no questions asked…. no one considered his thoughts, opinions or feelings or the fact that a prior commitment to employing us had been made, signed even, with contracts in both Vietnamese in English! No one gave a damn. And we were heartbroken. And we were mad. However, we stuck together we devised a plan to move forward.
And so it was the start of our journey of compassion, support, a journey of communication and endurance, finding peace through the storm. This was my great initiation into meditation. I have never meditated so devotedly as I did back then 2013 on my couch, in my apartment, with the sounds of crazy motor bikers and millions of people outside trying to make a living, trying to hustle and trying to figure out life. I sat, eyes closed, and in silence, asked to be enlightened and to understand my soul purpose and to be given the tools, the means and the patience and diligence to find a way out of such tough and uncomfortable situation.
And the answer came, as it always does when we let God speak. And we moved to Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur welcomed me from the start. It’s green, lush vegetation. Its warm-hearted people. Its delicious food and diverse architecture, its colors and smells and flavors and traditions. For many years, KL became a home-more-home than I had ever felt anywhere else before. Kuala Lumpur has been a place of expansion, of deep questioning, of shedding layers over and over again. Here, in this magical city, I shed relationships, I shed workplaces, I shed leaving this country on my own and opening to a new experience in Thailand and later on in Bali to kickstart and launch my online yoga academy.
Eight years have passed since I boarded the plane to Asia. I came in partnership and I’m leaving alone. Eight years have passed since that initial spark of excitement to expand to discover, to integrate the shadows, the hidden parts of myself, the unseen within my soul.
As I face the hard truth, that perhaps my time in Malaysia has come to an end, I find myself filled with emotions. And how could it be any other way? This is the place that has seen me cry and laugh, in joy, in fear and discomfort, in loneliness and company, in good times and stormy days. It is only fair that I return the same.
So, as I sit here, breathing in this city, looking out my window watching crazy KL traffic passing by, I ask myself what am I afraid of? What is it that so strongly attaches to me and doesn’t want to let go? What is it that restrains me, and restricts me… that prevents me from feeling the same excitement in going back to Bolivia as it did in bringing me all the way here?
I take a deep breath. I let God speak. And he whispers:
“I realize strong emotions are present for you, dear one: Fear, Uncertainty, The Great Unknown. I see you. I feel you. I’m here to remind you that peace cannot be found without. Peace must be practiced daily, within. Peace is not in the people you meet, nor the food you eat. It’s not in the shell you live in, no matter how nice and hygge it may be. Peace isn’t your bank account, nor the work you do. Peace is found in your capacity to LOVE. There, where you can love, you ARE Peace. And this love includes loving these stormy feelings too. Love yourself first. And Love yourself completely. Always remember: You are beautiful. You are enough.”
And so, I shall board once again that plane. this time going back back to my roots, back to my original blood Tribe, back to my humble beginnings, back to Motherland. This time around, I’m so clear that I am not that which I so desperately yearned to dismiss years past. I am not the woman who left years ago. Time has changed me. The people who have come to my life have changed me. The adversities, the rivers of sorrow, the ponds of the fear I’ve navigated, traversed, me and myself alone have shaped me into a stronger, wiser, more compassionate woman. A woman deeply capable of love. Of the darkness and the light…as much in myself as in others.
One who doesn’t try to only love the lightness, the brightness, the joy alone.. but one who understands that Loving Self is also loving the fear and the darkness, the shadows.
As I board this plane, with a smile on my face I choose TRUST. I choose LOVE, understanding that even though I don’t know what the future holds, I have the space, the opportunity, the invitation to always go within and in doing so find wherever I am, whatever job I hold, whoever holds my hand, that PEACE is always available where LOVE is present.
Saya Cinta Malaysia. ❤️🇲🇾