Probably a common theme amongst non-professional bloggers, it has been a long time since I entered some content.
Travel has been high on my list of things to do and in the last six months I have been to India twice, New Zealand and China.
Seeing the world is an amazing experience, observing the human condition from different cultural perspectives and interacting with people without a common language except the language of err… love. Truly sometimes when there is no way to express the notions each other has speeding through the brain, expression comes down to a much more primal force. It becomes a heart to heart expression.
My strongest experiences of this were in India, in Kotakal, at an Ayurvedic clinic, well, hospital. My husband had contracted Malaria earlier last year and at times is was extremely worrying how weak he was. Usually he only gets sick one day a year and in twenty years together, he had only suffered once from something more severe than a cold. This was the second time, and definitely the worst. So his return to “action man” fitness, was very slow and it was the only time in his life I thought he would agree to take some time out and get treatment. He agreed, and we ventured to Ayurvaidya Sala, Kerela, South India. In the backwaters of this communist state, we traveled from the airport through jungle and a storm for forty-five minutes to the hospital.
The treatment was pretty basic, as were the living quarters, not a luxury hotel, but a hospital. Basic vegetarian fare and sparsely furnished surrounds, but the staff had heart. As I was getting massage treatment every day with hot oil administered by one attendant, and the massage performed by four others, I came to see these ladies as my mothers. From the moment one of them collected me from my room, until they returned me, I felt in safe hands. Hands that did not hold back, and especially as they undressed me and helped me get oil off my thickly smeared skin at the end of the massage, they performed their tasks with affection. I felt for the first time since childhood, like mothers were taking care of me.
The effect of this kind of intimate bond with the masseurs, totally beyond language spoken, was that tension and stress trapped deep within the tissues and deep in the complex thinking patterns, were alleviated. I felt free and floated around the hospital. Now I kind of refuse to accept behaviour of others that is not conducive to harmony, and try and hold that space of peace and positive thought, (although it is not always easy). It revealed to me the power of liking what you do for a living, and how the experience of nurture is lacking from our individualistic Western world view and practice.
Other places I traveled also provided a challenge to communicate via the heart, rather than with the head.
China meant working, walking and waking with translators. But after I had finished facilitating a seminar entitled, “To Err is Human, To Forgive Divine”, the words were hardly a necessity. The warm embraces and tumbles of mixed Mandarin and English expressing their gratitude, the tears in the corners of almond shaped eyes, and faces that had once frowned in anxiety looking positive and renewed, were much more than even these words can express.
It was the art of communication on the heart level. Very powerful and transformatory.