Gallons of chocolatey organic Vietnamese coffee and a Ted Talks overdose. My first kombucha. Yoga and meditation and Solfreggio frequencies. Heroes. Bicycle pedals, bright lights and passing people by. A waving waitress. Brunch, brunch and more brunch.
Wonderment in the temples. Introspection and a philosophical debate. The Power of Now. Small mistakes, big lessons. Cranial expansion in every direction. New people, new daydreams, new ideas. And so many smiles that start in the stomach, I’ve lost count.
I have never felt so alive.
TO WAKE – PERCHANCE TO DREAM
Insomnia always seems to carry a negative connotation; it’s seen a result of stress, anxiety, fear and dread and referred to as suffering from or suffering with.
But lately, I’ve developed some sort of voluntary insomnia and I’m not suffering at all because every morning feels like Christmas and I’m unwrapping the gift of life.
I wake early, sometimes stupidly early – today it was before two in the morning.
I tell myself I should go back to sleep. I reprimand my excitement, I scold my thoughts and I lay there in savasana, listening to my Indian flute lullabies chasing back my unconscious state with deep-breathed determination.
But I can never catch it.
My dreams have long disappeared into the darkness of night and my conscious thoughts start to throw parties in my head.
I spent my Saturday wandering around just a few of Chiang Mai’s three thousand temples.
Every single one of them made my jaw fall with amazement as I slowly and silently heel-to-toed across their marble floors, mesmerised by the bold colours and sparkle.
Their walls are embellished inside and out with gold statues, twinkling jewels, glistening mosaics and intricate sculptures. There are dragons, horses, zebras, elephants and all sorts of other majestic creatures guarding every doorway. And in the centre of each temple, is the most opulent shrine you’ve ever seen.
Enormous golden Buddha statues in various poses, lotus flowers and bodhi trees, extravagant fruit and flower offerings and paintings on every wall. It’s a rainbow-coloured, scintillating feast that can keep your eyes entertained for hours.
I was completely awestruck. I was speechless. I was dazed by the human effort that had gone into every single purposeful detail, by the beauty, the luxuriance and the borderline tackiness of it all.
These were moments that quite literally took my breath away.
LIFE LESSONS FROM TOURISTS & TODDLERS
There’s something paradoxical about our innate desire for newness and our need for comfort and familiarity. One gives us so much pleasure and the other takes it away without us even noticing.
It’s something I’ve always thought a lot about.
Whether it’s the city you live in, your job, a relationship, a friendship or even an inanimate object like a car, a camera or a frock…the novelty draws us in but sooner or later, the dopamine starts to level out and whatever it is becomes part of our routine and the magic quickly fades.
But can you rebel against this part of our human nature and reawaken your childlike wonder for life?
I happen to believe you can.
The honeymoon period in a relationship can be prolonged for much longer than a few months if you apply some effort to not letting things get stale. You can perpetuate joy in your job long past your probation if you move things forward, or maybe even sideways, just enough to keep your brain muscles flexed and your curiosity awake. You can be excited by the pavements you’ve walked on a thousand times and daily routines do not need to become monotonous.
Toddlers and tourists tell you all you need to know.
They’re looking at the world around them as though they’re seeing it for the first time. They’re eyes are wide open. They’re inquisitive and rhapsodic. Their senses are alive and they’re marvelling at things with pure and focused attention.
TURNING OFF YOUR TODDLER
I never want a greyscale existence and I don’t want this magic to end but the problem is that my inner toddler tends to get a little bit over excited – high off the E numbers of life.
And while I love that I’m so excited to wake that I cannot sleep and I’m all for an early start, 2am is a little bit ludicrous. So I’m about to strap on some reigns and give myself a telling off.
The meditation is getting ramped up a level and the yoga will continue but their contribution to fixing this matter is small; it’s all about prioritising my side hustles.
Do not try to do everything. Do one thing well.
~ Steve Jobs