You know, when they tell you that this trip you are about to embark on can change your life. When you laugh a little and shrug it off, half amused and half scared that maybe, it will. Because how can seven short days change what has taken more than 37 years to become what it is today? How could it?
I am not sure if I really am a changed person, or if this trip to Kamalaya (which truly is a magical place) has just brought back the person I have always been. The person that used to feel compassionate about the world around her, the person that used to spend evenings listening to music and drawing, the person that used to sing if she felt like it, no matter who was listening.
This person got a little lost somewhere in the small confines of motherhood, work, and juggling life in London.
After a week of excellent yoga classes, massages and wellness treatments, I am feeling much softer and subtler. Physically and mentally. And after the initial caffeine withdrawal headache had lifted, I had a moment of great clarity. All of a sudden, all the bigger and smaller issues that had been bugging me before had a solution to them.
I have been sweating the small stuff too much recently, and in my quest for an existence beside maternal duties, I have become increasingly frustrated and angry. So frustrated that it felt impossible to make a decision on what I wanted to do next, as I felt completely trapped in the way we had built our life around us.
Of course, it won’t be enough to gain clarity about what I want and to feel more connected to myself to put an end to the onsets of ‘grumpy old lady’. I need the space and the support at home. Changes are inevitable. Otherwise I will just end up where I started. And what good is going to come out of frustration?
And talking about changes – I am going to change the world. Well, little by little, starting in my kitchen: Free range for meat, ecologically sensible for the rest. No space in my cupboards for products that fuel our addictions or, in my case, allergies. And while I put an end to feeding our bodies crap, I am going to apply the same to what I feed my brain. I have lived without a TV for most of my life. Now that it’s there, it’s just sucking time and energy that could be spent better elsewhere.
Of course, I know that all my great plans like writing that book my agent is keen on seeing a good chunk of (hello Adrian!), being a better person and a better citizen will not always be easy to stick to.
When it all gets a little tense, I am counting on two ways to help me make it easier:
- Smile – it’s for free!
- Taking myself back to that happy place in Koh Samui, alone on the ocean on a paddleboard, with nothing but the warm rain on my face.
Thank you, Didi, for listening and for sorting out my food intolerances. Thank you, Mix, for making my bed every morning and for putting flowers on my pillow. Thank you, Jeab, for looking after me at every meal I had. And thank you, Quirijn, for teaching me how to stand on a paddleboard.