Lessons we Learn from a New Environment

In India everything is extreme — awesome luxury and terrible poverty, amazing craftsmanship and complete inefficiency, pure serenity and terrible mess. It’s a cliche — you can either hate or love India. We’re in the love camp. But what does this teach us? What can we take from it? How can we use it?

One takeaway is acceptance. By having to deal with all kinds of polarities in India we inevitably learn to accept them — otherwise you can go mad. Then we start to accept people who have different opinions more easily — which makes us better communicators and more humane. Then we can gradually start accepting ourselves — our inner polarities, our imperfections, our internal extremes, our shadow personalities and dark sides. And this in turn makes us happier persons. And more complete. Sounds good!

Another lesson is about scale and scope. By coming in touch with the Indian extremes we can learn to expand our own boundaries. Here we physically feel our inner systems are “stretching” and becoming wider. That means we can expand our capabilities and embark on things that we couldn’t do before. Try new things and develop ourselves — professionally and personally. Who doesn’t want that?

And we learn to be humble and grateful. On one of our travels we lost our way in a small village somewhere near Gwalior. We were in a mini bus — foreign tourists, usual thing. And then I saw a woman — she was sitting on the ground making flat round things from cow poo (not sure what to call it in English, they are dried and used for making fire, and as roofs in huts). Her eyes met mine, and she smiled at me. Her smile was a happy and welcoming smile, full of good humor and dignity. And her eyes were full of life. But most important- she was not judging what was going on around her. She was not accessing her life and its circustances. She just did her work, she just WAS. In her own unique way. Next moment our car moved on.

If you have a life changing moment — that was mine. Worth hours of personal development trainings and reading inspirational literature. What does it mean to be grateful, to live in the present moment and all those life coaching things? Just keep your eyes open for the moments like that.

If you have a lesson to share from being in a new place, I’d be grateful).