Chris and I are on vacation.
It is not the usual 3-week Summer break we had been taking for many years in a row. It’s a short stay in the far West of Germany, enjoying the hospitality of welcoming friends, the stillness in the forests with its many shades of green and the warmth of the Summer all day long.
Germany is my home country.
Traveling to Germany, back to my roots, always brings up recognition, curiosity and contradictory feelings for me. It has lived through huge changes since I exchanged it three decennia ago for a life in The Netherlands. These days I come to visit and look at it with different eyes. Besides my life story and experiences I bring my recognitions, curiosity and bunch of feelings, pro & contra, and I rewrite my story. I’ve been doing this for quite some time now and it brings me clarity, peace and understanding.
My first travel destination this year after the lockdown was Berlin.
I drove there to visit my family. The feeling I get from being with family can’t be substituted by anybody else. Recognizing my kin moves something in me that I only learned to feel after not having lived with them for a long time. I also learned to appreciate the feeling of belonging, of knowing that everything is okay and enjoying deeply and profoundly the sweet taste of coming home.
We all have an idea about our roots and where on earth they are, haven’t we? Mine are deeply embedded in the vibrancy and the turmoil and the speed of and the sky above Berlin, right beside the Millions of people that make the city alive and kicking.
Having lived through East-German times behind the wall, my upbringing reflected the characteristics of the society of those times. I left in 1991 and built myself a life at the Northern Sea. I’m grateful for many opportunities, welcoming people, loving hearts and 25 years of support from Chris. It wasn’t always easy with the choices I made, the dreams I had, my tendencies to OCD making me stumble and the processes when becoming aware of how to be more at ease and comfortable, in peace and love with myself.
I learned so much that I forgot most of the events, the people, the moods, the tears, the resistance and the hard work that brought me there. What I know for sure is that I’m a different person than when I left Berlin. And yet, I love the reconnection with my roots and my kin. It touches something deeper in what I consider “me”.
Yoga came to me 25 years ago.
It came originally with Chris and I didn’t recognize its resources in the first case. When our relationship run out of energy, Chris applied his yoga practice to keep going. I observed him doing it and got inspired. That spark of inspiration is still igniting a fire in me, the fire that keeps me going when transmitting in my teachings the fruits of yoga that I’ve been reaping. The spark, the inspiration and the fruits of yoga became the foundation for our lasting relationship and the work we offer at Yogashala.
My roots only got stronger in the last couple of years.
I know of my strengths that derived from them. I learned to combine strength with a variety of resources, one of them being yoga.
My story is of course different than someone else’s story.
And yet, our stories very often have similarities. Being able to bridge similarities with uniqueness is a tool I acquired and apply when teaching, supporting and being with students and clients.
It is the differences that allow us to see and think, it is our similarity that allows us to feel and simply be.
Yes, we’re all connected. Did you know that, when going back for 20 generations, your family counts 1 Million members?