Botanical Gardens

For my last three weeks in Malaysia I have moved to another neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur (KL). Living here gives me a new perspective to the whole experience of being which I like. When I browsed the airbnb offerings, this one caught my attention because it is situated in an area that I already knew a little bit from coming here with Don for getting a sim card and the regular shopping trip for groceries. Small streets with lots of little shops and cafes where I like to sit and watch people or read. Also it is not too far away from the Botanical Gardens where Don and I used to go for our morning walks. I knew I wanted to continue this morning ritual. The walk in the park has such an alivening effect on me, and I love to get up when it is still dark and walk into the sunrise. I also enjoy meeting the other people who come to the park almost daily, with some I started to say hello and sometimes exchange a few words. I am amazed how many people get up so early in the morning to walk, run, practice chi gong or do yoga. The park itself feels very alive too, it is KL’s first recreational park right in the heart of the city, it was established in 1888 back during the colonial times, so some of the trees are old and very interesting. There is a bird park nearby and some interesting sounds mix in with the whole experience. The park is set in a hilly area, so depending on how sporty I want the walk to be, it is possible to integrate steps or sloped paths. Starting with an impulse in December to run up a set of stairs, skipping every second step, I integrated the stairs into my morning walk. It adds to me feeling alive and I like to feel the strength in my legs. Also last year during my Ayurveda class and coaching that I received, I was pointed to the fact that this sort of high intensity training is good for my type and since then I find myself wanting more of it and I do not hold myself back anymore when I feel like running fast at the beach, running up a hill, etc, yes, it suits my type. When I do not run up the stairs, my intention is to walk with my walking practice and to connect to the place. Which means I have started to connect to the spirit of the park. I like to float with it, practicing being with it and the trees which feels very relaxing. Much more relaxing than being with other humans which I find often difficult. Maybe the spirit can teach me how to apply a sense of trust that I seem to have when being in nature, to being with humans. Actually a few days ago it felt like the spirit was leading me into a sense of just being with others, a looking at them with interest.

Two weeks ago I had one of those moments, when I desperately needed to be all by myself, which lead to my move into the airbnb. And being all by myself does not really mean always alone, but maybe 80% of the day. Inbetween I enjoy meeting my colleagues from the online class in explorations of consciousness online. Also sometimes when I come back from my morning walk in time before my host and her friend leave for work, we enjoy inspiring chats over breakfast. And I have met Don for a concert in the impressive concert hall in the Petrona Towers which I enjoyed.
My observation is that only when I allow myself to be alone, things can come through me which before were softly knocking, however could not make themselves be heard. The process of allowing myself to be alone is still messy. I think I can feel the knocking, but the first impulse is to suppress it. Then I get moody and I project my unclear feeling of impatience onto my surroundings. When I finally allow myself to be alone, often people have been hurt. I am sorry, I am intending to become clearer in myself with this need to be alone and gentler on the people around me.

This time when I moved into solitude, my book started to talk to me, the book that I already had in mind when I started my walking journey more than two years ago and which now, as I am coming to an end of my travelling (at least for now), wants to be written. In facebook I stumbled over a 5 day writing challenge, which got me excited and inspired to think about my book more seriously. I received great tips, wrote a vision for this year and now committed to a ten month online class that will teach me all sorts of things about writing, how to stay inspired and most of all will get me have my book published by the end of this year. That is my new commitment.
So far it feels great. I am getting more interested in the process of creativity itself. After finding Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat Pray Love in a hotel library on Bali (yes, I was on Bali for 10 days in January), I felt like wanting to read all her books and found her ‘Big Magic’ in the library of my current home. If you do anything creative, I can recommend it highly. And another book came to me through the writing challenge ‘The War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield, it is about resistance and all the ways in which it can show up when we want to create. Super interesting read.
When reading those two books, and also before Eat Pray Love and another book that I found on Bali I devoured them. I surprised myself by the intensity I can bring to reading – I thought I was a slow reader. Maybe this is an expression of a longing for intensive living which I somehow do not allow myself when I am spending time with other people? Maybe because I want to control the level of intensity and am still learning to say stop? Well, there are still a few questions and inquiries left for this year.

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