I’m sitting in the general class of an Indian train heading north towards the famous state of Goa. Tourist paradise people say. The general class is actually the lowest class of the Indian railway network and as I would say, a stripped down version of the already barebones ‘sleeper’ class. The later at least has ‘good’ beds and seat reservation. Of course they sell unlimited amount of tickets for the lowest class which in India means a hell of a lot people. It is crazy cheap as well. For about 2 euros you can cover the distance from Groningen to Maastricht. Alright, the trip takes about 6 hours so it is not fast haha 🙂
So you might understand this atmosphere and the feelings that are associated with it. It is very uncomfortable. The bad seats, the constant urge to keep in there otherwise your place is gone. The seat is slowly murdering my back. Trying to find a new sitting positions every time. I feel as to run away from the situation. Think about fight, flight, freeze responses. It is a recurring pattern for me, showing in yoga, meditation, emotions, and in situations which are just uncomfortable. To resist the current situation and wanting to remove myself from it.
The mind is set on a journey to forget the present moment. To think in the future for better times, to think of the past when it was certainly better. It is a survival technique but is it useful? The constant feeling of wanting to do something else. Taking your phone again to scroll through some meaningless content. The urge to eat to forget the current situation. Reading a book, writing your way out of the feeling, all things to get away from the present moment.
Generally it feels pretty bad to be in such an experience. Discomfort is oke if you can accept it and flow with it. If you resist or trying the get away from it, it becomes a restless feeling. Being out of touch with the present moment. Although I know the present moment is the only thing that exists, the mind is strong. Knowing is not enough, feeling is necessary. I know doing a mediation, pranayama (breathing exercises), or yoga will help me to connect with my inner self and bring the present moment back. The mind is strong and somehow it doesn’t like it. There is a hill to overcome before I set myself to do it.
What is difficult for me is to stay with the discomfort. Instead of running away or trying to fix it, accept it and feel it. Pain on both a physical and emotional level can be felt to an intensity that is difficult to deal with. Will it kill you? Rarely :). It is the mind that creates the biggest pain.
It is a learning process. I can observe it, I’m aware of it, but facing it in many ways takes a certain courage. Small steps on a lingering path towards the peak of the mountain. Or is there no peak? Probably not ;). Keep observing, learning, and improving oneself. Especially be aware that external things long on the horizon (think of self help books, seminars, videos, courses) but often these are distractions from the real work that needs to happen inside. Only I can do the hard work. I need to go through it. That is sometimes difficult to accept but all worth it.