There is no one thing that makes someone feel settled in a new place – it’s a lot of little things put together. Having been in the UK for almost three months now, there are lots of little things different from my life in Australia. But I realised early on that there was no use comparing. Thanks to the help of my dear friend Rukmini, who so eloquently and artistically put this into words (actually it was her image which prompted me to realise that comparing was actually one of the worst things I could be doing). I had to see everything as a new experience, a new way of life. It was hard thinking that I had to let go of the old ways (the stubborn kapha nature in me) – not let go completely, but let go enough to make room for the new.When I first looked at it, EVERY little thing was different. The bathroom, the way a particular dish was cooked, the way the clothes are washed – EVERYTHING. And I’d keep thinking, “Oh, in Australia, we’d do it like this….” But then I started to feel miserable because it just reminded me of home, and how I wasn’t there. There’s this incredible grace that women (especially Indian women) have – of just embracing a new family as their own. I used to think there was a button that got switched on the minute you were married – of entering a new family and seeing them as your own. But that’s not the case – this happens over time, as you build a relationship with each member of the family, getting to know them like you would your own. And plus, humans are adaptable beings – so over time, new routines will develop, new relationships formed, and I guess the new becomes home.
Besides life at home, you’ll find differences everywhere you look – the grocery store, how people drive, how they talk. But when you find the similarities, that’s when the scales tip in the favour of being settled. And for me that was when I found a job at The Alternative Healthcare. As an Ayurvedic therapist – just two days a week to begin with – but doing pretty much exactly what I used to do in Brisbane. And it fills me with so much happiness! Connecting with strangers through Ayurveda. It’s amazing how the healing powers of a 5000 year-old medicine system has transcended time and place boundaries – being just as effective to ancient sages in India, as it is to local Aussies or Brits. It reaffirms my faith and belief in this science, and makes me feel fortunate, that I’m able turn my passion into my career.
Similarities don’t just exist in where they are obviously manifest, but they also exist in where you see them. It’s how I perceive of things that helps me feel settled – and not just focus on things as they are. Whilst there are new relationships and friendships – I look for similarities in what I value; whilst there are new foods and grocery stores – I look for the similarities in how I enjoy these foods; whilst there are differences in weather (SUCH DIFFERENCES) – I look for the similarities in routine, and try and make it regular regardless of the weather.
This great move is a big lesson in detachment – letting go of things that were, to embrace things to come – and in a twisted way it helps you prepare for the ultimate move: death. You come into this world with nothing and you leave with nothing, and the less attached you are to things and people, the easier the final move will be. Sounds morbid I know – but it’s the truth.I’m kind of in two minds about publishing this post, because if the opportunity arose, I would jump at the chance of moving back to Australia. But I don’t want to live life holding onto the possibility of that opportunity – if it comes, then seize it I will! – for now, my clothes are unpacked, my two feet are in England, and very soon, my heart and mind will follow too.