👁🗨 In the beginning, there was chaos.
Let me paint you a very chaotic picture that will make you question the way you deal with chaos:
POV: You've just arrived in India
As soon as the plane lands, everyone stands up simultaneously. You spend the next twenty minutes standing cheek to cheek with everyone.
Upon exiting the airport, about 20 rickshaw (🛺) drivers chase after you, offering you ridiculous prices for a ride. You tell them you refuse to pay anything more than x, and walk off. A few run after you, saying "ok ok ok miss" while nodding their heads left and right and moving their hands in the air.
As you almost step on cow shit while getting into a rickshaw that feels like it's about to fall apart any moment, you can't help but smile and think "yep, I'm back in India". Rickshaw starts, no headphones in the world could cancel out the Indian music coming from the driver's radio.
Yet, you feel a wave of relaxation that you can't possibly explain.
Deep down, you know that no matter how chaotic the outer world may seem, your inner world will always be the temple you return to.
Welcome to India, the land of the absurd.
So, how do we build that inner temple?
Chaos as a catalyst for inner peace
With outer chaos comes inner peace, or at least the desire to seek it, right? 😸
People come to India for spiritual transformation, but let me tell you: there is nothing more spiritual than the amount of patience required to travel through this country. The only spiritual awakening that India gives me is the patience to deal with 10 Indian men chasing me down for a selfie.
Dealing with chaos forces us to maintain some sort of internal order. The constant exercise of "pulling it together" is what builds that inner temple.
Here, I constantly run this dialogue through my mind:
"Can I do anything about it?" If yes, change it. If no, accept it.
Developing acceptance: learning how to find comfort in chaos
Acceptance vs resistance: choose your weapon wisely.
Acceptance is the best skill to have in your emotional toolbox, as you can apply it to every single domain of your life. Attempting to gain control over the uncontrollable is absolutely exhausting. The mindset shift → to see acceptance as a tool to conserve your energy (your most precious resource, by the way).
The only reason we chose resistance, is because predictable situations give us comfort, but think about it this way: only in accepting the uncertainty and chaos we can actually find that long-term confort and safety that we crave.
We choose resistance over acceptance because predictable situations give us temporary comfort. However, sip on this: we can only find true, long-term comfort and safety by fully accepting the chaotic nature of life.
Safety can take many forms, but true safety is the ability to maintain inner peace in any situation. It's the security of knowing that no matter how chaotic the outer world may feel, that inner temple is always there for us to retreat to.
Chaos as the greatest spiritual master
By default, we often desire control over acceptance. Natural. However, choosing acceptance means viewing uncertainty as an active practice to build inner peace. Events like a divorce, a breakup, a pivot in one's career, a trip to India (😸), etc, can all be seen as a (sometimes very painful) opportunity to nurture that inner sanctuary.
To leap into the unknown knowing that at the bottom of that abyss there's nothing that could disrupt your inner peace is what all these spiritual practices are about. Forget about mantras, yoga, gurus. What is more spiritual than knowing that no matter how chaotic your surroundings might seem, you can always go back to that beautiful, sacred temple inside of you?
Using chaos as a medium to live a more present life
Uncertainty does not equal pain. Uncertainty equals trusting in your ability to become your own home.
When we view uncertainty as a constant, we can actually begin to navigate the world without fear of the unknown. This allows us to tune in to the small details of the beautiful and mysterious world around us. We begin to see life as the greatest gift, experiencing pockets of gratitude and awe.
I see appreciation for chaos as a means of living a life free from fear and closer to the source: the great mystery of life that encompasses all that has ever been created.
Perhaps what we refer to as "chaos" is actually the creative principle that gives birth to new forms.
After all, the Greeks said that chaos was the beginning of all.
Thank you for reading! Until next one ☺︎
We just arrived in Kerala after spending two weeks in Auroville, a community that felt too much of a cult for us (sorry "aurovillians" 😸 my limit is praying for a french woman they call "the mother"). Beautiful concept, but humans can't seem to stop themselves from turning devotion into politics. Lot's of food for thought, worth researching. Picture a Mad Max desert turned into a permaculture, all built around sacred geometry. Can’t tell if it feels dystopian or utopian. Magical for sure.
We're headed into the mountains of Munnar tomorrow, tea plantation and jungle bungalow vibes. Kerala so far: mindblowing. We are currently in Kochi, the port where the Portuguese and Dutch arrived first and feels like a different universe than the Rajasthani, bollywoodesque bellydancing desert India I knew.
Sipping into every drop of chaos and writing the next Issue of Colectiva Magazine little by little, stay tuned!
📍You can tune in to my travels here, and 🧩 listen to the playlist I've been building up to here.