Friday, December 18, 2015

Sadhana Forest Auroville -Tuesday - 'Sometimes I am weak too'

Cutting Fruits for Breakfast
After the morning circle, I spend my first shift in the kitchen. I join the breakfast team and am given the responsibility, to cut fruits. Lots and lots of fruits. I could not go into the forest two days in a row. I was not as fit as many of the other volunteers in the camp. I thought I would go back into the forest the next day. But cutting fruits was fun. Papayas and Pinepples were on the menu today. I like papayas. Pineapples are a little harder to cut. It sure is a different feeling, to be part of the breakfast team and then to eat the breakfast you have made. The fruits on my plate were real delicious that day.

Making Idli Batter
My second shift was with the cooking team ( idli batter) again. Only this time I was alone. I never would take the idlis I had for breakfast lightly again. It was such a pain to make the idli batter from scratch. I knew, because I had to do it two days in a row. This time I was smarter. I setup the equipment and after starting the grinding machine, decided to go into the main community hut after every 15 minutes for a 5 minute break. I started making the batter at 9 30 am and by 1 pm, it was ready. This time I was less tired. I had some leftover energy for the rest of the day, unlike yesterday.

That evening, an interesting community event was organized. All the member of the community were invited to the main hut. Then we were made to sit in a large circle. Then we were asked to speak our hearts, and share anything we wanted to share with the community. Some ground rules of simply listening and not commenting on the thoughts were setup at the start. This would be different. To just listen and not suggest a solution. I wish I did this more. But maybe, sometimes, people are not looking for a solution, or your opinion on their problem. All they want sometimes, is to be heard. For someone, to look them in the eye and let them know that they can speak their heart out to them and not be judged.

The Sharing Circle
It was beautiful. A community member started the sharing circle, by speaking about how his moods fluctuated a lot this past week. He cried to himself a lot, and he thought about why it was not okay for a grown man to cry? Why was it not okay for a grown man to be vulnerable? Another community member who was a midwife, back at home, spoke about her year long sabbatical in Goa, as a space to be away from her work back home. She thought she was incapable to do what her work entailed her to do. Some mistakes during work affected her and the journey in India was about reconciling her thoughts about this subject. A father spoke about his efforts to reconnect with his child after his divorce and separation from his wife. One community member, spoke about, somebody he had met during his travels across India. They spent some quality time together and he was really attracted to her, but left without expressing his feelings. He found out recently that she had died in a car accident. The last message he received from her was, 'I really care about you…' and he did not know how to reply to it. He wished he could go back in time and change some of his actions, but that was not possible now. He stopped speaking for a while and then started crying. I wanted to go and hug him at that point. I felt like crying too.

I really did. But nobody moved. I then thought that maybe, people did not move ahead, because they wanted him to just be with his thoughts and emotions. They wanted him to know that it was okay to be vulnerable in front of them. That to cry and break down, was not an abnormal emotion and reaction to a situation. For the next two-three hours, every community member was given the chance to share their thoughts. When my turn came, I did not know what to say. It was hard to say something without thinking about it before hand

'I don't know what to say. I felt like for a long time, I was trying to be what other people wanted me to be. Today, I feel like it is okay to be me. I don't have to always fit notions of the world. I can be lost sometimes. Sometimes, I don't know what is the right thing to say and that is okay too. Sometimes, I just want to be hugged. Sometimes, I am weak too.'


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