We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
It's hard to believe a year has passed since I've been out of the United States. The months flew by, much has changed and developed, shifts and openings, challenges, surrendering, awakening, discovering, have all entered into the equation. To think I've gone from being in Taiwan to Hong Kong, Thailand to India...to end up in Sweden. Sweden?! I never would have entered that into the mix before hand, but that's how life works, that's what makes it exciting and unexpected. I welcome it.
I laugh when I tell people that Sweden was never on my radar of places to see or visit, but what a pleasant surprise. Of course, it took meeting an incredible human being, a vibrant soul full of love and integrity, to take me to what seems like a distant land. To think I've met someone who probably knows me better than anyone, and for it to happen in such a short amount of time is a gift. It's true, you can be with someone for a lifetime and never really know them. In turn, you can embrace fully everything before you and come to know someone in an instant. Time is insignificant. What matters is how deep you go. Encountering someone who is willing to go deep is a beautiful thing. Many run from this, for true intimacy is about being true to yourself first, and the key word is willingness.
With plans to move to a foreign country I have to say Sweden is an added bonus. It's like the cherry on top of a fabulous sundae. Granted no place is perfect, and there are some pretty cold winters in these parts, but the beauty and culture far out weigh anything that could even be considered negative. For one, I'm stoked about living in Europe and being in close proximity to many other amazing cultures and sights. There is lots to discover.
The added challenge of learning another language will only broaden my experience as well...puts me in an interesting place. The fact I will need to get over my shyness and bust out Swedish will definitely have me stepping outside my comfort zone. It's pretty much like stretching into a challenging asana, finding ease in the uncomfort.
I enjoy the contrast other countries and cultures bring to the experience. I could never fathom the fear related to those who don't embrace diversity and uniqueness. I say, bring it on. Through the observation and immersion of varying cultures I've discovered a place within I hadn't realized was there. It's cool. Something comes alive and awakens. Nothing to fear. Nothing to fear at all. When I see the alternative, I see stagnation, like one note being played over and over again with no change in sound or rhythm. We never see rivers flow in a straight line. They meander and curve while making it to their destination, and isn't it a delight to contemplate where the twists and turns take us.