Last night was the first night I returned back into the commune after spending almost a month back home in Sydney. I went from sleeping in my one and only bed back home to a yoga mat on the floor under a mosquito net.
How does one transition from one extreme to another in such a short space of time? I don’t really know, to be honest. You just do it. The way I look at it is, there are parts of everyone’s job that they don’t particularly enjoy. If you work in an office, you might dread that time of the day when you have to do those tedious tasks, or if you are working on a construction site and you dread those scorching hot days in the sun where you get the life sucked out from you while you put your body through labour intensive activity. There are parts of everyone’s journey or path that they don’t like, but they do despite the dread, because the bigger picture, the purpose and the motive outshines all of those trivial details.
For me, sleeping on a yoga mat on the floor under a mosquito net in a hot Cambodian village isn’t ideal. I don’t necessarily enjoy that part of the job. However, I have come to learn new ways of looking at these minor, trivial details. Instead of focusing on how much I dread waking up with my back sore and my body in sweat, I tend to focus more on how much this will build my character.
I already had a small taste for the change in character that I have experienced when I went back to Sydney for that one month. I stayed in my middle class home, driving around in middle class cars, eating at middle class restaurants, yet it all felt like a 7 star vacation, only one that the rich can afford. This shift in perspective has filled me with gratitude and happiness, and it has changed the way in which I perceive my reality, for better of worse.
They say, “Money is the root of all evil” – How can it be? Wealth is capable of bringing happiness and health to one’s life, if used correctly. If money cannot buy happiness, then a lack of surely cannot either. These poor living conditions in the village is enough to make one unhappy.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to your perspective.