comfort-zoneI have been in Europe for the past 2 weeks, and I am getting ready for my return to the States. I was born in Warsaw, Poland and immigrated to the U.S in 1989, right after the iron curtain, or the end of Communism, when Russian rule and the Soviet Union came to an end. During Communism, Poland barely had any time to recuperate from the German occupation and World War 2. The country was absolutely in shatters. Hitler’s reign had demolished the Polish Spirit, suppressed countless generations and imposed a constant state of fear into the people. Commuism then took over and taught the poles that they do not have an identity and that there will not be opportunity in their country. My parents and grandparents tell me countless stories about the War and Communism. There was no food. There was no security. There was absolutely no luxury, just pure hard work and survival.

I grew up most of my life being provided for. I would come back home to Poland with beautiful clothes, new electronic devices, an independent mindset and absolutely zero boundaries. America had taught me that I could be anything, I could do anything and that I was amazing no matter what my backgound was. I felt powerful, entitled and provided for, for most of my life. Coming back home to Poland throughout the years has changed drastically. The older I am and the more engrained my identity becomes, the more I struggle with being flexible, compassionate and tolerant. Coming back home forces me to face my past, my culture, my family, my identity and encompasses an unsurmountable contrast between individual and cultural identity. I cannot remember a time when I visited throughout my life when I was emotionally stable.

Each trip for me is torture. I cannot connect with people, I cannot find the right means of communication, nor can I comprehend the limitations in the thinking behind this world. Staying here is a spiritual, physical and emotional struggle. As a vegetarian, Poland is not the most friendly place. Most Poles eat meat every day, especially in the Winter. It is very hard to share a vegetarian meal with my family, because I end up having a special request every time food is served. It is Spring here, but California’s Spring is 80 degrees and Poland’s is 25, so fruits and vegetables will not begin to grow until Summertime. My yoga practice requires me to explain to my family singing mantras, which sometimes is upsetting to the Catholic crowd or funny when they can’t comprehend the technology behind Sat Kriya.¬†All personal issues aside, the most difficult part of these trips is the mentality of the people. As a very sensitive woman, I can perceive very much pain and fear on the people’s faces, jelousy and competition is very prevelant and most importantly there is a major internal and external power struggle for each person (any person that is a control freak or exerts power over others feels powerless and unloved). The Poles are primarily focused on work, money and survival. They must earn degrees in subjects they don’t love, because they won’t get high paying jobs any other way, or if they don’t have degrees at all they must work 12 or more hours a day at a factory job or in commerce. In my yoga classes it is so easy to discuss topics that are very dear to me like abundance, the law of attraction, oneness. Not here. I wouldn’t even try. This country is so vibrationally resistent to any form of change or expanded thinking that it is virtually impossible to attempt conceptualizing something like karma or “you create your reality.”

As I come towards the end of my trip I am forced to reflect deeply upon my experience. I have learned many lessons. I have had to find compassion through understanding the contrast between my life and the life of my country. I have had to learn that our differences do not make us strangers, but rather students. We come together from two different parts of the world to learn wonder, inspiration and love. I have learned that sacrifice can create connection. It is not helpful to be rigid and attached to your routines, when others do not share the same habits. We must instead compromise with one another and go through someone else’s path, and then we will then learn from that path and relate to others deeply. We can laugh in one language. There are so many funny things that don’t have to be in any language to be understood. We can be silly! We can say inappropraite jokes and not be afraid of judgement. A good cup of tea will cure any disruption and it is a necessity during any tense period or low vibrational experience. We must immediately take ownership for our mistakes and not wait for another day to apologize, because some people don’t have another day. We must be happy giving to others more than we save for ourselves, because others will sometimes give more for us. Nothing is ever lost and will always come around with a higher, deeper and greater purpose. We must love unconditionally and exert pure positive focus upon others by allowing them to be themselves. And lastly, we must be open to change. Only when we are completely ready to change ourselves, we will be ready to change the world.

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