Vladimir Mladjenovic, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Sitting in the rice paddy fields of Bali, far from the home and family that I cannot return to at this moment, I am writing this story.
Before me I am witnessing a magical dance of hundreds of dragonflies. The dragonfly symbolizes transformation, self realization and a wisdom that comes with a deeper understanding of the real meaning of life.
We have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways, but the one thing we have in common is that the world as we know it has been turned upside down. We are in a free fall. Apart from our challenges, this situation has offered us an opportunity. We can now truly acknowledge that change can be unexpected and come at any time. Nothing is guaranteed and nothing is here forever. This is a reminder for us all, it certainly is for me - of something even greater, more significant and meaningful. It is a reminder not to take things for granted; to be grateful for what I have, rather than complaining of what I don't; a reminder not to postpone precious moments; a reminder to say, "I love you" more often; a reminder not to postpone my dreams and a reminder that the only time I have is the present moment. Right now. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. It might never come.
I do miss my family and love them dearly, however, this is where I am now and this is what I will do: I will use this time to work on myself, reflect on my thoughts, actions, behavior, emotions and my values. I will try to understand what truly matters to me and what no longer serves me that I should let go of. I believe that this is essential so that I can understand the who, where and why I am.
We change. And to comprehend this change we must unlearn what we used to be certain of. It is now time for me to slow down and clear out the clutter, so I can provide space for further growth.
One way I am committed to doing this is significantly reducing the use of my cell phone. I haven't even watched TV for over 23 years, however, like most of us, I got addicted to my phone. I noticed that I’d spend hours on my phone, mindlessly. I want those hours back. As I’ve begun to do, this I’ve immediately felt the results.
I started noticing the dragonflies, the immediate world around me and my thoughts flowed freely. My mind was clear. I was able to come to my own ideas and see opportunities.
Another example of how small change in our habits can lead to powerful realizations was during the Nyepi festival, “Silence Day.” On that day, the entire island celebrated silence. Everyone stayed home, lights and even the internet were switched off. For the first time I also fasted. Little did I know, how distracting food can be. My thoughts, senses, spirit and emotions roamed freely with nothing to disrupt them. From that day, I decided to implement fasting weekly routine. Sometimes even small efforts can bring us great results and wonderful opportunities. Magical things do happen, and they come from within when you allow them to.