A few days ago I shared a picture with a dear old friend of mine, a shot of my daughter (3yrs) playing with the drill. My friend answered: ‘do you remember? You were the only one having such things at home’. I smiled knowingly and then it hit me.
My father always encouraged me to do things in such a way that I can rely on myself to adapt to anything that comes my way. Independently how long or short that process is, I'd like to add (not him though but that's a different story). With the same intention in mind, he gifted me a very diverse toolbox when I was a 1st year student including a drill. As he was living a-3h-hour flight away, helping me out when in need in and around the house was not such a realistic option. I vaguely recall some of my girlfriends’ surprise and their jokes about how uncommon and perhaps even unnecessary that seemed. But oh boy … I thrived on repairing, changing and moving things around, so it came in super handy! One male neighbour even felt intimidated and shared he’d never seen a 20-year-old girl with such a professional toolbox just behind her couch. As such, feeling empowered but also rather "alternative" seemed inevitable.
Years later, during my 1st pregnancy with my son there was a new home that no one ever taught me how to perceive nor maintain i.e. my own body. I had no clue there were specific skills and tools I could be aware of that could help me fulfil the care for my vulnerable body during and after pregnancy. That was the first wake-up call. Things changed when my daughter was born. The emotionally challenging postpartum period shed the light on how little I had been taking care of my intimate physical home - in general in my life. Not that I did not want to. I simply did not know how to, had no tools and no awareness behind my couch. Neither did my mother or any other female figure I was intimately connected to. However, I had this irrefutable need to care for myself as I was experiencing anxieties, fears, feelings of loneliness and low energy levels. And that was the moment Ayurveda came my way – with her creative, simple, gentle yet radically empowering teachings and tools. My first year of Ayurvedic studies at Delight Academy in Amsterdam was about self-care. It was confronting to understand how off tracks I was back then with the way I was relating to myself and my care. At the same time I also felt intrigued so while I was eager to talk about "my discoveries" I felt I was the only one in my environment interested in this. I thought it must be "too alternative". Again. After 3 years of theory and much, much practice I can tell you that physical and mental health, vitality and a sense of connection are FREAKING FAR FROM BEING ALTERNATIVE. They are the very foundation of our human existence. They ought to be the norm, the common sense and not yet another hip trend.
To my own surprise I started this year with the intention to not represent an alternative way of living anymore. On the contrary, making the alternative healthcare the daily norm where I am ONE of the many MEDICINE WO/MEN in here & out there. Anything in our lives can be a tool for either health or dis-ease. And I truly believe that together we can learn the difference so that we weave a more qualitative collective experience of being alive today.