Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

This is my personal blog and a space that I try to make sense of my wandering life. Depending on the day it could be a helpful resource for the country I'm in, or a self-help guide. We'll just have to see ;)

Doing the Fire Dance

When you work, eat and live with the same people there are bound to be “inside jokes” that the new generation will be introduced to. Tonight, on a car ride home I was privy to one of those. After being informed of our decision (3 out of the five in the car) to do the “no-poo” routine as an experiment, the girls with the most seniority burst out laughing and decided this was the proper time to introduce “the fire dance line.” After a brief introduction that included their experience in a fire dance yoga class, where they shouted and group-hugged their way to a comical, and deeper understanding of their co-workers and roommates….they defined the line. As one of the girls said, “Living abroad opens you up to new things, it’s an experimental phase. After a while, you can get over it….or you don’t.” That experimenting is the fire dance, and the outcome defines which side of the line you stay. I thought about if for a minute, and realized how much “dancing” I’ve been doing.

For starters, I wash my hair with vinegar and baking soda. I started using coffee grounds and honey to exfoliate. Coconut oil goes on my skin as often as it does my morning smoothies, and olive and jojoba oils replace any other lotion needs. I’ve substituted Netflix with a good book, yoga and incense as part of my evening routine. Based on my personal evolution, you might as will consider the fire dance a synonym for turning into a hippie (and regularly rubbing food on my body). Regardless, it’s obvious how close the the fire I am.

What’s funny about the whole subject of “the fire dance line” is how we each dance. After all, getting to know every detail of a few people’s lives exaggerates the differences, and blurs the similarities. I live with two other girls, and work with them Monday-Friday from 9-5. Without knowing anything else, like the safety situation or limited transportation, anyone could tell it’s a challenging situation (Especially people who know how much I depend on communication, conversation, and a consistent changing of scenery!) But, Challenge allows you to approach a situation from whatever angle you choose. To be honest, my angle isn’t always a positive one. It’s easy to feel trapped, suffocated, misunderstood and all kinds of uncomfortable words. If we’re talking angles, this is the acute one. It’s narrow and focused on details; it’s hard to see the whole picture. This is the angle that is hard to talk about, but has to be discussed.

But challenging isn’t always (in fact, it rarely is) a negative thing. When I see the situation from a different angle – we’ll call it the obtuse point of view – it all makes sense. Frustrations turn into lessons, and independence goes hand in hand with companionship. It’s when I realize how much power I have over my feelings, and that happiness shouldn’t – and can’t – stem from things or even other people. It’s when I realize that a simple shifting of perspective is all it takes to turn a challenging situation into an amazing experience and eventually, a lifestyle.

No one here pretends like living in the jungle is easy and acute moments are easy to come by. It’s a lifestyle that attracts a certain kind of person, and then tests out their ability to balance a desk job with adventurous spirit, and relationships with independence. It’s a lifestyle that everyone deals with differently, and dancing around the fire is just one way to deal. Some of us are graceful, some of us have two left feet – but the best part about the fire dance line is that no matter which side of the line you’re on, you’ll at least know where you stand.

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This entry was posted on September 30, 2013 by in Travel reflections.

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