…so, my friend and I finally arrive in Marrakech (re: blog Coming Together 16/10/14).
I'm not sure why I mentioned it as a destination. It hadn't particularly been on my list of must-see places. The suggestion had simply tripped off my tongue inadvertently. I like peace and tranquility and yet I imagined Marrakech to be a vibrant and colourful city full of exotic sounds and smells and lots of hustle and bustle. (I wasn't wrong.) However, at the time of booking it felt great. We were finally doing something. Going somewhere. We had plans! We felt a little crazy but for once we were committing to following our shared dream rather than dismissing it as we had in times gone by.
With very little time to dwell between dreaming and booking (a matter of hours) I soon became aware of some fear quietly creeping in. A darkness. A heaviness within. Two white, European women in a Northwest African city, alone. What are we thinking! I noticed some anxiety around masculine energy and feminine oppression. Will our softness and our open-heartedness make us vulnerable? Can we afford to relax out there? Or must we toughen up and guard ourselves? Particularly as we had opted to stay in a traditional riad; a compact but opulently decorated accommodation set within a maze of tall, narrow old city walls. A place one could really get lost!
What a trip it turned out to be! A roller-coaster of emotional ups and downs and twists and turns. Too deep and numerous to recount in any detail but suffice to say, it was intense. From the insane joy of relaxing on the roof terrace, gazing into the translucent blue sky, listening to evocative calls to prayer and watching the magnificent storks landing atop the bell towers of the mosques, dining on the most vibrant and exquisitely presented food, all the while the Atlas Mountains sitting quietly in the background; to the edginess of arriving in the darkness of night and being led into such an unfamiliar environment, venturing out onto the streets and into the markets for the first time, amidst the hustle and bustle and persistent pressure to buy, untangling ourselves from the coercive males wanting to re-direct us down narrow alleyways, all the while noticing a lack of female presence on the streets. As I had suspected, there was certainly something very powerful going on for me around the re-balancing of feminine and masculine energies within, a process I also see reflected in the collective consciousness known as Humanity and the planet itself (Gaia). All of us recalibrating simultaneously, as One. Here we were in Marrakech, unwittingly doing just that.
It has been said that Marrakech is all about daring to lose oneself. Easily done within the narrow maze of alleyways within the medina but not so easy to consciously choose on the spiritual journey, and yet vital to our personal and collective growth. The trick to experiencing a sense of inner peace while walking the streets, I discovered, also involved combining the clarity and decisiveness of masculine energy with the gentle openness of feminine energy. With firm boundaries in place I realised I was safe to walk the streets open-heartedly. Sure, I felt lots of adrenaline. I was alert, but not so fearful as energised. Alive. It didn't seem to matter what came at me. I either chose to lovingly experience it or lovingly decline it and walk on. It was a powerful reminder that inner peace is just that - inside. Indeed, our environment and our geographical location have an impact but fortunately for us, true peace is portable. We can take our little piece of heaven with us wherever we go…and it doesn't even register on our luggage allowance ;-)
Lots of joy on your own journey <3
Trained in a depth, buddhist-based psychotherapy, using everyday outer world experiences to develop inner wisdom, one day at a time.