Kærlighed. Now you wonder what this funny looking word means. After I joined several Yoga Classes at the Anahata Yoga Retreat Center I wondered what Kærlighed is. They were mentioning it over and over again. It must be something very important worth mentioning very often. And what could not be mentioned enough? Kærlighed means Love in Danish.
Denmark seems to be long ago already. And still this time is very present on my mind. Through the platform WorkAway I found the Anahata Yoga Retreat Center on the lovely little island Møn in Denmark. As three of my focus points for 2019 are Europe, Yoga and Nature I combined these three. The Anahata Yoga Retreat Center is located just a few minutes away from the seaside. For four weeks in April I called this place my home. A room with sea view and the fresh air every morning reminded me how lucky I am to be in a place like this. Feeling well connected to Nature, inhaling the fresh Prana (life energy) every morning. There was a taste of freedom in the air. I was curious about the next four weeks on this island. How much freedom would be healthy for me?
About Karma Yoga and my Passion
Working daily, cooking delicious vegan dishes for the retreat guests, preparing rooms for various guests, cleaning toilets and the kitchen, cleaning the Yoga Dome. As a volunteer I usually work five days a week, 5 hours a day. But in a Yoga Retreat Center / Bed and Breakfast there is never a point to say: Okay, work is done now. Trying so many different things as a volunteer in different places I found out that I enjoy cooking a lot. Food for me is holy and sacred. This is in my opinion how it should be treated. Food is nourishing us and keeping us alive. Everyday.
Why should we waste our appetite on bad food? Of course for myself I already loved to cook. But cooking for thirty people is something I am fascinated about and I love it! Discovering a passion is something precious. As Yoga and Meditation is already my great passion. Somehow I found another passion which goes quite well with Yoga and Meditation. Will that be a passion guiding my way?
The Mood of Serving
Cooking, cleaning and caring for others is something which I was able to discover and foster during my time in Denmark. Being in the mood of Serving others was one of the most joyful things. But as not everyday is the same also my mood was changing daily. There were these days were it was very hard for me to serve and care for the guests without having thoughts like „I am tired of cleaning these toilets over and over again.“ This is a thought. This thought puts me in a specific mood.
Whatever thought was there, my mood was influenced. And in the end cleaning and cooking was much harder in a mood of feeling exhausted and tired. This is human. But it is also human to have choices. We have choices. I can choose my thoughts. I can put myself in a mood of being a loving care taker. Being there for the guests. I can choose to be happy. I can choose to be a servant. In this case it is always helpful to have a reminder. My reminder is Bhakti Yoga.
Solitude is my Companion
Being the only volunteer in a place is special. In comparison to the farm in Sweden where I have been before this is a contrast in many ways. As I traveled a lot by myself I can deal with being alone, eating alone, sleeping alone, riding alone on public transports. And still I was confronted with myself and the convictions I carry with me. Working hard and you get love and attention. Receiving acceptance through hard work or so to say „taking pains“. Working hard to be seen in a way that my work is appreciated. Having a task in life is important. That is what I realized. Taking care of someone or something. Taking responsibility. Being relevant.
„I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.“Henry David Thoreau – Walden
Wonderful moments in Denmark
- Taking a skinny dip in the night of the full moon
- Sleeping in a wooden cabin
- Joining the OM Chanting Circles
- Cooking for the retreat guests and seeing their happy faces after they have eaten 🙂