I’ve been obsessed with stories of people who’ve had out of-body-experiences. The possibility of looking at yourself from the outside, looking around without pain, while freely navigating in the space must be unforgettable —or at least transforming.
I once experienced this and it changed me forever. No, I didn’t leave my body and didn’t float in the air. I had just arrived in Canada with horrible English and the single job I could find was in a call center – as ironic as that sounds.
Basically, I had customers cursing each five minutes, I couldn’t say I was pregnant and worked during late nights. But I needed this experience.
The company was near the Toronto Airport, and you could see the planes landing very close – which increased the risk of danger. One day during my break, I was feeling like the worse human being in the world as I asked myself what I was doing there with a master’s degree and a career in Brazil. Then, I saw an airplane and had this epiphany of seeing myself from its point of view.
I can’t explain how it happened, but in that exact time, I left my body. I saw the whole picture from outside and understood I was there to learn something very important: humility. I understood it was a process and I decided to focus on it.
Then I had this idea to treat people even better, every time they treated me badly. I understood I wasn’t better than anyone there, and I should have more empathy with others.
I almost reached the Nirvana: the months went faster and lighter. My daughter was born, I got my maternity leave, and went back to the market in my real field, grateful for the experience.
But we forget life is a process itself that is already full of little processes within. You look desperately at what you are going through and forget to ask yourself about the lesson around it. We forget to look at ourselves from the outside with an intent to find what is blocking you to continue, what you haven’t learned yet.
I envy artists like Yayoi Kusama in this point. It’s clear she needs the process; she gets deep inside it. Each point, each piece of light has a reason for her, has this notion of the all —the clear idea she looks from both outside and inside herself. And the result is wonderful, but also tells you about the whole trip from each little piece of her work.
I believe we suffer too much with the processes. The way can always be difficult, but if we spent the time looking down, focus on the hurting feet, we end up losing the beauty we could see in the walking. At the end of the day, the process is what brings us somewhere, and what we keep in our luggage. On this cold day, without sun outside, I’m here trying to make the same exercise of leaving my body, repeating all this statement to myself while I’m talking to you.
PS: A documentary about Yayoi Kusama will launch on September. The director “just” spent more than one decade to finish it. Isn’t it a total concept of process? Click down to watch the trailer! It looks sensational!