28 DAYS: ADVENTURES FOR THE SOUL.
I only got to spend 7 days in your vibrant country and my thank you’s are seeping out of my pours!
Today was our last day in Vietnam and suitably enough, we spent it extensively experiencing Vietnam’s history!
In the morning, we went on a city tour of Saigon. A vibrant city with American, Chinese and French architectural influences. We visited the the Notre Dame Catholic Cathedral, the Palace of Unification and the Vietnamese Museum of War Remnants.
In the afternoon we drove out to Cu Chi Town, 70 km northwest of Saigon, to take a tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels. The Tunnels are super significant because this “area of steel” was the ultimate hideout for Vietnamese soldiers during the Vietnam War (1955-1975). It is an underground village with tunnel systems spanning 250 km!
With that being said, I gained tremendous respect for the Vietnamese peoples. Their innovation and resourceful combat strategies and coping skills reminded me of the true, authentic and instinctive survivalist power humans are born with!
I have to admit that I was brought to tears at different parts of the day due to the sheer strength I saw in the history of these people, but most of all that their success hasn’t received the acknowledgement it deserves.
In the museum I became very emotional and even a little angry at the Americans from the war. But very quickly I realised that what I was busy doing is what keeps societies, and individuals, in war with countries and within themselves.
If you continue to do two things: stay angry and blame others for your disadvantages, you will struggle tremendously to move past it and create a space for growth and inner peace in your life.
Throughout the day I was reminded of a very important piece of life wisdom:
YOU ARE NOT YOUR STORY. You cannot change the past.
Even though I believe strongly in my statement, everybody does have a story…
If you were asked where you grew up, went to school or asked about your favorite foods or colours, you would be able to supply the answers in great detail. Right?
Your story contains the history of your life, highlighting those wonderful, positive experiences as well as all of the traumatic, negative ones.
People tend to define themselves by their stories. If you want to know what your story is about, start looking at the labels you have about yourself… I am a — (woman, African, alcoholic, good listener, mother, introvert, engineer, Catholic, blue collar worker, techy, etc).
Though these definitions seem beautiful and even respectful, they are very limiting. It defines what is possible for you in your life. Once in place, a story is self-sustaining and gathers evidence to prove itself right over time!
If you’re thinking about re-evaluating your story, start by identifying and questioning the thoughts that cause all the anger, fear, depression, addiction, and violence in your world. Then, start to undo these thoughts by implementing simple techniques for happiness and fulfillment. I will be very difficult making this transition because our stories are often plastered with approval from outside sources.
Therefore, be open to your soul returning to its true, awakened and peaceful state. In due time you will find you you were born to be.
Thank you, Vietnam!