Tokyo to Denver, and then Home to the Rocky Mountains, plus Some Thoughts About Emotional Maturity
Sorry that I have taken a long time since I last wrote.
Coming home after a long trip is always a bit of a mission.
It takes time to adjust to the different patterns of the weather, the high altitude of the Rockies, the different time zone and to new ways to spend my days.
There are many pluses to being home.
They include having lots of time to lounge on the sofa and read books, painting in my studio, daydreaming while looking at the clouds in the big blue sky, and having more control over my food, including weekly visits to our local organic farmers’ markets.
Here in the mountains of Colorado, summer is the ideal time to enjoy the best peaches I have ever eaten, big and delicious red and orange cherries, and varieties of garden vegetables that you never find in supermarkets.
I love the variegated striped long cucumbers available in the farmers’ markets.
They are curvy and swirly and taste so good.
I also love the heirloom tomatoes, the small tender peppers, the mixes of wild greens and edible flowers and the bouquets of colorful baby beets.
Summer is really the best time to enjoy all the flavors in fresh garden salads.
I enjoy our outdoor space every day.
Instead of an outdoor dining table and chairs, we have sectional sofas, armchairs and love seats, with big umbrellas for shade.
This makes eating and reading outdoors so much more enjoyable.
Our outdoor patio is located between our house and my studio, so when I feel inspired, I jump into the studio and make a drawing, and then come back out to lay on one of the sofas, read and sip my tea.
I spend hours and hours laying in the shade, looking at the sky, reading, contemplating the nature of the illusory world and daydreaming ideas.
Just to recap the end of our Japan trip:
From Fukuoka we flew via Peach Air to Tokyo.
Japanese discount airlines like Peach are a real bargain, and instead of spending hours on the train, we landed at Narita in no time.
Narita airport is far from Tokyo, and the best way to get to the city is by taking one of the limousine buses.
There are many different buses (operated by one company) that service the many neighborhoods of Tokyo.
You purchase the tickets right at the arrival terminal.
The bus took us straight to the Chinzanso hotel, where our luggage, which we had shipped a few days before via “Yamato Freight”, had already been delivered to our room.
We spent a fun week in Tokyo, mostly looking at art.
We visited several art museums, and felt especially lucky to be in the city at the same time as a fabulous Asian art exhibition called “Sun Showers.”
The exhibition was spread over two big art museums, and it took us two full days to enjoy both.
We also found many wonderful places to eat delicious vegetarian food spread out all over the city.
Especially in Roppongi Hills, where most expats live, we saw many salad bars, places selling fresh juices and smoothies, kale-soy lattes and vegan burgers.
We also spent some time buying all the items on my long list of things I wanted to buy and bring home from Japan.
We bought all sorts of seaweed that you never even see in the West, like Tengusa, used to make Tokoroten noodles, Shiratama powder, Konyaku, a good organic miso, gourmet soba noodles, new Yukatas (summer kimonos), nail art stickers, Ink brushes for writing kanji, art supplies and art books, sets of very thin ink pens and paper used for Manga, and more.
Flying back to the USA on American Airlines was pleasant.
The plane was new and I was able to watch Japanese movies.
Once we had landed in San Francisco and waited for our flight to Denver, I felt a heavy sadness, realizing that I was no longer in Japan….
The biggest thing was seeing how badly behaved most people were.
Children were screaming and throwing food and toys all around the airport, without their parents making the slightest attempt to educate them.
I saw loud people speaking at a volume of near screaming, calling attention to themselves as if they were the only ones who mattered in the room, commanding attention, as if being quiet and humble were akin to death.
They sounded like unruly grown children who had not been taught to be considerate of others.
But the most shocking thing was seeing people crying big tears of desperation and falling to pieces, over trivial and insignificant things.
Within moments of walking into the airport, I was surprised to see quite a few people crying.
Some cried hysterically out loud, while others cried long sobbing tears.
I did not think of it before, but in the months we’d spent in Japan, with millions of people around us in busy cities, I saw nobody crying nor falling to pieces.
The chaos continued as we sat waiting for our plane to Denver.
I saw women crying in the toilet, people crying at the customer service, trying to rebook flights that had been cancelled, and I saw many tears of frustration from teenage kids.
This led me to think and reflect that Americans are in real need of learning emotional maturity.
One should learn to be in control of his or her thinking, and choose to entertain and hold thoughts that are productive and helpful, and never hold on to thoughts that bring rage, anger, sadness and despair.
From learning to select our thoughts, we can move on to choosing what feelings to experience, and make an inner commitment to never abandon ourselves to violent moods.
Why let yourself fall to pieces?
Why allow waves of desperation or anger to take over your being?
It is much harder to recover from an emotional storm, than it would be to simply not allow it to take you over.
More than learning to be successful in business, or to manifest our desires, one must learn emotional maturity.
It is SO important to one’s well being and sense of self worth, happiness, joy and harmony.
The ego, which is your mistaken sense of individual separate identity, always wants to be right.
In its righteousness, the ego sees no problem with guiding you into fluctuating emotions and allowing anger to bubble up.
If one is not watchful, anger can rise up over simple human errors that could easily be overlooked, or from the regular course of life on an overpopulated planet.
It could be over something inconsiderate that someone has done, someone who acts aggressively, someone who criticizes or contradicts you, or someone who lives by different behavioral and moral codes than you do.
The important thing is to develop emotional maturity, and control over your emotions, and then to CHOOSE to experience the feelings that leave you calm, happy, joyful and in a state of bliss.
Isn’t it better to laugh than to cry over anger or frustrations?
It is much harder to see the humor in situations, or to laugh, for those who frequently allow their stormy emotions to take control over their consciousness.
In other words, it is harder to “recover” yourself and return to balance, than to not go there in the first place.
Anyway, this is just an update so I can now start sharing some of the ideas that I have been daydreaming about, while contemplating life on my outdoor sofa.
Wishing you lots of smiles and laughs,