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Clearing the Mind

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I’ve been going biking/walking around these past days in the afternoon and it’s been really nice. It’s a really good way for me to wind down and just be with the moment. Plus Hiroshima is really beautiful, especially its many rivers flowing through it, this particular one near my house. Not many people being out at this hour, I use it as my me time, time for me to sort of be myself and smile randomly whenever it comes to me. It’s a really nice experience that everyone should try having one, if not regularly.

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Here (ここに)

So I am finally in Japan.
It’s really odd being here, definitely different than I thought it would be, but certainly interesting. Yesterday I felt especially overwhelmed, especially with the language, but I’m doing better today. I’ve already learned quite a few lessons, the following being the most prominent:

1. Appriciate the ability to communicate, you don’t know how important and wonderful it is, until you lose it.

The language barrier I am experiencing in Japan is for sure the most difficult thing for me right now. I wish I could communicate a lot more with my host family, but I won’t be able to untill I learn a lot more Japanese. Back home, I was the quiet kind, or rather would rarely communicate what I wanted. Although I could communicate if I wanted to, I was intentionally missing out of the whole wonderful world of communication. When I return to America, I’m going for sure try to communicate more freely and not lose time with “fillers” before getting to the more important things. Communication is a gift, and key to building meaningful relationships.

2. Life in Japan for Japanese people is as normal, and at times bland, as my life in America.

What I mean by this is that life still progresses the same way in Japan as anywhere else. It has its highs and lows, and life is not any worse or better than anywhere else. Although everything is new and difficult for me, for everyone else it’s normal. Realizing this, I will be less overwhelmed by all that is new, and be able to infiltrate into daily life better. Of course this doesn’t mean that one does not have to appriciate the small (or big things), it just means that I don’t have to feel sorry for myself or give myself special treatment.

Yeah, so this is what I have learned up to now. Summing up, after these lessons, knowing how to practice appreciation is the most important. Appreciation allows you allot value, and without finding value in anything, you become disastisfied with everything. So for me, just keeping in mind to appriciate, and be happy for every moment I have on this exchange, will make my exchange much more wonderful. This is actually related to what I put on my daruma doll: to be present. Appriciation starts with being present and awareness, so this is something I will try to do everyday of my exchange.

ご静聴ありがとうございました。
Thank you for listening.