Body hair, cockroaches and cross-dressing

Since a few years I’m noticing more and more of my own thoughts. Where most of my thoughts used to be un-/subconscious, these days I’m much more conscious about what’s going on inside my head. And with this becoming aware of my thoughts, I’m also becoming aware of my beliefs and thought patterns, and how much of them are based on things that we are taught when we are young. Our parents, our family, our friends, our society – all of them influence our experiences and our ideas about those experiences. And when an idea or thought is repeated often enough, it becomes a belief. This belief will become part of your subconsciousness, so you don’t even notice anymore that you think something because of what you’ve been taught!

Trying to unlearn a certain belief is not so easy, but when you’re aware of your thoughts and the patterns they follow it gets easier. You can train yourself in noticing your thoughts, questioning them and learn from it! And this is what body hair, cockroaches and cross-dressing have helped me by.

Life in Ibiza, a new environment for me, has showed me so much of my beliefs and thought patterns! Life in Ibiza is very different from back home in Holland, people care a lot less what other people think of them and that has made me think ;)

One of the things that you see here much more often than back home is body hair. I know quite some girls here with unshaved armpits and/or legs. Where my response a few years ago would be: “Eeeeeewwwww!”, now I hardly notice it! And it made me think: Why is hair on your arm fine, but not on your legs? Why is it ok for guys to not shave their armpits, but not for girls? Why do I think it’s dirty to not shave, while it’s completely natural? (And also: why is hair – dry or wet – fine when it’s still on someones head, but horrible when it’s on the floor, in the sink or in your food??)
The answer: because that’s what I’ve been taught!

Sometimes I have a (few) cockroach(es) in my home and my first thought is “Eeeeeewwwww! They need to die!!!”. Now I do think most people would agree with me not wanting any cockroaches in there home, but when I had a salamander in my bathroom yesterday I realised something. Even though this was also something that I don’t want in my house, that is small and moves way too fast, I was fascinated by it! I enjoyed watching it when it was sitting still and was thinking of how to safe it instead of killing it!! Once again it made me think: Why do I feel like killing one and saving the other? Why do I see one as disgusting and am I fascinated by the other?
The answer: because that’s what I’ve been taught!

I was at a birthday party recently where a guy was wearing a skirt. I noticed it – and that was it. I wasn’t surprised, didn’t wonder why and didn’t feel like pointing it out to anyone else. While I remember very clearly the first time I saw a man walking around in a skirt on one of the markets here. I was so surprised! And I was trying to take a sneaky picture to share it with the people back home. I remember thinking: Why would a man (who is obviously not a transvestite) wear a skirt?! But now I think: Why would it be weird for a man to wear a skirt, if woman can wear pants?
The answer: because that’s what I’ve been taught!

And even though I don’t ever see myself not-shaving my armpits or legs, getting excited about a cockroach or suggesting to my male friends to wear a skirt – I am aware of my thoughts and beliefs around all of it and I try not judge or differentiate. I just let it be and that feels really good!

Are you aware of what you teach others, mostly to the kids around you? Do you teach them that blue is for boys and pink for girls? That cars are for boys and dolls are for girls? That boys can’t wear skirts? That girls should always shave? That one insect or animal is better than the other? (This last one also in regard to other animals: can we eat some, but not all?) That your way of dressing, believing, eating, doing, thinking is better than someone else’s?

I’m not saying that I have stopped judging completely, that I don’t have any (subconscious) beliefs that color my perspective anymore or that I’m doing it better than others – because that’s exactly what I’m trying to avoid! I just want to share my perspective on becoming more conscious about my beliefs and thought patterns, and I would love to hear your response to it!!

Namaste.