While researching about Bhutan, I stumbled across images of Tiger’s Nest and in my mind’s eye I was instantly there. I felt sucked into a particular photo of this stunning monastery hanging off a cliff and I became willingly trapped inside the picture. It’s hard for me to explain how an image of a monastery can have such a profound affect on someone, but I will do my best.
The picture of Tiger’s Nest was like a seducing food craving to me; the more I think about a craving, the more I can taste it, and once I start salivating, I’m done for. So like a food craving, I couldn’t stop thinking about this beautiful picture. Whenever I had the chance, I would stare at hundreds of pictures of Tiger’s Nest until after a few days it was engraved in my mind. Then I could easily recall its image without the physical photo, which makes awesome daydreaming. I saw myself hiking up to Tiger’s Nest and turning around to smile at the camera at the exact point where the photo I admired was taken. My brain had naturally photo shopped me into this famous icon of Bhutan and in my head I had my own personal photo even though it didn’t exist YET.
I would also think about how magical it would feel to ascend to one of the world’s most precious monasteries. These playful thoughts produced strong urgings/cravings to place my feet one by one up those steps to the top. However, with great thoughts came deterioting thoughts. Some days I would think, “What if I never get to go.” Then I would feel the biggest punch in the stomach and knife to the heart. It was real pain similar to heartaches caused by gut wrenching loss. I hated the feeling of my stomach tumbling around due to stupid “what if” thoughts. Ironically, I also found that these thoughts were good for me because I knew that the sickness I felt from the thought of not going signaled me that my intuition was guiding me to go and grabbing my attention when I was off path. Fortunately, I had a thousand “I got to get there” thoughts for every self-defeating thought. Eventually, those thousands of thoughts led to daily salivating and I was done for. Hence, my new beloved, beautiful, spectacular, gorgeous pictures of myself in front of Tiger’s Nest, which are not photo-shopped and yes, I know that I can be a little vainJ.