My recent 12-day holiday in Fiji was a resounding reminder of the 4 ‘locks and keys’ in yoga, and the power of connection, acceptance.
The ‘locks and keys’ in yoga (Sutra 1.33) explain how to ‘unlock’ the mind and keep it undisturbed by:
… cultivating attitudes of friendliness towards the happy, compassion towards the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard for the wicked.
Cultivating friendliness is transformative! The key to restoring your serenity is to rejoice in others. The Fijians appear unaware that this is how they behave, but they do! And all the time.
The qualities I experienced in Fiji that relate for me in practising the ‘locks and keys’ were:
Bula, hello in Fijian, is a greeting heard countless times in Fiji. Everyone says hello, everyone. It is rare for a Fijian to walk past you without saying bula! And what’s more they mean it. It becomes infectious so that everyone starts saying hello and engaging with one another, tourist and local alike.
Rarely if ever did I see a Fijian walking with their phone plastered to their ear or texting furiously, oblivious to the world around them. Their relaxed, carefree approach was a good reminder about the power of human connection. In our busy world, our connections with each other are becoming more tenuous and fragmented.
Nothing, nothing was ever too much trouble for them. Their willingness to stop and listen to your concern was refreshing and in fact was welcomed. Their subsequent problem solving was often quite creative, usually due to necessity and availability of resources, however invariably it worked! And did it really matter that how we might solve a similar problem back home was vastly at odds?!
The Fijians rarely miss an opportunity to laugh and smile, nor to stop their daily work to sing (in a loud, heartfelt way) their traditional greeting and farewell songs for arriving or departing guests. And they LOVE children. Children catch the glean in their eyes and are ‘whipped’ into their arms, squealing – so delightful to witness.
Fijian time is something to experience! They really do not stress about the timeliness (or even lack!) of their responses, and everything happens when and if they are ready. And when requests go forgotten, they show no apparent guilt or concern, and seem grateful for the reminder. Now this was a great lesson to witness!
Fiji is still considered a third world country and their living conditions, food and wages are testament here. They work at seemingly tedious tasks day in day out, with an open heart and no apparent resentment to ‘hosting’ more financially secure tourists. There is a significant commitment to upskilling of local communities, who are forever grateful (and not disparaging) for the opportunity to work and contribute. Another great lesson!
So if you feel in need of ease, beauty, acceptance and unconditional love, consider a trip to Fiji.