India... Moved by love
I have been quite speechless since coming home from India and this is not something I’m used to. I thought I would have words pouring out of me but I found myself in a place where I felt so different in my skin that I didn’t trust what may fall out of my mouth or onto the page. There was a discombobulation, an internal shift, and it felt so profound that I struggled to know my ass from my elbow! But now, having been back for almost a month, I have located my ass and my elbow… and the ability to discern between the two. It’s quite the relief and it’s with that re-entry into somewhat normal cognition that I feel I can write once more.
India. It always manages to move me but this time it was so much deeper. There was an internal blossoming that can only burst from the heart when we meet the utter beauty, and sometimes the deep anguish, that this life can bring. I have been moved to the point of no return to my former self. The lens that was coating my vision of reality has been wiped clean and I feel more alive, more at peace, and more deeply stirred by life force than ever before. All of this I can attribute to the soul connections made, the laughter and smiles of the children, and the witnessing of suffering in many women’s eyes. A suffering that most of us could never imagine possible. It has all left me profoundly and most beautifully altered.
And isn’t this what we want? To be moved. To have our hearts smashed open so we can wake up and fully live this precious life. What I have gained from this incredible journey is the unshakable faith that the potency of that life force itself is always guiding me, guiding us, to the next stage of our growth. That if you want it, you will get it. The people in Nagpur taught me more than a thousand yoga classes and reading dozens of sacred texts. Their incredible sense of community, family, open-hearted generosity and love smacked me in the face and knocked me out from the dream I’d been kicking around in. I fell genuinely in love with them and because of that, genuinely and deeply in love with this life.
I began to ask, who is rich and who is poor in our world? Because I think it’s the opposite of what we think. I think we, here in the west, are lacking. I think we have become numb. And I think we have lost our way. We’ve become disconnected in the traps of money making and status, and then wonder why we don’t feel nourished or well. If we really paused for a moment and contemplated our life perspective we’d remember that at the moment of our death our soul is the only thing coming with us. So shouldn’t living soulfully be our priority?
I love this statement above.
What have we been doing? What’s the purpose?
Best. Questions. Ever.
We have so much in the west. All our basic needs are met and we really want for nothing. However, our culture is so built on the dog eat dog mentality and competition that we don’t thrive emotionally and we aren’t evolving in a balanced way. Why is it that we often don’t experience the radiating joy the teachings of yoga promise are available to us? Why don’t we feel that? What are we getting wrong?
I think the answers to this plethora of questions have something to do with shifting our mantra from me, mine and more to us, ours and enough for everyone. And to reflect on what we feel our purpose is, being here, in this world. If it’s to try and live in a vacuum and accumulate as much stuff as possible then we are going to be in trouble. I feel the answer to living a radiant life is the reverse of what we’ve been told. I think it’s to give more. And to love more. Not just our small group of people but to expand that out so much bigger to include all beings. It may seem like a utopian ideal but what if every individual did just enough to help someone who is suffering? Not only would we tip the balance back to more equality for all beings but we would FEEL better in our skin.
The one thing I learnt in AA that I have never forgotten is that if you’re in a world of pain, help someone! That shit works man. I watched the people of Nagpur, who deal with life challenges that are seriously beyond our comprehension, help each other. Most of the people I met, if they had nothing, would give you half of it. They get it. They get what it is that makes life rich. It’s like they understand that life is precious so they return that gift with the generous offering of themselves, their time, their hearts.
I left India with the clear vision to bring this embracing of the gift of life back. That is, essentially, what our yoga practice is for. The work we do on the mat is so we can heal ourselves. That powerful healing then creates a space for us to fulfill our collective purpose; to be a vessel for love and change in our world. The absolute beauty of yoga is once the magic starts happening, or more accurately when you uncover the magic that has always been there, you just want it for everyone. This is how our practice can change our lives, and the lives of others. But I truly feel it’s time to dive deeper and think bigger.
I have two offerings coming up next year in Bali that are geared towards this healing and awakening within: the Divine Feminine Retreat and the Awakening Retreat. Five percent of all profits for each retreat will go to the continuing support of the Bodhicitta Foundation in Nagpur, India. I would love you to join me on this path of realignment, transformation, unity consciousness, and change making. No person can do this on their own, but together we can do so much!
Yours in Yoga,