With the advent of technology and social media, we have the opportunity like never before to become a global community. Unfortunately, there are those who equate any mention of global community with a New World Order, sharing with economic systemic trigger labels like socialism, tolerance with threat, and change with discomfort.
Laura's kindness represents only one example of how I am slowly but surely learning to trust in the goodness of others, an evolution that required physically and perhaps even emotionally distancing myself from all that I had known.
We are all crucibles in and of ourselves: transforming protein and carbohydrate into muscle, tears, and memories. Refining the insides of ourselves towards a messy sort of perfection. Transmuting life into an ecstasy of tiny joys and pains.
Break free of the box you have created for yourself, stretch out your being, and meet your every moment with your divine brilliance. Make this your commitment, and while it may be a lifelong journey of learning what it means to truly be yourself, you will be very much alive every step of the way. There is no other way to live.
I welcome the fear. I send love to it. I know that it is there to keep me moving and shaking on this spiritual journey called life. I will let go of the stuff that I have accumulated over the years. No one wears heels in the damn jungle anyway.
There is a thunder in our hearts.
An ache in our souls.
The home of pure heart connection — the place where the heavens kiss the earth’s highest peaks and the people resonate with ample humbleness — has been ravaged by destruction and despair.
There is an untethered silence, a deep cry for help.
Our heads throb as we come to learn of the harrowing stories of the Nepali people, many now gone and many others living with the reality of their shattered homes.
We question the fairness, the reason, the fatal injustice.
We fall to our knees with great sadness of the loss.
Then comes the ruinous reminder that our lives are eclipsed by time.
That our fate is unknown and our planet is mighty.
That our realities are malleable and forever changing.
Meanwhile, the Gods are still dancing and the divine continues to eclipse each day with new light, urging the will to...
We can drop the chips off our individual shoulders, and put those shoulders to the wheel to turn this cultural ship around before we have to answer to history for these and other atrocities toward the despised and dispossessed among us -- atrocities which have already become routine and even laughable in our eyes. We can individually become, quietly and constructively, outraged.
Misguiding us to mold into the mundane, coercing us all to consume, controlling us to conformity, lessons learned of lust not love, the world has imprisoned us in individualistic ideals in insidious intent, our freedom falsely given for it is only found in our intrinsic connection to everyone and everything. Malnourishing our souls. I've had my fill of fallacies, banquets of bullshit.
The Himalayas. Oft spoke about as a sort of spiritual mecca: as if this land, this place, this range of magnificent rock formation emanates a certain vibration.
Perhaps it does.
I am not here to dispel such theories if they exist. Only to suggest that one’s soul is omnipresent and the vastness of space is with us wherever we may go — including this journey to the Himalayas, a journey that took me over 2,000 kilometres, across six states and via seven modes of transport.
Took us, I should say; for my co-author and I both decided to leave the distracting circumstances of the world aside for five days and focus.
Our book, our novel, is always our point of focus but here in the state of Himachal Pradesh, we wanted to soak ourselves in its mystery, its magic and let the story of it unfold. And so it did.
It is hard to speak silence into words, the formless into form...
I went to all of the places I'd dreamt about while working at the bank. I hiked along a supposed yeti migration route in Nepal, in search of a Sherpa who claimed to have had a firsthand experience with the elusive ape-men. I kayaked around the world's largest saltwater lagoon -- Marovo -- in the Solomon Islands, paddling to isolated villages to meet the descendents of notorious headhunters. I hitchhiked with Romanian nuns to villages that felt like they were still in the sixteenth century. And I delivered picture books to a remote Lao village where some of the children had never seen books before.
I want chaos and serenity stitched together like lovers. I want to continue shifting weight until I find the centre of my becoming. I want days where the only thing that matters is we remembered to breathe. I want lonesome nights. I want the courage and fear to be revered for lessons they each impart.
There is much about India that I love, and all you need do is scroll around this site, or my Facebook page, or read Lost & Found in India, or any one of the many articles I've written, and you'll know that my 15 years of living in India hasn't been under protest, isn't campaign-driven. It's because I love it, and I choose to live here. Besides, the barbaric behavior of humans exists everywhere, and despite what form it takes, it will inflict its violence on the residents around it. The West has a neat and clever trick of hiding it, but it's there. In India, meanwhile, everything is on display, up close and personal: there's no avoiding anything in this country.
Together they can walk and fly as whole and different, but in awe of what the other is. Proud to be there for each other with that certain thing between them, that makes us stop in our tracks with our jaws at our knees, mouthing off: I want to love like that! With that magnificent Wild upon my arm free to fly. How gorgeous and scary and humbling would that be? Reminding me of my humanity and how fierce or fragile I can be -- if he flew away forever from me.
“Beauty is the illumination of your soul.”
The birth of beauty, our sacred duty.
More than a decade ago, when I was too young to appreciate compliments, a friend said to me, “you’re beautiful, but in your own way.”
It was probably the nicest thing anyone could say, but it stung and I over-analyzed it for years.
Back then I was one-dimensional about my looks. Packed-full with existential confusion and childhood pain, I felt very alone in the world. And I was. But mostly because I had made it so.
I allowed zero reflection from the life around me, I resisted calm water, mirrors, and pretty much everyone and everything from… getting too close. It was all on my terms or I’d bail. And because of it, I couldn’t see, feel, taste, use or express my beauty.
I unadmittedly hoarded my diamonds and it stunted my inner growth and creative...
I was distant, shut down, and could feel nothing. I was like a robot on auto-pilot, just going through the motions thinking it was only me that was hurting when in reality everyone could feel the tension.
I sat on the floor crying as he dragged her down the basement steps. The door closed behind them with what seemed to me, a thud with finality. This wasn't the first time he had beaten her but it would be the last.
In the collective striving to better the universe, we all need each other to release our ego enough to share, exchange and truly listen to one another's experiences, challenges and requests. We will only be able to heal the wounds we have caused one another and the feminine earth when we stop perceiving this vulnerable discussion as a personal attack.
And, trust me, it is an eye and heart opening experience. I can say this unequivocally: there are not any bad people living rough (homeless). There aren't any people struggling with problems that are irrevocable or broken situations that are irrecoverable.