Monthly archives "January 2017"

what i learned in India

Two and a half weeks, in the grand bucket of life, is really not much more than a drop. What life will show you, on occasion, is that eventually there’s a drop that makes the bucket overflow – why? To get your attention.

My adventure to India was chock full of typical “I-went-to-India” stuff. Curries, an elephant ride, public bathrooms where it was better to not touch anything other than yourself, haggling in the streets for tchotchkes and yes, a restless night in a front of a hotel room toilet “detoxing” – there’s definitely more glamourous ways to lose a few pounds, for sure.

And, although I left a little bit of me in India on that one night, I will certainly take away a whole lot more.

The people of India are some of the most kind-hearted, sincere, genuine people I have ever met. The smiles that welcome you in whatever place you find yourself are the truest in spirit. And, amidst a challenged infrastructure that doesn’t have much of a chance to support the population, the people are the real foundation there.

There is beauty to the eye that chooses to see it. Yes, it’s dirty. Yes, it’s smoggy. And yes, it’s very crowded. But, the other ‘yes’ is that both the cities and countrysides of India possess beauty. If you want to see it, it’s there. Just look.

India is a convicted country of beliefs, culture and religion in the most modest and meek manner. Both young and old, men and women, were humble yet strong in their faith. It seemed as though time could never be advanced enough for the people to leave behind their beliefs and traditions of centuries old. A very powerful aura.

And, although I learned something about this country and its people at many of the corners my trip turned upon, what these excursions usually are about (if you want them to be) is, you. It’s what you learn about you – “finding yourself”, “soul searching”, insert synonymous cliche here, right?

My reason for trekking to India was, ultimately, to visit a place called Auroville. As well, a guided tour and meditation retreat for the two and half weeks supplemented this mission. All in the name of personal growth. The spirit of Auroville, I think, would be a tough one for any person to argue against – Unity, Peace, Harmony, Love and anything and everything synonymous with those ideals is the foundation for which Auroville is built. Truly, a wonderful experience and energy to be found in this little place.

But, as much as these definitive “itinerary” items; touring the south of India, the retreat, Auroville, contributed to my personal story, my true growth wasn’t a product of the regularly scheduled program.

Being away really zeroed in my focus on what my life “is”. Truthfully, it wasn’t something I had expected to happen. I had anticipated that I’d have a bunch of revelatory moments all as a product of what I was doing in India. And, I guess, in a way I did. But, it was more like, “what am I doing in India?”

My perspective is different than what it was when I left. Yes, witnessing some of the very meager living conditions that a great deal of people call daily life certainly made me more grateful for what I have. As did the basic conveniences that maybe aren’t so basically convenient over there. And after a week of being back, I’m pretty comfortable in saying that I think I’ve only once not thought “thank you” as I’ve stepped into my hot shower.

But really, what it’s come to be for me is that there is nothing that I need to chase. Globe trotting is wonderful; I would never dissuade anyone from seeing the world. Being driven and motivated to achieve western civilization’s idea of “success” is admirable. Again, I would only have support for a person in their dream. For me though, what really came to the forefront is that everything really is inside.

It’s finding gratitude in whatever it is that you have, big or small. It doesn’t matter what it is but only that it makes you smile, makes you laugh, fills you with warmth or just makes you feel full.

It’s not only finding the beauty in everything around you, it’s being the beauty for everything around you. This is possible, for what you are, as a being on this Earth, is beauty. It might take a bit of re-education or re-programming or re-perspective, but it’s possible. You, unequivocally are the representation of beauty.

And last but anything but least, truly, without doubt, life is about amplifying Love. The amount of Love that’s out there for all of us, each and every one of us, is immeasurable. As I reflected many nights before bed while on my trip, I couldn’t shake how much sense it made that there really was nothing for me to search for. Not away from home on adventures, not in the form of material things, not through the attainment of class or status. It’s really just all about the Love inside to give and Love on the outside to receive. I thought about this at length and almost felt a little embarrassed that it took me so long to realize how much opportunity there is to be Love right where you are with whatever it is you have at your disposal. And, that’s why I couldn’t help but come to the conclusion that there is no race to be run, no prize to put on the mantel. Home, faith, hope, Love – it’s all inside of you. When you open that up, not only does it come bursting out, but you’ll really see how much is also trying to come in.

You are Love.

Be Love.

Find yourself –

Find the world –