As I pack my bags set to leave my beloved India behind one more time, my body stronger than ever before, my heart full and my soul at peace, I am fighting a niggling feeling of trepidation about my return back to the West. I know where it stems from, this fear: my last visit home knocked me off my free-spirited pedestal, put out my internal fire and dragged me down the path of disillusionment and self-pity once again. But I also know that fear is nothing more than a trick of the mind – an illusion – and a destructive one at that. It serves little purpose other than to mask our glorious, loving nature within and spin us around in a vicious cycle of irrational, destructive thoughts and emotions. The more we feed this evil monster of fear, the more we enable ourselves to becomes victims of life, instead of sitting on our thrones with pride, the heroes and heroines of our own magnificent life stories.
And so, rather than spend my last day here in the breathtakingly beautiful Himalayan mountains fretting over what challenges I may face back in London, I am going to spend it instead counting my blessings. It is my firm belief that there is no better medicine than gratitude, and the more we look for things to be grateful for in life, the more we realize that in fact, we already have everything we need.
First, I must (humbly) send gratitude to myself, for it is I who ultimately brought me again to this place of inner peace and love. It is I who knew that coming back to India was what I needed to heal my heart and awaken again my soul, and it is I who followed the call of my heart and made it happen. It is also I who gets myself up each morning to practice yoga, with a smile on my face (most of the time!) and with the will and determination to embrace each day with presence, gratitude and strength. It is I who has resolved to move forward with life, whatever obstacles may come my way, to keep my heart open and keep healing the wounds of my past so that I may continue to evolve to higher planes. And it is I who does this not only for my own inner peace and happiness, but for that of others too. Knowing now the incredible powers we all have within to heal, I wish to share all that I have, all I can, to help others. I also know that to nourish, honour and love myself is an essential part of my journey as a yogini, or a healer of any kind.
So, thank you Me!
If I look back on the person I was 18 months ago I hardly recognize that scared, nervous, angry girl, trapped in a life that did not belong to her, ruled by an anxious, frantic, chaotic mind. I am eternally grateful to my Higher Self for guiding me towards the light and bringing me home. And to my whole self – body, mind and spirit – for having the patience, courage and determination to continue walking slowly but surely along my new path. I have finally found my Dharma and no matter what the future holds I know that if I am true to myself I will always be free.
But I didn’t get here completely alone. There are many people I’d like to thank while given this opportunity (and the openness of my heart right now!) Let’s start with my loving Mum, who despite her instinctive desire to protect and guide me, on occasion manifesting as control, it seems she has finally found the courage to truly set me free, allowing me to travel this enlightening spiritual path alone and with no weight on my shoulders. The wonderful things is the more physical distance there is between us the closer we seem to get. Speaking less than we ever have while I’ve been away, we are increasingly synchronized in our communications, and our feelings; our paths are beginning to mirror each other and merge, as we both confront our lives and our selves with new eyes. I am very grateful to you Mum for your willingness to let me go and to realize that we can never actually lose each other – we can only support each other on this wondrous journey called life. I so look forward to spending time together as a family when I’m back, and as two people who’ve felt the noble but challenging call to heal others.
Onto my Dad, whom I do sometimes fear may feel a little alienated on occasion by my desire to pack my bags and travel the world, and who would perhaps feel more at peace if I was instead putting down roots and making plans for the future. I can only say that those things will come, in time, if and when they are meant to (which I hope they are), and that, in the meantime, please know that I am happier now than I ever have been and I owe a lot of that to you. I took for granted as a child the many spiritual (or simply, ‘happiness’) pathways which you opened to me: your love of nature, compassion for every living thing, and innate creative talent to name just a few. As I am surrounded now by the earth, the trees and the stars, I remember fondly the many times you stopped the car abruptly down a country lane so we could get out and look at the view, the long country walks you took us on which left our bodies exhausted and our lungs full of fresh, clean air, the log fires we sat around in the cold, winter evenings and the days spent playing cards, board games and painting with your father’s old oil paints and brushes. Those simple pleasures of life grounded me, fed my creative spirit and taught me some of the most valuable lessons of my life. Namely, to appreciate everything the Universe gives us, to be fully alive in the moment, and to create (to write, to draw, to sing, to dance, to play music). While I diverged off this path for a while, more interested in the material pleasures of the concrete jungle, I think you always knew I should be a healer, and / or a writer (perhaps I’ll be both). So thank you Dad for always knowing who I was, even when I didn’t.
Then, to my sister, who I’m not sure reads this blog very often, being so busy in her own life! The energy she finds to work as hard as she does certainly comes from a deep sense of purpose within. My sister’s fire, willpower and self-belief is something I have always envied. I probably don’t say it enough but I am very, very proud of you Gen! You’ve accomplished so much so early in your life and you do it with so much humility and passion it’s truly admirable to watch. I have felt on many occasions in life that our roles have been reversed – that you are in fact the older sibling (perhaps older soul) than me, as you imbued me with advice, I think on occasion quite at a loss about what to do with me as I struggled to find my place in the world! You conversely seemed to own whatever you were doing with conviction and pizzazz. I know too though that there’s a vulnerability in you that is afraid to come out and a part of you that shies away from asking for help. I see it in you as it’s in me too (perhaps it’s in all of us). I want you to know that wherever I am in the world I will always be there for you, in whatever way I can, and while I’m back you can have all the free yoga lessons you want! Miss you and can’t wait to see you.
And to another person who never reads this blog (!), my boyfriend, Nick: you may not realize this fully but you are such an intrinsic part of my spiritual journey that my love for you could never be anything less than unconditional. Although our story hasn’t been that of a fairytale romance it has been what any true love story should be: honest, raw and real. More than anyone before, you love me just the way I am – never trying to change me, never trying to control me, instead setting me free in the world to shine and encouraging me all the way along. Perhaps I haven’t fully appreciated what that means to me until writing this now. Fort that, and much more, I am deeply grateful.
There are so many more people, places and things I’d like to extend my gratitude to before I embark on this next chapter of life, but I’d better wrap this up so I can enjoy being in this beautiful place for just a few more precious hours…
To my amazing friends, old and new (you know who you are!), thank you for supporting me, inspiring me and celebrating with me on this amazing journey;
To yoga, thank you for grounding me, elevating me, and for teaching me about life and myself on a daily basis;
To my many Divine yoga teachers, spiritual guides, healers and soul mates, thank you for sharing yourselves, your wisdom and your knowledge so openly and with love;
To India, once again, thank you for feeding me with your nurturing Shakti energy, for bringing alive my spirit, and for giving me the faith I need to surrender to life;
And to the Universe – an epic THANK YOU! Thank you for giving me everything I need – for the air that I breathe, the ground beneath my feet, the stars, the moon, the trees, the oceans, the beaches, the rivers, the mountains, and for the journey.
Namaste all. May you feel blessed, nurtured and loved. May all your dreams come true. x