(untitled)because…what do you even call this?

​It started with a Christmas present from a leaving student; a note book with a personal message handwritten on the first page. I thought, how sweet it was as I started reading. The simple, single-lined wish. “I hope this time next year you will have got married.”
I laughed and looked up at said-student. His big eyes were filled with genuine concern… Oh… I see… It wasn’t a joke…

Not too long after this my brother in law, who at every family occasion asks me the same question. “Where’s your ‘pomp’?” (the guy I’m supposedly banging) and like every other time I have some smartass comeback like “Which one?” or “Oh? Do you need to feed them too?”
For some reason this time, it didn’t stop there.“Don’t you want children?”

To cut the conversation short I simply said “Eeeeh, I don’t know hey” and I shityounot, he tapped his watch. 

Subtle.

Next, I received a message from a guy who I met at a fireworks evening in primary school and never seen since. We somehow befriended eachother on Facebook a year or so ago ~ he being currently and recently single, of course is on the prowl ~ and pipes up with, “I’m still perplexed as to why you’re not married.”

PERPLEXED. Seriously? What, do people actually think something’s wrong with 30-something single girls? But single guys are just like “living the dream”? 

My singleness has a virtual stranger PERPLEXED.

Shame… I guess that may have been meant with utmost affection but still left me scratching my head, and without hesitation I defended myself to a guy I hardly know.

I was surprised by how strong I felt in my justification and how rebellious my words could have come across. But he didn’t seem convinced or at least wasn’t satisfied with leaving it at that. 

“You don’t want kids?”

“Very much” I responded, (and this is where I felt my truth come through, undiluted, as it sometimes can do to a complete stranger through the lonely connections of social media), “I’ve wanted 3 all my life – but you don’t just HAVE kids! Children need amazing parents. I know I’ll be a great mom. My obligation is to find a great dad for them. Something SO important & what I missed… And I’m not there yet… I’m just not. And it’s ok. I’m at peace with those life expectations transforming. It’s social expectations that programmed what life should look like. And I’ve gone against the norm since I can remember. I’m just one of those people who want more. Deeper growth. Exploration. Adventure. Body, mind & soul. That’s my path. I’m following it. And what comes will come, being true to where I am and who I am becoming.”

My soul rested with a quiet confidence and stillness. He responded with amazement too. But a week later, I feel a niggling in me.

Have I really reached that stage where people are getting genuinely concerned about me going on 32 unmarried and unchilded (and making up my own vocabulary)?

As I write this one of my oldest friends just messaged me to meet up next week, saying she wants to hear about my adventures, and with a sense of urgency – that she has news to share too. 

‘Pregnant or getting divorced?’ was my immediate thought. It turns out she is indeed pregnant. Adding just the right amount of irony to this string of events. And tears came to my eyes.

I wish I could say they were happy unselfish tears, although I AM really happy for her, without a doubt! But my tears come from the inner-acknowledgement setting in that I’m so so far from that reality & yes, somedays that really does scare me.

This kind of news; engagements, marriages, babies is the news I’m getting used to now. And the terrified conflicted happiness I feel is becoming the usual response ~ a response which doesn’t sit well with me. 

Have I reached the age when I start to worry about myself?  When will my undiluted truth remain undiluted by tears? When will I stop comparing, even subconsciously? 

I guess the answer lies in gratitude. Gratitude for the beauty of my own life and the uniqueness of the individual journey. Gratitude for the fire in me that refuses to go out ~ Despite others questioning and doubt. Despite unscheduled bursts of tears. 

Where some would become consumed and grow bitter, I’m able to show up everyday in my life 100% & inspire others to be better too ~ even though my life at almost-32 isn’t what I may have painted at 16 or 21 or 28.

No matter where you are. I hope you show up fully in your own life with gratitude for the beauty in the madness, whatever form it comes in. 

You! Yes, you! 

Keep expanding ~ And if all else fails, I hope you can sit in your office or classroom when everyone else has gone home and look at your life, your stories and experiences and – like me – laugh at yourself and at the bizarre, dark comedic genius in it all. 

And if all else continues to fail, I hope ~at least~ it makes for good story telling or entertaining reading 😉

2016.

​☆ what a year it’s been… my focus was to say “f*ck the system“/ social norms & expectations, be true to where I am at, stop putting off what’s important to me until “a better time”

~ I stopped taking time for granted (in honour of my precious friend)

and started living for NOW ~ taking opportunities, stretching myself further than I unconsciously limited myself to (we are all capable of so much more), seeing what’s important and letting go of what just… isn’t. 

~ living and doing and being with heightened awareness can lead you places you never imagined, some scary & vulnerable, some exciting & inspiring, all challenging but so mentally, physically, spiritually rewarding ~

Everything is temporary. Stop resisting evolution, growth and change. That’s the only constant. 

LET GO & LET YOURSELF FLY

“whatever you do, or dream you can, BEGIN IT! Boldness has genius, power & magic in it”

A year in your honour

​This year has been in your honour and I never thought I’d be at peace with losing you

Yes, grief comes in waves (or trucks or trains)

And of course
there are moments I reach for my phone and want to tell you about another of my ridiculous stories (that you used to call “episodes in an inspiring but hilarious adventure“)

Of course I still want to laugh at ourselves til we cry, together
And cry til we laugh

So, yes, I’ve lived this year as if it were my last
’cause
who would have known that last year was yours, in this fragile & temporary human body, with this emotional & sensitive human heart.

But somehow I still feel an incredibly real connection to you
Whenever I need it, even when I don’t
Is it my wonderfully powerful imagination? I don’t really care
For me it’s a knowing, without explanation
An awareness that you’re at peace (and still laughing along with me… but not crying. There are no more tears where you are.)

I’ll see you soon, Les. But for now, I hope I’m making you proud (and still making for entertaining viewing from above).

This year has been in your honour.
and so will every year ahead 

a balancing act

I’m trying to keep my balance after coming back home, avoiding old routines, bettering my days & rearranging my world in a more peaceful & light way.


Tomorrow I’m starting the 1 week Happiness Programme at The Art of Living. I’m not sure what it entails
but for the evenings of this week and this weekend there will be expansion of the soul and
awareness, that makes me feel good and fuzzy.

I’ll admit I’m turning into abit of an awareness junky. I’ve never been into small talk ~ but more so now than ever I want to have conversations that matter: the meaning of life, death, hopes, fears, questions, what keeps you up at night, what do you daydream about, what do you believe in, music that makes you feel stuff, memories. More questions – with people who are also reaching higher and deeper. So much around me seems so superficial & I’m retreating from it – finding it harder and harder to be human, at home on this planet.

I wish I knew what was going on on a cosmic level. Yeah, some moments I feel untouchable. Unfuckwithable. And some moments I’m just aching inside and I don’t know what for… it’s like being homesick… or missing something that I don’t even know and then next moment I’m super content in just being again.

I want to do a journalism course also, which is a more serious thought, but I want to take my writing and curiosity of the world and the written word further.
There is so much I want to do and I just need to keep the faith that while I’m living my life I’ll stumble upon the kind of life-partner and love I dream about. No more duds. No more heart breakers and soul-suckers. I just can’t do these shallow connections anymore… f*ck,which means, I may not make any love-connections again!

**she trails off in a daydream ~ ~~~makes me miss my Berlin adventure 》damn I had fun! all loved up and care free 》 Was literally worry-less 90% of the time. what bliss that was 》 just happy and trusting 》 like a naive little dumb deer 》 blissfully unaware, mindlessly following~~ ~**

I need to believe that this is the path, that I’m on the right path. That I’m not isolating myself from the physical world, that this is my way forward. I guess it comes down to most of my year being consciously and subconsciously focused on a guy and “me in relation to him” – not “me in relation to me” – (that makes sense now that I put it that way)…

When travelling it’s easier to get caught up in yourself but when coming back home I guess I naturally want to have a “someone” and not having one is actually ok… and now isn’t forever… if I could comfortably (and often not even comfortably) give myself and my thoughts and actions to a guy for 6 months then why can’t I comfortably (and also uncomfortably) give that same focus and time to myself for 1 month or even 2. Why am I afraid it will become an ALWAYS? I need to stop projecting fear and not finding and replace it with courage and belief in receiving what I need when I’m ready. This is the path.

something about muesli 

​I don’t usually post photographs of my food, but with this magnificent bowl of colourful goodness comes a great story. This picture, a necessary illustration. 

I needed something fresh and cool and chili-free for the first time since being in India. But I’ve avoided anything “western” until today. 
I found myself sitting at Funky Monkey Cafe and after about 45 minutes my order presented itself: coconut, grapes, dates, pomegranate, banana, almonds, papaya, kiwi, apple, muesli and curd… 

Ah! Wow! Beautiful!!” I said

Then my young, very sweet and smiley waiter, Summer, sat down nearby. 

I noticed he was watching me take each bite, “Is good? Is okay?

Absolutely amazing! Thank you!” I said

It my first time I make this”  

REALLY? It’s the BEST!” 

After a little more broken English exchange I discovered he’d also never tasted the combination of muesli, fruit and curd. I immediately served him up some and encouraged him to try it for the first time. 

His eyes lit up. He nodded and chewed and chewed and nodded and seemed very impressed with himself. 

I watched him eat every last bite.

To India, I thank you. 

~ To the holy cow who tried to sit on my lap

~ To the relentless hooting that never gave up

~ To the magical chaos and colour

~ To that constant underlying smell of pee & incense

~ To the little kids who begged for food then offered me some

~ To the strangers who spoke to me like old friends about G*d, creation & love

~ To the heat, chillies & sun salutations

 ~ To the street-food-wallah who cooked me fresh samoosas rather than the ones he’d prepared “only 10 minutes before” due to the slightly (massively) sceptical look on my face

~ To the chai-wallah who gave me a little extra because he claimed I “have a light” in my eyes

~ To the monkeys for the hours of amusement

~ To the electricity for choosing the best times to go out

~ To the wonderful ventilation and water pressure in the bathrooms (*jokes jokes)

~ To the frogs for helping me keep my sense of humour in the ‘shower’ (*no jokes)

~ To the sunrises that lifted me.

~ To the sunsets that said “rest!everything’s alright”

~ To the 36 000 000 Gods, I think one of you heard me.

~ To India,
for for being utterly unapologetic
for being everything and nothing that I expected,
I thank you.


Namaste

Peace out

Day 6 

☆~☆~☆~☆~☆

On this final day, it’s almost midnight and my body, mind and soul are smiling. I’m almost too tired to write this but I simply need to reflect and milk this beautiful day the same way, if not more, than I seem to milk the sad or emotionally turbulent ones.  

I made the decision last night to wake up an hour earlier and go do a meditation practice before yoga. I then opened “Wherever you go, there you are: Mindful Meditation”, the book I’m reading, and it spoke exactly to that ~ the power of waking up early to meditate, living consciously and starting your day with the best possible advantage. 

By grounding yourself in mindfulness early in the morning, you are reminding yourself that things are always changing, that good and bad things come and go, and that it is possible to embody a perspective of constancy, wisdom, and inner peace as you face any conditions that present themselves.”

So that’s what I did, even though my thoroughly Hatha’d body and restless mind were sleepy, I got up and in meditation I took myself through an aura cleansing (my google search from the night before is quite amusing), a visualization of gold light running through me and clearing out all the crap, followed by wrapping myself in bright white clear, protective light. And then the sun rose over the mountain and I felt it hit my eyelids. 

Yoga was great. The repetition of the same poses (or very slight variations) can feel monotonous but at the same time seeing progress and knowing what’s next so therefore fully committing to pushing yourself just that much further is an incredible discipline. I appreciate this method a lot. 

After yoga it was time, not to even begin the shower head water negotiation but, to crouch under the tap and wash my hair again. Lathered from head to toe and feeling the fresh water wash away yesterday’s turmoil til the water ran clear. 

Then I blew my hair dry, yes I did, because today was the Puja (Hindu prayer ritual ceremony) at the house. I was wrapped in a fuscia sari and sat apart of the most beautiful burning of woods and ghee and sprinkles of holy water and marigolds. And red paint and rice dotted between my eyes. And mantras and singing. And holding hands to the blessed fire and bowing our heads. 

It was long and hot and smokey and all I literally understood was SHANTI (PEACE) but I felt like I understood everything else too, the Sanskrit and Hindi took on its own translation in my ears and I felt a personal connection to this ceremony. I shed a hidden tear as the emotion welled up in my eyes, although I could have blamed it on the aromatic smoke, I chanted words and gave them my own heart. 

Then I got a reeth of marigolds put around my neck and was fed a sweet dough. I was blessed. I am blessed. I need to get smacked in the head with a shanti stick when I get so caught up in letting the world around me, define me. The world within is so much kinder and more loyal and forgiving, perhaps my mind isn’t, but there is love and compassion in my heart and I need to let it flow through me… Not straight out of me without touching sides. Something in me has woken up.

I rested ever so slightly this afternoon and had my lecture, yoga routine and dinner. I was then rewrapped in my sari (a slightly different style) and although I was (am) knackered I went with Deepa to the festival of dancing again. And, oh my, I felt like I was the star in my own Bollywood movie. Whirling and twirling and clicking sticks to the beat and getting lost in a sea of Saris in all colours, patterns and sizes. 

Walking back home, passing the sleeping cows in the road (so normal now), lifting my Sari skirt over whatever strange unrecognizables lay in the half-moon lit street, I realized “I am here. This is it. I am doing what I dreamed of and more.” And I thought my laissez-faire attitude toward India and just going with it when I got here was turning out to be a terribly misguided, unrealistic notion. But look how it’s worked out for me. A week of yoga in a beautiful town, living a fully immersed existence with this family. I thought I wanted an ashram experience. What I really wanted was a yoga course home stay. It found me. 

I’m going to nod off in this warmly satisfied state. All is well. There’s something making it all work out in the end. 

**Thank you for hearing me when I couldn’t even understand what I was wanting for myself.**

OM shanti ~ Namaste

And Good night ☆