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And I Love Her

Kochin, I n d i a

I think I loved her before I even set foot on her soil.

I boarded the plane and took my seat. I was the only foreigner on the flight. Perhaps somewhere deep down inside I was not.

I traded my aisle seat for a window and settled in. As I departed Dubai I thought about my sister, and my cousin, who was more of a sister to me. She had treated me like a queen and always went above and beyond to be generous and kind. Never skipping a beat and always being thoughtful of what I may need.

The flight staff served my food. As I started eating I stepped outside of myself for a moment and observed myself going on this voyage – a voyage of self-love. I looked like a child on this journey. Eating my food on this plane. Having prepared myself for this mission. Sitting alone, as I had many times before on my way to a foreign land. Finding a moment of appreciation for myself, for my heart, for my courage to once more be going in search of the highest version of myself. To expand into the fullness of my being. To do and be something meaningful in the world. For my soul to fully inhabit my body and for me to listen deeply and completely.

I had journeyed around the world on various different missions – to dance, to discover, to start a new life. To follow what I thought would bring me peace and joy. And there were glimpses but the disconnect I had felt was like a chasm that had swallowed me up and made me invisible.

I put my hand on my heart and absorbed this moment of love. Of real acknowledgment for myself and my heart, whilst I sobbed over my food. Releasing; crying tears; knowing what was to come. The flight attendants came to me one by one with genuine concern in their deep brown eyes. With reverence and with care. They were true reflections of my destination.

And that’s when I fell in love with her. She knew I was coming and I could feel her kindness, her mystery, her arms around me – a gateway to the all-encompassing, messy reality that only India has the courage to reveal.

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Quest

FLYING TO INDIA

I left California on the last day of summer – I designed it that way
I was in the air and far away
Not looking back
There was nothing to see
The west disappeared as I looked east
The setting sun had told me all there was to say
I flew passed the stars
Over the desert
And into the jungle
On the wings of a silver dragonfly
The clouds parted
And I arrived
The smell of incense
Deep brown eyes
Marble floors
Carved wooden doors
The scent in the air had stories to tell
We didn’t say much
But remembered them well
One inhale of her and I was home – under her spell

Fleeing the Comfortable Cage

CALIFORNIA, U S A

It was my sanctuary for years. My project, my comfort, my refuge. I healed there, I wrote there, loved, laughed, and cried there. I raged there.

I was comfortably numb in my perfectly appointed sanctuary home in California. Finding solace in my aloneness. Not stepping out of my door or speaking with anyone for days at a time. Some of those days I would stay in bed and write and write and some days it was just bed without writing. Numbing out, terrified and angry at myself for wasting time. For not being the highest version of myself. Having glimpses of what that was but feeling so overwhelmed at how to get there.

I had everything I needed in that little place. My divinely designed space with my altars and my crystals and my favorite food with my favorite bowls and cups and my favorite music and books and lotions and potions and bath time and creative time but all these things I identified with and gave me pleasure lacked the true connection I yearned for with myself and others.

The walls of my sanctuary blocked out the light that wanted to seep out of my soul and into the world. The light that wanted to connect with other souls, to hold, to touch, to collaborate, to share, to expand, to shine.

One night I dreamed of wild horses in the back yard and a structure was being built that would limit the amount of space for movement. I was the horses with such graceful and powerful energy I couldn’t stay contained any longer. I wanted to run free.

I had contained myself for protection and comfort, like a band-aid to prevent any contamination. Protection from heartache, from hurt from the community that had not quite understood what I had endured in an emotionally abusive relationship that I had slipped away from just in time before I lost myself completely. Raw, I had allowed myself to be stripped down to the bone.

The walls of that sanctuary allowed regeneration. Facilitated me growing my skin back. Allowed me to dissect and cleanse the wounded layers and then grow back a new layer of protection.

And then one day the noise came: drilling, sawing, hammering – the unconscionable destruction of the land around my living space began as the owner of the land started building a structure so close to my cottage that the sanctuary I once knew started to disintegrate before my eyes. Total and utter desecration and disregard for my space – bulldozing my energy, trampling on my boundaries; physical, emotional, energetic, over and over and over. Triggering depths of anger and sadness I had no idea existed.

The space now no longer fit to contain my fire, my light that wanted to burst forth into the world out of the comfort of this cage that had held and soothed and ultimately suffocated me.

I knew I needed to find sanctuary in my heart, away from this nest I had called home. I must be in the world. I must spread my wings and take flight to shed my light. But I stayed and stayed and stayed. Denying the movement that was happening around me and inside me. Justifying, weighing, calculating, gripping. Creating unpleasant waves of animosity.

Some days I became a raging monster as the peace I had held so dear was being desecrated. The outside noise reflecting the noise inside my being that wanted to bust out like the wild horses in the back yard. Wanting to be free and wild and powerful. And oh how I pushed against it all, holding on so tightly, wanting to control what was happening all around me. Sending me into despair and anguish. The rock that gets caught in the reeds and cannot dislodge to flow down the river.

And then, one day, I let go. I woke up out of the pain that the holding on was causing and I started to listen to everything my heart had been trying to say for years and years and years, whilst I stayed in what seemed like a reasonably constructed, semi-ideal, outward version of what was ok but really, really wasn’t. The home I had chosen, the work I had chosen and the environment. All of which was poisoning me on one level or another. Whether physically, psychically, or mentally. It was time to move on and create sanctuary outside of those walls.

Since moving and reorganizing belongings and friendships and taking out certain puzzle pieces in order to fit others in, I called in the scattered pieces of myself as I let go of things they were attached to. Finding sanctuary in the chaos. Finding it in the mess and the mundane. In the uncomfortable and the unimaginable.

The stories that follow are dedicated to the places we find solace outside of the ideal we have constructed in our minds. It is the story of finding sanctuary – first in our heart and then recognizing all the outward reflections of our heart, body and mind as they dedicate themselves to the soul.

This is a story of my quest. As every moment of every experience is now part of the discovery of my soul and the unstoppable expansion of my being in service to beauty within and without, in heaven and on earth.

I bow down to the temple within.