You heard last time about the initial happenings of the trip. I want to dig into the meat of it. Because it definitely did not go as expected, but did happen exactly as it needed to.
Conjure up an Indian hotel, set in the middle of an exceptionally run down part of the city. My travel buddy and I just got back from an interesting encounter at a nearby mall and are decompressing, preparing to arrive at the University the next day. It was a fairly mellow evening.
The night, however, was a sleepless one. Both of us were plagued by an uneasy feeling in our gut. Although, neither of us shared with the other the experience or that we were both awake most of the night. I get up early, and feel sick to my stomach. It’s debilitating. Something is off. Something is wrong.
I expected nerves, but not dread. I couldn’t even conjure up conversational words. The only thing I could say was that I couldn’t go. I couldn’t go to the University feeling, in my bones, that it wasn’t part of my purpose. I didn’t know why, or what the reactions of people back home were going to be, but I knew that I couldn’t go through with a plan that made me feel that way.
I saw my travel partner struggle with her own inner battles, but she had shared with me at that point that she had been awake with the same dread and had gotten out of bed with that same debilitating feeling that could only make her question attending the University.
Together, we made the decision not to go.
It was an instant feeling of freedom. And instant recognition that this was a decision that we made from our hearts, from a place of authenticity.
We found a new hotel to stay at, and were treated like queens for a week as we experienced the generosity of our host country, experienced the food, and got a taste of Indian culture (more on this next week).
In making new plans, we had planned on leaving India the following week, giving us a little under two weeks to stay and explore. An image of 7 days had passed in my mind’s eye (that mystical eye that you can’t see in between your eyebrows, but will show you all sorts of truths if you let it) during this planning, but I didn’t put much weight into it. Both of us had gotten a cold from the plane, so a little R&R and causal exploration for 10+ days didn’t sound like a bad plan to me in the least. So, we went ahead and rebooked the flights.
On day 6, we found out that the hotel we were staying at couldn’t accommodate our revised plan. We had two options: leave the next day for a different hotel or leave the next day for our next destination. At this point, I was well aware of the connection to the 7 days I had seen just a couple days prior. I say, okay Universe, if we’re supposed to leave tomorrow, you better make sure we can get a flight, with no extra charges. If there’s any charge, I’m not doing it. I’m not ready to leave yet.
I made the phone call to the airline. There was a plane leaving the next day (day 7), no fare change, no change fee. Needless to say, we were on that plane. The same sensation of freedom and recognition filling us up.
I promised at the start of this trip and this blog that I would share all my experiences with you, so you can take the nuggets of insight and plant them into your life. So, here’s the rundown.
This is what I know for sure (so far):
Relationships are everything. And it starts with yourself. I had a full on meltdown (complete with ugly cry and whining) when we made the decision to move on from India. But not because I was disappointed with the decision. In fact, I knew in my heart that it was time to move on. I was terrified of the criticism that I thought I was going to get from those closest to me. I wanted to stick to the original plan for the pure purpose of showing that I would. Never mind that I had already transformed my life back home, travelled for 24 hours, and was sitting in the hotel ready to go. It didn’t occur to me until a few hours later that the only thing I had (and wanted) to live up to was my own heart. The part of me that always knows exactly what I need and want.
And the judgmental commentary did come. But what I’ve come to discover was that the people who genuinely cared for me supported me because they believed in me. They didn’t try to dictate what my next move was or tell me what I was doing was right or wrong. They simply told me to follow my heart unconditionally. And speaking of the importance of relationships, those are the people that I will go to the ends of the earth for. The gratitude I have for them being anchors during that time is something that words cannot adequately explain. Those are the kinds of relationships that should always be nurtured and kept close to the heart, as they are rare and the most valuable gift you will ever receive.
Your inner, burning passion needs to be let loose on the world. Any other course of action is doing the worst kind of disservice to yourself. When you realize what drives you, what makes you excited about waking up and living your life in the morning, you’ll realize that there’s no other way to live. The sense of freedom that you’re filled with when you make decisions based on your own heart’s desires is something that never gets old. You deserve to be happy and you deserve to have all your deepest desires provided to you. And, contrary to popular belief, there is only one thing you have to do: let your passion take the wheel. Make the decision to follow only your own inner compass.
I’ve been caught up, more so in the last couple months, with making sure I keep up with what everyone expects of me in addition to what I expect of myself. If the two were at odds with each other, everyone else’s expectations would win over my own. The funk that it left me in was really challenging. I lost all ambition for the things I wanted and tended to “hermit” inside myself. I fell into the most introverted characteristics of myself to such an extreme that it was really self-protection at its worst. I lost my love for life and lost the connection to the passion I feel for doing energetic/spiritual work.
So, although the plot twists in India were emotional, it brought me back to making decisions from my heart. It brought back that feeling of waking up and knowing that I am the author of my life, and I can make of it whatever I want. I can choose to let expectations that aren’t my own steer the course of my days or I can choose to live my truth and let my passions blaze the trail.
Authenticity feels really good! Turns out, I really like my authentic self. I make decisions that I don’t regret, and my life always improves when I’m operating from my heart. And as soon as you have that inner peace with yourself, external opinions carry no weight.
Living in the moment is everything it’s cracked up to be. There’s been a lot of attention on this in the recent past. I always thought of it as hippie love nonsense and totally unpractical. But, it really is the red carpet to happiness in all parts of your life. It also would have saved me a whole lot of stress if I had taken this trip moment by moment (or even day by day), instead of reverting to my control freak tendencies and needing every part of this trip planned out. Which brings me to my last point…
The Universe (or God, Divine), is always, always working with you. I was angry, for a lengthy hot minute, that I was being led outside of India. I had devoted much of my time and planning to being in India, at the Oneness University, for the month of October. And then you’re telling me, after I travelled for 24 hours and ran through airports, that it’s in my best interest to stay only for a week then move on to elsewhere?! Are you kidding me?! What a bunch of bullies. That would require money! Stress! Disappointing others! I was so upset at this point that I was ready to throw in the towel. I wanted nothing to do with spiritual guidance and certainly nothing more to do with the trip.
I’ll tell you what though. The only stress I had was the stress I created myself. The practical portion of rearranging the trip was so seamless that, after I calmed down, I realized there was no real reason to be upset. I still got to experience India and I’m being called to move on to other exciting parts of the world. I’ve always wanted to travel the world, and now I was being given the opportunity to do so. So, what, exactly did I have to be upset about? And, this part is important, why would I ever think that divine guidance was working against me? I was getting a deep desire handed to me on a silver platter.
It really came back to meeting the expectations of those back home. To which I refer you back to every other point made on this list.
In light of bursting at the seams with gratitude for the people in my life, I want to take a moment to thank the individuals who supported me through the India experience:
First and foremost, Brandi, for making this trip with me and sticking through all its twists and turns. There is no one else I’d rather be experiencing this with. I wake up every day grateful to be in this with you.
Travis, the love of my life, for always helping me find my center and be true to myself. And for making it out of Florida alive. I’m really happy about that too.
My father, for encouraging me to always follow my own inner compass and having just the right thing to say.
Deb, for reminding me that the Angels are always supporting me and looking out for me.
And Katie, for being that person in my life I can send pictures of Wayne Dyer’s doppelgänger.
I want to hear about how you experience these truth nuggets in your life! Spread your passion and you never know who it will inspire!