“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi
Elizabeth Gilbert addressed the topic of sex in relation to her “Eat, Pray, Love” adventure, so I will too. That excerpt (below), in fact, is one of my favorite quotes of the entire book. I read it right after a devastating breakup in 2012. Liz’s words resonated so strongly with me that I also committed to never again use anyone as a scratching post for my own unfulfilled yearnings. (We’re several years into that commitment, and so far so good. I’ve remained single for the most part, but have been much more conscious in the few relationships that I have pursued.)
“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”
We had a big assignment due our last week of the yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. We were to put together…
I am strong and healthy in body, mind, and spirit. My body has a remarkable capacity for healing, and it does so quickly and easily. Every day, in every way, I am getting healthier and healthier and feeling better and better. Every day is a new day full of hope, happiness, and health. Every cell in my body vibrates with energy and health. My organs are strong and every system of my body functions exactly as it was intended to. An endless supply of healing energy streams through me at all times. Love and light flows from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. Miracles and magic surround me everywhere I go. My efforts are supported by the universe; my desires manifest into reality before my eyes. And so it is.
Deliver me, O Jesus,
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the desire of being popular,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being suspected.
In India, one of the poorest countries in the world, Mumbai stands proud and tall as a contemporary city of affluence. Mumbai (population 11.98 million) is the Indian equivalent to Los Angeles (population 16.37 million). Just as LA has Hollywood, Mumbai has Bollywood. It’s a truly Westernized city. You drive down the road (yes, there are ACTUAL ROADS here!) and see Starbucks, Domino’s, Subway, and McDonald’s. The architecture is amazing. It is also much warmer than the cities that we arrived from in the north. We had spent the last months frozen to the bone with no heat and no hot water, and we stepped off the plane in Mumbai to 85 degree weather with blue skies and sunshine (yes, the smog was finally gone and you could actually see the sky/sun!).
Brittany was one of the girls I was traveling with and we were meeting her boyfriend (Drew) in Mumbai. He arrived a few days before we did and, as a super generous surprise, he booked an amazingly swag condo for us all to stay in for our first night in Mumbai. This way we A) didn’t have to worry about searching for lodging as soon as we got…
“Varanasi is older than history, older than legend, even older than tradition, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” – Mark Twain
I try not to make these posts/updates too dark and/or gloomy. I never want to be a drag. Consequently, I really didn’t stay in touch with friends or social media during my stay in Varanasi, as a lot of that chapter of the trip was about as far from glamorous as you can get (but it’s all part of travel, and it’s all part of the experience…which is why I’m here).
In order to get from Rishikesh to Varanasi, a group of six of us joined hundreds more by boarding an overnight train. It was supposed to take 13 hours, but in true Indian fashion it took 21 hours to get to Varanasi (“we’re on India time”). That’s a very long train ride, especially when you’re in the sleeper class of an Indian train (lesson learned). They got our my ticket messed up, so I was separated from the rest of my friends. Being the only male in the group, I at least rest assured that the girls could take care of each…