As I watched the movie ‘A star is born’ on the plane en route to India, I had an ‘AHA moment’ as I sobbed while realizing that true love is UNCONDITIONAL…
This began my journey in India…
Leaving my husband, four boys, four fur babies and two businesses and family behind to embark on a trip of a lifetime to India, some said it was selfish of me to leave all that behind. I was asked, “ Being March break, what are your children going to do for two weeks without you?”, “How is your husband going to cope with the four boys for two weeks without you?”, “ What about the businesses?”…
Of course the guilt set in, and I began to question if I should even go to India and leave everything behind for two weeks.
But I have always been a believer of ‘everything happens for a reason’ and I have always been a risk taker so I was looking forward to having this adventure of a lifetime even if it meant leaving behind my husband, children and business for two full weeks! And I am so thankful I did because I had no idea what an amazing journey was in store and what a gift I would be bringing home to all of them!
How do I sum up this trip in a short reflection? I will try by highlighting the ‘AHA moments’ that can honestly be summed up to be nothing slight of a coincidence but more like divine interventions in the most spiritual place I have ever traveled! Here we go…
We traveled through India’s Golden Triangle which connects the national capital Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, and we also spent a full week at a beautiful Ashram in Rishikesh. We marveled at the beautiful scenery, we reveled in the busyness of the streets, the traffic along with the sacred cows. We savored the tastes and smells and we appreciated the beauty in the flowers which was a personal welcome to each of us at every stop as a garland of traditional flowers were graciously placed around our necks. We rejoiced as we danced in the streets celebrating the ‘festival of Holi’ also known as the ‘festival of Love’ and the ‘festival of colours’. We stood in silence and in awe of many astonishingly beautiful monuments, mausoleums, temples, mosques, palaces, castles, towers and buildings that one could not even comprehend the depth and detail of work that has gone into their creation from start to finish! We loved the all-round beauty of India, we felt the love and peace throughout our journey, and it was a sheer pleasure to share this experience with our entire group of 19 which included our new found friend and amazing tour guide Ajay from Jaipur!
Our journey included a one week stay at an Ashram in Rishikesh called the Parmarth Niketan. To my surprise it was a beautiful establishment which far exceeded my expectations. The Ashram was located on the banks of the Holy Ganga River and at the feet of the Himalayan mountains. Our dorm room was ever so cozy especially after my roommate extraordinaire Denis furnished our room with his hand made authentic Indian carpet (one of the many beautiful pieces he acquired along our journey) and an inviting Tibetan prayer flag that he hung above our door, it was truly a home away from home for this special week! The people were so welcoming of all of us, especially Ma Indigie who was a light to all of us during our week stay making sure we were all comfortable and taken care of.
One night we were blessed to be part of two fire ceremonies at the Ashram held by the Guru, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati. The first Ganga Arti (fire ceremony) was on the banks of the Holy Gangas at sun set and the second fire ceremony was in the Yoga garden village on the property of the Ashram under the ambiance of a full moon. Again, I had another ‘AHA moment’ where I came to the realization that unconditional love is the key to eternal happiness.
Pujya Swami solemnly spoke to us that night in his soft voice that was filled with heartfelt conviction. What he said pierced my soul and still resonates with me to this day. Pujya Swami said; “Forgive, Forget, Let Go, Let Love”, “Forgive, Forget, Let Go, Let Love,”. Pujya Swami continued to explain that in the forgiveness and letting go comes the freedom to live, love and experience happiness. While my eyes were closed with tears running down my cheeks I began to understand that holding on to hurt and pain does not serve me well, it only keeps me farther from love, peace and true happiness. I came to realize my fault in my relationships has been in holding others hostage for the pain and hurt I have experienced ~ this was a huge eye-opener for me as I now see my responsibility for the way love and happiness shows up (or doesn’t show up) in my life. I learned that night that it is in the forgiveness and the letting go, that I free myself and others from the hurt and pain and I can only then ultimately find what I had been longing for, love and happiness.
That night in India…A star was born… Thank you Pujya Swami … Thank you India!
The following night, our Maharaja, Shayne Travis, leader of our Vivid Life journey, had us read aloud two chapters of a book written by Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati titled, “Satsang, In The Presence of Truth”.
Ironically and without coincidence, the paragraph that I read aloud amongst our travel group, who are now family, spoke to me directly. The chapter was titled ‘Truthfulness’. There again, I had an ‘AHA moment’ that confirmed the profound realizations. I will share a snippet of the paragraph here:
“First of all, there is a lot of truth that doesn’t need to be spoken just because it’s true doesn’t mean it needs to be
spoken. … Even in our marriages, if your husband or wife does something that bothers you or makes you angry, it doesn’t mean we have to always bring it up. Many times, we can choose peace. We can choose happiness. We have an option. If the loved one does something or says something and we feel very annoyed inside, at the moment of feeling annoyed, we’re at a crossroads in our path. One path is the, “I have to share it, I have to tell them, I have to tell her, they should know how I feel, they should say sorry, they should promise they’re never going to do it again, my feelings are the most important.” The other path is, “Right now I want to feel peace, right now I want to feel love, and I have the power. I don’t need the person to apologize, to bow at my feet, to cry all over my toes in remorse and guilt in order to feel peace and joy. I’ve just convinced myself that I do. I’ve convinced myself that until that persons acknowledges what they’ve done, apologizes, feels remorse, and promises never to do it again, I can’t get in touch with my peace or my joy. That that’s sitting in their hands. That they’ve got the reins of my happiness in their hands. But that’s not the truth. I have them.“
Maharaja Shayne asked me to repeat louder and louder “I have the reins to my happiness”!
Thank you Maharaja Shayne for intuitively guiding us through this journey and allowing us to experience the outward bliss and the inward realizations at our own pace. Facilitating each unique experience so that we were able to choose how we would individually navigate through the experience which ultimately lead to our transformations or ‘AHA moments’, was a true gift you gave to us. Each one of us had uniquely different experiences and saw India from a different lens. This is how it resonated with me and I thank you Shayne, for the hard work and detail you put into planning this journey for us to experience our individual transformations in India ~ through India. For me, I have finally been set free and I have finally realized that I have the reins to my happiness. Much love xoxo
There are no coincidences in life. Traveling to India was meant to be. I did not leave the same as I came. I left India with many inner gifts that will not only serve me well but because I have found inner peace, inner love and inner joy, I can now be peace, be love and be joy which ultimately will show up in my relationships including my closest family members who I left behind. A star was born in India and I returned as a gift to my family. Thank you India xoxo
*Testimonial Written by Eloise Morrison for Vivid Life Journeys by Shayne Traviss