In a few hours, I will begin a 36 hour travel extravaganza back to my home in Boise, Idaho. This is the year of travel as I have not spent more than 60 days in Boise over the past 12 months. It will be nice to settle in for a bit. Here are some random thought from the India portion of this never ending journey.
The passage of time only accelerates as we get older. I can so clearly remember sitting at home and receiving an email with notification that my India visa would arrive the next day. The end of the trip seemed impossible. When taking the first of a million steps on the Camino, Santiago seemed impossible. Infants do not contemplate mortality because it exceeds any plausible timeframe. Time marches on and the time to do anything is now. Take the leap, share the love, open your heart, expose your vulnerability, and live life.
My last week in India was filled with some sickness. My headache reminded me of its presence with each heartbeat, I had a few days of high fever, I was asleep for at least 12 hours each day, and my joints were just plain achy. I actually found gratitude and used this as a reminder not to take health for granted. There are so many people in India that live in complete poverty. The market is filled with limbless beggars. Half of the 1.2 billion people in India do not have a toilet. In villages, the number is two-thirds. I knew my health would return with rest. Rest does not solve India’s problems.
Yoga has been my best teacher. On my healthy days, I did 3-4 hours of practice each day. The time was split between two incredible instructors. A flexible body is only the beginning. A flexible mind is the goal. Inverted positions allow for different perspectives. The beggar begs for simple needs (food and money), the bigger beggar (me) has hands out begging for peace and happiness each day. We take our shoes off outside to keep the inside clean. A perfect metaphor for a better life. Meditation and Shavasana allow for a connection to the inner senses where true happiness resides.
Rishikesh is a holy city and that means no beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs, or alcohol. Eating a healthier diet has caused my weight to drop. I feel better, sleep better, and poop better. My realistic goal is to make 50% of my meals healthier.
I have three pair of underwear, three pairs of socks, a few shirts, one pair of pants, some shorts, and one pair of sweats. My room is 200 square feet. Stuff is not the source of happiness.
I have met people from ages 1-88. Many are penniless and one was a gazillionaire. Countries of origin include Australia, Germany, England, Slovenia, Russia, Japan, Korea, Australia, Kenya, Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Iran, New Zealand, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Israel, and Thailand. At the end of the day, we are all one. I realize that there are some really evil folks on this planet, but the vast majority are really kind and compassionate. The divisive story sold by the media is pure bullshit. Cut the cord to your TV and spend time getting to know your neighbors.
Compassion comes natural to aid a helpless animal. Compassion for an ailing friend of family member also flow easily. Compassion for ourselves is almost rarely practiced. This will be a new focus.