A Wider Lens

The heart of India has been calling me for a long time.  On Thursday evening, I’ll board a British Airways flight for the adventure of my lifetime.  For the next sixteen days I’ll be traveling with a friend through parts of India and Nepal.  I’ve spent this past year preparing for the journey, and it feels surreal that the day of departure has almost arrived.  Although this is a personal journey, I know it will impact my continuing work at Awakening Seed.  

As I’ve thought of this final blog before traveling to the other side of the planet, I’ve considered what it is that has driven me to take this trip.  The ornate doll from India that my grandmother gave me as a child may have been my first invitation.  Certainly my longtime yoga practice has made me curious about the place where it all began.  I’ve talked about my wish to go to India for several decades, but it always seemed like more of a theoretical idea than an actual possibility.  Over time, though, I’ve felt there was some part of me that would become more whole if I were to travel to India.  In addition to a personal shift, I have also realized that I’ve come to a point where I want and need a wider lens on the world.  

My husband Bill and I have talked about India since I first met him in 1973.  In fact, he’d just returned from there a few months before we met.  Over the years it became clear that he had no need for a return visit, and I shifted my thinking about how I might be able to go.  The stars eventually lined up when a longtime friend who has traveled extensively, including to India, offered to take me there.  This past year we’ve met regularly to plan the details of our trip.  Our itinerary includes Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Agra, Varanasi, Darjeeling, and Kathmandu, Nepal.   

As our day of departure nears, I feel strong, calm, and well prepared for what lies ahead.  During the months leading up to this event, I’ve felt a deeper sense of courage within myself to take this important step.  This quote by David Whyte, accurately describes how I feel about our journey:  

“Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work; a future.  To be courageous is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences.  To be courageous is to seat our feelings deeply in the body and in the world:  to live up to and into the necessities of relationships that often already exist, with things we find we already care deeply about:  with a person, a future, a possibility in society, or with an unknown that begs us on and always has begged us on.”    

Experiencing India feels like that unknown that has always begged me on.  I know it will deeply enhance my participation in the Seed’s future, as well as that of our world.