Saturday, January 21, 2017

Uncertainty & the Power of Stillness

I sit on the floor in the middle of the crowded little room. Candle light, harmonium, guitar, chanting--Ganesha, Ram Sita, Hare Krishna, Om Namah Shivaya. Memories of India trickle in. Stillness. Gurmukh's voice echos somewhere in the back of my mind, "Don't get caught in the washing machine." And all else washes away.

I blink. I'm sitting on another floor in a large circle. We all hold hands and squeeze. I open my eyes and look to my left, and there she is, in person. I know far more about her than most people I've never met, and she has no idea who I am. We eat fruit and talk about travel and life. Our energies drawn together here in Chiang Mai, Thailand on the floor of a dance mandala class. A scenario I don't think I could have made up if I tried.

I blink. Another night, another hardwood floor under me, this time for my first Tarot reading of 2017. A handful of the same cards appeared as my last reading and in many of the same positions. A reminder, a reinforcement of who I am and my direction--because what are the odds, really? Because that's how it works.

Practice noninterference was Gabby's lesson this week: "There is a time to slow down, to surrender, to trust, to rely on the Universe....Be receptive to the guidance that comes and be at peace. Create the connection, stand back, watch miracles unfold."

Uncertainty can be an adventure or it can cause suffering. Those last couple years I was in Santa Cruz I lived in an uncertain world that left me sleep deprived and anxious all the time. I needed certain outcomes and not knowing left me in a constant state of suffering.

In 2016, I stepped into another kind of uncertain world all together, and because I put no expectations on it, it was the best year. It was magical in ways I couldn't have possibly planned. This year is full of even more uncertainty.

It all comes down to one question: do I want a year of suffering or another year of magic? I think the answer is obvious, but of course, it's not as easy as it sounds. It takes discipline and practice to slow down and listen.

It's in those moments I've slowed down and stood in the middle of all the chaos and uncertainty that these synchronicities come through, these messages, the magic. Like all the times before on this journey, I'm reminded that in order to move forward, I need to be still. At the heart of all uncertainty lies an opportunity to turn inward, to trust, to listen to the calmest voice amidst the whirring.

How do you deal with uncertainty? Do you have a tendency to turn it into suffering or magic? Tell me your stories!

**By the way, if you're curious about the girl from the class I knew so much about, she writes one of my favorite blogs out there. I've been following her inspirational journey for well over two years. I discovered her blog right around the time I started hardcore research for my own travels. And just by chance (or not), we happen to both be in Chiang Mai and ended up sitting next to each other in a class at a yoga studio. Check out her blog: This American Girl

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

One Year Gone

One year ago today (on January 4th, 2016), I boarded a plane at SFO with a one way ticket to India, and I'm still moving forward on this nomadic path. I ended this epic year and started this new one here in Pai, Thailand--a small, mountain village 3 hours north of Chiang Mai near the border of Myanmar.

I came here to clear my mind of city life, reflect on 2016, and set intention for 2017. On New Year's Eve, I walked down to the Pai River and watched as fireworks exploded all around me and lanterns were set off into the night sky--releasing the old to make room for the new--much like Loy Krathong back in November.  As I took in my surroundings, a few things about 2016 became clear to me:

1. This year was not a vacation from life. This year was all about creating a new kind of life--a curiosity driven life that I'm excited about living. I set off on this journey with questions and intention and goals, and I watched in awe as each of them manifested.

This year, I've lived ashram life, beach bum life, mountain life, island life, and city life across 6 countries and over a dozen cities and villages. I have experienced so much I can't even begin to recount it all, but when I close my eyes, I see each moment so clearly. It's as though each moment never really ended--much like the event horizon effect I wrote about back in India.

And let's not forget about all the amazing, incredible souls whose paths crossed with mine along the way. They have each helped make this year what it was--magical.

2. When you leap into the unknown--unless you fall through a hole in space/time--you will land somewhere, and when you do, it's all about your reaction to where you land that will make it what it is.

I had no major expectations for this year except to keep an open mind and allow it to unfold. And that is where I found magic, that is where I found the secret to allowing miracles to surface.

I am incredibly grateful for this year and all the ones that came before to make this one possible. I'm looking forward to what 2017 has in store. Much like 2016, I have questions and intentions and goals--more places to explore, more curiosities to follow. And as long as I keep my heart and mind open to the magic around me, miracles will follow. And I look forward to sharing it all with you as it unfolds.

How did you close your 2016? How did you open your 2017? What are your intentions and goals? What questions would you like answered? What curiosities would you like to follow?