Goodbye India - I shall miss you

Currently, Im making use of the best internet I’ve come across since being in India. The Wi-Fi in New Delhi International Airport. Yes - I’m on my way home. Since travelling through India I’ve had very limited access so it’s nice to write a final post from the airport (final for India - not final for the blog).

Sitting here, early as usual, I’ve been pondering my thoughts and feelings about the end of this ‘chapter’. There are so many emotions right now. Sadness about leaving but also joy to be going home, nervousness about what the future holds, gratitude for the lessons I’ve learned, the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had. I could go on! At the end of the day, I’m ready. It’s great to leave when you’re still having fun rather than when things turn to crap. Don’t get me wrong - I’ve experienced snakes in my room, rats in my room, rat poo in my bed, perverts opening my window to watch me shower, scariest toilets on Indian railway trains… believe me, I’ve seen and been through some VERY uncomfortable experiences. But every one of those not so pleasant experiences has led to some sort of learning. Funny and uncomfortable experiences aside - there have been far more mesmerizing, eye opening and just plain wonderful experiences also. For one, my training with Bharath of course. This has been a true highlight of my life and I shall never forgot the incredible journey I went through as a student of his. Seeing the tea plantations in Munnar, visiting the most southern point of India - Kanyakumari - where three oceans meet (Indian, Arabic and Bay of Bengal), the Taj Mahal, Ganges River in Varnasi. Just to name a few. The precious moments are endless.

India has a way of forcing you to be vulnerable and just ‘be’. In India, there is no future thinking. It’s all about the here and now, because everything is so in your face, there is no other way of being.

From here, I shall continue to blog about my journey as a yoga teacher. Really the journey is only just beginning. There are many people in Australia who I intend to meet with. The plan is to begin running my own classes in Melbourne somewhere near Glen Iris. Rent a hall and then spread the word Im running classes. Im also in negotiation with a luxury accommodation companies about partnering to hold beautiful retreats. What a life hey! I could think of nothing better than to spend time with amazing people who are seeking to deepen their practice with the aid of a stunning and relaxing getaway homes. Of course this will all happen slowly slowly, but that’s ok. If there is anything I’ve learned from yoga - it’s patience.

So with that, I want to say “Thank you India. Thank you for welcoming me so warmly, for offering new and exciting experiences, and most importantly - for opening my eyes. I shall be eternally grateful”.

And thank you to all the readers who have been following me during this time. You inspired me to keep writing - and to continue writing. I only hope my honest account has inspired you to follow your hearts also.

Well, it’s time to sign off but I shall be in touch back in Australia.

Lots of love. Jessica xxx

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

What a day. The energy of the day just felt off. From 4.30am in the morning when a friend from class pointed to a gathering at a home where someone had just passed, everything from then just felt uncomfortable. Chanting Om for half an hour this morning seemed easy when you realise you’re alive and breathing.

The exam was fine. I flew through it which was fantastic. There was the odd question I wasn’t sure of, but overall it was great.

I noticed during the exam Brittany wasn’t there but she arrived 20 minutes late, sniffling and and covering her head with her shawl. She was clearly upset. To be honest I thought she may not have passed the course and had just been told the news. I feel totally crap now that I know what really happened. After an Ayurveda class, which immediately followed the exam, Bharath told the class Brittany’s mother had passed away. The death was unexpected and happened while she was sleeping - as I understand. By the time Bharath told us, Brittany would have been on her way to Bangalore where she was booked to fly home to California at 8.00pm tonight. How terribly sad. I can’t even contemplate how she must be feeling right now. We sat in silence for a minute and chanted three Shanti’s for Brittany’s mother. The silence was deafening. We all felt sick with the news. How tragic.

After lunch with the group at the Royal Inn, as a mini celebration for finishing our studies (the group wanted to try and keep up their spirits), I rushed home to speak with Owen. A blubbering mess, we talked about life and death. How death can throw people into the present and remind them they only have now. At any time we could get a similar call, as morbid as it sounds. We just don’t know. My struggle to accept this fact makes it even more terrifying and I’m the typical westerner who tries to ignore this reality. But at the end of the day, this is the reality. None of us can stop it. I guess this is why I’m so committed to living my life how I dream. To follow my heart. To enjoy every moment to the fullest. Because at the end of the day, this is all I/we have. Moments.

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

Make it count. Now is all we have.

What’s been going through my head today? Well - many things as usual. And considering it’s holiday Sunday, I’ve had a lot more free time to think, and possibly over think things (the way Jessica does!).

So. This is my final week of training (technically we finish Monday week, but you get the idea). In just 7 training days time I will be considered an advanced yoga teacher and practitioner. I will be qualified to not only train beginners, but also intermediate and advanced practitioners. (Assuming I pass my final exam on Thursday of course). I cannot believe I am finally saying this. To say I’m a qualified yoga teacher has been a dream for a long long time. I can’t help but think back to the Jessica who started writing this blog late last year - an uninspired, depressed woman trapped in an unfulfilling corporate job. And then look at me now. Loving life again, excited about the future, and looking at the beautiful world with a fresh set of eyes. At 29 years of age, I finally feel I am on the path that was meant for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for all experiences up until this point, as without them I may never have made it here and they have shaped who I am today, but let’s just say I am quite happy to leave the path once followed well behind me.

This week I shall give it my all.  Every last bit of energy I have within I will be sure to take to my practice. I want to make this week really count. That includes taking some time to speak with Bharath privately about any final questions I may have before setting off to the Kerela. It’s incredible how we can all take things for granted, like time, but when time starts running out we rush to cram in what we could have done earlier (e.g. met with Bharath more often perhaps?). I guess this is the same as life. We all assume we have so much time, but then suddenly, out of the blue we will look in the mirror and see a different person to who we once were 1,2,3,20+ years ago. Time creeps away from us, so it’s important we notice each and every moment we have before it’s too late. This is why I’m here. I don’t want to have the horrible realisation one day that I missed my opportunity(ies) and then spend whatever time I have left trying to make up for that.

As everyone knows, I’m struggling with the idea of leaving here and returning to reality. Unfortunately this has led me to start thinking about the future - neglecting the here and now. I also told Bharath this as it’s disrupting my meditation. So, to try and minimise future thinking,  (although there are certain things I must sort out back home), I’m treating each moment as precious, consciously bringing myself back to the present. To the here and now.

Before leaving Australia I told Owen I can’t wait to return home to be with him again, but at the same time I don’t want to wish the trip away. This has been a real challenge for me, and it took a little time before I really started to appreciate this journey. But upon finding my groove, I really have managed to love every moment here.

So, with all that said - I guess what I’m getting at is the importance of remembering to be here, now. It’s all we have. Yes, I have 10 more days in Mysore, but in the blink of an eye I will be home in Australia, so I must work hard to be completely present.

I must appreciate the time I have, not the time I are not yet privy to, i.e. the future. Because this is it. This is life.

Namaste xx