Having to remember... how to have baths from a bucket,
remembering washing clothes by hand.
Remembering how to live simply again.
It has been quite an adjustment. Today I am feeling it.
I have only had two sleeps so far here at my in laws home in Rishikesh (Laxman Jhula)
It has taken me two days for my feet to land under me in Northern India.
A short, loving, gentle yoga stretch helped alot today.
I love how much it helps me.
I want to write about my experience this time but I have to do it with honesty, with candor.
I think it is my 7th time to India or something like that.
Every time has been different.
But it has been 4 years since I was here last and a lot has changed. I have changed. This place has changed.
Everything is different, yet totally the same in many many ways.
The monkeys are still here, ready to steal your oranges.
The cows are here to feed on whatever leftovers you have in hand.
The dogs are still cute as buttons, looking at you gazingly, lazily in the sun.
This place has changed so much for me.
The first time I came here was in 2008.
It was a magical, mystical, enchanting place for me then. I was completely in love and entranced by all of it.
I met Nakul on my first trip, but we fell in love on my second, in 2010.
Then I was still doing a lot of yoga in the ashram and starting to integrate and acclimate to family life as his prospective girlfriend.
We had hit it off and were very interested in spending a lot of time together.
We "dated" 2 years before we got officially married here in 2012.
Living as a yogi in the ashram was very different from living as a wife in an Indian family household.
I was determined to assimilate. I challenged myself to do so.
I think I was partially successful.
Now I am back, 11 years since that first time.
I don't want to write an idealized, romanticized version of what it is like here or what it was like for me when I first fell in love with this place.
I know a lot of people come here, like I did, searching for something, searching for some deeper meaning or purpose. I know many come here with eyes wide open to all the sights and sounds and smells that are so exotic and intoxicating.
I think everyone goes through that, at first. I did.
But things change.
This journey is a personal journey.
I have done the whole... finding myself here, experiencing all this place has to experience, staying in the ashram, meeting all the people, doing all the things foreigners come here to experience: meet the sadhus, go to the temples and aarti's, eat the foods, learn reiki, SHOP, drink chai, hang out etc.
I don't want to sugar coat anything.
I always say "the good, the bad, and the ugly", right? Well here it is.
The learning is in the journey. All experiences are valuable teachers, even unpleasant ones, uncomfortable ones, disenchanted ones.
This is just what I am feeling today. It will likely change tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
I am not the bright eyed, innocent girl I was ten years ago. There has been a lot that has happened over the years.
I've grown up.
I am not so idealistic I suppose. Sometimes I miss her, the girl I was, but on my way to becoming a grisled and wise old crone, I recognize that that innocence must mature.
So now, when I come here, the streets that once held so much enchantment and magic for me, well, now, they hold little allure. They are familiar, then comfortable.
I know this might sound a bit pessimistic, but this is the mood I am in today.
Life is like that.
Some days are like that.
I want to simply sit in whatever the feeling is that I have now, as it is, without trying to manipulate it, change it or push it away from me.
I know that this is where the gold is.
The feeling is one of being a bit lost. What to do. What am I doing here? I have no clue, yet.
My yoga is always a constant oasis that goes with me everywhere and I am so grateful for the gift that it is for me.
I know when I am lost or wandering or not feeling well, that my practice is there to nurture me. And even if it won't solve all my problems, it grounds me and makes it so that I can
be present to the living that needs to be done.
So with that, I sit. I be, with whatever arises, whatever existential crisis makes an appearance, I be with it.
Because there is no where else to be.
Sometimes life is not instagrammable moments, is it?
And, for sure, this too, shall pass, as it always does with everything.
Good, bad or ugly.