The Journey Continues…

Where have I been? Oh…everywhere and nowhere.

I moved across the country and restarted my life. Of all of the crazy adventures that I have been on, this has certainly been the craziest. I chose a new career path and lived in a pop-up camper for five months. You know that quote, “If you don’t like where you are then move, you aren’t a tree.”? While I certainly felt like a tree, I was determined to pull my roots and move. It has been terrifying, as most rewarding things are.

I planned on working freelance and privatized my page just in case I double entered a piece. Screw that. I would rather type endlessly to you all about my journey than pursue a career in writing. Why? I could reach a lot more people if my writing was more recognized. The reason is that “one”. The one person who reads an article and finds the words that they needed on that day. The one person who feels a little less lonely in the world by finding common ground with a stranger’s ramblings. The one person who was afraid to take a leap, but decided if I could then they could. There are days when my page isn’t viewed at all and there are days when I have a few bites. I could care less about the numbers. It is all about one. I value every person as their own entity and reaching one person is just as valuable as being recognized by the collective.

So, here we go. New topics. New questions. A new journey.

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Sanskrit in the Mountains

   Last year, I was invited to a place called Yogaville. Hidden in the mountains of Virginia, this retreat proved to be just what I needed. Not only did it provide me with a relaxing weekend, it completely changed my life. I have craved that place since I left it. The spirit, positive energy, and genuine beauty of the people and the ashram were nothing short of inspirational.

    Before that visit, I had never experienced chanting. I remember walking into the room terrified, because I knew that my first guided meditation session would include chanting. I survived it with little embarrassment, and found it to be very relaxing. Fast-forward to the Saturday night ceremony and I was absolutely, 100% terrified. I went from being a stay at home mom and isolated student, to sitting in a room full of strangers chanting Sanskrit. I had a choice to make: I could allow my embarrassment to ruin the experience for me, or I could dive in and and learn as much as possible. I chose the latter. I thought about our human nature and how we are so easily embarrassed-an emotion that forces us to miss out on many of life’s greatest moments. So, I chose adventure. 

      I fumbled my way through the words and appreciated the music being played. I watched the other attendees swaying back and forth, eyes closed, lost in verse. I envied them. I wanted to feel free. 

      Something amazing happened and halfway through the ceremony, I felt it. I felt the energy rush over me like a wave of peace. I felt connected to the words that I previously feared, and I was completely devoted to the ceremony. When it was over, I felt relaxed, collected, energized, and awake to the world around me. I wanted to stay in that world forever. 

     Sanskrit is a beautiful language that is intimidating at first glance. Fortunately, there are many websites and videos that offer assistance with understanding and pronouncing the verses. There is something magical hidden within those words. Once you learn how and the words slide off of your tongue, you are hooked. It is also open to any religion, and is not limited to practicing Hindus. There are unrelated chants that can be used by anyone. Buddhists use chanting, and that is a philosophy that does not praise any god or idol. So, don’t feel like you are betraying your current belief system by practicing a chant.

       I am working on an at-home practice, and will be visiting another ashram within the next couple of months. I hope that this story brought hope to someone who has been afraid to try chanting, for fear of being embarrassed or doing it incorrectly. Free yourself. As long as you are practicing and are reciting them from a place of truth, you will feel the calming and restoring effects of the chant. 

Om Namah Shivaya.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.

                 (More on that later)
Namaste. 

New BeginningsĀ 

Have you ever “woken up” one day and realized that you have somehow lost yourself? Somewhere between the late night study sessions, running around with the kids, and daily responsibilities, your spirit drifted away. You can vaguely feel it there. It’s calling to you; desperate for you to rediscover it. You make several desperate attempts to find it through bar dates with friends or vacations, but you always return home feeling just as lost as you were when you hustled out of the door. Something is missing and you have absolutely no idea what it is, but you would do anything to reclaim it…but how? How do you find something that is lost when you aren’t sure what it is? You aren’t the same person you were ten years ago before starting a family and a career. You are a new development-designed and built from every decision that you have ever made. So who are you NOW?

That is how I felt. I can’t remember the exact day that it happened. For me, it was gradual at first before hitting me like a proverbial ton of bricks. I became filled with an overwhelming anxiety that grew in intensity the longer I ignored it. My husband noticed also, and we tried to think of ways for me to rediscover who I am outside of the many hats that I wear. We both knew it was time to do something, before I am lost forever.
This is my journey of self-discovery, love, and acceptance. My new beginning. I am taking you with me so that you can see what works and what flops. Hopefully, you find something that inspires you to embark on your own journey.

Namaste.