One month ago today, I touched down in Thailand, two calendar days earlier having departed Seattle and the US for the first two of three months traveling. The "lost" day was the 17th of October. Seems fitting that the 17th November was also a transition day. Yesterday I left Ranthambore at 5:30 am and with a brief, sweet stop in Delhi, arrived back in Rishikesh at 6:15 pm. I also left the past month of traveling to come to this next month of (mostly) staying put. That's not to say that there won't be adventuring...surely there will be, both internal and external. It's just to say that I'm anchored physically, here in Rishikesh. I've rented a flat for the month from the sweetest of families. They live downstairs and their cooking school is the flat next door. The Anand Prakash Ashram, whose energy and vibe I love is next door. I've spent today settling in (after a lazy morning at a cafe with a masala chai and conversation with 4 cool women). I am EXCITED to be in one place. To process and sit with and see what comes of the past month's physical and spiritual adventures. The past month really seems to have gone by in a moment. The calendar indicates a month has past, and still, comprehending that passage of time is difficult. Challenging still is the notion that it seems to have passed in the blink of the eye and it was so FULL! So many experiences and discoveries, laughs and tears, hugs and snuggles, dances and songs were packed in the single heartbeat that was 31 or whatever days. I feel like, particularly in the culture of the US, we constantly try to pack it all in. I do (working on making that "did"). Even as a kid, it was this lesson and that practice and this playdate and that... As an adult still, it's so often: how to I fill and maximize this time. So rarely, in my past day to day routine have I taken the time to pause. I used to cram my morning meditation in before work and then fill the after work hours with yoga class and/or a concert and/or happy hour and/or... And yet, as I have often told my yoga students, the juicy stuff happens in the stillness. In the quiet. Part of the past month I was on retreat here in Rishikesh with my dear teachers and friends Rob and Melissa. Some of my favorite moments of those 10 days were the 6:00-9:00 am hours which included meditation and journaling and silent breakfast. Finding stillness across body and mind (still/always working on it) allows for a whole new kind of adventure. It allows us to discover connections and sensations and feelings and lessons and healing. It allows new pathways to open up. For senses to deepen and sharpen. So for the next month, I look forward to more stillness. Once upon a time, I downloaded this poem on the beach in Baja after my YTT and I'm feeling it again: If We Slow Down What happens if we slow down? We just might See the rays fly their ocean air dance Taste the salt kissed breeze Feel the grains of sand beneath our feet Hear the wave foam sizzle and Smell the fisherman's bait. So what happens if we slow down? We just might stumble Into our ever present bliss.
May today and each have a least one beautiful moment of still, quiet, peace.
With love from Rishikesh, on the banks of Ma Ganga.