Wednesday was a hard day. I was at odds within myself, finally realising how important I am, how deserving I am and how beautiful I am. Conflict, both internally and externally, ruled the day.
Yesterday was integration.
I adopted my inner-Donna after conflict that I had resolved within myself, and I moved forward. I was not going to make someone else’s issues my shackles. And last night was invited by the universe to apply the lessons of the day before, and in my mind, I succeeded.
However, I need to share what happened with Thursday outside of that self-absorbed stuff 😉. I was excited about yesterday and am excited about today.
At ten we all left the hotel, in two small buses, and we ventured through hustle and bustle Varanasi to an ashram, on the Ganga, an hour away, still in Varanasi.
I loved watching the busy-ness drift into calm as we moved further away. People walking, smiling, waving, enamoured with so many white women. The dirty streets gave way to large fields, rice paddies, open space, and healthier looking animals, although tethered by short restraints.
We arrived at the ashram and a calm descended spiritually. As I stepped from the bus, into the very humid air, a sense of quiet embraced my heart and mind, and I could feel my soul centring.
Moving into the shade of very very old trees, the humidity dissipated and cool washed over my skin. Looking up, I could feel the ancestors calling and consoling. We learned about the ashram, we heard some stories, and we were connected to the ground beneath our feet, the sky above us, and to everything in between.
I could stay here forever …
And the butterflies … many, beautiful rich colours, bliss.
On the way home our bus driver forgot to take us to a special school; we missed out but I trusted that we were exactly where we were supposed to be. If I am supposed to visit a school, I will visit a school.
My friend and I, upon arrival at the hotel, decided to walk the streets and do some shopping. Even engaged in conversation, we were repeatedly asked if we wanted to be driven. Repeatedly, no.
We ended up in a small family business, Om Kashi, at the end of a side steeet. Lured inside we were offered tea and told to sit. Beautiful hospitality but it also becomes harder to say no; the internal struggle my friends, is real.
We stayed a while. We both purchased our goods, heard about the politics of shop ownership within the street (similar to small business versus the giants at home), met their daughter, had selfies taken, took their cards and promised to share them. Nice people trying to make a living.
It is at this point that I must acknowledge that I am useless at haggling. Just useless. Every time I try I am reminded of my first ever experience in Nepal – 1999, $25 AUD for a singing bowl that only cost $10 AUD at home. Yep. I haven’t improved much.
But it lends itself to humour, and when yesterday’s shop owner said we were all friends, I told him that after what I had paid, I was part of his family. My business manager (aka buddy) is a harder haggler, and after some research on local prices last night, rightly so.
To a relaxation meditation, dinner, a drink to celebrate three birthdays, more shopping and haggling, and the day was perfect.
Self-absorbed side note:
Something has shifted deep within me regarding my sense of self. I am overweight, and entwined with a dysfunctional past, have never accepted that I could be, am, beautiful. I now believe that I am beautiful. And for the first time in my life I am (motivated isn’t quite the right word) wanting to integrate my strong inner beauty with the outer shell. Won’t that make an interesting journey forward.