“Suffering is not in the fact, but rather in our perception of the fact.” -Sri Bhagavan
Yes, I am finally sitting down to write to all of you about my experiences in India November 20-December 25, 2012. Many of you have emailed me about when I would be writing again, and especially when I would share with you all that happened in India over the 35 days that I was there. It certainly has been a while since I have sat down to this precious blog of mine, and not because it isn’t one of my greatest passions, but mostly it’s because I am the kind of writer that only writes once I feel I have experienced life for a while. I like to LIVE my message before I share it, so please know and understand, that EVERYTHING I write about comes from my heart as a result of my personal experiences.
First of all, there is NO WAY I can tell you everything in one article, so I am going to bring the pieces to you that have made the greatest impact on me personally in this article. Also, just so we are clear, the journey has not ended. In fact, like most big spiritual journeys, the real twists and turns begin once we get back to our lives at home. SO, that is a BIG part of what you will read about here.
When I left for India, on my way to the Oneness University, I felt it in my guts. There was something waiting for me. When I arrived on the University Campus, I could feel emotions and energy stirring immediately. My mind began to freak out a little bit and was saying things like “Oh my God what have you gotten yourself into, don’t you know how LONG 31 days are?” “You are never going to survive this.” “What is going to happen to me?” The mind was fighting hard, the ego so afraid of dying.
Each morning we woke up early and met for our first class. Every day the enlightened and awakened Dasa’s (or monks) would show us miracles through pictures, videos that had been sent in, and by telling us stories. They would then move into the teachings for the day and slowly they began to show us the difference between what it means to really LIVE and EXPERIENCE life, vs what most of us are doing, which is not really living or experiencing anything at all. Then, at night, we would head to the Oneness Temple and do ancient rituals and processes designed to bring about a shift in consciousness, freedom from past hurts and anger, and liberate us from fear and suffering.
For me, I had to face many unresolved feelings towards my parents, past relationships, and ultimately I had to look at my relationship with my Higher Power, or the God of my own understanding. This was an incredible process that continues even as I sit here writing to you now.
What we don’t realise most of the time, is that mostly everything we do is driven by a thousand forms of fear.
We are constantly running away from our feelings, and none of us really feel at peace or connected to anything or anyone deep down. Separation plays a role in all of our lives and it is the invisible barrier that keeps me from you, you from me, and all of us from Love and Joy. Separation is the foundation for all the choices that we make, and everything we do is an attempt to fill that void that each of us feel whether we are conscious of it, or willing to admit it or not.
UGGGH. Harsh reality right? I thought so. As much as I thought I already knew all of this, the Dasa’a had a profound way of tapping me into the reality I had suppressed.
First of all, I had never fully experienced my parent’s divorce when I was 5. This is something I always said “didn’t really affect me that much,” but in India I saw the truth. It not only DID affect me, but it felt as though I lost everything that really mattered to me. My entire family fell apart, and I internalized the belief that I was not enough of a reason for my parents to find their way through their challenges. I went from feeling like my father’s one and only, and having my mom and dad in the same home, to a scared and lost child, in the middle of my mother’s and father’s guilt, fear, anger, and pain. I have been carrying around that anger, guilt, fear, and pain all these years, and had no idea. THESE are the kinds of things that effect EVERYTHING in our lives, our relationships with others, our self-esteem, our security, our perception of family, the world, and of ourselves.
Did I hear you say YIKES!!! I know, I said the same thing.
This may have been YIKES at first, but after I was able to fully experience these feelings, I felt lighter, brighter, and more peaceful inside.
Finally I was free from the weight of these hidden emotions, and I have been gaining more and more clarity and perspective about myself, my life , my career, my patterns, and my relationships ever since.
When I arrived in India, I was a VERY happy partner to an amazing man. I was certain he was one of the most special and rare people I could possibly have ended up with and my gratitude for him was growing every day. He was showing me what it was really like to feel loved, adored, respected, honoured, cherished, and to be in a partnership with someone who makes me laugh until I cry, and who is ready and willing to grow through ANYTHING with me. These are the qualities that I now find “manly, sexy, and brave.” It doesn’t take courage to be a player, or to run away from your fears and feelings. It takes courage to be a loyal, open, honest, and loving boyfriend.
After about 3 weeks in India though, I began to question EVERYTHING. This has been one of the most painful parts of the entire trip, and it’s still continuing. A lot of past relationship memories and experiences emerged for me in India, some of which I have struggled to resolve for several years. This is only natural when you are focusing on relationships EVERY DAY for a month. I began to feel old feelings and to fall into old patterns and beliefs, and all of a sudden things became extremely foggy and confusing.
UH-OH. Crap…now what.
Now it was time to walk through the hurt and anger that I had not been able to access before I left for India. The truth is, when I got into my relationship with Andrew, I had a hunch this stuff was still there, and a mentor of mine warned me that it was probably going to become a block for he and I at some point, but naturally, I ignored her 😉 The fact is, in order for me to have a happy and healthy, long-term partnership with ANYONE, this stuff within me needs to be resolved. Funnily enough however, some of it can be resolved by myself and the rest, well, I HAVE to be in a relationship to work through it.
When it was time to leave India, I was sad and yet excited about returning home to see what life was like after doing ancient rituals and processes every day for 31 days in a magical temple, and spending all that time self-reflecting, contemplating the teachings, and having conversations with the people who were there and going through all the same things. I have never cried so much, laughed so much, and felt so many different emotions in one day as I did each day there. I knew there was no way life would ever be the same as it was before I left. What I was confused about, and found this out when I got home, was that life was exactly the same as it was before I left, but I was different.
I got home on Christmas Day and my cousin picked me up as planned from the airport, only she had a surprise with her as well. Andrew hopped out of the car with a huge smile on his face and all I could feel was MASSIVE CONFLICT!
This is SOOOOOO not how I had pictured this moment, I thought to myself.
I tried really hard to fit back into my life, to be the cousin and girlfriend I was before I left, but every day I was deep in process, and the Dasa’s teachings ran through me, the energy from India vibrated in my cells, and I felt like everything was beginning to fall apart and there was nothing I could do about it.
Somewhere deep inside I knew and trusted that everything was going to have to fall apart in order for things to rebuild in a way that was even more honest, authentic, and driven by love and faith rather than fear.
You see, before I left for India, most of my choices, and this came as a shock to me whilst I was there, were motivated by fear, not love and faith. India made it very clear that those choices never make us happy in the end, and that we should only be so lucky as to have them fall apart, blessing us with an opportunity to become helpless and therefore willing to do things differently than we had in the past.
So, I did what I had to do. I did my very best to explain to Andrew what I was feeling and going through, even though I didn’t even fully understand it yet. I struggled to string sentences together that shined even a little light on things for him, but really all he could hear was “I want to break up.” Who can blame him though right? I know that’s probably all I would have been able to hear as well. All I knew was I had tried for 2 weeks to sort through my feelings in the relationship and it wasn’t working, so I didn’t know what else to do but to give myself some space from it to get to the root of what was shifting and coming up for me. I don’t want to be a girlfriend who’s only half in something with my man. He deserves to have ALL of me, to be appreciated, honoured, respected, and he deserves to have me be his biggest fan. So I knew until I could give him that, everyone was better off, as hard as it was, to be apart.
I also have had to give my career some space. I have reduced the amount of classes I am teaching and programs I am running just for a short time. This kicks up so much fear for me, and in the past I would crumble in the face of such fear and just keep doing what I always do. However, since I want to bring the best, most passionate work to my clients and students, I am choosing to take this time to process and heal, and resolve things within me, allowing the right content and material and programs to emerge from a much deeper place before I go out and share them. This way I will have LIVED what I teach, before I teach it. I am also feeling guided to explore some different things, and I need this time to do so.
Andrew and I ended up spending a week apart so far, and I have been able to see so much that I couldn’t see before. I can see the fears that have stopped me from forming any solid partnership in the past, the hurts that effect my choices, and the wrong thinking that clouds my perception of others. I went on a serious roller coaster ride of emotions and I am still on it, but I am feeling it begin to slow down, and there is a lot more clarity, peace, and serenity now.
Andrew and I met up yesterday and opened up about what we had been going through. Some of the greatest gifts I think two people can give each other is their willingness to be vulnerable, to have genuine respect and appreciation for the opportunity each person brings to the other’s life to grow into more of who they really are and to therefore experience true intimacy. I believe in Karma, and that when you cross paths with someone, and there is a real connection between you, that we shouldn’t let that go, we should embrace honesty and open up to what’s there. We should make sure we give that connection the space and time it needs to be explored because it has come into our lives for a reason. It is special and rare, and when we don’t fully experience it, then we don’t get the healing it was meant to bring us, we don’t receive the miracle, and we therefore continue to repeat the same old patterns.
Now this isn’t just about Andrew and I. This is about facing our fears and being HONEST and open with the people we love. This is about seeing vulnerability as strength instead of weakness and experiencing true connection and intimacy as a result. This is about learning from the pain that happened in the past, and using that to make a different choice in the present. This is about Love and Faith vs. Fear.
I cannot write to you today to tell you the outcomes of any of this just yet. I am still living it, but I will continue to share with you each day here on the blog, how this life changing trip to India is unfolding and revealing it’s gifts to me every day. Until then, I’ll leave you with this:
Everything that has happened in your life thus far, was always bringing you to this very moment. Therefore, open up to and receive the blessings this moment is offering you.
Suffering is a result of resisting what is instead of experiencing what is.
Take a deeper look at what you find “attractive” in others and be willing to re-evaluate what qualities make you happy in the heart vs. proud in the ego. Remember, you, with your Creator, have access to infinite possibilities, so why not ask to have fulfilled, the Desires of your heart? Why not ask for more clarity? Why not ask for a miracle?
Thanks so much for being here on this path with me. I love and appreciate you all. Please leave me your questions and comments here on the blog or email them to me at [email protected]!
Do want to live your life to the fullest? If you’re ready to experience more inner peace in your soul, purpose in your life, joy in your heart, overall better health and well-being in your body, and you are serious about investing in yourself, then perhaps you are ready to work with a coach!:-)! If this is YOU, please send an email to [email protected]. The E.L.M. Personal Growth Mentoring Program is an exciting, mind and heart opening, highly effective way to release your mental, physical, and emotional weight so you can finally manifest your dreams. It’s an investment in your health and happiness. Serious inquiries only.
Wow Erin, this is truly phenomenal. I really love your honesty, courage and openness. Thank you! Quite nerve-wracking to read this 2 days before I depart Thailand for 35 days in India also!
I too feel an enormous compulsion to go there, one I’ve never had before. I cannot explain it and have had to make many difficult decisions and sacrifices, and confront some seriously ingrained fears, just to get to the stage of having a plane to Chennai! My thoughts + heart are with you gypsy sister, the path of integrity and truth is not always an easy path to follow but it’s the only one that feels right as you well know. Big love xxxx