Eat, Pray, Love – Part II

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The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.”
― Barbara Hall

In the autumn of 2017, I had written an article titled Eat, Pray Love. A new path was unfolding – it was a journey of soul searching and to go inwards. To summarize, the article touched upon a one year sabbatical leave from the corporate world. I did not realize how much I needed this break and the influence it had upon my spirit. It truly was placing pause on everything and learning to trust.

I had a million expectations on how the year would unravel, which in all honestly taught me a valuable life lesson. What came forward was to expect nothing, and allow each day to progress naturally. In my mind, I anticipated to be working in a new high paying job, living in a big city and to be in a new relationship. Having all answers to come instantantly and everything to be perfect harmony. Traveling to India was high on my bucket list as well as “finding myself”.

Did I ever get a dose of reality! My perceived expectations on how the year was to unfold was completely unrealistic. I wanted to be in control and had to surrender, progression happens on its own terms. I wanted all the answers however, had to be patient. Teaching yoga, meditating, writing along with self-care is what my heart truly desired. I began to understand what I was really seeking was balance, serenity and connecting with the higher-self.

To find the balance you want, this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it’s like you have 4 legs instead of 2. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

On my year off, I began to pay closer attention to nature, and its cyclic rhythms. The sun shines without any hesitation and provides light to the world. This light changes with each season, as we now are into winter it offers retreat. It’s time to reflect and nourish yourself during the darker days. Each season offers a gift, this miracle I never would have recognized if I had not taken a year leave. Falling snow reminds of me of patience and to be in sheer appreciation of what life is. “Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over and it whispers grow” . The beautiful quote from the Talmud was so humbling to reflect upon as there truly are unforeseen forces that guide us along our path.

Life led me to the United Kingdom instead of India. My grandma fell ill at the end of 2017 and familial energy pulled me to England. I knew traveling would happen at some point. In summer/ autumn of 2018 I flew to Paris, France as my first destination. Then ventured to Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Spain and Italy. Traveling to India was not in the stars during my year off. I realize that I was trying to force this trip. Instead I was brought to a new energy and love – Paris. The city has such a bright light as there is much is to be seen & discovered. It is a soul calling just as much as Italy was.

In hindsight your own unique experience of Eat, Pray Love can happen anywhere. Cities or countries call on your spirit for a reason. It is so enriching to travel but ultimately, we are what we believe. Sometimes I wonder if traveling has all the answers or do we need to just silence the mind and meditate? I believe we must do what feeds our soul. Will I ever stop traveling – NEVER!

Throughout our life, there are unpredictable circumstances in which we are never ready for. In November of 2018, my Grandmother from the United Kingdom passed away. We truly never know what each day has to offer or which direction we will pursue. My new perspective on Eat, Pray, Love in remembrance of my Grandmother.

My Grandmother was 92 and lived an abundant peaceful life. She personified Eat, Pray, Love for many reasons.

Eat: From the moment I would arrive home Grandma would always ask me if I had each meal throughout the day. She was simple and really just wanted everyone to be together especially at tea time.

Pray: My Grandma whom we also called Beji prayed profusely and this is one thing I take from her legacy. To always know you will be taken care of, believe in the unknown.

Love: Grandma had 5 children, 18 Grandchildren & 17 Great Grandchildren, for me this embodies love. Family always came first, along with service, prayer and laughter. She remains in my heart and soul and I dedicate this article to her light. I do feel when one leaves the earth plane, the memories are never forgotten, if anything there are etched into our being forever.

What does Eat, Pray, Love mean to you? Your path with unfold, allow the signs to come and know that there are no mistakes but lessons. Travel, learn about yourself and never forget to leave a bit of sunshine wherever you go. Take time to understand yourself, and take those moments to appreciate where you are and how far you have come. There is a purpose to everything in your life story. One day you will look back and connect the dots as Steve Jobs said in his famous dialogue.

Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. — Eskimo Proverb

 

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Wisdom from Paulo Coelho

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It was 2012, when a dream came true as I attended Oprah’s Master Life Class Tour live in Toronto, Canada! It this extraordinary event I heard renowned speakers such as: Anthony Robbins, Deepak Choopra and Ilayna Vanzant. Oprah Winfrey is a woman of grace who has made such an impact with the OWN Network. Her desire is to bring knowledge and help individuals rise to there utmost potential. Oprah is instrumental for bringing together a new wave of authors and she truly in captures the light of everyone she encounters. There is an author I have wanted to meet my entire life, I have read many of his novels and he goes by the name of Paulo Coelho.

The great courageous act that we must all do, is to have the courage to step out of our history and past so that we can live our dreams. –Oprah Winfrey

I’m truly a seeker and will always be intrigued by serendipitous signs, omens and more! I delve into books, Ted-Talks and Podcasts and anything that makes my soul awaken. In my early 20’s is when I first read The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho and it transformed my life and has resonated with my spirit for years. It illustrated the values and ideologies I have practiced my entire adult life. I recommend The Alchemist to anyone who is on the spiritual path or open to it. It was the cornerstone to uncovering myself.

The main character Santiago is from Andalusia Spain – A Shepherds son lives a comfortable life with his parents and starts to question is there more to his existence. In the beginning of the novel Santiago while sleeping under a sycamore tree has a recurring dream that he needs to travel to Egypt to find his treasure. He can not shake this prophecy and feels inclined to pursue this path. Dreams hold particular messages if we are open to receive them. The protagonist is tested with challenges that encouraged him to pursue his own path “personal legend” to understand his soul. He was an Alchemist all along, and obstacles where placed in his life as to keep him faithful. This was all done for a divine reason, to uncover parts of himself in order to evolve. Omens, signs and people were sent along his journey, I believe many of us can relate to Santiago when we are trying to figure out which direction to pursue. Follow your heart!

Now back to Oprah! During the latter part of 2017 I stumbled upon an interview with Oprah and Paulo Coelho. It was called Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations. She has interviewed many new age authors such as: Micheal Beckweth, Gary Zukav and Caroline Myss all incredible authors who offer spiritual insight in today’s world . This was a sign I felt, to reacquaint myself with The Alchemist. Messages come into your life at particular times and this was one of them.

Paulo Coelho was born in Brazil to devout Catholic parents. During the conversations with Oprah the author illustrates that was an artist at an early age and knew he wanted to be a writer. His parents did not favor his chosen path and begged him to follow an alternative career. His own parents even insisted he go into a facility for his mental health! They were so afraid he was going against the grain and not following the life they intended for him. He later attended law school and dropped out to travel the world. On a chance encounter with an individual in Amsterdam he received a message to travel to Spain and walk the holy pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela. Here is where he received the intuitive messages to become a writer. I felt so inspired when listening to Oprah’s Soul Conversations that I had to write about this!

The author offered such insight to life and I feel that I was meant to share is wisdom! Here are a five segments that may help you LIVE YOUR AUTHENTIC LIFE:

  1. You may get off track in life however you will always be drawn and guided to the right course. Every person, experience or obstacle you encounter is for your highest growth and healing. You may feel life is shattering underneath you, this is when you are being reborn.

    There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey”

  1. Know what you want, the universe will conspire to make it happen –TRUST! Do not let anyone sway your decisions. You have all the answers within, the universe wants to help you.

    And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

  2. The universe will always direct you to your path, follow your heart it will never lead you astray. Your heart center is sacred, within lies all the wisdom you are seeking. Your heart holds all treasure.

    Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure. You’ve got to find the treasure, so that everything you have learned along the way can make sense .”

  3. The language of the divine is the language of the world.  Be still and present to what you need to hear.

    “There was a language in the world that everyone understood, a language the boy had used throughout the time that he was trying to improve things at the shop. It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired.”

  4. Dreams are when you reconnect the symbols and signs. Never stop dreaming, visualizing everything you desire. Its a request that you are transmuting to the universe. YOUR dreams will happen, stay focused on all the blessings each day of your life.

    It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

After all the lessons and experiences Santiago faces he eventually makes it to Egypt. However, there is no treasure. As he goes back home to the sycamore tree where he had the recurring dreams – his treasure is found. The author and main character Santiago understand that love is the cornerstone to spiritual awakening. You will encounter signs along your journey that will direct you towards what is meant for you – please pursue them. It could be a dream, epiphanies or your intuition steering the ship of your life. You must tune in and allow your spirit to carry you.

Paulo Coelho never abandoned his dream – it was within him all along. What is your dream? Work towards it on your own terms. Don’t be hard on yourself and know it will happen. For myself writing is a form of freedom and expression. I have often questioned whether I will write a book or an editorial one day. All I know is that writing connects me to my heart. Hearing Paulo Coelho’s life story again ascertained that we all have a calling and its our mission to honor it in this lifetime. Have no regrets, be brave, make a decision and know its all working out for you!

But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.
– Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Eat, Pray, Love

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Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine. You want to stay near the core of the thing – right in the hub of the wheel – not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place, where you can get frayed and crazy. The hub of calmness – that’s your heart. That’s where God lives within you. So stop looking for answers in the world. Just keep coming back to that center and you’ll always find peace. —Elizabeth Gilbert

Do you ever feel like your life resembles a movie? That you honestly relate to a particular character or story line? Eat, Pray, Love – I feel that this is how to describe my life in the last 15 years. I read Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s novel in 2008 and have watched the movie countless times. It is such an inspiring story about a woman rediscovering herself and creating her unique story. One thing for certain, the author kept on moving forward, she was determined to find answers but truly lived her life every step of the way. I recognize that my life has mirrored the novel–Eat, Pray, Love and here is my story!

Let us move straight to the topic of travelling and Italy = EAT! Truthfully, I must have been Italian in a past life. I’m actually Indian, however feel a deep connection to the culture, art and history of Italy. Rome has my heart and I have been to every Geleteria in that country. Similar to the author I savored every café, croissant and let’s not forget pizza, as if it was a piece of art. I could write a book on just experiencing the sensations of the food. Italians make their food with passion and eat each meal with such love and devotion. They don’t rush this process as preparing a meal is likes sharing your heart. The true essence of Italy is love–for the fashion, food, and Italian dialect. Every time I visit Italy it’s like the divine is talking to my spirit whispering be grateful, honor the soul and live. Similar to the author, I feel such a pull to Italy and truly feel that deep healing has happened while being in such a historic country.

Moving along to PRAY! Prayer is my lifeline. Every morning when I arise, I do my best to start the day with reflection and connect to the divine, universe and angels. The moment I wake up, prayers start flowing. I feel peaceful and comforted when I start the day this way. Prayer is communion with the higher power, it can be a simple request as “Please guide my day for my highest good and healing”. I truly sense that someone is listening. Connecting with silence on a daily basis can be life changing as stillness provides the answers to our questions. How I connect to PRAY like the author, is that this year I will be embarking on a journey to India with my family. It will be a trip of a lifetime and one that my soul is being guided towards. India is the key which will unlock the door to my soul. There is such an inner calling as if ancestral energy is propelling me there. The allure of sacred temples, the mystic Ganges River, ashrams, and yoga are the heart of India. There is no doubt in my mind that my soul is being compelled there for a higher purpose.

LOVE, can be a challenging topic. I have yet to unite with that soul who ignites a twin flame union. Similar to Elizabeth Gilbert, I have had valuable life experiences with relationships in order to evolve. Some relationships have been downright heartaches while others have been valuable lessons. I have entered relationships to fill a void, and this pattern has changed. It is essential to reflect on self-love daily, is the essence of our being. When you are in alignment and in love with yourself you will begin to radiate. You may not see this at first but the life force you omit is vibrant, it’s almost as if you exude a ray of light.

I was recently at an appointment with my Aestheticism Sara H, a young woman who is wise beyond her years. While at the appointment we were discussing relationships and love. It dawned upon that we may be years apart but have similar experiences as women. It was such an enriching exchange of stories and emotion. Love is special, I was reminded that one should never settle or give in when comes to matters of the heart. For every human being there is a sacred union for you. Please remember your worth and know that there is magic occurring on your behalf.

The path to healing, is never easy there is no express line for this! The author had to patiently walk through each experience with utmost faith, and face darkness in order to find the solace she was seeking. What I want to convey is that everyone has a story, and that all the puzzle pieces will fall together. You have to let go of the life you desired to create space for all that is coming your way. The hurdles you face are going to make your personal legend so meaningful. Relax, breathe and let go! Stop putting limits on yourself and be grateful for everything that has happened to you good or bad. We have to trust that our destiny is in the making, and when in doubt remember to Eat, Pray, and Love its the simplest remedy to life.

We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the buy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.
Elizabeth Gilbert

The Beauty of Traveling

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We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.–Anais Nin

Wanderlust, traveler and free spirit! These are all words that I call myself as an avid traveler!!! Traveling started at the age of 3 months; my very first trip was with my mother in India. Although I have no recollection of this holy adventure, I do know that it was monumental for my life. Up until today my mother always tells me how as an infant I was cleansed in the holy water in Golden Temple of Amritsar, Punjab.

Growing up my second home was the United Kingdom. There are so many memories of visiting family and creating new experiences. By my 20’s that’s when the traveling bug hit! It started with Cuba, and then I fell in love with Europe. I have been to Italy four times and love all things European. My dream is to live in Europe one day! The moment my feet hit the ground of each country it feels as if I’m walking on ancient terrain. Almost like I have traveled to certain places before.

In June 2016,  I had the opportunity of to travel to Europe with my best friend! We had wanted to do this for years and finally were able to make this trip happen. It was a journey of lifetime and memories we will share forever. Prior to this trip the last time I was in Europe was in 2013, I went with a tour organization called Contiki Tours! With the tour group we explored the Mediterranean — Spain, France, Monaco and Italy. I was apprehensive about going on the tour alone, as I would be with a group of complete strangers and traveling with them for a lengthy period of time. There was something inside me was saying step out of your comfort zone and embrace this opportunity. This truly was a time of growth. Little did I know that these unfamiliar individuals would become my new group of family and lifelong friends.

The beauty of traveling is life experience! This past summer especially, while being in Europe I had no concept of days or time, I was so consumed in the moment – it was exhilarating. I was never concerned of where I was heading next or fear of being alone. This experience taught me to go with the flow. While on the Contiki trip to the Mediterranean, new faces became familiar friends. I met people from all over the world and connected on such a beautiful level. It was as if there was an invisible thread that connected each and every one of us together on the Contiki tour. Something extraordinary was happening, stories were exchanged new memories were created and lives were changed. Each individual had a special gift; something to share that made them shine their own light.

Find life experiences and swallow them whole. travel. meet many people. go down some dead ends and explore dark alleys. try everything. exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life. –Lawrence K. Fish

There were two significant events that I will always carry in my heart. I have always felt connected to the country of Italy. As the Contiki group arrived to Italy I had the pleasure of walking through the terrain of Cinque Terre also known as the fisherman’s islands. At the Cinque Terre, while breathing in the ocean air, many of us hiked from the city of Vernazza to Monterosso. While on the mountains I felt so close to the sky, limitless, free and so engrossed in the feeling of peace. The Vatican City was another holy experience. When I was at St. Peter’s Basilica last summer, I felt oneness and connected to something far deeper then I can imagine. It was a spiritual awakening. Time stood still and all I could think was how blessed I was to be alive living a dream of traveling in Italy, with new and old friends.

Why does one travel? Traveling open’s the spirit and the soul. It allows us to find clarity, reflect on our own lives and embrace conscious living. We gain perspective while being away from the comfort of our city and home. We encounter souls who we share our stories with and ultimately we are on the same journey. So that being said, where will you be heading next? I’m off to France for the next adventure, hope to see you there!

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

A Hero Lies in You

img_3547There’s a hero
If you look inside your heart
You don’t have to be afraid
Of what you are
There’s an answer
If you reach into your soul
And the sorrow that you know
Will melt away
Mariah Carey – Hero

Music the gateway to the soul, with each lyric, rhythm and melody it has the ability to alter one’s attitude. I always have a song playing in my the background of my subconscious and find music to be therapeutic. The song Hero had kept on playing over in my mind over the past few weeks. Growing up, I loved songs by Mariah Carey and clearly remember her very first song called “Vision of Love”. Although a young girl, at that time I remember thinking that this song meant so much to my spirit. After recently re-reading the lyrics of Hero, my heart was deeply moved.

Let’s backtrack; first question Who is your Hero? Is it a teacher, comic hero, family member, musician, historic or religious figure? I can name a countless list of individuals who are my hero’s. First and foremost are my parents. They left their homeland of India in the 1960’s, and headed for the United Kingdom. By the late 1970’s, with three young children in the middle of winter, they settled in Canada to start a new chapter in life. My parents had little money and friends however, built a lifetime of memories on the foundation of love. They had to make plenty of sacrifices, and leave there comfort zone. They are my hero’s for they seized opportunities and never looked back.

Historically, I have always admired Master Jesus, Mother Theresa, and Leonardo Di Vinci. They were divine beings who were ahead of their time. Collectively they conveyed messages of love, compassion and reawakening. In June 2016, my best friend and I traveled to Spain and Italy for a soul vacation “soulcation”. Our first destination was Barcelona. We were surrounded by the art and architectural influences of Antonio Gaudi, Salvador Dali and admired the modern ambiences of Barcelona. Gaudi is now added to the list of hero’s. He created a masterpiece with constructing the Sagrada Familia, and dedicated his life to having this cathedral built. His enthusiasm, passion and devotion to the divine are felt in all of his creations. Gaudi was a selfless human being who lived within his means, a life of simplicity and vision.

Originality implies a return to the origins, original is returning to the simplicity of the first solutions. Antonio Gaudi

A modern-day James Bond 007–Bruce Wayne, a hero of mystery and stealth, can only be described as the “iconic” Batman. Who wouldn’t love this character of intelligence, sophistication, edge and charm! In my first year of university, I was introduced to The Dark Knight which depicted the life of Batman. On a whim, I had taken an introduction class to Media, Information and Techno-culture. I had no idea that the Dark Knight would become one of my favorite comic books of all time. From an early age, we see the protagonist’s desire to fight for the oppressed and challenge the corrupt. He is haunted by the death of his beloved parents and carries this grief with him into his adult years. Batman is a symbol of rebellion and justice, a self-made hero whose actions are for the city of Gotham. He is confident; single-handedly fought alone, and followed his instincts. A hero we all undeniably adore and secretly wish we could be. Ultimately, he relies on no one but himself, the hero within.

In hindsight, we are our own hero’s; all we have to do is look in the mirror and into our hearts. Take time to value who you are and affirm your greatness every day. Understand that you do not need to look outside of yourself. All heroes stand alone and have to battle internal dialogues to find the peace and salvation they are seeking. They sacrifice, struggle and lose a bit of themselves along the way. As cliché it may seem, they never give up. Life is constant ebb and flow of ups and downs, always know that you are the “Hero” which you are seeking. The hero is not on a magazine cover, television or internet, it is “YOU”. Mariah Carey’s song, Hero is a reminder to reflect on all that I have become and accomplished, to never stop believing and forge ahead.

Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with. — Brodi Ashton