The “New Years Resolution” business model is flawed…

You are not a bag of inadequacies to be critiqued or compared at an annual review meeting, your life is a mystery to be loved and lived for what it is.  Instead of making resolutions to Be Better, better to simply drop the mindset of negativity, of must do better, that no longer serves you.

Give yourself the gift of compassion, humility and self-acceptance: you are perfect just as you are, and everything is happening just as it is meant to.  Take a look back at the last 12 months and write yourself a list of what you achieved instead of how you could improve.  Write yourself a Thank You letter – no one has to see it, just you.

Embrace all that you are with humility, and by letting go of that which no longer serves you, create the space for that which makes your soul sing to flood in.

HUMILITY

“In order to own the light within us, first we must become willing to explore the shadow –and the bigger the light, the bigger the shadow. This exploration requires humility. Humility is a lifelong process. It begins with willingness. With courage. With vulnerability. It requires that you take a searching look at all that you are. Not just some of you. Not only the pretty parts. The light, the shadow. And everything in between. All of it. What comprises the shadow? Your past wounds. Your unfinished business. Your incomplete experiences. The sadness you didn’t cry. The fear you didn’t feel. The rage you didn’t express. The gripes you allowed to accumulate inside you. Self-hatred. Unworthiness. This is the undigested content that makes up the shadow. The shadow is anything you have been unwilling to embrace as part of yourself. If we are humble, we own all that we are. We bring our baggage into the light of awareness. And when we are able to do this, we become profoundly free.”

It is not about Doing Better, it’s about your state of Being.  Life is about creation, not discovery: To Be whatever you want to be – your highest aspiration for yourself – and to produce the right and perfect conditions within which to create the experience of that.

Make a life, not a living

From certain states of Being will spring a life so rich, so full, so magnificent and so rewarding that worldly goods and success will be of no concern. 

Begin at once to imagine your life the way you want it to be and move to that.  Check every thought, word and action that does not fall into harmony with that, and move away from those.

  • Align your thoughts with your highest visions
  • Align your words with your grandest ideas
  • Align your actions with your best intentions

Create opportunities to Be, Do & Have what it takes to know who you really are. You are free. Infinite. Infinite. Infinite.  

What will you choose to Be? 

Be Happy!

Quotes from “Discovering Your Soul Signature”

13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be Successful

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Checking for update

Checking for update

For all those who truly want answers and who truly care about the questions;  for all those who have embarked upon quests for truth with sincerity of heart, longing of soul, and openness of mind, this blog is for you.  

When I reflect back on the last 8 months, my quest to find My Way Up, I can pin-point specific “spots in time” when I’ve experienced change, a shift.  Some were small yet significant, and some were seismic game-changing epoch-defining shifts that altered my perception of the world around me, as well as my perception of Self, from where I could operate from a point of ignorance no longer.

I figure I’m currently operating on Jessington software version 36.5.0, and version 36.5.1 is ready to download.  Each version has featured its own bug fixes, removing redundant features and replacing them with upgrades.  

Jessington Version 36.5.1:

– shadow work:  embracing my darker, denser side in the paradigm of duality, true balance. 

– discernment:  listening to my highest thought: joy;  listening to my clearest word: truth;  listening to my grandest feeling: love;  listening to my greatest messenger: experience. 

– exploration:  asking my higher-self (from my heart) “what experience do I need to have?”  We are all led to the truth for which we are ready by being open to everything, by being willing to hear, and remain open to the communication even when it seems scary, or crazy, or downright wrong. 

“Feeling is the language of the soul.  If you want to know what’s true for you about something, look how you’re feeling about it.  Feelings are sometimes difficult to discover – and often even more difficult to acknowledge.  Yet hidden in your deepest feelings is your highest truth.  The trick is to get to those feelings.”

Conversations with God, Neale Donald Walsch

UPGRADE AVAILABLE:

Denser feelings, such as anger, depression, frustration, are still a part of us (I’m working on this) but they can get in the way of our joy, our happiness, our truth.  Here’s some magic:  you can choose your response, truly:

Inquire within, rather than without, asking: “what part of my Self do I wish to experience now in the face of this calamity?  What aspect of being do I choose to call forth?”  For all life exists as a tool of your own creation, and all of its events merely present themselves as opportunities for you decide, and be, Who You Are. 

Conversations with God, Neale Donald Walsch

By consciously letting go of redundant features, such as energies, emotions, protocols or belief systems that no longer serve you, you inherently make space to welcome in new ones that better express and embrace your Essence-Self.  

In time, and by working on myself a lot over the last 200+ days,  I’ve come to realise that so many of the issues, or “miseries”, that I’ve had in my past were a result of decisions I made without even realising it – decisions like carrying around other people’s shit, accepting gifts of negativity, or my ego getting in my own way by trying (and failing) to impress people because of a need to be liked, brought on by childhood insecurities. 

Insecurity, anger, frustration, whatever, these are the things that hold us all back; they feed our negative thought patterns, our protocols.  They mean we keep repeating the same bullshit stories we tell ourselves over and over, like “I’m not good enough” or “if only that person would change a little, then my life would be sooo much better”.  

I’ve come to realise that the only person we can truly change is Us. 

Taking that time to work on myself, to really inquire within, to put my ego to one side and hold space for myself means I’m now better able to choose to lead a life that isn’t dictated by my past as much anymore.  I choose to live a proactive life, free and liberated.  It is such a joy not to be kept awake at night with those kinds of feelings anymore, and instead to replace them with feelings of liberation.  

Now, I have the faculty to Pause.  I can choose not to get angry, I can choose not to accept gifts of negativity or frustration from others.  I choose to be me, to try and embrace both the light and dark aspects of me as a whole unconditionally,  freeing myself from the old stories I’ve been told, and to walk in the valley of my own shadow. 

All to often we pick up and carry so much of other people’s shit around, when we have so much of our own shit to deal with in the first place.  If only we put as much energy into outselves as we do other people. 

Por ejemplo:  There were these two monks, one Old, one Young, walking in the forest.  They came to a river, and saw a young woman struggling to cross it.  

Now, they’ve both sworn an sacred oath never to touch a woman, but after a brief pause and without hesitation the Older monk picked up the woman and carried her across the river, setting her down on the other side, and without a word they continued walking.  The Young monk was beside himself – he kept thinking to himself how could the Old monk have broken his vows?!  

He kept quiet until he could no longer, and confronted the Older monk “How could you pick her up?  We both swore a sacred oath never to touch a woman?!”.  

The Old monk replied “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”.  

Told. 

Along this theme, and to help keep me a shit-free zone, I constantly refer to some powerful and beautifully simple principles, or keys: 

1.  The 4 Agreements: thank you Anna Cooper, I FINALLY understand them all:

2.  Forgiveness:  to liberate my soul

3.  Gratitude:  to open my heart 

4.  Anicca: The law of nature/impermanence.  Everything changes, goes in cycles, so just Let Goooooo of any cravings or aversions:  the key here is to accept everything just as it, not as you would like it to be.   For example, the Sun will always rise and it will always set:  we have no control over that, so just accept it just as it is, and most importantly do that with equanimity: i.e. no labelling it Good or Bad.


5.  Pause:  Choose your response proactively in every situation, not reactively.  Take control.  Take a conscious breath.  Pause, and the solution will present itself.  Be 100% Present – hold space, be in the moment, and your true Essence-Self will be revealed.  

Seems relevant at this point to also introduce the Law of attraction/repulsion, as summarised in the video below, which is well worth a watch:

Bashar :: The Law of Attraction and Repulsion

God bless every child travelling the road home 🕉 

Be your own Alchemist 

Be your own Alchemist 

I recently expanded my knowledge of a technique called Prana Yama – the practice of mastering of our life force by controlling our breath.  When we learn to control our breath, and more importantly hold empty with control, we suspend our consciousness, taking us into realms we normally can’t access. We gain more ways to tangibly feel our consciousness kick and scream!

Prana Yama has the power to take us on a journey into our subconscious, and it’s magic for re-routing energy at a cellular level:  

It is the alchemy for connecting our conscious to our subconscious.

Prana is the Sanskrit word for Energy, life force, and it comes from everything: what you eat, where you go (nature), essential oils, spiritual places, all these things hold a charge. 

Here’s some science:  Free radicals & pollutants can steal our energy.  Prana can fill those gaps.  Prana is a negative ion on the O2 molecule, an extra electrical charge, so when it comes into contact with a free radical it balances the charge and cancels it out.  It’s also been proven that disease cannot survive in a highly oxygenated environment.  

The complete yogic breath is key to this practice, and here’s how you do it.  And as promised, there’s also three techniques at the bottom for you to try.  It’s a lot of words, but I promise it’s worth it. 

—–

BASIC BREATH TRAINING, courtesy of Jenika Bronson

The system of complete yogic breathing is key to obtaining the multifold benefits of a yoga practice.  Working with simple breathing exercises helps oxygenate the body, brings energy to all the muscles, organs and glands, revitalizes and relaxes the mind and the entire nervous system.  

Taking time every day to practice these exercises in a clean and quiet environment will help bring about quick and noticeable improvements in all areas of the physical body and have a calming effect on the mind. 

Some key points before beginning the breathing practices: 

*The breathing in yoga is done in and out through the NOSE.  This allows for oxygen and energy to circulate to the brain and nervous system and not just to the lungs.  It is very healing and awakening and begins a biofeedback process between the body and the environment outside. 

*If you are a smoker, please refrain from holding your breath as this will push all the toxins from the lungs directly into the bloodstream.  Instead, keep up with deep breathing and cleansing breaths (Inhaling through the nose and exhaling forcefully through the mouth) to help loosen up the lining of the lungs and begin a cleansing process. 

*Always practice these breathing exercises in a well-oxygenated environment free from heavy scents, pollution, or dirt/dust/mold. 

Part I ABDOMINAL BREATHING – “The Buddha Belly”: 30% of capacity

Energetically, this works with the 1st (root) and 2nd (sacral) chakras  

The first step of yogic breathing is working with the abdominal breath.  This breath helps bring energy and oxygen to the lowest lobes of the lungs and stimulates all the lower abdominal organs and glands.  This breath is excellent to practice if you are suffering from abdominal tension, constipation, liver, kidney, spleen, or pancreatic problem.  Also, practicing this breath on a daily basis will act as a preventative for these same issues. 

Step 1: 

Find a comfortable sitting position (cross-legged, sitting on your heels, or simply with your legs stretched out in front of you).  If all of these positions are too uncomfortable, this breath can be practiced standing up.  However, for best results a sitting position is recommended. 

Step 2: 

Bring your right hand to your abdomen. As you inhale, see if you can direct the air into your abdominal area as though there were a balloon inflating in your stomach.  Feel your abdomen pressing against your hand.  As you exhale, draw your abdomen back toward your spine.  Inhale, belly expands, Exhale, belly draws in toward spine.  Repeat for 5-10 deep breaths. 

Part II MID-CHEST BREATHING – 60% of capacity 

Energetically, this works with the 3rd (solar plexus) and 4th (heart) chakras 

This breath is also known as the “bellows breath” and works to laterally expand the ribcage energizing the heart, lungs, and upper abdomen.  It is the section of the breath that tends to be the most locked-up and might take a bit of patient effort to get a sense of the movement in the beginning.  Working with this section of the breath is excellent for smokers, people suffering from asthma and other respiratory problems, high-cholesterol, clogged arteries and to prevent and alleviate heart conditions. 

Step 1: 

Find a comfortable sitting position. To get a sense of this breath, place one hand on either side of the ribcage just below the chest. As you inhale, feel the ribs expand out to the side like an accordion. As you exhale, feel the ribs squeeze back into center. 

Step 2: 

Once you feel connected to the lateral motion, apply gentle pressure to your ribs as you exhale to get a sense of all the air being squeezed out of the lungs.  Repeat this breath 5-10 times. 

   

Part III UPPER-CHEST BREATHING – 10% capacity 

Energetically, this works with the 5th (throat) chakra 

This section of the breath tends to be the most natural for people and consists in the gentle rise and fall of the upper chest.  This breath brings air to the uppermost part of the lungs and sends energy to the thyroid gland, the heart, lymphatic system and into the head and brain.  Excellent for relaxation and stress-relief. 

Step 1: 

Bring right hand to collarbones. Inhale, feel upper chest rise (can lift shoulders as well), exhale, allow shoulders and chest to relax.  Repeat for 5 -10 breaths. 

Step 2: 

Apply gentle pressure to upper chest to get sense of resistance as the air moves into the upper lungs.  Repeat for 5-10 breaths. 


THE COMPLETE YOGIC BREATH 

The complete yogic breath is key to the yoga practice and consists in stringing together the 3 sections of the breath we have just learned.  Remember to breathe in and out through the nose.  With the inhale, we begin by bringing air to our abdominal area, moving it up to the mid-chest and then all the way into the upper lungs.  
As we exhale, we draw in the abdomen first, then the mid-chest and then the upper-chest.  This creates a wave-like motion with the breath and ensures that air gets into all the lung cavities and also that it gets expelled fully.  If this breath feels a bit strange at first, be patient and know that with a bit of practice it will become quite natural.  

Inhale: Belly, Mid, Upper. Exhale: Belly, Mid, Upper. Repeat 5-10 times. 


Start your day with 7 Buddha, 7 Mid, 7 Upper and 7 full yogic breaths. 


CLEANSING BREATH 

The cleansing breath is a technique to be used as a way to quickly get CO2 out of the body, and is quite purifying physically and psychologically.  If you have been doing vigorous exercise or simply feel a bit winded, this technique will help bring your respiration to a normal rate and allow your cells to re-oygenate.  This breath is also excellent to practice daily for people suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems as it helps keep the airways clear. Again, practice this breath in a clean environment. 

Step 1:  Take a full inhale into all 3 parts of the lungs. 

Step 2:  Blast the air out through the mouth, curling the head and shoulders down and feeling the diaphragm contract pushing all the air out of the lungs. 

Step 3:  Repeat 3-6 times and then return to the complete yogic breath for 5-10 deep breaths. 

——–

SELF-PRACTICE BREATHING TECHNIQUES

Imagine Prana Yama to be like a combination lock – when you punch in the right numbers, doors will open.  

By practicing measured breathing techniques we gain conscious control over something that’s usually done unconsciously.

Our breath really connects with our emotional states, so here are some combinations for you to try: 

1. SAVATRI

This is great for anxiety, or when there’s too much energy that doesn’t know how to be… 

Using your full yogic breath, you can calm your nervous system within a minute.  Best done lying down, with your head to the North. 

Rhythm: 

  • Inhale for a count of 8*
  • Hold for a count of 4*
  • Exhale belly first for a count of 8
  • Hold empty for a count of 4

*always a ratio of 2:1

Duration: 5-10 minutes, or as needed. Best before bed. 

2. MEDITATION & ESOTERIC TECHNIQUES

Plugs you in on a mental level and great for concentration.  This rhythm helps to run a current through your chakras, and is perfect for 3rd eye meditations.  Can be done sitting, but best done lying down during deep relaxation meditation. 

Rhythm:

  • Inhale for a count of 7
  • Hold for a count of 3
  • Exhale for a count of 7

Lying down, focus on your third eye and increase the rhythm to 9, holding for 3, exhaling for 9 for a few breaths.  Then increase again to 11, 3, 11, and finally  to 13, 3, 13.  After a few breaths, come back down to 11, 3, 11, then 9, 3, 9, then 7, 3, 7, and finally return to your normal rhythm, continuing to focus on your 3rd eye. 

Duration: 5-10 minutes, as you like.

You don’t need to do 7/3/7 (or full yogic breaths) during normal meditation practice, but you can use 7/3/7 to plug you back in if you become distracted. 

3. NASARGA BASTRIKA or FIRE BREATHING

Great for self-confidence, firing ourselves up, breaking bad habits.  It works with your solar plexus, your sun centre, and taps into your will power.  It creates a lot of energy, and it’s best to plant a happy seed whilst doing it.  It’s excellent for breaking any heavier denser self-pity feelings.  It also flushes out your lungs really well. 

NB people with high blood pressure or pregnant women should take care with this! 

Rhythm: 

  • Hands to mid-chest 
  • 40* x sped up mid-chest breaths (with life) with a forced out-breath
  • 4 full yogic breaths
  • Hold on the last breath (to add voltage and pressure)
  • Slowly release 

*this can be done 40 times, 54 or ultimately 108. 

Duration: once is enough! 

Recommendation: start your day with this: FULL YOURSELF UP WITH PRANA such that you can meditate and just observe your breath full of Prana/energy. 
Just breathe, and enjoy! 

Full Moon

Full Moon

My Moon Course has finished.  It’s hard to express the transformation I’ve experienced and feel inside,  but in essence the last month at Las Piramides Del Ka has been like spiritual rehab and self-awakening!

By simply asking “Where am I?” in all aspects of self – my physical body, my emotions, my mind, my spirit – I’ve connected, balanced. 

By being open to everything, to the other side of creation, and by moving my mind to raise my vibration to have experiences, I have grown.  

By meditating, and developing my faculties of observation, intention, dedication and clarity, I have once again been humbled by the sheer power of my mind, of self-mastery, and how to have conversations with myself to find answers.


By practicing Yoga every goddam day I’ve challenged, balanced, energised, centred and connected with my physical body. 

By taking a conscious breath, I’ve opened up doorways in my subconscious, my soul, and opened my mind to experiences we all have access to, experiences that can give us all the knowledge we seek, from WITHIN:

The only prison we make for ourselves is in thinking there is only our physical body – you have to believe it to experience it, just keep calm and take flight. 

The simplicity is the truth: everything I need is already within me, within us all – all we have to do is Trust, Believe, Experience, Listen to the clicks (the clues) that are all around us all the time, and when the Student is ready to listen, the Teacher will come.  
If you’re in search of answers, ask yourself 4 questions: 

1. What is my Ideal, in terms of body, emotion, mind and spirit?

2. If those are my ideals, what do I need to do to achieve them?

3. If I know what my Ideal is, and I know what I need to do to achieve it, what’s stopping me from doing so? 

4. Where is the light? How does it manifest? When do I feel disconnected from it? What do I do to reconnect?

Pause, take a conscious breath, balance yourself and answers will come. The Universe will take care of the details in eternity. 

All you have to do Today is Shine.

Thank You Las Piramides Del Ka for the greatest and most life-changing gift of all: for teaching me how to find and harness the Light & Life Force Intelligence within me, and that there is more to this World than meets the eye


Infinite Thank You’s to each and every one of my incredible Moonie friends who came on this journey with me, engorging my heart to near explosion and enhancing my experience beyond words.   I feel so blessed to have met you all, and I’m lucky enough to take them all with me forever #globalfamily.  What a beautiful existence we manifested!  I feel so very lucky to be alive, and to have this knowledge and awareness. 

Last but certainly not least thank you to Kali for our synchronicity that led me here, to my amazing parents, my brother and TK for this incredible birthday gift, and for making this happen.  I am beyond grateful. 

New foundations are set. This is not the end, it is only the beginning.  Now it’s time to build our way. 

I highly recommend this course, it could change your life:  Las Piramides Del Ka

Courtesy of Brianna Moon:

Chanelled from Chatty

And We open 🙏🕉

I am inside the Silence.  The Afterlife is as meaningful as the Present one.  The Invisible side of Creation.  Pray, really pray with your heart, and prepare yourself for life on the other side.  The Body relaxed, the Mind awake.  The Breath is the doorway to the subconscious.  

Most people believe in only what they can see, but there is a lot more than meets the eye.  Pay attention to the voice of the Heart, strip back the veil of mystery – you need to align all your spiritual bodies, words, thoughts, actions, feelings, to open the doors, to change your perception:  to live only in the physical body is to be in prison.  

Am I dreaming?  

The most important thing is to Believe, believe it so you can live the experience.  Open, open to everything, open your mind, open your heart.  It started with an Astral projection, acting with love and light is your best protection.  Ask for the experience you need to have from your Spirit.  

Where is your heart? Where is your mind? Be an instrument of higher energy.

In the Simplicity is the Truth, Creation is creating all the time, no end and no beginning: where your Spirit resides.  The Tree is a mirror of You, and when we study the system we study ourselves.  

If you have true Wisdom you don’t need to shout.  It’s something you can’t describe but when you receive it you know, though this is just one language to describe Creation, to provoke experience, clicks of deep understanding.  

The World of Emanation, The World of Creation, The World of Formation, The World of Manifestation – all the dimensions give you different knowledge: As Above, So Below.  Things related to Spirit and all things Eternal.  

What sets you on Fire?  When you know, you touch something true to your Spirit, like being in the right place, Here and Now.  And as All Things have come from One, Her Father is the Sun, you will seperate Earth from Fire, Energy that helps you evolve.  

You’re the bridge between two Worlds, and when the Student is ready to listen, the Teacher will appear.  The idea is for you to move your mind, to return home.  

I am inside the silence, but in the Astral Plane I speak. 

And with one conscious breath, here We close 🙏🕉

7-Bullet Sunday: Day 143

7-Bullet Sunday: Day 143

A tardy summary of happenings and musings from the last 7 days:

1.  Ledakh – one of the most remote places I’ve ever visited.  The roads that give access to this place from Kargil in the West and Manali in the South are seasonal, and were only just opening up when we arrived.  Newly defrosted/scarred/under-construction roads, men at work breaking rocks, several bumpy, cosy, shoulder-to-shoulder boob bouncing jeep rides, patience/physical endurance/tolerance, a new appreciation for smooth tarmac like you wouldn’t believe.

The roads in Ledakh are like a metronome for its development:  the community need/want progress, and there’s a race to get the roads safe/give access in and out to those who’ve been cut off for months as well as getting the tourists in the quickest.  At the same time, they risk/worry about losing that delicate Ledakh heritage/identity that will begin to melt away as the Tourism soars.  I hope they succeed in protecting this special place. 

Nubra Valley

2.  Getting my first taste of Tibetan culture and getting excited for September! A new language, prayer wheels, stupas, prayer flags hung literally everywhere and flapping in the wind, Tibetan refugee markets full of beautifully tempting souvenirs, a new set of symbols and meanings, a kind of innocence, a thinner atmosphere/less oxygen (10k ft above sea level), brisk, colder temperatures, space, SNOW! breathless acclimatisation, peace and quiet (no beeping, no TukTuks), a much bigger, fluffier and teddy-bear-like breed of Steve, weathered and almost purple wind-burnt friendly smiling faces, clean, fresh mountain air – it’s enough to make you forget you’re in India, but with the pace of life set at 3 knots and a very relaxed/non existent approach to health and safety (thank god), you’re soon comforted by that familiar “Indian way” of doing things.  

 

Leh – not at war, LaLa’s Art Cafe with Leh Palace in the distance
 
The town balances looking like a construction site, a war-zone and an historic religious memorial all at the same time with a graceful simplicity, one of the many idiosyncratic talents of India.

3.  Driving 1 1/2 days to reach the Pakistan border, weaving and climbing through the vast Nubra Valley – another long, but stunning journey that took us up and over Khardungla, “the highest motorable road in the world” (18,380ft), and eventually spitting me out at Turtuk – the last village to be occupied by India and the closest I can get to Pakistan.  

Stood by the border check-point (a familiar sight for a Dumballer), it was a sobering moment for this kid from the Midlands – took the opportunity to pause and reflect on my fortunate predicament:  free to travel anywhere in the world, and at the same time acknowledging the slightly bonkers/surreal location that I found myself at on day 140.  I can see Pakistan!? 

Indian/Pakistan Border Crossing

4.  1st world problems: 

a) as my visa expiration date approach’eth, Jessington brain-fog sets in as to “where/what next” in the world?  For now, a no-brainer hop skip and a jump over to Nepal and a brief Denso reunion beckons – why the fuck not?!  I’m excited by the possibilities/opportunities that are to come, whenever the conclusion materialises.  

b) lengthy and quite regular Leh-wide wifi black-outs brings a welcomed off-grid quiet, save for the attempts to alleviate some acute pangs of missing family & friends through Skype and the like, which were rendered completely impossible or frustratingly sketchy #loading, #connecting, #nointernet, #1stworldproblems

5.  Finding inspiration in all sorts of places.  Most notably, from 3 talented podcasters whom I highly recommend you all take the time to listen and subscribe to:

1. The Comedian’s Comedian – Stuart Goldsmith
2. Distraction Pieces – Scroobius Pip
3. Adam Buxton

Your own podcast recommendations are most welcomed – get in touch or stick a link in the comments bit below.



6. Saying cheerio to the #GoodEggs Naomi and Clay, as they set off from Leh destined for Manali. #travelwankers, #clangers and my #globalfamily for the last 90+ days, I love the way they look at the world, the larfs we’ve shared, and the things we’ve seen together.  

Some have come, some have tried, and some have left defeated, but it’s that top-shelf calibre that glued all of us “Clangers” together.  You know who you are. “Hello forever”  😉 ©CarolineDensley.

7. Sampling Yak cheese for the first time, I can report it has the hardness/crunch of Parmesan/Manchego, yet the sweetness of Gouda/Emmental, and seemingly goes with absolutely everything on a Leh menu. Yakety Yak!  Don’t talk back.  Recommended. 

They said it would happen

They said it would happen

Day 91: Varkala

You don’t have to be in India for long, or go very far until you see someone practising Yoga or meditating on the beach at sunrise or sunset, or come across someone who wants to tell you about this and that practice they do, had done to them somewhere, or their particular philosophy on life.  That kind of thing just happens all over the place here.  

The allure of the taste, texture and colour of life mixed with my curious enthusiasm to learn new things means I like to try everything at least once in life.  

So far, in the past 91 days I’ve had my playing cards read, learnt about Chinese astrology and Indian Sanskrit, been given some pretty hard core acupressure on my hands and feet, been taught Pranayam (breath control), witnessed EFT (emotional freedom technique) transform a dear friends life, for the better, forever. 

I’ve been taught about the Shamans of the Amazon and Ayahuasca, about Mayan Astrology – how it syncs with the moon phases and the planet we live on, and explain why our man-made calendar makes us all feel like we’re always short on time.  I’ve been gifted a Bowen Therapy massage that left me feeling like a blast of energy was bursting up through my body like a tree trunk on fire!  I just can’t deny that that happened!  Shan’t. Don’t care what you say or if you tut tut contemptuously.  It did.  I now know that was my chakras bursting wide open (stick with me), but before I went I had no idea what it would do or what it was all about.  I had absolutely no preconceptions or expectations.  I just went on a whim after seeing a friend come back from her own massage literally glowing. G.L.O.W.I.N.G. and had my own glowing explosive experience. Just wow.

Through an energy exchange (you scratch my back, I’ll massage your foot, kind of thing), Sonia (the resident Reike master here at Shiva Gardens) asked me to teach her the little I knew about Mayan astrology.  In doing so, we realised we had a much bigger connection than we’d ever anticipated.  I learnt more about it in the process, and in exchange she taught me more about my own Chinese Astrology, Karmic astrology, Numerology and how it all ties into the moon.  No money exchanged hands, just knowledge, self realisation and so much to contemplate. Oh, it’s all going on! 

In other news, since I’ve been in Varkala (and this is the cheesiest phrase I’m going to say today), yoga and meditation has found me, and bloody hell.  I went to a sunset yoga session with me mate jack and Rijas, again on a whim (and the promise of a sunset swim/beer after), and was enriched by the feeling and was encouraged to keep practicing by Rijas.  

Shiva Gardens offers morning yoga sessions with Maya, so I tried basic Hatha Yoga with a dash of Yoga Nidra (deep relaxation) at the end – it uses a moon gong (yes, I know….) to basically help put you into a deep trance, and if you’re lucky open up your third eye, or just put you to sleep. It’s a sublime way to start your day, and that gong just set me on some kind of new path.  It’s ridiculous. 

I’d practiced mindfulness at home a bit, on and off before I came away, but inevitably the pace of life, fatigue or the occasional hangover etc meant I didn’t keep it up, and I got lost in a sea of distraction – don’t we all?!

Meditation, and Yoga, so far is helping me to focus my mind, to see things more clearly, and helping me to feel balanced.  Making some time for myself to just relax, go inside, breath deeply (even if you don’t do all the body bending) is so rewarding.  I’m starting to realise what I really need to work on personally, and have a way/space to contemplate it.  I now see what all the fuss was about, and how all those Yoga types are so bloomin zen!  Mixed in with all the astrology I’ve been learning about I feel so much more connected to to who I am, and with the planet I live on.  At times it feels overwhelming.

I tell you this because even though I’m open minded, I was ignorant, and I had a healthy amount of scepticism about all these kind of things before I came here (which I suspect you’re experiencing right now).  However, people have come to me with this stuff.  I didn’t go searching any of it out, and it’s been so eye opening just being open to it all, the people I’ve met as a result and the journey it’s taking me on.

I’m also telling you this because the fact you’re reading this means you’re one of my friends and family, which hopefully means you know I’m a “normal” (for the most part anyway).  The fact this change is happening in me means it could happen to you too, if you want/need it.  It doesn’t have to feel all weird or scary.  You never know he good it might do for you too. 

I hesitated to write this blog because of the sheer volume of what I needed/wanted to say, whilst also hoping you wouldn’t judge or scoff too quickly about what’s happening to me – I was the one sitting on the beach in Goa all those months ago saying I thought the people on the beach practicing yoga or meditating at sunset looked a little odd, because I was self-conscious on their behalf and ignorant of the power of good it was doing for them.  Now, I’m the one thinking that’d be fucking beautiful way to watch a sunset! Ommmmmmm 🕉

I’m trying to do more yoga.  I’m learning the value of meditation.  I bought a fucking Tibetan singing bowl yesterday for fucks sake, and I spent hours traipsing around Varkala for just the right oil burner and incense stick holder to make my own Puja – something is happening to me.  I’m making more time for myself, I’m focusing, I’m opening up and looking inside. I’m switching my phone off more and more. And do you know what?  It feels great.  It all seems to make sense.

They said it would happen, and they might just have been right – I might be turning into a yogi/hippy OR I might just becoming more conscious (it’s not a dirty word, pipe down you at the back). Whatever you want to call it, whatever the reason, life feels pretty great and balanced for me right now.  

I’m not exactly planning on heading to an Ashram any time soon, but I am feeling so excited about what’s around the corner – like, as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve. 

Day 60: Lets Go’karna

Day 60: Lets Go’karna

An International herd boards the sleeper bus at Hampi – Russians, Indians, Mexicans, Spanish, Kiwi, Danish, Australian, Israeli and English to name but a few, along with Denso, Clay, Jamie, Oskar and me, all privileged to be touring this great country for next to nothing and destined for Gokarna 250km away for only 900rps (~£9 each). Each passenger has their own story to tell, but with one common thread: right now, we’re trading it all in for simplicity, adventure, curiosity and perspective. 

The windows suck in a warm breeze as we go (a much welcomed change from the Mapusa-Hampi ice-box), making the curtains flutter and flap in the aisles like sails. Ironic, as the coach pitches and rolls like a sailing boat on rough seas, and our sleeping quarters resemble a narrow galley below deck.

Oskar and I settle down to conversation and an obligatory game of cards; whooshing through the quiet chaos at 100 knots, we pass towns, villages, countryside, catching glimpses of ornate archways, the vast rocky landscapes of Hampi, wandering dogs (hi Steve), “don’t give a fuck” cows ambling the road, rubbish and filth piled up behind smiling, waving locals, and always that innate feeling of an unconditional welcome – a slice of India.

I stare out the bunk window at the stars. We take a moment to reflect on our predicament: of being in this beautiful, rough-round-the-edges marvellous country where anything goes, sat on a shithole of a bus that’s rattling it’s way rapidly towards the coast, taking us back to our beloved sea, and feeling completely content. If nothing else happens in India from now on, I’m happy. 

After 60 days in India, we’re used to how things work here. Our bus pulls into the backarse of nowhere at stupid o’clock in the morning. We disembark. Stares. Confusion. Fatigue. Engines. Truck horns. A bit fatigued but un-phased, we sit bleary eyed outside a dimly lit transit stop. We buy some chai, and patiently await our connection – we’ll get there in the end. 

I love this part: the joy and freedom of travelling. It doesn’t really matter where you go, it’s the going that’s the thing. By early morning we’ve arrived somewhere new: new people, new places, new ideas, somewhere new to make our own, somewhere new to stretch out, and just in time for a pre-dawn skinny dip surrounded by phosphorescence, a cow raid and the sunrise. Sublime.