I’m going to India!

So how’s 2016 treating you so far? I’m deliriously happy to report that mine has begun like no other. Strange things are happening to my body and I’m rising earlier than ever (think 4-5.30am). I’m off the valium I was taking for my restless legs, and I think what has happened is that my body clock has done a complete one-eighty since I’ve been off the suboxone.

Being awake and present in the morning is such a gift, and while it’s something I’m still getting used to, it’s something I want to get used to. Dawn and dusk are the best parts of the day, and I’m getting so much done. I’m also suitably tired enough to collapse into bed only to go straight to sleep early in the evening.

I was to go to yoga with my friend Natty D. this morning, but alas, I could not find my yoga pants, so I’m in the process of turning my wardrobe inside out and donating a whole lot of clothes to charity. For me right now, less is more – unless it’s tea.

Speaking of tea, I caught up with my beautiful Bec yesterday (I have two beautiful Bec’s in my life – talk about being blessed), where we shared too much good food and did a gift swap. We’re both Capricorns, so if you’re into astrology, that needs no explanation. She’s part of my tribe – a ‘soul sista’, if you will. We giggle a lot and have debaucherous conversations. She has been one of my biggest and brightest supporters and I love her HARD for her open heart and willingness to cry with joy.

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She’s also obsessed about India, is a full time sari wearer, and with her husband Alex, has just spent close to a month in their beloved India. I was thoroughly spoilt at lunch with a bag of Chai Marsala from the world famous Abraham’s Spice Garden in Periyar. I’ve been having rabid fantasies about this chai mix ever since Alex made me a brew last year. Along with some black jasmine oil (which apparently smells different on everyone, so it should be interesting to see how it smells on my salty skin) and some loose green tea from Mumbai that came in a beautifully carved wooden box with brass elephants, I was feeling a tad emotional.

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I have a few sacred places that I visit – the farm, Barcy, Carmel-By-The-Sea and Byron Bay (even since it’s been heinously gentrified), but India is a land I’ve wanted to visit ever since I can remember.

Have you ever had a place you’ve never been to pull on your soul? Like really pull on your soul? Well, for me, that’s India.

I can hear the call of the Ganges plunging into the Bay of Bengal, the spice plantations, the temples and its people. I have some stunning books on India I reflect on often, and a couple of years ago I wrote ‘India. I weep because it is there and I am not. And I weep because I may never get there.’

So what’s holding me back? I’ve never had any luck with travel insurance, and getting sick in a developing country with transplanted lungs would not be ideal.

But what is life if you don’t get to experience it? What is life without a little risk?

Until I get to India, I will always be a falling leaf looking for a place to land. And so I am going. I have two years to save, plan and research with my doctors, read and observe and get my body into optimum condition. I’m going to be with Bec and Alex who know the country, have researched hospitals for me (bless) and know where to eat, stay and how to carve out an authentic Indian experience.

We will celebrate Bec’s 50th birthday in Udaipur, and I’m planning on staying for a few weeks. Why go halfway across the world to what I believe is one of my spiritual homes or places of spiritual refuge, when this might be the only chance I get? So it’s off to the Ganges to gently dip my toes into its waters, spend a day watching the funeral pyres, meet some sadhus (holy men), meditate in an ashram for a few days, catch a train to Varanasi, shit myself as is per the authentic Indian experience and go on a two week tour.

I’m well aware that travellers often have a romanticised view of the places they visit, but I know that India isn’t all palaces, ashrams and markets. India is a country of immense poverty and suffering, so my ultimate India experience would be to volunteer at a hospice. I figure it’s the least I can do as a human being.

But back to the farm. Every year, Ben and I give Ganesha a de-web and a rubdown with dubbin. As we worked on Ganesha with lots of love (and dirty jokes), I felt connected and uplifted by this act of ritual and worship. I rubbed his belly with reverence and love, and massaged his hands like I would a fragile human.

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OH, THE REVERENCE …

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Shiny, happy Ganesha!!

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On the third day of the New Year, I drove from the farm up to my folks place at Mooloolaba where I was greeted by this vision.

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I spent a beautiful afternoon wandering around and sucking back veggie juice, then I walked down to the beach to bless my 2016 gratitude stone that I’ve added to my medicine bag. Then I meditated. You get some odd looks when you close your eyes and stay perfectly still for extended periods of time. I just smile at people and get a smile in return – what a gift that is in itself. Spending time alone doesn’t mean I’m lonely. I spent so much time alone as a child in hospital that I’m an ace at it, yet so many see being alone as wasted time. Redundant time.

Why not surround yourself with people?

I like to pose another question – why not surround yourself with YOU? Why not be comfortable in your own presence and hold the space for your body, mind and spirit. For me, the rewards of being alone are constant and ever changing. It restores me back to calm and peace and a surrendering of sorts to the universe and it gives me spiritual sustenance in a Waldenesque kind of way.

The true waste is this – waiting for someone else to fill your cup. Don’t wait. Fill your own cup with your dreams, memories, plans, loves and adventures. No one truly knows what you know about yourself except you, and that is something really special. More special than you may ever realise.

When I’m alone right now, this is the place I’m dreaming of and making plans for – the Bhaktivedanta Hospice in Vrindavan. To say it inspires me is an understatement of gargantuan proportions. Here’s what it’s all about. Also, here’s to conscious dreaming …

18 thoughts on “I’m going to India!

  1. Good luck getting to India. My daughter has just come home from India – she loved it. I didn’t think it was a place I would ever go to but after her experience I am rethinking my opinion.

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer 🙂 I have two years to plan and save, so let the torture begin! I think India is a place a lot of people don’t think about until someone they love visits and you fall in love with it through them. Either that, or you’re an obsessive like me! I hope your daughter’s journey was a safe and fulfilling one XOXO

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  2. Oh Carly, I am so excited for you! I’ve been that falling leaf. Even before I was old enough to start school, I knew I belonged in Europe. Those feelings were trapped inside but grew wildly on their own. Eventually I got to England, Holland and Belgium and they were lovely, but it just didn’t snag the heart strings. A dear friend told me I belonged in France, I began reading and the more I learned about the Country itself, its beliefs, culture, politics, I knew I would be going home. I could feel it before the plane even landed. That six week visit back packing about the Country went all too fast. It broke my heart to leave and I went back to sell up and finally come home to France. It has been just over eight years. No regrets, and I have no desire to be anywhere else.
    I did spend a month in Vietnam back in 2002. It was amazing and traveling with a colleague who was from there we took sacks of rice and other food to those in need. They were times I shall always treasure, but this is home.
    Your feelings have all my respect now to make it happen. I’ve no doubt you will succeed. Big love, XOXO

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    1. Your home, your true north, is France, my love. That much I know. How wonderful to have done all that travel before finding your home and that you have such great memories. Thank you for being so excited for me – I’m pumped!! I never thought I’d get there, and even though it’s a while away, I’M FUCKING GOING TO INDIA. Yusssssssssss! Now, universe, please hold me in your safe embrace XOXO

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      1. And I have to believe it will happen, too. There’s been a lot of visualisation today, and I’m poring over everything Indian centric in my house! Big love to you too XOXO

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  3. Ganesha looks quite the spruced up one. How did Bert cope with your focusing on one that is not him? *lol*

    I am so glad to read of the plan for India. How wonderful and what a thing to research, organise and plan. Huzzah!

    Also. Beach pic 🙂 I know what you mean re the alone thing. Still have a few that look at me askance, especially when I reveal my love of the silent retreat (which was missed last year due to doing another retreat with some chick who owns these two canine overlords on a farm).

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    1. He needed a good rubdown, Nickstar! I think this is going to turn into a yearly thing for me and Ben to do *insert dirty joke here* Bert was obviously in a coma somewhere … it was Hazza and I who really bonded this trip! He wouldn’t leave me alone and we went for a nice walk where I mistakenly threw him sticks (bad Carly – use the rope!)

      As for solitude. As they say, it’s bliss. I hope you get to your retreat this year – with your preferred animal – cats! XO

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      1. Nothing like rubbing down a deity to bring friends closer 😛 Nawwww, I have a soft spot for Cafe Dog (& Bert too). Yeah. No sticks. Wise thing to do with that pair. Also, no squeaky ducks LMAO.

        Really unsure if a silent retreat will happen this year. But if it’s to be, it will manifest. In that I have always and still firmly believe 😀 Shhhhhh, but my preferred animal is horses. Just don’t tell Ninja!

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      2. Horses – shhhhhh, me too. Don’t tell Bert! Oh, Harry thought he was in heaven with me throwing him sticks! My brain must have still been scrambled when I was told not to throw sticks … As for ducks 😉

        Keep planning and shit will manifest, my love. Allllllll the good shit! XOXO

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  4. What a lovely place the hospice seems, so many more places like this are needed. I really hope that your dream comes true and that you are able to spend time there.

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    1. It really looks amazing, Jenny. I’m glad I have plenty of time to ask them if I can volunteer – what a great learning experience that would be. Thanks for your good wishes regarding the India dream/reality – by chook or by crook, it’s going to happen. It HAS to! XOXO

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