Allow my heart to burst into-
-a thousand aching colors
while love escapes the space like cracks-
Today I choose happiness. A few weeks ago I woke up at 5:30 am to an alarm… a friend and I would be taking the earliest train to the local beach town Varkala for a day in the sun. I woke up groggy, grumpy, wanting to be in bed. As I grumbled while brushing my teeth I looked in the mirror and had an illuminating thought… “I have chosen unhappiness over happiness my entire life.” It was like a flash in my brain… I couldn’t deny it’s truth. Overall, the theme in my thirty years of existence has drifted much more easily to unhappiness. While this has been an unconscious drift, it is the truth of my life. I think it is the case for the vast majority of people living in western society. It isn’t to say we don’t have moments, or even days of happiness – we do. But overall, we unconsciously choose stress, drama, sorrow, and essentially consistent mild forms of suffering. We choose to live in the past, or in the future, or we focus our energies in pursuit of things that don’t actually feed our souls… offering nothing more than temporary gratifications. We choose to distract ourselves with compulsions and addictions so that we never have to be fully present. It was quite the realization. I immediately said to myself, “Well fuck this! Today I choose to be happy”. I was instantly in a great mood, able to let go of everything. Next came a great day. I have reminded myself to choose happiness every single day since then… and the past three weeks have been possibly the happiest of my life…
But we have to make the right decisions too…
I mentioned in my last post that I have been focusing a lot of energy on my health. Last year I lost a good 20 lbs. in India (most of which from parasites). Whatever weight I packed back on while home in between journeys is now gone, although this time it came off in a much healthier way… This Ayurveda cleanse I am doing has brought consciousness to my diet like I have never before had – every day I become more in tune with my body. It is an enormous amount of herbal powders and capsules (25 capsules a day, and 5 loose powders a day) … the bulk of it lasts a total of 3 months and a small bit carries for 6. I also learned from the Ayurvedic doctor that I have been over eating my entire life. Dairy, almost all gluten, and all processed sugars are gone. Yoga is my new girlfriend, and every few days she allows me to have a love affair with 75 steep flights of stairs until I can’t walk. I have never felt this good physically in my entire life. Our physical health has a direct relationship with our mental health. If you eat like shit and don’t exercise, you will feel like shit. The physical however is only a part of the equation.
Live as if your father was dead. I read a book recently with a chapter that says men need to live as if our father was dead. This isn’t to say we should wish our parents dead… I feel so blessed to still have all my parents around… but the question is, “If your father died today, (or for me, more likely my mother) how would you live differently?” If all of our parents expectations, hopes, dreams, and subtle pressures were no longer relevant or a prerequisite from our decision making process, would the decisions and choices that we make be different? We must follow our hearts and our intuitions. This is true thriving. Anytime that we neglect our hearts flow to satisfy the expectations, hopes or dreams of someone else we are doing ourselves a disservice, and are actually doing a disservice to them and to the world. When we live in our deepest purpose, and offer our most authentic and truest gifts to the universe, (something each of us uniquely has), it serves all. By truly living in our heart, we can truly live in love.
We take life too seriously, and yet we hold ourselves back from offering our deepest purpose to the universe. We let our fears hold us back from truly giving it our all, and at the same time are super serious about all the bullshit. We should give the universe every last drop that our hearts have, while remaining child like in our thoughts. I have been trying to do this lately… there is a lot more music and a lot more laughter. A lot more smiles. Close your eyes, and with a huge relaxing exhalation… – let – it – go – …
I have this kickass routine going at the ashram… I will miss it when it comes to a close. Every day is different with many variables, but this has been the fabric of my time. Morning before breakfast is yoga, meditation and music. Business, internet, exercise and reading time is post breakfast. I have been doing a lot of vegetable chopping as a seva in the afternoon. The real highlight of the day starts around 4:30 when I head to the beach. I meditate and read for an hour, and then I chant archana while walking the beach back and forth, waves crashing at my knees… sunset spreading it’s naked fluorescent rays across the war-less bloody sky.
Archana. Archana is the chanting in Sanskrit of the 1000 names of the female goddess Devi. Each name is precipitated with Om and followed by Namaha. The practice takes about an hour, and ebbs and flows in linguistic beauty like only Sanskrit can. The practice due to the speed of chanting is like a pranayam (energy control technique through control and manipulation of the breath)… leaving your heart full of devotion and truly feeling really high. Archana was familiar to me from the first time I chanted it eight years ago, but it has only been in the past month that I have started to scratch the surface in understanding of how powerful this practice really is. Chanting archana has become the best and deepest part of my day… where my heart thrives.
My love for this magical country continues to grow. This really is the place that people come to for self discovery. India is the most illogical country on earth – and you could allow it to drive you bat shit crazy in western frustration – but it is because they have so much heart. When we sink into the feeling of the heart, and ditch our expectations of the train arriving at all today let alone on time, we start attuning to just how lovely the depth of this culture has transcended into the languages of love. India in many ways feels like home.
I will be sad to say goodbye to Amma – the most phenomenal being I have ever met. We never know what comes next in life… so no guarantees… but I think the Himalayas are calling me.
With all my heart.. I hope you are thriving.