Greetings from Mumbai!
While today marks my 8th day in the country, already it feels like I’ve been here forever!
I was picked up from the airport, after a LOOOONG 3 day journey from Hawaii, by my new friend and “adopted” brother Bharat. I say ‘brother’ because he instantly assumed that role; a protective-loving caretaker with a smart-aleck attitude, and a consistent pestering flare! Although he’s a new addition to my circle of friends, we joke and bicker as if we’ve known eachother for years! In any case he, and his family, have graciously opened their home to me for the time being. Their kindness and generosity is beyond what I could have asked for and I am deeply grateful for their love and support.
(Bharat and I)
My first few days were spent recovering from jet leg and getting to know the area. To say that Mumbai is a big city is an understatement. With a population well over 20 million, this place is massive! I could spend a 6 months tourist visa exploring only the treasures that lie within the city-scape, and still not be convinced that I made a dent in the sties! There’s no shortage of things to see because around every corner lies a surprise waiting to be discovered! It’s the gift that keeps on giving and I say that because despite popular believe, stereotypes and Hollywood branding, this place is magical!
The country vibrates at its own frequency and channels a rhythm of its own. It radiates colour and life; overflowing with raw-authenticity, pulsating a beat of unpredictability and insanity, yet somehow everyone is unified and surfing the same wave. Despite all the criticism I heard, saw and read about prior to my arrival, deep down I knew I was going to like it here. I thrive in the energy of the people, relish in the stomach upsets’ as I adapt to new flavor and spice, and absorb all the warm love I feel from the not only the climate, but the culture.
This place has the ability to inspire, frustrate and thrill all at once! As such, in order to survive one needs to adopt a ‘go with the flow’ attitude. Embracing India, and all it has to offer, requires one to fully surrender and let go. While “letting go” and “surrendering” has been an ongoing process, enjoying the ‘simple’ flow of what my life is at this present moment in time IS, no doubt, an adjustment. Those of you who know me well can attest to the fact that I’m a mover and a doer. It’s not easy for me to sit back and not be the force of impact. Yet, what I am learning is that there is a lot to be gained in the non-action. Lloving my present state, however simple, means not comparing it to previous experience and old ways of being. Who I am NOW in this place is not who I was a week ago. While the physical change is immediately present, it’s the psychology shift that usually takes a little longer to accept. As such, I aim for progress not perfection!
After a few days of sleep and exploring, Thursday I woke up and decided “today I’m going to make waves”. Instantly, I started researching Women Empowerment groups in my area and one caught my interest. Without much thought, I journeyed through the dusty streets and morning heat to the centre, and after a few wrong turns I found myself in the office of the director. After a short conversation, the director was floored with my ‘bravery’ exclaiming ‘it takes a certain type of person to leave their comfortable-safe life, move to a completely different country alone with no plan, walk into a centre and boldly request to see the director (without a meeting), then powerfully detail your affairs”. Of course I laughed, not really realizing how ‘ridiculous’ my tale was until it was iterated back to me. Then I replied, “well that’s what months of life-coaching, training, mentorship and following your passion will do to you I guess”. By the afternoon, my name was known on the Vidya centre grounds. The director and staff expressed their excitement for our future relationship and seeing their joy around my presence made me realize that ALL the fear and resistance I encountered to get to this point was all worth it! Although nothing is clear or set in stone, in that moment I knew this marked the beginning of my intoxicating and powerful journey in India!
I have no idea what’s in store and although I am foreign, somehow I feel at home.