After another loooong week spent sitting at my computer writing and editing, I needed to spend the weekend with my feet off the ground and up in the clouds!
After waking up to a sweet and thoughtful Valentine’s Day surprise from Ash, we, along with Prishuk (another CouchSurfing friend), headed to Imagica Amusement Park for the day!
I can’t think of a better way to release built up energy than by screaming your head off on rides! The three of us spent the hot afternoon ‘loving’ every second of the spiny, loop-d-loop coasters. Well, I shouldn’t speak on behalf of everyone since only I took pleasure in listening to Prishuk’s cries for help while on the ‘Scream Machine’. Although it was hot, the park was basically empty which meant we could ride again and again and again without having to wait in line. After nearly peeing my pants from ‘terror’ thanks to a dressed up character, which I thought was a statue (see photo), we called it a day, drove back to Pune and spent our evening at a Korean Cafe; nursing our dehydration headaches with eggless-donuts! And by ‘we’, I again mean ‘I’.
On Sunday, I celebrated my 27th birthday and it could not have been a more perfect day! That morning I awoke to an inbox flooded with book submissions. Overjoyed by the unexpected number of testimonies, I sat at my computer and sobbed. Although I am writing coaching guidelines and editing submissions, the essence of book lies in the collective nature of the project. The community of women involved have taken the time to not only self-reflect, and ‘do the work’ in order to live passionately over their past, but they are sharing their very personal journeys with the world! Why are they doing this? Because they recognize their testimony is their greatest asset; the tool we all have and can use to empower others. And THIS self-less act of sharing, which is done out of love for others, is truly inspiring! Surrendering your ego, being vulnerable and opening yourself to the world is no easy task; especially when our culture has ingrained us with this notion that we should always be ‘fine’, have ‘it’ together and not show weakness. Although writing one’s own testimony and sharing it can be uncomfortable, I am so grateful these women have chosen to push past their discomfort. Being a visionary means believing in things the rest of us cannot see and working to make it possible for others to see them. When I started this project almost a year ago, all I had was a vision. Having an inbox flooded with submissions demonstrates how visions CAN become realities if you are passionate, committed and ‘do the work’ in order to make it possible for others to see them. And thanks to these women, I am no longer on this pursuit alone. Through their contribution they too are working to make ‘it’ possible for others to see a bigger vision for our global community. For that reason, I am overcome with joy and gratitude.
After a late breakfast, Ash and I drove to the Pune Gliding Centre because who wouldn’t want to soar into their 27th year of life in an engine-less airplane?!
We spent the entire afternoon in a dirt field, in the hot sun waiting for the winds to blow in the right direction, BUT none of it was unpleasant or boring thanks too Captain Adil and General Goswami; two life-long gliding friends. They kept us very entertained with stories and tales from their adventurous lives! General Goswai served 42 years in the Indian army and was part of the parachute brigade. And Captain Adil . . . although I am not entirely clear on what he did with his time, he knows flying like the palm of his hand and shared several hilarious stories from his life. Spending the afternoon bonding with these pilots paid off because I now have two personal pilots and invitations to return for ‘joy rides’ whenever I feel like visiting the clouds.
My turn finally came in the late afternoon. General Goswami, who has Morgan Freeman’s demeanour, was my pilot for the glide. Takeoff consisted of getting winched into the air, and after the rope was released we were left to soar peacefully with the birds! Gliding is not like anything I have ever done. Since there is no engine, you literally feel as though you are in another world because there are no sounds – all is peaceful and quiet. The wind wasn’t very strong so my first glide only lasted 7 or 8 minutes. But once I landed, Ash said that I could go again, and of course I did! This time the glide lasted much longer, so I was able to enjoy the lovely Pune scenery and really soak up the experience. It was such a wonder to be up in the sky, in such a small plane, with nothing. I truly felt free!
From the Gliding Centre we met up with a group of friends at the mall for an evening of 10-pin bowling. We danced down the alleys, cheered each other on and of course, laughed a lot! Yet again, another full day of fun and a weekend filled with fabulous memories in India!
Thank you to everyone who sent birthday wishes and love! I am blessed to know so many incredible people! I don’t even bother asking ‘where time goes’ anymore because I know exactly where my time goes. It goes to my passions; feeding them like a bear that has just emerged from hibernation. As I continue to feed my time with my passions, I will continue to live an extraordinary life! I have no doubt my 27th year will be epic!
Last Friday, I sent my first “official” draft of the book away for editing. Phew! Today (Monday) I met with the Head of the Women’s Studies Department at Pune University as they have one of the best women’s studies programs in Asia. I shared my project with the Director who is excited for me to present the book, and do a coaching workshop for the students in the coming weeks. The connections and opportunities continue to show up! All is super-fantastic!