Flickering lights and pouring rain, thunder roars and lightening flashes – monsoon season has arrived.I momentarily wonder what I’m doing here, having just arrived at 5:00am in Dharamkot, North India. But then, of course, I remember – my path has led me here and my heart has felt the call. “Trust this,” I whisper to myself “trust this knowing within the unknown”.
Here I am, in the off season – shops are closed earlier, some never even open, the streets are quite empty and the rains seem to increase in magnitude with each day that passes. But, here I am and the time is now. There’s no running from this. Just be.
I seem to always find myself in the off-season; I arrive just as the party is leaving, as the bohemian beauties saddle up on their lovers’ motorcycles and head for the sun. As the rains start to fall, I settle in. There’s a part of me that seems to always resist the common flow, seems to always be swimming upstream. At times it can feel like a lonesome road, but I’ve come to find great comfort in my solitude. This empty place is where the work is done.
Regardless, there always seems to be other solo souls trekking through the hills.
This past week was one of warmth and great joy. I convened with my gal-pal Cassie up in Manali. We spent a week hiking through the mountains and our minds – sharing thought processes and ideas, dreams and aspirations. Cassie is a real ray of light.
Recalling her great big smile and shining face reminds me of part of a poem my brother once wrote:
“She had a smile capable of turning all souls to love in the same moment”
We shared great laughter, a few tears, and another terrifying near run-in with a leopard. It seems to be the season for the wild cats to descend closer down into the towns around these parts. This one had a mighty growl and ensured that we left his territory by following us, growling, down the hillside.
Anyways, I’m here now, immersed in my studies and flowing.
Flowing in the rain and fog and the woods.
In the Yoga Sutras, we learn about self-containment. Holding your energy for yourself. Giving your energy to yourself. Inquiring into what ‘self-care’ means to you. Finding out how to best care for your mental and physical health.
Maybe Yoga, the practice of self-inquiry, the union of the self with the Supreme Being, means stepping away from the world for a while.
Maybe it means carving out time for your Self to recluse, to hermit, to breathe, to simply be.
It is in these moments that I feel most connected.
Alone, in the woods, with God.