It was a day like any other day, the day India called me. It was unexpected. India was only “sort-of” on my list. There were other places ahead of it. I was scrolling on Facebook when I saw it: the Invitation. It said, “Come to India with us!” I stopped scrolling and clicked. As I did, something deep inside me said “looks like I’m going to India” and that was that.
Then, by chance, while volunteering at a workshop, I ran into Roxanna; she appeared self-confident and poised, her inner beauty almost outshining her outer beauty. We had been introduced before through a mutual friend, so I mustered my courage and approached her. I said, “Hi there, I’m going to India with you.” She was surprised, and smiled a huge smile and said something like ‘This is wonderful! Once you make the decision, your trip has already begun.’
When I got home from the workshop, I talked to my partner about it and we both knew right away that even though this was a ‘big’ trip, it was to be taken on my own. I paid my deposit that day. I was elated and terrified all at once. I didn’t really know why I was going to India, I just knew that I was going.
After some deep inquiry, I realized it wasn’t about checking another country off my bucket list, the reason I was going to India was for me. This was about my spirit, my soul, my growth – it was an internal shift.
The itinerary was outlined, the activities were planned, I knew I’d be in good hands and kept safe – all I had to do was show up. Show up in India, but really, it was about showing up for myself. How many times had I really done that? How many times had I gifted myself instead of someone else? Now was the time.
The trip itself was incredible and heart opening. Spiritual tourism had always called to me but somehow, I’d never done it thinking I could do it myself, faster, cheaper, better. But this was different. With this trip, I had the invitation to let go of the details, let go of the responsibility and to let go of my own control issues. In the letting go, I was able to experience the present moment.
I’ve always been spiritual, I have great faith, but this was an opening of grand proportions! I experienced an unraveling inside me and then a reweaving. Admittedly this didn’t all happen in my 15 glorious days in India, much of it happened once I returned home over a period of three years. It’s taken that long for me to ‘unpack’ it all and put my experience into words.
Now I am preparing to return to India, a place I now consider home, a place I think of daily. I am once again in a place of emotional inquiry about what else is there to know and learn. However, instead of stressing out about not knowing the why of everything, I just smile to myself because I’ve experienced the flow of the Ganga (the Ganges) and I understand that all will be revealed to me in the perfect time. ~ Julia Myers Patterson