Today we were at Anna Adarsh College for Woman.
I could sit in the yard for days watching these beautiful girls dressed in vibrant colors who are laughing, smiling, confidant and getting an education.
We arrive and there is a beautiful message on a blackboard.
*Welcome Naomi Ackerman*
Next to it are flowers and candles and a picture on the floor. Someone took the time to create this beautiful KOLAM, a design drawn out of rice powder that is a sign of invitation and welcome.
One of the teachers stood close to me and said, “We did this for you, to welcome the good. We are so happy you are here to bring the good.”
“Well, I don’t know about that,” I say.
“I watched all of your videos online. You are good.”
I look at this beautiful woman in her extraordinary sari. Her eyes are kind and I know her heart is open.
And although I just met her, I have known and loved her for years.
Sometimes you just welcome the good.
She takes such care showing me around and explaining to me.
We are surrounded by strong, confident women. Happy women. Woman walking towards good, embracing the good and welcoming the good.
My soul can rest a little today.
This school is radiant with great messages on the walls.
“Only positive thinkers allowed on campus.”
“Temple of learning please maintain silence.”
In front of each classroom there is a chalk kolam. Colorful, optimistic and welcoming the good.
There are two shifts in this school. A morning shift and an afternoon shift. This accommodates the girl’s lives and the distances from school.
Morning to afternoon and afternoon to evening.
The school is vibrant, alive, happy and powerful.
In the yard during recess, the drum section of the school’s all-girl band is playing a beat. The lead drummer wears a Supergirl logo on her t-shirt.
These are truly super girls.
About 45 people cram in a little computer lab. Students and staff. They stand when I walk in.
Oh, how they welcome me with good. Funny that they think it is I that is bringing it in.
One young woman, carefully and with great pride, introduces me. My new soul sister, the teacher who I met in the beginning of the visit, hands me a present. I put it on the side.
The workshop is 2.5 hours. These girls are shy and soft spoken, but they get it. They want to get it.
There is a little tension between the teachers and the students. Not bad tension, just a little bit of awkwardness that comes from respect. These girls ARE the good, sweet and incredibly kind.
I tell them that today we are all students. I make the teachers participate in the acting exercises. I tell them it’s ok.
The girls giggle and we get over the weirdness.
It’s all good I say. We got this.
We all laugh.
I speak. They listen.
I ask. They think.
I share The Advot Project’s work in LA.
We watch videos. They ask questions.
It is deep and meaningful, but not crazy profound. And today, that is good.
Everything about this place is good.
We take photos and continue the conversation.
My new best friend tells me that I didn’t open the present they gave me. “I picked it out for you,” she says quietly. I open it and it is something I absolutely love, as if she truly got it just for me.
And I simply start to cry; because when the good walks in and sits in your hand it can be a little overwhelming.
And the good didn’t stop there.
We found out that today is a special holiday that celebrates the goddess Lakshmi. The goddess of prosperity. My friend takes us to her friend’s open house.
We are greeted with joy and love and so much good. We go into the kitchen where there is a beautiful alter that celebrates all goddesses.
“I don’t discriminate,” our host tells us. All are welcome.
She rubs a red mark on our forehead and blesses us – I actually feel the good around me and in me.
She gives us a coconut and other offerings to take back to the hotel. Then of course we cannot leave without eating – she could be hiding a little Jewish gene.
The good has come. The good has stayed.
We must hurry off to the next place.
We say our goodbyes and make a plan to meet again before we leave.
You see when you find the good you don’t just let it slip away.
We hug and kiss as if we are childhood friends and we leave a little taller and blessed beyond belief.