It is my last day in India. I have a quiet day.
A rest day.
A day to pull together this amazing experience and figure out how to hold on to it.
I actually tried to change my ticket, so I could get back to my family a day early and surprise them, I miss them so.
But now that I have slept late, took a ridiculously long shower, and am sitting waiting to meet a friend for lunch I am actually happy I have today.
A day, to take it all in.
A day, to let it settle in.
A day, to hold everything that is in my heart, process it and figure out how not to let it go away when my feet land in the USA.
Holding on and letting go.
Oh, I have so many things I need to let go of at home.
There is so much of this trip I want to hold on to.
This trip was so intense, so busy and so deep.
I actually got to pause so much of my life in LA.
Yet everywhere I went, I thought of the girls I work with, I thought of what I can change and evolve in my work.
How to be better at what I do.
I wish so much for the girls I work with.
I think about something one of the principals of the woman’s college I was at said to me:
“Naomi, you should not hold on to one wish, because that is very confining.
When you pray, when you ask, don’t be specific, don’t ask for one thing.
Because you have no idea what else is waiting for you. Be open to it all and for what you don’t even know that you want.”
I have been to India before; I knew this trip would be special.
I didn’t really have time to think about it, or have any big wishes about it.
I trusted the friend who organized this trip completely, to the point that I didn’t even really look at my schedule; I arrived and hit the ground running.
There are not enough words of praise that can express my deep gratitude to this man, whose generosity knows no boundaries.
Whose heart is wide and open, and never stops teaching me how to walk this world.
And even though I have known him for years, my love and friendship for him deepen and expand every time more and more. How is that even possible? I think.
My travel buddy, my dear friend from LA, was a brilliant choice.
She was everything I dreamed of and more.
I simply opened my heart.
I let go of the pressures that are so hard on my soul at home, and I was here 100%.
I didn’t over think; I didn’t let the heavy strings that tie me down even touch me here.
We drank coffee in abundance.
Had dinner at 10pm.
We drank wine at 6am.
We ate carbs and sugar, and absolutely delicious Indian food.
We listened to endless stories.
Played music in our hotel room.
We enjoyed the honesty and truth of the brilliant women we met.
We prayed at a temple.
We let go, and made space for this ridiculously amazing country to enter our being.
The question is how do we hold on to it now that we go home?
My travel buddy left last night, she has been sending me text messages from her endless journey home, already missing this, missing here, and she left but a few hours ago.
I want to hold on to the gentle.
I want to hold on to the good.
I want to hold on to the tears, those of sorrow and those of joy.
I want so much.
I will do my best to do just that.
One girl said to me jokingly the other day,
“Take me with you to the US.”
We laughed. I looked at her and said,
“I will, I plan to keep you close to my heart and think of you often.”
And she smiled and said,
“That’s good, because you have made a permanent mark in my heart, I know I will be better because of you.”
“Oh no” I say.
“You will be better because of YOU, not me.”
I look at this lovely girl, who is so strong.
“You go now” I say
“Go and be the change”
“I will, madam,” she says.
“And you” she adds.
“Don’t let go.”
“Of what?” I ask
“Don’t let go of your faith.”
“Your faith, in us.”
She smiles a little uncomfortably.
“Oh, don’t worry, I will not”
And I think to myself, I will do just that, hold on to the faith of change, the truth I have learned here and the balance.
And maybe just maybe, that will allow me to let go of what I really should not be holding on to, and hold on to the incredible gift I have been given here.
Save-the-Date for The Advot Project’s special Evening Garden Party on October 21st where I will share more about our India adventures, and our amazing Los Angeles girls will take the stage!
Details to come!