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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Unnecessary Grizzle & Kick Abouts

Just In case you are vocabulary challenged like I am, grizzle and kick about are just fancy names for whining and complaining.

Ironically, I have a complaint or rather an observation.

While I assumed my second trip to India would be as spiritually sound and inspirational as the first one I experienced, I certainly did not expect the result to be what it has manifested itself into. Before I left for India, I was informed by my Reiki Master and Intuitive that my trip to India would not go as planned, that I should not become upset, as we would be exactly where we needed to be in order to cultivate greater compassion. As predicted,  before we ever left for the pilgrimage, things were not running smoothly. From the beginning things were a struggle, why with lost and incorrect identification, to canceled flights, to 1,000 degree heat, to pre-monsoon floods that kept us parked on a six lane highway (which was supposed to be three lanes, but the divider lines on the road mean nothing in India) for hours, to the Bharat Bandh which closed down shops (it was okay, we were out of money anyway, but it kept us hunkered down in our hotel room for a couple of days), and on it went. The entire time I stopped myself from becoming upset and used humor to get through with a positive attitude (when really, I could have just cried so many times). Where was the peace and calm and spiritual advancement I was seeking? Turns out, it was everywhere, even in the most unlikely of places. Growth opportunities are always everywhere, we just don't take the time to see them.

I have this theory that we don't see obstacles as opportunities for growth because we are addicted to being miserable because we, inside, are miserable. Don't you wish all of the "things" we accumulate and work so diligently for could reach out, hug us, and tell us we are perfect just as we are? Things don't do that, so things don't make us happy. We have to make ourselves happy. I am suddenly reminded of this song:

What each of these "obstacles" did for me, was open my eyes and heart to even greater  compassion by looking into the eyes and heart of the everyday Indian people. With these many unplanned chains of events, we were face to face with the poverty (lack of "things") of India, the newspapers, the news on TV, you know, real life sort of stuff, not the hanging out in the Ashram drinking chai tea, practicing yoga, and chanting sort of life I had experience during my first visit in 2007.

Early on in our journey I began watching, making eye contact, being with those who were begging for survival with a smile on their faces. I began listening through the peacefully chaotic sounds of the streets, hearing clearly the joyful singing among the people. The struggle is evident there, but there is an acceptance there also. This is not like Western societies where everything is clean and anything is possible and our accumulation of "things" is the goal.  Sure we have people who struggle in the west and I do believe we need to do a better job of taking care of each other, but what is different, is that the people who do have "it all" aren't happy. So many who have it all are miserable because they have looked for happiness outside of themselves (I know I have and still do sometimes). Furthermore, there is no acceptance because we don't accept others because we are too busy not accepting ourselves.  It really is as simple and as sad as that.

So, I'm not sure where to start, except with myself. I know that I have become more aware of my tendency to complain over silly little things and when I hear people around me do it I want to say,"Look how blessed you are!" It's not easy, we all have our stuff and we all have days nothing goes the way we think it should, but maybe we just aren't looking at things as they truly are? Maybe we need to save our complaints for things that really matter or count our blessings and help those who are struggling through experiences many of us will never know, like the death of a child or a life-threatening illness? Perhaps we can re-direct the energy we use up focusing on "lack" and take action by using the gifts we have in abundance? Helping others is a wonderful way to fill ourselves up along the way.  In any case, we all have bad days and need a friend or two to vent to, but most of us have it pretty good (even with our painful experiences or growing pains).

I have no great insight, no one to quote this time, but I do have this video: