Wow! What a week. It was a roller coaster for sure. I arrived at the Ashram in the south of India and checked into my dorm. The next day the Teacher Training Orientation started and so did my close relationship with the toilet. My relationship with the toilet is still in tact after days of fasting and eating mildly. I have lived a few days of off raisons. The teacher training is pretty full on, starting with a wake bell at 5:30am, Satsung at 6am, Asana at 8am, breakfast at 10am (for everyone else), karma yoga at 11am, lectures at 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm dinner at 6pm, satsung at 8pm. The teachings are quite nice, but I found myself wondering what I was doing here? I was home sick, for what home I am not sure since I don't have one. I found myself missing my transformational partner, my roomie, my family, my friends and more. I found myself making up jobs for myself when I return home, forgetting that I am writing a book and plan for it to be a huge bestseller. Just being away from my computer for a few days (there is no power to charge it here) is making me crazy! I really want to write about all of my experiences and hand scribbling in my journal does not suffice. My sickness definitely does not help either.
I reminded myself of all of the practices I usually live by, living in gratitude, living in the present, and on and on. What happened to all of that work I have done on myself? What happened to Love Inspiring Tricia? I overcame my drudgery and realized that I am surrounded by amazing people, in an amazing atmosphere and in amazing scenery and even though I am not sure why I am doing this teacher training to enjoy it, because it is all about things I love.
The community of people here is really amazing, my friend Jon Morro would be proud. With just a quick conversation people are offering you a place to stay if you ever happen through London, and we haven’t even exchanged names yet. We are all connected because we are in the same place and no other reason is necessary. Not what we do for a living, how old we are, if we are married or single, what culture we are from, we are all quick friends here. That is what I love about traveling like this, I am never really alone because all I have to do is open my mouth and ask a question or just say hello and a new friend is waiting.
So, the days went along and there was even homework given. All the classes were good, covering things I love, but I still wondered why I was here and yesterday during a class out of nowhere a voice in my head said, “You know you don’t have to stay here, you can leave.” Woah, really? But, I signed up for it, and I said I was going to do this. I told a lot of people that I was doing this. I knew it was going to be hard, but I signed up for it so I need to stick to it. Then I got a glimpse of my arm, of my tattoo that reads, “Let your heart lead you.” That tattoo had been getting me a lot of attention here. People are often stopping me to acknowledge me for it. So now, here I am wondering am I letting my heart lead me?
Although the training is great, I am really not getting much out of it. I lot of it is covering ideas I have previously studied and the rest are things I can easily read myself in a short book or work on my own. It is not challenging me; even the business of the day is really not challenging to me. Am I merely going to stay because I had committed to it. It that right? Is that my mind leading me? Or my heart? Or my ego? Or a contract? Or money that I had already paid?
So I went and made an appointment to speak to the person in charge about leaving the course and if a refund was possible. I thought if I can be refunded then I am out, if not I guess I must stay. I mean it is not as though I am hating the course or the Ashram and I am against the teachings, it is just that I am no longer feeling that it is what I need right now or want right now. What I really want is to go have a space, a place of my own near the beach. To have my days left open for reading and writing and my own yoga practice and now thanks to this Ashram add in my own meditation and chanting practice.
I was filled with excitement and joy as I heard that a refund was possible, I am free! But, then an hour later I checked the policy and saw a no-refund clause. I thought okay, I must stay if for no other reason than to be somewhere that I really don’t want to be. I have a lot of freedoms in my life, is it so bad to do this for three more weeks. Yes, I want to write, but I have the rest of my life to do that, right? So, I will stay, it will be good for me. But, then a few hours later I spoke to a girl who did drop out and did get a refund. So, I decide, I am going through with my meeting, I am going to leave! I am going to get a refund! I am writing a book now!
Today before my meeting, my mind went back and forth. Am I taking an easy way out? Am I meant to stay? What if they don’t offer me a refund will I still go and let that money be wasted? Then once again my arm called me out. My heart wants to go. My heart wants to write and it wants to do it now. I don’t need to make up excuses or make myself wrong for wanting to leave early. I booked this 3 months ago, before I even discovered my writing and a lot has changed in me since then and right now. I get to choose what I want to do. I don’t need to worry about if I am being too “easy” on myself. I don’t have to wait three weeks before I pursue something I really am drawn to do right now.
So, I had my meeting and I have the left the training and I believe I am getting my refund. I have to wait for the Swami’s approval, but it looks like it will happen since I am leaving within the first week. I will stay here another night or two and then head off to Varkala, a lovely beach town that is highly recommended. It even has surfing!
Even in my short stay here I have learned a lot. (Really, a week is quite a long time for me to be in one place, I now realize). I have learned a lot about their teachings, but also about my mind, my body, my interactions and about people from all over this vast world. There are 200 people here for the teacher training and another 100 for a yoga vacation. The ages are vast and they have come from London, Paris, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Canada, Germany, Paris, Japan, Iran, Amsterdam, and Italy just to name a few. It is truly inspiring to see such a large group of varied people working and supporting each other. I love so much sharing smiles with these people in passing that I know have led such different lives than I.
I was able to see in myself that my body can take a lot, that I am strong, mentally and physically. Although, I am sick I made it to each session with a smile. Everyone is shocked to find out that I have been sick and that I still am because of my “chipper” nature they say and they can not believe that I have still been participating. To me though, it is natural. Yes, I am not feeling well, but I will not let that ruin all of life for me and all of life is today, is every day.