How I ended up in a dark and shady part of town…
At the completion of Blissful Yoga’s India Yoga Retreat, I said my goodbyes to the retreat participants at the Delhi airport. They were flying back to New York and after their flight departed, I flew to Tamil Nadu on the west coast of southern India.
Here, I spent time visting the unique town of Auroville. There is no place like it elsewhere in the world. It sort of reminded me of a Disney World yoga community in India.
Auroville was founded from people from over 51 countries who were followers of Sri Aurobindo, an Indian philosopher, guru and poet. In Auroville, they do not practice the asana aspects of yoga as much as integrating the philosphy of yoga (union- we are all one) as a way of life.
I had so many emotions after the India yoga retreat. So many thoughts and prayers and ideas. For me, it is as if India has a part of my soul. I love India. India has brought me much healing, growth, magic and transformation. India is a sort of magical chaotic place. At times, full of peace and spiritual knowledge and at times full of what appears to be complete and utter chaos.
There’s times when I look at India and see poverty, plastic and trash all over and think that I should maybe hate this place. But then I see the smile in a toddler’s eyes, I see the magnificent Arabian Sea, I spend time in the company of amazing yoga teachers. Most of all when I’m in India, I have no choice but to spend my minutes in communion with my source. I trust and believe and know that I am always being divinely guided. I spend more time in meditatiion, asana and pranayama and my physical being merges with my spiritual and mental self.
My wish is that others are able to experience the magical transformation of India but I have to let that go and let God take over. I have no control.
As I was processing the experience of leading this yoga retreat, I felt the strongest desire to have my hair cut, like yesterday. That was my first sign to slow down but it was not happening. I got a drive in a rickshaw to the town of Pondicherry thinking they would have a fancy French salon or something like that. Instead, I ended up in in a darker, shadier part of town.
My intuition from the very beginning was saying slow down, stop, breathe deeply, but at the same time, I knew nothing was stopping me from getting my hair cut. I knew the consequences would be painful, yet I continued. Ever do something like that???
The salon was very dark, not much light, and also quite old. An Indian woman came in probably about my age and looked very serious like she knew what she was doing, and for cutting most Indian women’s hair I’m sure she would be fine, but for cutting a westerners hair from long into a short cute style, was not her thing.
She took a water bottle and began to barely dampen my hair. I felt my friend and hairdresser back home shrieking inside as my hair was being chopped. Again I knew it wasn’t good. She was getting ready to cut my bangs and I said, don’t you want to completely wet my bangs first. She responded, “NO, you never cut bangs wet because they will shrink and took the rusty scizzors” and just chopped away.
Well, I did it. It was done. I left there with my hair looking like an uneven triangle.
Luckily, the next day, there was an Austrian hairdresser who came to my guest house and was able to salvage my hair in some way.
It was like I changed so much on the India Yoga Retreat that my long hair just did not fit me any more. I had to cut it off no matter what it looked like.
Moral of the story…jumping forward with change.
I knew I changed on many levels and I had to jump into this new version of me. I had to take that leap of faith and jump because the old me was no longer comfortable in her old skin or hair. I was jumping between my hopes and reality and leaving unnecesssary baggage behind.
Change can be uncomfortable and even painful when we outgrow our old skin cells. But when we embrace the newer part of ourselves, the new authenticity that emerges is well worth it.
The next day, I met a new friend from Germany who has been traveling to India for twenty years. She took me back to Pondicherry and showed me some amazing sights that were not in the dark and shady part of town. Ha ha!
We went into a beautiful temple with amazing energy. Here we did a puja (offering to the Gods and Goddesses). Check out the picture below from inside this temple. Angels are on each side of Goddess Lakshmi and her white elephants! This was my first time to ever see angels in a Hindu Temple.
How quickly, more magic arrived when I jumped into change.
The biggest lesson of yoga for me is detachment or in Sanskrit, vairagya. Vairagya means to do our work while not being attached to the outcome. The first stage in vairagya is self reflection Through self reflection, we see if we need to make changes. We see what can be left behind like old baggage that is not serving our highest good.
It has been three weeks since that infamous hair cut. As I write this blog, I am now in Bali with my husband while my daughter is in another part of Bali for yoga teacher training.
In this blissful land of Bali, I am truly blessed
When the caterpillar becomes a butterfly it goes through the transitional stage of crysalis. In this stage they immediately form themselves into a pupa. Here they completely turn into goo as big changes are happening. Special cells are growing quickly, turning the caterpillar into a butterfly. Next the butterfly emerges and liberation occurs.
Imagine you’re a caterpillar and your life is going to turn into a beautiful, colorful butterfly. Picture that life, what changes are needed for you to go from the caterpillar to that beautiful butterfly inside of you trying to emerge?
I would love to hear about your desire to become that butterfly and would be honored to assist you on that journey. Hit reply and let me know.
Sending Bali Blessings to you and yours!!!
Much love and magical blessings!
Parvati Victoria Goodwin,
Sacred Empowerment Mentor, Intuitive Healer and Founder of Blissful Yog