India Travels: My Journey,Meditation and Dedication

india-diwali-night-satellite-image-hoax

As I embarked on this healing journey, I had intentions to deal with my own DUKKHA-the gnawing sense of dissatisfaction and heartbreak in my life-and to free myself from the shackles of fear, anger, sadness, attachment and aversion for my own benefit and the benefit for all sentient beings-and that is the highest aspiration, BODHICHITTA.

And as I travel, I breathe and focus on the journey-and that is the singled pointed concentration, SAMATHA.

And as I journey to see my blogging friends, we open the windows of our five senses and that of our mind.

We hear the babble of water, the roar of engines, the chirping of birds and our inner silence-and that is SOUND

We see the towns and the beaches, the brightness of sun and the darkness of starry nights-and that is SIGHT

We breathe in the aroma of spices in the markets, the fragrance of incense in temples and the stench of exhaust-and that is SMELL

As I journey to see each and every one of you, we hug one another with total happiness and excitement for being able to meet in person for the very first time-and that is TOUCH

As we eat, we taste the texture of Paneer and spiciness of Golgappa, deliciousness of Chapatis and sweet comfort of Chai-and that is TASTE

As I fly from city to city over rivers and mountains, I watch my mental state, emotions and thoughts come and go-and that is MIND

I become aware of sound, sight, smell, touch and taste and bear witness to my wandering mind-and that is insight-VIPASSANA

As I travel, I see that my outer landscapes are ever changing and so are my inner landscapes; my thoughts, as well as my mental and emotional states; they rise and fall and go through cycles-and that is impermanence, ANICCA

The traveller is one with the path, the friends are one with the traveller, we are all part of the journey and the journey becomes a part of us.  We travel as one, we share joy and pain and as we do, the sense of our separate impermeable selves erodes and diffuses, and whether we are men or women or Canadian or Indian, we breathe as one and feel as one-and that is no separate self-ANATTA

As I go deeper in my compassionate silence at night, I realize that all the things surrounding me, lack their own independent existence-and that is great emptiness-SUNYATA

As we share our emotions without reservations, we do so with compassion and without judgment toward ourselves and each other-and that is loving-kindness, METTA

And through it all I experience the deep, mystical intuitive wisdom of the heart, not the wisdom of knowledge or trying to figure things out-and that is perfection of wisdom PRAJNA PARAMITA

And so my outer journey through time and space becomes one with my inner journey into the arms of forgiveness and healing heart and the discovery of who I really am-and that is MEDITATION

And underlying this entire journey to India and to myself, is an overwhelming sense of gratitude:  to the country of India, to the spiritual healing I came searching for and found and most of all I am grateful for my lifelong friendships with all of you and look forward to many more times being spent together in person-and that is MY JOURNEY, MEDITATION AND DEDICATION TO YOU

I hope to see you again and all my new friends in India soon

 

Dhanyavaad ❤

 

Jenny
xo

 

 

 

Advertisements

Travel (A to Z Challenge)

10347165_1732289597005757_3286906725039290729_n

My place is simple, modern and pretty plain Jane.  That’s because I prefer to save and spend my money on travel, not little things to put around these temporary walls.  I would rather make the time and create memories with my friends, family and even by myself to travel around and live my life through experiences rather than through a new rug for the floor.

The world is your oyster as they say, the entire planet is home. Staying in one city your whole life is like never leaving the bedroom.  Can you imagine?  I mean let’s get real guys.  There’s so much to see and do out there and you can get by on small amounts of spending if you plan well and do your homework.  Grab your passport and let’s go!

If you haven’t already noticed, I’m a travel bug and a big believer in solo travel too.  I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to many beautiful places in my life with others and yet there is so much more out there to discover.  After visiting 11 countries either with friends, family or solo, I have been bit by the travel bug.  My latest solo travel was to India while meeting many of my blogging friends and it is something I’ll never forget 🙂

One of the beautiful things about travel is that it takes your breath away and leave you speechless.  As one of the photos here says, it later turns you into a storyteller which is exactly what it did for me after I returned from India where I wrote 6 blogs on my experience.  What a beautiful way to end a trip and create even more memories.  Taking photos is also a big passion of mine and sorting through them when I get home is so much fun 🙂

So tell me in the comments section, where have you been, what is your favorite place that you visited or where have you always wanted to go?

You can always travel and visit me here in Canada 😛

10547413_10152216292878531_4984571159457983675_n

 

Much Love ❤

 

Jen
xo

 

 

To The Daughter I Never Had

664ba0f96b97813f4f888552e60b8eb9

~ This post goes out to those who have suffered a miscarriage, or knows someone who has.  Often times when this happens, it’s the child that gives birth to the mother.  Thank you for reading…

 ❤

Welcome beautiful little Georgia to your new world of Divine Love
I promise to support, guide, mentor and motivate you
Appreciate, protect and respect you for who you are

I’ll give you the inside scoop of what I know about guys, love and heartbreak
But with a positive perspective of course
Boys and men can be hard to understand and sometimes shy
Give them a chance they can also be sweet, loving and inspiring
We’re all fighting some type of internal dragon, be patient

Strive to belong instead of fitting in with the crowd
Be proud of your body image, perfection doesn’t exist
Our imperfections make us beautiful, remember this always
Wear sunscreen to look forever young
Eat whatever you want but remember to exercise
This way you will never need to diet and that’s a very good thing

Love yourself first and enough to walk away from people or situations that hurt you
Learn how to practice self-compassion and self-appreciation
When the world withholds these two things, trust me it will sometimes
You need to learn how to fill in the blanks yourself
Daily gratitude creates perspective and joy

Be daring, courageous and awesome like your mom…LOL
Don’t be a princess, be a Queen and let someone treat you like one
Being a Queen has its perks
Have a sense of humor but remember to laugh at yourself too

Find your passion in creativity and let it flow
Maybe you will like writing as much as I do
Find your groove, I support you all the way

Listen to your female intuition because it’s right
Don’t be a doormat for people to walk all over you
Give unconditional love while setting personal boundaries
People will compete with you so get yourself ready for that

Music and books are a great way to feed your soul
I hope you take it all in because you are going to love them
Learning a musical instrument is a beautiful thing
Inspiration can be found all around you so keep one eye and ear open at all times

You need to travel beyond your own backyard, the world is waiting for you
Travel with friends, family and solo like I did
Solo travel is a great way to discover new places and yourself

School is very important, try your best at all times
Respect your teachers, they are there to help; not give you a hard time
Peer pressure can be tough to deal with, please come and talk to me about this
We will work through it together

Friends will come and go and you will learn who is true during tough times
They will stay by your side no matter what
Take the high road whenever possible
I want you to know you’re so worth it

Money is important but it isn’t everything so use it wisely
Don’t be a slave to it
Hire a career coach when you are young to help in choosing your right path
Strive for happiness first and success will follow you
Know what your values are and live by them accordingly

Your Mr. Right should not be selfish with you, find a conversationalist
They are interesting and funny which makes life grand
Make sure you are his priority and that he keeps his word
Quality time and communication are what counts
Whether you have children or not, I’m with you

Feel all your emotions
If you are anything like me, that won’t be much of a problem
It’s okay to cry; you will feel much better afterwards
Dealing with disappointment is a tough one, I’m still learning how myself
Try to find the silver lining in tough situations, this is a gift if you can

Life is a journey and a roller coaster at times
I hope you can enjoy the ride either way
So dance in the rain, sing in the car and love with your whole heart
To the daughter I never had…
You’re amazing and I love you ❤

 

**This blog was inspired by the song Georgia On My Mind by Ray Charles when I was sitting in a restaurant during my trip in Bhubaneswar, India recently and I am including the version by Jamie Foxx who played Ray in the movie.  Enjoy…

Much Love,

Jen
xo

If I Would Have Listened

Flowers-Photos-8-Cool-Wallpapers-HD

This blog is dedicated to an amazing friend of mine, Basak Yanar, PhD.  She’s been there for me through many of my trials and tribulations, has a heart of gold, words of an angel and can crack the code on human behavior.  Please check her incredible published work.  If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here on WordPress writing today so Basak, this one’s for you beautiful lady.  All my love,

“If I would have listened to the nasty gremlins in my head
I never would have taken a step back from my work to analyze what I wanted to do

If I would have listened to the doubts that creep in at night and tell me I’m not good enough
I never would have had the courage to hire a life coach, YOU.

If I would have listened to the persistent gremlins in my head about my imperfections in writing
I never would have started a blog on WordPress

If I would have listened to the insecurities that my initial blog traffic was low
I never would have continued posting anything here and given up

If I would have listened to the people who doubted creativity and its importance in my life
I would have given up on soul searching, creating my life and blogging

If I would have listened to people telling me healing is found in a pharmacy
I would have never realized the healing properties that writing has for one’s soul

If I would have listened to people telling me blogging relationships are not real
I would have never pursued solidifying my connections and friendships with all of you

If I would have listened to people judging me for my circumstances
I would have never stood up to them for myself and my family

If I would have listened to people who betrayed me and took their love away
I would have never discovered my personal determination and perseverance

If I would have listened to the unhealthy relationships around me
I never would have discovered what healthy could look like

If I would have listened to my doubts that I deserve love and belonging
I never would have hit reset and started with loving myself first

If I would have listened to people who tried to take advantage of me
I would have never developed the skill of being investigative and protecting my rights

If I would have listened to my mind tell me that I should stay home to recover from heartbreak
I would have never followed my heart by gifting myself the gift of travel to heal instead

If I would have listened to the fears about traveling solo to India
I never would have visited such a beautiful country and met my Indian blogging friends in person

If I would have listened to my negative emotions
I never would have discovered what the positive ones were

If I would have listened to selfishness and greed
I never would have discovered the beauty of gratitude and kindness

If I would have listened to the people who made me question my self-worth
I never would have stumbled upon the amazing works of Brené Brown

If I would have listened to those gremlins again that I should do this or that
I never would have followed my intuition and stepped into my wants for the first time in my life”

Basak, thank you for all your love, support and encouragement in my own personal growth and development, I’m so glad I finally listened to me.

 

Much Love,

Jen
xo

 

This Is India – Part 6

941040_10153849465839557_5983224730819678058_n

January 18th – 19th, 2016 – Delhi, India to Ottawa, Canada

After texting with NJ a few more goodbyes I was at the airport in Pune ready to do my last internal flight before heading home.  I was an expert at stuffing as much as possible into my carry-ons to avoid the excess baggage weight.   Meanwhile, at the Pune counter, another helpful young man insisted he try to pack more things into my carry-on!  Oh my goodness not again, those unmentionables 😛  Maybe this was a way for them to see what foreign girls carry in their suitcases!!  So here we go again…apparently he was able to get even more things into my carry-ons so in the end, I was grateful and embarrassed.  This Is India.  Same security water bottle story repeats itself in Pune except this time they want to see what’s in one of my carry-ons.  Oh wow, I have to unstuff this thing and search for a little statue I bought.  All my things were everywhere and then they wanted to see what was in my make-up bag.  The guy was funny because he held up my eyebrow plucker and asked me what this was used for, I was laughing so hard he started laughing too.  Why is the airport such an adventure for me?

On the plane I sat next to a little boy around 4 years old and his dad.  The boy was pretty chatty asking me questions like where am I going, am I all alone, touching my hair and smiling.  I entertained this little boy for about an hour and then the dad said his son rarely talks to anyone.  I was shocked and happy at the same time 🙂  For some reason kids open up to me, I don’t know why.  Then….. in the aisle over was his wife and I only realized that when I looked up and made eye contact with her.  She was not impressed with me having fun with her son and talking to her husband so I had to stop talking and entertaining.  Is This India?

The eagle landed in Delhi and I was meeting another blogging friend before heading home.  I had many hours to kill so it was nice to have a visit with one more person, Srinath Krishnamoorthy from Kerala, India.  Please visit his awesome blog SrinathKrishnamoorthy because not only is he a fellow blogger, he is a published author and his book is flying off shelves and running out at book fairs across India!  The title is “Hope We Never Meet Again” I am currently reading it right now and it’s a great page turner.  You can buy his book on sites like Amazon and FlipCart and I highly recommend reading it.  Very big thank you to Darshith for introducing me to Srinath’s blog months ago because if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be meeting Srinath today.  Thanks Darshith 😀

DSC00879                 DSC00882

After getting my luggage and getting organized, I talked with Srinath on the phone to find out how we will recognize each other.  I said I’m the only foreign girl standing outside near gate 3 at domestic arrivals terminal 3 😉  Sure enough we found each other!  Srinath is a ball of energy with such inspiration when he talks.  He was at a Delhi Book Fair during the weekend and over 250 copies of his book sold out and he managed to save one just for me.  He gave me the book and personally signed my copy right there.  I was so thankful and happy to meet him and he said this is the first book which is leaving India to another country!  How amazing is that?  He also gave me several bookmarks that I could pass around to my friends and family which I am currently doing now 😀  We talked for almost two hours about life, quotes, tough times, writing, finding a publisher and I explained my reasons for coming and my personal history to him with tears of course.  Srinath is very understanding and also has a big heart just like all my other friends.  He said I need to write my story, get it out I can write a book about my experience and said it might be possible to co-author with him one day.  I was extremely interested and motivated when he said this and yes I still am Srinath!  I’m going to work on this and keep you posted for sure my friend.  Originally we were supposed to meet in Pune but couldn’t because of Srinath’s busy schedule with promoting his book but it worked out to meet in Delhi after all.  Srinath, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for meeting me at the airport and encouraging me to write my story which I will do.  It was an absolute pleasure talking with you and hearing your thoughts, feelings, insights and perspectives on life.  These are the types of conversations that I love because they connect us, we’re all dealing with something therefore we’re all connected.  We just need to show up.  This Is India.

It was time for me to check my luggage and Srinath had to go.  We said our goodbyes and again me being the emotional one, but by this point, it was ok and the people at Delhi airport were like family to me now since I’ve been there so many times in the past 3 weeks!  They knew me by now 😉

I went to the Air Canada ticket counter this time and checked my heavy suitcases in and when flying International with them, you are allowed 2 complimentary bags.  No more excess baggage and no more Rupees.  I watched my bags zoom across as I waved bye bye to them.  I saved my ticket stubs from most of my flights and had to take a pic to show you!  Here’s my famous luggage which is very flashy because I purposely bought something that would stand out so it wouldn’t get lost.  Mission accomplished on that one.

DSC00856              DSC00872

I went to eat at a restaurant and then texts and calls were coming in from my India friends wishing me bon voyage which was so sweet of them.  I stayed in touch until I got on the plane at 12:45 a.m. on January 19th.  I felt sad leaving them but so happy I was able to have this lifetime experience full of great, great memories.  I’ve been enjoying writing about this trip and I thank all my readers, followers new and old for joining me on this trip via WordPress.  Like Darshith said to me, if it wasn’t for WP I wouldn’t have had these friendships, experiences or this trip and he’s right.  WordPress has changed my life and it can also change yours in so many ways because so much is possible.  If you want something bad enough and there’s a wall facing you, jump over it, knock it down do whatever you need to do.  When there’s a will there’s a way.

I flew back to Canada connecting in Toronto and landing in Ottawa.  The temp was -30C and lots of snow was on the ground.  Big difference from Pune at +30 C just a few days ago.  My great friend Helene picked me up at the airport with a winter coat for me to put on for the ride home which was so nice of her.  Merci beaucoup Helene!!

I messaged everyone back in India that I made it home and it was freezing here.  This Is Canada.

IMG_20160121_122848                DSC00876

Some questions I’ve been asked by my friends and family since I’ve been back:

Q:  How was the food?
A:  Amazing, I loved it all even the spicy food

Q:  Did you get sick?
A:  Nope.

Q:  Did you have a culture shock, you must have had that?
A:  No I just went with the flow had an open mind and heart because hey This Is India.

Q:  How was the weather?
A:  Great!  Always between +18 C to +32 C depending on where I was (jealousy…) and no rain

Q:  How was it meeting your blogging friends?
A:  So inspiring and so much fun, they were my highlight that’s for sure

Q:  Were you able to meet ChicWithMessyBun?
A:  No unfortunately not, her mom became sick so we had to cancel.  Both of us were sad but understanding.  Next time we will have to meet.  Miss you Bhavya!

Q:  How was the Retreat?
A:  Awesome, I loved everything about it

Q:  Did you take lots of pictures?
A:  Yes, probably close to 500

Q:  Would you go back again?
A:  In a heartbeat.

So Srinath, in honor of your book, I Hope We DO Meet Again!  When I come back I’ll visit you in Kerala like you insisted and I hope I pronounce it right!!  That was so funny learning how to say it like a local with you.  This Is India.

 

Much Love,

Jenny ❤
xo

This Is India 2016-Part 1

20160125_170324

India has always been on my list of places to travel to but I never dreamed I would be going there so soon and for the reasons I did.

Last year was bittersweet for me and in a way, a blessing in disguise.  I became single and heartbroken in one realm and an emotional writer in the other.  I discovered when your heart cracks open that’s when the light gets in and compassion can easily flow through your veins and arteries.  I began to blog about my experience and the things I was dealing with in my life.  As it turned out, many others around the world connected with my thoughts and feelings.  My biggest fan base are from beautiful India and so wise in their words, thoughts and feelings.   I felt drawn to them and our hearts instantly connected.

When I felt better I made the decision to give the gift of travel to myself for everything I had been through in 2015 and connect even more with my blogging friends from WordPress in India and in person.  I made a reservation at a spa retreat there and booked the flights to see my friends in January 2016, as a solo traveler.

Welcome to This Is India 2016.

January 1st, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. EST – Canada

My friends Marie-Claude and Sam came to pick me and my 3 suitcases up and drove me to the airport for my 6 p.m. flight from Ottawa to Toronto to Delhi, India.  We had just received 30 cm of snow here and it was cold, -15 C and all I could think about were palm trees!  The flight from Ottawa to Toronto was uneventful and then I had to mentally prepare myself for the 14 hour flight from Toronto to Delhi.  I had many things to help me survive like books, music, in flight movies, my eye mask, and of course the food on the plane which consisted of 3 meals and snacks!

January 2nd, 2016 at 8:55 p.m. Delhi, India GMT

After 11, 965 km, I finally landed in Delhi and I was tired but so excited!  I was hoping my luggage made it which it did.  Wheeww!!!  I had arranged a hotel shuttle service to pick me up and luckily they didn’t forget about me.  I bought an India SIM card for my cell phone at the airport and switched it immediately so I could be on that plan and connect with everyone right away.  I love technology!  After clearing customs and security I went outside and found my driver to the hotel holding a sign with my name on it.  Driving in India is a blog in itself.  Let’s just say I thought New York City cabs were scary, this was something totally different that I will explain as I go along.  Just to give you an idea, there is a middle line down the road but after that, there are no lanes and horns never stop honking.  For some reason though, accidents rarely happen and traffic seems to self-align in every case.  I was amazed to say the least and then I thought hey this is India.  After checking into the Holiday Inn near the airport I went to my room and crashed on the bed.  I was grateful for making it here by myself and navigating to my hotel in one piece.  Then I slept for 10 hours!

January 3rd – 6th – Delhi, India

One thing I noticed since my arrival is that almost everyone working in the hotel is male.  I know this might seem like an odd observation and comment but it’s because in Canada it’s a real mix.  The hostess at the restaurant was the only girl I saw.  Even the housekeeping staff were men!  The second day I was there I heard a doorbell at my hotel room???  Outside my door was a young boy who worked at the hotel asking if I had any laundry to be done.  I was amazed at this adorable gesture and my thoughts again were hey, this is India.

After recovering from jet lag it was time to get outside and explore the city so I took a cab to Connaught Place and met my first blogging friend Piyusha!!  We clicked right away, laughed and talked a lot while drinking coffee in a Starbucks!  Shambhavi met up with us after and all three of us were great friends immediately.  Time to do some shopping!  I have to say Piyusha is definitely the Queen of shopping, especially when it comes to bargaining with the merchants!  She will not accept any bad deal and I was eternally grateful to be shopping with her being a foreigner and all!  I never laughed so much and it was so great to see her in action.  Shambhavi is a very good shopper too and knows a lot about the history of Indian traditions and festivals and I learned so much as we toured around Delhi.  We all piled into an auto-rickshaw and it was time to get some awesome street food at Dilli Haat!  We ate Aloo Ki Tikki, Gol Gappas with aloo channa masala, sweet chutney and spicy water, Chicken Manchurian with noodles.  YUM!  We exchanged cards, gifts, hugs at the end and we felt so good about our meetup.  Just as a side note, everyone calls me Jenny in India…so cute 🙂

20160104_115725

I met another fellow blogger and friend Chandrajit and we had supper while talking about life and blogs.  He is a very caring person who has a big heart reserved for a special person and it’s great to be able to help support him in this.  Many bloggers write about life, love, loss, gain or whatever thoughts cross their mind which is the beauty in blogging.  He remembered my birthday from December and bought me a cake which was really nice of him.

IMG-20160104-WA0018

I had hoped to meet up with Kriti and Darshith in Delhi but the timing didn’t work out unfortunately.  I had plans to meet Darshith next so that was okay after all, not to worry 😉  I wish I could have met you Kriti!!

Delhi was a vibrant city to explore the temperature was around +19 C.  Great for a Canadian girl in January!  Some days it’s hard to see because of the smog and that’s because of the population.  The new driving rule in Delhi is the odd/even schedule so depending on what number your licence plate ends with is the day you are allowed to drive your car.  Again, this is India.

So far so good seeing Delhi these first few days.  I was treated like a celebrity in the hotel restaurant because being a female solo traveler people are chatty and ask a lot of questions.  Some brought me free food and things to try without me even asking for it which was very nice of them.  People in India have the biggest hearts and I love it.  Now I’m off to the Delhi airport again to make my next tour on the East Coast in Bhubaneswar!  The staff at the airport will get to know me well with all my future connections!  Maybe they will be saying “there’s that Canadian girl again..”

Stay tuned and to be continued….

Much Love,

Jenny 😉

 

 

The Beauty of Solo Travel

IMG-20160109-WA0007

How brave are you?  Have you ever dreamed of taking off and traveling to a new and exciting place?

Alone???

I’m here to tell you that it’s possible and I did it.  I just got back from a solo travel trip to India for 3 weeks and I would do it again in a heartbeat ❤

There are many benefits to traveling solo and I’d like to share what I found with you.

  1. It’s empowering. You gain self-confidence very quickly and your world opens up even more, literally.  Not only that your common sense becomes greater
  2. TIME. You have it all to yourself and it’s what everyone dreams about having more of.  There is no need to share an agenda, you can sleep, eat and do what you want when and where you want.  You also have the time to reflect on your life and discover things about yourself you never even knew.  It’s a great time for personal growth and development
  3. Teaches you patience and flexibility in unexpected situations and you become more accepting of others and their way of living. Your mind and heart opens up to the Universe
  4. Your problem-solving skills will sharpen even more. Getting around town becomes a fun challenge on your own and suddenly you are listening to your intuition more, I also became more spiritual
  5. You gain a new perspective on life and become grateful for everything you have
  6. You love those around you even more
  7. You begin to lower your expectations of how things should be and learn to go with the flow more. Your positive energy attracts positive people
  8. I found people to be very approachable with me and I was to them. I was being treated like I was some kind of celebrity for the first time!  I received many freebie things like food along the way, great conversations, advice of what to see in the area.  Very friendly people are out there, you just need to flash a nice smile sometimes 😉
  9. You gain respect and admiration from those around you for your courage and if you have kids, you are setting a good example for them because they see that anything is possible if you want it bad enough
  10. You make wonderful memories with wonderful people around the world and nobody can take this experience of a lifetime away from you

There will always be some people who will try to deter you from traveling solo but you have to remember they are projecting their fears on you.  Some said “you are a single woman” (yes), “it’s going to be dangerous” (how do they know), “you should go with someone, not alone” (that defeats the entire purpose of solo travel).  My response, I booked my tickets, packed my bags excessively and boarded the 14 hour flight from Toronto, Canada to Delhi, India on January 1st, 2016.  What a great day and way to kick off 2016!

For me, this was a trip of healing for personal reasons and it was to see my close blogging friends that I have a strong connection with in person who are all over India.  Piyusha, Shambhavi, Bhavya, Darshith, Neerja, Dinesh, Chandrajit, Srinath, Kriti and many others I couldn’t meet were the many reasons I had to go.  I felt like the Universe aligned and brought me to WordPress so I could write my thoughts and feelings out there and attract such amazing people into my life.  Then it was so generous to give me this opportunity to travel and meet everyone in person, making our connections stronger than ever.  I am so grateful and if I can say one thing, I will say this; listen to your wants, not everyone else’s around you because it’s your life, not theirs.  At the end of the day, you need to live it.

How was it?

Amazing, inspiring, life changing, delicious, fun and a must for everyone to do once in their lifetime.  India is a beautiful place to go and heal your soul because it’s a spiritual and peaceful place but at the same time a chaotic one that not only changes your mind but also your perspective on life for the better.  This was my way of pushing the “reset button” or “refresh button” on my life so I could come back home and continue to help others and myself in a healthier way.

One of the most beautiful things I learned from life is that in order to find yourself, you need to lose yourself first.  And sometimes in the middle of nowhere is where you end up finding yourself, for me it was in India.  By listening to your intuition it will give you answers but in order to hear it you need to get quiet and alone because it’s only a whisper inside you.  Reflecting on this will guide you in the best possible direction that is right for you and that’s called soul speak, which is the beauty of solo travel.

So much love to everyone in India, thank you for the visits and memories and because of WordPress this was made possible.  I’d like to change the name to WorldPress, FriendPress, LovePress, FunPress, DreamPress, InspirationPress, I think you get the idea….

Much love to you,

Jenny
xo

Smile In Your Liver

“Smile in your liver” ~ Ketut Leyir
From the movie Eat Pray Love ~ by Elizabeth Gilbert

I saw the movie Eat Pray Love when it first came out in 2010 and I thought it was interesting and great.  At the time I was more obsessed with the travel destinations of Italy, India and Indonesia in the movie and the basic story line of how a woman left an unhappy marriage and started over.  Having watched this movie again years later with some changes in my own life made me pay very close attention to Julia Roberts’ role and I was listening to the words of precious Ketut like he was sitting in my living room talking to me.  He is so amazing, I wish I had my own medicine man.  For the record, I am still obsessed with the travel destinations…

“You make serious face like this, you scare away good energy. To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clear away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver.”

Before we try and understand what adorable Ketut is trying to say, let’s review the roles of our liver first and try to understand the meaning behind his quote; “Smile in your liver.”

The liver’s main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines.  The liver also has the ability to regenerate itself if injured or surgically excised.  It is located on the upper right side of your body.

Maybe what Ketut is really saying is smiling in your liver essentially means going deep within yourself to be happy from the inside out.  Smiling in your liver filters the negativity coming from your gut feelings and prevents these negative feelings from passing throughout the body.  A smile has the ability to dissolve anger and resentment and metabolizes negative emotions while assisting in the decision making process.  A smile is also known for removing blockages so that one can forgive, accept and feel kindness flowing.  As it does so, a smile triggers endorphin production the “feel good” hormones that end up back in your belly making you feel at peace.  Your mind is calm and the smile you wear on your beautiful face is radiant; just like your liver.  If your smile is lost or cut off by someone or something, it is not lost forever and can be transformed again.  A smile is always right.

You could say it’s about striking a balance in your life and maintaining your personal power.  Yoga and meditation can help to slow down the monkey mind and when combined with deep breathing and smiling, your body feels more energized and peaceful.  I am currently on this learning journey and yoga is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and my smiling liver.  Life gets pretty busy and crazy sometimes and we run to keep up with it.

But is that the right thing we should be doing?

Should we pick up the pace a little bit and run even faster?

I don’t think so.

Personally, when life gets that overwhelmingly crazy, the best thing we can do is the opposite – slow down.  Seems counterintuitive, right?  Well here’s the thing.  Not only does slowing down allow us to catch our breath, we can begin to see clearly and we can feel what our body is telling us ie: our gut feelings.  Gut feelings never lie and we should pay more attention to them because often times they can guide us in the direction that is most right for us or even re-direct us away from something that is harmful to us.  You become more mindful of what you really need.  If you don’t slow down and keep running that monkey mind marathon, you will never be able to hear what your life is trying to tell you, or get your attention to pay attention.  Stay grounded, slow down and silence your mind because you either control your mind or it controls you.  It’s that simple and your liver will thank you for it by smiling deep within yourself.  Now I just need to decide when I am going on my next trip!

SMILE IN YOUR LIVER!  🙂 

DSC00343 (2)          DSC00362 (2)

Much Love,

Jennifer