US of A

I’m home! Back in the old US of A. Not much has changed, except for me 😉
Such bittersweetness happening. I literally fell in love with India. What an awesome feeling though to know that is true. I was anxious to see what India was going to be like to me and now I know. Seven weeks – well 48 days, I’ve been gone… away. Traveling – in India. How crazy! The time has passed so quickly, yet not quickly at all. I savored every day – appreciated every day. It seemed to make the days full and so, so enjoyable. My body has changed – I’m more flexible, I’ve lost weight and become stronger. I can do a headstand now without a worry – and hold it for a while. Today I’m going to time myself and see just how long ‘a while’ is.

India is this wild, crazy, happy, beautiful, weak yet strong, shocking, dirty, but clean in its own way, amazing place. It encompasses it all – from all climates, to all habitats, to all religions, to the longest history, to the nationwide appreciation for family. This is a place that I think you need to be ready for to experience. I read a lot before I left and a common thread was among most blogs – what you give to india, you get out of india. If you go with an open mind, an open heart and open eyes you will experience the true beauty, appreciate the true beauty and see the true beauty. On the contrary, if your expectations are high and you fight the reality that is India, then the experience, let’s say, wont be as appreciated by you or by India.
This is a massive country. There are legitimately billions of people living in India – I just googled it and there are 1.252 BILLION people living in India – as of 2013! Thats 3 years ago. These people don’t play when it comes to having children. To give you a comparison, there are a recorded 318.4 MILLION people in the entire US of A – as of 2014.

During the first week in India, with my love, I remember thinking to myself – why do they stay here? Why don’t they leave if living conditions are this … well, tough. I think within a couple days, I realized why. The ancient history, culture, traditions are so, so strong. This is their home, their families are here – generations of families – married into families – cousins, cousins and more cousins. But isn’t this the same for America and any other place, really? Yeah, the family part, but not always coming with the ancient history, culture or strongly kept traditions. The roots with family in India, to me, just seem sooo rooted. In a way that is foreign to me. Of course I miss my family, my friends that I left when I moved to San Francisco – THE furtherest point I could have moved in the US, excluding Hawaii or Alaska – not because I knew that, but because I fell in love with a city and have always been supported by my family to move, to explore & to travel. To miss them, love them and long for them, but while I am exploring and living my own journey. In India, the entire family pitches in when the elders need anything – they always pitch in. It isn’t a choice, its love. There is no grudge or resentment for helping to pay medical bills. There is only love. The act of being Selflessly selfish.

Selflessly Selfish. This was the last two weeks at Rishikesh Yog Peeth from Monday – Saturday at about 10 – 11/12pm each day. With our teacher, Roshan. This man. This is a man that has a way of thinking, understanding and putting responses into the most perfect form that makes you look at yourself in a completely different way, and like it. This is a man that has changed his own life through Yoga. Through living the lifestyle, being devoted to the lifestyle and believing the benefits. Thinking the benefits; manifesting the benefits. Think wisely, think carefully, think positively, think deeply – your thoughts will manifest.

How can we be selflessly selfish? He puts it in a way – we are trained to be selfish. We are encouraged to be selfish – as children, not wanting to play with someone or let them use your toy – even once. We get angry when we hear ‘no’. We do the opposite. We act selfishly.
On the other side – we want to be selfless. But are we? Are we always selfless? Can we always be? We don’t know, we just want to be and we want to say we are, selfless. Because that is kind. That is good.
So, we don’t want to be entirely selfish – we want to through a dash of selflessness in there too. Let’s call it being ‘Selflessly Selfish’. Finding the balance. Let’s give to others, to help ourselves – because it makes us feel good and we are doing good, too. We want to donate to a good cause – that is being selflessly selfish. You give something and take something in return – the emotions, the feelings, the selfish feeling that you’re doing something to make you feel better about yourself. That is OK. Think about the emotional side, rather than the monetary side. Do things that make you feel good. Be selfish in the way that makes you feel good about yourself. Do good for others, for this planet, for ourselves – just to make us feel good about ourselves and know we are also doing good in return.
Choose who you want to surround yourself with in a selflessly selfish way. Its OK to think negatively about someone, about how the way they treat you makes you mad, sad and angry. Its OK to choose to not be around that person. Its also OK to choose to be around the people who make you feel good about yourself; who encourage you, support you and are there for you – not just situationally; always. Be selflessly selfish with the relationships you keep, and don’t be afraid of it. Don’t feel the pressure from others on what is right for you.  How can someone tell you how you should feel – how you feel is something so private. You and only you know what is right for you. Be aware. Be more observant of yourself and be impartial.
Impartial Observation in a selflessly selfish manner. 

This is day two of being back in the US. I woke up at 5am this morning. Within a few minutes I began to hear my phone chirping. Text Message. And again, then again, and again. It must be the girls (Meryl, Kat and Lele) – we are all experiencing strange jet-lag. I ate a bunch of Doritos last night and had tequila and pancakes for dinner. Don’t judge – be an impartial observer, lol. Please?

Yesterday was awesome. Woke up, made Jeff and I breakfast – eggs, beans and sliced, sautéed potatoes. De-lish. Jeff left for work and I had the house to myself. I did the dishes, separated laundry, made the bed, went through some of the things I brought home. Called Verizon and cancelled my Int’l plan. Called my credit card company to see why my cards been declined.. they had nothing, so apparently its OK. We’ll see.
Then I went to a Hatha Yoga class at 10:30am at Ocean Beach Yoga a few blocks away from our apartment. The teachers name was Hannah – she’s most likely my age or couple years older or younger. One of those that just has great skin you can’t really tell? Young and old soul. I read on their website that she did teacher training in Kerala, so I was pumped about that because, duh, I just came back from India and most recently spent time in, you guessed it, KERALA!
So, I brought it up naturally, as a I bee-bopped my way into the studio yesterday morning. Smiling and so happy – feeling great. She said her training was in 2012 and I asked if she had plans of going back to India and she said, ‘probably not, it was pretttyyyy tough’. So, there is definitely a story there. I didn’t push. Just continued in my excitement and bee-bopped into class to set up my mat. Her class was awesome – she definitely knows what she’s doing. Class ends, I’m walking out – this man is speaking to Hannah about the studentship he’s doing and starting tomorrow (which is now today). I expressed my immediate interest as he describes that they will be learning the anatomy part of the asana’s, and going more in depth into the specific muscles used (OMG That’s what I’ve been studying for the past four weeks! Jesse is excited!) – and learning specifics on the history of yoga, connecting it with more than the just physical aspect (cha-ching!). I naturally am obviously eavesdropping and give my unknowingly louder than expected – ‘Oh Cool!’. He’s so nice and says ‘yeah its awesome. I’m so excited! You should sign up, I think there is one spot left as of Monday’ — eerr its now Friday, can’t be any spots left…. Within minutes, I was signing on the iPad screen to complete the purchase of the 4-week (only on weekends) Adhikara (Studentship) – including one month of unlimited yoga. Adhikala - 4.9-5.1

This starts – TODAY! Day two home and I’m already starting my journey in the US. YAY!
Then Kat texts me later – this is now the afternoon around 4:30pm. When I got home from asana practice, I had a grand plan of doing laundry and going grocery shopping. I felt kind of out of it and decided to lay on the couch for a quick 20 minute nap. 4 hours later – Im laying on the couch, texting with Kat. No new food in the fridge or laundry folded on the bed. Kat’s at work – GetAround – She says ‘My bosses wife is teaching yoga for my coworkers birthday (or something like that) and she really wants to meet you! I told her about our trip and she’s interested in hearing more. Do you want to come Monday night?’. Response – Immediate, Yes. Kat’s office has a Yoga Room. They don’t have a weekly Yoga Teacher to occupy that Yoga Room. Insert – Jesse. I meet Kat’s bosses wife, in turn meet the bosses, in turn (fingers crossed), I get my first SF Corporate Yoga teaching gig (insert champagne bottle popping emoji). I need to figure out a good 20 and 30 minute sequence. Gets the heart pumping, but not too much; gives a good stretched – geared to those sitting all day. The Juanita’s Corporate Office Sequence. It has a ring to it, I think.

I have about 4 1/2 hours until Adhikala – Day 1! Woop Woop!
Jeff’s still sleeping and its 8:50am. I know its Saturday, but I’m totally going to wake him 🙂
Love is life.

❤ J

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