Still in jet lag mode, arrived back in my life in Canada, I am trying to stay present with what bubbles up in my awareness from my recent trip in India.
The benefits of having time in one place, on a trip, are huge. Life changing, compelling, prejudice challenging, friendship / relationship building, increasing understanding between peoples, culturally enriching.
In as much as I am reviewing how this trip impacted me, I believe I left an impact in my wake from being there. When I show up in my truth, I offer my words from a place of love and kindness, I allow myself to practice being present to what is …. I influence the world around me.
The more immediate and intimate the interactions, the more deeply felt impressions I leave in my footprints. The light that I shine is my part. The intention is to be significant in all interactions and leave people richer for knowing me.
We all have “viruses” or prejudices, pre conceived notions of how things are. Often these stay buried or part of our pattern of thinking for all time – never challenged. I have these present as well. They are not universal “truths” about others. They are prejudicial and hurtful potentially and they cause me to speak and think in unskillful ways. They cause me to believe that which is not true. It never was true. It never will be true. These prejudicial thoughts are not kind or helpful. It does not matter where they came from, it matters that they are set free and no longer influence my life or impact those around me.
As I was describing this to my colleague at the office today, he suggested that people all over the world have the same virus and prejudicial thinking – about me: As a tourist, as a woman, as a Canadian, as a privileged white person with money and resources. Does it mean I am untrustworthy or silly? Do the people I interacted with on this trip have a view of me? And now, has that impression significantly changed because I showed up on this trip, in their homes and communities? Did I perpetuate the misconceptions and beliefs about the North American white woman? Was the way in which I spoke, spent my money, engaged with others, the questions I asked and the way I showed up – was this true to my way of being? Was it positive and helpful? Spreading peace, empowerment and understanding?
My practice for this trip was to be more present. I wanted to represent kindness and positivity, to respect process and to stay as much as I could in what was, without thinking about why it was that I believed what I saw or experienced. Personal growth happens when I set out to be more open to another way of being in the world and then I practice the skills that can make me a better person.
My travel guide friend sent me this quote, from M.K. Gandhi and it seems to fit here, “For my material needs my village is my world. But for my spiritual needs, the whole world is my village.”
Please follow my travels on my blog: http://www.PamelaTravelBlog.com