It was 2010, I went to see a spirit guide, a channeler. My guides told her I was supposed to go to India (This was April 24, 2010).
She said she had a vision of me presenting multiple passports and traveling the world frequently, communing with many people of different cultures. I was living in Canada at that time and my first thought was: “Really??? Where am I going to get the money to do that? Or the time?” I was bent on building a life in Canada even though my life seemed empty and purposeless. All I was doing for a semblance of adventure was shredding the high mountains on my snowboard. That was the only way I could feel my wings and the kind of carefree joy I’ve always yearned for. Little did I know the gateway to the adventure I was waiting for was opening up. And that gateway was inside me.
As if to stop me in my tracks, in 2009, I encountered a mild accident while speeding down a steep run on Whistler mountain. The edge of my snowboard caught a slight bump and I was thrown violently foward with legs careening in the air in what’s known as a “scorpion.” I ended up bruising my hip so badly, that my friends had to practically carry me to the car. Because my immune system was highly compromised, I ended up contracting the shingles. The shingles normally present in the abdominal area, but mine started in the forehead and made its way up to the middle, to my third eye area, and travelling up toward the hairline, making a beeline for my crown chakra, it seemed! I still have a scar to remind me. As I was convalescing, I was forced to review my life in quiet and solitude and an inner knowing came to me “Quit now and prepare.” Prepare for what, I wondered. I decided to quit snowboarding and to begin my search within. Vancouver was yoga country and the homebase of Lululemon, so it was natural for me to find my way to many a yoga studio within the city.
As I practiced yoga, I became enamored of the irony. My whole life of exploring joy in movement and activity, it was always running 21 to 42k marathons, or scuba diving in open waters, sparring in tae kwon do, snowboarding endless trails, and yet, here I was on nothing longer than a 6 foot mat, synchronizing breath and movement and I was finding myself opening up to a different kind of joy. The joy of blossoming from a place of authenticity and truth. This marriage of stillness and dynamism culminating in a coming Home to the innermost recesses of the Self, which, paradoxically, is the doorway that leads to a vast, eternal expansion of the spirit.
I love the Rumi saying, “When you start to walk on the way, the way appears.” On May 19, 2010, my mom suffered an aneurysm; which I considered an open door for me to pursue my path (I consider her part of my path; her higher self knew to stand aside). My mom’s airplane made an emergency stopover in Japan, which had the nearest brain trauma center not far from the kansai airport. I was scared for myself, I wasn’t ready to lose my mother. I’m the youngest of 7 kids and I was always her baby, even if I was such a difficult child. I knew my Mom always had my back. I flew to Japan by her side, and even though the surgeon said she would never walk, talk, or wake up, the day I got there, she had her eyes open and was able to communicate through blinking and nodding her head. She was still there, so I regained my courage though I knew my life had come to a turning point. At this time, I had already been practicing yoga for more than a year and my chakras have been opened. I kept receiving messages about India. India. India. Auroville. Auroville. The messages were so strong that I would find myself in some random book signing for UNESCO, and the old lady next to me started speaking French, to whom I replied also in French. And she said, she figured I knew French because she thought I lived in Auroville, and she lived there for six years! My eyes were wide open in disbelief! We became friends and she was my main resource for everything I needed to know about the Utopian City. One of my yoga classmates was originally from India and had a friend who worked in Auroville and consequently helped me acquire a one-year internship that would allow me to stay there. Then, after leaving Japan and Canada, I signed up for a raw vegan retreat in Bahay Kalipay in Palawan, Philippines. One of the residents from Europe who now lived there, was a temporary resident in Auroville a few years before. The signs were everywhere and it was unmistakable. I needed to go to Auroville and explore Mother India! I had the money, I had the calling, had the energy and enough curiosity to fuel my journey. So I went!
I booked my trip and rode the extremely full airplane to Chennai. My flight would land at 2 in the morning and I needed to find a taxi that would take on the 3-hour road trip to Pondicherry. Even though I was all alone, and knew no one, I had no fear. I trusted that this is what I needed to do and would somehow be protected. I remember looking out the taxi window, surveying this strange land, thinking, “He could be taking me somewhere dangerous and I would have no idea” yet, something told me I had nothing to be afraid of. This is the way and it is appearing.
I arrived in Auroville at dawn, found my dormitory and settled in. My first night there, I found myself in a spartan room, with a wooden cot and a simple bathroom. All through the night till morning, Indian chants and songs would play on a loudspeaker for everyone to hear. I could NOT sleep, naturally. I was thinking, “what the heck did I get myself into?” I left a first world life in the west to come to India. In spite of these “adjustments,” I knew this was where my inner process needed to start.
In India, I became an accidental photographer. Every nook and cranny was a photo opportunity. And so it became my daily life to have two DSLR cameras hanging on my shoulders, one wide lens, one macro. Becoming a photographer, I needed to see, not just with my eyes, but also with the higher senses, be it the natural beauty of a butterfly perched on a newly-bloomed flower, or a majestic monument like the Taj Mahal, and in India, there are many of one or the other. With each photograph I captured, something bigger and deeper clicked inside me.
In India, there are a million stories that make up a long, interesting, colorful history. As you walk the ancient caves, palaces, and cities like Varanasi, one can’t help but feel the old world sparking memories from what could’ve been a past life, or perhaps, several past lives. In my eyes, nothing could convey the old world more than the grace of its people. The depth of their souls as their eyes come to meet yours in a most solemn joining of the palms sealed with a very subtle bow, and a smile of the heart, “Namaste.” Somehow you know this grace is borne out of the land itself, nurturing its children and cultivating the ancient teachings of love and respect for all Life. A long-time migrant in Auroville once told me, “You don’t travel to India, India travels you.”
As I explored the land of India, I became exposed to the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and their fervent intentions that catalysed the spirit of OneNess that was at the heart of Auroville. I went to Kerala, to seek out the divinity of Amma, the “hugging mother.” After a long journey from Pondicherry and what seemed to be an eternity waiting in line in a moving stadium of people all wishing to commune with her spirit within her “divine”embrace, I was surprised to feel absolutely nothing when it was my turn. Up close, I saw an ordinary woman with no “magical” aura surrounding her, and who didn’t seem to have any interest in me or anyone for that matter. Her arms would mechanically open and envelope anyone (or thing) standing before her, just because it was an expected act. She made no connection with her eyes or with any part of her being, instead, she gave her full attention to 5 male cohorts standing behind her, laughing and engaging her in conversation. Somehow they seemed “hired” to entertain her while she sat in her big stage embellished foot by foot with dazzling floral arrangements. It was then I realized, the divinity I feel is within ME, and cannot be brought out by anyone who thinks they are higher than everyone else. Anyone who tells me otherwise is trapping me into a deception designed to stunt my spiritual growth and human potential.
I felt more divinity from the caretaker of the building I resided in, called Arka (Ray of Light) in Auroville. One day I came into the kitchen, looking for food, only to realize that I had come in an hour too late and the cooks were gone and the kitchen was closed. I went back into my room hungry and tired. Half an hour later, I heard a faint knock and a voice that softly bellowed my name. I opened it and beheld the caretaker with a plate of rice and eggs for me. He had taken the time to cook his own ration of food so that I could go to bed on a full stomach. That to me, was divinity. For what is divinity, if not the all-encompassing power of Love and service to others without ego, without expectation, without condition?
A year into my sojourn in India, I came across a group called the Indigo children. For some reason, the term came into my consciousness, so I googled it. One can imagine how many “hits” the term would bring back, and yet it was one particular group of Indigo Children that caught my attention. I knew because my hair stood up as I read the content on their very loosely thrown-together website.
Long story short, I communed with this group of Indigos and engaged in their frequency-anchoring “gridwork” around the planet, namely, India, Peru, and Sarasota, Florida from August 2011 to January 2013. The India trip in 2011 was beautiful and powerful, exploring the Motherland I already knew, with this group of people that had particular high frequencies. It was just exhilirating.
The trip to Peru was a trip to remember.
We explored many ancient sites considered sacred within the country, and the most special, as expected, was Macchu Pichu. We became privy to a past life together after the “Christ” era, in this sacred city. We always had the intention of anchoring the frequency of the potential for eternal vertical ascension, or the natural trajectory determined by our DNA code to transcend the limitations of the three dimensional reality and into the higher dimensions of a formless, pure existence of consciousness, in which all things already exist simultaneously. Several impediments presented themselves during that and many periods over billions of years, as is true even in present-day. However, many of us have returned with the same goal in mind, but always respecting the All One-Ness and revering the importance of free will.
As I write this today in UNLTD, it feels like the end of that inner path that first appeared to me ten years ago after an unfortunate snowboarding accident, is right here where I’m sitting: at a table where I see kids with special needs and adults who are victims of deep emotional trauma, all of whom I strive to help come back Home to their true Selves, where all the answers to their existential questions can be discovered, and how their potential as humans living in this extraordinarily powerful time, can not only be realized, but also maximized to their fullest.
We must believe in who we are. We must remember who we are and why we all incarnated on Earth in this timeline. We have a clear purpose and mission to accomplish. Every single one of us. We don’t need to look outside of ourselves to find magic. We are the epitome of magic.
We came here gifted with an eternal code where a life without dis-ease, without deterioration, and I daresay, without death, is not just possible, it was intentionally programmed by Life itself.
In the words of Evolutionary Biologist Stephen Jay Gould:
“We were born to die unfinished.”
Video slideshow of some of my favorite photos of India: