Seas of Manifestation

I could swim before I could walk. Some of my earliest memories are with my dad in a pool, showing me how to blow bubbles. A few years later, I would be moving fluidly and weightlessly, picturing myself with a whale’s tail propelling me forward. My love for the water has always been deep, but as time passed I became less inclined to leave the grounding earth and submerge. This appreciation for land took on a whole new meaning with a terrifying yet enlightening experience…

Aquila and I got married August 21st 2010. What a wedding it was! I was floating the whole night, enjoying the incredible music, dancing and feasting. Thanks to the generous gifts of friends and family, we were able to leave our cushy Canadian lives, and take three months to travel on a “honeymoon”. Carpe Diem!

We chose to go to India – a land of duality and contradiction; immense beauty and tragedy in the same breath. The social rules we are familiar with in the West do not apply in the East, yet despite the ocean of language and cultural barriers the human connection persists.

We travelled from the North to the South, from Sikkim to Kerala. Worlds apart in the same country: Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity, all balanced precariously together on a fine line.

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Exploring a Gompa in Sikkim.

Soaking up the love from the open and caring communities where we stayed, and learning what we could through our western eyes, it became ever more clear: no matter how differently we behave or look, beating hearts can always relate.

Many parts of our trip were far from glamorous with intense physical, emotional and spiritual demands, so it seemed necessary to have at least one restful day at the beach. Relieved of our heavy backpacks we stretched out and enjoyed the welcome break of sunbathing. The sea seemed to be calling to me and it felt like the perfect time to leave land and go for a swim. We made our way into the warm salt water.

As if on cue, waves started coming to shore. Small ones at first, fun to jump into and feel the flow of the ocean. Suddenly, a much larger wave crashed over my head, dragging me down into the undercurrent, spinning me like top. It took all my strength to keep my neck from snapping backwards and the moment I felt the pressure give I fought like hell to get to the surface. I burst out of the water for one massive inhale of sweet oxygen, opened my eyes and saw another wave wrapping around me.

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The ocean giving me some tough love.

Again, I was sucked under, fighting for my life, for my neck muscles to protect my spine. My lungs burned and my mind raced. Finally, the moment came where I frantically found my way to the top and scrambled out of the water back onto land.

Once again, a taste of life’s fragility inspired Aquila and I to sit down and decide where we truly wanted our lives to take us. With a neck covered in tiger balm, we discussed our dreams over dinner.

On a napkin, we drew a farm.

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The farm of our dreams…

What’s your dream? I’d love to know, leave me a comment.

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Seeing My Way Out

 

A shocking change of perspective was the key to unlocking my mind. Once I believed life was really mine to live, there was no going back.

My best friend, Aquila – now my husband – asked me to travel with him and I said YES. We had no idea where we were going, but we knew we were leaving the city where we felt suffocated. Leave school. Leave expectations. Leave unhappiness.

My understanding, free-spirited mother told us about WWOOF, World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, where you volunteer in exchange for room and board. It sounded like the perfect opportunity for us to experience country life without being bound by a program with rigid timelines. Instead, we could choose from a variety of WWOOF host farms, and make our own arrangements as we travelled  throughout Canada.

We signed up to get the list of hosts with their sometimes wild and hilarious descriptions. One in particular jumped off the page, and we knew that would be our first destination. Horses, vegetable gardens, and maple syrup were all enticing features, but I could only envision horses. I could feel, and hear their hoof beats beckoning.

Romantic notions of being surrounded by their energy fuelled each day I had to wait before following my horse heart. They gave me wisdom when Aquila broke his hand just before we were supposed to leave. They gave me strength when life told me to wait, to care for my mum with breast cancer and support her during treatment.

When the day did come to finally leave the concrete jungle, horses gave me courage to step up onto that bus and journey into the unknown.

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To my future.

What fuels you? I would love to know, leave a comment!

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