Ok, so I just haven't been that great at writing on this blog, this trip. My original plan was to do as I had done previously, and record every wild bit of adventure. I thought this could be the sequel to my previous journey which turned into a book called, "From the Bottom of the Earth, To the top of the Earth". I thought I could call this one, "Into the Clouds"
But, I didn't plan on all these crazy twists and turns in my journey, the one's that keep me busy and occupied and away from computers. First off I never find myself alone, or lonely and in need of company. I have a boyfriend. Last trip I would just go to the computer and write emails and write stories and reach out in those ways. Second, this trip has really been full of twists and turns.
So, I hope that in due time I will find a way to write all these stories, and finish this second book!
As for where I left off in the story, here goes...
Rishikesh started off great. I reconnected with my beloved Himalayan guru Swami Umesh (I just call him Swamiji, Mr. Yoga Teacher...tee hee!). I decided to train Transcendental Meditation with him. I also arranged a great deal with his brother Naresh, who is a Reiki Master. He agreed to attune Gaura for level 1/2 Reiki, and let me join in to go deeper in my knowledge of it for one fair and low price! I love my Reiki master Morley, and his wife Geeta who is my Reiki healer. They are like my spiritual parents. They healed me, and attuned me, and passed along some amazing ancient knowledge to me. But I had left Mysore, a couple of days after my attunement and had missed out on the nurturing support of my teachers during the weeks that followed. After being attuned, usually a Reiki healer enters into a 21 day cleansing process that shakes up and removes old junk from the body/mind/heart! I still had a week and a half to go until I finished my cleanse. Since being attuned I had cleansed my body through a week long awful flu, and a 3 day horrible stomach bug. So many mental and heart issues had also arisen during my cleansing time. I found that some of the negative things I had carried with me from difficult past situations were:
-distrust in relationships
-fear of my kindness being taken advantage of
-fear of opening my heart fully
I can directly relate these fears to my previous two relationships which did not flow as I had hoped they would. I was finding it hard to be the open hearted, generous, fearless, passionate person I had been before these relationships cultivated some insecurities. I admit it! I am human, and full of flaws, and fears, and I get effected by life sometimes. I even found it frustrating that these situations had effected me in such negative ways. I can tell you that there were many beautiful ways that these relationships changed me as well. They helped me grow up. They taught me about love. They taught me that I can commit myself truly and whole heartedly to another person. I learned that I am capable of giving huge amounts of kindness. I learned to take huge chances, and to cultivate faith and devotion even in really hard times.
But as humans I think our ego's are fragile. The ego clings to the negative gifts that difficult situations leave behind, and cries, "poor me, look at how awful that was, now I have to protect myself so it doesn't happen again, because that was terrible". It doesn't want to work through difficulty, it's so sensitive.
I hated admitting to myself that even though I walked away from these relationships with some beautiful growth as a person, I also lost some of my youthful purity and took on some negative, protective qualities.
So here I was in Rishikesh, India ready to take on the deepest, darkest, and worst of my own residual drama! I decided to work with Naresh as both a gift to Gaura, so that later we could do Reiki together, as well as to have more support during my own spiritual process. I wanted to get rid of that darn "poor me, ego protection", and replace it with a healed and healthy body/mind/heart, which I hoped to share with sweet, beautiful Gaura!
The Transcendental Meditation course was a 4 day intensive process. Every day I awoke around 6am, and would prepare myself for the day, and get to my teachers house around 7am. We would meditate, discuss, and plan out my homework. On the first day I went through a beautiful ceremony where I was given a secret/sacred mantra that was chosen specially for me. Each morning, and every evening before bed I would use this mantra as a tool in my 20-30 minute meditation. Each day the meditation got easier, and more understanding about the process of TM was revealed to me. On the fourth and final day, I was instructed to meditate 4 times during the day, and to remain silent for 4 hours. I was not allowed to read or watch tv, or distract myself in any way. During that time I found a beautiful peace inside myself!
During those 4 days I spent the afternoons delving deeper into Reiki with Naresh and Gaura. For 4 days I spent my time filled with peace, healing, and beautiful souls! I found this very helpful while my body and mind and heart were going through this intensive cleansing process. During this time Gaura and I made great friends with this amazing Aussie woman named Loz. We met her on the street one day because she just grabbed me while walking by and said, "Do you do Reiki, I need Reiki really bad!" This was a great synchronisity. I had just arrived in Rishikesh, and had recently been attuned. We became great friends and I talked her into doing Reiki level 1.
On day 5 we all decided to celebrate by taking a hike up to this amazing waterfall. So Naresh, Gaura, Loz, and I all hiked out through the most beautiful mountain tree's to this sparkling waterfall and spent the afternoon in our own little paradise. We swam in the cool clean water, we dunked under the strong stream of the fall, we baked in the sun by the waters edge. We all shared Reiki, as we were all Reiki healers. We talked for hours. I read Naresh's tarot cards. It was a day of true friendship, sunshine, kindness, and beauty! It was a great way to say good bye to Rishikesh.
Gaura, Loz, and I planned to leave the next morning for Gangatree. Gangatree is near the place where the holy river Ganga springs forth from. From there you must only hike 18 km to Gomuk the beginning of the revered, holy river. Our plan was to do this hike and perform some sacred spiritual ceremonies at this place of purity. That evening full of rosy cheeks, and happy hearts we stayed up late giggling and packing to leave my home in the Himalayas.
Some time in the middle of that night an awful pain began in body. This pain would grow and evolve into something awful that would change the course of my future in many ways!
It began with the feeling that I was peeing chard's of glass. A fear arose in me, as I had experienced a few UTI's in my life and this felt similar. Earlier in my trip, a doctor had diagnosed me with a UTI, urinary track infection, but my symptoms at that time had been milder. I had gone through a heavy dose of antibiotics following an ayurvedic prescription that didn't do the job. It had seemed that the antibiotics had worked for a time, but this infection had returned out of nowhere, worse than before. I sat for hours hunched over holding my lower belly, and peeing tiny, painful trickles of sharp glass every 5 minutes. I didn't sleep a wink that night. I laid next to Gaura enjoying his sweet peaceful face, and breathing in his warm comforting smell, and snuggling close to his body hoping to erase my pain with the comfort of my love.
By 4am in the morning I was a mess. I was terrified to leave the guest house even though we had already checked out. Gaura and Loz ran circles around me preparing everything, telling me everything would be fine. Loz loaded me up with fresh antibiotics, pain killers, and made me pop a strong sleeping pill as our jeep pulled out of my spiritual home in the Himalayas. I had a fear that leaving this safe haven while in my condition was a terribly bad idea, but then I began to giggle as my eyelids got heavy and my body became warm and floaty.
I fell of asleep right away, and don't remember much. I remember having to go make an awfully painful pee at a really yucky bathroom half way there. I remember Gaura feeding me water and holding on tight to me, so I wouldn't fall off the seat as I slept. At some point we changed jeeps. At some point Loz slipped me another sleeping pill to make sure I could make it through the whole 14 hour ride without crying or peeing my pants.
I awoke as we arrived at one of the most beautiful places on earth, in the dark of course. We quickly found a place to sleep, and speculated that the loud rushing sound must be the Ganga, very close by.
The next day I discovered the natural beauty of this spiritual haven. Many multi-earth colored mountains jutted towards the blue, blue, blue sky that was so blue I am sure this place is why that color of blue is called sky blue! Green, luscious foliage of every shape and size sprouted all around the fertile earth. And the rushing of the Ganga turned out to be a spectacular waterfall overflowing right behind our guest house. The air was crisp and cold, quite a change from sunny warm Rishikesh. The breeze smelled like earth, and crisp fall, and water, and nature, and purity, and divinity! I was meant to come here! Even if I was beginning to fall terribly sick, I felt so sure that I was meant to be right here in this moment! Loz had brought along this Israeli guy that she befriended our last day in Rishikesh. They quickly connected and left Gaura and I to go off on their own adventure to some hot springs a few hours away. Due to my illness, and our plan to trek to Gomuk as soon as I was healed, we stayed behind and settled in.
Day 2 I went to see the local doctor because the pain was getting worse, and the antibiotics weren't working. He took me off them, and put me on new one's that he swore were specifically for UTI's. He promised I would be ok soon. He also loaded me up on very strong pain killers and had me check in twice a day. The pain killers worked but the antibiotics didn't seem to. The pain would be unbearable as soon as the pain killers wore off. I kept telling the doctor, and he kept telling me to be patient. Meanwhile, we couldn't hike because I was too sick, I was peeing a zillion painful times a day, and a cramp in my belly and back began to make walking a chore. We couldn't leave because I couldn't be trapped in a vehicle without peeing a zillion times for 14 hours straight. So we spent our time having amazing long talks about the deepest parts our our souls, we admitted our guilt, our fears, and our dreams to one another. We fought over stupid stuff because we were trapped in this tiny room together. It was amazing, even though I seemed to get more and more sick. We would take afternoon walks and plant ourselves on smooth, naturally water carved stone on the edge of the waterfall. We would argue about spiritual philosophy only to find out we believed the same thing, we just called it by different names. Our love deepened! I began to trust Gaura as I found out how much I could actually lean on him in my difficult moment. One day Gaura was convinced I needed really healthy soup, and somehow talked the nicest restaurant in town to let him cook for me. 6 Indian men offered there assistance to Gaura with huge smiles gawking at the western man cooking for his sick lady. We had gypsy stew full of flavor and health for dinner, and American apple surprise for desert, which was baked apples in home made caramel. We shared a little with our hosts and ate like a king and queen that night.
During that time as my condition got worse all my negative feelings and fears also continued. Even though everything was beautiful and wonderful with Gaura and I, it seemed things were awful with me and my body and my mind. I understood that this was the thick of the storm of my cleansing process. But I felt like I was fighting for my soul. I had to be sick, I had to face my negative wounds, and I had to face it all now so that I could truly move on to greater things in life. I had already been offered one of those greater things in life, Gaura, and all I had to do was actually deal and heal to prepare myself for his beautiful soul and all the kindness and love he was offering me in so many ways.
I now understand that we can't move on in life until we close doors, deal with drama, and heal pain. We can't just say that sucked, I am just gonna run away, and think of happier things, and be with better people, and leave all our anger, sadness, and blame behind and expect that it's gone. It doesn't actually go until we actually deal with it, face it, let it flow through us. Sometimes we have to cry, and think, and feel, and face difficult situations. They are hard, they do hurt, but they also teach. God does have a lesson plan for us all, and we don't get to decide what chapters to skip, because we fail the test of life if we try to cheat in this way. We need to be present, and mindful, for it all. We need to embrace and love every bit of it, because it's life, and it's precious and short!
After 8 difficult and beautiful days in Gangatree, we needed to go and get to a more qualified doctor. We hitched a ride out of town in one of those trusty jeeps, and I prepared myself for the 14 hours by avoiding water, and loading up on pain killers once again.
When we did arrive in Rishikesh we were forced to check into a shit-hole of guest house, because I couldn't walk across the bridge to get to Lakshman Jhula, my favorite and quaint little part of town that I had always called home. We awoke to people singing in Hindi and moving bricks loudly working outside our window. The window opened up to a hallway full of darkness and bricks, and not to the outside. The bathroom had a hole for a toilet, and no sink for washing your hands, just a shower. Not a great situation for a gal who pee's as much as I did.
Gaura knew he needed to get me outta there quickly, and to a doctor shortly after that. What a beautiful heart he has. He found a local guy to drive him in out to Rishikesh with half of our stuff. He arranged a room in our favorite guest house, and told them not to bother me at all when I got there. He arranged for this local boy to drive carefully, so as not to make too many bumps, while transporting me to our guest house. He then packed the rest of our heavy stuff and met me at our room, after walking the far distance, because the local boy had to get back to work. When he arrived I was laying under a sunny window napping.
I went to the doctor as soon as possible. As soon as she saw me she admitted fear that my kidney was having trouble. I was sent in for many tests, and was diagnosed with a UTI, and Kidney infection. She said that I had drank bad water, I had probably never healed from my original UTI, I hadn't drank enough fresh water to flush my system, I had swam in dirty water, (the waterfall and the ganga), and due to the 10 days of taking the wrong antibiotics this infection had grown worse, crawling up my right kidney. She did a test that would take 3 days but would tell us exactly what antibiotics would help my body fight off this horrible infection. She made me have a sonogram to be sure that I didn't have kidney stones. I cried the whole ride to the hospital, and Gaura continued to hug me tell me it was all going to be ok.
Thank god I didn't have kidney stones. I spent 3 more days on antibiotics that made no change in my condition. I could barely walk up the 3 flights of stairs to our room, so I didn't go out much, except to eat. A couple of times Gaura carried me up the 3 flights of stairs joyfully. He begged me every time to let him carry me up, but it actually hurt worse to be carried because it put pressure on my sore kidney. He sat there looking at me with those concerned eyes, often. He was devoted to me. And, me who hates to depend on others, who revels in her individuality and competence in taking care of herself and the world, needed help. I needed inspiration, patience, juice, gentle hugs, space, naps, someone to complain to, someone to do laundry and clean, and Gaura was devoted to doing and being anything I needed! He really proved his heart to me during this time, and not because I asked him to or expected him to, not because he felt he had to, just because he loved me so pure and true in his heart that all he could do is love me and care for me as much as I would allow him to. And all I could do was let him, because I just couln't do much at all, I was too sick. This was one of the hardest things for me, and yet proved to be one of the greatest!
After 3 days the results came back from my test, and they looked grim. Out of 15 antibiotics, only 2 seemed responsive. One of the medicine's would make me throw up my food all day, NOT GOOD! The other one had to be injected into my butt twice a day. Not very enticing options. I voted for the injections, figuring I needed nutrients from my food, hating the thought of vomiting, and preparing myself for a sore ass!!!
What can I tell you about the next 7 days. I got 14 injections which hurt like hell. Gaura and the doctor would ask me questions and sing with me to distract me. One time Loz came and did a wild and silly dance and sang me, "I will survive!", which warmed my heart and made me giggle! I watched lots of cable TV. I stayed up late, slept late, took naps, and went through intense mood swings brought on by the sickness that wore down my cheery heart, as well as pure boredom. Loz and I gabbed a lot, and it was great to have a silly girl to distract me. Every afternoon Gaura brought me a huge bottle of fresh squeezed juice. He doted upon me shamelessly! Loz and Gaura were my heavenly healers making me giggle, bringing me treats, and snuggling in bed with me to watch loads of cable tv movies! I struggled to heal and to stay positive and to work through my mental drama, that had arisen right around the time my sickness had come on. What a cleansing process this was! I cleansed my heart, and my soul, and my body, truly and to the core!
I struggled to open my heart and trust Gaura, even though he was clearly proving himself worthy of such gifts! I knew this fact, and I became grumpy at my stubborn wounded heart. I fought to allow myself to just love, and to give myself to this person who was doing and being what I spent countless hours, days, years wishing the wrong people would do and be. Why is that, how can a person want to give her heart and devotion to those unworthy of such gifts, and yet have such a hard time sharing such beauty with the one who truly deserves them? Somewhere inside I knew Gaura was worthy. Somewhere inside I knew I deserved this beautiful moment with him. Somewhere inside I knew I needed to deal with all this old stuff. I knew that if I could then doors of sunshine, health, joy, spirituality, and love would open for Gaura and I.
I fought the sickness of my body and brain with full force simultaneously, and as I healed the bruises in my soul and heart, fresh bruises appeared on my bottom. It was a trade off. I had given my physical health as payment for the chance to clean up my spiritual health and start fresh and new. I was given the stamp of good health, and the approval to leave on day 7 of my injections, and day19 of my sickness, and day 1 of my healthy new physical/emotional/spiritual self! Rishikesh had helped me transform, once again, in a major way. It proved itself as one of my spiritual homes!
Gaura, Loz, and I hopped on a 48 hour train ride down to the beautiful beaches of Goa. We were headed to the Ayurvedic Natural Health Center. We were promised 4 days each of intensive ayurvedic healing and nurturing. We all needed, deserved, and looked forward to our healing journey to the south of India!