I’d like to tell you a sweet story. One of those melt your heart moments that you don’t want to ever forget. One of those moments where time seems to stop and you feel an avalanche of love pour over you.
It was the middle of my Odissi dance training this past January in Pushkar, Rajasthan. On one particular early morning, I sat down on the cold marble floor on a pink yoga mat, wearing fuzzy warm socks, my saree wrapped tightly around me and many layers to keep warm.
Our beloved teacher, and some of the students, had been knocked down by a nasty flu bug recently. Those of us who managed to stay healthy showed up that morning, a little weary, but ready to practice.
And no matter how tired, groggy, or sore we felt in the mornings, our other teacher, Sudhansu, put us in a great mood as he chanted, handed out prasad, warmed up on the mardala (drum for Odissi), and sang his heart out before Colleena arrived to lead us in morning meditation and yoga.
But this morning something extra special happened.
As Sudhansu chanted and drummed, a small group of dancers were taking apart and arranging flower petals (usually placed on the altar) in the middle of our dance floor. As I inched closer to them, I saw that they were creating a beautiful flower mandala (pictured above).
One of my dance sisters seemed to be in “charge” of this creation and was joyfully directing the others. Her name is Giselle and she is from Chile and she has one of the biggest most generous hearts I know. I love her.
I was struck by this spontaneous act of art creation, of beauty…a humble offering of gratitude and reverence.
It was to be a gift for our teacher since she had been so sick. As I realized the sweetness of this gesture, and reflected on all I had experienced up to this point in my dance school…in Pushkar…in India…my heart became flooded with intense gratitude and love.
I don’t remember when I had felt so much love.
Maybe when I was a baby being held in my mother’s arms or those few times in life when I’ve realized I’ve fallen in love with someone.
It’s almost too much love to bear. Tears streamed down my face and I felt flushed and woozy.
When Giselle came back to her mat (in front of me), I pulled her to me and hugged tight. I rocked her in my arms and told her “Thank you so much for this beautiful mandala. Thank you thank you thank you.”
She smiled and hugged me back.
Our teacher never showed up to teach that day. She was still recovering and exhausted.
She had put so much into teaching us and leading us and working long hours to make her school so very special. And her body needed rest.
So we practiced our hearts out anyway. She never got to see her gift (except in photos later).
But we were all blessed by this gift of love and gratitude. It wasn’t just for her. It was for us. It was for life. It was for this opportunity to come together in love and devotion in this faraway land.
Through lots of sweat and lots of shaky muscles and pushing beyond our edges and limits.
To just say “thank you” to life.
So I invite you, dear friend, to think of a recent moment or experience where you felt that flood of love overflowing.
Perhaps it has been awhile or perhaps it just happened over the past holiday. Whatever the case, I invite you to write about it, share it, relive it and flood your heart today with gratitude.
You can even share it in the comments below.
Spread the love. Tell your love story.
Because when we do that, we invite more in. And that’s a no brainer. We need more of that.
And I love you!
And speaking of far away lands and pushing my limits and flooding my being with love, I am just 10 days away from landing in Mama India for a much longer journey in dance and sisterhood and discovery and adventure.
Before I go I will be launching my incredible Dakini Online Dance Program and my Women’s Online Drumming Program. My goodness I have been busy at work, not only preparing for this 5 and 1/2 month journey, but also creating incredible content for YOU to continue to dance and drum with me even though I’ll be far away.