Across the World: My half-year in India
Travel Blog #3. March 6, 2017
This land continues to bless me, challenge me, inspire me, and bring forth more of my truth.
I am in love with her people, animals, land, food, music, dance, rich cultures and spiritual wisdom. I am challenged at times by her seeming chaos, contradictions, trash, and (some) very old and outdated ways and customs. Her art and music inspire me every day. The Shakti energy rages through me, especially as I dance and train so very hard in Odissi. The beauty I see everywhere and shanti that I feel often is also accompanied by strong stinky smells, loud horns, moaning cows and barking dogs. I stick out like a sore thumb, but also blend into the beauty of my surroundings.
In one moment I believe that I simply couldn’t be anywhere else, that India is me and I am India…and in the next I am dreaming of my sweet Santa Barbara and the comforts and cleanliness and calm that it brings me.
This, is my India. Many people want to know if I’ve moved here.
It may feel as though I’ve been gone forever, but I’m just over half-way through my almost 6 month trip. It was always planned this way. I’m still in it. And time is moving fast.
But am I moving there, you ask?
Hold on a second. I’m still experiening her. I am still drinking her in. And I haven’t even been to her South, or East or West. I haven’t even completely explored her North!
No plans to relocate. Just to keep visiting her and sinking my feet in her earth. I am in love, you see. So the romance is still happening. So I will keep coming back… to dance, drum, laugh, cry, connect, learn, expand, change, love, be loved, and so much more.
Some photos and notes from the past few months, just to give you a taste…
Women’s Tour Dec 2016 – Jan 2017
This tour was phenomenal. The women were beautiful (inside and out). We had SO much fun!
We’re doing it again this coming December. Let me know if you want in. Here are a few of my favorite shots…
Odissi Dance Training (late Jan until present)
I am in the depths of my dance training, where every night I wobble up the steps to my room, put my legs up on the wall, soak my feet and massage with olive oil. This is when I’m pushed beyond what I think is possible, in terms of my dance, my stamina, my capabilities. I am humbled by the incredible generosity of my teacher and her belief in me. She is pure shakti, this Colleen Shakti!
A few gems during my time here so far…
So there you have it, my dear. A little update. No, I’m not moving to India…just yet. I continue to plant many seeds here that are taking root in terms of my work in dance and music and sharing myself with this beautiful and complex place!
I miss my home of Santa Barbara often, but there is no place I’d rather be right now. I miss my family and friends back home, but am nurturing a beautiful new family and friend network here. Dancers from Chile, Bali, France, Greece, Mexico, Australia, Ireland, Florida and Oregon are creating incredible bonds and lasting connections are sharing the dance floor with me. I love them all.
I, too, am one big contradiction.
I love you all!