Happy ‘Brand Spanking’ New Year!

imageDay 2 of 2016 and I’ve already broken a couple of my New Years Resolutions, which is a pretty disappointing effort on my part, but if I am being honest, my list this year was a bit on the greedy/demanding side, normally people pick one, I went with 10!

I had the usual eat well, exercise, meditate, but then I threw in be loving and kind towards others, desire less, consume less, complain less, be more content with what you have, attract loving relationships into your life with love, connect more with your inner Self and let go of trying to control everything! But the irony is, I can now clearly see that my list is me trying to control every aspect of my life, thinking that if I do, I will become this perfect human being!

Fact- It’s impossible to be a perfect human being and New Years Resolutions easily get broken because life is bloody hard! Every day you are confronted with some sort of challenge ( especially in India where I am at the moment, don’t even get me started! ) and it’s way more comfortable to revert back to old patterns of thinking and behaving rather than implement new changes that require some effort. Rather than accept this reality, we instead make a specific list and then feel disappointed as soon as we fail ( which you most likely will, unless you are in the minority who have one good NY resolution and obsess over it for the next 365 days and then revert back to old habits the following year )

So I am throwing out my unrealistic list and instead I’m putting focus on just showing up each day and doing the best I can, I call this Love. A big part of being able to do this comes with another word, acceptance. When i arrived in Tiruvannamalai, India over a week ago, the accommodation I had prebooked and paid for with an Indian friend of my American friend was not what I had been shown in photos. There wasn’t a bed, instead a dirty mattress on the floor without any sheets, the bathroom was dirty, no toilet paper, full of mosquitos and overall it just had a really bad vibe. I had paid decent money and mentioned to him that I wasn’t happy with what i had got BUT because it was late that night, I was tired from the 8 hour all up trip, he had to go back to Chennai for 3 days, I accepted my situation and went to bed ( praying that the mosquitos didn’t eat me alive and that my back would survive )

What I didn’t accept though is bad business, getting ripped off by someone who I thought was a good person helping me out. I found out the next day when visiting the much nicer hotel next door that I had been charged nearly three times as much!! I’ve been in India 5 weeks and this was my first experience of getting screwed over, and it was by the one person I had trusted most, I wasn’t impressed!!! But for whatever reason ( maybe because I was a kind person and actually gave the Indian guy extra money on top for helping me out ) I was blessed. The hotel owner next door ( who is now my saviour ) took me in the next day temporarily, having to move some people around as he is booked out, came over to my dodgy hotel and translated my concerns to the owner who didn’t speak English, then a few days later had very firm words to my dodgy so called Indian friend, and arranged for me to get ALL my money back, this very rarely happens in India, so I am incredibly lucky, which I called being blessed!!

There is a fine line between acceptance and being taken for a ride, it’s called the middle line. Challenges take place all the time, they are unavoidable and show up whenever they want, this is life. What I have learnt in India is rather than get upset and angry about it, it’s best to just surrender, calm the mind, listen to the inner guidance, and trust that it will all work out in the end. Every action has a reaction, which is a lesson. When it comes to India, don’t pay anything in advanced. Be clear about what you want and what you have paid for as they will try to get as much money from you as they can. I never ended up on the street, in the end I got better accommodation. Also having spent time looking at many rental rooms in India, I am incredibly grateful for my living conditions at home, especially my bed!

So to sum it all up, 2016 is the year I choose to be more loving, accepting and trust that whatever happens, regardless of getting what I want or don’t want at the time, always works out in the end!

PS The love heart stone in the photo I bought on New Years Day, along a path in the Arunachala mountain, after a beautiful deep meditation in Ramana Maharshi’s Virupaksha Cave. It was a gift and reminder to myself to love more in 2016. If you are into meditation, I highly recommend jumping on a plane and spending some quality time in Tiruvannamalai, especially up the mountain, healing takes place!





Goodbye Job, Hello India!

guru-1I can’t believe I’m at the airport ( I remember booking this trip a year ago! ), bag checked in, officially unemployed, about to embark on a 9 week journey in the south of India, starting with a 30 day intensive yoga teacher training course, what was I thinking? As I type this I already feel incredibly exhausted!

And no wonder, the last few months for me have been an epic display of burning myself out, behaving in ways that I wouldn’t particularly class as loving towards myself.

Maybe I was trying to distract myself from the fact that I had resigned from my well paid job of 5 years to go spend 2 months overseas in a third world country that people keep telling me is not safe and will blow my mind ( in good ways and bad )!

Whatever the reason, I have been looking for love and comfort in all the wrong places.

I have kept my social calendar busy with way too many Tinder dates, trying to find a fix through feeling desired by emotionally unavailable men.

Red wine has somehow become a daily part of my diet. I can’t remember the last time I actually cooked something decent at home.

I have been out most nights keeping myself busy/distracted. And for the first time, in a long time, I am actually looking forward to getting on the plane so I can stop, put the phone and internet away and do nothing. NOTHING. Just me and my thoughts.

India is now in charge, and all I need to do is get off the plane in Chennai and be open to all the life lessons she will throw my way, good and bad.

Working full time as a Personal Assistant/ Administrator, a majority of my waking life is spent organising everyone and everything, which I guess has made me somewhat of a control freak?

I have decided to embark on this trip, not for just a month, but 2 months so I can work on letting go of this need to control my life down to the second!

Instead, I want India to tell me what to do. Show me what I need to know. Teach me what’s really important. Make me feel and understand with my heart and mind, that the real source of love is not from external objects, like men on Tinder and a glass of shiraz, it’s from knowing who you really are, pure conscious awareness and then loving yourself wholeheartedly.

This is my story I am going to share with you all. This is what todayiloved is all about. Learning how to be in love with Self in the present moment and watching it then expand.

Time to go jump on the plane, sleep and then wake up on the other side! Yep, I am a little bit excited!!!