and on the last day, i smiled 3 hours straight i realized. then cried. tears.of.pure.joy. this to me is fully living. this experience here in brazil. making new friends that are twice my age but doing the same things and living on the opposite side of the world, learning and unlearning from them, climbing to the top of enchanted mountain to watch a sunrise over the atlantic ocean.
for this i am blessed. truly.blessed.
i am 99.9% positive i will never be with these people again. but i believe you take a part of each person with you in each relationship you make. even casual ones. that 10%. and it makes you more colorful. in a city like austin you can go to wholefoods and make 3 friends in just an hour. (well i do, you do too right?) so in such a beautiful city i feel that i am always traveling, although home. ♥ i.love.this.life
but i leave brazil with a new family, a new peace, a new practice, a new purrrspective, and a new contentment on the way that i am, and how my mind works. :)
and i am just as ecstatic to go home as i was to arrive, because i am simply in love with life. and i refuse to hide it. ♥
i will miss overhearing conversations that make no sense at all when forced into the english language. haha. so adorable. like on my last day, one table at the ashram, "yes! she threw a live chicken at me!! straight from the coop she did it!" while the table on the left, "well excuse me i will go washa my hands because i played with a butterfly." and on the right, "and you? what do you say to your lover?" .... "we say darling. but this I do not say." ... "you do not say?" ... "no because me i do not have lovers."
i will miss karunya talking to the stars requesting that they heal the wound on her foot, being called jadey, and mirjam my guru telling me i am strong... "you are so much strength. you are really going to do amazing things with your life, i am certain of this. so much strength and purpose in you." this always gave me chills. not because i needed to hear someone say it, but because this is what pumps thru my veins, that i have dharma. purpose. that others will live because i lived. i will change things for them, somehow.
mirjam, she is such an inspiration. she is a relief to all that see her. the perfect example of ahimsa. it's as if she couldn't think an ill thought about a single soul. she is so motherly to any person next to her. talking to everyone as if they were a hurt child. (we all have one inside us anyhow) i cant imagine how loved her actual children must have felt growing up. ha, she even makes dessert seem guiltless. she's the most understanding, compassionate, joyful, and spiritual woman i have ever met.
and last but not least i will miss being sung to every night and waking up to freshly cut papaya. oh goodness.
but i will still sing "lokah samasta sukinoh bhavantu" every morning with my prayer beads in my hand, and mirjams voice singing it in my heart. and if i wasnt modeling i would probably get this tattooed in sanskrit going down my side, haha. my dharma. that all beings everywhere be happy and free.
on the last day i asked that 61 year old inspirational german woman that i climbed hte mountain with whether or not she had a family. "no... but i wanted 7" i giggled at how adorable she answered this then asked, "but you chose this life instead? with your backpack?" :) grinning because this is where i think i will be. "yes, this is what the universe had for me. the universe did not agree with my womb. because my womb did not trust." she didnt trust anyone enough to have children with them. i wondered if she was sad about this. but she seemed 100% content and happy. i loved watching her dance to the rolling stones, her favorite band, as she swung her head back and forth and smiled from ear to ear. this is joy. contentment. contentment takes away suffering. this is what a yogi calls santosha. ♥
thats why i love the serenity prayer. contentment, yet with desires. its not good to just be content, then you dont grow, you dont pursue. find your balance duh.
at the graduation ceremony we wore white and each took turns laying in the middle of the circle, with candles around us. for a minute and a half everyone in the circle said what they saw in you. as i laid there i repeatedly heard strength, compassion, eyes like the sea, loves her mother, loves children. but what stuck out to me was FOCUSED. haha. in a place where i felt so unfocused. the ceremony was beautiful and no one left with a dry eye. and i am now a certified yoga teacher. :) but this will be more with my life then on my mat. because when we can teach with our actions, then we can change the world. ♥
after leaving the ashram i headed to Rio for the weekend for one last Brazilian hurrah. and i wanted to see carnaval. :) i loved Rio. it was like all my favorite places in one. i loved the locals i met at the sushi bar (brazilians seem to love p.d.a. by the way), the australian lovers i met at the jesus christo statue that were traveling the world together (i also met an australian couple in njjembe forrest while looking for monkeys in uganda as well, i loved both of their stories..)
all the way up to my exit, i loved my taxi driver to the airport. i got in her front seat and she said, "you have very beauty. but you probably will not find true love." its funny because this sounds confusing, but it made perfect sense to me. so much sense that i have to write a new blog for it. so for now ill close this one. :)
so in closing......
Life is short....do what you love today. Do not waste this moment. Be here now.
♥ Lokah Samastah Sukinoh Bhavantu. ♥
this includes you. be happy and free. tell your family you love them. book/save for a flight. take care of your body, it has taken you so many places and brought you so many opportunities. love yourself. love others. do not get attached. there are too many amazing things you can do instead! the universe has very big ears, speak only what you want to happen in your life. because your days are numbered. so savor every taste life has to offer. even despair. sing to the hurting. have compassion on the suffering. this is your life, this is your moment.
and if nothing else, theres always laughter... and the dance floor.. and especially God. because no matter how bad or good you feel or are doing, He is really all you have when it comes down to it. ♥ that....and your beautiful mind.
today i am still traveling, i am in NY doing some bad ass shoots. "you're still a riddle wrapped up in an enigma" steve says to me as i arrive at his apartment tonight in brooklyn. yep. that's not going to change. :)