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Soul Search

In Between Real Dreams and Inconvenient Truths

January 23, 2017
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“It takes immense bravery. You have to be willing to be ripped to pieces for the sake if the inherent freedom of self expression. The secret is, its always worth it. It is worth the scraps and bruises to the ego to set your soul free”

 

Here is a story, a story of a girl. She was born blessed with angels guarding her all the time, may be she knew that and may be that was the source of a her courage. Everything she touched changed into Gold. She was blessed to be born with a mind and body that could communicate well with each other, that was the the true source of her worldly achievements, she was a player. Not just that, she was a fighter too! she didn’t care of her wounds and may be denying her wounds came her power (Ref – Wild). Illnesses and injuries didn’t stop her from playing or from putting up a tough competition.

As she grew older, she started to fade off, the reasons were many. She started feeling the world further and further, she went from place to place not out of choice, often she started feeling she wasn’t accepted, not sure off why. She wasn’t physically strong any further because she suffered asthma, but her mind didn’t know how to give up. Since everything she touched turned into Gold, she didn’t know what was it that saw her like may be she is Gold. She kept fighting, she kept playing the game called life, in search of something which at that time even she wasn’t sure of.

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Turning at adult at 18 and there on, she kept moving from place to place, she only found her self  ill-fitting everywhere she went. She was a believer, she believed in soul mates, she believed in eternal friendships, but found neither, rather all she found was being ridiculed, judged and heartbreaks one after another. She was losing herself, even she wasn’t aware of it, she kept trying to please the world still trying to put up a fight and being a player, but she felt like it wasn’t her battlefield, she tried and she tried, switching professions one after another, she never felt like it was her, or it was were she belonged. There was one place that she felt she belonged, and that was the mountains.

Completely losing herself to the world, forgetting what she was made of, wounded and heart broken, she began to grieve and to grieve she would run, run for her life to this one place where she felt safe and at peace, the mountains. She grieved to the mountains for years together and every time she felt like the mountains were trying to tell her something, there was a secret. That became a pull, it was almost like the mountains fell in love with her and couldn’t live without her, they would conspire to call her back to tell her a story that she could listen to all the time, and when back in the real world, she felt like her soul was still there, only her body was back.

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From there on she started unlocking the secrets one after another, she still didn’t give up trusting and loving, but this time she knew who she was, she was a wild soul, she couldn’t be tamed, even by herself, so even when she tried to tame herself to the proceedings of the world, she failed, miserably. She finally started getting back in touch with herself, whom she had lost years back, she finally realized who she was and accepted and loved herself for being the way she was and once she came through her pain and healed herself, she knew, she knew exactly were she wanted to go.

Today the sufferings of the world pain her, a wise soul once told her she could be an Earth Angel. Her only pain now is when she sees people far away from their own realities but she also believes this journey can only be taken by oneself, some healing souls can help you show light, but one needs to follow the light themselves. Her only goal in life is not to play, not to fight any longer, but to inspire, to heal the world from suffering and to make people believe in love, not the love between two partners, but a love beyond that, a love that you feel that makes the universe revolve and that love is enough to survive, happily, over money, over success, over greed and over destruction. She wants to live a real life, a life in the mountains, away from everything of neo-consumer nature and inspire the people of the world to learn to live in harmony and not greed, with the nature.

This is a summary of a book which is hopefully on its way soon!

PS: 2016 was the year, that brought me back to me, and brought me here.

Eco-Tourism Soul Search

The Blessing of Rhododendron – A Trek Through Great Himalayan National Park

September 7, 2016
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“The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have got promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep” – Robert Frost

IMG_0805Rhododendron, a flower that grows in Himalayan Forests with many blessings for you mind and body 🙂

 

A very known saying, a quote that each one of us can associate ourselves with.

I have been trying to write this piece for a long time, waiting for the right frame of mind or the right mountain top and finally I am going to put this down in the right frame of mind and on the right mountain top 🙂

Probably one of the reasons I couldn’t pen it down is because of the spell-bounding beauty of the Great Himalayan National Park, one is bound to fall short of words to explain the absolutely out of the world Himalayan Forest experience one gets to experience in there. The National Park is a Pandora’s box which I could only manage to touch with this three day trekking experience.

It was a dream for me to live in the mountains. I see fellow travelers wanting to travel to as many places which I would love to as well, but living in the mountains was a thought which kept me day dreaming through most of my corporate life. So, there I was with all my bags packed, quit my job, starting a travel venture and landed straight right up in Manali, the town I always wanted to live in, something about this place always pulled me back here.

It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, I went through hardships of the kinds I couldn’t imagine, from finding a place to stay to finding people to work with to finding home, I ended up in situations worse than my nightmares and I was all alone. It was after having two very tough in Manali, desperately wanting to get away I decided to run towards the Jungle, and I wanted to explore this time.

Did a bit of a research and spoke to a very dear friend in Jibhi, with the amount of time I had in my hand, boiled down to the Shilt Hut Trek in the Great Himalayan National Park. Obviously it has to be an Eco-Trek.

Reached Gurshiani, the last town before the National Park, sorted a guide, tents and other essentials and started trekking towards the National Park. The walk until the gate of the National Park is a long, fairly flat and a completely green walk through the forests, as we go further ahead, the forest would get deeper, city like sounds would diminish and I could hear different birds and insects. The sound got louder and it was like a peaceful symphony to the ears. We stopped at a village after a while, we were blessed to drink fresh Rhododendron Juice which was locally brewed, and as usual I told myself, why do people drink Coke and Pepsi packed in plastic bottles, why?

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A pool like formation in the stream while entering the gate of the National Park

 

As we came closer to the gate, we came closer to the stream, all I could see was blue water and green all around me, and the kind of landscape I had never seen before in the Himalayas. We crossed the gate and went till our campsite Rola. The moment we reached the camp and pitched our tents, it started to rain. I could just see the trees dancing in the rainfall, it was like the trees were so so happy and were welcoming the rain with open arms.

Next morning we had to trek upto Shilt Hut. It wasn’t as easy I thought it would be, it was a 6kms and a 45 degree ascend until the top. A more fascinating thing about the hike was the Forests getting deeper, we were able to spot birds and listen to their sound. The trees were dense and I could see numerous numbers of different plant species.

OH I was very conveniently trying to skip what was going on in my head. What was going on in my head? complete chaos and confusion, I felt like a headless chicken running in random directions and heading absolutely nowhere. I ran to the forest so that it could teach me something.

I quite surprisingly made it to the top in about 90 minutes, it wasn’t fast enough considering I was also treating this like a practice for the Annapurna Base Camp. Once we reached the top, Shilt Hut was like this dream come true little home on the mountain top which I would read in fairly tales with mountains and flowers surrounding me from all directions, I didn’t want to leave, I could live there, forever!

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The Shilt Hut

 

It was a day hike, we got to Rola by the evening, the river was right by the campsite, I would go wash my face there and fill my bottle with the fresh sweet water. It was time to head back the next morning, unfortunately. On my hike back I collected whatever trash I could and decided to take it with me to Delhi.

Finding home is all each of us want in life, and finding home is the hardest thing to do. Finding home is different from buying home. You can buy houses but you might never find one. We go through bad times only so that we know the worth of good times, following your dreams might sound exciting but it is definitely not easy in a world full of conformists and patriarchy. It could turn into your worse nightmare ever or it could be better than your dreams. It always gets harder than it gets easier. Yes! it always gets harder first. The forests taught me exactly what I preach, all that you need for a happy mind and happy life lies in the arms of nature, the greatest gift of god. You need oxygen to breath, water to drink, food to eat and a shelter to sleep. That’s all you truly need!

Trust your journey and be fearless! Always 🙂

Soul Search

Awaken your spirit and find yourself – Dear Girls, Start Traveling Solo

May 9, 2016
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“The real you is not a puppet, which life pushes around. You are something the whole universe is doing. The same way a wave is something the whole ocean is doing”

IMG_2558“ Darling, your world will be forever full of hollow heroes until you learn to sort it yourself”

 

At the very outset, I will be very frank, many might find this write up feminist to the core, and also this is not for any debate, this is what I have learnt and seen, and survived through, and I can strongly advise.

I’d like to give credit to very renowned blogger – Sanjukta Basu, for putting across feminism and why the term exists so beautifully, deeply and accurately. She opened my eyes to many things that I never thought of.

Why am I beginning this with feminism, because the term is considered a not so positive term, its considered like an opposition political party or something. There are men who truly believe in empowering women, and there are women who think calling yourself a feminist is degrading your personality. Women, this is to you and for you, wake up.

By asking you to wake up, I am not asking you to fight all the men and patriarchy in your life, frankly that requires a whole lot of courage. I am just asking you to find yourself, find out who you are, before you became someone’s daughter, someone’s sister or someone’s mother. It is not a sin to focus on yourself.

We live in a society where a free women is questioned, judged, gossiped about and you know why? Because many cannot handle it when women live a life of their choice, because a woman is supposed be a certain way, she is supposed to do responsibilities to the best of her ability it whatever role she is playing, and trust you me, and she is not allowed to fault or fail! And when she does fault or fail she becomes wrong, because she could not deliver. How many times are men under such pressure? There was a time when men needed to be more career conscious, but those days are gone. We are brought up in a society where boys are allowed and girls need permission, even to breathe. It’s really not about men or women here, it’s the construct of the society and the construct of the society is not breaking because a lot of women are still sleeping, they are not awake. Even if they are awake, they choose to give up without realizing that life is anyway a fight being born as a women, it depends on the battle you wish to choose for yourself. Let’s face it, you have to face patriarchy wherever you go, in different forms from different people but you do, why deny that?

We live in fear, constantly, because we are the weaker sex physically and sexually. We need to stop thinking that way. We are weak as long as we think we are weak, we hold immense capacity to handle pain, physically and emotionally and that’s why mentally we are the stronger sex, we have the capability to think and act at a multi-dimensional level, and our minds if opened can create wonder and bring eternal peace. We hold the power to love and to heal and create beautiful energies.

To untapp that we need to find what feeds our soul, yes passions, we all have our set passions that some of us manage time to indulge into it, however with feeding our passions we also need to learn to let go of fear, this comes from solo traveling. I urge each one of you reading this to travel solo to anywhere you feel like, any destination that you have been wanting to go to. Traveling solo gives you a bunch of experiences and trust me it’s not all rosy, you do come across all sorts of people, and you need to face them all fearlessly and keep your eyes on the beauty and not the rough roads.

You have one life, live it by your soul and by your rules and you will only spread good vibes and positive energy around you and by that you will only create more good energy for yourself. That is ow happiness multiplies, first keep yourself happy, not through material belongings but through going to places, knowing different people and cultures, stretching your own limits and horizons, getting out of your comfort zone. Travel, travel and travel to places.

Your death is not in your hands, you have to choose happiness every day till you’re alive, count your blessings and trust and value yourself. All this comes through solo travel.

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Here are few tips to travel solo for beginners:

  • Let go of the fear, don’t think you will be molested just because you are alone, there are good people out there, but be aware of your surroundings and be alert.
  • Build your self-confidence, tell yourself you are a whole and you can tackle any situation that you will come across
  • Meet other solo travelers and travel with them to ensure you don’t stretch your budget, and also make new friends along way
  • Research well on where you are heading, from the internet, read blogs and talk to travelers who have traveled to these places
  • Stay connected and stay safe
  • Don’t stress and enjoy your trip, learn to say no, you need to be sweet to everyone unless you are comfortable

 

So what are you waiting for? Need suggestions on where you should travel according to your taste…feel free to write to be and I’ll be happy to share my energy with you 🙂

Soul Search

20 Places You Miss if You Don’t Take the Manali – Leh OFF-Roadtrip

April 26, 2016
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” Fortune Favors the Brave”

 

I was lucky to have done the complete Manali – Leh – Srinagar Roadtrip in July 2010 in an all boys group, Back then I was sort of afraid of being judged, I was younger and less surer of myself. Gender steorotypes need to change and it is high time. Traveling has got nothing to do with gender or the no. of boys and girls in a group. I end up traveling either solo or mostly in an all boys group and all we all care about is the place and the culture, trust me, no body cares about the gender ratio in a travel group.

I know with direct flight routes opening from all Major cities, flying into Leh is an easier option, however you end up giving all your money to large scale airline companies, and don’t even get to see the best of the journey. Won’t you much rather take the road trip, ensure the money goes to local taxi drivers and enjoy fully rather than half. Here are a few places you miss if you don’t take the road trip 🙂

 

Manali:

Manali needs no introduction, a hub for travelers and backpackers around the world, a vibe you cannot forget. This is were it all begins.1

Rohtang Pass:

The first high altitude pass you cross the the high to Leh and trust me the view changes every 15 mins after crossing Rohtang Pass. Rohtang Pass in itself is majestic and extreme.

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Gramphu and Koksar

The next hault soon after Rohtang, here the road cuts for Spiti Valley incase you didn’t know 🙂IMG_0482r

Keylong:

The last fuel station, the HQ of Dist. Lahual and the last hault to fix all your problems, there is nothing after this until Leh

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Jispa,

A perfect hault incase you are tired, you still see greenery

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Darcha,

Here is where you start feeling the altitude 🙂

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Zingzingbar

Getting higher and higher and you start feeling lighter and easier.

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Baralachla Pass,

The second high altitude pass you cross after Rohtang Pass, there is not a single soul who is not hit by AMS here, I don’t mean to scare you 🙂

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Suraj Tal

Yes, you cross this beautiful high altitude lake after Baralachla, and the sight is magnificient 🙂

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Sarchu,

The border between Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, one of the most peaceful and beautiful borders you will ever come across

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Gata Loops,

And suddenly you will notice the landscape changing, you are at a constant height of 15000ft and above from here

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Lachungla

The next high altitude pass, which is at a height of 17000 ft plus,

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Pang

I stayed here and it was surreal and unreal

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More plains,

How does a high altitude plain looks like? it looks like this 🙂

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Taglangla, the second highest recorded pass of the world.IMG_0631

Last but definitely not the least Upshi

Upshi gives you a feel like Kashmir valley, pink mountains

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Hope I have been able to ignite the wanderlust in you,

please feel free to touchbase with me if you wish to know more, I’ll be happy to guide.

 

Solo Journeys Soul Search

Last Year This Time – 12 Months – 12 Soul Journeys

April 23, 2016
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“The best feeling is when you go beyond your fears and survive, happily”

This is a long pending blog that I have been waiting to compile. 2015 was a year of ends and beginnings, 2015 gave me alot and took away some real friendships. Traveling solo into my soul has always been my savior in life. Some people call it escapism, I call it loving yourself, because you are all that you got.

So here goes my travel journal for 2015:

January 2015:

Rann of Kachchh, Gujrat

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Reaching Rann of Kachchh is hardly a 6 hour drive from Ahmedabad and 1.5 hours from Bhuj. There are direct trains to Bhuj from all major cities. The best time to visit is Nov-Feb, for people who would like to explore the culture could visit during the Kachchh festival from December to February. It is a very safe place for women to travel. Kachchh has village homestays that only allow women travelers since they do not disturb the village culture and the women in the rural.

 

February 2015:

Sula Festival, Nashik, Maharashtra

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I didn’t even know something like this happens, thanks to a friend who booked this for me, who ultimately fell sick with dengue and I ended up going. I never had wine until Sula festival happened to me. A must must must experience, totally safe of solo women since its far away from Haryana 🙂 a crazy musical and wine experience.

March 2015

Tarkarli, Malvan, Maharashtra

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India is beautiful and unexplored, not many people know of Tarkarli exactly 95 kms before Goa on the Mumbai – Goa highway. For lovers of food, sea and peace, one can relish exquisite Konkan Cuisine for prices you cannot imagine. Tarkali also has beautifully beach homestays that are very affordable and offers beginner level scuba diving. If you are lucky you get to spot dolphins too.

April 2015

Kareri Lake Trek, Kangra,Himachal Pradesh

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Kareri lake is a beautiful Alpine lake trek in the Kangra dist. of Himachal Pardesh. This trek gave me the lesson of my life and made me realise that no matter what never challenge nature. Inspite of heavy rainfall predictions I still went head and got stuck, to our luck we found shelter, couldn’t complete the trek but soon again:)

 

May 2015

Chaderkhani Pass Trek, Kullu, Himachal Pardesh

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Did this trek with a group, a fairly easy trek ideal for first timers that follow a fitness regime. I went on my menstrual cycle on this trek, which was certainly effecting my stamina, drinking alot of hot liquids on a trek is the key to survive through when you start on your period. It might sound horrifying, it is not, you will survive. However, do not ever dispose used tampons in the mountains, carry them back, I did that.

 

June 2015

Beas Kund Trek, Manali, Himachal Pradesh

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This was the first time I was taking a group, as a trial. It was an experience, this is one of the most beautiful and recommended treks for all trekkers, the beauty of the valley just keeps getting better. Very doable by everyone, go for it!

July 2015

Deoriatal, Sari, Uttarakhand

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I always ended up going to Himachal and never Uttarakhand, so I decided to. Uttarakhand takes you to beauties with less physical effort in most treks. The beauty of the valley is raw and untouched. This was a solo trek, didn’t have a very good experience in terms of people but in terms of landscape, mind blowing!

 

August 2015

My Mini Tibet

Spiti Valley, Dist. Lahual Spiti, Himachal Pradeesh

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I would want you to read my blog – Lost trails are Beautiful, as this trip is very very close to my heart

 

September, 2015

Chandratal, Spiti Valley

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I missed chandratal in my first round in August, so I went back again, just to trek to the Moon Lake.

 

October 2015

Bhrigu Lake, Manali, Himachal Pradesh

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A not so easy trek with steep ascends, ideal for people who like to challenge themselves, the weather went bad again, so we couldn’t finish.

November, 2015

Puskar Festival, Rajasthan

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Read my blog on Pushkar here

 

December, 2015

Har Ki Dun Trek, Uttarakhand

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I wanted to do one multi-day trek unsupported and eco-friendly before the year ended, so I did 🙂 read my blog on Har-Ki-Dun.

 

Soul Search

I am Free! not “Free”

March 9, 2016
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“But all the magic I have ever know, has been created by me”

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Pic: My friend Gunjan, the world lost, a fierce free spirited woman who fought for love, lost her life, and is finally free.

 

Women, a truly beautiful creation by almighty! Women spread love and peace. One cannot even imagine the amount of pain that women take and yet stand up, most men are surely to have a break down if they ever come to dealing with the amount that a regular woman deals with. Men in history have only created violence, war and massacre. For all these years and years to come patriarchy will continue to prevail for one very simple reason, because of the biological and emotional construct of a woman. Patriarchy has turned a woman’s strength into her weakness, and that is her ability to reproduce and to endure enormous amount of physical and mental pain.

Free Women:

Who is a free woman? A woman who refuses to follow what is, a woman with a purpose, with a mind and heart of her own. A woman who has the courage to stand up for what she believes in even if the world stands against her. A woman who believes in good, doing good and spreading love and energy. She is free in her soul, she sees everyone as equal, she has the capability to look beyond gender and physical appearance of a person and identify the soul. She has the ability to look beyond society, materialism and judgement.

But what happens to free woman in this world? Some just quit and decide to carry on with a domesticated life weather or not they wanted it, but they still convince themselves that yes this is how it is supposed to be because this is how the society decided a woman should lead her life, dedicating it to her family, spouse and her children, yes and that is the definition of an ideal woman, the one who forgets about her existence, kills all her desires and puts herself to the service of others for the rest of her life. How much she receives in return, is something truly questionable.

Life is harder for the strong headed one’s, the free woman who can let go of anything but their freedom. Freedom of living the life they choose and they make and are constantly at every stage in their lives are charged guilty for it. Since their horizons are stretched through their upbringing, education, discovering their talent and of course through traveling, it is impossible for them to go back into the box the society expects them to. Even if they believe they can create the life that they dream of, the world ensures that she is beaten and broken until she dies or she goes into exile. This patriarchal and sexists world cannot handle free woman. They are a threat to masculinity, because these free women are probably more masculine then men itself. And please note, they are free! not “free”. They believe in love more than anything else, they do not believe in small talk, and cannot deal with disrespect of any form and they are open, it doesn’t mean they are easy. Know why? because they have been fighting as long as their thought can go back, and they have made their own life with their own hands, no man has gifted it to them ever on a platter, and no man or no woman holds the right to judge her or demean her. She is fearless, which is both a blessing and curse.

Why is it that I am writing this? Because I truly feel that women have a sort of a power that even they fail to identify. They live in dark and in under confidence. They do not realize that they are the one’s who hold the fort, they are the one’s who run the show.

What can you do if you are a woman?

If you are a woman reading this piece, the one and only thing that you can do to be loyal to your gender is never judge, disrespect or pull down another woman. Entering into a new era where more and more women are rising up against all odds, its time you help a few more. If you are not one and couldn’t be one, help someone fulfill their dreams, you might just find your calling along way.

And, redefine your comfort zone. You might think the life that you are living is an ideal life and you know it all too well. Its not that you know it all too well, its what has been told to you for years. We all have a beautiful gift from nature called the mind, and the mind is meant to think and to create, not to follow what is and definitely not to destroy.

Your soul has a purpose on this planet, find out what that purpose is, let curiosity lead the course of your life and let your mind be free, free from oppression, free from fear, free from people who don’t know how to treat you right.

Happy Woman’s World 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Soul Search

A Tribe that Vibes; Creating a Culture

January 16, 2016
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“You are Never Prepared for What you Expect, Because Life is Not a Rule Book”

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The year that has gone by, has left me speechless and spaced out, I am finally starting to question my own reality. With each passing chapter and journey, with the ups and downs that come, we completely forget to do this one thing, and that is to live!

All our lives we keep searching – for happiness, for comfort, for security, for love and for money. As we keep running after one thing, then the other thing, we forget to realize that we are just constantly running after so many things in different directions, with so much inside us that we want to share, we want to release. But what is it that we end up doing? we just let it be. We get back to routine, gulping what life gives us, like we have no choice. We condition ourselves to circumstances created by us.

We just end up depressed and unhappy with our lives, why? Because we don’t have enough money to buy the car we want, or people close to us do not live up to our exceptions, or we don’t find a job of our liking, or we are not doing good enough like our peers.

In this entire scenario, we forget the essence of life itself. Most of us, infact majority of us, I truly feel, give out the world their saddest self, why do people do that when they are worth much more. Because we are conditioned to be selfish, we are conditioned by a certain way of life that we hear, see and think is should be.

As Buddhism preaches, if you do not share your knowledge and experience to the world, it is just a waste. I wish to share my knowledge whatever little I have learnt about finding balance and peace.

Experience is the best teacher, and travel is the best experience!

You are your childhood memories, you are the books you read, the music you listen to, the sport you play, the songs that you dance to, the food that you cook, the paintings that you make, the plants that you grow, the animals that you love. You are not the mark sheet and degrees that you own, the designation you are at, the money you hold in your account, you are not the life that you flaunt but the life that you live!

So come travel with me 🙂 and help me create “The Energy Culture”

PS: Watch this space, details shall soon follow.