Saturday, March 13, 2010

I Am SO Blessed

I am shouting a big THANK YOU to the universe because I know that I am so truly deeply blessed. 
First, because I got to HAVE the experience I just had in India working with Tibetan refugees. 
Second, because it has inspired me and motivated me to work on creative pursuits like nothing I can remember in my life.
And, third, last but not least, because the experience, and talking about it, and knowing I need to get back to do it again, has connected me with the most amazing, kind, generous people all around the world who are concerned about the issue of Tibet and Tibetans and are helping me in so many ways as I endeavor to raise funds to return to McleodGanj no later than October of this year (hopefully sooner).
So, thank you universe, and thank you beautiful souls!

With the help of angel Deb Lauman (aka ramkitten), whom I have known on twitter, Squidoo, and in person (not all at the same time!), I discovered a website called Kickstarter which helps people fund projects of all kinds. (Deb is currently funding a project which takes her to Nepal to work with Search & Rescue Dogs in the Himalayas.)
I quickly joined the site and created my project, titled "Teaching English, Learning Life with Tibetan Refugees".
In less than 24 hrs I have received $135 in pledges towards my $4000 goal! YES!
However, the "catch" with Kickstarter is that you have to reach your total goal in order to receive ANY of the pledge money...which means I have 81 days remaining to raise the rest.
That means I need to raise, on average, $50/day until the project deadline (mid-June).

This morning I have been deeply honored to be featured by fellow artist, Zazzler, and online friend Cherie, which has featured my project on her blog, Cheries Arts & Crafts. She is a wonderfully talented artist herself, and has been more than kind and supportive of me in this (as well as other) endeavors.

Life is good, and I am glad to be in it. And THAT is amazing in itself.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Just the Beginning

Thirteen hours from now the 777 will depart from Mumbai and I will look down and watch India vanish as thought it had never been real.
Of course I am filled with strange mixed emotions. Mostly right now I am relieved. The past week in Mumbai has not been difficult. I am looking forward to trivial but comforting familiar things from my US home...a long bath, a nice steak, a stable fast internet connection so I can really do some work...the love of a few great calls to my mom and long hours ensconced in bookstore cafes!

Sometimes it feels like none of the past 5 months ever happened.
But I know they did...and not because I have photos or journals or souvenirs.

I know they happened because my soul was touched, my life was changed. I know it was real because I am not the same woman who arrived here at the end of October 2009.
I know because I am connected by invisible threads to so many other beautiful souls whose lights illuminate my darkness and shine out into the world. We will be forever connected, no matter where on the planet we may be.
Some may stay in touch through facebook or emails while others seem quietly hidden...but they will still be there, whether they write or call or not...and I will hold them inside my heart until we meet again, if that is indeed our karma.

My work is just beginning as I look for new and more ways to publicize and support the situation of Tibet and the Tibetan exiles whose lives touched mine. I am creating products for my online shops, the earnings from all of which are now ear-marked for my return trip. I will research fund-raising and holding talks and events to educate others...I am hoping to work with at least one teacher to help educate her 6th grade class.
I am also reaching out to local print & tv media in the areas where I'll be living in the hopes that I can get them interested in covering some aspect of the situation, even if not by directly interviewing me re: my experience as a volunteer.
There are many options and opportunities and I now know the universe is going to connect me to the people and events which I need, when the time is right.

I am thankful for all of this. For the pain, the confusion, the failures and the triumphs. Every new thing, every new lesson...All the difficulties of life in north India (squat toilets, "no lights" power outages, no heat, etc).
I would not trade the past 5 months for anything.

And I know in my bones that I will be back. This IS my life, McleodGanj IS my home, this is my passion and my calling.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me by reading this blog, by messaging me on my social networks, to all who comforted me in times of confusion and doubt.
Thank you to everyone who has purchased (or will purchase) products from my shops or will make a donation to support my return to continue my volunteer work.
You are precious.

And so while today marks the end of this trip to India, it is only the beginning.
The sacred sojourn which named this blog is by no means complete.
I will continue to post when related soul journey insights occur, and of course whenever there is news concerning my return to my heart's home.