Michelle Marie McGrath from Sacred Self tells us about the lessons she has learnt from her travels to India.
India is one of those unique places in the world that is experienced through all of your senses, including ones that you didn’t realise you had! A colourful, vivid, overwhelming melting pot of all extremes that is unforgettable. A control freak’s nightmare. Ecstasy, hell, wonderful, beautiful, confronting, pure, dirty, heart-wrenching, brutal, divine and impossible to accurately describe. India demands to be experienced and will bring you fully into the present moment. India has a way of getting under your skin and lodging herself in your heart. I feel a trip to India should be mandatory for every person over the age of 30.
1.The sacred and the mundane co-exist together
You haven’t lived until you’ve been in traffic jam with a cow on one side of you and a family of five piled on a motorbike on the other. A bus is hurtling towards you as your life flashes before you and you wonder if you are about to be involved in a head-on collision.
India is a feast for the eyes and it’s difficult to know where to look as there is so much going on in every second of the day. Such extremes are juxtaposed next to each other. If you want all of your awareness bringing fully into the present moment, then get yourself to India pronto!
2. Water is a precious commodity
Until you’ve travelled in a third world country, it’s impossible to grasp just how spoilt Westerners are with clean, running water. It’s something we take completely for granted until we leave our pristine havens. The majority of water supply in India is contaminated by sewage and more than 95 million people do not have access to clean water. As someone who loves having a bath and lives in a beachside suburb, it was a humbling experience to realise that having a shower is not something that most people will ever experience. Consider that next time you are washing your hands and realise how lucky you are.
3. Personal space is a luxury
India has a population of more than 1.2 billion. Imagine it. More than 30% of the population are living in poverty and it’s a dramatic reality check to see people sleeping on the streets. To see toddlers begging is a disturbing and eye-opening experience. Deformity caused by diseases such as elephantiasis, where hands and feet are severely swollen is very common. Personal boundaries are non-existent as space is just not a luxury afforded to the majority. This is not to shock you or put you off visiting. Quite the opposite. It’s a reminder of the fragility and sacredness of life.
4. The real meaning of surrender
Everything happens in its own sweet time so it’s pointless trying to impose your schedule or getting impatient with the process. When asking anyone a question it’s immediately apparent where the infamous head wobble comes from. Trying to understand whether someone is saying yes, no or they don’t know is one of life’s great mysteries. Don’t try to work it out or you’ll give yourself a headache. Just take a deep breath, smile and drink in the experience. I lost count of the number of times I laughed and cried simultaneously.
5. I’m a very privileged woman
I experienced so many extremes and was continually reminded how blessed I am to be a Western woman. I’m free to express myself however I choose. I’m educated, healthy, have a roof over my head, clean water and have travelled extensively. These are aspects of my life that I take for granted as this is my reality. This was so apparent to me throughout my time in India and my visit holds vivid memories that will remain in my heart.
Written by Michelle Marie McGrath.
Michelle Marie McGrath is a Lovepreneur and Self-love Mentor. She creates Sacred Self’s organic Self-love range of Alchemical oils, bespoke Sacred Scents and popular self-love cards. She’s the co-author of “Love and Oneness” and author of “7 ways to love yourself” ebook. Michelle is passionate about falling in love with ALL parts of herself, and creating products that remind others to do the same.0