I’ve spent 40 days in Lakhimpur ( a small part of Northern India) teaching Yoga and English. I’m now back in Burkina Faso-Africa, getting rest before returning to volunteer at an orphanage I was serving at in January at the start of my trip.
I’ve been reflecting on the smaller details of this journey and felt compelled to share my experience with the dainty shade of purple known as lavender.
The room I slept in had lavender walls with long lavender curtains on every window. This might not seem like a big deal, but for me it was. Colors are powerful! Whether we admit it or not, they affect each and every one of us in unique ways depending on our cosmic constitution. Our astral bodies vibrate most sensitively with colors on a metaphysical level and can open up parts of our past experiences lingering in our subconscious.
My bedroom as a young girl had lavender walls with a white comforter decorated with shades of purple flowers that resembled a water color painting. I liked it…actually, I loved it. It was really pretty. I was the happiest I had ever been in my childhood and I felt like a real princess, but eventually as I got older (14 ish) my taste towards purple turned sour (for reasons that I am still trying to figure out) and I begged my parents to paint my room peridot green.
I felt that ill-feeling towards lavender resurface on this trip. I tried to meditate in the room, but quickly went outside desperately searching for green grass or trees to escape the purple chamber. I like to think of myself as a reasonably logical person so I had to conquer this silly war I was having with a simple color. I gave myself a mind over matter pep talk and found a spot in the middle of the room on the floor for a seated meditation. After about fifteen minutes or so, I felt like I was drowning in memories and emotions of my past -abandonment, angst, rebellion, the discomfort of pre-pubescent changes and the disintegration of my family unit preluding the divorce.
side note: (I’ve come a long way with accepting my parents divorce, but the little kid in me can still feel the pain of wanting both halves of me to fit together like a whole. Healing is a process and I know I am fortunate to have so many people in my life who love and care for me. I can’t explain why it still hurts deep down, but I can at least be honest with myself about the residual heartache in my 25 year old psyche.)
I focused on my breath and watched my thoughts. My eyes welled up with tears, heart pounding (feeling like ripping my skin and rib cage open to escape my human casing) and I just cried and then I sang…cried and sang some more. I sang my heart out; the mantra “Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya” and the song “Jesus lover of my soul“(one my favorites to sing with my friends in church growing up). Both songs had started playing in my head and I felt moved to voice them aloud. (There was an entire singing fiasco that went down in the car with my host family where they stopped the car and made me sing, but that’s a story for a whole other separate blog post)
A few days later I read the Bhagavad Gita and it broke me (in a good way). My eyes were peeled open for three hours until I finished all 18 chapters. It was amazingly uplifting and Arjuna asks Krishna the very same questions I ask when in existential crisis mode. I recommend it to anyone and everyone, spiritual or not.
This part brought me to tears:
“Whoever knows, profoundly, my divine presence on earth is not reborn when he leaves the body, but comes to me.”
Version I read: Bhagavad Gita – A New Translation By Stephen Mitchell
this is a photo I took of a page on my nook reader
Overall, I’ve cried more in the past few weeks than I have in the last year. I know that it wasn’t just the purple, but a complexity of variables. Like the solitude and the distance from all the things I’m attached to. It was a connection with God I felt through a new lens of perspective. We are never really alone because everything is connected. I’ve known this, but to feel it so deeply changed my life in a way that has strengthened my inner fire.
On my last day before leaving, I looked around that room, at the lavender walls and curtains, with a special appreciation for their contribution to my experience (among many other aspects of this journey). God really does work in mysterious ways. I’m thankful for every detail of my reality, even the parts I don’t understand yet.
As for the color lavender, it really is quite pretty.
– T. Rahki