When India Beckons the Soul – GO!

Michelle Villarosa shares personal revelations in Hati Hati Mind. She traveled to North India with Living Atman in 2018. She is currently creating a spiritual sanctuary in Philippines.

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.
— Rumi

This time last year, I wouldn’t have guessed 2018 would be such a transformative year. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my partner and I would be living in Asia, I’d visit 11 countries, start freelancing, and begin building towards something that feels akin to 'my purpose'. Sometimes there’s an event that stands out and leaves a significant impact in your life. For me, it was India.

India.

It can stand on its own and mean a million things.

I believe life unfolds intentionally and at the end of 2017, India sent me an invite. It said “Dear Michelle, it’s time to discover your inner guru. See you in February - Love India”. Exploring new places and cultures is a major reason why I love to travel, yet India had never topped my list. What made it enticing NOW?!

Maybe a sentence about the page and how it made you feel? Meenu and Pawan at Living Atman meticulously chose every detail to align with the purpose of the trip - meeting your inner guru. Their deep, personal connection with India meant a culturally rich and uniquely authentic experience of a lifetime. From this pure intention transpired something of a miracle. Group trips to me usually suggest cookie-cutter, tourist-trap itineraries. I avoid them. This was different.

12 others received and accepted a similar invite to India. From every corner of the world, all walks of life, a range of ages and experience, a community was formed. Although many of us were meeting for the first time (at least in this life) we quickly gelled. We got to know each other before the trip through intimate group experiences such as shared meditations. When we arrived in India we were already riding the same wave.

HOLD ON A MINUTE. This all sounds very magical and perfect, and it was, but I have to remind you, this is India. And on this authentic adventure, we experienced all of it. The allure and also the GRIT. It’s loud, busy, dusty, and dirty. Just imagine upping your squat game on a moving train! You’ll witness poverty at a level you may have never seen before. The cringe-worthy smells and WTF visuals may shock you. Yet India awakens our passion, pushes us out of complacency, and forces us to confront life, death and everything in between.

India’s soul is ancient and with that comes incredible power and beauty. Individual transformation and how each of us chooses to see the world is why the story of India can be told a million ways. For me, traveling through India was a story of coming home to myself and recharging for the next chapter of my life. I did connect with my inner guru, and she’s now shining brightly!