Om and happy holidays. I am finding that as I settle into my heart path, studying yoga, ayurveda, vedanta, sanskrit, and getting our "nest" set up in Ubud (now that we have our own digs), that my desire to intellectualize the experiences I am having has waned. I find myself really "sinking in" to this reality: Baking, cooking, grinding grains, making ghee, and washing laundry by hand. There is something cellularly pleasing by it all.
At home, we have no television, no internet, and no phone. The conversations we hear outside our windows are not in our mother tongue, and sound more like the chirping of birds, or the chorus of frogs than "language. Because of this, my mind doesn't pop off "thinking" and instead the conversations of the locals around us sound more like music than words.
To top it off, once a week there is a scheduled rolling blackout. All electricity in our village ceases at 6 pm, so as it gets dark, we get ready for bed, with the rhythms of nature. We find ourselves smiling about this, in part because where else in the world would it be so tolerable? And second of all, it happens to occur in our village every Saturday night. This past blackout was extra special because we heard bounds of giggling coming from outside our family compound. Not wanting to miss something good, we carried candles down the stairs and out to the street and sat with the Balinese women, men, and children as they kids lit off small fireworks and "oohed" and "ahhed" just like at home. Laughter, excitement, sweaty bodies, and candy swarmed around the 20+ kids giggling in the dark streets. I was nestled right in with the balinese women on the stoop and Eelu, a Balinese friend I have made, held my hand and tried to explain to me what was going on. The one word in English that I caught was "happy" as she pointed to the kids. Simple. Simple and happy.
So, it's the "holidays", yes? I must say, the holidays almost haven't hit me, except for the two pumpkin pies I have managed to bake in my Electrolux toaster oven. :) Christmas Eve was quiet, with friend from London via Japan and Larry. And on Christmas day we went to our friend Charley's house and I baked my Grandma's coffee cake and a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I felt so grateful as we lovingly devoured a fusion of Indian, Indonesian, and American/English food... listening to word music, with people from across the globe... on a tropical island.
As the "new year" approaches, I realize that I will make some sort of conscious resolve, as I tend to do this time of year. And as I incubate my intentions, one of my teachers shared with us a version of the Serenity Prayer, with a bit of Vedic, Yogic insight....you might recognize it, with the vedantic twists...
Oh Lord, infinite intelligent being, who is not separate from myself,
please bestow upon me the inner peace and serenity to accept gracefully all that I cannot change...
Like the past, other people, anything that has been said or done to me.
And may I have the strength and courage to change what I can change.
What is within my power to do so... such as certain habits, or what I say in each moment, my words... and what I do.
And may I understand and see clearly.
May I have the wisdom to recognize what I am able to change, and what I am not able to change, so that I do not waste my will... so that I do not waste my energy... or the energy of another... trying to change what I cannot.
Om Shanthi. Shanthi. Shanthi.