From Christmas Break to Life in a Third World Country: My Journey

It’s the end of Christmas Break, the kids are outside building a fortress, and I’m here inside sucking on some holiday mint M&M’s. We’re like monkeys, minus the eating lice eggs part, picking lice eggs out of each other’s hair as a relaxing pastime. Unlike it was in Houston, it’s hot outside, there are cows and buffalo roaming the streets, and no one, including me, wears deodorant. Sangita our maid/cook/gift from a heaven has quit after one day on the job. It’s been a week since my transition from daughter/sister to mother/wife. Though I had wanted a month in an ashram near here, I got instead a month of reenacting childhood dramas but with endings and hidden character feats I had previously been unaware of.

Family, Ashrams, and Finding Beauty in the Present

As I told Yael who insisted I could all the work I had hoped to do with my childhood, nuclear family, “It’s so much more romantic, and safer in the ashram,” and so it would have been. Solai and I watched a hummingbird float around a white flower yesterday. It reminded me of the cheery red cardinal I watched outside my mother’s living room window. I guess you can be fully present and mesmerized by the magic around you now matter how exotic your zip code.

Transitioning to Family Life in a Third World Country

And that’s what I feel like talking about today: what family life in a third world country feels like after a month of singlehood first-world metropolitan-ism.

Writer’s Block and a General Sense of Apathy

It seems as though I had never had this before, but I have no desire to write, to blog, to share, to be out there, vulnerable, to the world. I want to work on my healing, I want to work on being present, I want to work on cultivating the loving relations I want with my husband and kids, and I passionately want to work on realigning my back to the way it was meant to be.

The Journey of Chronic Pain

Not fun. I’ve detailed a lot of my tale of injury and constant pain in my typical TMI-fashion in When a Body Doesn’t Work series. And I waited with bated breath to return to Goa and have at least a couple of weeks with Yoga-extraordinaire and pain therapist Lauren Ohayon here in Goa. FYI: Lauren and I have become the most intimate of friends. She’s a longtime fan of both The Nomadic Family and and is offering my readers a gift that I wish I could take for myself. She does this week of yoga, divine food, and soul-healing relaxation to Tatumo, Mexico each year. This year it’s from February 1 – 7. She’s offering my readers buy one, get one half off. And while I will enjoy her Holy Shift workshop this Friday in Goa, and I’m adoring the one-on-ones she is giving me and Kobi here, yes, I would love a week away with her as my guide.

A Shame-Free Plug for a Life-Changing Experience

So, the shame-free plug is almost over, but know that:

  1. I’m not getting anything for promoting her work, and
  2. I’m only sharing it with you because she is slowly taking me from chronic pain to less pain to, eventually ( I am sure of it) pain-free, so if you suffer from back or body pain, Lauren is a rare gift who teaches a methodology and view of health I had never encountered before, which is step-by-step reshaping my life for the better.

If you do want to go, tell her Gabi sent you, and either your friend goes for 50% off, or you both share the severely reduced price. And do me this one little favor if you do get to spend a week with Lauren… At some point look up at the heavens, raise your arms up high, and smile while you say, “Hi Gabi”.

Making A Healing Space

My Healing Chart

So, I’ve made my own healing chart with the six things that I think will be most beneficial to me done on a daily basis.

  • First on my chart is Holy Shift, Lauren’s exercises.
  • Besides my personal rehab, I’m also drinking tons of water, [theoretically] eating a roughly 75% raw food diet, reading/writing/meditating on something that inspires my soul.
  • Waking up between 6 – 7 am and going to bed between 9-11 (usually by 9:30 I’m out), as opposed to the owl night life I used to live.
  • Kobi made me add one more section to the chart, this one thing that without, he claims, I can never reach optimal health. Yes, Sex with Kobi is now on there too.

The Differences Between There and Here

  1. Here in Goa, when the dogs act frantic and the crows caw angrily, you go out to see if it’s buffalo, cow, cat, or (most likely) the tribe of monkeys that rule this neighborhood.
  2. In Houston, I took long, leisurely, hot showers uninterrupted by anyone’s hysterical details of battle number of 52 of the morning through the door. Here, I share my refreshingly cold shower with all sorts of crawling visitors and horizontally-challenged whiny folk talking through the door.
  3. In Houston, my mom’s pantry and fridge provided worlds of delights. Here, we consciously don’t buy much of that (for we all know I’ll consume it) so I’m fighting myself to change my habits back to less sugar, less snacking, and more raw.
  4. There everyone wore deodorant and shoes, indoors too, and often I’d feel confused and unclear about my own natural beauty in light of all the pampered, make-uped, and high-class invested Barbies around me.
  5. In India, cereal boxes are turned into art posters, boxes and jars into containers, we don’t use toilet paper at all, and every bag is held onto and cherished for dear life. In Houston, everything was suddenly so big, so shiny, so much, so wasteful.

Home Bodies

We thought we’d put the kids in school and spend every vacation exploring India. Suffice to say, we’re in a season of hibernation, being around the house and choosing not to see friends or go out much. The kids are building fortresses, playing with the neighbor’s puppy, and doing tons of art activities.

Tell me about your hibernation. Does your back hurt? Will you go to Mexico and think of me? What health issues are you willing to plow through like the warrior that you are? Ever gotten to that point when you just want to chill, and chill, and chill? Would love to hear your thoughts, but in the meantime, I’m going to scratch Orazi’s back.

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