The train to India (to Haridwar)

I’m on the last part of a six hour train ride from Old Delhi Station to Haridwar in Uttarakhand. Anjou and her son are in the berth across from me and Raj Kumar was in the berth above.  I boarded at 5 am and the train left at quarter of.  Booking my trip to India only a couple of weeks ago, I only just got around to checking for train tickets.  Hadn’t really decided where to go.

Imagine coming to the States with a ticket to New York and contemplating upon arrival if you’re going to hop a train to Baton Rouge or North Dakota, because, what the heck, it’s all an adventure, right?  So I booked a train for the last night, and got waitlisted.  Assuming I might not get off the waitlist, I booked this train for 5:50 am as well, but I didn’t go so far as to book a hotel, meaning I did the dumbest thing possible: flying into one of the most expensive and dubiously treacherous cities in India with no actual place to go upon arrival.

I just need to check the website to see if I should go to the train station an hour north of the airport to catch my train or if I should find a hotel for the train station an hour south of the airport where my morning train would depart from.  The tourist bureau in the airport has no actual suggestions of where I can get on the internet, I take a taxi to the hotel area, then to the tourist beaureau, then to a hotel.

I’m still waitlisted so I’ll take the morning train.  I slept from 3 am to 5 am before my flight, took a six hour flight and a twelve hour flight, on which I slept three more hours. Passed through 11 time zones, slept 4 hours at the hotel, and now it’s morning time again.  How does it keep being morning again with so little night?

My going-away dinner for my third trip to India was very casual.  I haven’t written pages and pages of intentions for my big journey.  There’s something very casual and very natural about coming back here.  People can tell it’s not my first time here.  I’m already back to speaking the broken English I have found to be highly understandable in communicating with people here.  I paid for the hotel with left over rupees from my last trip.  There was a minimal amount of nausea in the death-defying road race of Indian traffic.  I even forgot to pack toilet paper.  Part of me is afraid that it’s almost too natural, that the parts of me I’m hoping to leave behind have come along for the ride. Though I know it is delusion to thing that I left them behind the last time.  We come with who we are, wherever we are.  Sometimes it just feels a little more momentous.

Osho Speaks about Laughter (part 1)

"This is worth considering. It is significant. The first thing to understand is that except for man, no animal is capable of laughter. So laughter shows a very high peak in the evolution of life. If you go out on the street and see a buffalo laughing, you will be scared to death. And if you report it, then nobody will believe that it can happen. It is impossible. Why don’t animals laugh? Why can’t trees laugh?

There is a very deep cause for laughter. Only that animal can laugh which can get bored. Animals and trees are not bored. Boredom and laughter are the polar dualities, these are the polar opposites. They go together. And man is the only animal that is bored. Boredom is the symbol of humanity. Look at dogs and cats; they are never bored. Man seems to be deep in boredom. Why aren’t other animals bored? Why does man alone suffer boredom?

The higher the intelligence, the greater is boredom. The lower intelligence is not bored so much. That’s why primitives are happier. You will find people in the primitive societies are happier than those in civilized ones. Bertrand Russel became jealous when for the first time, he came into contact with some primitive tribes. He started feeling jealous. The aboriginals were so happy, they were not bored at all. Life was a blessing to them. They were poor starved, almost naked. In every way, they had noth-ing.

But they were not bored with life. In Bombay, in New York, in London, everybody is bored. The higher the level of intelligence and civilization, the greater the boredom.  ”So the secret can be understood. The more you can think, the more you will be bored; because through thinking you can compare time as past, future and present. Through thinking you can hope. Through thinking you can ask for the meaning of it all. And the moment a person asks: ”What is the meaning of it?” boredom enters, because there is no meaning in anything, really."

Osho's satsang on laughter continues…  Stay tuned for part two.

It’s never too late!

Butterfly
"This isn't what I meant to do!"  "This isn't where I meant to be!"  "What the heck happened to all those years?"

Often in our lives, through a series of conscious and unconscious choices, we find ourselves in a different place in our lives than we had once imagined we would be.  We reach a milestone age, or we see friends or even public figures accomplishing something, and as we compare ourselves, we feel a poignant mixture of jealousy, desire, regret, and hope about where we are.  Many of us will take the exit ramp right there, and drown in these thoughts and emotions.  Some of us divert ourselves from even feeling the emotions by watching television, drinking, eating, falling in love, etc…

Yet no matter how we try to avoid that call, that little phone will keep ringing.  Picking it up, even when it's yapping about what's wrong, is in fact a great step to take!  This is a really powerful moment of choice, and it's important to listen to the deeper message beneath the surface.  By identifying and dealing compassionately with the "chatter", we can get to what's really important.  Notice the voices that say, "If I really was meant to be successful, I wouldn't have wasted all this time." "I shouldn't have taken time off from my career while everyone else was getting ahead."  "There are so many people who want to succeed in my field more than me, how can I possibly make it?" 

Make a list of what all those voices say, and then put it aside for now.  Next, take a few deep breaths and quiet your mind.  What is the deep desire beneath your fears?  What is your spirit longing for?  What does your heart whisper to your ears?  This wish will never be extinguished. And even if you discover it in your last breath, it won't have been too late.  Each twist and turn along your journey has brought you to this perfect moment, and your soul has its own perfect way of fulfilling its purpose right where you are, right now.  Everything you need is available to you now. 

Could you summon the courage to surrender to your own spirit, just for this moment?

        -"The greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing."

        -Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged people who kept on working."

Creative Heart Coaching

Coach_logo_small You have a unique gift to offer the world.  What if you have an idea of what that gift is, but don't know how to use it or trust it?  In a unique process tailored to your goals, visions, and ideals, I can help you bridge the gap between possessing your gifts and talents and expressing them.

As a creativity coach, I can support you to crystalize your vision, unfurl your natural rainbow of imagination, and cultivate tools and habits to effectively inhabit the life you truly want to lead.  You can find deep satisfaction, joy, and connection in the artistic process as you create a pathway to actualize your dreams.

Creative Coaching is for performers, artists, writers (even if you've never performed, painted, or written) who want to jump-start a career or enliven an avocation.  The Creative Coaching style is rooted in the work I've done to transform my own creative blocks; I offer compassionate, authentic reflection for the places you want to shift. 

As a professional performer and writer maintaining daily creative practices, I can model ways of working creativity.  As a natural entrepreneur I can also help you work externally, addressing organization, time-management, self-promotion, marketing, branding, and business planning.

I am called in this life to share what I have learned and applied to my own creative work.  Fostering growth in others is a great honor and privilege.  I believe each of us is imbued with gifts to share with humanity, and unlocking them brings us a powerful sense of appreciation, value, and connection.

Your Partner in Possibility,

Alicia Dattner

        "Don't ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

                   -Howard Thurman (1900-1981)  educator, minister, civil rights leader