There is something powerful about sitting quietly in the lap of mother nature. Its nourishing, nurturing and safe, unlike sitting in the brick and motor walls of the city. Have you ever reached a point in your life when you just want to get away from it all? Take a break, unpack, rewind and hopefully reset. You scroll through Instagram feeds and the internet and found some beautiful space to run away to…but just when you wanted to book your getaway – you thought, but what about homework? Or the assignments? Or the boss? Or the wife or the baby?
I feel you. I run a business that is dependent on people – I am a yoga teacher. Which often translates to ‘no-students equals no need for a teacher’. I worked hard, hustled and worried A LOT. Being an entrepreneur was not as cool as people made it out to be.
As this went on for long enough, I realized I needed to take time off and refill my mind, so I divided my time between yoga retreats and Teacher Training Courses. I booked dates, got people and yet as I sat on a place/train or car – I would have separation anxiety... the myriad ‘what ifs’ running through my mind.
I had packed my suitcase and was driving down to Kodaikanal, where I would be running my teacher training course. And whilst the journey through the hills were beautiful, my mind was still stuck in the burnt brick walls of my studio at home. I looked, but I never really saw. I ate but I never really tasted. I was there, but I also wasn’t present.
It took me about 3 days to decouple from the strangle holds of city life. To sit and be happy just looking at the various shades of green that adorned the mountainside in front me. To listen to the various bird calls that filled the air vs the cacophony of honks and screeching tires. It took me almost a week, to slow my racing mind and just allow myself to be.
In Kodaikanal, I found joys in the simple things – the taste of a fruit (tamarillo) that I had never seen or eaten in my life; the tinkle of the cowbell from the cow that grazed just behind the cottage; the sight of blue skies speckled with birds of fluorescent colours. Oh Nature, was the most beautiful host and I just had to wake up and realize it.
I spent three weeks just learning to be. To be in the present vs having a giant list of to-do’s in my head. A constant berating of tasks I didn’t do. Nature taught me to be here and now. To do the work, but not focus on the result.
I knew these concepts from countless study classes but for the first time in my life, I was learning to apply them. As I thought about these things, I met a young couple (a film maker and an advocate) who had decided to move from the city and live in a farm in Kodaikanal.
As I spoke to them, asking them about their journey, one thing they said really struck me. He said, ‘What If we thought of time as how long it takes for a plant to grow vs just one hour on a ticking clock’ – in that instant I knew how much time had control over me , my actions…I didn’t know how to slow down and this was the first time I even realized it.
Kodaikanal is beautiful. I pray that you, oh reader, pack your bags and go immerse yourself in nature. Not for the Instagram pictures, not for the adventurous waterfalls…but just to BE.