One Of The Scariest Feelings I’ve Experienced

02/3/2017

I had just arrived home from the hospital to our little chilly box apartment in Kathmandu, after suffering a mystery bout of gastro in mid-December last year. My senses felt assaulted by the sound and movement of the streets we’d just woven through in our tiny taxi – tooting and swerving, dust swirling and stray dogs barking. My beautiful man (who’d been by my side throughout), gently welcomed me back in with fresh flowers and the promise of creamy mashed potatoes for dinner (heaven after hospital food).

I was so thankful and relieved to be back ‘home’. Away from thrice-daily IV fluid drips, being woken up with the pinching pain of ANOTHER blood test (whoever dreamt up 6am blood tests is a sick bugger), vital checks every two hours, the general buzz and beeping of the hospital ward – being at home in the (relative) silence was bliss.
I set up camp on the floor near the heater. I felt the need to feel supported, grounded and held – and being off the ground, even on the couch, was making me nauseous.


I closed my eyes and tuned into my body, which felt VERY different after the hospital stint. I’d had a cannula put into both hands (one became too swollen to keep it in after a few days) and this was the first time in a while that my body didn’t have any medical instruments poking into it. I did a feeling scan through my body and energy system, seeing if anything leaking needed to be plugged or smoothed over. And what I felt was – not a lot at all.

While I had physical sensations in my limbs, there was no sense of my light body or my usually strong energy deeply anchored into being. I felt my soul was hovering around my head area and didn’t want to drop back in to my body. I realised, with the help of a beautiful friend at the other end of FB messenger, that there was a complete lack of trust in my body at that moment. It had let me down and my soul had unplugged itself from my internal energy anchors. What this left me feeling was the cold breath of anxiety, scared to move, disembodied, alone, disconnected and numb.

It was ridiculously frightening. I couldn’t understand how my light could have left me. I’d done so much work to anchor it and now it felt totally absent. The emotional pain and fear of loss was torturous.

Then it hit me – this is how I used to feel ALL THE TIME.

Disconnected from myself, from the universe and from the light. All up in my head, numb in my body and trying to stave off anxiety with every self-help trick in the book.

That’s what normal used to feel like.

– Fear breathing down my spine
– Disembodied and numb
– Disconnected from any sense of light

I would chase away these feelings daily, by distracting myself with everything I saw that was wrong externally and ‘needed to be fixed’.

  • I read all of the books
  • Pored over ALL of the blogs
  • Watched all of the inspiring movies (hello, The Secret and What the Bleep Do We Know)
  • Watched the TED Talks
  • I could give sound and loving advice to others like a little oracle
  • I talked about concepts and understood every zen, new age, spiritual concept INTELLECTUALLY

But all of this just floated around in my mind and energy field, never fully landing within me. It may as well have all been communicated in Venusian, for all the good it was doing me. I ached to truly f*cking GET what all of those words, videos, and movies were actually talking about. And know it deeply. In my bones.

It wasn’t until I got real with myself (i.e. finally stopped distracting myself) and allowed myself to dive deep within to do the internal work, that I was finally able to open my receiving channels to these messages and the wisdom they contained. It wasn’t until I got to know the light in me, the darkness in me, expanded my heart portal w-i-d-e open and activated my energy centres to such a point that they were BURSTING with higher cosmic light, that I came to have an anchored and EMBODIED sense of everything I’d heretofore absorbed purely in my mind.

I liken this to the difference between holding a stunning chocolate truffle torte (or apple tartin if that’s your thang) in your hands; rather than diving head first into it and luxuriating in its velvety deliciousness. (Okay, maybe you’d be ladylike and use a dessert fork, but you see what I mean hey?) By just holding it, you’d be able to tell me all about it – what it looked like, how much it weighed, how much it glistened tantalisingly in the light, how many slices you could get out of it, maybe even how delicious it smelled. But you wouldn’t truly KNOW what it’s like until you got it in your pie-hole and down your gullet, amirite??

So, if you are picking up what I’m putting down with my clumsy analogy, it will be clear that I became a chocolate addict and lived happily ever after. Whoops! I mean I learnt how to not just observe and witness the “cake”, I could now fully *experience* it.

But, it took awhile. As in years of self-directed learning, embodied practice, bodywork, energy work, energy healing and channeling light codes and higher dimensional wisdom. And often times, there would be loud internal pleas to GIVE UP. To let the veil of ignorance try and settle back over me so I could just happily stick to my 9-to-5 and only look forward to the weekends and only believe that what existed was in the third dimension and all of the MAGIC of the higher dimensions was all in my crazy delusional head. I wanted to tuck my witchy self away, banish her from my life because what she demanded from me was not convenient, goddamit. Sometimes it was all too freaking exhausting.

I know this is supposed to be the part where I say it was all worth it. And yes to a point it was. But if I’d been able to have someone there to gently hold me and coax me through the incredible highs and lows of this journey, I would have said SIGN ME UP, BABY.

And this is the reason why I created my exclusive 1:1 private spiritual mentoring programs, Goddess Awakening, and Mystic Awakening. I have crafted the steps, methods and processes to guide you through what I have painstakingly moved through. They’re packaged together to help you align with your light, dance with your darkness, and ultimately live as the light-filled goddess you are. I hold your hand through all of the upgrades, the shadow work, and the rocky but rewarding part of claiming your spiritual self that’s screaming to be seen and heard. What took me years, takes you mere months (pheeew!).

Embodying Your Light

What does anchoring and embodying your LIGHT actually do, for your life in the here and now? Well just for starters it:

– Ignites the knowing of your Soul’s passion and purpose. Once you’re alight baby, all of the nudges and insights drop in and your intuition fires into overdrive.
– Helps you feel completely present in your body and less in your head.
– Multiplies your manifesting mojo like a magic spell.
– Turns your side hustle into a soul business in record time.
– Shines you so brightly that your soul mate / soul tribe are going to magnetise towards you.
– Helps you drop those incessant negative thought loops. Hateful Negative Nancy toodles off into the sunset.
– Helps you relate to and fully understand the ‘new’ kids being birthed into our world. They are epically gifted but often misunderstood.
– Turns on and enhances your clair-abilities (clairvoyance, clair-audience, clair-cognisance, clair-sentience)

And guess what?! I’m opening the doors of my highly transformative mentorship program for you right now! If you’ve been nodding along in agreement and recognition that this is what your soul is yearning for, drop me a line at carly@carlystephan.com to apply for one of (only) TWO spots I have available. I’m excited to chat to you!

…..

So… back to me on the floor in our Kathmandu apartment, desperately anxious at having maybe lost my embodied light. 

My intuition said – ‘Absolutely not. You’re transforming and having a clean out. This is all in service of your spiritual ascension and you just need to tuck yourself up in bed with your crystals, lie in shivasana and INTEGRATE.’ My mind responds with, ‘Hmmm I don’t totally buy that. How about we freak out a little more?’ 

My intuition won against my tired mind, and I hopped into bed, surrounded by crystals and sacred talismans, lay in shivasana and began calling my soul back into its’ light anchors – while being completely present with the numbness I felt. I didn’t distract, obfuscate, or panic (excessively). I consciously connected and focused on each of my energy points, encouraging them to help with the anchoring.

By the next morning I began to feel the glimmer of my light body within me again. It took a few more days to feel that familiar sense of connection, and embodied light energy coursing through my body, but it came back.

To say I was relieved is an understatement. I am thankful for its presence and luminosity every day.

 

To find out a bit more about my 1:1 private mentoring – CLICK HERE. I look forward to hearing from you!

There are also some pretty sweet bonuses only available for you, only until Friday March 10:

– 1 x Archer Mala Beads Crystal Mala Necklace of your choice!
– 5 x spiritual practice / personal growth-oriented books chosen together and fully paid for, sent straight to you to support your journey!
– 1 x Automatic access to my group coaching program The Fulfilled Feminine Formula – and unlimited access to live rounds!
– 1 x Light Activation session with me to gift to anyone you wish!

EXTRA VALUE = $720.

Do you know someone who would like to read this? I’d so love if you’d share it! Thank you!

Scrolling, Spending + Romantic Co-dependency – Curbing Our Dopamine Obsessions

10/2/2017

One of my intentions this year is to become really conscious of where my energy is leaking and focus is off centre – so I can be in full integrity and commitment to my work and life. After doing some journalling on this, I discovered the first area I wanted to look at was the ways I seek to regularly release my dopamine (our internal ‘reward chemical’). It’s a significant source of energetic leakage for me, and I’m seeking to curb this tout suite because I have a whole heap of fantastic content, programs and offerings to channel and create this year. All of which require my complete and full energetic attention. I know without a doubt that the high dimensions I need to reach and the depths I need to go to with my work will not be reached unless I am consciously focused.

I daresay you too have some lofty and bold intentions for this year, hey beauty? I don’t know about you but I (and no doubt many others) want to see your amazing creations and self out in this big bright world. And we won’t if you keep burying your nose in weapons of mass distraction. (Just heard that term on Lewis Howes’ Podcast the other week, so I’m now putting it in my pocket.)

Seriously – what are you actually doing with this precious life of yours? Do you really want, ‘Could scroll Facebook like a total PRO’ on your epitaph?

No. Me neither.

So how about we look at re-wiring our reward mechanisms for each of these behaviours?

In this video I cover off on some unhelpful behaviours many of us engage with (often unconsciously): – scrolling, spending and fixating on codependent romantic love – and how we may like to re-frame how we engage with each, and re-think what our true rewards are in life.

Video Notes

  • Why We Don’t Want to Dump Dopamine Too Much: Minute 2.20
  • Curbing Social Media Scrolling: Minute 4:40
  • Reducing Impulse Spending: Minute 9.00
  • Romantic Co-Dependency: Minute 12:43

Grab the Forest App for your phone if you want to help curb that phone-grabbing (grow trees instead of checking your phone! Totally not a paid endorsement or affiliation).

I’d love to hear from you, beauty! Do you have any conscious or unconscious dopamine dumping habits?

 

 

Awakening Your Inner Mystic!

25/11/2016

This week in my free facebook group Woman, EXALTED, we wrapped up our Upgrade Your Life Activation Challenge, which helps in awakening us to the possibilities and higher timelines of our lives. Here’s the Challenge Resource Guide PDF for you, if you haven’t participated and want a taste. And if you want in, head on over here and join us!

This challenge is chock-full of PDFs, videos and a highly activating meditation I created called Cosmic Connection. Each day’s challenge was designed to activate and upgrade you in different ways: Mindset shifts, emotional shifts, environment shifts, relationship shifts and energy activations / shifts. All of these help serve to pave the way into a higher timeline for you, a new reality here on earth for YOU, whatever that looks like.

The motivation for this challenge was my own internal urgings to upgrade. I shared a few weeks ago in the group that I’m currently calling in even more mind-blowing and paradigm stretching realities into my life, and I know I need to do my own up-leveling to energetically meet those realities.

Because REALLY that’s all that ever limits us, our own perceptions and what is currently playing out in our ‘grid’ of perception and reality. If we don’t allow our own minds to be blown, to be internally expanded and shifted – we will not see our external reality shift.

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So many women are excited when things finally click and they see how SIMPLE this whole upgrading your life thing is. And yes, it’s simple, but it sure ain’t easy. There’s a yawning gap between the enthusiasm and excitement you feel when your soul says ‘YES LET’S UPGRADE!’ – and actually taking the steps to do it.

One thing I’m abundantly aware of when it comes to women who get REALLY EXCITED about up-levelling themselves and expansion, is that follow-through and commitment can be a challenge.

It’s actually scary moving towards your highest potential (trust me, I know, because I’ve been there, procrastinating my little boots of for months and years before taking the leap, and every time I take another leap, I get scared).

Distractions ensue, there’s obfuscation and “I’ll get to that laters” and before you know it, months or years of your PRECIOUS LIFE have gone by and you still haven’t implemented. You haven’t held yourself to account for your progress and up-levelling.

And over time, this becomes f*cking painful (again, trust me, I know the feeling! Blechhh).

And this is why I’ve created my newest mentorship program – MYSTIC AWAKENING. I want to hold your hand through your up-levelling and upgrading. Gently but firmly holding space for you as you traverse the sometimes rocky path of aligning with your soul, opening to your inner brilliance and shining it out into the world.

This is a program that sees me playing right out to my erotic edges and beyond. Because we’re going cosmic, baby! This is where I’ve been playing in the last couple of years, and I’m so thrilled to now offer the fruits of my learning and integration to YOU.

And I am also committed to making the most of the potent and transformational month and a bit left of 2016 (there’s no wishing away 2016 over in this neck of the woods) – seriously, the transformation that’s possible with this energy is EPIC. What used to take years to learn and integrate, mystic gift-wise, is now taking mere weeks and months.

MYSTIC AWAKENING – 6 MONTH MENTORSHIP

This program combines my highly popular and transformational Goddess Awakening 3 month program, with a high-energy and delicious 3 month Mystic Awakening addition!

Within the Mystic Awakening Mentorship we dive deeply into the mysteries of:

– The ascension process – managing symptoms, riding the incoming waves, self care and awareness
– Developing your clair-abilities (clairvoyance, clair-sentience, clair-audience, claire-cognisance)
– Advanced intuition development
– Your soul’s journey
Soul themes
Family Karma Themes and Integration
Higher dimensional aspects of ourselves
5th Dimensional Living
– Connections to higher dimensional guides (including ETs! YES)
– Activation of your 12-Strand DNA Helix
– Identifying your big Mystic Intentions and creating challenges to push your own boundaries, explore erotic edges and birth your mystic self into the world.

 WHAT YOU RECEIVE:

– 6 months of high vibrational energetic support – your energy system is activated, aligned and frankly, completely transformed during our time together.
– A program that’s a combination of bespoke tailoring to your soul’s calling, and a structured process I have created.
– Fortnightly 1:1 Skype sessions.
– Every other week there will be a lesson / article in our private online space for you to absorb.
– A Half day Goddess Activation and Alignment session to kick things off!
– An exclusive online space for us to journey together, and for you to drop into whenever you need.
Unlimited email support during our time together.
– VIP Immersion Full Day together during the second half of our journey.
– My Goddess Light Healing Activation Meditation Track.
– My Cosmic Light Connection Meditation Track.

 BONUSES YAY! (For a limited time only – expires on Sunday 27 November):

– 1 x Archer Mala Beads Crystal Mala Necklace of your choice!
– 5 x spiritual practice / personal growth-oriented books chosen together and fully paid for, sent straight to you to support your journey!
– 1 x Automatic access to my group coaching program The Fulfilled Feminine Formula – and unlimited access to live rounds!
– 1 x Light Activation session with me to gift to anyone you wish!

 This mentoring program is for you IF:

– Your heart is leaping when you see this offering
– Your soul is screaming YES and your head is going ‘WTF’. (Pretty much EVERY one of my clients arrive into my life saying, “I’m not 100% sure why, but something inside me just made me want to work with you. Is that weird?” No, it’s not weird, it’s soul-aligned action, and exactly the kind of person I want to work with!)
– You want to live life as the divinely feminine woman you are, knowing when to draw on your inner masculine and inner feminine in a way that serves you.
– You’re ready to leave the grind behind. Less striving, more thriving.
– You want to learn what it means to journey out of your head and into your heart – fully EMBODYING your soul
– You want direct and personalised guidance – no generalising here!
– You know there’s more to life than ticking off boxes of achievement – and you’re ready to soar
– You’d love to have space lovingly but firmly held for you, with accountability structures in place to ensure your commitment
– You want to work with someone who ALREADY sees your highest goddess self, and is committed to guiding you into alignment with her
– You want higher dimensional wisdom delivered in an earthy and practical way

 This mentoring program is NOT for you IF:

– You’re not ready to take responsibility for your healing journey
– You’re still in victim mode
– You’re not ready to be accountable to your own progress and journey
– You blame others for your circumstances or situation
– You’re not willing to own your inner brilliance and align to your highest potential
– You don’t yet know that you are spirit having a human experience
– You’re pussy-footing around your decision to commit to yourself and your highest potential. I work with women who are ALL IN for their highest, most exalted state.

 GIMME THE JUICE – WHAT FANTASTIC OUTCOMES CAN I EXPECT?

My clients kick ENORMOUS goals and create dream-worthy outcomes for themselves while we work together. Here’s a small handful of what they’ve called in and now call their reality:

  • Their soul tribe – soulmate connections (both male and female) that nourish and support them
  • A deeply embodied send of self – their connection to themselves and the universe becomes immensely rewarding and a touchstone they call on all the time
  • Nipping procrastination in the bud and birthing their soul’s work into the world
  • New houses and places to live
  • Transitioning out of their full-time work and into their soul work – and feeling MUCH MORE aligned with their calling
  • Creating new highly potent packages and re-imagining business strategy to effectively engage their ideal clients
  • A deeper understanding and sense of loving connection to their children, particularly children classified as autistic (the rainbow and crystal gems they are become so much more apparent)
  • Travel opportunities and experiences
  • Completely dropping destructive negative self talk patterns
  • Aligning with their divine, goddess selves
  • Crystal clear clarity around their soul purpose
  • Shifting from a lack mentality to one of over-flowing abundance
  • Raising their vibrational frequency to align with their highest potential
  • Self care practices that take care of their empathic nature

One thing I want you to know is that investing in YOU is a sure thing, beauty. It has energetic ramifications and positive effects beyond that which you can mentally perceive. If you feel that heart of yours leaping for loving accountability, guidance and VIBING UP in your life – drop me a line at carly@carlystephan.com for more information and to apply for the limited spaces on this program.

These are a highly catalytic 6 months – your life will not be the same. And we’ll probably be besties by the end of it.

The bonuses expire on Sunday 27 November. This offer wraps up next Friday 2nd December (or when the spots are filled, two are left).

What’s Your Story? 5-Day Activation Challenge!

15/11/2016

What story are you currently telling – and creating – for your reality?

Every word we use to describe ourselves and our lives energetically contributes to the reality we either presently, or eventually, live.

As the living, breathing creators that we are, each of us, moment to moment, are energising different higher or lower vibrational timelines available to us at all times.

5-day-challenge-promo

 

“I can’t do that scary-but-exhilarating thing I’ve always wanted to do.”
“I’ll never be able to afford THAT.”
“How will I ever attract the partner of my dreams?”
“Who am I to live the life of my dreams?”

AND SO IT IS.

We say these things and inadvertently make small but significant decisions that keep us playing on the sidelines of our lives, and far short of our highest potential.

Our soul longs for more, and truly knows we’re capable of so much greatness.

Want to make a change? You can start simply by getting conscious about the stories you tell yourself. The patterns that run your life, perhaps without you even realising.

Try doing an audit of all the ways you refer to yourself, daily (both implicitly and explicitly). Write it down. Become aware of the story you’re weaving, because it’s a preview to your coming reality.

If you want to be guided in this process, and frankly feel like you’re totally DONE with playing small, I’m running a completely free 5 Day Activation Challenge called Upgrade Your Life.

During these five days you’ll receive (for F-R-E-E):

– The Upgrade Your Life Resource Guide PDF
– PDF worksheets and content to play with and fill in
– Video content
– A highly supportive group environment to share and connect in my Facebook Group, Woman EXALTED.
– My highly potent 12 minute Cosmic Connection Meditation

Total Value: $333. Costs you: Zilch. Sound like your kinda jam? YAY! COME ON IN,

We start on Wednesday 16 November. See you on the inside, gorgeous!

The Challenging Lessons of Mama India*

22/10/2016

We had just wanted to buy a pair of shoes and renew a sim card. That was all.

But as with many things in India, simple requirements often require the most circuitous, painstaking, mind-bogglingly frustrating routes – and this proved to be exactly that.

Being in Hyderabad at the time – the city town planning forgot – to get to this particular footwear stockist required an hour long trip in an uber to traverse the 15 kilometres across town. My man’s hiking and everyday shoes had conveniently begun falling apart shortly after our arrival in India, and he’d been searching for a new pair since.

the-challenging-lessons-of-mama-india

After a non-eventful but lengthy ride in the late afternoon sun, we arrived at the sporting and hiking apparel warehouse – stocked to the brim with every kind of hiking shoe and sporting good you can think of. We spent the good portion of an hour or so considering many many shoes. But in the end the shoes he needed and the size he needed them in, weren’t available.

We left the warehouse in the early evening (after I secured myself some heavily discounted strappy walking sandals) without what we’d been looking for (and indeed are still looking for) around 6pm, and I could feel minor hunger pangs setting in. We still needed to go to a telephone service provider to re-validate Matt’s sim card (which was due to expire the next day) before dinner. We picked the nearest Airtel we could find and entered the location into our uber app. It was going to take us over 45 minutes to get there. This meant a good couple of hours stood between us and dinner at a British-style pub we’d been eyeing off in the last couple of days (namely for the alcohol, which is surprisingly hard to find at restaurants here). I was craving a crisp white wine like it was going out of style.

Ten minutes later and we were in our uber, taking close to an hour to move a few kilometres. We passed the time playing “I Spy With My Little Eye”, trying to lighten the mood of the slowest moving traffic we’ve ever been in. Toying with the idea that we could walk faster than this traffic, we soon saw on google maps there was only 900 metres between us and our destination, we decided to get out and walk rather than sit grid-locked for another half hour.

Choosing to walk 900 metres beside a main road in Australia is a cake-walk. You can practically do it blind-folded. In Hyderabad, traffic heaves its way down the road in every direction imaginable. Footpaths are largely non-existent or they’re piled high with rubble. And often strewn with a random assortment of obstacles, including but not limited to electricity cables (which are hopefully not live).  Not only did we have to navigate this less than savoury ‘side-walk’ while being assaulted by the incessant screeching and horning of every vehicle within a radius of a kilometre, but motorbikes by the dozen wanted to share this tiny space with us – careening up to and beside us in order to duck and weave their way around the snaking traffic.

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I could feel the anger, frustration and fear bubbling and churning within me, as I stomped amongst the cacophony of noise and mayhem. It took so much effort to not completely lose it there and then. To distract myself, I began reciting a poem angrily in my head that may have had a whole heap of words that rhymed with HyderaBAD in it (sad to be here, mad I was so close to being run over, glad to not be staying here for that long). Yeah I know, call the Nobel Prize for Literature judges and take that award off Bob Dylan, won’t you? There’s a far more deserving winner over here.

We traversed through the gates of infrastructure hell for what seemed like an eternity until finally we stumbled into the relative sanctuary of the blazing red and white lights of an Airtel store.

Waiting in these shops (and many like it) you begin to observe a general buzz of ‘busy-ness’ without a whole lot being done. Four people will be serving but it will take three of those to assist one to sort out an issue, so the wait becomes interminably long. Oh and also, do not entertain yourself with the idea that there’s such thing as an orderly ‘queue’ and that people will wait for their turn. This is a luxury that should not be counted upon and you would do well to just NOT expect it.

After chatting with a customer service agent who seemed even more hangry (a portmanteau for hungry-angry, a special type of anger that afflicts many) than I was, he emphatically exclaimed to Matt that it simply, “is not possible to re-validate the sim until it has expired and the service has stopped for three days.” Matt responds with, “Um, so what do I do about a working phone number for those three days?”

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“Sir, that is how it works.” Yes, that is how it works.

Arrghhh. After the to-ing and fro-ing became increasingly heated (this was a serious WTAF? moment), we were forced to buy another sim (so far, we have in our possession FIVE sim cards, from different carriers, for many reasons, but one includes that just moving between states here causes similar issues to crossing international borders – some carriers just don’t work). So, we leave, new sim card in hand, and jump in an uber to head a couple of kilometres down the road. Cue another 20 minutes in traffic (I was NOT walking again), and we were finally dropped at the English-style pub, glorious food and that crisp white wine was nearly ours!

We front up to the doorman and are promptly refused entry. “We must uphold the dress code of this establishment,” the doorman points disdainfully to Matt’s flip-flops. This establishment is a PUB.

Incensed, starving hungry, and positively hankering for a wine, we ask to see the manager. While awaiting his arrival, I see an older Indian woman shuffle inside wearing exactly the same flip-flop shoe style as Matt. I point to them and ask the doorman, “Why can she go in and he can’t?” “Oh she has a booking, madam.”

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My man and I are both eternal optimists. We really do like to look on the bright side of almost everything. That is, until our blood sugar levels drop. And then everything’s just SH*T. Do not mess with us when we’re hangry. And at this stage we were both getting VERY hangry.

The manager comes out, looks at us dully and affirms that we would not be going inside. “Not even to spend lots of money on booze?” “Nope.”

You have to understand that by this stage, we couldn’t go anywhere else by road as it was jam-packed with traffic. We had decided on this location and hadn’t factored in that we could potentially be refused service.

After having a collective mini-meltdown, Matt sensibly searched google for anything resembling a bar close by. And he found one! Hallelujah! Not far from where we were there was a bar (with ALCOHOL) and we were going to get our wine!

We found our way inside this highly insalubrious establishment; dim and loud, cigarette smoke-filled, wood-panelled with a faux sense of grandeur, TV screens lighting up the darkness. We fell into a heap onto two plush leather seats, and are promptly told that “women are not allowed” to sit here. Hahaha. Hahahahahaha. I so desperately wanted to say ‘screw this!’ in Hindi, but a muttered expletive in English under my breath would have to suffice. Matt calmly held my hand and led me to the other side of the room.

It was 8:30pm and I just wanted a white wine, and food lining my stomach, stat. The food ordering was a complete schmozzle – misunderstandings galore and while we could have murdered three courses each, there were only bar snacks available. The waiters looked at us like we were crazy expecting anything resembling a meal.

Oh and the white wine I so desperately craved? This bar had none.

Processed with Snapseed.Yep, we laughed, in the end hysterically. Deliriously hungry, there was not a lot more we could do, really. We gulped down our bar snacks, drank our respective drinks (beer and a cheap gin cocktail), and headed home.

Arriving back, all I wanted was a hot shower to wash the day away and get the cigarette smoke, blech, out of my hair. I stripped off the layers and readied myself for the comforting sear of steaming hot water beating down on my head and shoulders.

And the hot water wasn’t working.


That, my friends, is just one fair afternoon of ours in Mama India. And it doesn’t even include the time we had to wade through knee-high sewerage-filled floodwaters during a monsoonal downpour to get home. Our days have been full of equally mind-boggling, crazy shenanigans since we arrived here over a month ago for Matt’s PhD field research.

So do not, I repeat, DO NOT, under any circumstances, come to India seeking external peace or ease, because it is very hard to come by!

I thought I was leaving Australia with zilcho expectations of my time here. People asked if I had any plans, or wanted to do anything specific while I was here, “No, I just want India to show herself to me, that’s all (Hahahahaha muses future Carly, you asked for it). I’m happy to play it by ear and go with the ‘flow’.”

Frankly, after a whirlwind of a couple of months: finishing up my full time career of over a decade in International Aid and Development, launching my own mentoring / coaching practice full time, creating the content for and launching my online program and membership site The Fulfilled Feminine Formula, lovingly coaching said clients and program members, packing up my home of two years to rent out, finding long-term tenants, organising LIFE so I could be away for eight months without too many hiccups – I thought that I truly hadn’t had the ‘time’ or mental space to conjure up much beyond getting on the plane and soaring into the clouds towards the sub-continent.

Turns out, I did have the time, and a few expectations to boot.

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Blame it on the movies I’d watched, the books I’d read, the light brushes of ‘Indian’ culture I’d had growing up in Singapore and working in countries with significant Indian diasporas (Kenya and Fiji) – I thought I knew what was coming. What I didn’t know was that the ‘homeopathic’ dose I’d previously been administered was NOTHING compared to the full blown version. Nothing.

The India of celluloid and books is enchanting, spiritually mesmerising, and gloriously enlightening. A quixotic melange of colour, movement, excitement, hustle and bustle. But you can hold that India at arm’s length, admiring its nuances and vagaries from afar, romanticising them. The confusion and chaos looks funny. The vendors and auto drivers’ shouts and calls look cheeky and charming. The honking in the streets a mere passing sensory annoyance.

In non-celluloid reality, the real India gets into your pores and under your skin, and in your head, whether its invited or not. You can literally feel Mama India thrumming through you, every time you step outside your door. I told a friend of mine that I felt like I was being ‘cleaned out’ by India, in an uncomfortable ‘through the wringer’ kind of way. India is an assault on your senses and can be alternately infuriating, aggravating, contrary, LOUD, excessively busy, LOUD, chaotic, fast, confronting, and did I mention LOUD?

It is nary impossible to escape noise here. Granted I have of course only been to a few cities and rural towns during my trip so far: Hyderabad, Mumbai, Madanapalle (outside Bangalore), Hampi and Moharli (outside Chandrapur) and do not speak for this epically huge country completely (of course), but so far in most every place, save for Hampi, it has been impossible to escape noise and it’s been rough, raw and overwhelming. Especially for an introverted chica who feels things uber keenly (hello, fellow empaths).

So what, praytell are the lessons I have learned, thus far? I thought you’d never ask. Mama India has held a mirror to my face and jauntily chirped at me: “HOW much are you really willing to walk your talk, lady?”

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1) Self-Compassion is so important

First and foremost, always. It’s been a big, beautiful, transformational year for me – as I’m sure it’s been for you too. Having a foundation of complete and utter self-compassion, love, and kindness has been incredibly important during this time. Creating and consistently cultivating a friendly and loving spot to land within myself (and more broadly, ourselves) is a life skill worth its weight in gold – and such a comfort when we move through great change and reach for our highest potential.

2) Surrender to the unknown (even more, babycakes)

When you’re careening through streets and laneways in an auto that has barely any protection, save for a scrap of metal around your tush – screeching around and towards massive buses, taxis, cars and motorbikes, ducking and swerving at the very last second to avoid collision, there needs to be a point at which you surrender and trust that you’re going to be okay. If I spent the entire time we’re on the roads coiled up in a knot of stress, tension and fear, I would be well on my way to forming a very large stomach ulcer. Surrender and trust that what seems like anarchy is actually just chaos that works itself out (it does, just look away).

Similarly, walking across the road. You will not get from one side to the other here if you wait for ‘a gap’. There aren’t any. You have to literally throw yourself into oncoming traffic here, without looking, and surrender to the forces that guide every motorbike, auto, car, bus and taxi that’s barrelling at you. And trust that they will dodge you. They do.

As a foreigner here, with nary even a wisp of a grip on the local languages spoken (we’re trying, really we are, but there are a lot! So far we’ve come across Hindi, Telegu, Marathi and Urdu) every situation you find yourself in feels like a puzzle you have very few pieces of. It could be at the telecommunications store in my aforementioned tale, in line at the train station, or chatting to community members about their cooking practices. You *think* you have some kind of grasp of what’s going on, based on the information gleaned with your limited allocation of puzzle pieces. You may be gifted a piece by chance, or have to wrest it from someone’s grip with all your might, in the hope of some clarity. You can dedicate your whole day to seeking some semblance of sense or rationality, but it will very rarely be yours. You will always be short of puzzle pieces. Surrender to that truth.

I’m being shown that I need to surrender to it all, even more than I ever have.

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3) Stop seeking to manipulate the external for your peace (and go even deeper within)

During my time here, I have uttered all of the following – many times over, either in my head or out loud:

“Could they please turn the music down or even, off?” (No. It’s festival time here, there is ALWAYS music and it must be blaringly speaker-busting loud.)

“Could they please stop beeping every time they come ‘round the corner or come within cooee of another vehicle?” (No. It’s a warning beacon to prevent head on collisions. It works, but it’s hard to come to terms with when you come from a country where a horn beep is considered more of a chastisement than a ‘hello!’)

“Please just be quiet!” (Why speak at normal volume when you can shout at one another in conversation?)

“Could everyone just obey the f*cking road rules?” (No.)

“Could you stop getting so close to me that I can feel your breath?” (No, what is this personal space you speak of?)

“Can you stop pestering me?” (No. See above.)

“Please stop staring at me and asking to take a selfie.” (This appears to happen to every foreigner and I’m treating it as penance for every time I’ve done the same with communities I’ve worked in.)

“I can’t do India today.” (Really.)

All of this seeking to control the external because I’ve been drawn outside of myself and away from my centre. Controlling, manipulating, seeking – India has stripped me bare of any and all options for ‘finding’ external peace. The only option left for me is to fall even further within, and plumb wells deeper than I ever have before.

When we so desperately seek external peace is when we absolutely must anchor within and drop deeply into our own bodies – out of our heads and into the sanctuary we have within (and yes, you do have it – it appears when you connect to your heart and allow the feeling of expansiveness to fill you).

When I feel my energy rising up my body towards my head and away from my centre, I rein it in and call it back to me. When I feel the urge to dis-embody and ‘check-out’, I come back to presence and the many embodiment practices I call on to remain connected to my heart and soul. I maintain constant awareness of my multidimensionality, through my body – feeling into every part of me at once, each energy centre, chakra, limb and organ. This keeps me grounded, connected within, and tapped into the wellspring of peace that dwells in me, always waiting patiently for me to realise it’s already there. The external conditions do not need to be perfect for me to access it.

You don’t come to India to find peace. But if you surrender the need to find it and go within, you may find a deeper peace than you knew was possible.

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4) This too, shall pass.

At the time of writing we’re over a month into our overseas journey, with less than a month to go here in India, before we head to Nepal for a few months. Anytime I find myself excessively grouching about the conditions I’m in, “Ergh, no wifi!” or lamenting the incessant noise and hustle and bustle, I remember – our time here is fleeting. It really is (in both a macro and micro sense). So rather than mope that I’m not doing yoga every day or chatting to gurus, or that I’m hardly able to hear myself think when I walk down the road, I tune into the beauty and fun and adventure that surrounds me, daily. This place is also enchanting, beguiling, glorious, stunning and crazy fun: curries to write home about, textiles to drool over, people that warm your heart, amazing sunrises and sunsets, and natural wonders that make your jaw drop.

And that kinda, just quietly, makes all of the other stuff worth it.

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*In writing this I was reluctant to share what I felt to be seriously trite and western perspectives of India, hence why it’s taken me this long to write and publish my thoughts and feelings. I’ve only experienced a tiny, infinitesimal slice of this hugely complex country, and can only speak to what my journey has been like thus far! I hope you find my travails a wee bit insightful and a lot amusing, and take it upon yourself to experience India for yourself first hand, if you can. It really is totally worth it.

Have you been to India? I’d love to hear about your experiences, below! And please share this with anyone you think may enjoy / relate…

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