I’ve been traveling to India for the last 10 years, and for the very first time, I’m here without being on a guided retreat or leading one.
India is unlike any place I’ve visited. It cracks my heart open again and again, teaching – moment to moment – how to surrender, how to receive, how to have faith. It’s here that I do my deepest transformation. And it’s here that I realized there’s something I want to share with you.
I used to feel heartbroken.
All the time.
It was my default emotional state.
I was heartbroken as a child - I felt rejected and confused, often left out by my peers. I was an only child surrounded by adults, and I didn’t understand how to play with kids my age. I was always reaching ... and rarely finding.
I was heartbroken as a teen, always crushing on someone who wasn’t crushing on me, wanting more - and never getting as much from my friends or lovers as I wanted. I was heartbroken by my parents’ divorce - feeling abandoned and deeply alone. I was always reaching ... and rarely finding.
I was heartbroken as an adult. By this point, it was a habit. and I wasn’t even aware of how much I was tolerating. I now expected to be alone; I expected rejection, disappointment, and abandonment.
I had forgotten to love myself.
When I look back at the arc of my personal and spiritual development, this heartbreak was the suffering that propelled me to desire true transformation, real change.
When I came to India for the first time, I discovered a new kind of love. My heart was cracked open by the divine - broken in a way - but in the breaking, it was filled with love, immersed in love, healed by love. My heart became an open channel for love.
Heartbreak became a vehicle for connecting more deeply to the divine, a way to access my hunger, a tool for spiritual surrender.
And I learned a new kind of heart “break” - where the heart is broken open to receive more love than you ever believed possible.
From here, my life evolved. My adulthood - at 28 - came into form.
My business, my success. It all started with this healing - or rather freeing - of my own sweet heart.
And now, nearly 10 years after my first pilgrimage here, I’m revisiting the journals I kept then. It’s fascinating to look at where I was 10 years ago, and I wanted to share a poem I wrote in 2009 with you:
I offer you as always my heart, my love, my presence.
I offer you my money.
And my anxiety about money.
I offer you my hesitation, my doubt, my fire, my passion.
I offer you my ecstasy, my peace, my connection, my energy.
Take it. It’s yours. Everything I have, everything I give, it’s all yours, always, the entire passage of the flow.
You are my constant companion.
This poem speaks to the essence of Bhakti. Bhakti, in case you don’t know, is a spiritual path of approaching the whole world through the lens of love.
The practice of Bhakti is a powerful tool for elevating consciousness so that you can master yourself and create the life you want. It is also a reminder that these lives - with all their suffering - are a rare gift.
For me, the reason Bhakti has resonated so strongly and for so long is because I can “do” it no matter what emotional or spiritual state I’m in – everything is welcome. To the extent that I’m feeling one with God, I can deeply enjoy that sensation, that connection. To the extent that I feel separate from God, I can reach out, devote myself, serve, love more.
We can offer every moment of our experience to the divine - and God/Krishna/nature/the Universe/Shiva (whatever name you choose) will take it all.
What aspects of your own resistance and experience can you welcome in, and offer up to the divine?
What can you claim - and then release?