GANESHA, THE GOD OF NEW BEGINNIGS.
“Ohm gum ga-na pot-aye-yeah na-ma-ha”
Ganesha, also known as Ganapati and Vinayaka is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. His elephant head makes him easy to identify and is found throughout India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. As I came to realize in the only few days I have been in Bali, he is also widely spread in this tiny isolated half hidden island in the middle of a large archipelago of Muslim Culture and Religion.
Ganesha is the god of new beginnings and the remover of obstacles both seen and unseen. He is evoked before undertaking any new task and people use the above-mentioned mantra to clean their paths or when embarking on a new stage in life.
It was not then simply by chance that yesterday, as I was aimlessly walking around the streets of Ubud (this so-called precious stone town in the heart of Bali Island), my eyes got caught by the sparkling shimmer of this Canadian jewels designer little boutique shop named “Yin”. Everything was so nicely set that I figured out it would be a very expensive place. Still, I could not help myself but walking in and ask how much the brass-made circled mantra necklaces where. Surprise was they actually were very reasonably priced, or at least in synch with what I was willing to pay for my whim; I really wanted one around my neck! If it only caught my eye at first for its beauty, I soon got infatuated with the meaning. Asi, the smiley and totally friendly shop attendant took all the time in the world to give me a tour around the mythology and meaning of each God and mantra represented in the different jewels. I knew destiny (as much as I am not a believer) or maybe simple witched witchcraft, had guided my steps to that shop only for me to put this Ganesha jewel around my neck and into my Life. Possibly too, and just in case I had forgotten, to remind me about this present journey in South-East Asia, being a truly new beginning. And so, I let Asi swipe my Visa card with the amount and I indulged myself with a token I already love.
I opened my eyes ajar this morning to the sound of hard rain shamelessly falling onto the roof of my nest-room and soundly onto the lush vegetation of the compound garden where I am staying these days. I swung the doors of the balcony wide open and jumped back into bed and under the covers. The air was fresh and humid and I was too lazy to consider doing anything, which is too easy when you actually have absolutely nothing you compulsory need to get done.
I was thinking about these conversations with friends before I left, all of them telling me how lucky I was to be able to take such a break from work and business-as-usual life, back home. My reply was always the same: “actually, news is you can do that too, if you want it bad enough”. But we people tend to find excuses that perfectly fit any idea we decidedly wish to buy into; so, to some extend, I understood and respected their thinking. I was scared by then, before I left, cause I somehow knew what I was getting myself into and what was most likely coming soon. Never under the same extraordinary circumstances, but I have done long solo-trips far away before and I had not forgotten yet how hard it is some days to get you going, specially as you newly arrive. You are totally on your own, on a foreig unknown territory, with no rules to follow or daily tasks to get accomplished. No real friends but only people you briefly talk to by meeting at an event, coffee shop or in the middle of the street. Though no one but yourself to whom to trust your deepest fears these days. It is not a piece of cake to stay put still and to go on smiling to the uneasiness that creeps into your system and to that voice screaming inside of you, inquisitively asking “what the hell are we doing here?”. And so, my answer to those back home who think this is a holidays-dream-trip in paradise is, consider twice before tagging this as a leisurely careless adventure under coconut palm trees, as it is mainly and mostly a deep and utmost frightening journey into the self. And yes, it is my own choice.
As an entrepreneur and runner, also having been practicing yoga and most recently meditation, I am somehow used to the uneasiness that furiously wraps around your body and soul. It is an uncomfortable sensation, born in the depths of your bubble comfort-zone, and that intends for you to quit as soon as you walk a few steps away from it. It does not matter if the goal in mind is to finish a half-marathon under the two hours, to get a couple new clients in a new country, to design a new product for a new market or to revisit your long abandoned soul.
The feeling is always there to jeopardize your journey and to convince you of how much better off you would be if you forgot about being adventurous and silly, reaching into the hazards of the “wondering what’s new for me out there”, “let’s see if I can get that new crazy idea working”. After all, really! how can the undiscovered ever be better than being warm and cozy at home spooning into your beloved ones?
But being acquainted to it is not a synonym of feeling totally comfortable with it and it makes it only a little easier to bear, one acknowledging it will go away soon, knowing by heart (and by experience) that you only need to stick there (resilience is the word that crosses my mind now) and to avoid the temptation to surrendering into the agitation and giving up to your search into unmapped territories; still when you are not even clear with what it is you are looking for. I am lost in translation inside my own mind these days and trust me when I say I don’t know how I want my life (work & personal) to be from now own, other than “different” than it was before; and for me, this is the ultimate confusion one can reach …
But hey, they say happy go lucky cause they create their own luck and I am definitely a lucky fellow. I have a shinny Ganesh “new – beginnings” mantra necklace and (most impressive) I – totally and unexpectedly – made a soul-mate friend who is here to listen to my fears without judging and to help me get started in this foreign land. Sometimes Magic happens and if you can un-attach yourself from results and go with the flow living the present moment and letting people who (for reasons hard to explain using only a rational mind) all of the sudden feel like being there for you, morning sunshine is brighter and even in the darkest moments you find a good reason to go and a friend to call on to. So truly! thanks a lot Ben, I did not want to finish this “my first post” while in Bali without acknowledging how blessed I am I met you and how thankful I feel for you checking on me and helping me around.
Funny how, having met someone a few days only, feels like having known each other forever. Maybe in a previous life? 😉