My unexpected trip to India and how I learned to be truly happy there

travel positivity self-knowledge

Hello, Eve. First, introduce yourself. In five sentences or less - who are you?

Who am I? My name is Eve - I am happy. What kind of AA club does that sound like. No, really - I'm happy. Mostly. But, of course, it took a long way to reach that happiness and I'm still trying not to lose it.

And I also love simplicity - in the closet and in life, on the plate and in relationships.

I also absolutely love to share, which is why I started my blog.

I often like things that contradict each other, so sometimes days consist of trying to balance it all. I really like peace and solitude, but I also like to feel with every cell in my body that I live, that I am alive - and this is sometimes difficult to reconcile.

I am interested in countless things - healthy lifestyle, vegetarianism, yoga, nature, the pleasures of gardening and all kinds of handicrafts, travel, minimalism, eh.. I could name them for a long time... 🙂

This is how I live - learning to be myself and with others.

Do you often challenge yourself? Where would you place yourself on a ten-point scale from the cowardly Nuobodila to the superhero Batman?

Because of the challenges. There are a lot of them in my life. But not exactly because I'm raising them or anything. I am one of those people to whom if something can happen (let's choose such a neutral word - interesting), it will definitely happen.

Challenges somehow find themselves, and sometimes things happen that are so incredible that you can't even imagine them.

Then it remains to learn not to judge (good/bad), but simply accept them all as gifts, with gratitude - because that's what they always are.

On a scale from Coward Nuobodyla to Batman (yes, this is really a question for Debesylas), I would place myself in a ten-point system... Well, at what nine. But it's not that I rate myself so well.

We are all Batmans, really. We can do everything. And if we can come up with something, it automatically means that we have the necessary skills and tools to make it a reality. But not all of us know that.

Sometimes I forget that I can do everything, but life reminds me now and again.

I repeated this lesson very well, already after finishing my studies, while working at my first and last "serious" job in my life.

An opportunity arose to work with a very strong and wonderful person, a secretary and a personal assistant in one of the largest Lithuanian companies. She had to face work and her own personal challenges almost every day. And sometimes it was necessary to do something that at first glance would seem absolutely impossible to do (nothing illegal).

But my chef kept repeating - "everything is possible".

And there was a way. I worked hard and got very tired while doing that job. So much so that one beautiful early spring morning, while driving to work and listening to Grebenshchikov's song Zoom Zoom Zoom (I remember it like today) - I decided - enough, I don't want life to pass by, in office prison (God forbid, I have nothing against such a job, it just didn't suit me at all); immediately, only when I got to work, I wrote a statement of dismissal and bought tickets to India.

...The rest is history, but after that, I haven't worked anywhere so "seriously" for six years. And I'm glad!

That one point out of ten, when I no longer feel like Batman, would be war and others like force majeure, because I have been living in Ukraine for the last three years, I had to feel/see that too. Well, when even Batman can't do anything, it's still possible to change something, but that's a different story.

Tell me, what challenge did you take on? Why?

And this story about a challenge codenamed "India" (because this is an interview about challenges, if anything). Just a challenge, once again it was not my choice.

I flew to India with one fellow passenger, and after a few days "characters did not match". As a result, I was traveling alone all this time.

Well, I really felt like Batman when I came back from that three-month trip.

Overall, how did you go about achieving your goal?

How did my challenge start? I remember very well the very first day, early in the morning, when I was left on my own, and my fellow passenger left to catch the train to Sai Baba.

Well, I felt sorry for myself, you know that feeling...

...Three months in a foreign, albeit dreamy, country are still ahead of us, tickets are non-exchangeable and reasonably priced.

Most importantly, I had no big or small plan and on the very first day I was close to panic. Then, in some magical way (maybe the atmosphere of the ashram where I was staying helped) I figured out that fear is fear, and you still need to eat!

And just then, on an early, crisp, sunny Indian morning, riding a rental, battered, old bicycle through the narrow streets, as women sweep the porches, sprinkling water to keep the dust off, and then sprinkle mandalas of colored sand as a blessing for the day and all who pass on the threshold of the house and listening to her beloved, bright Grebenshchikov with headphones - to the already favorite ayurvedic/vegetarian restaurant, and there drinking milk juice with white nut milk foam, I realized that everything will be fine.

...But not anyway, not just this time, not just for me, but actually - Everything will be fine.

And so it was.

After all, that time I flew to India to study yoga, looking for a Master and spiritual knowledge. However, I didn't have the money for one or half a month of yoga education, nor a plan for where and how I would seek that knowledge.

But the very next day, after that panicky morning when I was left alone and the subsequent enlightenment that everything was going to be all right— I met the Teacher.

The teacher, who after that for three months, every day, at least after 6-8 hours. taught me yoga, meditation, wisdom, and he was also a vegetarian. Individually and for free, without any ulterior motives.

Well, that's how it is.

I met the teacher at the same ashram where I was staying and the first question he asked me (I'm not sure if he even said hello before) was:

"Do you know that we create our own reality with our thoughts?"

Since at that time I had just started to be interested in similar information and visualization techniques, I knew very well what he was talking about.

And after such a question (as I already mentioned, without any introductory "good day", "how are you" or "where are you from"), my ears literally perked up and I realized that now something is going to happen here.

…And it was!

But what stood in your way the most? What did you do when it was hard and you wanted to throw everything away?

During that time there were so many realizations and awakenings in India. Tiny, personal and completely life-changing.

Of course, in addition to all those rainbow moments of joy, there were also very difficult ones. Single. Bored.

But less, really less. That's why I want to share not difficulties or obstacles, but enlightenments, specifically one bigger story and another small everyday non-daily one - about "No Problem" country.

In India, "No problem" is an expression I've probably heard the most.

And it doesn't matter what happens around.

When you buy something, the seller does not have a return and instead pays for chewing gum, key chains or Indian souvenir flags and pats you on the shoulder saying "no problem".

It is not clear whether he is telling you or himself. Are you driving in the opposite direction on a one-way street and you turn around too late - others may show you that your head is wrong, but you smile - "no problem".

Whether you hit the bumper of a car with your bicycle, or you step into a cow cake with a gasp, or the most delicious pistachio ice cream melts too quickly from the heat and spills on the pavement, you will hear - "no problem".

"No problem," the old man quips and waves his hand.

...Whether it was a strike that stopped traffic in the entire town, or a family of cows that decided to take a nap in the middle of the main street, or a crow that grabbed a handbag embroidered with Indian sequins.

I studied and am still studying every day - "no problem" - whatever happens.

Another lesson I learned in India was with a camera. I love photography and having saved up for a mirrorless camera for probably several years, I asked my friend to bring it from America (thanks to her) - I literally treasured it, protected it, was happy and in every way I was extremely attached to it.

...And although someone told me before the trip that in India, if you want to save a more expensive item, you can put it in your underwear, but it will still be stolen - of course I took that photo with me on the trip, after all, three months of Indian images and colors, how could it be otherwise.

Literally the first week (that's all I had) I photographed Everything and Always.

I saw India only through the window of the lens and sometimes when I looked at the photos in the evening I was surprised - oh, I was there. I interacted with people, visited amazing places, even ate - through the lens.

Now, many people do this with their smartphones - not so tasty, I'll tell you. And needless to say, I was only getting a tiny bit of experience, life was going through a glass - there was no "here and now" presence.

Of course, my wonderland quickly fixed that.

Everything that is in some kind of disharmony, imbalance is fixed there (and the imbalance is huge - when I feel this attachment to a piece of plastic and glass, and there are many people around who don't even have anything to eat).

Everyone learns their lessons there.

That's how my classroom tool, the camera, took its own path one day in the jungle. Since the attachment was very high, the shock was initially appropriate.

I took that situation very hard until I realized.

Although, when I realized, everything didn't turn out so bad - my friends worked for the TNT shipping company and within a week my mother sent me my old, 35 year old man, film camera, from which there was no such abnormal dependence, I took pictures in moderation and I got wonderful pictures.

What did you learn during your challenge? What did you do when it was hard and you wanted to throw everything away?

To make a long story short, this loss, which at first appeared so big, and now is only a tiny one, taught me very quickly, albeit a little painfully (like quickly ripping off a bandage): very important things:

First of all, that non-attachment in general, but most of all to material things, especially things.

Because in our world Everything is temporary, Everything changes and nothing is eternal. And the more you cling, the more it hurts. My Teacher used to say:

"Death is the last, most drastic way for a person to give up addictions and garbage."

Here, garbage is not only things, but mostly unnecessary past memories and experiences that we hold on to.

Second, to be here and now.Not through the glass.

Not through a phone or camera. But sometimes it's not worth capturing great images, maybe it's worth holding back and fully experiencing the moment. To sit by the ocean and feel the waves with closed eyes, listen to his meditative tale, and catch the licks of small, salty drops with your eyelids.

Here and now.

The third is to trust the Universe.

There is a very beautiful English word - "surrender". It would even be difficult to translate into Lithuanian. To humbly trust and surrender to the Divine plan, let life flow and take us (always) to where we need to go.

You can, of course, kick, but it can be as the saying goes:

"Life leads those who walk by the hand, those who don't walk it is dragged by the hair."

How did you feel after completing the challenge? Did you achieve what you initially hoped for?

Since this was not my first trip, I already knew very well that all goals and plans were incompatible with India. As always, when going there, there was hope to find something like that, well, not enlightenment, but answers to questions.

And this last time I really wanted to learn yoga. And although it was the most extreme trip, as they say, the third time doesn't lie.

This time more than all the others - I got answers, and additional questions, and all kinds of understanding N years ahead, and yoga up to my neck.

I once thought why this trip was so different from the previous ones: maybe the time had come, or maybe it was because I was alone (when traveling with someone, you draw not only your own experiences and lessons from your fellow traveler, so the whole trip seems to pay off), or maybe because the questions were finally right and the most important thing is my own.

Do you have any advice for people who want to repeat or surpass your adventure?

I think the most important thing when traveling in India or the journey of life is to relax and not try to control.

I know how impossibly weird and maybe impractical that sounds.

I was and still am a bit of a control freak myself, that's my biggest life lesson.

As a result, I know very well how important it is.

…And it is especially good to study it in India. It's important not to have any big, rigid plans there, maybe just tiny guidelines. If you have it, of course, you might see a lot of famous sights, but you won't get the most important thing from there.

It is also important to always keep extra (spare) time. Because sometimes the bus you take to the airport is delayed by an hour, a day, or doesn't come at all.

India is such a magical country where everyone gets where they need to go, finds and meets what they need to meet and always has many interesting unexpected adventures.

Therefore, it is really worth learning humility and trust in the Universe or God.

Everything will be fine. India will give everyone what they need most. Even if you don't know what it is.

Soooooo… What challenge will you take on now? Already have ideas or secret desires?

As I said at the beginning, I somehow don't need to plan them - they find me themselves. Apparently he knows that for this girl, oh, how many lessons need to be learned, sharp corners to be sharpened, teeth to be filed.

Because the essence/meaning of all challenges is this - to improve (I don't like the word "spiritually", but this is usually how you improve) and become a better version of yourself.

After India, I traveled again, I lived in Africa for several months, where I also had many big, personal lessons.

...And after that - a few years when it started Maidain, the war, all the unrest - I lived in Ukraine.

Where it was probably stronger than India and Africa combined.

But at the moment, I've been sitting quite quietly in Lithuania for several months and I'm already starting to look for a small challenge myself, before life throws me a big one. To be precise, I am trying to plan two such.

Recently, I have been very interested in the ideas of minimalism and I am attracted to such feminine ones Project 333.

Its essence is to reduce your wardrobe to 33 items (including clothes, shoes, and accessories), as well as not to buy anything else and thus reduce consumption. The clothes you choose should match each other very well, and most importantly, the cutest things that evoke only positive emotions, with which you feel the best. More information about this project is freely available online. It is meant to show us how little we need. After all, you won't put two shoes on the same foot at the same time, as my grandmother used to say.

I will be sure to cover this experience on my blog.

And another, more important challenge is to get up earlier and every day, use that magical morning energy to do a lot of useful things - improve your morning routine, so to speak.

I get up early anyway, before six.
But I want to learn to get up an hour earlier.

When you wake up, don't connect any computers or phones, and devote that early time to meditation, yoga, or any other kind of exercise, and all kinds of other self-improvement (spiritual) practices. Anyway, I have my own special morning routine and if I manage to do it all, any day after that is just magical. When I arrange it the way I want, I will definitely share it.

And finally…

India – was not a usual challenge for me, because I did not choose it myself.

But I tried and accepted it with open eyes and an open heart. And I let it flow through me. And it became a miracle and changed me and my life.

...And you know what?

No need for India, this is how we can live each day by accepting and letting flow. And they will become magical. I promise. It's like walking on a path made of a mosaic of small black and white pebbles and instead of trying to choose - go light or dark - just play "classes".

We will still be there - where and when needed.

P.S While answering the questions of this interview (sorry that I combined some of them into one), I constantly and very strongly felt infinite gratitude for my life and experiences. It was good. Thanks, Debesyla.

Thank you, Eve!

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