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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ebenezer no more - 2

My last 2 days of teaching were great. I enjoyed them so much and I even managed to keep on learning and growing as a teacher up until my very last lesson on Friday afternoon. But even in the pleasure I felt when standing in front of class, I still didn’t doubt that my leaving was the right decision. Saying goodbye to the principal - who I hadn’t really spoken to since I arrived at the school, was a revelation. She gave me the most sincere “goodbye” ever. I couldn’t believe how warm she was towards me. She showered me with compliments, wanted me to keep in touch and said that there will always be a job available for me at the school! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.. For all of 3 seconds I wondered if I’d made the right decision, but it disappeared very quickly, once I left her office. I was free and there was no turning back!

Saturday 3 of the teachers, who have helped me from day 1 at Ebenezer, Dolly, Riya and Anjana, brought me to the nearest city to see a movie and to have some dinner. It was so lovely to be treated like that by such special girls! On Sunday morning, they brought me to the train station too, as the day had finally arrived for me to leave the campus! It was the nicest goodbye ever. I was breaking free so easily from this school and I felt so blessed for all the people I had met. I couldn’t believe how all these people, Mahaut, Cliff, Paul, Riya and Dolly, managed to touch my heart in some way, yet didn’t bring on a sadness for leaving but instead it brought on gratitude for having had the chance to meet them in the first place. I felt so alive, for this reason alone, as I boarded the train and they waved me off, at the platform. A vision I’ll never forget: Riya and Dolly, waving with tears in their eyes but smiles on their faces, telling me to come back once I’m married and have gained some weight!!! Such Indian things to say!!

I left feeling amazing and I arrived at the next destination 6 hours later, feeling tired, but better than I had done in quite a while. Where did I go? And where am I now? I am where I wanted to go, 5 weeks ago when I was leaving Varkala to start this new Ebenezer chapter: I’m in an ashram, 200kms south of where I was teaching. It’s the Sivananda Ashram. Here I can get back into yoga and meditation. The ashram is almost like a resort full of people from all over the world. From 6am until 10pm, there are meditation classes, yoga classes, chanting sessions, coaching and lectures on the philosophy of yoga. I’m only here 24 hours, but it feels like I’ve been here forever, in a good way. I’ll be staying for just a week, which might be a little short. But I’m just happy that I got here in the first place, regardless of the length of time I’ll be spending here.

This is something I’ve been wanting to try for so long. And spending time in an ashram is almost a “must” for the traveller in India. It does however mean it’s very touristy (something I always prefer to avoid) but for now I don’t mind. I’m here, and I’m happy. I can learn about yoga and I’m able to focus on what I want to focus on. I have the next 2 weeks to put everything into perspective and to reflect on the past 6 months. There are no disturbances and nobody else is needing my attention. I don’t feel drawn into the Western “gang” of tourists. I associate with who I want, and I do as I wish and it’s something I’ve been needing pretty badly.

Sometimes I can’t quite believe that I actually got myself here. I feel so strong for having finally done what I’ve done. I got as much from Ebenezer school as I could and, because of the people I met and for the lessons I learnt, I’m grateful for the experience. It’s good that I went, but it’s even better that I left! I'll definitely teach again, but I now know the environment in which I can get the most from myself as a "teacher" as well as getting the most from the kids. The teacher in me is just a sleep for the time being, but there will come a time again when the teacher will be awoken once more..

How quickly it all happened, makes it feel like it all passed me by. And to a certain extent, I think it did. But that’s fine. Because it just means that it all happened effortlessly, because it was the right thing I was doing. I didn’t start to see things clearly until I got on the train on Sunday afternoon. And absolutely everything made sense! Life is one big puzzle, that will never be complete, but every piece will always fit so nicely into the “bigger picture” that we’re creating with every chapter we open and with every chapter we conclude. For Ebenezer this was the concluding chapter..

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