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to be awake
In 7th grade I won the school wide geography bee (you know, like a spelling bee for geography nerds). I should have known then that my victory was merely a foreshadowing of my desire to explore and know this world. It was Addis Ababa (the capitol of Ethiopia) that crowned me victorious 20 years ago, and though I haven't been there, yet, my experiences around the globe have shown me the immense beauty that is present in every moment, every place, every person.
I live on a small Island in Washington state, quietly. I teach dance and photography classes, put together an occasional community dance or photography exhibition, and do my best to explore a new place, and new people as often as possible.
Years ago, while staying in a small village in India, I stumbled into the stall of bookseller and made a purchase that would eventually change my life. I picked up pirated edition of the book May You Be The Mother Of A Hundred Sons, written by an English/American author, Elisabeth Bumiller, about some of her experiences working with women in India. For two days straight, in the sweltering heat of my room at the guest house, I did nothing but read. I too was in India working with an NGO that provided health and educational resources to women and children. I was in search of some understanding of the world around me and confirmation of my seemingly minescule existence in the vastness of humanity. Speaking directly to the heart of my own journey, she managed to give a voice, in one sentence, to so much that still seemed elusive to me: "In the macrocosm of a vast land I find the microcosm of my own experience repeated and affirmed."
At the time, upon reading her sentence, I felt like they were supposed to be my words, written about my experiences and subsequent realizations. But years later, in the absence of better words with which to describe what has eventually become a major tenet in my understanding of the world, though written by someone else’s hand, they are my words, for they are everyone’s words. I think they speak to heart of everyone’s journey toward understanding, connection and awakening.
To "be the change," as Gandhi said, "we wish to see in the world," we must first undergo a change in our own consciousness. Waking up to a changed world will happen the morning we take to heart the liberation of our own souls.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I have several couch surfing experiences under my belt and many other non-CS related surfing experiences with people I just met along the way. Because of the generosity of others , in the form of meals cooked, beds, help cleaning up when I got sick in public in India (a whole story of it's own), the kindness and concern of strangers, and general openheartedness, I have seen parts of this world that don't show up on a map. I have experienced the immense love and goodness of humanity, and I really want to support the evolution of that consciousness.
I have only 13 offical CS experiences under my belt though I have had many other amazing experiences staying in the homes of many different people in several different countries. I have been a grateful recipient of the most generous hospitality, and I wish to extend that to others. As far as the people I have met through this program... I could not have asked for better hosts. I am so thankful for the people who read my profile and decided to take a chance on me... truly wonderful connections.
dance, theater, a good book read aloud with fellow travelers, meditation and awakening, making home made food for people I love, yoga, making dinner and conversation late into the night, building fires in wood stoves, doing new things, doing old things, walking quietly through new places and simultaneously running through the streets expressing my excitement, baking treats with my Grandma, getting to know people... I mean, REALLY getting to know people (which is a simultaneous act of really getting to know ourselves).
Music, Movies, and Books
movies: the piano,lost in translation, little miss sunshine, the constant gardener, atonement, i'm not there, a room with a view, the company, the hours, anything that is made with respect for the viewers intelligence and lets us take pleasure in our sense of visual delight
books: the hours, eat pray love, solar storms, a room with a view, anything by ken wilber, spirtual midwifery,the english patient, the god of small things, may you be the mother of a hundred sons, nonviolent communication, the sun magazine, grace and grit, so many well known and obscure books to even mention. I am an avid reader and I love reading aloud with others, especially when traveling.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
-being present at/participating in the birth of two children
-learning to love my family more than I ever thought I could
Teach, Learn, Share
on my first trip to India, I was struck down within days with an awful intestinal illness that lasted for months. For weeks I couldn't leave my flat because I never knew when I would be in need of the toilet. And besides the fact that I couldn't keep food down, I was so ill that I was in bed all day, barely able to move... and all alone. One day, during what seemed to be a "break in the clouds" I ventured into town to do some shopping. Without any warning signs that a problem was coming, in the middle of a busy shop, I made an immediate mess of myself from every direction (I know somebody out there has had this experience too). I began crying, and everyone was staring at me, EVERYONE! As I started to pass out, a kind shop keeper grabbed me by the hand and raced me to a restroom. After all was said and done I woke up on the floor of the restroom, a complete mess, with a circle of slack jawed Indians staring down at me. Of all the shocked on-lookers, one very motherly woman in her 50's picked me up and took me into her arms as I cried and cried and cried. I was humiliated, hungry (at that point I was eating an average of one meal every two or three days because I was so sick), homesick, depleted of any emotional energy and reduced to a puddle of my own vomit and poop (pardon the boldness). What this woman gave to me in that moment was what has become my mission: connection. She held me the way my own mother would have held me, with out question and with nothing less than love. She gave me her attention, kindness, help and compassion.
I still have a lot to learn, but I hope I can in some way share with others the kindness of spirit this woman shared with me.
Countries I’ve Visited
China, Iceland, India, Mexico, Thailand, United Kingdom
Countries I’ve Lived In