Chapter 3: Vulnerability (Thank you, Awakin)

London Gatwick Airport

A New Volume is Starting

Chapter 3: Vulnerability (Thank you, Awakin)

This morning, at 4 AM, I was dropped off at the airport in Madrid by two of my very good friends (or pilgrimates!) Miki and Joserra. Just after launching the first Karma Kitchen in Burgos, they drove me to the airport. After experiencing the impact of Seva Café in Ahmedabad and the other amazing spaces that have slowly snow balled from these experiments, experiencing this right before leaving was incredibly special for me. I’ve learned so much these past months, but one of the most important things I’ve learned from my dear friends is the power of spaces for sharing, love, and comfort. Spaces where humans can wholesomely be vulnerable and authentic, sometimes even for the first time in their lives. This is powerful. So incredibly powerful because what I’ve learned from these friends is that although this is an external journey of creating these spaces for others, it is also an internal journey. To cultivate love, warmth, and the same spirit internally and expel it forward externally is a process that takes time, patience, and kindness to serve yourself before serving others.

In my life, I’ve always been able to share my deepest thoughts and questions with my father and have him answer them without judgement. As a father, he created a safe space for me to explore, to make mistakes, and learn from them. As I got older, I searched for spaces similar to the one I grew up with, but outside of my home. Not because I didn’t feel like it was enough. It was enough, but for me, there had to be others with the same questions. There had to be others searching for this space to be vulnerable, to fully expose themselves without hesitation. And there were others. So many others. Little did I know at the time was that this ‘space’ I was looking for outside of the context of conversations between me and my father were already there before my eyes. Maybe in different circumstances, maybe not between complete strangers, but there were so many times whether they were in my living home, my bedroom, summer youth camps, the second floor of Starbucks on Penn’s campus, or Tippling on 16th and Chesnut. My experiences in India and then with Awakin in Burgos showed me the power of these spaces in a completely different context often times between strangers.

This past week, the Awakin Passage talked about vulnerability and I thought about how vulnerable I have been this past year. Not in the way that we usually think of vulnerability, as the passage says, but being able to completely feel without fear. To be able to completely expose myself with the possibility of feeling pain as a result. To live completely in each moment, to feel fully and completely in each moment.

Meditation has helped me so much through this process of letting go of different negative or unbalancing thoughts. It’s been a process of cleaning and feeling healed in the process. Day by day, it’s like I can feel it flowing out. Sometimes I feel like I go 10 steps backwards, but sometimes I feel like those steps backwards are only there to help in certain ways.

As a result of all of this, I’ve felt myself opening to situations and exposing myself in ways I didn’t know I could. Letting go of things and as a result, feeling love for all people and things no matter who or what it is.

I’ve felt exposing my heart has showed me so many hearts. From loving everyone and everything I’ve felt so much love back. Having faith in myself has let me have faith in the world. Although I’m still learning to do this, I’ve felt that showing myself fully has allowed me to see the world in its entirety.

A question I’m starting to ask myself each day is ‘How can I live my life as a love letter to the world? How can I keep giving myself, exposing myself?’

See you next time from across the Atlantic :)

With lots of love to the world,