Loud and chaotic India is pounding through the closed doors of the cab. The look through the window fascinates me by all beautiful colours, all over again. Owning this spectacular essence, India makes you either accept herself in all her differences along with the strong character It possesses, or you return to the Western world of perfectionism without any intention of ever coming here again. I belong to the first group: India has blown me away right at the beginning.

Liberating India Accelerated My New Beginning in 2012

My first trip to this country goes back to the year of 2012. I still remember liberating feeling of freedom it gave me. No rules and no expectations. Only chaos. Finally, the chaos of my inner world made sense within the chaos of the outer world. It was the feeling that had never been allowed by the Western perfectionism. In the West, everything seems so perfect and flawless that I always used most of my energy to pretend how impeccable and flawless I was myself too. 

This time, I invited my son Žan Aleksander to join me on my trip to India. I want to show him the culture and vibration of a country with a population of 1.2 billion people, the country that offers so many possibilities, joy and pain at the same time. I wanted to introduce him to the land and its people who despite their many differences live together in harmony and respect.

Very Special Kind of a New Beginning Reminds me of My Camino 

There was a new beginning waiting for my Indian friend named Reema. It was a real Indian wedding with her fiancé Vikaas. My son Žan and I will accompany the happy couple in this marriage of love, which made it different from most of the traditional arranged Indian marriages.

Taxi, trapped in a chaos of Indian traffic between cars, rickshaws, motorcyclists and sacred cows, is taking us to a 3-day wedding celebration. An incredible dance party in the style of Bollywood, a family lunch on the second day, as well as a wedding ceremony, to conclude this sparkling event. According to tradition, astrologers determined the day and time of the wedding ceremony for a happy couple.

The atmosphere is full of exciting expectations that every new beginning brings along! But my thoughts go back to the beginning of the Camino I walked a year ago. In my mind I go back to the first day of my pilgrimage when I was crossing the Pyrenees also presented in my book The Storyteller:

I had walked seven miles and the amount of snow around me was increasing by the minute. The path swerved into the woods and was turning ever narrower and steeper. I was beginning to feel pain in every muscle in my body and my brain was deluged with thoughts that were not exactly helpful. Every new beginning is hard and the thought of the number of challenges like the one I had before me for the following 30 days was testing me: “Why am I even doing this?”

There I was, in the middle of the woods, all alone, striding the narrow, muddy path that had just been ‘upgraded’ to a slippery snowy one. I had no reasonable answer to my question. There was nothing reasonable about it at all. Yet, there I was. Alone. Because I felt a strong need for solitude and for conquering this trying challenge, without the presence of the guardian angels that life had always sent my way. No matter where I was, there was always someone who wholeheartedly helped me survive. I wanted it to be different this time; I wanted the Camino to be the beacon of my independence on the path to empowerment. Just like Matjaž said at departure: “Go and finish the Camino. There is no doubt in my mind that you will succeed and I can assure you that you will then realize just how powerful you really are.”

Wedding of Reema & Vikaas

Arrival at the wedding delights us with such happiness on all wedding guests’ faces and gorgeous colours and accessories. Everything is beautifully decorated with flowers and lights, so one could really see a deep meaning of this ceremony in the Indian culture. Suddenly, the bride Reema appears in the crowd and leaves us speechless. She’s wearing a beautiful fairytale-like dress, but it’s her face that moves us the most, reflecting a palette of vibrant emotions before a new beginning in her life.

Reema is not trying to hide the joy she feels at all! At this moment, all emotions overwhelming her complete being seem so natural.

Being able to allow oneself to feel and show emotions and thus vulnerability is so liberating. Imagine not to wear any of the masks that, too often, cover our faces and hide real feelings. We, Žan and I, are certainly allowing ourselves to do so today and hopefully, all the days to come. The amount of joy Indians express pulls you in is contagious, gets under your skin and encourages even ‘famously’ reserved Europeans to uncover our faces and throw away the masks we use to hide our true feelings. 

Life is beautiful if we allow ourselves to live and celebrate it. Dear readers, I encourage you to be joyful and boldly allow yourselves to be vulnerable.

Keep in mind that every day can be a new beginning, the beginning of your new life.