THE BLOG
01/17/2014 01:55 pm ET | Updated Mar 19, 2014

What Happens When East Meets West?

As we reach the middle of the first month of the new year, I find myself in Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, India, where the cows and cars have an uncanny agreement that supports the flow of life. Unlike my travel companion who thought it to be chaotic and insane, I somehow kept seeing nothing can flow like this if some special power were not at hand. That power is called "Bhavna." It's a Hindi word, which translated to English means, "a deep unique feeling of faith, love, and regard." Bhavna gets things done! It's in the eyes of the cows, the beggars that come banging on your car door, the man with his family on a scooter, the little girls walking hand-in-hand on the streets and the boys laughing away, as if they have no responsibility other than to be on the streets passing time.

I've been traveling to India for over 20 years, and each time I visit I find out something new about myself. I find that I have more space to love, accommodate, care, give passage and smile more. It's like I'm tested each time I come to this sacred land to expand my comfort zones from the West and live from the very fiber of the soul's true essence, Bhavna (love). When all your comforts are gone, you turn to the comforts within the soul and discover a world of wonder. As we become more conscious in this new year, we find that becoming self-reflective is a much needed requirement to cope with the variety of changes and scenes we will come across. At the onset of this year, over 80 percent of America faced arctic temperatures that had the nation being forced to look within.

When we cultivate the habit of practicing inner reflection, it offers us a mirror of our external world. I ponder if our souls are getting so cold, so "bhavnaless," that we manifest the outer freeze? Food for thought or warm for thaw? Eventually, as we continue to endure the various scenes of life unfolding where we are tested to bring a higher level of ourselves to the world, we just might reach a place of universal acceptance and responsibility to the whole. When each one takes responsibility to bring "Bhavna" to their lives and surroundings, the flow continues and increases. When there is flow there is power. Could this year be the year of power where Bhavna becomes the main ingredient to move debris out of the way, and create a bedrock of nurturing realities where everyone in and around us is benefited? Well, here in India I have proof that Bhavna does just that. I'm not sure what we would do in Washington D.C. if a cow chose to sit on I-495 and the cars just drove around it as if it were a common fixture. Perhaps, we would increase our Bhavna, especially during the Washington D.C. traffic!

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