My surrender to a higher power while traveling alone in India

In October of 2013, I embarked on a trip of a lifetime to India.  My intention for this trip was to follow Satya/ Truth during this entire trip and from this point further in my life.  A total of 8 of us embarked on a group yoga vacation, all from Boston with the exception of me being from South Jersey.  The leader of this trip spent many hours on the phone talking with me; however, I never actually physically met anyone from this trip until our departure from JFK.   After 5 days, of traveling with this group, my intention of following Satya/Truth, led me to leave the group.  Two others decided to leave with me.  After a few days, the other two yogis returned to USA and I decided to stay and travel alone in India embarking further on my journey through Satya.

At the end of the 5th week of traveling, I was staying in a beach town, Varkala, in the state of Kerala located on the shores of the Arabian Sea.  One night after a lovely meal with some newly met friends, I head back to my hotel room and could not sleep.  Finally around 5 am, I look at my phone and remember I have a missed call from the night before I listen to my voice mail and find a message from the fraud alert department at my bank in the USA.  My checking account is frozen because someone attempted to charge $10,000 at through my visa debit card. However, they were able to put several charges through prior and wiped  out my checking account.

So, I call my bank and of course I’m on hold. This call is probably costing me $50 or more. I get through and the representative says that my savings account is still intact. She says she will unfreeze access to my account for one hour so that I can go to an ATM and get cash out of savings.

So, OK, I jump out of bed, tell myself to Breath and Be Calm.

I get dressed and run out of the hotel, up a dirt path about an 8 minute walk that feels like forever, and this path is almost deserted due to the early hour of the morning.   I run to the parking area on the Cliff in Varkala and find a Rickshaw driver to take me to an ATM.  We are halfway there and I realize I forgot my debit card.

So, he drives me back to the hotel through the dirt path, I get my debit card and we are off again. We drive 10 minutes, which seems like 30, to an ATM. I get out run in and the ATM is not working!  I get back in the Rickshaw, my heart beating faster

I tell myself to BREATH and SURRENDER to God. Breath and surrender, I will find a way.

We travel another 5-10 minutes to the next town with an ATM. In my confusion, I only withdraw a $100 as I’m having difficulty concentrating.

So, I get back into the Rickshaw, and go back to the hotel.  After meditating, I walk back to the tourist area for breakfast.. I run into Sita, a 22 year old shop owner who I’ve previously friended. This women, who is 5 months pregnant and sleeps on a dirt floor at night with her toddler, offers me money. I sit down to eat breakfast at an outdoor cafe and friends from Europe, that I met earlier in my travels while staying at an ashram stop to chat, one at a time each person I barely know offers to give me money without asking for anything in return.

I’ve heard the biggest gift that we are given is “free will” and the best that we can do with it is to “surrender our will to a higher power”.  Ironically, it is in India, this magical, mystical and at times maddening land, where I feel so close to a higher power, that surrendering comes naturally.

Om Namah Shivaya

Victoria Purcell

riding elephant in India