Jesus says, “Know thy neighbor!”

2020 has made it clearer than ever that community is a deep human need! Connection is what we all want underneath all our wants- connection to ourselves, to each other, to something bigger than us. Here’s a story about how I created my own community when I wanted it the most!

Not long after I moved into Joe’s triple decker in Somerville- what I called Casa 69 because I wanted so badly to speak Spanish, I got to know my neighbors in the other 5 apartments, only to find out they didn’t know each other. Even though I was the newest to the building, and others had lived there for years on end, no one had gotten to know the people living 6 feet away from them. Literally! And I couldn’t believe it!

Our sense of community is intrinsically different in America than it is in India- our space bubbles are smaller in India, somehow everyone shares a sense of belonging that is easily extended…Riding a train for 3 hours can have you end up exchanging food over discussions on politics and religion, holding people’s children…there’s an easy familiarity in ways that most Americans I know may be terrified by!

Not knowing your next door neighbors is like a warped version of an impossible reality for most Indians!

I got to confront this difference in many forms as an international student and again and again as a young professional moving around the country alone. So back to Casa 69- I saw so many fun people stacked above each other and suspected they’d enjoy meeting each other!

In fact, I was craving community- like many of us are now! I wanted the kind where you just knock on each other’s door to have a chat, to borrow some milk, to share the craziness of the snowstorm (or the pandemic) outside…So I decided to create it.

Next day, I made these (to me hilarious and awesome) fliers from a deck of post-its my friend Loren had gifted me. For a second I worried they might seem preposterous to a serious Church-goer, but if they were offended, we weren’t going to get along any way! So I posed it as a divine duty- I mean, Jesus says know thy neighbor, right?! I slipped a flyer under each person’s door.

There was a buzz in the building, planning as we crossed paths in the hallways for days, I bought some cupcakes, some wine, and when the day came, so did every person in the building.

Crammed into my tiny living room over a circle of food and wine, we exchanged stories, happy to discover unexpected camaraderie over the hilarity of our rental configurations and the eccentricities of our landlord.
We roared in laughter as we shared our reactions to him blocking out our bathroom windows, all at once, for no reason…We laughed as we realized the Americans were outnumbered by international folks- we had an Irishman, a German, two Mexicans, and of course, me, the resident Indian!

As time went by, the distance shortened.

We knocked on each other’s doors, we played tennis, made art, went on adventures..we even combined apartments and hosted Casa 69 parties (you may have been to one), we had late night existential discussions over music on our porches…We cried and laughed together through life’s growing pains. Some beastly nor’easter nights when Boston was covered with 6′ of snow, I put a giant lasagna bake in the oven n we’d all snuggle into my living room to play games n voluntarily be locked in together!

We became friends. So much love, so much community, just waiting to be put together…oh and most of us aren’t connected on facebook :)

2020 has made it clearer than ever that community is a deep human need! Connection is what we all want underneath all our wants- connection to ourselves, to each other, to something bigger than us.

We all want to belong to something, know that those around us stand with us, that we are part of a grand adventure together- it’s more fun to share the ride!

New partners, new jobs, new horizons came and we all left that building eventually but I still talk to each of them, though less often. It was the sweetest period of my Boston life and I’ve drawn on this experience often to bring people together, and more importantly, bring cool people to me!

They say strangers are just friends waiting to be discovered. I couldn’t agree more!

How are you building community through the pandemic? It’s the balm we all need and in these times we need to actively create and nurture it. I’d love to hear your adventures in turning friends into strangers.

If you’re interested in sharing this kind of fun community, with a purpose to support your deepest intentions- join us in Murmurations! A transformational community starting Jan 28, shepherded by yours truly.

A group of some really cool folks is coming and I’d love to have you too!
Your new friends might just be waiting to be discovered.

<3
Ishita

If you’re feeling the call of newness, a longing for connection and self-transformation, join us!
 
This 6 month journey is a space to realize your intentions in an intimate, conscious community. We’ll be the wind beneath each other’s wings, as we examine who we are and our deepest purpose.

We’ll dive in to clarify your wants in alignment with your deepest purpose, examine and release the blocks in the way, while synchronizing with your natural rhythm and greater order. You’ll cultivate a conscious relationship with yourself, others, your purpose and the earth itself as we journey together. I’m pulling the best parts of my rich healing journey here to usher you into the newness life’s calling you into!

The course starts Jan 28th and an impressive group is forming.
If it resonates, I encourage you to apply soon- I’d love to talk with you too! 

Winter Solstice and Murmurations

This Winter Solstice closes out a big year, beginning an especially potent one, dissolving old forms and creating newness fueled by the fire 2020 lit in our hearts. It’s extra special to me because, this year, my intention includes helping you birth yours!

Happy Winter Solstice you!

Just as the Solstice Sun sets tonight, Saturn and Jupiter will form the mythical Star of Bethlehem, last seen in 1623, as they cross paths in the early sunset sky, followed by a meteor shower at night. Worth getting out in the cold to witness!

On each Solstice I make space to be with myself in nature and set intentions for the next half of my revolution around the Sun. It matters, read on to hear why.

This Winter Solstice closes out a big year, beginning an especially potent one, dissolving old forms and creating newness fueled by the fire 2020 lit in our hearts. It’s extra special to me because, this year, my intention includes helping you birth yours!

The keyword for this time is daring, and I am opening my most daring offering yet- a transformative community to heal and awaken together.

Murmurations- the next Transformational Group Intensive begins on January 28th.

In this 6 month journey, we will fly together to pave the path to your deepest intentions in a loving, conscious community.

In the last cohort I led, two people stopped smoking without actively pushing to do so! Such is the power of an intentional and loving group to heal.

And this course is all about that- coming together with intention and love, as one, tapping into intelligence bigger than each of us, amplifying the gifts we each bring, while healing our shadows.

In the last intensive, each of us asked ourselves: What is my deepest longing? What stands in my way? What stops me from unconditionally loving myself? What stops me from unconditionally loving others?

As we dropped our masks, allowing ourselves to see and be seen, as we invited our longings and resistances to be known, embraced and loved, magic happened. As we dared to name our deepest calling, and commit to our heart’s call, we embodied the intentions we had set in just 6 short weeks.

The next round goes for 6 months to anchor us through the passing trials of the pandemic and exploit the potency of this transformational time between the Winter and Summer Solstices.

If you’re longing to create change in your life, this may be just the time and place to heed that call.

The Solstice may seem like just another day for you, and beyond the cool physics of it, I too didn’t pay much attention to it for most of my life, until something in me shifted.

Let me tell you what makes the Solstice is so important to me now.

In my late 20’s, I noticed I craved time with the Sun and the Moon like people crave chocolate! As I began to honor my need for more time in nature, I noticed that my whole nervous system responded to the rhythms of the Sun and Moon.

If you pay attention, you’ll notice too.

I couldn’t deny what was happening outside me was reflected in my own neurophysiology!

A true skeptic, I started paying attention. I found clear patterns in my way of being- how I slept, how much, how much I ate, how talkative I felt, what I wanted to do with my day, actually were clearly reflected in the phases of the Moon. Then, I started seeing the bigger patterns through the year…how the Equinoxes and Solstices and the phases they ushered shifted my leanings.

At one point, I could tell the phase of the moon by sensing into my body and my energy when I woke up in the morning. In it I saw again a reflection of the Sanskrit mahavakyaAham Bhramasmi.” I am the Universe, or, my identity is cosmic.

It is. And so is yours.

It was in those days that I realized the Solstice was significant. I could feel my energy build up as it approached, shift as it left. Every cell in my body knew something was about to change, and I could use it to my advantage to release, re-set and re-align.

Later I learned that the Solstice is a day that Yogis – those who aspire towards and embody the ultimate union, between the individual and the universal – recognize as a time of transition into enhanced receptivity of Grace for every body. All of creation comes together to enhance the light within us- and enlightenment becomes a heightened possibility.

All thresholds embody possibility, and the Winter Solstice marks the expansion of light on Earth. Where the Summer Solstice is the beginning of Dakshinayana, a time of purification and cultivation, the Winter Solstice is the beginning of Uttarayana, a time of heightened receptivity.

And because, as Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj said, “both astronomy and anatomy describe you,” if your inner landscape is releasing, re-setting and wanting new direction, know it’s because you are part of life’s great rhythm. 

Because you and I are the Earth, the changes out there are reflected within us- so the light expands inside us, just like it does outside.

That’s why it’s a good day to set intentions, and the keyword here is daring. And that’s why Murmurations is intentionally aligned between the Solstices- to mine the potential of this time.

Dare!

To declare how you want to be.
To channel your innermost fire.
To articulate your deepest desires.
To include all of creation in its fruition!

The time is now. The time is ripe.

If you forgot you can negotiate with the universe, let me remind you you can! And now is a good time to do begin.

Our intentions do exactly that.

So now my Solstice celebration includes going out at sunset to greet the Sun and the Moon, making a fire and reflecting on the year past. I thank the experiences I lived through for their teachings and release parts I don’t need on the journey ahead. Then, I open inner daring and set intentions for what I want to nurture in the year ahead, clearly, so all the forces that be, conscious and unconscious, know and align to my intent.

Knowing that the whole universe is listening, I invite it to participate in realizing my heart’s intention.

I hope you’ll pause and find your way of marking the moment and daring to dream big, because you know in your bones that holding back your heart isn’t why you’re here now or how you want to live.

Maybe you too can ask what are your deepest intentions? Even if you don’t know how you’ll get there, what do you long to create in your life?

If you are committed to your intentions and clearing the blocks that hinder your way, life will find a way to orchestrate their fruition. Having a mirror to reflect your truth, your beauty, your power, your shadow facilitates the journey, and getting there is more fun when we go together!

If you’re still reading, I hope you’ll join me and eleven courageous inner explorers in the six month sojourn through this sacred time, in Murmurations.

There are two cohorts forming and there is space for you…I am really excited about this one!

If it calls to you, let’s connect and see if it’s right for us to walk the path together. 

Enjoy the celestial celebration ahead!

with love and care,
Ishita

Mantra

A mantra pointing to life purpose…the part and the whole.

Mantra is a Sanskrit word: Man + Tra. 

The simplicity of Sanskrit’s structure can be deceiving. For within the construction of its words lies a fundamental correlation of sound and form, bound in the frequency of the utterance.

Man translates to mind and Tra translates to vehicle or instrument. Thus, a mantra is an instrument to move the mind. Where? Where the sound points.

Over the years I have been enchanted by the Sanskrit I have inherited in my lineage. I lose myself in the beauty of a word just tracing its lines with my fingers, or its sound with my tongue or feel its vibration moving through my being.

Sanskrit shlokas and mantras surface often in my consciousness with joyous reverence. But sometimes, a sentence or a phrase arises in plain English that resounds so true and beautiful that it reverberates for days within.

This most recent one surfaced in my evening routine and points to purpose and calling:

May the highest and best in each serve the highest and best for all.  

There is much and many in a state of transition…as we find ourselves confronted by the limitations of old ways of thinking and living, many sense a new world of possibilities may lie just beyond. Big questions emerge in uncomfortable confrontations…there are quarter-life, mid-life and end-of-life crises: What is the purpose of my life? we ask.

Big questions often have humble answers. Life is to be lived. Existence has no purpose but to exist. So, live! Be here, be now. What more?

To be here and now may not sound like a worthy life purpose if the belief system is looking for a mission to fulfill, a destiny to carve or a goal to achieve. Perhaps because we have forgotten how to live in presence and the expansion it brings.

But perhaps, by intending to use the best of that which is us, to serve the best for all (no exclusions!), we can remember how to live here and now and maybe just for a minute, transcend the ego and silence the mind and open up to a greater possibility…for the best for the whole is the best for the part, and the best for the part is the best for the whole.