I started this week at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas with an all night celebration of God - Sivaratri was a beautiful and joyous night of continuous chanting and 5 different ceremonies that culminated in a parade of more than 300 people throughout the ashram down to the ocean front just before daybreak. All the decorations were handmade with strips of palm leaves hanging from the ceiling throughout the entire hall.
A feast of blessed handmade sweets, savories and warm drinks lined three sets of banquet sized tables for all to enjoy following the festivities. It was a night of music, chanting, dancing, ceremonies, beauty and joy.
After a very brief nap that morning, I was off to the airport for a flight home to Chicago. I managed to sleep on the plane, as I was beyond exhaustion. Luckily it was a nice flight, free from turbulence.
My mom's birthday was the reason for the trip, and I was looking forward to celebrating her special day, along with seeing my family.
A surprise visit from my nephew and his girlfriend made the celebration even more fun. My mom was thrilled to have them with us, as they traveled from New York to share in her birthday. The family dinner gathering in honor of my mom was filled with love, laughter and engaging conversation - including a healthy dose of politics.
My mom still works part-time and is meticulous about caring for her home, so she is an active woman.
When she's resting, she's either reading about one of the presidential candidates, past presidents, or she's watching political debates and knows the backgrounds of every candidate.
As a political enthusiast, her favorite companion is Fox News. She starts and ends her days watching Fox, and my mom's days start before the sun rises. Bill O'Reilly is among her favorites, and she's read quite a few of his books.
She's read two books about Donald Trump, a book about Carson, and a few books about the Bushes and Ronald Reagan. She's a very loyal American and a conservative politically.
She's supporting Donald Trump. As she puts it, she normally wouldn't like the harsh rhetoric he's known for, but she believes he is a man for these turbulent and troubled times in our world.
She most admires his forthright honesty and his strength. She says she understands his approach of punching harder and twice, anyone who attacks him. She believes in his heart he is a true American that is leading the fight of a righteous war to regain America's greatness.
It was interesting for me to listen and observe during my few days home. One of the days, I also heard my aunt's and uncle's views when they visited. My uncle strongly supports another Republican candidate. He and my mom debated and knew much about their chosen candidates. I admired the intensity of their support and the dedication of time to learn whatever they could about the candidates from both parties.
In the past, the political discussions were very painful for me, as I rarely shared what I deemed, the extreme conservative views of my family members. Having shut myself off completely from TV and news while in the Bahamas, it was interesting to me to be less attached to a view of my own. It was a new way to hear and observe others strong views.
Listening to my mom and watching many hours of Fox News during my visit, I couldn't help but think of the Bhagavad Gita (the yogis' bible) and Arjuna's call from God to fight the righteous war against evil. I'm not judging whether Trump is a true warrior selflessly fighting in a righteous war, in the name of God and the American people - but the comparisons did come to mind.
I enjoyed listening to it all with fresh and detached ears and mind. It wasn't painful at all.
The contrast of worlds I go back and forth between is starkly evident, but in both worlds there are many good, loving people - living life the best way they know how.
Back to the beautiful, lush Bahamas and the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat for the last two months of the year long study and more revelations of What is Possible? living an Ayurvedic-Yogic Lifestyle.
Sending You Love from the Bahamas.
Thank you for taking this journey with me!
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