Packing My Values for India

I am blessed to leave soon on my fourth trip to India and my third visit to Maher Ashram.  This will be my first group trip to Maher and hopefully not my last.  We are celebrating a joyous and uplifting occasion:  Maher’s 20 years of transforming lives and villages in positive ways.

One of our travelers teaches a course on Social Justice Self and Citizenship.  One of two tools she sent us in preparation for our Spiritual Pilgrimage was a “What I Value” checklist.  She asked us to choose five — from 20 choices — that we would like to carry with us on our journey.  Reflecting on these values was a helpful exercise, from which more clarity emerged about our travels and my life than I expected.

Three intentions — grace, learning and harmony –came to me a few weeks ago as I began the final preparations for our departure.  To these intentions, I am now adding the values of health, faith, compassion, diversity and creativity.  Choosing these five values meant leaving others, like individualism and power, home this time.

Although these values feel true to my life in general at this time, I can’t know if I will return to the States in mid-February with the same five values.  But for now, I feel grateful and comforted to carry them intentionally on our collective adventure.  And, I look forward to experiencing the kaleidoscope of values the members of our group and all at Maher will bring to this festive time.