A New Years Eve Tale...
Posted by Sarika Jain on Jan 4, 2015
Krishan and I just got back from our 1-month honeymoon in Bali. We realized that we needed to just slowww down... and breathe, and simply be. It's been such a fun month of frolicking, resting, writing, meeting interesting healers and spiritual gurus, beach-bumming, wildlife gazing...
Icing on the cake was on New Years Eve. We landed in the Doha airport at 11:40pm, and were determined to do something fun and different, even though we were a little sleepy.
The idea - getting huge bags of chocolates and passing them out to strangers in the Doha airport, along with a chirpy "Happy New Year!". At first, we got rejected, and the staff looked at us strangely (they have strict rules on not accepting gifts - even tiny ones). Passersby thought we were crazy and trying to sell something... but we persevered (with trepidation!).
We ended up meeting at least 80 strangers and listening to different heart-opening stories. There was a group of 50 Kenyan women who were leaving Saudi Arabia, en-masse - as they couldn't take it anymore - going back to Kenya with great uncertainty. Then there was the Albanian security guard, named Eno, with whom we had a teary conversation about Mother Theresa, and spreading kindness in the world. A Philippino sales woman, who worked in a hijab fashion store, sharing about her life in Qatar. The couple from South Africa, who had visited their son in Germany, but had to rush back as their entire house had been broken into. And these two Swedish women, who looked terribly frazzled in the Bali airport - and I will be honest - I had initially judged them for being loud and rude. And yet, when we shared the chocolates in Doha, we learned that their entire purse/ATM cards and money had been stolen in Bali, and they had no money on them. We were moved and gave them money to spend the night in the business class lounge... and they were so relieved! There were other, sweet, gentle people we met with whom we laughed, shared travel and life stories - cute children, an old British couple, lovely college girls from Australia - people from around the world. It was a lively New Years Eve, but in a different way.
I noticed my fears, belief-systems around giving, and sharing love with strangers. I played with my edges around scarcity-mentality. I had to resist the urge of wondering if it was right - my brain, trying to analyze and judge, vs. letting my heart roam free.
Throughout the night, my heart opened, with even more fearlessness... as I wanted it to. It was such a perfect way to usher in the New Year I thank our ServiceSpace community for a) bringing Krishan Patel and I together; and b) for opening our hearts, helping us learn the gift of service.