Life lessons from India are etched on our souls. 17 Years ago I visited India for the first time and ever since then I have been longing to go back. I had no idea that when I returned it would be with my husband and three children (ages 12, 10, and 9) in tow!
On the 7th of Jan 2018, we arrived back from a three-week backpacking and life-changing stint in India. We saw so much and did so much, but what I wish to hold onto are the gifts of personal learnings and insights gained through our experiences. I’m still processing and things are constantly coming up for me, but as they do I will share them with you.
Gift 1 : ‘WHAT IF………………?’
When we first announced that we were taking our children on their first overseas trip and that it was backpacking in India it was met with various responses– raised eyebrows, concern, judgment, and the occasional shriek of delight! A comment that still makes me giggle was from a friend who said, ’Lindsy, most families take their children to Disneyland, trust you to drag yours to India!’, but the question I have been reflecting on continuously throughout our trip is the one that came up time and time again before we left – What if…….. ? What if your children get sick? What if you have to squeeze into those trains? What if your kids get lost? What if your kids don’t eat the food? What if, what if, what if…? And guess what – all three children did get sick, and yes, we did squeeze into those trains, we did lose a child (a story for another time) and there certainly is a limit as to how many chapattis our kids can eat!
The question I return with though is, ‘What if we had let our internal ‘what if’s’ stop us and what if we had denied ourselves and our children this incredible experience?’
LESSON: ‘What if’s’ certainly are a reality, but so often we (and our well-meaning friends) create such huge fear-based internal stories that we limit ourselves and our children in so many areas of our lives because ‘what if…..?’.
NOTE TO SELF AND CHILDREN: Whenever I catch myself, my children, or a friend asking ‘What if…?’ My response is to ask myself/them, ‘What is holding you back?’ ‘What if you don’t?’
PUTTING IT INTO ACTION: Sharing various personal parenting and coaching insights has been something I have been wanting to do for some time now, but the ‘What if’s’ have been holding me back. What if I make a spelling mistake? What if they don’t read it? What if I mess up on social media?
Today I ask myself ‘What if you don’t?’ as I put my first insight on FB. Thank you India!