I can’t believe what happened this weekend.
On Saturday morning I woke up at 5:30am, to catch the 6:10am bus to Gwangju from my island. Originally I had planned to take the 7am bus, but the night before I found out my Korean friend was also travelling to Gwangju the next morning, taking the 6:10am bus, and I thought it would be nice to go together. Therefore I woke up earlier than I had to, and was at the bus station by 6am. I got on the bus waiting for my friend, and he never showed up! The bus departed and I was left wondering what happened to him…I later found out that his alarm did not go off, and he woke up just 10 mins before the bus left. This was the first strange occurrence of a series of events that transpired this weekend.
Two and a half hours later I made it to Gwangju and bought my next bus ticket for my destination of Jeonju. Everything was going good, and my bus left on time. The bus ride to Jeonju was going to be 2 hours. Half way through the bus ride, I saw a sign on the highway for the city of Sucheon. I wondered why we were driving near Sucheon when Jeonju was supposed to be in the opposite direction. I started to get an uneasy feeling that I was on the wrong bus…the name of another city flashed into my mind called Jinju, and I started to realize that the bus terminal counter had given me the wrong ticket! Instead of giving me a bus ticket to Jeonju, she had given me a bus ticket to Jinju…on the other side of the country!
For two weeks prior I had planned to attend this special day long meditation series in Jeonju, and to meet with a Korean woman named Anna who had also had the experience of being in India last year. We had been in touch in the weeks leading up this weekend through Facebook and Skype. The plan was to meet at the bus terminal, and to go to this meditation event together with her offering to translate for me. The moment I asked a Korean guy on my bus whether we were going to Jeonju or Jinju, he confirmed we were going to Jinju…not the place I had intended to visit. I called Anna from the bus letting her know that I would not be able to attend the meditation process because I was currently on route to the other side of the country. I had really, really wanted to do this process, and I could not believe that I was on the wrong bus. In all my travels in 36 countries, I've never ever gotten on the wrong bus. This was a first.
Then the wise words that my good friend recently wrote me in an email came to me, “Life is always energetically guiding us...” After the initial panic I felt in realizing I was not going to be able to do what I had planned this weekend, I fully surrendered to what was happening. The reality was that I was stuck on this bus moving away from where I had wanted to go, and I could either resist where life was taking me, or I could surrender and trust that I was going exactly where I needed to go (even if my rational, logical brain could not understand WHY this had to happen). I started to remember all the times in my life where everything that had ever happened, had always happened perfectly. Life is always in the right. Always.
I saw this experience as a nudge from life itself in trusting and surrendering fully. I silently affirmed in my head that I was open to what would happen, and that I trusted life to connect me with the people I was meant to meet and to have whatever experience I was supposed to have.
I started to talk with the guy on the bus about Jinju and what I could see in the city he works in. It turned out that he was free that day, and he offered to show me around Jinju once our bus arrived. And from here started a beautiful adventure with two strangers coming together to explore a city, and make the most of this one day. We walked passed a bamboo forest and sat in the bamboo forest in silence.
There was a little bit of a language barrier with Korean and English, yet I’ve realized in my travels that the words we speak are only a small fraction of what real communication entails. After seeing the bamboo forest, we walked over the bridge to the historical castle and then sat on the grass checking return bus tickets to my island. I was a little worried about how I would get home. My mind wanted to think of the future, and the final destination of getting back to my home; yet my heart reminded me to BE with what IS. To enjoy every moment, and to fully be wherever I am fully. In that moment, I realized here I was with a new friend, who had only been a stranger a few hours earlier and my mind was thinking of how I was going to get home instead of embracing and enjoying this synchronistic experience of ending up in Jinju for the day. At that moment I got an email from my friend in Brazil that had the perfect message for what I was experiencing:
[The feeling of YES is the highest energy]
Living from the state of YES is truly beautiful.
There are no problems.
Things happen at the right time in the right way.
Perfection is allowed to BE.
Nothing can compare to living in the state of YES
(which is the state of love).
Not a house.
Not a car.
Put a miserable person in a new house or new car
and they'll still be miserable.
But a person living in the state of YES (AKA: pure love)?
They are complete just as they are.
Yet they can have the new house and new car if they
make that choice to have them.
They just make a "yes it will be nice to have" choice
and they find themselves having or living with the
thing they decided upon.
There is no struggle for it.
They don't fret or worry about how it's going to
They just keep living in BEingness (the highest state)
and say (feel) "yes" to what they want -- and
what they want shows up.
...Then I had an idea of something I really wanted to do in Jinju; instead of walking around the city while still recovering from a cold, I wanted to go to a Korean bathhouse to relax.
He took me to a nice Jjimjilbang, a large gender segregated public bathhouse (similar to a spa) with hot tubs, showers, saunas, heated salt rooms, sleeping areas with different temperatures and a relaxing lounge area where both men and women wear spa clothes. Jjimjibang’s are a popular weekend getaway for Korean families. I ended up spending 5 hours there with my new friend, talking about our lives. It turns out that he had gone to his hometown on Friday night to visit his mother in the hospital who is severely sick, had stayed with her the night before in the hospital for her birthday and had come back to Jinju this morning. He felt pain in his heart seeing his mother so sick. Then I started to realize that perhaps our paths were meant to cross for a reason. Maybe I was meant to be an angel for him on this day, brightening his weekend, and he was an angel for me showing me around Jinju and showering me with so much kindness and generosity. It made me realize how we often think about what we GET from something, as opposed to thinking about how we GIVE to a situation or person. Maybe me unintentionally ending up in Jinju had nothing to do with what I was meant to get, learn or experience and more to do with how my presence could uplift someone else’s life in a small way.
While we were talking in the Jjimilbang, my new friend said to me that I reminded him of a “Lady God”. I had never heard this expression before, and asked him if he meant “Goddess”, which I am familiar with. He said yes. I thought it was so beautiful that this new one day friend could sense/see/feel Goddess energy from me, even when he is not spiritual/religious at all. He said it so naturally, and his words were a reflection of what I feel within myself. It always amazes me when we meet people in life, and we don’t have to know each other for a long time to sense certain things about each other…and often what we sense about other people is not coming from an external physical dimension, but rather we pick up things energetically and intuitively. My new friend did not know anything about my interests or my life (and photos I’ve done capturing Divine Feminine Beauty/Goddess archetype), yet he could sense this type of “Lady God” energy within me. Special and magical.
At the end of the day on the way to the bus terminal we enjoyed an ice cream at Baskin Robbin’s, and we said goodbye at the bus terminal. It was a beautiful day and experience. Two strangers coming together to become friends, sharing our lives for one day with each other and it all happened because of divine grace. Life. Serendipity.
Trusting Life. Surrendering to Life. Being open to Life.
When I got to Gwangju bus terminal, the last bus to Jindo had already left and I was stuck without a place to sleep. I sat on the floor with my Ipad writing my friends that live in Korea to see if anyone would be able to host me for the night. As I was sitting on the ground, a Korean guy approached me and asked if he could talk with me. Perhaps this may not sound like anything special for some people, but in my life in Korea, this NEVER happens. EVER. Usually people run away from speaking English, and are very shy around foreigners. I was so surprised that this complete stranger had the courage to approach me and start a conversation. I expressed to him how I was stuck in Gwangju without a place to sleep, and wanted to go back home to Jindo Island. It turns out synchronistically that out of all the places in Korea he could be from, Jindo was also his hometown! What are the chances? (Jindo is a very rural island!)
I decided last minute to take one of the last buses from Gwangju to Mokpo, and ended up staying with my British friend who lives in Mokpo. I told him about my exciting, unexpected and adventurous travel experience that day ending up on the other side of Korea. We drank Yuza tea (citrus fruit that grows in East Asia) and ate frozen grapes (which are delicious!). The next morning when I was leaving, my friend told me to walk down the street to the main road to catch a taxi since he lives in a quiet residential area of Mokpo. As soon as I exited his building, a taxi drove up right in front of his building to pick me up. Like pure magic, divine timing and being completely in the flow. I smiled all the way home…after being reminded this weekend of the perfection of life.
When I got home, I received this email:
I'll never forget today. Thank you for happiness.
Everything is always happening perfectly.
We can trust life, or resist life.
Life is an adventure when we are OPEN.
Life has its own natural intelligence that guides us on our journey.
Trust. Trust. Trust.
With Love, Nicole ♥