Creativenessfest Nepal 2016

I’m feeling so shaky and overwhelmed from my speech. My hands are trembling; my chest feels like it’s going to explode. But I can’t stop writing because I’m making everyone write for the next 10 minutes. There are 100 of us under this tent enduring the muggy summer air with resilience. Just like in school, we’re all seated on our chairs; every head glued to the page in their notebooks, scribbling ceaseless, witnessing our hands catch a momentum. As if my whole life I was preparing for this moment, joining forces with the masses that share my passion for using creativity to build a more conscious world. Like me, they are attending the first Creativenessfest Nepal in hopes of creating a new Nepal. One filled with infinite possibilities for a better future.

“Words have the power to empower or to dehumanize you. Choose them wisely.” These simple yet profound words from the founder of Life in 10 minutes, Valley Haggard, really struck a cord in me. Writing for 10 minutes at a time became a revival outlet like meditation to help me recognize and take charge of my inner voice. Although I started with the prompt right now I am and begin with the most recent chain of events, emotions evoked in the present somehow tied into a story of the forgotten past. It seemed like my life was coming in full circle on a piece of paper. Then there were times when it was simply a word vomit reflecting back at me. Nonetheless it was empowering to give the voices in my head a home.

Now here I am. Trying to pay it forward. Thankfully I’ve been greeted with nothing but warm smiles and gratitude for hosting this workshop. Everyone here is so humble and compassionate. Maybe it’s due to the fact that we’re in a country that is so deeply rooted in spirituality or maybe because I’m back post the catastrophic earthquake last April. For the first time in my life yesterday, I heard my maiju (aunt) say, “Now, I believe in Dharti Mata (Goddess of Earth). This came about as she was telling me her experience of the devastating earthquake and how she started with chanting Lord Shiva’s name, the Hindu God who is also known as the destroyer or transformer. “Hai Shiva ji, Malai raksha gara” (Dear lord Shiva, please protect me). The earth shook even more violently after her pled. Shutting her eyes in disbelief, she ran down the entire Gods and Goddesses names she could recall and called them for protection. Lord Bishnu, Lord Bramha, Godess Laxmi, Godess Baglamukhi, Lord Ganesh, to name a few.

In the midst of her chanting and shaking of the ground, she had a moment of awareness as she opened her eyes and saw a car jumping on the street. The car was bouncing as if all the Gods and Goddesses were collectively pushing the ground underneath, trying to emerge out of the surface. She then concluded the chant with one God’s name throughout, “Hai Dharti Mata, malai raksha gara! (Oh Mother Earth, please protect me!)

This was music to my ears especially after the recent hectic trip to Baglamukhi Temple, one of the most ancient temples of Devi in Nepal. Like every Thursday, worshippers were standing in a 2-hour queue to get a glimpse of Devi’s statue. To the contrary of how you would expect everyone to be, in a state of complete bliss and enchantment, most people were yelling and shoving each other to get ahead of the line.

I was baffled at the scene. Doesn’t that derail the whole purpose of their visit? Aren’t the temples and the statues merely a representation of the eternal god inside us that never leaves our sight? I hope like my maiju everyone realizes that the biggest god we need to worship is the one inside our hearts and the mother earth that sustains it.

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