The Art of Giving

Welcome to the enchanted world of Pushkar. Surrounded by desert, stretching out for miles, a sanctuary of tranquillity, a peaceful haven to delve deeper into spirituality and discover Hinduism, to embrace cultural traditions and connect with the soul. Mystical dreams of the future become present reality and the infectious vibrancy brings a new lease of life.

Having arrived in Pushkar, Rajasthan, arrangements were swiftly made to visit the ‘Fior di Loto’ school to volunteer. It would be mindful to point out, that I had recently secured a position to teach English in Changchun, China. This was under the premise that I would complete my ‘TEFL’ qualification before commencement.

Volunteering at the ‘Fior di Lotto’ school would not only allow me the opportunity to help others, but provide my eager soul with the first real taste of leading a classroom. This new venture, fuelled by my recent teaching experience during my ‘Yoga Teacher Training’ in Goa, was a further quest to become a teacher, sharing knowledge to inspire others.

With textiles and interior design degrees, surface pattern felt like an appropriate subject to teach, especially due to the rich textile history and culture of India. I’d like to point out that I was petrified of teaching and had no idea at this stage, of teaching styles or methods. Regardless, I embraced volunteering to share my passion, over fear of the unknown, a feeling of vulnerability, linked to the shameful potential of failure.

So I set out to teach. Communication was a little difficult at times, but I had all the support I needed from the local Indian teacher for that class. I taught a year 7 class over 4 days, and each student worked on developing their own surface pattern. Initially this involved bringing an Indian rose to class and sketching this. Over a series of days a square motif was created, which was coloured and developed into a repeated pattern. Patterns were constructed by a simple side by side repeat. Once the motifs were complete I set about the laborious task of digitally converting each motif into a repeat pattern. This was to enable printing of the designs, to create a new colour way, giving each student a complete pattern to keep.

It was during this moment of magic, seeing the designs of these bright, intelligent, yet less privileged students evolve that something shifted in my consciousness. If all this was possible, with a little focused intention, then surely limitless dreams could be realised. I felt shame thinking of the potential opportunities I let pass me by during my studies. Shame; that I hadn’t been bold enough to take a leap of faith, and turn dreams into reality.

With this in mind I set about trying to find a way to turn a previous fabric collection into reality. The students at the school had reignited my passion for surface pattern, and I set the intention to work towards achieving my desires. The search to find a supplier began, speaking to locals and foreigners alike to find the right person to help me on my path. How things unfolded, was a result of synchronised events, fueled by a strong intention and will to succeed. Further evidence of the powers of manifestation.

Riding around on the back of a motorbike, visiting factories and wholesalers, was fun to say the least. Suddenly I felt that anything was possible, with right action and right thought. I started to make plans for the future, printing the fabrics redesigned, designing the bedspreads and cushions and getting these made. My future plans were to develop an online business, whilst teaching in Changchun, China.

“What was of greatest significance during this process, personally, as well as to the development of ‘Create Love Grow’ as a business, was the concept of mindfulness. To engage in right thought and right action.”

“Living in the present moment, with the notion of now.”

Whilst it’s important to have an image of the future in mind, without clear intent, and a firm grasp of the concept of ‘now,’ the future is merely a fictional projection of our fleeting minds. It’s what we do ‘now’ that matters. With right thought and action, right now, enriched futures can start to unfold.

Taking immediate, positive action, is what inspired me to volunteer with ‘Fior Di Lotto,’ a worthwhile cause in changing the shape of the future, for these bright, young minds. I feel immense gratitude for this experience, which I would happily recommend to anyone visiting Pushkar.

With continued love, resources and support, I hope the students get the chance to grow to their full potential……