I left for my “Year as a Gypsy” on September 2, 2011. As that year comes to a close my life has opened. By shedding my beliefs about what I “thought” might make me happy in life and asking a new question about “what would bring me joy”, I made some bold new moves. After selling most of my belongings, letting go of my house, my man, my dog and my attachment to any outcome, I packed my car and drove off. First stop, Asheville, North Carolina.
My blog, www.the-gypsy-life.com has chronicled what can only be described as a “surprising” year. I had thoughts of writing full time, landed a screenplay writing job, re-invented myself with a new website www.mayalunachristobel.com and felt the stars aligning in what I believed was my destiny. And then I learned a very important saying first hand and right between the eyes: “How do you make the Gods laugh? By telling them your plans”. It was simply a few weeks into my adventure that I threw the blueprints out and adopted the only thing I knew to do: Navigate by intuition …one day at a time.
So, here I am, many stories later, still no driver’s license, but well traveled, well cared for, well fed, well loved and inspired beyond anything I could imagine. And after just one short year I have found that my heart is happiest singing, participating in a music company that has children at the center of everything, and creating opportunity for myself and as many others as possible to live their dreams. How could I have known any of this before taking the leap?
Today, August 18th, one of those dreams is being realized for a group of young people who just landed in Kathmandu, Nepal. I took a leap of faith and decided to produce a short film of recording children in Chitwan, Nepal, singing songs composed by my partner, Richard Gannaway and AOMUSIC. By reaching for my dream as a filmmaker, four amazing young people are reaching for theirs. Paying it forward is not just about money, or gifting someone, but is also about what happens when I say yes to a vision from the heart…it expands to include so many other people who get a chance to do the same. Physics of the Heart.
It is the height of the monsoon season in Nepal. This “Dream Team” is made up of my daughter Jessie, who with her Canon 5D will be interviewing the village, the children and the team as, come rain and more rain, the children learn to sing. Her photography will be part of a campaign for a documentary series. Then there is Rob who is from Asheville and a yoga/slack line teacher as well as musician par-excellence who will be recording the children. Josh is the “Yoda” of this entourage. Josh has been living in India and has a story to share that will both curl your hair and make you stand up an applaud the tenacity of spirit in this young man. Josh is a musician and teacher of music to children all over the globe. And lastly is Karan, from Mumbai, India who is going to film the entire journey of AO in Nepal. He has filmed numerous documentaries and brings so much to this unfolding story of AOMUSIC as we trek to where children are in need and hear the songs of their undaunted hearts.
So in these next ten days I will post a short story every day from Nepal to give you a window into the courage, the creativity and the spirit of those on this trip, the people of Nepal, my own unfolding in this process that has not been without obstacles, all in the hope that just one person might find their own heart on fire for change, for reaching for your dream and for helping those who need you most when you do.
As for me and coming to the close of a year on the road? The Gypsy Life has become the life I choose from this moment forward. There is no other way to live for me.