A lesson in Surrender and Flow…
How did these scarves ‘land’ in our world?
We all love a good story, so we wanted to share with you a little more depth from behind the scenes.
Recently I (being Alex) travelled to India solo. I have ventured to these lands many times before, so much so that the difference in jumping between worlds can almost be done without disruption (if you have travelled to India, you will know how much this country and their beautiful culture and people can rock you). This tells me that India is becoming a part of my cells, beginning to feel like (another) home in a strange, comfortable way.
Normally when I am there for work, the visits are short and hard (no I am not talking about an unfortunate sexual encounter! ha). I am there to source, to design, to negotiate any production issues or problems in person. The days are full, many hours spent in the back of this vehicle below or in a freezing cold air-conditioned space. The air outside thick with pollution, the skies clouded with smog, the traffic.. intense.
And sometimes if I am not keeping myself in check, this type of environment can make me feel angry. Aggressive, frustrated, frantic, suspicious, in a rush…
But this last trip in April was different somehow. Maybe because I was by myself?
I felt more aligned and dedicated to my ‘balance’ practices daily. I realised that I can only do so much and no amount of force or push would change this, or improve any outcome. Experience has taught me it only makes the situation more shitty…
So I surrendered and I softened. Our friend and local driver went from calling me ‘Super Alex’ to ‘Slow Alex’. It seems my new found pace was noticeable, even to Rafik, the man that was waiting for me in his rickshaw for hours at each location. I left Australia in speed, rushing, but I arrived in India slowly, softly. I felt more compassion and understanding and this energy allowed things to flow in a rhythm that was new to me. And it felt good, it felt easy…
To the scarves… One night I left a supplier at 6pm, only to need to go to another. I only had four days in my main working city, so the ‘standard Alex behaviour ‘ would have me out until 9-10pm each night. But I said to Rafik – ‘No, lets do something enjoyable’. I needed to purchase a few gifts and I casually mentioned that I really wanted some scarves. He tells me that he knows somewhere and I look at him suspiciously. But then decide that in the name of flow and surrender, I would go with the situation rather than force it in a direction that I thought was best. We never really know what is best anyway.
We pull up outside what appears to be a brightly lit ‘tourist shop’.
If you have travelled through Asia, you know this. If you haven’t (yet), allow me to explain.
You get taken to a store and your driver gets a commission or a fuel voucher just for taking you there. So many times, I have agreed just to help the driver survive another day. I go in, I pretend to look, I leave with nothing in my hands, knowing that the ‘best price’ is hugely inflated. High-five the driver as we fly out of there, he is happy and I am too because I am no longer in that shop.
So back to the brightly lit scarf destination – I get out and half laughing, say to Rafik (or Daniel Bro as we call him – a post for another day) ‘I can’t believe you have taken me to a freaking tourist shop’. He insists that he has not, smiling slying or genuinely – both of these expressions look the same on this kind mans face.
I slowly walk through, consciously choosing to be open and then I feel it… a connection to the space, to the energy of the man that owns the store. He speaks incredible English having a Japanese girlfriend and many Western friends / suppliers. Over tea, he begins to educate me about the different qualities and fabrics – or hair, as Cashmina (Pashmere) is hair from goats. The creative techniques, from handmade to machine spun. The warmth, the sizes, the Japanese printing…
The depth in scarves is something else, let me tell you.
So after this connection, I decide that we need to offer our community a selection of high quality scarves. Not the shit you buy from KMart that pretends to keep you warm. Or the shit you buy from those cheap accessory stores, the mass produced, polyester scarves that pretend to look cool.
One thing I have learnt and continue to value more with age is the value in Quality. Ask Franny – the other half of this team, Quality it the most important. We vote with our dollars, consume mindfully. Consume things only that you love and that you will cherish over time. Not just because it is cheap and looks cool.
Maybe that means saving your pennies for a while, then do it. Be patient.
These scarves arn’t cheap but if you ask me, they look cool. They were created with care, hand picked with care. Hand carried back to Australia with care. Photographed, named, written about and hung in our physical store with care. And they are quality and special. Once you feel them, you will feel this….
I am so glad for this night, this experience in the back of Daniel Bro’s rickshaw where I let go of the control and trusted in the journey. He did indeed take me to a special place, where I was able to stumble across some pretty special things. And be educated, about many things.
The lesson? Speed doesn’t progress your life, presence does. Slow down, there is nowhere else to be. Maybe if you let go if needing to be at that next pre-determined destination, you will land somewhere even better…
Enjoy these yummy scarves, we surely are! Thank you India, for being my teacher. Thank you life, for being my teacher.
CASHMERE / PASHMINA :: http://violetgraydesign.com/product-category/scarves/