I have always written about how wonderful it would be to run into your would be spouse at a cafe or bookstore, just like they do in the movies (are you done with rolling your eyes..?)
Well Ashira and Andy happened to meet each other at a cafe in small town America...so it does happen...I haven't met the two but it's like we know each other for the longest time. Our goals are similar and we have been working together for almost a year now.
Ashira and Andy are the conscious couple who have embraced cultures from around the World particularly India and Nepal. They even had an Indian Wedding (hosted by NGO STOP, which rescues girls from human trafficking) and run an amazing company Jewel & Lotus that believes in spreading goodness and love. Here is their story.
ASHIRA: Andy and I met in early June 2013. I had just returned to Cooperstown, NY from India and Nepal. I was 25 years old and living part time at Gomde Cooperstown, a Buddhist Meditation center and part time in India and Nepal working for an anti-trafficking NGO, STOP and for my Meditation teacher, Phakchok Rinpoche’s foundation.
It was funny because before I left Nepal, my teacher told me that I should find a stable boyfriend. I quietly laughed because I couldn’t imagine meeting someone in Cooperstown, New York where only 2,000 people lived and most of them were over 50!
ANDY: I had just moved to a small town in Upstate New York working at a Farm to Table cafe. The cafe was definitely THE place in town for young twenty-somethings to hang out :) Every Wednesday the cafe had dinners that lingered on into dance parties and bonfires. This was the first time I met Ashira. I first noticed her dancing and then we spent time talking.
ASHIRA: I knew Andy had the potential of being “the one” within the first 6 weeks of dating. He came over to my apartment and he did my dishes while waiting for me to finish up some work. While he was cleaning he found a small photo album with pictures from my childhood. He later showed me that he took a few pictures of some of the photographs of me when I was young. For some reason that moment really touched my heart and I could feel how special Andy was.
ANDY: It was pretty early on and for me and it happened twice. First time was when Ashira was hosting a small gathering of friends. The second time was when she was giving a speech at our place of work.
ASHIRA: The first time Andy and I met was at Origins Cafe, an organic cafe and garden. I remember walking into the plant filled cafe and seeing Andy from afar. My first thought was “ Hmm.. maybe there is potential to meet someone in Cooperstown”.
ANDY: Ashira has really nice dance moves! :)
ASHIRA: Andy has shared with me a love that I have never experienced before. I think with great love it is easier to bloom into our better selves.
ANDY: I want to be the best person I can be and Ashira gives me lots of reason to be that person. She helps me remain accountable and is there for me to lift me up if I’m ever down or need it.
ASHIRA: I am not sure if this song summarizes or defines our relationship, but, “My Girl” by The Temptations definitely resonates with our love. The lyrics “I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May” speaks to how I feel about life now. Because even when life is hard, there is sunshine because of our love :)
ANDY: Anoushka Shankar. Flight. It was the song Ashira walked down the aisle to. It was one of the happiest and most significant moments of my life and this song really complements the moment!
ASHIRA: When Andy cooks! He is truly an alchemist of the kitchen and puts so much love into the dishes he creates!
ANDY: When Ashira gets excited about something, like a trip, or an idea... I really love how she acts when she gets excited!
ASHIRA: Hot Springs!
ANDY: Artisan Markets!
ASHIRA: Know what you want in love and don’t settle for less! Have the difficult conversations early on. Don’t believe that marriage will make everything better in your life. You have to do that yourself. <3 If you are looking for love, make an effort, be vulnerable, put yourself out there, but be smart and don’t compromise yourself to try and fill a void or loneliness.
ANDY: Be willing to trust your heart. Your heart knows what it wants. If you listen, it will guide you. Have the courage to follow it. We have much more courage and power than we are aware of.
Let Love Guide You... <3
Love needs to first come for you. It has to be an internal manifestation first. Only when you truly love yourself you will grow from being a seeker of love to a giver. It will empower you.
While clouds blotted out the view in most other places in India, the century's most spectacular total eclipse of the Sun was witnessed in full glory in holy Benaras. It was a sight to behold. The city was suddenly clothed in a surreal glow of faint light that was eerie, exhilarating and nothing like most had ever seen before.