Last weekend I attended a Sikhi camp for Kaur’s (Sikh women) hosted by Basics of Sikhi, I’ve been to other camps and a Kaur’s camp previously. I had a wonderful time, I can’t emphasize enough how brilliant it was and how much a breakaway it has been, despite it being only 2 and a half days.
A bit of back story on me: For newbies here, I’m a fairly new mum to a 10-month-old, who is napping beside me, now she can move to almost walking, I do creativity in naps, tea time and any other spare moments I can squeeze.
A few people were surprised at how I got to travel from London to Walsall and leave the baby home with Dad, HOW? How did you do it? Without feeling guilty? Well, I did, especially when I left the front door and was going further than the local shops or across the tube line for more than a few hours. Then I felt great, as I know, a knowing that comes from being a support worker to people, from growing up with a mum who encouraged independence, for speakers such as guilty mother, that I am a better mother, with a little me time. Writing, drawing, reading, yoga – some me-time activities! I can better be there for others.
It refreshes me, I can tell I’ve used another part of my brain and feel switched on! Plus, it took two to make our child! I’m in a marriage, a relationship where I can share the care of our little one, I want my husband to learn the skills I’ve learned as the mum, to be with her playing all day rather than 2 hours in the evening and notice how she plays and changes in development. If something were to happen to me, then he has some clue about what to do!
That is how I took part in Kaur’s camp this year at Walsall!
So mothering aside, here’s why you should go to a Sikhi camp or Kaur’s camp:
- Sangat – This one is a biggie, I find this time around and from past experiences, it’s not so much the talks that stay with me, it’s the conversation with like-minded people. It’s talking about Sikhi, how we include it in everyday life, how we use it in relationships, how we use it as parents. It’s about telling our stories in a safe loving place, I told my journey of how I got into Sikhi. Some Sangat I have known since the beginning and it was great to exchange a Fateh with them, others I met for the first time at the weekend. The magical thing about Sangat is that you will, more than most likely meet again, at some point somewhere even if geographically we may be far from each other.
- Simran – There are Amrit Velas together, talks and evenings in the Darbar, Gurbani readings and Kirtan. Wonderful kirtan experienced together as a big group, filling the room with unique sound current. The energy in the room is phenomenal and each camp I find myself smiling and also crying at the gratitude of it all.
- Seva – Within a camp you are split into groups and each takes a turn in doing something in the Langar hall, serving or washing up and you can ask to do Seva too. It is so important to get involved and experience what is involved, I remember the first time I served at a camp, the pot I was lifting was heavy and I experienced how tough it is, though you carry on and serve everyone as if it were Guru Nanak in front of you.
Kaur’s camp has reunited with me with my deep love for Gurbani and as we went over small achievable actions we could to do better our Sikhi, my Nitnem has risen, while she sleeps I’m able to say the words of our Guru again after a long break from an awkward pregnancy and newborn stage.
4. My healthy eating habits have been revived, thanks to a talk by Japjeet Kaur a nutritionist and yoga teacher, the way I use sugar and wheat in my diet may not be the same again. I’ve had a week of no caffeine and no-low sugar and I’m sleeping better and I’m able to get up quicker too! There’s no price for that, it’s something I’m trying out and if I stay motivated by how great I feel, temporary pleasures won’t come to pass.
5. My marriage has had a boost too, from the time away, talking to other married women and of appreciation of husband’s ways in Sikhi. Playing a Katha or Kirtan at baby’s bedtime isn’t all bad, I want her Sikhi to be strong and we’re both able to do that – hopefully.
6. I feel more connected to Maharaj then I was this last year, I’m in-between yoga teaching and looking for a part-time job and I was full of doubts and uncertainty. Now I’m looking for jobs with less resistance and more love, knowing everything is coming at the right time and I’m using my creative muscles too.
It has put Sikhi back into the center of my life again.
Have you been to camp and would like to share your experiences? Comment below!