Farewell from Henrike (and a bunch of funny photos ...)

A magic dwells in each beginning,
protecting us, telling us how to live...
(From 'Steps', a poem by Herman Hesse)

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How do you write a farewell that does this place justice? And how do you keep it short and sweet? I guess you don’t - there is just too much to be said…

Firstly, to all of you out there who are reading this: THANK YOU! Thank you for visiting, for caring, for daring to dream, for loving harder when times are tough, and for being willing to shine your light into a world that badly needs it. Keep on coming and weaving your souls’ threads into the rich and colourful tapestry that is Krishna Village.

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Bitten by the travel bug

After 6 years at Krishna Village, surrounded by globetrotters, the travel bug has finally caught up with me. So I've handed over my tasks and am getting ready to spend 6 months in Germany, Bali and India. I’ve been eyeing the whole ‘laptop lifestyle‘ movement for a while, and will be looking after a few exciting new projects …

Looking back - an ode to joy

Seeing this magical place grow, and being a part of the funny, crazy and blessed Krishna Village family, has definitely been the best time of my life. So far, anyway. I’m not going to lie - (co-)managing a beehive of a place like this is challenging and keeps you on your toes. But it is also infinitely rewarding. Not because of the success - but because of the people. Those big and little moments of loving kindness, of heartfelt kirtan, of hysteric laughter, farewell and reunion hugs. Holding space, and hands, and tissue boxes.

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Some of you who will be reading this will remember some of those moments and cherish them as I do. The love and growth we have shared is ours to keep and - like most of the best things in life do - they expand as they are shared. Thank you for allowing yourself to be loving and real and vulnerable, and allowing me to be, too.

Before I came to New Govardhana, I was in the middle of my marriage breakup and felt like my life was falling apart. In a session with one of my coaches, I expressed I felt like standing outside a warm cosy house on Christmas, looking in, but not belonging in there. A cold and dark place to be. The reframe that came about in that session was that now was the time in my life to build my own house, and choose the people I wanted to invite in, rather than trying to find a place to fit in. Coming to Krishna Village the first time, I felt an instant sense of coming home. Because we are all in a way family here - kindred spirits coming together to live, love and grow together, exploring what life can look like when we put spirituality and love for the Divine in the centre.

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Babies, teenagers and friends

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And somehow, in the blink of an eye, just as my son has grown in those years from a little boy to a teenager, our 'baby' Krishna Village has grown up, too. I look at it and love what I see: A beautiful place, a fabulous team, and all you awesome people coming along to recharge physically, emotionally and spiritually.

And watching over it all, up at the temple, Radha Govardhandhari - our beautiful deities who continue to bless this place in so many mysterious ways… Our temple president Ajita, who we all have to thank for his ongoing support for an unusual project like Krishna Village, once said to me “Those deities, don’t underestimate them. They powerfully fulfil your desires - this place gives everyone what they want or need.” I must confess I was sceptical. But after 6 years of watching the magic unfold, I can’t help but agree that there is something much more powerful at work here, that somehow the veil between heaven and earth is a tiny bit thinner…

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So much gratitude

The list of people I am grateful to is too long, even for a blog post like this. So I'll keep it to just a few, and apologise to those not mentioned.

From the early days, Karunika and Madreya - you welcomed me so warmly that I never wanted to leave and gave me your unconditional love and backing when I most needed it. It has been the biggest privilege to share this ride with you, and learn from you.

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From when I first met you to date - Lila, Loki and Govinda Mohan. Your hearts, brains and hugs are the best and your friendship has been my compass many times. Each of you has shaped this place in a unique way with your love and enthusiasm. Keep shining and inspiring people to go out and do good in the world!

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And for the future, Damodar Govinda and Danielle - I am so grateful to you for taking over the reins (Damodar) and most of my day-to-day duties (Danielle). I wouldn't leave with such a light heart if I didn't know this baby was in the best of hands. Thank you for all that you give.

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I could write a book …

In reminiscing about the good times we had, there are so many funny stories! But sadly (or gladly, for some), I’m too busy to write. So a few photos will have to do, representing a myriad of many magical moments. The other day I spent hours scrolling through years of accumulated imagery - with lots of laughter, tears and slap-your-forehead kind of moments. What a rich time …

Some lovely faces

Fascinating how the Village has changed over the years …

Check out the kitchen - from 2013 to 2018

The Yoga hall has also come a long way

And how about the Lotus Pod, formerly known as the White House?

Lots of dancing and hugging, too. So much to celebrate

Some have moved on - but the love they have spread will always stay with us …

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