My Temple Journey: Finding Myself, Love, and Nepal

JannaNewsletter Articles

Transformation is what the Tummy Temple is all abouand I’m living proof! Over the last four years, the Temple community has been a source of support and inspiration, pushing me to become more vulnerable and authentic.  As manager of the Tummy Temple, I am fortunate to see the transformations and witness the healing process of so many of you.   It is a privilege each and every time I make a connection with a client.   
In this light, allow me to share a bit of my personal life.  Not long ago I met my true love. Had I not been encouraged and supported by the Temple community and practitioners throughout my life transitions, I would not have been ready for our relationship.  
This past January, we traveled together to Nepal for a month!  Why Nepal? A friend of my husband, Jwalant Gurung, is Nepalese.  They met while in grad school at UW.  After completing his masters, Jwalant returned to his homeland to run his family’s trekking company and also started his charity, 3 Summits for Nepal, to fund school-building, teacher employment, and orphanages for villages that are remote and rural. Jwalant encouraged us to trek with him as a way to build credibility for his charity because it is so “grassroots”.  
A few months before our departure, Brad and I decided to make our commitment to each other official and get married while in Nepal.  Just as the Temple community welcomes and makes its mark on the individuals who pass through our doors, Nepal and her people invited us into their culture and rituals, allowed us to walk their sacred land, and shared heart-to-heart connections with some of the most humble and generous people of the world.   The people ushered us into their sacred Hindu temple, Mai Pokhari near Ilam.  The day was deemed auspicious because it was Saraswati’s birthday (the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning), therefore, we were allowed to be the first Westerners to marry there!  The Nepali people showered us with blessings and love, sharing their music, dance, and food with us.  We even had surrogate “family members” stand up for us.  The generosity was overwhelming and the love we felt from near strangers was incredible. 
We spent the following three weeks trekking to many villages and visiting schools that 3 Summits for Nepal has funded, delivering supplies, and working to help build structures.  It was refreshing how the entire village hopped-to in order to build and create a place for their children to learn–something we take for granted in the US. Brad and I felt an extreme connection to Jwalant’s cause and decided to hike Mt. Rainier and raise funds for 3 Summits for Nepal as our wedding registry  
The morning of April 25th we woke to the news of the earthquake.  While relieved to know that the people we visited were safe (we spent most of our time in the Eastern Nepal), we felt the impact of how daunting the days-months-years ahead will be.  The infrastructure was barely existent to begin with, it was tough to imagine it being worse.   Many of our guides’ villages were destroyed.  Clearly, our focus of fund raising was heightened.  Jwalant and his team acted quickly to help villages that would not likely see help from larger organizations.  He provided tents, food and supplies to places that large organizations would have a hard time reaching, carrying all supplies by foot.  As of last week, his team had delivered 824 bags of rice (30 kilos each), 400 blankets, almost 800 tarps, 200 mosquito nets, 60 tents and almost $1,000 in cash to the hardest hit individuals that he encountered in those villages.  This image, taken just days after the initial quake, is of a family who would have not had a structure to give birth in if Jwalant not delivered this tent.  To see the joy and pride for their new little bundle despite the tragic circumstances is a testament to the strength and spirit of the Nepali people.  
(Photo credit: Grand Asian Journeys)
Three Summits for Nepal 2015 Photo
To date, Brad and I have raised over $6500, money that goes directly to the Nepali people as there is no board or administrative team to compensate.  We hope to raise much more, because now that the hype has died down, they need sustained help.
Jwalant says, “Now that my relief efforts are mostly over, I’m shifting my sights to the horizon ahead, and that is rebuilding. There are four villages that are the family homes of ten of my staff and I want to rebuild a total of 50 homes in those places including the homes of my staff and of villagers (single mothers, elderly) who wouldn’t be able to rebuild without our help. Each home costs a minimum of $3,000 to build, so that means that moving ahead I need to raise at least $150,000 to meet my goal.”
In honor of Nepal, I, Katy, will be climbing Mount Rainier on July 25th with Jwalant and 3 Summits for Nepal.  If you are so inclined, I encourage your support in the energetic and financial sense (or cents!). 
Brad and I recently celebrated our union with family and friends (and Templers!) in the Fremont Solstice Parade with a float that represented our Nepal wedding–perhaps you saw us–followed by a ceremony and celebration that was slightly more tame.  Through my Temple journey, I’ve learned (and continue to learn) the art of self-love and celebration.  My question to you–where will your Tummy Temple journey take you?
(Photo courtesy of Jordean Stead, Seattle PI)
Brad and I were also recently featured in Seattle Backpacker’s Magazine, if you are interested in learning more about 3 Summits for Nepal.