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The Caravan of Joy

By Tara Khandro 

One of my first gurus was Popeye the Sailorman.

Everyday as a child I sat in the family room of my suburban ranch style house transfixed by this black and white cartoon figure with the gravel voice, muscled body and corn cob pipe. When Popeye broke into his song I stood up and sang with him:



I'm Popeye the sailor man.
I'm Popeye the sailor man.
I yam what I yam
And that's all what I yam.
I'm Popeye the sailor man.

Later in life when I became conscious of my IAM  Presence,  I was in need of a tool that would awaken me when I fell back into the trance of my ego identity.  It was at that point that those contemplative childhood years with Popeye returned to gift me with this mantra: IAM THAT IAM AND THAT’S ALL THAT IAM.

What is IAM? Each of us is IAM for IAM is that eternal, infinite matrix of Love and Light within. Zen adepts speak of it as ‘The Face before you were born.”  It can never, ever be harmed.  It is the underlying Source of All that Is within interconnected with All that Is without.  It is the Sun of our Being.

Popeye has enthusiasm, strength and innocence. He is a guru that showed me that yes, we might get beat up in life, and people might lie, cheat and steal from us, but hey, if we know that IAM THAT IAM, if we remember that our True Nature is Joy then we can have fun as we ride this wild caravan ride on planet Earth.

Each of our souls signed up to ride this earthly journey during this era on Mama Gaia. Our fear based paradigms are crumbling as we discover that we want to create a New Earth founded in harmonic diversity.  Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, the 12th Century Sufi Mystic invites us all to: “Come, Come whoever you are; Wanderer, Worshiper, Lover of leaving. It does not matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair”   Mevlana Rumi suggests that on this journey “It does not matter who you are, come whomever you are for we welcome all just as you are.”   And because we welcome all with an open heart of love and compassion, ours is not a caravan of despair. Ours is a caravan of Joy.

The New Earth that we are in the processes of creating arises moment to moment with how we choose to relate to whatever arises. When we choose to celebrate all that life is, to accept it all in its absurdity, darkness and marvelous magic we naturally trust, sing, dance, love, and laugh. The divine dances through us. There is enough for everyone. We are all One.  Life is limitless.

I wonder what would happen if all 6 billion of us chose to respond to our personal and planetary challenges with an “Ah, Ha!” instead of   an “Oh, No!”?

An “Ah, ha” when the hardrive crashes when we are on a deadline or when our employer comes to tell us to clean out our drawers, for we are no longer needed at the company. “Ah, ha”, we respond with wonder and amazement,  “What kind of magical, mystical trickery is afoot?”

None of us are immune to the experience of feeling in our life that everything we once knew is falling away. When this happens we discover the invincibility of our vulnerability. We are granted an opportunity to feel our true feelings, the soul’s messengers.  As the transmutative fires burn around and within us we need navigational tools and guides that turn us inward to remind and summon forth the fearlessness of our True Inner Authority.

On my conscious ascension journey I have been gifted with many tools that allow me to remain connected to my True Inner Authority. One of those tools is to cultivate a sense of curiosity at whatever arises. When we ask ourselves to practice ‘Ah, ha” instead of “Oh, no!” we begin to release our habituated fear based reactionary patterns. Our heart opens, our mind empties and we discover that we have a multitude of choices on how to proceed.  Each time we choose ‘Ah, ha.” we enter Heaven on earth.

When we utter ‘Oh, no!” we inhale as if it is our last breath, our belly tightens, our heart races and our mind moves into dangerous places. When we say, “Ah, ha’ we exhale and on that exhale we relax.  In that ‘Ah, ha” moment we return to that illuminated, eternal, groundless ground within, our IAM Presence. When we feel ourselves held within this cosmic maternal womb of Light, we feel supremely protected to feel, perceive, intuit and most of all trust all that we experience. We begin to recognize our True Identity: IAM THAT IAM AND THAT’S ALL THAT IAM

Filled with the Light of IAM we witness that there is no gain or loss, no good nor bad, no life and death.  The world created out of fear, out of deadly seriousness rapidly begins to dissolve each time we choose, moment by moment to engage our lives with a sense of wonder.

Each time we return to that place deep inside where IAM resides we enter into the “Eternal Witness Protection Program.” (EWPP)  Viewing our lives from the safety and expanded awareness of our divine inheritance we become the non judgmental witness to our life.   In taking up the practice of   ‘Ah, ha” you might find that you unpredictably burst out laughing.  Especially when you awaken to see yourself performing a dead end habit over and over and over again.  We become our toddler selves laughing at the cartoons parading before us.  

Christ said that to enter Heaven on Earth we must become ‘as children’. We might be ascending in consciousness yet we are descending into the earth of our bodies to sensually experience the rebirth of our divine Child. We are reborn as our divine Child when we drop all beliefs, dissolve projections, give up attachments to gain and loss, and relinquish   seeking.  Children experience all that is just as it is no matter what it is. They experience life as play.

In the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna teaches  his disciple, the warrior Arjuna, on the battlefield.  Krishna advises Arjuna that he enter into battle with the mind of this divine Child.  Arjuna is aghast, for people will get killed.  In fact, Arjuna notes how absurd war is as he sees that if all are killed, who is left to rejoice? War is not a child’s game. War is deadly serious.

Krishna is suggesting that even within a life and death situation, surrender all ego control, trust in the unknown and leave the outcome up to the divine. The results are not what matters, what does matter is that we do not grasp onto a projected outcome. When we become as a child, we play with life. We step into the time of now, the place of here to Be and do Joy.

The next time  you feel as though you are caught up in a whirlwind of anxiety, or delving into doubt and despair stand up, dance, laugh, and sing:


“It does not matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair.”

Ours is a caravan of Joy. 

©Tara Khandro 2009

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Tara Khandro embodies lifetimes of magical, mystical mastery in service towards bringing you to live as your True Nature, Joy.  She is a conscious channel, compassionate spiritual teacher, soul mentor, integrative healer and trauma expert working internationally for thirty years with people of all faiths and backgrounds. She communes with you in person or via Skype worldwide.

Tara is the originator of Alchemy of Wonder™ an integrative consciousness healing modality that guides survivors of violent trauma to engage their experiences as catalysts for soul’s awakening. She shares this work in natural disaster zones, in drug treatment and anger management programs, with domestic violence, genocide and torture survivors, at the United Nations, international conferences, at universities and natural healing centers.

A lifetime yogini, an adept in shamanic arts, and in practices from the world’s esoteric traditions, she is the originator of  Maha Gaia Yoga. This is yoga for every body and every one. It is yoga of alchemy: The practice of opening our hearts to embrace and transmute the dense matter within us into the peaceful golden light of IAM. Maha Gaia Yoga is sourced in the divine Feminine and weaves Eastern esoteric wisdom teachings with directly channeled  new consciousness technologies with indigenous earth honoring practices in service to all  who desire to live as what the Mayans name, a ‘True Human”: A person who has merged intuition with logic  to live with a radiant open heart.

Tara lives in Ubud, Bali  Skype: DancingWolfe