I express gratitude and joy daily.
I’m nearing the end of my time here in Bali with a few days to go. Despite the uncomfortableness of enduring multiple earthquakes, nursing a cold/cough, and riding some turbulent emotional waves, I’m absolutely filled with gratitude for everything Bali gave me.
This card and affirmation is dedicated to all the beautiful people I met over the last fifty days and the richness they brought to my journey. Let’s have a look.
Firstly, I start with my husband Bruce who has given me nothing but support in my need for some solo voyaging. I know many people think it quite unconventional for a middle aged woman to be traveling without her husband (but why, I ask, why? for if I were single would anyone bat an eye?) Yet, I’ve always said I wanted the ‘ultimate relationship’ in my marriage which comes with a need for some fierce autonomy. Many who know me will know I uphold a banner for all people to remain sovereign in their beings for that is often what is needed to evolve and develop along one’s life path. Being in a committed relationship whilst being autonomous is a great gift and I am indebted to Bruce for his unwavering encouragement for me to follow my inner compass. Here’s one of my favorite photos of us, circa 2006 Burning Man.
Nyoman from Ubud
Nyoman was the first person I met – the apartment manager for my place in Ubud. Always with a smile, she comes daily to make the rounds and see to anything I need. She arranged transport, managed my laundry, and often scootered me around town. Her English is good but not enough to have conversational depth. She invited me with her to attend two cremation ceremonies – these ‘event’ days happen at least twice a month during July & August and is a big ceremonial day for the villages and families for whom a loved one is being sent off. It was an eye-opening and beautiful experience to be amongst this ceremony. I also got to visit one of her relatives’ homes.
The Cycling Boys:
I managed to do four downhill cycling day trips – twice in Ubud and twice in Amed. I spent quite a bit of time with the guides during the hour-long car rides to/from our destinations and throughout the day. These guys all spoke English well and I was able to ask a lot of questions about Balinese culture and traditions. I particularly enjoyed Mono, the 25 year old East Bali Bikes guide, especially as he complimented me on my downhill cycling skills! He thought I was a badass!
The Ubud Spiritual Guides & Classmates
I took quite a few classes from two amazing light workers/healers: Devi Ma and Levi Banner. Shamanic Breathwork, Cacao Ceremonies, Women’s Circle, Astrology Reading, and Shamanic Reiki trainings all lined up perfectly. We had a small cohort for our Reiki 1 & 2 trainings and I’ve connected and hung out with a few of these lovely souls. And I’m already scheming for how and when I can continue working with Devi Ma and Levi. All shall be revealed in due time!
Dewa from Tirta Gangga
I posted about Dewa on Facebook. I met him the day after the ‘big’ quake in Lombok when I fled the seaside coastal area of Amed for the hills of Tirta Gangga. Full of cortisol and fairly shaken up, I landed at a ramshackled lodge of which Dewa was the sole employee. Conversing with him, I found out that his little cement blocked house had crumbled the night before, yet he showed up for work (I don’t think it’s in the culture to ‘call in sick’). He was visibly distressed as was I and we bonded over the unfolding tragedies. My heart was really open and I could feel his pain. We spent maybe a total of one hour together over a 24 hour period and I felt strongly to aid my fellow man so I gave him a wad of bills (around $175 USD). He cried, I cried. It was a tender one-heart moment.
Komang from Candidasa
Fleeing the ramshackled lodge, I landed in the coastal area of Candidasa with nine days of my ‘seaside holiday’ still in front of me. The earthquake aftershocks kept me on edge and I was not feeling safe in my second story ocean-view dwelling. With fear and anxiety running the show, I bumped into Komang whilst out looking for a new place to stay. Grace put him in front of me for when he asked if I needed a scooter ride, I was in the mood for some help and a big YES resounded from my lips. We became each other’s angels for the next eight days: he took me sightseeing, became my guide, and scootered me around town and I gave him work which he desperately needed for Candidasa was only half populated due to tourists preferring higher ground during these turbulent shaky weeks. Komang & I laughed a lot, I met his wife and kids, and I felt like someone had my back. (If you’re going to Candidasa, I highly recommend getting in touch with Komang Budiarta/Indri for all your transportation needs: WhatsAp: +62 87762869224 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ekkard from Candidasa
My other Candidasa angel was Ekkard. I replied to a noticeboard placard advertising a “Shamanic Work Out – Hints & Advice on a Conscious Walk in Nature”. Totally right up my alley! A German ex-pat living in Bali for four years, Ekkard was a wise sage, a peer, and a burgeoning friend. We had many chats about all things Balinese and metaphysical and we had several meet ups over the ensuing week which included two amazing afternoon/sunset hill climbs and coastal walks where I got to feed the wild monkeys. Ekkard really helped me feel grounded and normal whilst the earth kept shaking. (If you’re going to Candidasa, I highly recommend getting in touch with him: Ekkard Franke, Tarot & Kabbala Readings & Consultations, supporting the shamanic way & natural healing, ph: 081/337521977, email: email@example.com)
All the People
There truly is something special about the people of Bali. Always offering kindness or a smile, they seem chilled out and relaxed despite working long hours and six or seven days a week. I think I was in as many people’s photos as I took of them for the Balinese seem to love having their pictures taken with tourists/Westeners! I always felt honoured when someone wanted to snap a photo with me!
Thank you Bali for having me. I think I’ll be back.
Previous Bali: Eat Pray Loving Me posts: