Bali is the perfect place to release your fears.
Before I left at the start of December 2016, a friend told me that ‘Mother Bali’ would allow me to heal whatever it was that needed healing at the time. I told her I was pretty sure I knew what would come up, but would open my arms and let Mother Bali show me what I needed to see.
My fears were evident for the first 2 days. It took me a day or 2 to relax. Not only was I feeling a little guilty for taking time out to enjoy myself, but I was contending between wanting to be present and experience life in Bali, and mind games with shadow parts of myself that seemed to be afraid of everything around me…
The mozzies, the traffic, the people, the ice cubes in the drinks, the food in general with so many warnings of Bali Belly, the insecure nature of ‘outdoor’ living. I felt untrusting of my environment. Until I felt comfortable in the environment I was tense, uptight and had a voice in my head always looking for ‘danger’.
Some of you might say, good, you need to be careful! I agree, but I’m also sick of being careful… I miss out. When I am careful, I am afraid to dive in, even just dip my toe in and give it a try in case something bad happens.
What if something good happens instead? What if the experience and moment turns out to be so wonderfully soul-enriching? What if I miss out while I’m too busy worrying about (and looking for) danger and projecting it into my reality?
My shoulders were locked up, my jaw was locked up.
Why? There was no immediate threat. It was all in my ‘what if’ mind.
I’m sick of being careful.
I now choose to be wise, but care-free.[Lesson #1]
While my head wanted this before, to be care-free, I was still conditioned and wired to being careful and fearful. With this hypervigilant wiring comes a large drain of energy, high stress response and sympathetic nervous system activation from these underlying thoughts of needing to ‘get away’. Think on-going fatigue and adrenal overload… (potentially) unnecessarily.
When we think something, we create the essence of that thought in the chemical messengers that immediately flood our body to prepare us for whatever is (apparently) about to take place. Worrying about a potentially rabies-infected monkey biting me is not going to stop the monkey biting me. In fact, that little bundle of energy will probably pick up on my fear and react based on the energy I am emitting.
When I am careful and fearful, I am stuck in my deficient and blocked base chakra and unable to flow higher into the sacral chakra… that is, in short, to relax and let go, to open up to and feel joy and pleasure without guilt, built upon a sense of safety and security.
Bali threw me into the fear so I could realise I was safe all along.
When I am safe, I trust, I allow, I feel, I flow.
Day 3, I was in flow, I decided to be aware; careful was officially gone.
A sunscreen and mosquito repellent ritual meant I was as covered as I could be with the sun and bugs, if I got bitten then so be it. I started to actually enjoy, even love, the crazy roads and lack of road rules. I saw how beautifully people worked together when they respected and trusted each other. I started to let go of my tight grip from the back of the scooter when it really wasn’t necessary and to trust and hold onto the strong, capable man sitting in front of me.
Imagine how much energy this freed up. Imagine how much more I was able to see and feel. I think I can remember every leaf and turn along the road to Canggu and Tannah Lot Temple. This was the day I felt the magic turn on.
ADVENTURES ON THE SCOOTER
Our first full day in Bali was the first day we got lost.
A while back this would have terrified the shit out of me, but for some reason, even with no phone or internet access, this time I wasn’t afraid, or stressing in my head about how to get back, or wanting to be back in Seminyak instead. In fact, the moment we realised we were lost, and accepted it, is when I really started to relax. We made the most of the opportunity; it was the most incredible 2 hour scooter ride and amazing way to see Bali.
The scooter gave me so much. I wasn’t even driving it, but that thing provided me with a feeling of so much freedom. (Bucket list for 2017… get a scooter). I now drive with not only my window fully down, but also the passenger window. Ooooh yeah give me some of that Bali breeze…
Oh wow. The wealth. I felt how it feels to be materially wealthy. I felt how it feels to appreciate and enjoy the fu#k out of that wealth. Again, like the fear, I had no choice but to face it. This may seem a little odd with abundance and wealth being something we all wouldn’t mind a little more of, but I’ve definitely been living with a silly abundance block too, like the fear.
There are a myriad of potential mindsets and beliefs that can block prosperity. One that I believe to be hugely significant to us as Australians (considering our convict beginnings) is a block in our abundance mindset coming from a place of ‘lack’… of believing not only that we ourselves are not enough (spirit), but that we don’t have enough too (material). If we don’t believe we have enough, we tend to hold on tight to what we do have for fear of losing it and not getting it back, ultimately blocking the natural flow of giving and receiving. Ironically, we tend not to receive fruits that we do not also give generously, perpetuating the cycle.
I felt the flow of giving and receiving as I gave money and it was received with so much gratitude. I felt the lack of material wealth in the locals yet how bright their beautiful hearts glowed with inner wealth.
Not only did I feel this gratitude for the material things, but the spiritual gratitude for incredible sights and moments every day also blew that inner ring of guilt out the scooter window.
Thank you Mother Bali 🙂 I deserve all the abundance that is constantly around me and I enjoy it with love, joy and ease. I allow it to flow in and out easily, effortlessly, and without resistance. It is my essence. It is who I am.
DID YOU DO ANY YOGA IN BALI KIRSTY?
I did not do a scrap of yoga. Not even a pigeon stretch. Nothing. But, I feel lighter and like I did yoga every day. Why? Because I was BEING yoga.
The break made me see how I had allowed myself to become disconnected from the earth and therefore from myself. I was so separate from the earth and missing the beauty everywhere. I mean, I knew it was there, and I would see it when I looked for it, but the past year has seen changes in priorities with starting a new business, and my soul was missing out on things and moments I knew I needed but wasn’t creating space for.
And it’s easy to forget and harden and tighten up when you forget joy of being.
I placed my feet on the yoga mat the first day back at Conscious Movement and felt wonderful. My feet were sitting in a different position to normal. I felt things I haven’t felt before.
It is sensational to feel.
I started writing this a week or 2 after returning from Bali. But finishing it then didn’t feel right. I needed to integrate the lessons into ‘normal’ life first.
Now I look back over my choice of wording, and feel the same yet different about it all.
When I look back over the week in Bali, it felt more like 2, even 3 weeks’ worth of living. I have so many wonderfully beautiful incredible moments frozen in time in my head and memory, and as I take myself back to those moments in time, I feel so free and open and I feel so much love flowing through my soul.
What was so special about those moments?
Nothing in particular.
Nothing amazing ‘happened’ as such. They are as simple as a memory sitting outside Earth Café in Ubud, drinking turmeric kombucha and watching and listening to a group of about 5 Balinese people playing guitar and singing and laughing together. I still remember how that kombucha tasted.
As simple as standing on the side of the road outside White Orchid restaurant, and looking out at the cars and scooters and people walking over the other side of the road.
A simple look at a wonderful piece of artwork, which is etched into my mind.
Riding on the scooter and seeing Wayan driving past, who worked at the villas we were staying at, feeling so much joy simply waving to him and him excited to see us too.
Being just outside Nirmala T-Shirt shop just before walking in. Even the most ‘mundane’ daily activities, I remember with detail and immense joy.
In fact I think I remember every single thing about that week away.
Yet, I can’t remember a single thing since year 12 ended.
I thought I’d fried my brain and it had never been the same again.
Now I get it.
When I am present, all of my senses are focused on exactly where I am, right there and then.
There is no fearful voice in my head on the lookout for danger.
There is no fear of not being good enough, not being enough, getting something wrong, being laughed at, ridiculed, being rejected and feeling like shit, like I don’t matter, like no one wants or likes me, like I don’t have enough time and others have what I don’t.
There is no fear about whether my legs look alright in those shorts.
I don’t care.
All I care about right then and there, is seeing, feeling, awakening, uniting, connecting… BEING.
I am creating and engaging in moments worth remembering.
I am simply enjoying being. I am enjoying being here. All parts of my mind and senses are flowing and connecting and loving the moment. I am no longer fragmented, disconnected, separate.
What are your best and favourite moments and memories?? Were they filled with love and sharing and connection with nature and other people? I’ll bet they warm your beautiful heart and make you feel energised and expansive. I’ll bet that feels like a place worth living. I’ll bet at those wonderful times, you were truly present.
Present; to be here, right now, with all parts of your body, your mind, your spirit.
What do I mean by this?
Separation… I am here now doing this thing or job, but my head is thinking about how much better life would be if I had more money, how much I can’t freaking wait to have a sleep in, how much I want to finish work and go home, how this thing or job is just a means to an end, when I can get a wine, my effing car hasn’t been washed in 6 months, checking my phone for emails and facebook tags… and my spirit would love to be outdoors under a tree, but I can’t even hear her because my head and my body physiology are too worked up in all this BS ‘doing’ form-based stuff and pumping all sorts of stress hormones around my already inflamed body.
Separation essentially means that I am not ACCEPTING the present moment. I am either holding onto events, beliefs or conditioning from the past, and essentially high beaming them out into my space from within (negative mind-chatter and games) … or I am always trying to escape and be somewhere else, anywhere but here… anywhere but within.
When my mind is separating from the essence of the moment, I am not experiencing it, I am not living it.
I can’t therefore, really remember it.
Or if I do, the memory does not flow between my head and my heart. The memory likely causes me to shorten and withhold my breath and my self-expression and withhold the hurt somewhere in my physical body. Those of you who are deep into yoga and have found yourself crying on the mat will understand this concept well. We all love a good hip or heart opener 😉
As for many of us, with rising consciousness I now see (with humour) the insanity of many of my own beliefs and behaviours past that saw me run away from myself, from self-acceptance, acceptance of the present moment and therefore love. And just like when we are exercising and our body knows to shunt our blood toward our working muscles (highest priority) instead of things like digestion (low priority at the time), so too do we direct our energy to whatever feels like the biggest urgency at the time. So that insane stuff gets the pie.
So hehe haha ok joke’s over Universe… (I mean… thanks for the lessons!)… let’s have more play and fun and abundant energy and love and letting go. Let’s test this memory theory now and share some crazy wonderful stories in a year.
PRESENCE ON YOUR PLATE
Eckhart Tolle has written some bloody magical books, two of which have been hands down the most significant pieces that have come at the exact right time, knocked me for dead and changed the way I’ve seen myself and the world.
The first was ‘The Power of Now’. This opened me up and I remember telling everyone I met about it. The second one is like yoga… you find it when you most need it. I’ve just finished re-reading it last week; ‘A New Earth’, where he beautifully and deeply explains the ego and summarises presence and connecting our inner and outer purpose into a simple navigational map. This time through the book again, of course, came at the perfect timing.
Firstly and importantly, he talks about ‘formless’ and ‘form’. This really resonates with me.
Formless… BEING… energy… your inner essence and purpose… the spiritual loving vibration that is within us and around us in nature. Space.
Form… DOING… actions… activities… your external and outer purpose… material things and objects. Full.
Why is this important to understand??
So many of us are conditioned to think about form first, doing first, maybe not even considering or acknowledging the formless ‘being’ part of ourselves and others. Unaware of the space between the noise, yet also craving it so much and unconscious to what it is we are craving. These two halves must exist together coherently if we are to be present.
I know for my part, as with most of us, there is a long history of form form form… I thought I’d have time for the ‘formless’ once I’d achieved the form that was hard-wired into my vision of success and happiness. I had it the wrong way around.
But I am wiser now. From being headstrong into form, falling hard off my perch, then rejecting form and doing a complete 180 into formless (spiritual escapism)… I needed Mother Bali to really understand the beauty in the mutual and equal connecting of both; 50:50. They are really in essence the same.
And until we grow to understand these dualities and learn to accept, connect and flow them, I believe we’ll always be disconnected and searching for that something that will provide us with the happiness and connection we all seek.
And that happiness is in the simple moments where we see and feel that amazing life force and combustion of both earthly physical and spiritual energies flowing within us and around us.
Those are memories worth keeping and recalling.
We find presence through the formless. From here, Eckhart suggests a 3-step model which, again, I’m sharing because it really freaking resonates with me…
Acceptance. Enjoyment. Enthusiasm.
Acceptance comes first. If we cannot accept what is ‘happening’ (form) then we remain in an ego state (living in past or future) and cannot be present. Acceptance of where we are is an absolute game-changer.
Then, enjoyment. Are we enjoying the activity we are engaging in? No matter how mundane, find even a spark of enjoyment in it. I have beautiful memories just brushing my teeth in Balinese bathrooms.
Enthusiasm. This is the ultimate connection within and without. When what we are doing externally is aligned with our being and inner purpose. This is when mountains move and stars align and our hearts are happy dancing every day.
It’s that easy 😉
So… thank you Mother Bali, for taking me on an inner expedition of re-connection. Thank you thank you thank you.
Last year, 2016, my word of intention for the year was ‘connection’. Oh yes, 2016 you got me. You got me real good.
This year, 2017, my word of intention is ‘flow’.
Here is a wonderful quote that was sent to me just last week, I don’t know who it’s by, but it’s my new mobile phone wallpaper…
“Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centred by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.”
And as well as accepting what I am doing… I am choosing to accept and enjoy the formless within too.
Please read that part in bold again and feel what it means for you.
Namaste, love, gratitude, flow, scooters, air, life and breath.
May our collective adventure continue and our amazing passionate souls learn to dance to our own ever-strengthening and Universal beat…