It’s been two weeks since I left the States. The amount of memorable moments in that time have been so many and will probably require at least five other blog posts to be justly recounted. Just know that I’m settling in just fine! Ahhh! There is so much I want to share. The days have been passing so fast and they are so packed with new realizations of this culture and myself. I’m surrounded by the most beautiful and diverse group of spiritual individuals I have the honor to call my tribe.
We are staying in the bustling town of Ubud. There is definitely a bit of a city feel to it, but the nature element is also very prominent everywhere. The gardening in this place is on a whole other level. I need to take note! The gardens at our home is a perfect example of that. We are surrounded by the most lush and green jungle, with fruit trees and tropical flowers, a very inviting outdoor pool with rice fields, trees and mountains as view. We are so beyond spoiled here. This incredible abode, The Ark, is probably the closest to paradise I’ve ever been. The natural beautify is so inspiring. The sense of belonging and security this place, and the people living here, offer is something I’ve never really experienced in a foreign group setting. It’s very special. Also, I love walking around in yoga pants, sports bra and barefoot everyday, feeling the earth beneath me and the morning breeze or afternoon sun (and uninvited mosquitos) on my bare skin. It’s a connection with a side of my self I haven’t explored before and I’m liking it every day more.
The devotion this incredible island has for its religion and traditions is so inspirational and refreshing to me. The spiritual essence of this place is almost tangible. From what I’ve experienced so far, the culture is so dedicated to respecting and following their sacred customs. The way their traditions are deeply integrated in their daily lives and how the people adapt their entire existence around it is so impressive. From the daily offerings all businesses and individuals perform, to the warm and kind heartedness of their every interactions, due to the belief that all living entities are sacred. People seem to be more honest, trusting and genuine around here; with a radiant, yet very subtle, lightness to their spirits.
The most memorable and impressionable example of this devotion was last Wed (March 9th), on Nyepi Day. This day is known as the Day of Silence, part of the Balinese New Year celebration. On Nyepi, the entire island is shut down with the purpose of having a full day of silence, fasting and meditation. All businesses are closed, no light or fires are to be lit and everyone stays home. Oh, and no technology either! Even the main island airport is closed! The day is dedicated entirely to connecting with God on a deeper level through these acts of reverence and self evaluation for the upcoming year. This is quite the contrast to way many other cultures around the world celebrate New Years, especially in the West. I think this is a fantastic way to welcome a new year! I might adopt this tradition myself! Imagine what the world would look like if we were all to dedicate a full day of silence to connect with our higher Self. It was definitely an incredibly blessed experience for me and a great opportunity to reflect and connect.
You can find more info about Nyepi here: https://www.bali.com/nyepi-day-of-silence.html
There is also a fun, and quite loud, celebration the day before Nyepi where each community shows off their own collectively made, massive and scary looking creatures, or Ogoh Ogoh as they call them here, and parade down the streets after dusk. The point of this colorful and loud celebration is to scare away the evil spirits before New Years by making as much noise as possible as they show off their ugliest and scariest masterpieces. The more I think about it, the more I realize how perfect my timing is here!
The ladies, and gentleman (hi Matt!), are just plain awesomeness. The bravery and badassness of this tribe blows my mind at every moment, making my love for them expand with every passing day. We are such blessings for each other’s souls. And our gratitude for this experience and the space we create for each other every day only grows. We have been opening up and tapping into our vulnerability quite deeply and often. I’ve broken down more times in two weeks than I care to admit. I’m starting to realize that there is an endless amount of layers I still need to peel off before these experiences start making sense. I’ve discovered that I have some blockages I need to work on. Along with that, of course, comes a sense in instability. But maybe this confusion is exactly where I’m mean to be today. One of the biggest lessons I’m still struggling to learn is to trust the process. To trust that God’s plan is always working on my favor, even if it’s near impossible for me to see it that way at times. Thankfully, I am blessed to be surrounded by loving, enlightened souls who gently remind me of this when I need it most. The amount of love and support I’m receiving is so incredibly humbling. I am so grateful for it all.
As far as my yoga goes…there is so much work to be done here. I’m on my second week now and this course is kicking my derrière, hard, pushing me spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically to a whole new level. But even though it’s extremely challenging, I am so appreciative of this journey. I will soon overcome my own obstacles and start to really believe, and live, my teacher’s mantra of:
“I am enough.”
I think this is good for now. I’ll try my hardest to post more regularly. You can also follow my Instagram (@lightnbliss) for a more visual take of this wild ride.
I love you all and I hope you remain bright, blissful and light. Remember, you are enough!