I woke up Friday morning (Thursday in Cali) feeling under the weather. Aches and pains all over. Sore throat and clogged ears. Fatigued.
And in that moment I decided that my best option was GRATITUDE. It always is, really.
I felt an immense amount of peace to be in town now, where I can walk and take a gentle yoga class and nourish my body with healing food.
So despite wanting to stay in bed, I did just that… I headed to The Yoga Barn, a 5 minute walk from my villa and gave up control.
The class was full and my body was hurting, but I knew that for me, the best thing I could do was to MOVE.
A little backstory on my relationship with yoga.
After being raped at 19 and holding in my emotions towards that experience for a good 4 years (I stayed silent), my body reacted. And terribly, as you can probably imagine.
6 months after that happened, I woke up unable to move my hands and barely able to walk. My healing process was LONG. I spent weeks at a time in the hospital, sick constantly, writhing in pain. But I knew there were answers outside of Western Medicine, which is when I began diving DEEP into the abyss of Holistic Health.
My grandmother, whom I am extremely close to, always taught me that the body could heal itself. Being a breast cancer survivor herself, without chemo or radiation, I trusted that she was onto something.
Her secret? Whole food, meditation, tai chi and yoga.
I used to play around with tai chi and yoga when I would see her, but in all honesty, as a kid I thought it was silly.
But she’s a smart lady, that Willa and it was about 2 years into my own healing journey that I found a regular yoga practice.
My body hurt all the time and everything else I tried doing left me in pain. But yoga allowed me to find stillness and reconcile the anger I was holding onto towards the a-hole that found it appropriate to completely violate more than my body, but my spirit too!
Yoga became my safe haven; it was a place where I could be alone with my thoughts, free of self-judgement.
On November 29th of this year (2015), I completed my first 200-hour yoga teacher training and I am now a certified yoga instructor, although doing so was more about my own journey for SELF vs. wanting to teach. I guess we’ll see where life takes me. 🙂
So back to Friday…
The class was not my favorite, but it did the job, which for me was to provide a space for me to let go and feel into my body and soul.
I loved something the instructor said, “EGO is the virus of humanity.” And it’s so true.
He teased about jealousy, “You say to your friend, ‘Oh I am so happy for you!’… but you’re not really. You want what they have. That’s not happiness.”
His point was that we are so focused on others perception of us and keeping up with everyone else to IMPRESS people, that we fail to fully embrace WHO we really are at our core.
And you know what I love? The fact that we are ALL individuals. Beautifully imperfect beings that, at the end of the day, just want to love and be loved. We’re actually not complicated at all.
So to you (and to myself) I want to encourage you to say FUCK IT!
BE WHO YOU ARE – all of you! Because YOU, sweets, are absolutely amazing!
After the slow Vinyasa class, I had a delicious breakfast and vowed that I was already healthy… and so it is. 🙂
Juice is turmeric, ginger, pineapple and lime. Hot tea is ginger, lime, honey. Kitcheree is an ayurvedic healing stew of organic lentils and brown rice with ginger, turmeric and freshly ground garam masala, finished with broccoli, spinach and coriander.
I came back to my villa and spent the rest of the day working – from bed! In order to have a couple days to myself (weekends), I have been spending M-F with my eyes in my laptop, writing away to stay ahead. I’ll admit, there are some things that are taking far longer than they would at home… but such is Bali (I’ll get to that shortly). The important thing is that it all gets done and I produce quality work that will benefit others (the world).
And side note on that – I cannot believe how excited I am to get back home and see my team. I miss them SO much (if you’re reading this now, I love you guys!). Plus, I freaking LOVE what I do so work really isn’t “work” to me. It’s one of my favorite things to do and I feel so blessed every single day.
I took an afternoon break to walk to the market to see if they had throat lozenges. After much back and forth (they didn’t understand what I was asking for), I left with what I needed. On my way back to my place, I stopped at a few shops to start my holiday shopping. As I’ve mentioned before, they all pretty much carry the same things. But some are just too kind to pass up.
I found a gift for my mama and picked myself up some pretty fun BRIGHT PINK pants. Then headed back to work.
I shut my laptop down at 5:30pm and walked back to The Yoga Barn for round 2 – this time, Restorative Yoga.
Now, you can’t tell in this pic, but it was POURING rain outside. And that window wall you see is completely open. It was BEAUTIFUL to hear the rain pounding the earth while settling in for some self-care.
For those of you yogis reading this, you’ll appreciate this…
In my studio in San Diego (shout out to Indie Yoga in Ocean Beach), they offer China Gel to students (it’s like a natural BenGay kind of, great for sore muscles). In Bali? The offer BUG LOTION! I was laughing pretty hard to myself as I slathered it on before class.
As the room got dim with the sun setting, the instructor lit incense and candles and we began.
I had never taken a Restorative class, so this was new for me. And it’s exactly what I needed.
It’s a series of 8-10 poses, each held for 5-10 minutes. They are all poses designed to RELAX and RESTORE the body… they are meant to be very healing.
It was amazing and I am so glad I went!
From there, I walked to Kafe since they were no longer serving food at the Barn. Again, I got Kitcheree (pictured above) as well as a small garden salad and glass of hibiscus kombucha. It makes my heart happy that the booch is served in a wine glass too! Something about it makes me feel fancy, which is hard to do in Bali given you’re constantly sweaty, your feet are usually dirty and my hair hasn’t been styled in 2 weeks now. I live in yoga clothes and bathing suits and while I don’t think I smell bad, that is actually a viable option given the incredible amount of sweat I am enduring each day.
Most places here offer shared tables, so you constantly sit with strangers. This is great for solo travelers like myself.
Tonight, I sat next to Jessica from Vancouver, BC. She’s 32, just got out of a relationship, recently began her journey in fitness losing 17 pounds in the process and is in Bali because she travels 5 months out of the year for work. She owns her own company and imports goods to sell, but said she can go a year or two without buying anything, which can be tricky. She got into it thru her love of art and creating things. This is her second time in Bali and she said this time around, she doesn’t love it as much.
I felt a sigh of relief, quite honestly. I told her I felt like a complete asshole because here I am on this adventure of a lifetime and all I keep thinking is I can’t wait to go home and cook, drive, workout, see my friends, speak to my family on the phone…
Here’s the deal….
I’ve come to realize that I crave a little bit of chaos. I thrive on busy-ness and appreciate a bit of go-go-going in my life.
Bali is everything opposite of that, which sounded like a dream.
Let me preface this by saying – I am having a great time! I am so fortunate to be here experiencing all of this beauty and embarking on new experiences. And how blessed to be able to do this for myself, by myself!
I tried SO hard not to have expectations coming here, but in the end, I think I did.
NONE of this is complaining, it’s just facts. Life is different here and that is lovely.
But THIS life in THIS place is NOT for me.
She asked if I would travel solo again and I would. But not for 3 weeks.
I also realized how much I enjoy experiencing things with people that I love – friends, family, partners. I love my alone time, but I also love going on adventures and sharing in the excitement of something new.
She also asked if I would come back to Bali again and for me, the answer is probably not.
It’s beautiful. The people are sweet. But it just doesn’t resonate with me.
There is no schedule, no structure, no sense of urgency. Sounds like perfection, right? Well, it is for some… but little miss type A sassy pants over here wants a schedule, structure and urgency. THIS chick LOVES those things!
A funny example of how things get done here.
Yesterday morning I gave my villa 2 shirts to be washed for me. I asked that I have them today by 10am. When I called to ask if they were ready, they said “no… they will be ready at 4pm.” 4pm rolls around and I call and am told, “they just picked them up… you can get tomorrow.” I am leaving tomorrow morning for the beach. I told them that wouldn’t work because I had to travel and after much back and forth, they had them to me by 8pm.
If I wasn’t leaving in the morning, I wouldn’t have cared. And if I had to leave them behind, well they’re just material things. But everything is like that here. When you eat out, it takes forever to order, get your food, get your check, get your change. It’s all good… but I like a little bit of speed, even the tiniest bit. 🙂 #ariesmoon #scorpiosun #taurusrising
I like hustle. That’s just how it is. Not NYC hustle, but San Diego hustle.
Bali, you’re a gem. But I’m ready for some crazy and from what I hear, I am about to embark on about the “craziest” part of Bali come Saturday (Cali Friday). And by crazy I’m told, nightclubs, which I will NOT be partaking in. So not my scene, especially traveling alone for mainly safety reasons.
Oh, another funny thing here is there aren’t stop signs, traffic lights or cross walks. Humans do not have the right away on the street, that’s for sure! Haha!
So after a long, hot shower and a low-key, yet eventful day, I am feeling about 85% better. I am also feeling POWERFUL and PROUD to be on this journey. I never thought of going solo as a big deal, but the more people I talk to, it turns out that it is!
What can I say, I have a heart full of wanderlust and I get it from my sweet Nana – my soul sister in another life. Love that woman and all the inspiration she provides daily.
Nighty night, world. I am getting up bright and early to make it to yoga before heading out of Ubud and onto my next adventure – beachside!
It’s been real, Ubud.