Tonight, under a full moon, I pack my bags to leave Bali, the “Island of the Gods” and begin my journey back to America on the other side of the world.
My heart is full of deep gratitude and love for an infinite number of blessings, gifts, insights and inspirations. The spirit of this lush tropical island and its serene Hindu people is profoundly touching.
The past month on Bali has taught me to let go into the flow and to trust the dance of life. I arrived on this beautiful volcanic island in Indonesia with a suitcase full of esoteric spiritual books. Then one Sunday morning Bali, with a kind smile, gently encouraged me to look up from my books, set them aside, smell the tropical flowers and dive into the dance of life. She whispered that life was not a puzzle to be solved but a mystery to be lived. It was time to graduate beyond cramming information into my mind and trust in my deeper knowing and let life’s magic unfold.
I left the books in my bungalow and walked through the “Monkey Forrest” into the magical village of Ubud, which means healing place in Balinese and I stepped on to the dance floor at the Yoga Barn for the Sunday ecstatic dance.
I let the spirit of the music flow through me as I shook my mental beliefs and thoughts out of my head, through my limbs and on to the dance floor. People of all colors and countries expressed their own unique dance that flowed from the same music.
On the edge of the dance floor I saw a young Asian woman sitting along the wall with a stoic expression. What was it that held her back from diving into the ecstatic dance of life? Why did she choose instead to be a reluctant spectator? Why would any of us sit on the sideline?
After the dance I went to the Sunday brunch and sat at a table with a beautiful woman from Switzerland. Like me, she had spent the past two years recovering from the heart break of a broken relationship. We had both dived deeply inward into healing journeys that brought us closer to our souls but farther away from living fully in our bodies.
In it’s infinite wisdom the Universe had landed us both on the island of Bali alone and ready to close the books and dive into the dance of life and love. We were inseparable from that Sunday on and we lived, laughed and loved on the Island of Bali. What a Heaven sent gift to reawaken the joy of touch, affection, passion and companionship. To be seen and deeply appreciated – to love and be loved.
Sometimes, when we’ve all but given up on living fully, the full force of life blows unexpectedly into our life like a strong refreshing wind on an oppressively hot day. It renews our will to live fully and trust life again.
Thank you Bali for massaging my mind clean with your ocean waves, for reminding me of the sensuality of life in the fragrant scent of the flowers that fall freely from the trees. Thanks for the dozens of fruits that do actually “grow on trees” and reminded me that life can be abundant, succulent and sweet. Thank you for slowing me down to the speed of love. For helping stop doing and focus on simply being.
Thank you to the people of Bali who are infinitely rich in inner joy, kindness and generosity, even as they are paid next to nothing in money. They’ve helped me to see and feel that the deepest riches are found in our heart and our connection to the divine source of all abundance.
Thanks to the pot holes and mosquitoes in Bali that reminded me that no place on earth is perfect and that paradise is not a place on earth but a place in our heart, which we can carry with us every where. As Emerson wrote – “Though we travel the world to discover the beautiful, we find it not unless we carry it within.”
Thank you to my lovely Swiss dance partner, Mignon, for having the courage and open heart to dive in deep and create love in a million ways.
When I told a Balinese man that she was flying one way to Europe and I was flying the other way to America, he drew two curves moving up and away from each other and then arching back together in the shape of a heart. How wise the Balinese are in the ways of the heart. I trust that he is right.
As magical and mystical as Bali is, you don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to rediscover the magic of life. We simply need to be willing to open our hearts, surrender to the flow of life and trust in the unfolding magic – wherever we are.
Yes, it may be easier to feel this magic on a tropical island with waves washing up on your feet and a beautiful companion in your arms. But the experience ultimately lives only in your heart.