Live :: Optimistically :: Through :: Universal :: Struggles
It has been a while since I returned home for Bali and honestly, I needed some time to process the trip and readjust back to life. Bali is everything everyone says it is. There are mountains and beaches, temples and resorts, surfing and yoga. Anyone can enjoy the beauty, culture and nature that Bali has to offer. And boy was I ready to take it all in!
But we all know that sometimes our hopes and dreams don't play out the way we planned. My Bali trip was rough. As soon as I got there I was faced with two sacks of lemons - a threatening volcano that could cause an island wide evacuation and a sudden and unexpected loss of a family member. My automatic answer was to go home! It made sense, it's not a good idea to be stuck on a small island with a threat of a volcano erupting and I already had two weeks off to help my family. Being a psychologist and a natural nurturer, my instinct is to help others, which sometimes means that my needs come second. My loving family encouraged me to stay and enjoy my trip. I was not convinced. It was uncomfortable for me to put myself first, I felt guilty and uneasy about engaging in self care and enjoying myself while my family was suffering and grieving.
If you were to see my pictures from the trip, it looks like I am having a blast and don't get me wrong I had some great times. But honestly, my trip had its highs and its low lows. There were days that the guilt and distance of being away from my family had me staying in bed and the grief of losing a loved one overwhelmed me with unstoppable tears. In these lows, I found it difficult to practice what I preach - think positively, make the best out of the situation and focus on what you can control. I found myself making excuses to go home. It took a lot for me to take myself out of the situation and ask myself what I would encourage someone in the same situation to do. I decided to make conscious efforts to do what I could to support my family and honor my loved one's life in Bali. I revised my game plan and found myself gravitating to temples, giving offerings for my family's health and sending peaceful and loving vibes back home. My previous fears of traveling solo was no longer detectable on my radar. I was now motivated to enjoy every minute that I have in this lifetime, to live without regrets and to rejuvenate myself so when I got home I would be there for my family.
My Bali trip went from completing a Bali adventure bucket list to learning to cope with the lemons life hands you thousand of miles away from home. Making Balinese lemonade was not an easy task. It was not what I expected or planned for and yet it was a great learning experience. I learned a lot about myself and most importantly, I realized that it is okay to put myself first for once, to take time to refuel myself so that I could help others. It was refreshing and weird for me to do. Sitting solo at a restaurant became the norm, having the ability to completely make my own choices without having to worry about accommodating anyone else was oddly empowering. Being able to wake up and be spontaneous without having to consider anyone else's feelings, judgements or opinions was refreshing. I found myself waking up early, soaking in flower bathes, and choosing dining options that allowed me to enjoy the beauty of Bali. I watched sunsets on the beach, swam with manta rays, walked in rice paddies, played with monkeys, and took a Balinese cooking class. I did sun salutations in front of a volcano at sunrise, meditated daily, participated in fire rituals and holy water temples and released things that were no longer useful to my greater good. I ended each night with journaling and processing the days events, allowing my emotions that rose to the surface to be acknowledged. My journey was not what I expected it to be, but all in all, it was undeniably one of the greatest learning experiences I have had thus far. I would never expect that I could find enjoyment in making Balinese lemonade, but it was overall surprisingly invigorating.
Lemonade Lesson - When you take care of yourself, you are better prepared to take care of others.
Suksma Bali for your love, positive vibes and life lessons.