Hello from Bali! Or more specifically, Ubud – mecca for yogis and nature lovers alike. And for me, being both of those, it’s pretty much paradise. If you don’t follow me on Facebook then you might be wondering why I’m here, so let me give you a bit of a breakdown of what’s happening at the moment.
I’ve basically taken a three-week hiatus from my normal life to immerse myself in all things yoga. To live, breathe, eat and sleep my yoga teacher training. And so far, just six days in, it’s been amazing.
Soul-enriching, spirit-lifting and heart-expanding.
Let me set the scene. I sleep in a bungalow come treehouse. Few walls, a bed, chair and hammock downstairs and then a small loft upstairs where I share a 3m x 3m bamboo-floored space with another yogi-in-training (luckily she’s awesome, otherwise that could have been awkward!). We sleep on small single mattresses on the floor and share a fan and a mosquito net and have a big window that overlooks the property behind us. I wake up at 5am to the sounds of roosters cock-a-doodling, some far away and some right outside the room, and a symphony of other birds all singing at the impending sunrise.
It’s exactly what I wanted. Pure magic. Blissful magic.
And what is this place I’m staying at? It’s a zero waste, clean and eco-friendly place (I’m not sure what to call it. It’s not a resort, and it’s not a hotel. It’s just a place). They have an organic veggie garden, fruit trees (hello mangoes! hello paw paw!), masses of coconut trees (which they make their own coconut oil, soap, milk, flour and shreddings from), and they cook and serve beautiful vegan meals every day. The land here is all permaculture, nature at its finest. There’s a spot for bonfires, a place overlooking the small stream to meditate or practice yoga, and then of course there’s the large sala where myself and 27 other girls from all over the world spend eight hours of our day being immersed.
And here’s the most incredible part of it all. Somehow, although my life has made so many turns and backtracks and jumps, all of it has led me to be in this place at this time. And by that I don’t just mean physically, being in this bungalow come treehouse in Bali surrounded by pecking chickens and barking geckos. I also mean at this place in myself.
It took me a long time to truly figure out who I really was. And even after I did that, it took a longer time to accept that person. There are a lot of things I’m not, you know what I mean? I’m not one of the cool kids. I’m not tall. I’m not musically talented (I can’t sing to save my life). I’m not good at confrontation. I’m not a supermodel. I’m not big-busted. I’m not outgoing. I’m not good at striking up conversations with people I don’t know. I’m not a great swimmer.
There’s also a great deal of things that I don’t want to be, but I’ve spent years trying to be. Because don’t we all just want to fit in?
But I’ve finally reached a place where I’m totally okay with all of those things. Because what I am, is enough. I’m good enough. And I’m at a place now where I feel so completely content in my life, and so completely at peace with all the things I am. And even all the things I’m not. There’s this sense of gratitude for the time I spent trying to be someone or something else, because without those experiences I certainly would not be at the place I am now!
It’s like when you’ve lost your keys right? And you search everywhere in the house, until finally you think, well where’s the last place I saw them? Oh, they were in my pocket! And you check your pocket and lo and behold, there they are. Except that in this sense you’re searching for yourself. And you search high and low, you look in other people and other places, you look at different events and in different activities. And you get to a point where you feel like you’ve searched everywhere so you finally think, well, where’s the last place I saw myself? Oh, in my heart. And you look, and there you are.
At the end of the day, isn’t this what we’re really after? Being at peace with ourselves? Accepting ourselves for who we are, no more and no less.
People all over the world spend their whole lives and all of their effort and money trying to change themselves in some way. Reading this you might even be one of those people. Whether it’s constant dieting to lose weight, wishing for plastic surgery to alter some feature on your body, keeping yourself in disempowering relationships to be seen in the right circles, staying in an unsatisfying job to please your parents. We all do these things to fight the person that we truly are! We’re not being true to ourselves.
It’s time to look into your heart and find that person. Stop beating that little voice down that’s telling you you deserve better. You deserve to express yourself freely, just like every other being on this planet. You deserve to step forward and be yourself, and create the life that your heart craves.
A couple of years ago I was drinking heavily, working in a job with no real idea where it was leading, had no real future goals, and had forgotten about a lot of the things I had once loved. My heart remembered, but I was so caught up in being a certain person with a certain image that I couldn’t really hear my heart anymore. I’d built a bit of a wall around it because I was scared of people seeing what was really in there.
I’m so grateful that I finally gave myself permission to bring those walls down and no longer care what other people thought of my true nature. I’ve actually never felt healthier, lighter, more free or more loved. And all of that is coming from inside.
So I invite you to do something for yourself. Over the next day, or week, or month, do something to speak your truth. Speak up when you have an opinion, especially if it’s one you care deeply about. Allow yourself to be heard. Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn? Go and sign up to that course and then do it. Do you need to have a day to yourself? Make it happen!
Follow your instincts, follow your heart. You are enough.
With love and soul food,