BALI MOOD OR HOW I SPENT 30 DAYS IN A SERENITY
Before I move to my story in Bali, I would like to stop for a while with a bit of honesty. Without
Thanks to my supportive partner, I quit my job in February and took a year off for myself. The Year of Janka. The year, where I have time for myself, my thoughts, dreams, plans, self-development. I spent a part of this period in Bali.
EAT, PRAY, LOVE. BALI
The first flash of Bali in my life came through the film Eat, pray, love. Definitely, there exist just a few movies I could watch over and over, and this is one of them. It sounds like a cliche maybe, but I just fell in love with this film. Yep, the romantic parts are beautiful, but what impressed me the most, were the way and character of the main character. Discovering. Exploring. Scents and flavours.
Despite that, Bali wasn’t on my travel bucket list. My karma had it in her, obviously. Bali and I said “Hi, it’s nice to meet you.” to each other in May 2018. I went there to visit my friends from Slovakia.
And it was magic! Dust, rubbish, smog pollution, smoke from waste burning, also the beaches weren’t the nicest in the world. But Bali bewitched me. When I was leaving, I had a feeling deep inside that I would come back one day to explore this island more.
Days went by, a lot of things happened. I was trying to understand my place in this world. I was trying to understand myself and what was going on in my heart and soul. Moreover, my waste-free and minimalistic beginnings started to make sense. At this time I found a word……” permaculture”. A higher level of growing potatoes ?
WHEN DREAMS MEET A REALITY
I had plenty of plans and ideas. Should I go back to Uni and study Environmental Management? Or maybe I could spend a few months at summer university in Bali? What about some course? Later I realised that there are permaculture farms in Bali too. A few clicks through Google and I found Jiwa Damai – an organic garden and retreat centre in the heart of Bali in the middle of a tropical forest. Firstly, I had put in an application for a permaculture internship, and a few weeks later, I bought flight tickets and got a visa. Two months of waiting, I was overwhelmed with feelings of impatience, enthusiasm and effort, trying to not have any expectations. Above all, I was also curious if my first visit to Bali was just the excitement of an ordinary tourist or if this place is really magic.
That moment when I had stepped out off the plane, and familiar scents got into my nose, my heart started beating. Later, I went through all entrance and visa controls. Between many hand-written names I found mine and met my driver.
Jiwa Damai is a place where people from around the world meet to study, to find serenity and to learn from each other and also from nature itself. This piece of paradise puts together different permaculture principles to create a sustainable and self-sufficient community.
The schedule for my internship was morning yoga, breakfast, project, lunch, project, meditation, dinner. Day by day, five days a week, weekends free.
The content of my project was supposed to be put together after my arrival with Margaret (my mentor). Yep, I was convinced that my internship would be about permaculture.
The first night in Jiwa Damai was spent trying all angles of a bed and looking for earplugs. I didn’t sleep well. New sounds, new smells, a different bed. Expectations. The next day I felt only half-present. Was I already there, or was it just my imagination?
I counted on the fact that I would be hungry from three vegetarian meals per day. So I spent my free Saturday in the company of travel snacks. And sleeping and trying to stop chaos in the crossroads of my mind and set myself to Bali mode = let everything be and welcome what will appear. While I was writing these lines, the first meditation in my life was coming. And dinner. I was not sure what I was looking forward to more ?
A few months before my trip, I was feeling like everything insideme was screaming and brawling. My needed to be alone, just with myself, far away from daily matters; the feelingwas compelling. I wanted to be far away from the outside world. Pieces of my visions and dreams started to turn into shapes, and I was excited to learn something new and to move forward. But was I ready for that?
The second day of my stay in Jiwa Damai, I had the first appointment with Margaret, where we were supposed to name my project. Our conversation was surprisingly open and personal, and it turned out that my project was myself. Me, myself and I.
To realise what is pushing you down in your life is an essential step. Which Selves you don’t like about yourself and why they became part of you?
Life in Australia gave me space to be alone with myself and my thoughts often. And I realised that I was cycling in the same patterns my whole life. But I didn’t know how to get out. I seriously started considering to look around for help from someone like a mentor or even psychologist. And I found Jiwa Damai.
I felt like I was awakening from a coma after meetings with Margaret. Sometimes I was shaking, because – I thought – what will I do, when there won’t be anything to suffer? Sometimes I was surprised that someone else had to tell me all this and that everything is so simple. But, despite that, it is still difficult .
I can learn new knowledge and gain new skills anytime. I already found out that I can learn anything I want or need in a short time if I wish to or have to. To find MYSELF is substantial. To connect with me and to find my inner power. Finally, I gave myself permission for this all in Jiwa Damai. Believe me or not, I immediately felt like I came into life. Firstly, I started to feel lightness in my body. Secondly, I felt like all heaviness was gone. Like a stone from my heart disappeared. Above all
I felt gratitude because I could be with myself. So intense gratitude I wanted to cry. Not because of happiness, but because of mercy, that I could finally be with myself. I’ve got a feeling that deeper I was going into permission for being with myself more feelings went out of me like a telegraph tape. My feelings were like I came back to life like my body was happy that I woke up: “Welcome! I have so much to tell you! I missed you!”
The last two paragraphs are parts of my private notes, which I was writing after each session with Margaret. After every single cloud and after every feeling. And yes, I feel butterflies every time I go back to that situation. Every single time I feel lost, I go back to my notes and to the lights.
To be honest, I needed to walk a long journey to accept the fact that I had a whole year for myself. And to feel alright about the fact that energy I would typically use to earn money, and to attend to daily obligations, I could now apply to contemplation and searching my way in life. It is a long and slow process. Everything has its time, and it is not necessary to push on things. The truth is that I have been learning this all since my arrival in Australia. Besides, I have never believed that everything can come out when you have time for yourself when you can connect with yourself, be conscious and be here for yourself. I am learning every single day to not only listen to my instincts but also to my heart. And step by step, everything is making sense to me.
THIS BALI IS A HUGE CHALLENGE!
Okay, that’s enough of spirituality, I don’t want to make you sick 😀 So a bit of fun now.
In my notes, there is a sentence written in big letters: THIS BALI IS A HUGE CHALLENGE! And it was. I am very much a beginner in yoga. I have never ever tried conscious meditation before. Two days after my arrival, I got sick. It took me more than a week to be brave enough to driveg a scooter. It should be noted, that immediately on my first ride, I had an accident.
So. Yep, I was finally healthy and stopped feeling like a loser in the company of a yoga teacher from Estonia and a dancer from Australia. So I had an accident, and I finished with knees covered with blood and bruises almost everywhere on my body.
I spent another whole week with physical and psychical convalescence. And I was trying to find the courage and to continue with driving a scooter. The sentence about Bali challenge was written lying in bed with a temperature and diarrhoea, but! I took another driving lesson, and after half day of driving in Ubud in crazy Bali traffic, I was very proud of myself. A small step for the world, but a big one for me.
I KNOW, BUT REMEMBER ME SOMETIMES PLEASE
To see this, all black and white may seem like nothing special, but all these lessons gave me a lot. The best two: First, Yoga is not a competition. You go as far as you can and don’t compare yourself with others.
The second. I am pretty sure you find yourselves in situations when you would like to give up and run far away. Very often, even before you at least try something new or immediately after first fuck up. Give yourself time. Stop for a while, breathe in and breathe out and try again, and you will see that it is possible. Slowly, with pain in your stomach and bloody knees, but you can do it! Without a doubt, that feeling when you finish successfully is priceless… the feeling of indescribable release, gratitude and consciousness that if I don’t give up, I can do something.
This all is just facts we already know and have deep inside of our hearts. Definitely. Most of the time, we just need someone who will wake us up.
This was my bubble. My safe and dream world. And now is the time to be reborn into a reality. That one is pretty lively. But maybe next time 😉
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