This morning, I woke up in Ubud - the mecca of yoga and spirituality. But no matter my location, whether I’m at home in New York or on the beautiful island of Bali, I still find the same yearning to find a deeper meaning to life. It takes time to make deep connections with the Self and with others, especially when you’re in a foreign land. When I first got to Bali, I was a bit more judgmental and was comparing everything to life back home. Then I became curious and started to listen. And observe. Something shifted. Once I slowed down enough to get on a different frequency, I was able appreciate and enjoy the extreme difference in culture.
My journey so far has really been focused on connection. After my initial culture shock and impatience faded away (and my Vata was back in balance), I was able to clearly see how fortunate I was in the present moment. I had the opportunity to stay with a childhood friend, Liat Solomon, that has been living in Bali for 20 years. Not only did she open her home to me, but she fed me some of most delicious, healthy, juicy food that I’ve ever had. Liat owns a vegan restaurant here called Earth Cafe, and the menu is full of clean and fulfilling dishes. Not only was I immediately fed well, but I realized that I was among family.
After spending a week with Liat, I was ready to hit the road and experience Bali on my own. I gave myself time to become more comfortable and grounded in this brand new country. And once I broke off onto my own journey, I still ended up seeing some friends from all over the world who currently live in Bali. After lunch one day, a friend of mine took me around to show me “the real Bali.”
This is when I realized the things that began to connect me to this place. I felt love for the devotion of the people making puja each day and burning incense that was full of intoxicating scents. There was incense at every corner I turned, which reminded me to slow down and breathe, and that in each moment the universe is there watching and guiding.
The thing that’s helped me the most on my journey is being able to trust that everything falls into place and that you don’t necessarily need a plan. Some might call this faith. Before my trip, I had spoken with some friends who had traveled here to get recommendations and advice, but I truly want this trip to flow moment to moment with little calculation. I want to allow the freedom for things to unfold naturally. Some might find the unknown scary, but that’s part of life - we can’t ever know it all. Our story is created as we go along.
I believe that traveling and exploring other cultures helps to add depth to our personal stories and connects us deeper with our Self and the universe around us. It brings new opportunities into our lives also. I am so honored and grateful that a special opportunity fell into my lap - I will be teaching at the Bali Vegan Festival in Ubud next month. Just another event that will build my personal journey in Bali.