5 Life Lessons I Learned in Bali

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Many of you already know, but some of you may not,  that I recently got married and then celebrated our honeymoon in Bali. Visiting Bali had always been a dream of mine and my awesome hubby helped make that a reality. It was a wonderful place. I adored the people, the culture, the natural beauty and spirituality of Bali. We visited many beautiful places, holy sites and experienced some amazing things, such as spiritual cleansing in the sacred springs of Tirta Empul at Tempak Siring Temple.

On our flight home, I was reflecting on our time in Bali and thinking about some of the lessons that I packed up to take with me as I move forward on my life’s path. Most of these are ideas that I already know and teach about but were presented to me to apply and practice during my trip to Bali.

1. Let go of worry.

This is one of the first and most important principles of Reiki. Over the course of my life, it has been a daily struggle to overcome worry.  I have gotten much better at recognizing it and releasing it quickly so it doesn’t fester and cause me mental anguish and physical illness (again).

The week before our wedding we were planning the itinerary for our honeymoon when worry set in. I saw several Facebook posts regarding a potential volcano eruption on Mount Agung in Bali. The impending eruption of Mount Agung caused a lot of people (including us) to question whether it was safe to travel to Bali right now. We had been planning this trip for a year. Talk about stress a week before your wedding!

Before we left, Mount Agung was on level IV, red alert, status. That's the last stage before an actual erupting volcano. Approximately 75,000 people have been evacuated from the surrounding area. Although people think of Bali as a small little tropical island, there’s actually quite a lot of Bali that isn’t in that evacuation zone. We did our due diligence and reached out to the resort and our travel agency. They assured us that we were quite a far distance from the impact zone and it should not affect our travel plans.

 Although 70,000 other people decided to cancel their trip to Bali, we decided to go as planned. As I listened closely to my inner self, I kept getting the message to stay the course and all will be well. I let go of worry and had faith that everything was going to be ok. In the end, (thankfully) it all worked out for us and we had an amazing trip.

2. Be grateful.

This is another important principle of Reiki. Having gratitude is not unique to Reiki. It is an essential daily practice that can transform your life. I’ve made it a habit to practice gratitude on a regular basis and it has improved my life in countless ways, including feeling more inner peace and overall happiness.

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I was in awe of a form of gratitude the Balinese practice each and every day, called Canang Sari. They make a palm basket filled with flowers, rice and other items as an offering to the Gods. They are topped with a burning incense. It's a symbol of thankfulness for life, peace, and protection. Each color flower has a different meaning and points in a specific direction. They are removed and replaced each day with a new one.

This requires great dedication, time and effort to create these each day. I was quite amazed by this daily offering. It really made me reflect on my own gratitude practice. To see a ritual like this performed daily inspired me to be more dedicated to my gratitude practice.  The way they give thanks to their Maker daily without fail through this time-consuming ritual is amazing. One can never be too grateful!

 

3. Live in the Present Moment.

This is the preface before each of the Reiki principles. In terms of my own daily challenges, staying present is right there next to letting go of worry. When we worry, we are concerned about the future.

Before we even left for our trip I made a commitment to myself to be as present as I possibly could be in each moment in Bali and to fully soak in each experience. For the most part, I’d say I did very well with this (I mean it’s hard not be present when you are on vacation in an exotic tropical location away from work and distractions).

However, there were several occasions where my husband (still not used to saying that yet), reminded me to be more present. Of course, while in a beautiful setting like this you feel inspired to take lots of photos! On the few instances when I let my desire to capture the perfect picture overshadow my ability to experience the actual moment, Ron would bring me back into the now by saying, “Just be present.” And while we did capture some great photos, the thing I will remember most is the time we spent together. Even the days we didn’t do much but lounge around our villa and relax are moments I will hold onto forever because I experienced them with all of my being (no photos needed). And for that I am grateful.

4. Intention + Belief  =  Healing.

I believe that we have the opportunity for healing and spiritual experiences in many different situations, and for me, this was one of those moments. While we spent most of our time in Seminyak, I was very excited about our day trip to Ubud (I will have to return to spend more time there for sure!) One of the highlights of our trip to Ubud was without a doubt Pura Tirta Empul, the Temple of the Holy Water. It is one of the holiest temples in Bali and locals and tourists alike flock to the grounds to bathe in the magical healing waters.

At the temple, I removed my shoes and put on a sarong in order to enter the healing waters. The healing pools are also divided into three areas, each with a variety of different fountains. But  If you want to complete the ritual property there is a ritual to follow; fountains to use and fountains to avoid. Thanks to a local man, we navigated our way and managed to complete the ritual properly. According to him, we had to pray under each fountain for what we wanted; strength, health, healing, etc. I briefly meditated and said a prayer and gave thanks before I started. Then, I proceeded and set an intention before putting my head under each of the fountains.

That's me performing the purification ritual.

That's me performing the purification ritual.

I believe that all external aids to healing, such as Holy water, are just that- tools to support your own inner healing. Healing comes from within. It is all levels of “self”  that heals, and sometimes external tools can actually get in the way of the real healing. And yet … a place like Tirta Empul holy water temple can act as a symbol of an intention, an outer manifestation of the cleansing and healing work I was doing within myself.

That is exactly how I approached this whole process. Just like my work with Reiki, crystals, Angelic healing, etc., the water would act as a tool that when combined with my intentions and belief in its healing powers, would, in fact, bring about the additional healing I needed.

Almost immediately, I felt a shift in my body. A very profound sense of calm came over me, and I felt a cleansing and purification happening on deeper levels. Then, I watched as Ron completed the ritual. Needless to say, we both found this to be a profound healing experience.

5. You Don’t Have to Walk This Path Alone.

On the second to last night of our honeymoon in Bali, we were enjoying an amazing candlelight dinner overlooking the ocean. The sun had just set and we were reflecting on our honeymoon and discussing plans for starting our new life together. It was peaceful and serene and we listened to the ocean’s waves. It felt like a dream.

Then, we sat in silence just observing and listening to the ocean and taking in the moment fully. I fell into an almost meditative state. I was looking out over the ocean thinking about this next step on my journey, feeling profound gratitude. I could sense white mists forming shapes over the water. I felt completely aligned and connected with the universe.

Then, as if out of nowhere, a large, white owl flew from the ocean just above our heads. My mouth dropped open in amazement. I looked around to see if others were as amazed as I was. No one seemed to be reacting to this. Maybe they didn’t see it? Maybe I imagined it? Maybe it was just for us? I looked at Ron and said “OMG, did you see that?” He looked at me and smiled and said, “YES!” 

I had tingles in my crown and tears in my eyes. I couldn’t believe that just happened. It was like a surreal dream. (I am NOT exaggerating.) It was incredible. Not only because a large beautiful creature appeared out of nowhere and flew over OUR table, but also because the owl has been my spirit guide for many years now. Ron knows this and immediately said, “It was your spirit guide.” I was told during my Reiki level II attunement that an owl was my spirit guide and since then I’ve always felt a strong connection.

Oceanfront dinner with my honey. 

Oceanfront dinner with my honey. 

No matter where I've traveled, Owl has been a Light Bearer and guide for me. The beautiful owl is just one of my guides from spirit who have guided me on my path. I also connect with angels, archangels, and ascended masters who provide guidance when I need it. Beings from higher realms are always there to assist us, we just have be willing to ask, believe, and receive. Seeing this owl on our honeymoon was a beautiful confirmation of spirit’s constant presence in my life.

Thank you for hanging in there for this rather long post. I had so many amazing experiences in Bali and I wanted to give you a glimpse into just a few of them!

Have you had any travel experiences where you took away some important lessons or truths? Let me know in the comments below! I'd love to know where you were and what you learned. 

With love,

Andrea