My recent trip to Bali was a very introspective one. When you spend 4 hours a day doing yoga and meditating, and have one full day of silence, your thoughts can’t help but turn inwards.
I spent hours curled up at my desk, pen in hand, scribbling in my journal. All the while taking time to enjoy the view of the rice paddies and the local farmers hard at work.
The heart of Bali beats strong and clear. Her culture permeates and she teaches lessons to those who are open and willing to learn.
I want to share with you a few of the lessons that have infused into my soul since my trip to Bali. Lessons that have flipped my perspectives and are still having an affect on me today.
We are constantly rushing through life. We are always on a mission to cross everything off our to-do lists. How many times a day do you have a conversation that includes a sneaky ‘Have you been busy?’
But when we fill our lives with things to do and be done, we forget to appreciate the beauty of life. We forget to practice gratitude or presence. We forget that we aren’t here to complete a checklist for life. In fact, there’s no such thing.
When we’re not busy doing things we fill our lives with distractions. We say we don’t have time to exercise, meditate, read, or hang out with our friends, but then spend hours each day staring at screens and scrolling through social media feeds.
In Bali the people devote their time to the things that really matter. They spend time with their families. They are never too busy to talk, share a smile or laugh together. I don’t think I ever saw a local walking down the street with their eyes glued to their phones. The Balinese are so present in everything that they do.
My time in Bali was a huge reminder that we don’t need to be anything. Nor do we need to do anything.
The good stuff in life happens when we slow down and appreciate every little bit of it. So let’s dig in and enjoy the shit out of it.
Show Patience and Compassion to Those Around You
As I continue to learn more and more about spirituality, I keep coming back to one often repeated message. We are all connected. And this was certainly reflected in Bali.
When you first land in Bali and are driven to where you are staying, the roads seem chaotic. People are constantly beeping and there doesn’t appear to be any road rules. But somehow, it works.
People give way to others. They are patient with tourists on scooters who don’t know when to move over. They slow down for cyclists and wait until there is enough space to pass. From my observations the two main rules that keep their roads functioning, are being patient and showing compassion to those around you.
When you realise (or know) that we are all connected, being patient and compassionate is easy.
The Importance of Daily Ritual
The Balinese are deeply religious, and nearly every aspect of their lives is steeped in their devotion to this beliefs. A very visual part of their religious practice is the offerings they make several times a day. The beautiful, colourful and lovingly crafted offerings line the streets.
While I’m not a religious person I think the idea of having a daily ritual or practice is a great way to add meaning to our days. Whether that ritual is a warm cup of tea to start the day, a journalling session, or a some time in meditation, it’s a great way to start the day. It can allow you to still your mind and set your intentions for the day.
Find something that has meaning for you and make it a daily part of your life. Commit to something bigger than you.
Connect to The World Around You
In Bali it doesn’t take long to get out of the city and into the countryside. When I think of Bali one colour comes to mind – green. There are many different shades, but it is everywhere.
Being there in the wet season you start to tune into the cyclical nature of the rain. The morning would start off clear and sunny. Around midday the clouds would descend, the humidity would rise, and you could tell that it wouldn’t be long before the rain started. The Balinese were in tune with this too. They could look at the sky and tell if it would rain or not.
Plus their calendar is based on the moon.
We live in such a beautiful world. We need to get outside more often, connect to nature, the world and our surroundings.
Have you ever been somewhere that got into your soul and changed your outlook on life?