OK team. It has been a hot second since I’ve posted, but I can’t even explain how busy this past summer has been! What is crazy for me is that it is no longer even summer anymore. Where did the time go?! Anyway, some of you may know that I went to Bali in early June just before taking my current job at a tech company in the Bay Area. Since then, I’ve started said job, traveled to China four times, moved to a new apartment, celebrated a birthday and first wedding anniversary, and gone to two different weddings. I’ve also continued teaching yoga and just started a yoga apprenticeship at my local studio. That’s basically it in a nutshell. While I’ve continued to film yoga videos and work on creating interesting flows, I’ve just not been able to sit down and put ink to paper (or really, fingers to keys) until now. I want to fill you all in on my travels now that I am starting to be in the right headspace to do so. Do you ever feel like your brain is so “on” all the time that in your free time you want to just do mindless, brain-mush activities? Well, that’s been my whole summer. Ask me anything about New Girl. But I digress. This will be the first of a few posts about Bali, and I hope you enjoy.
I had a lot of expectations leading up to this part of the trip. After all, I’ve never been to a spiritual healer before. Yes… my expectations were likely to do with all I know about Ketut Liyer from Eat, Pray, Love. They were probably also due to the fact that I am still unsure about what I believe in spiritually. Would this man be like a psychic? Would he tell me about my future? What if I didn’t like what I heard? Could I move past my inner skeptic and really take in whatever message this person would have in store for me? And of course – what even makes this person qualified to perform such a task in the first place?
What I found to be interesting was that even my closest friends were on the fence. Many of them did not even want to talk to him at all. In the end, we all decided to have our individual discussions with him and I am glad that we did.
The Day Of
Due to the sheer number of us, we wound up seeing him in shifts. The reports from people before us only made me more anxious. Some people came out of the room crying. Others reported that he told them exactly what they needed to hear. Still others claimed he knew facts about their lives that he could not possibly have known (such as the number of siblings they had). All of them mentioned some sort of advice that had been given, mostly about the future.
Of course, me and my crew put our meetings off as long as possible. We went shopping for local goods, made a trip to the Monkey Forest in Ubud, and took a nice looong lunch. All in all a wonderful time, but I do regret only one thing from that day. In true Bali fashion, the spiritual healer also ran a cooking school. Both businesses were directly out of his own home. I regret not eating the food he prepared for us as I usually try to go for the “full experience” when traveling.
Nevertheless, we were welcomed with open arms upon our arrival. As if placed there by the gods, a litter of puppies were just waiting for us to cuddle with and play with. I think that is where the true spiritual healing began, and anyone that knows me knows that it was around this point that I started to google “how to bring dogs home from faraway countries”. Hubby did not approve. 😦
The healer looked a little younger than expected for such profound wisdom – likely middle-aged. And I liked him instantly. He had one of those smiles that just puts you at ease and shows you that the soul within is good. We sat on the floor in his office as he asked me a bunch of questions about my life. As I was talking, he arranged some sticks on the ground in such a fashion that could only be interpreted as voodoo. “Yes, I see you have two siblings.” “Parents happy?” “Husband good?” I still didn’t know what to think at this point so I took a look around. There was an altar with all the things you would expect placed in front of a spiritual image. Maybe some smoke or incense? The voodoo sticks. A water vat.
He proceeded to tell me that there was a darkness, or a heaviness that was weighing on my heart, but not to worry, we would fix that. He told me he saw me as a leader or a teacher, and that I needed to keep down that path. I would be successful, and it was clear a big change was coming (yes, this was right before I started my new job). I wouldn’t have to worry about future sickness because I am healthy. My husband and I would have several children and would never divorce. I would return to Bali at least two more times. And just like that, the prediction phase of the episode was over. We then moved on to the advice portion, and he talked at great length about the importance of communication in marriage.
And now back to the darkness. I was asked to hold a mudra and take deep yogic breaths as he performed a prayer. He took some of the (holy?) water from the vat and sprinkled it on me. He made some fancy hand gestures in what I can only describe as performing an exorcism on the darkness inside my chest. In fact, I was instructed to time my deep exhale with the exorcist movements. And then we were done. I instantly felt lighter. He explained that Bali is a magical healing place and that this was only the beginning of the healing process for me. In a twist I didn’t expect, he explained that people come to Bali from all over the world and they leave their spirits, their darknesses, their sicknesses there and Bali simply absorbs them so that they can heal. But what about Bali? It is incumbent on us to give back and heal her too by spreading the good vibes and positive energy.
I won’t go into detail on other people’s sessions because that is for them to own. I’ll tell you that a lot of the men allegedly had very “strong sperm”. And actually a lot of us are allegedly returning to Bali multiple times. There were some similar themes, but again, everyone took something different away from the experience. Am I a believer? Is this guy legit? Well, I want to believe. I am certainly open to the possibility that he is legit and I definitely believe in the power of positive thinking. I struggle to give a definitive answer because when you travel to places like the Himalayas or Bali, an element of magical realism exists. There’s a very grey area where “the truth” resides and a whole world of possibility you never saw before suddenly opens up. If you ever travel to Bali, you will feel it. It is wild. While this may not be a very satisfying answer (most of us like to see the world in black and white), I do encourage you to go out and experience this on your own!
Have you ever experienced anything like this? I would love to hear your stories. Stay tuned for more on my recent travels and yogic journey!