Sticking with the program
After the retreat I planned a couple of days in Ubud, the yoga capital of Indonesia and maybe even the world. Every day I woke up with some voluntary yoga and breakfast after. I was lucky to still have some of my retreat buddies closeby, so we would meet up for dinner after a day of strolling around. Ubud is such a lovely little town, full of stores and vibes that would make most western hipster cities jealous. They have it all here, and so much of it. Which feels quite strange coming from Manado, where all is as rough and practical as can be. The Balinese take so much pride in making everything pretty. Everywhere you look there's art, sculptures, wooden furniture, the nicest clothes, and small have to haves you can always find room for in your backpack. All of it with this laid back Bali energy stored inside of them. I would say cultural Ubud, or beach chic Seminyak are my favourite places in the world to go shopping. Too bad I can't do too much of that, but they didn't seem to believe that always. Don't forget to bargain, some do tend to see tourists as walking ATM's. I bought 3 masks and two hanging baskets to help create this dreamy chilled out bohemian atmosphere for when we have our own business. The first items that help visualise what we want.
Hippie party at the yoga barn
If I say Ubud you say Yoga, 'Ubud-Yoga', 'Ubud-Yoga'. If I say Yoga you say barn! Yoga Barn.. the place where everybody hangs around in Ubud. And rightfully so. It's this magical, traveling hippie oases, in the midst of a nowadays very busy town. We attended the opening ceremonie of the Yoga festival. A busy fest full of smiles, loving sincere 'excuse me's if you'd accidentally bump into someone, crazy dance moves on your bear feet in the mud and the most striking of all, nobody drank alcohol. I never experienced such a kumbayayeeh vibe around me, without everybody having a little bit of chemical help. It was amazing, as was the sloppy Jane vegan burger and the not having a hangover after.
This trip was all about soul searching for me. So I wanted to see a traditional Balian, a healer. The famous one where I actually pre-booked my problem releasing massage at, had to cancel last minute because of a ceremony. So I was happy that other travellers could recommend another healer to me last minute. They said this one would see right through me and didn't need to give me a painful massage to get the tension out. I liked the sound of that. On the way my driver told me that most Balinese people see a healer every few weeks, to give them guidance or to just have a talk with. It's like visiting your psychologist, for a regular mental check up. That's probably why they all seem to be so positive and stress free here.
I was a bit nervous meeting this important spiritual guru, and being very late for our appointment. But that quickly went away after he started his reading. Because most things he started with were absolutely not true. Maybe he had to warm up a little. He thought I wasn't married, but I am. And when that was clear, he said we had some difficulties because Kees was behaving like a child in our marriage. Haha, I tend to think I'm more responsible for the occasional tantrum and being a bit naive, I call it idealism, in our relationship. Although he thought I was a good boss (I prefer manager), he warned me to always listen to the staff, give them room to feel responsible and have initiative and definitely not boss them around. I totally agree with that, and am not doing so. Also he felt I had problems with my neck and back. I sometimes do, but who doesn't. So I kindly agreed and guided him to focus more on my throat and my stomach, where I believe the real issues are. He did his voodoo magic and promised me a long, happy life, with Kees.
So the whole experience was very interesting, and I did leave with some new insights. I have to admit to feeding him most info after the first dead ends, and that helped a lot. Now he found the right track and told me I would build my own, very successful business within 5 years. This business would be meaningful to many others besides ourselves. We would give back to society and become rich in the process. Which would make it possible to even give back more and so on. Indonesia would be ideal for this, as I fit in perfectly with the local people. I feel love and see opportunity here. But it can also be somewhere else. Anywhere except Holland. I will always feel a strong connection with my homecountry and especially with the people that are still surrounding me there. I will try my hardest to keep those relations strong, but I don't want to live there anymore. I should drink more water and become more active in sports, yoga and meditation. Maybe I can become a teacher in this myself. Being active is important to me. Without it, I burn or bore out quickly and get very tired of my surroundings. This because I sponge up and give a lot of energy. My body is in good health, no blocks or scary diseases, the 7 chakras are fine. I'm a very positive spirit and should fill my heart with even more love. The stress does need to come out though. 2020 will be a very promising year, in which everything will change and skyrocket into my greatest success.
So there you have it. True or not, hearing this does inspire. Now let's see if I can make all of this true.
I also planned a couple of days in the Bali Silent Retreat to top all of this spiritualness off. Turns out that this really isn't my thing. Don't get me wrong it could be yours and so many people are ecstatic about the experience. My timing to go in this silence mode, wasn't the best so also didn't help. Anyway, the views and simplicity were wonderful. I slept in a bed that I just couldn't fit into, in a simple room with jungle views and an open sealing. This meant I could hear everything my neighbours were doing. And they could hear me, so I was sneaking around in my room and waited till I thought everyone was out for my toilet breaks. I felt imprisoned, there were so many rules and you were on your own, but in an area where you'd have to be very close to others. It mostly triggered my rebelliousness and I'm not sure that's what suppose to happen in a tranquil place like this. Three times a day (delicious vegan) food was served and you'd get your plate and cup out of the cupboard, with your matching number. I went to sleep right after dinner and got woken a couple of times when I would try to turn or when another guest was getting ready for bed. At the end of this retreat I was a zombie. When I checked out I shared a cab with this interesting Norwegian writer, and I was sad I would have missed her interesting stories if we would just only had been silent.
Get up stand up, stand up on your wave
So the silent retreat didn't do it for me. But surfing did. Well, surfing, surfing.. I almost cried on the second day when my arms felt like they would fall off and the waves were three times the size they were the day before. Desu would keep pushing, screaming enthusiastically 'Peddle, Peddle!!!!' Easy for you to say, with your crazy perfect body and muscular arms. But I would take sessions every day from this local, happy life, no worries, surf teacher/shrink. I was actually happy when the waves were too shitty for a while, and I could just be on the water chilling and talking about life. In the future I would rent a surf board to only do that. After surfing we hung out with Desu's surfing buddies and drank Johnny Walker and Bintangs at 11.00. I learned the importance of bullshit, combined with being genuinely concerned and active in for example solving the plastic problem. But mostly to always see the beauty of life, nature and friends, which helps not stressing about anything beyond your control.
Before I went to Bali I also knew I would get two more tattoos. From the same shop that did my turtle. Superfriendly for their dogs and customers, professional, not yet vegan, but very understanding about it. My newest; a star for Bintang and all animals I will try to help but not always be able to save. And a barcode, with animals escaping from it. Pretty obvious statement I think. Love them!