Last night while I unpacked and re-packed my bags AGAIN, I opened a folder marked “Bali” that I had pulled out of the file drawer about a month ago. I thumbed through the miscellaneous brochures and receipts I had collected on my first trip two years ago. Pertenin Spa where Wayan gave me the most amazing massages was in there, and the jewelry shop where I had a special ring made to commemorate the rite of passage that trip represented for me was also there. I vaguely remembered having seen some pages of writing at the back of the file. Sure enough. There were my entries from the morning I left, snow so heavy you couldn’t even see the lanes on the freeway, to my return twelve days later. After the sensory delights of the tropics, Minnesota from the air might as well have been Siberia.

Scooping up the papers I stretched out on my bed and began to read. By the end I was laughing and crying joyfully. The first few pages were worthy of a travel magazine intent upon selling the wonders of Bali and it took me right back to the magic of that place. But then I began to wax philosophical as I always do, wondering why I didn’t know what I wanted for myself. I had a firm grip on what I did not want and it had manifested abundantly in my life so far. But why, at 60, didn’t I know what I wanted? As I explored that thought utilizing discovery writing techniques over the next few days the tone began to change. “What if I sold my furniture?” I asked myself at one point. “I think I could part with…” and there followed a list of just about everything I own and the reasons why I could let it go. At another juncture I asked myself, “What if I gave myself permission to write?” What if indeed!

As I finished reading the last page I realized that every possibility I had entertained as I wrote in Bali two years ago, had come to pass in my life. Far away from the appearances of the life I had created for myself I was able to engage with a much deeper and more honest place of knowing. As Wayan’s healing hands kneaded away the fear so tightly held in my body, and the slow-paced ritual ways of the Balinese unwound my driven type-A craziness, I saw that what I wanted was simply what I had always wanted.

I returned to Minnesota and tucked my “pages” in a file and forgot about them. But something infinitely powerful had been set in motion. I began to write. I began to sell furniture, a piece at a time. And I began to imagine a life of simplicity and freedom that centered around writing. I had no memory of those pages. I have never re-read them until last night. The power that resides in discovery writing astounds me! My “What if’s” of two years ago are now my reality and I am filled with joy like nothing I have ever felt before. It is as though all the scattered edges have been drawn in, stitched up, and made whole and I have come home, home to myself.

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