BALI Four Years Later…

I came to Bali in March of 2012. Today I checked the archives of my blog to remember what I was doing this time four years ago and was stunned. Swirling around me in a crazy juxtaposition of images and feelings was a journey, upon a journey, within a journey!

As I revisited those first months I saw myself the way I see everyone who arrives here from the relentless time pressures of the West. In the space of thirty days I managed to tour a village famous for woodcarvings, visit an organic farm, the Green School, the John Hardy jewelry factory, Goa Gajah elephant cave, a traditional market, a black sand beach, GitGit waterfall, the Bali animal sanctuary, and a school for children with learning disabilities. I took a cooking class, attended a Kecak Fire Dance, a Grand Opening for the new Yoga Barn, and a Balinese wedding. As if that wasn’t enough, I walked to a yoga studio every morning for an hour of Vinyasa! I thought, I truly thought I was slowing down. The thing is, compared to what I’d left behind, I was.

Observing myself in energizer bunny mode dazed me.

Then I pulled up accounts of Dewa, the owner and host at Jati Homestay where I spent my first months. I remember how compromised my feelings about men were at that time. The only good man was a…well, maybe not a dead man, but any male with heterosexual tendencies was unwelcome in my world. Dewa cracked the stony wall around my heart with his kindness and laughter.

Besides an inability to slow down, and a desire to avoid interactions with men, my head was wrapped around the novel I was writing, a psychological suspense thriller that distanced me from my own reality and kept me entwined in the imaginary lives of my characters.

And now…

I’ve slowed to a point where I’d make a slug appear speedy. I’ve embraced and embodied, dare I say mastered, the art of sacred idleness. There is nothing I would do today that can be put off until tomorrow, or later, or forever. I meditate and daydream and spend chunks, huge slices of time gazing at clouds. Have you ever been lost in the magnificence of clouds?

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And let me tell you about men. When I moved into a more permanent residence after two months at Dewa’s, and discovered that I would have a man looking after me literally twenty-four hours a day, the discomfort that arose was irrational and immense. I was Ketut’s job. His only job. Many things crossed my freaked-out mind. But I loved my new quarters and as the days passed I grew curious about Ketut. He spoke almost no English but greeted me every morning with, “You want breakfast now?” His quiet, humble ways and attention to detail captivated me and the frozen places within commenced a tectonic shift. Since then I’ve existed almost exclusively in the company of men. First there were the adorable guys who built my house, and now the neighborhood staff, five of them, like to hang out, play my guitar, and beat me at Uno.

Ketut still manages me and I can’t imagine life without his friendship.

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Two years ago I completed the fiction novel and cast about for what to do next. Many times I’d been told I should write my story. I’d tried, but the tough things were still lodged in a pain place and I couldn’t make myself go back there. All attempts ended in failure. But that was before. Now felt different, so I began. One chapter led to another, then another. I dug through detritus within myself that hadn’t been touched for decades and found it had fermented and become delightfully intoxicating.

Today, as I read the blog and traced those first exploratory steps in a foreign place where I knew no one, not even myself, and superimposed the image of who I’ve become, the magnitude of change hit me. What a testimony to the energetic magic of letting go. If I hadn’t sold everything four years ago and leaped into the unknown…

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bikeclimbhike
    Apr 05, 2016 @ 09:39:38

    OMG! I so LOVE this:) Isn’t letting go just the BEST!!! You are a totally awesome woman and I adore your writing style. You’ve hit your sweet spot, girl, so keep on goin’…..XO

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  2. sageblessings
    Apr 05, 2016 @ 10:04:09

    Wonderful wonderful piece Sherry. You chose one of the most perfect places to do your work….or should I say “non work?” I am very happy for you.

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  3. Susan Wiste
    Apr 05, 2016 @ 12:17:12

    I am so glad you leaped into the unknown and are sharing this inner and outer journey with me/us. Thank you!

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Apr 05, 2016 @ 20:23:11

      It’s so interesting that you used the terminology ‘inner and outer journey,’ Just before I posted this I was exploring the phenomenon of aging realizing the importance of shifting focus from the outside to the inside as the container body morphs into something quite different from what it is in youth!

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  4. Lottie Nevin
    Apr 05, 2016 @ 14:07:46

    You are a remarkable woman and I feel blessed to have met you. Here’s to the next four years and on and on and on! Hurrah for Sherry! xx

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  5. Nancy
    Apr 05, 2016 @ 14:16:43

    Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your life with us. I learn about life from your blogs while I’m in the process of letting go of the past and allowing new things to come into my life. There is so much freedom from letting go of the past!

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Apr 05, 2016 @ 20:36:10

      Truly, Nancy, there is no freedom without letting go, not only of the past, but of anything that keeps you small, sad, or bound to a life that isn’t yours. Each thing you let go creates space for something new. And from the book, “Clearing Your Clutter with Feng Shui,” by Carol Kingston, I learned that my physical space is just as important as my mental/emotional space. That book inspired me to clean out closets, remove storage from under my bed, keep corners clean from dust and cobwebs among other things! Blessings on your journey. I wish you joyous release!

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  6. gerard oosterman
    Apr 05, 2016 @ 17:03:08

    So sorry, your experiences with the hetero male have been so dismal. I can understand the disappointment. One could say; the more I get to know men, the more I like dogs. (Especially our JRT, Milo)
    The Balinese men are mostly different as we discovered, softer and gentleness so obvious. Perhaps they haven’t allowed their female side to be suppressed?

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Apr 05, 2016 @ 20:43:46

      Oh dear. I painted a bleak picture. But I came to all my relationships from a broken place and attracted other broken people. What you say about the Balinese, though, is very true. There’s a deeply feminine side that isn’t hidden under male machismo. I responded to that like a thirsty camel in the Sahara!

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