Lets' talk SHOP first! I am in Bali for over a month now and every day I plan on writing about this journey for myself so that I don't forget any of it. The problem is that I get distracted and keep putting it off so today I start this Bali memoire!!
I have a new theory about shopping, it is a motivational healthy creative inspiring hobby (provided you don't max out the credit card and freak out trying to pay it back!) I feel creatively happy when I go window shopping and ecstatically happy when i hand over my credit card especially when it is something new to wear, I want to put it on immediately, go out, mix & mingle and socialise. It is how I would describe power dressing as it gives you a powerful feeling! Note to all the wonder women of the world....dress the part, you get the part. You know I feel I can land the gig when I buy the dress! HA!
Now there is plenty of spirituality, meditation, healing, goddess circles, inner wisdom, awareness stuff all going on here on this Island but when I am excited about life, I want to buy treats, anything from beauty products, household to clothes, but particularly clothes because wearing something new gives me an endorphin kick & a confidence boost & the shops here are wow factor.....call it superficial, but shopping rocks for an instant buzz and it is cheaper than therapy!!
I am buying strappy bra tops, sarongs, silk colourful dresses & long off the shoulder full length maxi dresses. I also have a new obsession for earrings! I had not really worn them much before but I cannot pass a shop without checking out the Jewellery. Earrings are the one thing you can wear at any age to brighten up a face and outfit. They are also such a personal style statement.
My mum loved Jewellery and wore it beautifully. I am only now discovering the fun creative side in wearing it. My first valuable sentimental piece of Jewellery was a ring given to me by my mum when I turned 30. It has a moonstone and says 'on & on' all the way around the band. It actually is the only material thing I own that has real value and matters to me despite my Chakra shopping love for all kinds of non important but fun stuff!
As there is so much choice of cool things to do in Bali, I am acutely aware of the importance of staying present & giving my full attention on whatever I decide to do or buy that day. When the mind is fully absorbed in concentration, it gives the head such a gorgeous break from the constant chatter, the questioning, planning and comparisons. I can literally drive myself nuts from the chipmunk on my shoulder trying to wreck my buzz BUT all those thoughts disappear when I am in a lovely shop surrounded by nice things or doing something creative that I enjoy or sitting still & breathing deeply. Chanting Om on a yoga mat in class is great but I need more than that to tune in!
I am also relieved to say that my curiosity about all kinds of things is still very much alive & kicking. To be curious to try out different experiences, going to new places and meeting new faces is for sure a way to stay immersed and connected in life & more importantly, I believe it is the secret in staying young at heart; childlike but not childish....so I try to say 'yes' as often as possible but I also say 'no' when it does not feel right.
EATING is the best ever here, the vegetarian food tastes deeeeelish in Bali. if you enjoy eating non meat options, they are so good at the veg dishes and they present them so beautifully. My favourite spots are 'Seeds of life' 'Sayuri' and Alchemy. It is also cool here to go out and eat alone, something I would not often do, but the seating options in restaurants and cafes are all designed to make it very comfortable to eat solo. You have a choice to sit on a cushion sprawled out with straight legs (not in cross legged yoga pose) or in a quiet corner where you can read without any distractions.
I am eating a ton more Ice cream (coconut & avocado gelatos) banana pancakes, chocolate but the raw variation because in Bali, the raw chocolate is yummy! The staff often wear matching t -shirts in restaurants which say things on them like 'I love life' or 'Don't worry, be happy'! They all smile from ear to ear and are so polite.
PRAYING with daily gratitude mantras is what I am up to daily coz if you decide not to appreciate what you have and always want something else, you are screwed!
I feel mighty grateful that I took the opportunity to come to this magical place. I have only encountered honest warm good vibes from people for this entire trip, for example, on day 3 of the Bali Spirt festival where there are thousands of festival goers, i dropped my wallet with all my bank cards and a ton of cash. The wallet was handed in within a half hour of me losing it. I cannot imagine what might have happened to me if I lost it for good....felt incredibly lucky & so freakin grateful.
I also dropped my very good piece of precious Jewellery down the sink of my homestay bathroom.The entire sink had to be taken apart by one of the family members of the Balinese homestay I am staying in, they eventually retrieved it and presented it by throwing a surprise party for me, I thought it had gone forever! the relief was huge to say the least but the celebration party was the icing on the cake of this lost & found story!! I love these people.
Another night, My battery died on my phone and I did not know my home address, a guy on a scooter patiently drove me around for two hours trying to find my house in the dark but we got there eventually. He was so patient and kind. I believe the house was only a kilometre away from where we started....
The Balinese believe that living is giving & what goes around comes around. This place has the power to breathe life not just into the body, but into the mind, heart & dreams.
Although the open shopping chakra is very much in full swing and the wonder to try it all is still there, I want more than anything for this calm content feeling to come with me when I leave here & that is my eat, pray, shopping plan at this present moment ....
NAMASTE as they say!