And then I just finish my meet-and-more-than-great with a metaphysical massage-therapist and sit on my bike and am struck by an Einstein-like Eureka moment: “I am really just like Julia Roberts”. This could be an Anna-meets-Eat-Prey-Love. Even though, I might not be working my push-bike through Ubud, this experience comes pretty damn close to it. And how contradictive is it that I have always been super judgmental to all those that go to Ubud “to find themselves.” Judging that there are only over-aged American women, looking for a healer that help these ladies pull their life back into awesomeness without the hard-work. Really, that is how I looked (maybe still look) at it. No Spirit-festival for me, I can’t handle that, but who am I in the end. If it suits you. if you become a better version of yourself while doing that stuff that I don’t like or can’t handle, go for it!!
While being in Bali for a bit, it became apparent to me how black and white the journey can be. You either dive into spiritualism, be vegan, do yoga, hug some trees, ride an occasional ankle-snapper wave and practice the new alternative of ashtanga, or you dive into that surf & party mode with drugs, alcohol, sex, and repeat that aforementioned. The island is becoming difficult if you try to balance that shit into the grey area. But that grey area is there, I know some epic humans who have succeeded and it is probably the best of both worlds.
So, I try to leap into that grey-space. I love to dive into the party zone, enjoy myself, laugh until my jaws hurt, dance my ass off and just have genuine fun. On the other hand though, I love to surf and clean and clear my head, enrich myself, test different mediums to challenge myself and my short-comings (yes, I have come to realize that I really do have them) and to feed myself with healthy food. So it is in the end somewhat of a Eat-Pray-Love roadtrip for me. Probably, I will not be meeting my future Brazilian husband on this island but I definitely already met several Ketuts. This is the island where both is possible, maybe even everything And that is epic to realize. I am in a space where really everything is possible, I am in charge so just keep bringing it on. Do the same is all I would recommend: Find your Eat-Pray-Love-Roadtrip.
If it is not the silence, the yoga, the mediation or the beautiful surroundings that should draw you to the Bali Silent Retreat, then most definitely the food will keep you strolling down there. At the retreat, food is included and the words “absolutely divine” don’t even do it real justice. All the food is vegetarian and sometimes even vegan. I was actually surprised that I was so amped on breakfast, lunch and dinner time as usually I like my portion of meat or fish.
The philosophy of the food prepared by Chef Simon is super inspirational and fall under the “Slow Food” category. Either the ingredients are grown in the garden of the retreat or bought from local farmers. No ingredient is bought more than four hours away as it will loose its vital vitamins. The food is prepared sustainable, chemicals are avoided and butter, sugar, honey, milk and yoghurt are claimed from the palm trees in the neighbourhood.
While safeguarding this philosophy, they manage to serve these amazing recipes that are not only a catch for the eye but also a treat for your body. Have a look yourself.
Homemade Granola with Indonesian nuts, coconuts shifters and palmtree honey
Raw Apple Pie
Lentil and Javanese Almond Bake
My thoughts have wondered these days. I though about what I returned with from my experience at the silent retreat. It did not take me long to realize what it actually was. This experience has not only given me a new perspective, it gave me a complete new position towards myself and how I treat myself. I am hard for myself, I want to meet expectations that actually no one sets except myself. If I fail, I am ruthless, a big hammer will go through my head and I can mentally hurt myself because I didn’t meet up. But it did not get me anywhere except for a constant feeling of failure as I am not perfect so will always fail.
My experience in the silent retreat has made me look differently at myself. I want to be kind to myself and not be so ridiculously hard & judgmental. I have slowly been able to shift the course of thoughts and realize that I need to be conscious of the negative thoughts and judgments in my head. My goal is to cast loving judgments. Judge them with the idea that it is ok to judge myself as long as I stay kind. By judging myself kindly and loving, I will give myself the opportunity to become the best version of myself, which is what I deserve and truly owe to myself
We think that this day will probably be the most difficult one for us. Mainly, because of the fact that we left such a hectic life before coming to the silent retreat. We will most definitely meditate and yoga twice a day and as far as we think we will be writing a lot.
There are numerous options for us to do during the day, we can wander along the rice fields, take images of the beautiful surroundings or join additional programs like a chakra balance journey, jungle walks, or visit the hot spring. We are not sure yet which ones we feel like doing and we promise our self to go whatever feels good. Again, we think the night will be pretty restless.
Most definitely we will wake up half-broken, as we want to get up at 5 to join the meditation class. We feel awkward, as usually we have quite a bunch of people around so not talking will feel weird. Meditation is completely new to us, we are kind of scared of it but also like the challenge to really listen to all the conversations in our head. After meditation, it is yoga time. This always feels good as surfing made our muscles quite tight. To not talk during meditation and yoga is probably not that weird but afterwards we will definitely be encountered with our wish to say something to someone.
And then a whole day ahead of us. What will we be thinking, writing, seeing? We think that we will be restless and feel an anxiety to do things or say something. At the end of the day, we are sure we will have difficulty sleeping because of all the thoughts in our head.
As we will be in a silent retreat for 4 days as of Thursday, we decided to write 4 post pre-silent retreat on how we think these days will be. Once we returned, we will get back to you on our experience. So, here we go:
On Thursday mid-afternoon, we arrive in Tabanan. We feel excitement, anxiety and curiosity on what awaits us. This day is probably a mellow day where we will be tired from the long trip up North. If we arrive in time, we will most definitely join the yoga practice, have dinner and sleep. This silent day, even though it is only a half day is probably going to be the easiest on.