My teachers, Oliver and Alicia have the sweetest and most amazing little girl I’ve ever met.
Truly. She is 4 years old and is so articulate and mature yet still so pure and childlike.
The other day was rough bc my knee was hurting during yin yoga practice. This is supposed to be a more restorative practice of deep stretching with “less work”. But working less is a challenge for me.
At some point my knee made a loud pop and although it didn’t really hurt that much it surprised me and I started to cry. ( apparently crying in these types of classes is quite common bc deep stretching can bring up emotions and memories that frustrate, anger or sadden us)
I was frustrated. And angry. So the tears flowed.
I wanted to leave but I chose to stay and just lay down. Olivia came in to the room to sit with mom and saw me crying. She came over to my side and gave me this little book with a sticker on top and said, “Here this means friend” I said thank you ( more tears, but now of the happy kind) and she politely said, “ok im gonna go now” off she went.
A little bit later I heard her return but I was lying down eyes closed.
When I sat up at the end of class I noticed she placed a small bag of trinkets and little toys down beside me.
She asked if I liked my present. “Of course” I said. But she’s a child after all and I hated to take her toys…and I figured she ( like most kids) wouldn’t really want to let them go. So I said,” thank you so much. But I hate to take your toys. Why don’t you keep it and we can play with them together.”. She simply smiled and said ” No you keep it. It’s your present” and then as she walked away she said “I don’t need all that stuff,”. Ha. Such wisdom and kindness in such a small package.
We should all be so generous and compassionate. And we could also all probably remind our selves from time to time, that we too “don’t need all that stuff”.
A child’s kindness and wisdom-presents from Olivia November 7, 2012
My teachers, Oliver and Alicia have the sweetest and most amazing little girl I’ve ever met.
Day 3 November 5, 2012
After class and breakfast this morning I wanted to do some exploring. The place I’m staying is beautiful but it also has a more “western” vibe bc the entire villa was rented out by the yoga program so with the exception of visiting day trippers it’s just us. And we’re all pretty much from north America, Europe or Australia.
When I arrived it was dark so I didn’t get to see the surrounding area.
As I walked up the steep and winding road I started to really feel it: I’m in Bali:)
Here are some of my favorite sights of the walk.
Finally I have arrived! November 4, 2012
The flight to Denpassar was easy. I’m a super duper corny cheese ball so I watched eat pray love on the plane. Thought it would get me pumped or something like that:)
I was greeted by yande a balinese man born and raised in Ubud. He held a sign for me at the entrance and that was kinda fun. He was so kind and warm. I sat in the front at his suggestion, I’ve learned that’s the standard here. There is no back seat/class division here.
It was nice too bc it made it easier to see the sights.
I had prepared for the worst as the hotel website describes the drive to Balian beach as “the most treacherous drive you will ever experience in your life”. I’ve now learned that this place used to be really off the map and secluded. More and more tourists are discovering it so I think they actually want to deter those less grateful or gutsy visitors so as to keep the place hip and secluded.
Driving here is rather insane bc there are hundreds of scooters bobbing and weaving at rapid speeds in and out of the lanes. I marveled as the scooters often carried a very poised Balinese woman sitting side saddle on the back acting completely unfazed by the speed or bumps in the road.
The streets are lined with small markets and food stands almost the entire way. The drive was about 2 hours and I took the time to get a quick lesson in Balinese phrases and cuisine. Regretfully I have forgotten them at this moment! But I did write them down so I’ll have to review my notes.
Upon arrival i was directed back to Alicia’s house (she’s the head teacher here). I was overwhelmed to walk up to see all of my classmates seated in a large circle having an info session. I was greeted with so much enthusiasm but it was somewhat difficult to process. It’s a bit disarming to walk in to a room full,of people who all know your name but you don’t know theirs. As someone who is rather shy/reserved upon first introduction this was kind of like my worst nightmare. It was almost like walking in to a surprise party. You are touched and happy for the gesture but overwhelmed with how to react. What face do I make? Who do I make eye contact with first? Do I look surprised/happy/appreciative enough?
All in all though it was a wonderful welcome. Afterwards Jolie, the teacher assistant who I like to refer to as camp counselor, invited me back to the house for some food that Alicia and her husband had cooked for their dinner. The restaurants were closed and I hadn’t eaten anything but airplane food, so this was perfect. It also gave me a chance to just sit and absorb where I was. Jolie is incredibly nice and helpful and down to earth. It was much appreciated to have a moment just to talk to her and get caught up on what I missed at the meeting before diving head first into the name game with everyone else here.
Finally it was social time. Put on my happy face and start meeting my new classmates.
I’m still processing and trying to get to meet everyone. It will take a few days but so far so good.
I got to sleep around 11:30 and was up at sunrise. It was amazing. I was out by the beach by 5:15am. I even beat the surfers. Having that moment to myself was such a blessing.
The next 2 days are “rest” and the real work begins on Tuesday. I can’t wait
So that’s that. I’ll try to keep my posts brief from now on. I don’t need to be the girl who comes to Bali and plays with her iPad all the time:)
So I have finally arrived in Hong Kong. Sadly my plans to spend a few days here exploring we’re foiled by a lady named sandy. This sandy was definitely the end of grease red lipstick, pleather pant version too. Luckily my area of town saw no damage. However much of lower manhattan was destroyed with flooding and power outrages. Truth be told I actually had a great few days “hunkering down” with Bevin, James and Botta as we enjoyed singalongs and scattergories with far too much Crown.
With flights being canceled left and right I knew there was no way I was getting out anytime soon. So the executive decision was made to rebook my flight to depart from RDU so we could drive from NYC to Raleigh and I could make it to hong kong before my flight to Bali on saturday.
We learn that the mystery passenger will be none other than Randy, aka the cowboy from the village people!!!
(this journey is getting more bizarre by the minute). Unfortunately for us, Randy lives in the lower east side. The flooded, powerless, traffic-ridden LES!
It takes us nearly 3 hours to drive from upper manhattan to lower. My meditation and yoga patience was greatly tested as I feared for the worst: that after a 10 hour drive I might possibly miss my flight!
Botta was a champion and we made it in to Raleigh by 4am. Giving me just 3 precious hours to rest before departure.
First stop-Atlanta. The flight was quick and easy and I chatted with a nice older woman who encouraged me and reassured me just how much fun I was going to have.
Now it was time for the long haul. Atlanta to Tokyo.
I foolishly boarded with priority boarding, bc it seemed like a perk I ought to redeem. When you are about to take a 14 hour flight I recommend waiting to the last possible second to get on!
I settled in to the last seat on the plane. A window seat I had begged for since my assigned seat was to be the middle seat of the middle row!
As more and more passengers came aboard I said a silent prayer to be seated next to a small, quiet Japanese woman. Nope.
Up walks a loud, overweight Puerto Rican man:(.
He settles in and proclaims “well we might as well get to know each other since we’ll be together for 14 hours (he laughs. Which in fact he is one of those people who literally laughs after everything they say regardless of its humor or event content).
We’re then informed that they have forgotten to fuel up!! This would seem to me to be at least number 2 on the checklist but alas no.
There we are, boarded an hour before scheduled departure and now we must sit on the plane for an additional 1.5 hours waiting for gas.
That’s when I notice there is a serious cleanup occurring in the row next to mine.
Yep. The flight has yet to even take off and someone has already thrown up!!!!
It’s going to be a long day.
I sleep on and off in my cramped seat and managed to watch/ sleep through a few movies before finally arriving in Tokyo.
I scope out the hello kitty in the gift shop and stretch out before boarding my next 5.5 hour flight.
This flight wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t full and I managed to move to my own row where I could lay down and sleep. The food was quite possibly the most disgusting thing I’ve ever attempted to eat so I only had about 2 bites.
Once in Hong Kong immigration was a breeze and I was finally on my way to Tanya’s. She had a lovely home and white wine waiting for me.
It was late and I was hungry. So I got to sample the local culinary delights….
That’s right. I flew halfway around the world and had to eat Mcdonalds. At least I got to try the Taro Pie. The hong kong alternative to the apple pie:)
Sleep was good and I awoke amazingly refreshed at 7:15am.
Next stop: BALI
Why Bali Why now September 20, 2012
This is a journey of self-exploration. Pushing myself to boundaries that both excite and terrify me. I have often longed for solitude. I’ve romanticized the idea of venturing out on my own and putting myself in a situation where I know no one. Certain that this experience will fulfill me. That this is the missing piece to my own personal puzzle. As the weeks draw closer and my journey gets nearer I am met with waves of fear and enthusiasm.
I am easily distracted. I seek out distractions. Im addicted to them. The TV, Music, internet, the phone. I seek out constant chatter as a way to numb myself and remove myself from being quiet. It is only when I’m quiet that I really go inward and start to see, think, and feel things that I would often rather avoid. However as I prepare to travel thousands of miles away where I will undoubtedly be met by my fair share of silence, solitude and stillness I am grateful for the opportunity to make myself uncomfortable. Im grateful for making the leap. Im grateful for having followed through with my word. Im grateful that I have kept this promise to myself.
Im not quite sure what to expect. I think that is a good thing. I want to resist the urge to figure it all out before hand or develop some fixed illusion of expectation. Rather I will go in to this journey with an open mind and open heart.
At this time in my life Im filled with such a complex mix of emotions that ebbs and flows each day. I have never felt more joy love and hope while simultaneously experiencing sadness and confusion. As a notorious “over-thinker” and “over-analyzer” Im trying to allow myself to release and receive. Try not to find the answers but to let the answers find me.