At the peak of Mount Batur (pictured above), an active volcano in the heart of Bali, I watched the sun rise over the distant mountains of Lombok. After a grueling hike in the darkest of nights, with only the stars and tiny little flashlights to guide our way, the burst of golden red on the horizon was like a gift from the angels. The volcano, in all of her glory, ignited in me a fire that doesn't seem to be going out any time soon. <3
So for the past month, I have been living (and I mean L I V I N G) in the mountainous jungles of Bali, near a tiny village called Lawak. Alongside 13 of my Shakti sisters, I delved deep... deep into the jungle, deep into the ocean, deep into my heart, and deep into the divine. Sitting here now, trying to put my experience into words, feels like a futile endeavor. So I'll press pause on the wordiness and simply say HOLY SHIT WHAT A MONTH! :)
The past few days, I've been debating whether I wanted to start up the blog again... I went back and forth quite a bit, but in the end, the decision was surprisingly easy to make. Sunday morning rolled around, I woke up and immediately felt ready to open the blessings back up again and finish what I started.
So here I am, sitting in a magical cafe in Ubud called Soma, writing my first post in a month.
Its hot. SO HOT. The air is heavy and close. I have sweat pouring down my legs just sitting still. I just finished a magnificent lunch of a banana, raw cacao and spirulina smoothie and a plateful of greens, steamed pumpkin with sesame, tempe and peanut sauce. My insides are perfectly primed to fuel my return to the bloggy train!
I re-read the blessing just a moment ago, and yet again I am in awe of the synchronicity of it all... A Meditation on Endings... I am certainly at an ending.
"Often what alarms us as an ending, can in fact be the opening of a new journey"
I am certainly at the opening of a new journey.
But it also feels like the same journey... I'm walking the same path I've always walked: my path. So I wonder, can an ending be an ending and a beginning and nothing all at the same time? In my present moment, the answer is yes.
One of the many and major blessings from this past month was the gift of alternative education. I was given free reign to learn, grow, integrate and express myself with true authenticity. I didn't have to scour textbooks if I didn't want to, or cram for tests, or stress about a presentation. Instead I got to celebrate ME and the unique way that I learn.
So basically, that just means that I got to draw, and sing and dance. I got to talk, and cry and be perfectly still. I got to be sleepy, and grumpy and ferociously sexy. I read and didn't read. I wrote and didn't write. I philosophized and made dirty jokes. I snuggled and sought out complete solitude. But above all I learned, and I grew, I integrated and I expressed.
The photos smattered across this post are some of the (photographable) pieces of art that came out of me during the training.
Golly, I'm really struggling with what to write here. I've written probably three completely different paragraphs and then promptly deleted all of them, haha. I'm totally out of practice! Part of me wants to write about every incredible little detail of the training: what we studied, how we experienced it, the projects we did, the gifts we shared... but that task is far too daunting. Plus, my words would definitely not do any of it justice.
Then there's part of me that wants to write all about the adventures we went on: the water palace, the ceremonies, the blessings, the scuba diving, the volcano, the dolphins, the burning... but again, that task is way too huge to take on. And let me tell you, this heat makes my brain lazy :)
So here's the deal... if you want to know about the month I've had, send me an email, join me for a meal or a drink, come have a cup of tea in my apartment... we'll talk :) It'll be way more fun that way. I'll not only have my words, but I'll also be able to gesticulate, move my face around, play with the volume of my voice and the length of my vowels... way more options than what I have beneath my fingertips here!
I kept up with my daily doodles all the way up until we had a 3-day silent meditation retreat - no talking, writing, reading, singing... We gave up all of our habitual forms of self-expression and processing to see what emerged out of the stillness.
In keeping with the synchronicity of everything, I completed my doodle journal the night before our silent retreat began. It felt so right to put the finished journal aside for three days, come to my meditation stripped down and simple - just me. No doodles, no words, no art to get tangled up in the purity of my Self. And then to start a fresh, new, clean journal after we broke silence was just perfect.
"...a new beginning that we could never have anticipated and one that engages forgotten parts of the heart."
So here's the finished product... 51 days worth of words and doodles... a strange, swoopy memoir of the first half of my 2014 adventure in Southeast Asia...
So there you have it! The doodle journal in its entirety. Wow. <3
I'm planning to continue posting normally from here on out. I will be in Indonesia for a bit longer though, so it all depends on wifi and such! But I'll do my best to stay consistent :) Thanks for coming back and reading after a long hiatus <3
Stay tuned for a new blessing tomorrow!