This is the combination of all my lifelong passions (writing, travel, and yoga) coming together in one event:
I’m solo-hosting a Writers’ Workshop Retreat in Bali this January.
Ya know the part in “Love Actually” when Colin Firth’s character goes to a lake-side cabin in France to seclude himself and write his novel? (He ends up falling in love with the Portuguese maid? Remember?) Ever since my first time seeing that movie, I’ve been searching for the perfect place to do exactly that… seclude myself in a beautiful place in nature, and just write. I figured, if I have this dream, surely everyone who loves writing also has this dream. And oh my God, I’ve found the perfect place.
Imagine sitting on the terrace of your own private bungalow, with a view deep into a valley of terraced rice fields and palm trees, with a sacred mountain rising up behind it in the distance. 10 days of solitude in nature to complete your writing project, peppered with creativity-enhancing meditations and yoga sessions, opportunities to workshop your writing with the other authors in the group, and private editing sessions with yours truly. Massages and yummy food galore. Swipe to see the view.
If you or anyone you know is a writer (blogger, novelist, screenwriter, academic, journalist, course creator, ANYTHING) please share this opportunity for total immersion in the craft <3 link in bio
When I asked the universe why I struggle to follow through, why I hesitate to take the last, most vital steps, why I doubt myself...when I asked how to overcome this...I was sent this image:
A warrior woman standing at the bottom of a cliff. Looking up, it seemed insurmountable.
And yet, she climbed. She climbed, and sometimes she fell. Sometimes, she fell hard. But she continued to climb, hand over hand, strong legs with carefully placed footing, and courage.
When eventually she reached the peak, she stood strong and tall in her power, hot blood coursing through her veins, heart beating hard, proud and accomplished, fierce. And when she looked down, suddenly the cliff didn't seem so high anymore.
Thanks @arvore.da.vida for channeling, and @daniellebushell for inspiration and photog skillz.
Meet Varuna, god of the oceans, shown here riding on his trusted steed, the makara, in the form of gajah mina, an elephant-headed fish. #dewabaruna
One of my favorite scenes from the Ramayana is when Lord Rama, Hanuman, and all the rest of the monkey army were trying to figure out how they could all cross the ocean from India to Lanka to rescue Rama’s wife, Sita. (Not all vanaras had Hanuman’s epic leaping power). Rama sat down and meditated in tapas to Varuna, the ocean God, beseeching him to separate the ocean to allow them to pass. When after a few days of worship, Varuna still hadn’t appeared, Rama angrily came out of his meditation and threatened to burn the entire ocean up with his powerful, godly weapon. Knowing that the world itself would be destroyed if Rama dried up the ocean, Varuna finally appeared before him.
Anxiously, Varuna explained to Rama: “You are asking too much of me! How can you ask me to separate and allow you to pass?I am the ocean; my very nature is to be deep and wet. Even as a god, I cannot
change the very nature of what I am.”
In compromise, Varuna agreed to allow a very narrow passage of his waters’ surface to be calm and still, so that the monkeys could build a floating bridge across the sea, all the way to Lanka. And the bridge was strong and steady with the ocean below it calm, so even as the army of monkeys crossed over it to a great war and their almost-certain deaths, they passed in joy, dancing across the bridge, intermittently diving into the water, playful: because they, too, as monkeys could not change the very nature of their being.
Shout-out today to all the strong-ass women out there keeping their heads up even when the system seems to say "sit down." To the bossy girls who talk too much, the quiet girls who feel too much, every girl who's been told she's "too much" (or "not enough.") To the leaders and the dreamers and the fighters: you're enough. All of us women who are strong and vulnerable, kind and powerful, fierce and beautiful. Root for each other, support each other, love each other. There's no room here for competition--we're all gonna make it.
List 3 things you're grateful for today.
For me, today it's 1: all the amazing women in my life, 2: all the laughter I get to share with friends (thanks @daniellebushell for making me smile so much all weekend!) and 3: my five senses for letting my heart fill with the sounds, smells, and colors of Bali every day.
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.” –Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
Bhakti = the yoga of love; devotional worship through joy, love, and song.
I remember as a kid, one perfect summer day with an endless blue sky overhead, my little brother and I were swinging on the swingset in our backyard, singing songs from Vacation Bible School (lol sorry
Conor) at the top of our lungs. I remember the purity of that joy, with the breeze smelling like cut grass,
the sun warming our skin, and the rush of the wind as our swings flapped through the air--like we were
flying, like we were elevated, like we were radiant. Singing.
I didn’t have a name for it back then, but today, I would call that a moment of bhakti.
One day, just after chanting to Krishna, @leelahsol.offerings played a familiar “Christian” hymn from my childhood, in the yoga shala in Bali, on her harmonium. And it made me cry.
Something that should’ve been so out of place in my new world was actually so…. the same.
It’s amazing how, through the course of life, our religious views shift and alter, the ugliness of
established institutions rears its head, “gurus” and “leaders” rise and fall, we violently reject some and
earnestly, even desperately, embrace others.
And yet, no matter what we choose to follow and believe, that feeling-like children held by nature, so
filled with joy and love that it comes spilling out in song and dance and art and poetry and laughter, that
overflowing, overwhelming, BLISS--that feeling doesn’t change, whether it’s called Christ or Krishna
consciousness, connection with your own soul, or nature. That feeling is innately human.
That feeling is what it means to be alive.
Thanks @mianmeuthia, @leelahsol.offerings, @analufarina @teresetannerceremonies @vinidevda
@ryannezahualcoyotl and all who inspire me through song and mantra.
Legend has it that Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan, and Penida (the cluster of three little islands off the
southeast coast of Bali) used to be marked on maps with a skull, warning ships not to go there. For years
these islands were used as a penal colony for prisoners from Bali, until news of a powerful dark magic
being developed on Nusa Penida spread to the mainland. The island was said to be the home of I Macaling, the demon of disease and suffering.
These islands are breathtakingly beautiful, and the people heartwarmingly kind. And this is just like life,
the yin and the yang. Now, many visit the temples in Nusa Penida as a kind of pilgrimage, because a huge
part of the Balinese Hindu belief system is based on the understanding and acceptance of both the
lightness and the darkness in the world, the good and the bad, the dharma and the adharma and every
shadow and shade in between.
To me, this philosophy provides a much more compassionate view of the world than the “all good vs. all
bad” black and white mentality that a lot of us have. When you can see that there is good and bad in all
of us, you tend to seek the good in others, instead of just writing them off.
And whatsoever it is you seek, you find.
The Japanese word “komorebi” (木漏れ日) means “sunlight streaming through trees." _______
See how it takes 4 English words to describe the same thing? We just don’t have a word for this
particular gift of nature in English. I remember asking my students in Japan about some of these
“untranslatable” Japanese words, and they would tell me, of course, that they are poetic words, not part
of everyday conversation. But to think that this phenomenon was observed, admired, and felt so deeply by someone that it warranted a word of its own just makes me so happy. Having a word for something
makes it somehow more noticeable, more tangible, and more personal. It's been given a name.
When I see sunbeams filtering through the trees now, my heart greets them like an old friend. “Ahh,
hello again, Komorebi” <3
Back to this view in a few days #nusalembongan
This little piece of paradise is breathtaking in the daylight, all sparkling turquoise, white sand, and green palms. But I’ll let you in on a secret:
It’s even better at night.
In the wee hours of the morning, when the moon starts to set over the water, and all is silent and still
except for the waves, the breeze, and the sweet restless dogs who come to say hi, your mind follows suit: silent, and still.
Learn to love your own company and you’ll never be lonely.
About self-judgment: “I think that part of it is observing oneself more impersonally. I often use this
When you go into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees… and some of
them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens and some of them
are – whatever. And you look at the tree, and you just – allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is
the way it is, you sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way, and you
don’t get all emotional about it, you just allow it. You appreciate the tree.
The minute you get near humans, you lose all that, and you’re constantly saying, “You’re too this,” or
“I’m too this,” or – that judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees, which
means appreciating them just the way they are.” - Ram Dass @babaramdass
"My God, I hope you find love. And I don’t just mean that in regards to someone you
wrap your tired bones around at night. I mean that I hope you find love in every aspect
of your life. I hope you find it tucked into early morning sunrises, and the smell of your
favorite places. I hope you find it strung between the laughter you share with your
friends, I hope it bounces off of you when you hug the people you care for, I hope it
swells within your ribcage whenever you hear your favorite song, or discover something
that moves you. I hope you fall in love with growth, and change, and the messiness and
the beauty of fucking up, and making mistakes, and becoming exactly who you want to
be. I hope you find love in places that were once void of it, in places within yourself that
you could have been softer to, kinder to, in the past . Because if there is one thing I
have learned, it is that love is so much more than a boy, or a girl, who holds your heart.
Love is everything around you. It is everything." - @rainbowsalt ______
This is an image of #love