Finally I'm coming to you live from Bali, Indonesia.
It is hard to believe Aaron and I are finally here. PINCH ME!
Here is a photo from a sunrise walk on our first morning, very jet lagged and awake well before any other people were stirring (we were still on NZ time, so had been awake since 3am!)
What was once just a vision and possibility, is now present all around us – in the sunrise we saw, in the sounds and smells surrounding us each day, in the smiles of the people we zoom past on our scooter, in the rice paddies, in the jungle, on the white beaches and everything in between!
Having nomadically moved between locations for a couple of years now, we know that on first arrival we usually feel a little disoriented and unsettled. We have been to exotic places, and we have been to chaotic places, and it doesn’t seem to matter where we go, the “arrival feeling” is very familiar now…
The feeling of not knowing who is who, what is what, how to do anything, what the rules are, what anyone is saying, the new smells and sights, and the sense of disorientation and disconnection when you arrive in a new place and don’t yet quite feel like you belong. All of this causes a mix of excitement, confusion, anticipation, fear, joy and exhaustion!
I’m going to share very honestly 7 feelings I’ve experienced in the last 48 hours. There’s no point just telling you the highlights, the ‘Facebook’ version of what it’s like to realize this dream and arrive in a wonderful new place, because the reality is that like anything in life, change takes a little getting used to no matter how many times you experience it or how much you want it and choose it.
Just because one is committed to personal growth, doesn't mean you become immune from experiencing challenging emotions. It does, however, mean that you become skilled at dealing with those emotions and utilising them for your learning, growth and thriving. So here is my open-hearted appraisal of my top 7 feelings since arriving (rated on frequency, not preference!). And, for the negative feelings I’ve included my recommended prescription for dealing with them.
Whenever you make a change in your life, that change has flow on impacts to people in your life. Leaving behind family and friends was not easy. While I know that my job in life is to thrive as the best, fullest expression of who I really am, and that by doing so other people benefit to some degree (no exceptions), I still have a part of me that naturally considers what impact my decisions are having on my relationships and those I love.
I am no longer close to my beloved nieces, nephews and godson, to see them change and grow up and to celebrate them. I can no longer provide the practical support and in-person relationship support to my siblings, friends and parents. I can't be there to celebrate birthdays or Christmas. I can't be there if someone needs help. I can only be there in spirit.
My guilt has not been significant, but it is there nonetheless. If I had to use a baking analogy and measure it out, it would be about ½ teaspoon. To deal with this emotion, I use logic. There are times when one is consumed with feeling and the answer is not to feel your way out of it, your answer is to employ logical thinking to see the situation with greater clarity and objectivity. In this case, I know that I must follow my heart. I must walk in this life doing what I need to do for myself and my future, and I must trust that in all cases and in ways I don't understand, this will also benefit and lift up those I love, even if not via my physical presence.
We have no more certainty about our futures than any other person. Certainty does not exist. Uncertainty is the only thing you can rely upon. And, uncertainty is actually wonderful! Nevertheless, the human mind has an obsessive way of wanting to grasp onto certainty. I want more clarity about my business endeavors and how my plans will pan out, what will happen next with the projects I am working on, and worrying about which direction to take on several opportunities. If one allows oneself, worry can become the predominant feeling. This is an ineffective and misguided use of one’s energy. As I said in my book Pinch Me, quoting my wonderful father… “Worry is wasted energy. Things turn out the same whether you worry or not”. Worry occurs when you forget the truth about how you create your life. When I notice worry, I take myself away for 10 minutes and meditate, speaking to my highest self (my soul) and to the Universe and I remind myself of what I am here in life to do and be, and I ask to be guided and supported. Without fail, I always am. Without fail, you always are too. Never forget this fact.
Where am I going to live? What will it be like? Will it suit what we need?
We all want to feel secure and at home. When you are a nomad, you have no official permanent home. Since we sold our house, we have been moving around and staying different places. It is wonderful, but it can also feel unsettling at times. One of the things I am most excited about with being in Bali is finding a place to live where we can rent for one year and unpack our bags! I am amped to have a place to call home. When feeling unsettled it helps immensely to remember that there is no one place we ‘belong’ in this world. We are all children of the planet, and despite the way we humans like to divide ourselves up by countries and nationalities, in fact we all belong to collective society and our home is wherever our heart is. If you feel you belong in the place you are, then you belong. No matter what any one else says. Despite experiencing my array of “arrival week” feelings, I know here is where I belong, for now at least. I remember that all people are one, though we may look different, sound different and follow different paths, faiths and lifestyles, underneath it we are all children of this beautiful planet and all come from the same energy source and consciousness.
If you have read my book Pinch Me, you’ll know how I reacted when I arrived to live in Bangkok. It was not pretty!! On a scale of over-emotional, I would say that I was a 10/10, pretty heinous. Arrival week in Bali has been amazingly calm. I had one over-emotional moment, fueled by jet-lag, and a bit of worry about finding a house to live in that would suit us. The tears only lasted about 20 seconds. In Bangkok two years ago they lasted 2 days. But the beauty about being dedicated to The Path of personal growth and spiritual living, is that with practise you build your ‘recovery muscle’… that is the ability to quickly recover yourself from any situation where your mind and emotions start to own you. After years of dedicating myself to that practise and now teaching that skill in coaching and workshops, I’m able to witness what is occurring within myself like an objective third-party, and then transmute it to an inner calm. I do that with acute awareness and simple meditation which reconnects me to the truth of who I am, what I am capable of and how supported I am by source/The Universe.
When you take a fish out of water, it flips and flops around in a panic. When you take a B and you put her in a new, foreign place, even one as magical as Bali, she can have moments of doing the same. I wouldn’t call it panic, but I would call it over-analyzing.
I see a million signs written in foreign language and I concertedly try to figure out what they mean. I scenario plan and plot in relation to whatever logistics we need to sort out (living arrangements, banking, transportation, orientation). To address this, I love to use breathing techniques where I interrupt my over analysis with deep diaphragmatic breathing and become fully present in the moment. When you notice the present moment and choose to fully embrace it, then your mind has less capacity or interest in wandering off into analyzing.
When over-analysing, it is time to stop letting your mind run the show, and start to feel your way forward. Too often we think when we need to be feeling, and we feel when we need to be thinking. Peace and presence arise when we understand how to use these two aspects of our humanity to our advantage, not detriment!
This is actually the most important feeling of all for me to share with you, and this is the one I am most conscious of mastering each time I arrive in a new place. It is VERY easy to have your energy scattered when you are overwhelmed with everything. I see this happening a lot with my coaching clients and it is what I am most passionate about teaching others to master for themselves – effective management, or channelling, of your own energy.
My energy has been scattered because my mind has been in overdrive, my emotions followed, my routine has been out-of-whack and my sleep got interrupted, and as a result my physical energy levels dropped, eating habits were mucked up, and I ended up feeling very scattered and not at all centred.
My normal routine is to do yoga and meditation at the start of every day. In the week leading up to departing we were out of routine, and since arriving it has been chaotically busy working out what we need to do for getting settled here. As such, no meditation, no yoga, and less sleep than usual with A LOT racing through my mind… it is a vicious cycle which causes you to feel like your energy is all over the place.
This is extremely easy to address. The reason we feel scattered at times like this is because our energy literally is all over the place. When you lose the capacity to be present and centered within yourself, and your mind is controlling you, it is like you send your very real energy output off in all directions like an out of control machine gun. To address this you can use stillness, quiet, meditation, and one very cool feeling exercise… where you literally feel the energy in your body by lying still and noticing what the energy feels like in your hands, in your feet, in your chest, in your legs… noticing the tingling sensation of the energy that gives life to your body. In this exercise you are bringing all your awareness (conscious attention) into your physical body. This allows you to contain and calm the energy, centering yourself.
7. Full of possibility
Aside from the fleeting six emotions above which have come to visit from time to time in the first 48 hours, the majority of my time has been consumed with feelings of immense possibility. When you come to accept that everything is actually uncertain, and that there is nothing wrong with that, then you realize that the field of uncertainty is the breeding ground of all great possibilities. Anything can happen! Magic can happen!
When you face any blank slate, you realise you can paint what you like on that blank slate. And, even better than that, when you realise that you are fully supported by The Universe (it totally has your back!) then you realise that you are co-creating and being helped to paint the best picture for yourself.
On our third day here in Bali, feeling a few of the above-mentioned feelings, I wrote in my journal… “Universe/Source, please help me to see the best way forward, for establishing our life here in Bali. Please show me with signals”.
If you’ve read my books you will know that I have lived my life following divine guidance and much of what I experienced and achieved was down to this incredible co-creation process with Source, where synchronicity, coincidence and messages have literally guided me into the best path and helped me in my personal life and professional life.
And support and guidance is exactly what we received. Aaron and I headed off on our scooter to visit one area of Bali, thinking it might be a good location for us to live. I was unsure. Trying to weigh up where will be affordable for our budget, quiet, suitable for our work, and a healthy safe environment is a little tricky when we don’t know the island or anyone on it!
True to form, the Universe delivered. I asked Aaron to pull our scooter to the side of a road so I could put sunscreen on. We were literally in the middle of the countryside with hardly anyone around. Then another scooter pulled over in front of us, where a man proceeded to place his morning offering of flowers on a temple. He smiled and came over to chat. Next minute, we are new friends and he offers to show us around his village. By all accounts, he knows everyone in the area we were visiting and is somewhat of a central figure, with excellent English to go with it! He then showed us a few rental properties that he knows the owners of.
After a few hours of getting to know him and hearing about his family, we discover that he lives his life to almost identical values and beliefs that we do. Unprompted he shared with us about his own joy of living for the love of life, not living for work, not living for money, and not being trapped by things that don’t hold true value for him. As I stood there listening to him talk, it reminded me of meeting Jao in Koh Samui who we ended up becoming good friends with during our stay, and from whom we learnt a lot.
We will be visiting our new friend in Bali again soon, and he has offered to help us with anything we may need, and I offered to help his children to learn a little English language as a fun way to say thank you and get to know the local people. The guidance, the possibilities, the signals… they are all there if you are willing to look with eyes that wish to see them. If worry had been in control of me, I would have slapped on my sunscreen, ignored the man ahead, smiled and driven off.
When we take a moment to stop and acknowledge the present moment, the present moment opens up like a window with the sun shining through, saying ‘right this way my friend'…
I know that I will always be right where I need to be, whether it’s great, good, tough or awful. I have been in the most challenging of situations, and I have been in the most magical of situations. I love them both equally for what I learn from them and how they forge me further into being more of WHO I REALLY AM.
We do not live to become someone. We live to come to know who we really are and we do that by our willingness to explore ourselves and life in fear-conquering and creative ways. I welcome more of this now that we are here in Bali, and I am inspired to support my readers and those I coach to do the same.
Terima kasih telah membaca! Mengirim Anda berkat dari Bali!
With love, Bernadette
SO PROUD OF YOU KIDS!!! x
Thanks Dani!! xx