I am in Bali to work with some schools and knit myself back together! (A few dropped stitches to pick up!)
I am trying to get away here twice a year to “just be” and plan and write.
After rest and sleep the words start flowing in and the simple happiness and kindness of the Balinese washes me clean of the crazy pressures I willingly take on!
When I can’t stare at my computer screen any longer I walk through fields and stare at rice paddies instead. I watch very old men working hard in the fields, cheerfully calling out to me as I slosh past in the new mud and puddles!
I meet heaps of giggling kids as they run up, ask our names and try out their English. (FAR better than my Balinese!)
Grandmas and Grandpas delightedly cuddle and play with babies and toddlers- no play-pens, walkers, bouncinettes needed here!
I watch the faces of the Balinese women as they watch their kids at play. They take real pleasure in their children’s carefree happy antics. There is time to play.
I am lucky enough to meet a family in a traditional village and have kids stare at me in amazement when I ask them, “Do you have much homework today?”
I request a coconut juice and the guy climbs up, picks me a perfect coconut, chops off the top and hands it to me. The warm, sweet juice is about as close to heaven on earth as i can imagine.
People here are not concerned about
- wasting time
- using spare time wisely
- filling up every minute of the day
They don’t proudly describe themselves as SO BUSY.
Time has a different meaning here. Balinese people truly do know the thing we have forgotten-
HOW TO JUST BE
Everything is on a different time-line here.
It’s like entering another dimension. There IS time to think, reflect, chat, meditate and solve problems at a deep level.
I’m not naïve or romantic enough to think there are no problems here. Of course there are major poverty, sanitation and water supply difficulties etc but the rituals, ceremonies and nurture of village life help people KNOW they belong and are loved.
Kindness dwells here.
We are here for a full moon celebration and watch lines of white clad men women and children joyfully join another village to celebrate. They walk along tracks and through rice paddies with a single purpose- to unite, celebrate the joy of this special celebration and spread blessings.
I know one thing -the Balinese HAVE got it right. They know better than to sacrifice their entire lives to the great money god or to become like “machines addicted to machines.”
Bali does more than provide a holiday. It teaches us how to stop, become sane, get off the pointless “busyness” cycle and reflect, think and get back to important values such as kindness, tolerance and patience.
Balinese live their religion every day- rather than appearing for a fast “feel-good” pharisaic hour on Sundays.
They deserve their happiness. Coming here is worth thousands of self-help seminars and books. To BE happy we need to BE with happy people and study them deeply.
There is a tangible beauty of spirit here that we lack.
They get stuff done- but at a rate that allows reflection, smiles, chats and yes- happiness!
It’s not too late to dismantle the “busyness cycle “ and allow a small stream of Bali sanity, warmth and friendly spirit to creep in.
It could transform your lives- just one week of it has transformed mine!
To get my experience try Putri Ayu cottages (super cheap, massive room and huge private balcony and best vegetarian brekky ever!) JL Bisma, Ubud , and Wayan Suweca – best guide ever if you want to dive deep below the surface of Balinese culture- he taught us so much! (facebook: Bali Hidden Paradise Tours)