Bali is a magical place and I am learning and experiencing so much in my time here already. The air here is thick with magic and humidity.
Every morning there are offerings on the altars, in the doorways, in nooks and small places. Rice is laid out on banana leafs as offerings to the ants and other insects. Incense and flowers are everywhere. Each household has its own temple and mornings are time for prayers and meditation. Everywhere are reminders of the sacredness and playfulness of life.
The local holy man explained that they believe we live in a big sea of God. There is no heaven and no hell other than that which we create here on earth. Each needing the other to survive.
Balance is the key to harmony. Everyone from the holy man to the taxi driver comments that a little sin keeps one in balance....
When I first started out on my path towards self growth, I would have regular bouts of debilitating fear and dread. When it would happen I would question my whole purpose. I began to reconsider my steps and long to go back into the safety of known discomfort.
These bouts would last for days, sometimes weeks. During that time I would end up indulging in a considerable amount of avoidant and numbing behavior. I would eventually make it back to reason and set back to work, but they left me exhausted and always doubting my path.
Now, when I wake up in that cold sweat of despair I say:
I still feel the deep pit of dread. I still feel frozen in my own discomfort without an escape. I know, without doubt, that the terrible thing is still right around the corner. I want to throw in the towel, stop right there on the road of destiny, and sink into an oblivion of Merlot, pizza and Netflix.
So why do I now break open the streamers and strike up the brass band when...
Vulnerability is a feeling most of us try to minimize. Our culture does not hold much regard for the tender and fragile parts of ourselves. We are encouraged to show strength and resilience against all odds. But the roots of this strength lie in the very thing we try to run from, our own tenderness.
Our shadows are the unconscious parts of ourselves. The ones we don't even know are there. They are the old patterns and beliefs running in the background of our mind influencing how we relate to the world.
Often they are formed very early in life. They become part of the fabric of who we are. It is much easier to see them acting in others. Shadows become visible when you see someone having a response that is much bigger than the stimulus necessitates.
It shows up as self sabotage, unexplained rage, crankiness, sudden changes in mood, knee jerk reactions, addictions, uncontrolled cravings and all those things we do that don't make sense.
When the plates start flying on their own we will start to look at everyone...
By all appearances my life looked to be near ideal, I owned a successful business, I owned a home I loved, I had a good partner, I had recently earned a Doctorate degree which held the promise of an even more successful business, I went on exotic vacations, I was surrounded by beautiful gardens and handmade crafts I lovingly created. I was the envy of many of my friends, I appeared like I really had it together.
My sleep was disturbed by nightmares, I woke up anxious and unrested. I felt blinded to the gifts in my life by a deep feeling that things were not right, and that something was dreadfully wrong with me.
I was exhausted, depleted, uninspired, tense, moody, irritable and would often break down in tears for apparently no reason at all. My digestion was a constant source of discomfort. I felt ungrateful and selfish that despite my...
I hear the many voices in my head. My family that instilled the belief that you must work hard for everything you get. My clients who tell me of my healing gifts and what it has brought to their lives. My rational mind that asks why would I leave a successful business that provides a comfortable income. This practice has brought me so much growth and development, pain and pleasure, challenges and resources over the years. I find myself now, on the cusp of a major change in my life, wondering what do I do now.
I had no intentions of retiring from this practice until a very ripe old age. Nearly two years ago now I completed my Doctorate in Medical Qi Gong, which felt like it should be the crowning glory of my career in Chinese Medicine, this medicine I have studied for over two decades now, this medicine that I continually find exciting, demanding and so full of mystery and...