(me in Bali on my last day)
We lose ourselves, sometimes, to our daily, smallish worlds. Truthfully, my world is pretty narrow. I wake up and either hang with my family or I go to work. I see my friends when I'm able - usually in small windows of time as we all seem to have such full lives between our families and our work. I rarely travel outside of the US. I see things through the lens of being a mother, a wife, a business owner, an artist. I see lots of possibility, too, but sometimes it's the very last thing I see in the horizon with sleepy tired eyes at the end of a busy day.
For a long time now, I've known that I've needed to create some sort of daily practice of centering myself. Since becoming a mom, I've mistakenly let go of my daily quiet time, alone time, journaling time, spirit wandering/daydream/lounge time. Although I've been working on it, it's been really hard to reclaim these pieces of myself, for whatever reason. And when I do do self-care or adventure or the things that reclaim those pieces of myself, I'm still heavily tethered to all the things in my world that ground me. So, although there is always play, connection, and transformation, there is rarely a moment when I feel like life has been paused in a way that I can totally unplug and awaken to my inner self. This is a woman's struggle, a woman's journey, no? The last time I had that kind of experience was my first time at a creative retreat back in 2006. My world stopped long enough for me to find myself again (in a HUGE way) and my whole life changed after that trip. I had discovered a whole new world.
That's how Bali was - like discovering a whole new world. Of self discovery. Of creative expansion. Of creating daily intention behind every day that I live. Like that first creative retreat, Bali was an important pause, an opportunity to totally exit my everyday roles of mother, wife, biz owner, and awaken to all the parts of myself that live outside of those roles. And it was especially nice (and important) not to be "Kelly Rae Roberts" and just be a student, a beginner, an open container for new inspiration and experiences to rush in. I've been getting a little confused as I try and grow and cultivate a new voice that doesn't necessarily belong in the branded "Kelly Rae Roberts" box - a super tricky, complicated thing.
I swam in a ridiculously gorgeous pool. In fact, most days I hung around in my bathing suit all day. Friends, this was RADICAL self-care, self-love for me. I floated there on my back, in the day, in the night, literally counting my lucky stars for the moments as they unfolded. I came home inspired to continue the radical self-care, self-love, self-compassion journey. I'm tired of martyring my body to work, family, and apathy.
Speaking of self care, lying on the massage tables felt like heaven to me. Pure heaven. I will never forget the quiet, the spaciousness in my thoughts, the comfort. Massages are incredibly affordable in Bali (about $18 for an hour) so they were plentiful.
I was charmed endlessly by the way the people seemed to smile from the inside, their friendliness, and simple living. Families were everywhere together. The children were precious beyond precious. As I was traveling around and having this adventure, I wanted to remember how it felt - to bottle up that feeling of aliveness. I want True to grow up with parents that have come alive, that have awakened. I see travel in our family's future, for sure.
While falling in love with Bali, I also fell in love with my new friend Lynx, my roommate while there. More on her later, but she was a big part of me seeing myself more clearly. We gabbed and talked and motorbiked and laughed (hard) and snorkeled and ate and got massages and connected on a deep level. I came home deeply inspired by her - the way she lives, sees the world, parents, and creates. A life changing friendship was born. And lucky for me, she lives just a couple of miles away.
(Lynx, Flora, me)
Another life changing friendship, I can't wait to share all that I learned during Flora's daily painting workshop. Nothing short of transformational. Her gift of teaching beyond the scope of painting (because it's much much bigger + deeper than just painting) is remarkable. Along with all the personal shifts that Bali gifted, I was gifted with a real sense of creative expansion. I have Flora to thank for all that. When I arrived in Bali, Flora told me she had a hunch this trip would be huge for me. She was right.
If you ever have the opportunity to take her workshops, I can't recommend it enough. Life. Changer. Her book is also brilliant :)
Thank you, Bali, for being the reset button - for being the soft landing place for all of my recent healing/inner work. I feel shifted and transformed and crossed over. Thank you for helping me teach my son what it looks like to take good care of oneself. Thank you for giving me the gift of allowing myself to bloom up and wide. Turns out all of the allowing led to awakening. I feel deeply inspired and committed to integrating all the bits of what was nurtured in Bali into my everyday life: everyday body care, everyday spirit care, everyday mama/son care, marriage care, play, rest, sleep, writing, and continued work that aligns with my creativity and values.
I cried when I left. What a huge gift it was - majorly grateful. It's a kind of experience I wish for every dear soul on the planet.
ps: You can read all of my Bali posts here.