7 takeaways I’ve learnt from living in Bali

Living in Bali is a common conversation topic had frequently amongst friends. We often share similar themes for living on this magical island of the gods.

There are however exceptions to these themes, as there are different pockets of people who live here.  All of which will experience Bali in their own magical way.  But these themes appear to be the generic topics I experience with my network.

Perhaps I’ll break it down;

1.  You come to Bali to heal, for your own personal journey

It’s not called the island of the gods for nothing.  There is a palpable energy here than is felt by all, and if you don’t feel it, you will on a deeper subconscious level.

Ubud, Bali is an epicenter for healing.  From Yoga, to Meditation, to Traditional Balinese Healers, Gong Sessions, Sound Therapy, Massage, Water Temples, Ecstatic Dance Parties, to sitting in silence at a silent retreat.  Bali has an abundance of modalities to welcome all spiritual seekers back to their truth.
Whether we know this is why we are here or not, there is a reason why people come to Bali.

I personally believe deep down we are lost, trying to find our way back home, the home within ourselves.  We’ve lost connection with our land, our people, our tribe.  Sure we call it backpacking or holidaying, I think we are lost and trying to find our way home in some way.  Bali facilitates that.  With it’s wild nature, and beautiful heart-centered people, it shows us a simpler way of living.  Bali brings us back to ourselves gently, or not so gently depending upon how you receive her guidance.

2.  You are faced with your money issues, your families money issues and your generational money issues

Now this one I am speaking for myself and some of my friends who share the same story.  This isn’t everyone’s truth and I’m aware that I don’t wish for this to become my truth, but it is mega interesting that many people struggle here.

For one, working here is illegal, so jobs are few, and working online can be limited.  Many digital nomads set themselves up in co-working spaces.  That’s one pocket of individuals I’m not tapped into.  I did think I was going to go down this road, and 9 months ago signed up to an online Digital Marketing company.  I was determined and positive that this was aligned to me and what I was bringing into the world, but as I got deeper and deeper into the online lessons, I learnt that it moved me further and further away from my values and what I wanted to bring to the world.

There are many layers of conditioning that I’ve needed to disassemble to teach me I can do the work I value in the world, and make money.  This is a whole topic unto itself I could write a separate blog on.
I’ve had to learn to shift from a fear based way of living, into a heart centered.  In the west we have our jobs, our 9-5, our salary and benefits.  These are great and supportive and enable us to build the lives we have, BUT, are these jobs 100% the creation of ours souls desire?  Chances are if you were to break it down, it likely wouldn’t be.  You might find it to be the cultivation of your fears, driving you to the creation of the cushy supportive job that gives you the run off of stuff and things that makes you feel a certain way.  This isn’t bad or wrong, it’s just conditioning.  Until we begin to question, we only know what we only know.

I’ve had to face the harsh discomfort of having nothing.  No money, no stuff, no things, peeling away all the layers of built up fear, face the underlying drivers behind why I’ve done what I’ve done, to build a new foundation to move into the world with.  That shits not easy, and it’s not for everyone, but it’s something that my soul guided me to undergo.

I’m not bound by interest rates, home loans, expensive assets, expensive toys, rents and monthly internet, netflix or electricity bills.  I’ve found freedom.  I know I am but one person, not a family, but these money lessons have been the hugest to date.

I now see through the cracks of society and how it’s all one massive orchestrated control fest.  Rats on a never ending wheel of working to live, living to work.  Being educated the value of a career, to earn high wages, to own the nice house and car, losing sight of the real abundance in this lifetime.  The soil, the planet, our health.  Again a whole blog post could be written here.

3.  Completing tasks that are easy at home, are hard as shit to complete here

This is as crazy as it sounds.  Seriously.  It has taken my friend 5 months to create a flyer for her business.  From working with a graphic designer to edit an existing flyer template, to paying her, to getting it to the printers, has been one crazy laughable ride.  The funny thing is, it’s away perfect.  There is a flow, a yin based way of living here.

It’s like you have to throw your intention to the wind, wait like a boomerang for it to return to your thoughts, before moving forward in action towards it.  Try going to the post office for example; something so simple and easy in any other part of the world.  Here, you have to find your available pocket of time to go, navigate the extreme tourist traffic, find a bike park, await your turn – often a good chunk of time, ensure you have your ID, all required items to post and money.  Because this is Bali, chances are, one day you’ll forget your ID, another day, the post office will be closed, and another – you’ll miraculously bump into an old friend you haven’t seen in 5 years whilst on the way, and miss out on making it to the post office before it closes.  Simple things become hard.  And as always, it’s perfect.

4.  Be prepared to let go of any plan you have upon arriving

Have you heard the saying, you get what you need, not what you want?

Well that comes into form here.  Anyone with an agenda should be prepared to let that go ASAP.  There is a natural flow state here.  Things unfold as and when they’re meant to.  We in the west are so conditioned to doing things on our agenda.  Being linear and masculine orientated in doing.  Go here, then here, then here.  You don’t see the Balinese move like this.  They graciously move from A to B, having all the time in the world, for impromptu conversations, connections, basically enjoying life.

Westerners – we’re in a hurry to get to where we’re going.  Our life is predominately in our future existence.  We are rarely ever here.  Bali will teach you to slow down, to enjoy each moment to moment.  If you don’t listen, you’ll receive a lesson that will slow you down.   A late driver, a flat tyre, an accident, slow service – and a million more examples than I can think of.

5.  You will learn to walk with one foot in the physical reality, one foot in the non physical

This has been one of my biggest lessons (haha another one).  I continue to say to my Mum.  “It is SO different living here!”
I’ve had to learn how to trust life more than I ever have before!  I’m the kind of person who budgets, always has enough, puts money aside each week for bills, expenses, holidays, savings etc…
Since living here, all those have been exhausted and any sort of safety net I’d always have, has evaporated.  I’ve had to make decisions to commit to things before I’ve had the money to do so, and needed to trust that the money will come.

I moved into my current home in that manner, I committed to my last visa run the same way.  It’s like having one foot in the tangible, and one foot in the non tangible.

Abraham (Esther Hicks), calls it aligning to your vortex.  Not getting distracted by your here and now reality of what current exists, but focusing on that which you want to manifest and fully knowing in it’s coming into form, irrespective of desired timeline.  It’s a learnt skill I tell you.  One I’d like to think I’m getting better and better at.  It has been a challenge to trust where my money will come from to pay my upcoming visa extension, rent, bike rental, food, but somehow the money comes, maybe not on time, maybe I have to ask a friend, maybe Mum gives me money.  It’s not always a comfortable situation, but it is rich with lessons in receiving, in learning to be vulnerable, learning to trust, and showing up at the drop of a hat when need be.

6.  Anything you need to learn, that you have missed, or choose to miss, will slap you hard in the face

Lessons are a constant, rarely is there a pause in something that needs to be learnt and transformed.  If you don’t get the message, it will repeat until you do.  Bali will work with your built-in programming to give it to you in a way that you’re accustomed.  If you’re used to dealing with things in the physical; a cold, flu, virus, Bali Belly – be sure you’ll find yourself with one of these.

If you’re used to repeating patterns in your daily experience; lovers who aren’t emotionally available, money problems, transport problems, terrible neighbors, you’ll receive the same experiences as if stuck in ground hog day.

If you’re adapt at emotional release, transforming your thoughts – be sure you’ll flow with Bali, and shift lifetimes of patterns in your short or long stay here.

7.  Bali will release you when it’s time to go

When it’s time to leave, you’ll know it.  You’ll hear/feel the call to go somewhere else, and you’ll have no choice but to take action.  I haven’t yet experienced this, but I’ve witnessed it time and time again.  One of my dear sistas has just heard her call.  She’s been here for 9 months, and about 2 weeks ago felt strongly it was time to return to her home soil.  She’s booked her ticket, handed in her resignation and is now putting the call out to rent her home and find a carer for her animals.  She knows she’ll be back.  But for now, it’s time to go.

It’s a funny one this life in Bali.  We are and will always be visitors to this island.  The longer we stay, no change does it make to our status.  We are still simply visitors.  We can learn the language, learn the culture and it’s beautiful customs, but it will not change anything.  We can commit to being here, as I choose to nearly 3 months ago, get a dog, make it our home, but at the end of the day, when Bali says it’s time, it’s time.

I am in constant awe and gratitude for being here in this magical place.  Not a day passes that I don’t think “OMG I’m in Bali!”  As I ride my scooter from A to B, witnessing the beautiful land people (as I have nick named them).  The dark skinned locals who work in the fields next to my home.  Their earth grabbing wide feet, mud to their knees, carrying epic 40kg plus sacks of grass to their home, their cows.  Their toothless smiles and acknowledgement to my tourist Indonesian greetings – “Pagi”, “Yeah yeah” they reply.  The chanting of Gatri Mantra each 6am, 12pm, 6pm.  The smell of incense and offerings on the ground in front of each compound in my gang.  The pack of Bali Dogs hunting for any form of food they can find.  It is all wildly magical, beautiful, raw and real.  I just adore Bali.  What a gift!

living in bali