Surviving or thriving? Success or significance? Living or existing?
If you described your life, which of these words would you use (not the words you would like others to hear or what you would like it to be, but what it truly is)? Far too often we live in the idea of our lives and not in our lives.
Don’t wait. You do not have the time to wait because living a thriving life of significance is what you were born for.
A place of such beauty, a place of contrasts.
If you look through traditional lenses of success one would certainly note the lack of overt success among the local people. There are no trappings of attachment, no labels or fancy cars, no Gucci or Versace, no constant rushing and chasing that illusive “something” that is believed to bring happiness (unless you are in the resorts, these of course have been adjusted to meet our unique demands).
What they have, money cannot buy, what they have radiates from their faces, it is in their very being – the joy, the happiness and peace that surrounds them.
It looks a lot more like significance to me – it certainly feels like significance. Do they have problems? Absolutely. Is there loss and pain? Yes. Do they strive for more? Of course. They just seem to have an inner joy that rises them above their circumstances, something you just cannot label or take hold of.
So what is the difference? I am cannot tell you the exact answer as of yet but I can tell you how they make me feel.
I leave each engagement with one of the local people feeling valued. I feel kindness and gentleness. I feel their joy. It feels like significance. They seem to live lives that bring them inner joy ,despite their challenging circumstances.
I walk the streets at 10pm through the village of absolute poverty with all my technology, wallet etc, and not for one minute do I feel fear, anxiety or concern – quite the opposite actually. The villagers wave and greet you with smiles as broad as their faces, always willing to be of assistance.
I have been here a week and I understand why people come here and never want to leave. You feel something here that you didn’t know you missed, then you feel it and it feels natural, it fits like a glove, as if it should always have been this way, (a natural way long forgotten in the wake of the race to success).
I am not sure how much of this one would feel at the high-end resorts in Bali that have been structured to cater for Western consumerism but living in this small village, walking the streets with the locals, scooters and dogs everyday has a certain rhythm to it that soothes the soul.
I know that “things” are not the issue, it is our love of things that twists our souls. I know that wanting success is not the problem, it is success at all costs that leaves us feeling anxious and empty.
What does significance look like for you?
The Balinese celebrate Nyepi on the 7th of March and it is 24 hours of silence. It is their New Year according to the Balinese calendar. A Hindu celebration mainly celebrated in Bali, a day of fasting, silence and meditation.
It is considered a day of self reflection and as such anything that may interfere with that purpose is restricted. No working, no lights or fires, no entertainment or pleasure, no travelling, walking, talking and for some no eating. The only people you will see moving about on the streets are the Pecalang, (traditional security who patrol the streets to ensure that the silence is being observed since Bali has a lot of foreigners). Even the airport remains closed for the entire day.
The day after Nyepi people gather as families and friends asking forgiveness from one another for any issues pertaining to the prior year. The idea is to ensure the new year is free from any anger, fear, bad spirits etc. Maybe something we can learn from.
Well now, yoga in Ubud is a whole different story. The variety and options here are limitless – seriously mind blowing. Yesterday I find myself at the Ubud Yoga Centre, really beautiful, overlooking the river, with peace and tranquility filling the place.
Enter the kundalini yoga class. But going back a second – how did I end up in this class? Well, when I arrived and paid for 5 classes the smiling hostess advised that I join the class since it incorporated a meditation session and I had never done this type of yoga before, so of course why not. When in Bali, do kundalini they say.
So there I was, seated, lotus position and all, looking quite the part with my brand new orange yoga towel. Enter the instructor who proceeds to float down to a seated position on her mat and starts sharing what the class entails.
The idea of kundalini is awakening one’s sexual energy so that it does not remain trapped in this lower chakra but is released to be used throughout the body for healing purposes etc. All still sounds good up to here, I can go with that. I can awaken this “trapped” energy.
Then we start, the music gently playing while she instructs us to move our hips in ways I don’t believe to be legal anywhere else in the world. Eyes are meant to be closed but my eyes are wide open, I needed to ensure that I remained alone on my mat.
Well, I have to admit my eyes darted to the door a number of times but each time I thought I could make a dash for it, the lovely instructor was walking behind me with her smooth, soothing, sexy voice and I had to slip back into swinging movements that nearly got my lower back into a brace.
Naturally I chose an class that went on for 1.5 hours and let me tell you it was quite the experience.
I pushed though while eyes remained open but dashed out the minute the class was over. She, the instructor however, catches me in the foyer and gently asked how I found the class since I was new (oh so you could tell). I blurted out that the meditation was great and hightailed it for the bathroom. She had seen me in “there” and I certainly was not having a long deep conversation with her about it. Hell no.
I think that was a significant moment (hahahahaha).
Either way, I can definitely say that I DID IT in UBUD.
Dashing back for another class today I hear you ask?
How would you describe your life?
Successful or significant?
Remember that the real voyage of discovery consists not in only in seeking out new landscapes, but in seeing with new eyes.