While I'm away on my month-long adventure I have some friends here to help me share their experiences with adventure. Today Claire from This is Lifeblood is talking all about her reflections from a solo trip in Ubud, Bali.
The first time I visited Ubud on a yoga retreat it rocked my world. It was there in September of 2012, that I finally gave myself permission to just be me. To forget what everyone else thought, to let go of what was stopping me from being truly authentic in the world, and just be Claire Baker in all her inner-health-freak, self-love-preaching, yogini-wannabe glory. While still being totally cool and awesome.
I reflect upon that week as a real catalyst in the journey I’ve been on, as I figure out how I want to live my one precious life.There’s nothing like spending time in an environment that embraces and embodies yoga, organic food, meditation, art and spirituality in the way that Ubud does; the place is a haven for holistic health and it holds an incredibly special place in my heart.
Late last year I trekked back to Ubud for 5 days on a little solo DIY yoga retreat and to be honest, I kind of hoped it would rock my world in the same way this time around. I wanted it to shake my soul and crack me open.
But, it didn’t reeeaaaally do that.
I didn’t feel the same raw excitement I had felt last year when I’d discovered Ubud; the abundance of Ayurvedic healing centres, raw food and crystal stores plus yoga schools with every style of yoga imaginable had me in fits of elation! I was hungry for change and desperate for guidance and enlightenment. I found a freedom I had never felt before amongst a myriad of like-minded souls.
But, I discovered quickly that this trip wasn’t about aha! moments as it was much more about finding peace, release and space. Expansion. Limitless. Connecting with God. Coming home.
It was in the second of two conversations I had in the entire 5 days I was in Ubud (a mini silent retreat really!), with a chilled out, meditation-junkie dude named Mal, that I heard myself say ‘I guess I realize how far I have come this year’, when it didn’t seem a revelation to me that a relaxing time away could encompass vast amounts of silence, coconut kefir and 8pm bedtimes.
A year ago, that notion would have both excited and terrified me. A year later, I now recognize it as apart of me. So much of what rocked my world about Ubud a year before, has become my norm now. I have successfully integrated so much of what I had fallen in love with, into my daily life. Which is both totally cool and awesome. Mal thought so too.
Plus, last year I was dreading returning home to my "not exactly soul satisfying job", while this time around, I went back to work on Sunday because I love what I do!
So what else did I realise?
- Ubod embodies the three biggest loves of my life; nourishment, exploration and creativity. Yoga, food, meditation, art, music, adventure. Love.
- That this time to myself wasn’t so much about assessing the life-changing events of the past year, but about embracing what is to come and being comfortable with the uncertainty of it all. Acceptance of reality; full and total acceptance of the unknown.
- I need to take more time away from my phone, social media, my laptop and my emails. I had neither a phone, laptop or TV for 5 days and it was bliss. I slept better. Decisions were infinitely easier to make. I ate mindful. I read books. I was present.
- Honey and cucumber facials and yoghurt body scrubs are heaven-sent. Where did that forehead wrinkle run off to?
- I love taking myself out for dinner. I need to do this more often!
- I really, really want to write a book.
- I definitely don’t need alcohol to relax anymore. I didn’t have a single drink the whole time I was away and I didn’t even think about it.
- But I do need to allow myself to feel more. I know I’ve been distracting myself with other things. Need to stop escaping.
- I freakin’ love yoga. So much. And I can’t wait to teach it myself!
- I am supported, always. And so are you. We are given only what we can handle and precisely what we need.
Ubud holds an incredibly special place in my heart and returning there, was like coming home to myself. I can’t wait to see what my next trip there brings… Tell me, have you ever had a moment while travelling that made you realize just how far you have come?
Claire Baker is a health and life coach, writer and creative from sunny Perth, Australia. Claire holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design and received her coaching certification through The Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City. Claire works with women who are ready to transform their health, tap into their creativity and make real lifestyle changes.
Her clients (from all over the world) experience greater confidence, improved relationships, more joy and clear complexions. Through her honest and informative blog and unique coaching packages, you can consider Claire your personal advocate for living a creative, energised and passionate life.
Come say hi at This is Lifeblood, her online space to share her passion for all things nourishing, soulful and creative and subscribe to her free weekly love letters. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @_clairebaker_.