I have been in Bali now for over two weeks. I have been religiously doing my yoga everyday and have had incredible teachers in every class. Today my teacher, who is Japanese had to give the class in two languages as a large Japanese group has arrived at the Yoga Barn. She still was very concise in her instruction, loving in her comments and funny in a wonderful, pure way. And all in two languages. English is her second language and so she does not have the command of all of the subtleties you have when it is your mother tongue. It seems to work well in yoga. Because the simplicity of yoga is what I love. I want to strip away all of the flowery descriptions and just listen to my body. And her kind, loving and simple words makes it so easy for me that I find my emotions are right on the surface. I have found myself on the verge of tears more now in my practice than I have in a long time.
On the other hand, another one of my teachers is American and he is very funny. His class is just as powerful as my Japanese teacher only lighter. He makes me laugh instead of cry and reminds me not to take myself so seriously. He says if you do the pose perfectly that’s amazing! And if you do the pose not perfectly that’s amazing! To be happy where you are right in the moment and be thankful you are able to practice what you love.
My writing has become more reflective because of my yoga. They say if you go to the darkest place that is where you will truly write from your heart and the words will flow. There has been some dark moments and at first I was too afraid to go there. But today I figured it was now or never and I couldn’t type fast enough to say everything I have been wanting to say for years. Even now this is easier for me to write as I feel a freedom I haven’t felt in a very long time.
So I say suksma, suksma, suksma, which is thank you in the mother tongue here is Bali. I still have about ten days to go and I say bring it on!
I recently took an Enneagram test to discover what kind of personality I had. There are nine types and you are to answer certain questions to determine what type you are. Of course, the first thing I thought of when I began the test was how was I going to answer the questions to get the results I would like to see. I think I was wishing I was a certain way but finally resigned myself to answer the questions honestly without being so calculated.
My result was that I was a two, the helper. Although it seemed safe enough in digging further I realized that my behavior encompassed everything printed. I was a two through and through with the good and the bad. Bad? Well let’s say calculated. It was if the test knew what I was trying to do but in the end the guilt took over.
There are times when I rationalize why I do what I do to calm the waters. I really do want to help and enjoy knowing I have given someone information that will make their life better. But I also have this need to be liked and so I sometimes think if I help this person they will like me more. That I am not enough. That I have to give added value to win their friendship.
After reading the information I noticed that I was acting this way most of the time. Someone has Bali belly? Oh, I have crackers that will help that. Do you have Cipro? I have some if you need it. Want a glass of wine? I’ve got some in my room. Need a kidney? What are you doing tomorrow at noon?
I am the one that actually mails a thank you note after someone has invited me to their home for dinner. I mean with a stamp and everything. Emails seem too impersonal to me. Someone goes out of their way to do something special for me and I send them flowers. Not just any flowers. Flowers from the florist that doesn’t use mums or daisies or baby’s breath. There is no teddy bear in the flowers I send. Because again I want them to know I took the extra step to not just google FTD and send them a floral arrangement that looks like it was from a grocery store. “It’s the thought that counts” doesn’t ring true to me because I want to send them something I would love to have.
So where does all this lead me? I am trying to focus on the two at their best. To be sincere and warm but also maintain this approach to life because I am taking care of my own needs. I don’t want to feel like I am missing out if someone doesn’t behave the way I would like them to behave. I want to be able to step back and know I don’t always have to be the care taker and that I’ll be all right.
Two plus two equals four and that’s the number I am suppose to gravitate to when I want to be transparent with myself. I want to find humor and honesty in whatever I am feeling. Yep, I want to lighten up. Because I don’t want to laugh because I’m trying to cover the hurt. I just want to laugh.
It’s the early morning hours in Ubud, Bali and I have finally gotten the Bali belly. I have traveled extensively in my life and should be use to this. Had it in India and as careful as I tried to be it has won the battle. Before I would be going to work. That would always make it even harder to endure but Bali is different. Bali is a coming home for me. For the first time in my life I am taking the steps to actually find what I have been searching for in my own feeble way. I’m more dismayed now because I’m here to really do the work. Any distractions makes me feel anxious and angry, two feelings I am very familiar with but wanting to find a way to chase them from my psyche. And I am working on my time with my deadline. I’ve written three thousand words today and have a long way to go. But it’s my deadline on my terms and it feels right.
Am I crazy traveling half way around the world to find what I have been searching for decades? Is this road I have to take to have the soul-searching question finally answered? The rooster screaming in the background taunts me to get down to business and realize that it is in me somewhere. It is a void I don’t seem to be able to fill but it seems now vital for my sanity. I need to discover what it is I really want. I knew what I wanted when I was young but circumstances did not allow me or I didn’t allow me to find happiness in trying. I have tried all of my life to find the meaning of everything. Of my work, my family, my friends, my respect, my integrity and being liked. Especially being liked. Helping people so they would like me. To know I did well. Somewhere or somehow it would help me to build points so that I would get the things I desperately wanted in life. Fame, attention and wealth. Then I would be happy. Or safe.
Oh the web we weave! The things I told myself to make it ok. Even though I knew something had to change. I gave myself all of the excuses to take the safest way. Not necessarily the right way but it seemed so at the time. Because when the mind wants to feel certain that standing still when you need to move is ok than it’s time to shake things up. As mellow as Bali is it is definitely a place to shake it up. There is a constant reminder of gratitude among the people who have fresh flowers and shrines everywhere and sometimes change the flowers multiple times a day. Inside my room is a large window which looks out at a beautiful statue. Seems like it was placed there just to look over me as I write. So I face my desk to the calming face and I start towards the next phase of what I am so grateful for…my life.