Feeling the fear, doing it anyway

I got this video link today. Amazing. Watch it!

A humble authentic singer

What a wonderful world!

I’ve used that song by Louis Armstrong in several of my slide shows, photo’s of highlights of my life’s experiences. Take a break from whatever you are doing and enjoy the planet for a couple minutes!


Persistence, surrender and listening

I’ve been exercising my entire adult life. Lately, since my road bike bit the dust, my primary form of exercise has been mountain biking. For two years now, I’ve hardly ridden. Last summer was a blur of taking care of mom and dad while surviving myself. I got in one trail ride last year.

I do have an old hard tail (front shock only) mountain bike, put slick tires on it and it’s perfect for riding around town. Needing, wanting, craving, starving for exercise (pick a word), I pushed myself to get that old bike out, tune it up, lub it up and start riding around June 1. At first, a 20 minutes ride felt like a lot. My legs ached. My heart raced, my body acclimated to exercising again. And, I began gently.

Recently, I craved getting back on the trail. My old bike felt worn out, I hadn’t found an affordable or satisfactory replacement for it, so I tuned it up and took it out for a spin! My second ride in two years, on a trail outside Lyons Colorado which heads generally “UP” for 40 minutes or so. I had spots in mind, old landmarks from previous spring rides when I was out of shape and conditioning. Those spots lurked in my mind as suitable distances for my first ride. Up and up I rode, my bike making noises, the wheel rubbing on the frame and me noticing how centered and balanced my body felt on top. I stopped to check the frame rub and readjusted the rear wheel. No improvement.

Up I rode, listening, looking, savoring and enjoying. Suddenly, I was at a turn, the last benchmark I had in my mind as a remotely possible destination. Suddenly, seemingly effortlessly, I was there and going beyond. Amazing! And I was and am very grateful for my body supporting me so well. When I stopped, I found the reason for the wheel rub. Turning the bike over, I heard a clinking noise. It was the sound of a broken spoke nut. Being mechanically inclined, I tuned the wheel spokes so they wouldn’t rub. After my 30 minute climb, I was ready to return anyway.

Obsolescence and trends

I visited two bike shops in town. The first didn’t have any parts although they strived to be helpful. The second felt a bit insulting. What, fix it, it’s an old bike. Really old! What are you doing riding an old bike when there are so many innovations and new bikes available? You need a new bike. NO HELP! Just insults or it felt that way to me.

What am I doing riding this bike? It works for me, has done everything I wanted in a mountain bike, has been ridden as much as 10 hours a week, and persists. It does exactly what I want it to! Buy a new one because this one is old, when did that become the norm?

To the rescue

I called Performance in Boulder and they thought they had the parts available. I left the bike with them to fish out the old broken off piece. I’d attempted that at home but didn’t want to damage the threads so left it to the experts. They told me to expect a bill between $35 and $45. Today, the call came: “we are sorry but we can’t fix your bike”!

Disappointed, I went back to mowing the lawn which is a form of meditation. During that meditation, I was noticing my feelings and decided to not be disappointed but hopeful. You never know! And it is nearing the time where I really need to get a new bike so, maybe this is a message?

I picked up my bike and decided to try a different tact, McGuckins Hardware. After all, they say “if we don’t have it, you don’t need it”. Why not? I had a number of eager conspirators brainstorming with me. Tools and thread count, reverse threads, drill bits, custom work at their shop. But nothing worked. I left feeling surrendered. Surrendered but not “given up”.

I realized that I was persevering in spite of the odds. Four shops now told me it couldn’t be fixed. Who was I to question that. The “experts” at Performance made a gallant try but damaged the threads so I wasn’t even sure I could get a new one in?
But I let it float around.

Surrender means to me that I’m not attached. Last summer while caring for mom and dad, I wrote about the three “non’s” that helped me maintain my strength and perseverance: non-resistance, non-attachment and non-judgment. I was practicing that once again

Surrender and being receptive
Surrendered, I listened. “Where to go next”? I was going to head to the Sports Garage but first decided to drive up Pearl Street and find the GoLite shop. On the way, a casual glance to the right noticed “Full Cycle”, a bike shop. I didn’t know they were there. Around the block, in the door, depositing my bike and Paul was on it. He didn’t know but would give it a best shot.

I wandered about looking at gear. Within 10 minutes, he came out with my wheel, new spoke nut in place, wheel trued and properly balanced, two extra parts for me in case I need them and all for $10. The impossible just happened. Paul was my Wizard! And off I go.

I didn’t struggle or fight or complain. I let go of negative feedback quickly and reflected internally on what felt true for me. When all else failed, I surrendered. In surrender, I continued to listen and that’s when the “Full Cycle” popped up and grabbed my attention. In the absence of pushing or of disappointment, I remained open and POOF…magic happened.

Once again, I’m grateful and amazed!

What do you want to “Birth” in 2012?

Welcome to 2012! As this new year begins, I’m reflecting on what I appreciate from my life in the past year and what I’d like to birth more of in the coming year. Several years ago, a friend talked with me about “birthing” energy, the energy present around the time of birth. She recommended using that rich time to get clear on what I wanted to birth into my next year. I feel the same energy around the first of the year, the “birthing” of a new year.

Foundation: for me, the foundation of birthing is to come from a place of fulfillment rather than a place of lack. My life works! There are so many amazing things, people, moments, comforts and experiences that enrich my life already. I spend time reflecting on what I appreciate and am grateful for before launching into a “birthing” process.

I attempt to start each day with this process as well. Talking with a dear friend years ago, she spoke of “walking in Thanking”, living each day in the energy of thankfulness and gratitude rather than focusing mostly (or exclusively) on what is lacking or not working. Each day, I begin by thanking Spirit for another day. And the list of things I can be grateful for flows from there. My home has warmth, running water, instant hot water, clothing and food which would be AMAZING to much of the world! WOW!

Ten years ago, I was crossing the border of Belize into Guatemala with my backpack. As I got off the bus, I was accosted by a pack of touts selling transport, wanting to change money, offering tours, etc. I noticed one young man who stood out from the rest of the crowd. He was offering shoe shines and carried a wooden box with supplies over his shoulder. Watching him walk across the parking lot, I noticed he had no shoes. Ironic I thought yet industrious!

The Risk: The risk of not starting with appreciation is coming from a place of lack. Feeling insufficient, unfortunate, lacking, mistreated, unworthy and so forth attracts like energy. Like a person who suffers from a sinus infection is unaware of all the parts of their body and life that are working, coming from lack ignores all the moments in life, health, relationship, magic and joy that are working. It’s a much stronger position to birth from when you can identify what you have to appreciate and building from there.

Want what you desire, not what you’ve been talked into wanting: When I was offering in-service workshops for school’s across the US, I read “The Winning Family” for a different perspective. Two things in that books struck me. First, the notion that “first you form your beliefs and then your beliefs form you”. If they are positive, expansive and nourishing beliefs, that’s good. If they are limiting, negative, restrictive and based on struggle, they are not valuable or useful to maintain. The question this offers is what do you want rather than what have you been talked into wanting? There is a huge difference!

So, what do you want, desire of intend to experience or have more of this year? There are a couple “tricks” I use to get clear. First, I want to suspend thinking and rational analysis. You know rational analysis kicks in when you start criticizing ideas regarding how realistic they are. That’s when your “beliefs” kick in and limit or expand your possibilities. Who cares how realistic ideas are? Most of the fun is in imagining which opens space for new things to show up. A trick I use is the “wouldn’t it be nice if” question. I learned this from the Abraham material and it is a wonderful aid for imagining possibilities. Simply imaging something you’d like to experience more of and ask “Wouldn’t it be nice if…….”? Then feel that that would be like to experience. That’s the second trick actually, feeling. The more you feel what something would be like rather than limit yourself to thinking, the more energized your intention will be.

Who’s driving the bus? Jim Collins uses the analogy in his leadership work of getting the right people on the bus. When I read that, I leapt from the bus to the driver. Who’s driving the bus and where is it headed? The bus is your life! Are you driving it? Are you clear where you are headed and what you intend? Are you coasting along on a route someone else planned for you? Where are you headed? Will you be satisfied and fulfilled if you wind up where you are headed? You are giving your life to your current choices, activities and direction. Is is worth it?

If your life is nourishing and working for you, magnificent! If not, what adjustments would you like to make? It takes time, presence, patience, consciousness awareness, support and more patience to clarify the process of your life. The rewards of a meaningful life are so worth it!

Nourishing and stimulating the process: Life has a way of numbing people down. The grind of daily activity tends to pull people back into a life routine. Intentions either pull you up and enrich your life or vanish as life activity bogs you down. Which will it be for you?

I look for nourishing and stimulating reminders to help me persist. Below are a few links to recent inspirations that have helped and inspired me.

Years ago I read a quote about dying. The essence of the quote was that the tragedy of life isn’t reaching the point of death and realizing death is approaching, it’s reaching the point of death and realizing you haven’t begun living year. YIKES! That struck a cord with me! Yesterday, I read a link provided at Grumo on “Top 5 regrets people make on their death beds”. Bonnie Ware, the author, has worked for years with people who are sent home to die. Check out what she has discovered here: Top 5 Regrets People Make On Their Deathbed.

One article I sent out months ago continues to haunt and encourage me. It won’t leave me alone and continues to resurface in my thinking. David Whyte wrote a story about “10 Questions That Have No Right To Go Away.” The one that keeps coming back is the question about exhaustion and “wholeheartedness”. 10 Questions That Have No Right To Go Away.

Sit, dream, write, feel, imagine, enjoy the process and have a great 2012!

The “Christmas” I’d forgotten!

For many years, I’ve been out of the country over Christmas. Today, I was reminded why I like to be elsewhere for this crazy holiday! I’d picked up mom from rehab as she was released today. It took three hours to complete that process. The fuel tank was a bit low so I swung by my favorite spot to get gas. It was full. I pulled completely around and waited for a spot. There were NO other cars at any pump when I did this.

Finally, a truck pulled out and before I could pull up to the pump, a car cut me off from the other side. I raised my hands questioningly but he looked at me shaking his head from side to side. So rude and so much for the “Spirit” of Christmas.

In this country, the “Spirit” of Christmas seems reserved for a few close family members or sometimes for show in public or around work. When I’ve spent Christmas in other countries (Vietnam, Thailand, Guatemala, Bali, Indonesia, etc.), the “Spirit” seems to permeate individual cations throughout the day. A sense of caring and connection strikes me solidly in my heart and I feel such a warmth connecting with people.

Last year, I was on the island of Sumatra in the village of Bukit Lawang. It’s a weekend retreat for locals from Medan and a tourist stop to see the Orang Utan. I sat in the restaurant of my hotel visiting with other tourist as family members started arriving. Wearing red and white Santa hats, they congregated near the front of the restaurant.

Before long, they gathered several tables together at the front and started loading the brightly covered tables with mountains of food!!! At the same time, they had guests move as they lined up tables along the full length of the restaurant to one side. I anticipated the family was about to gather and we’d need to leave.

The next thing I knew, the entire family gathered at the front of the restaurant and wished us all a Merry Christmas! Then they explained that this wonderful feast was for us, their guest, whom they would like to share Christmas with. The long table they had arranged was our seating! Piles of food were served, musicians arrived, music filled the air and the “Spirit” of Christmas soared.

Back here it’s a bit different. Guards keep overly eager shoppers from hurting each other. A new phrase was coined several years ago and continues to pop up around this time of year: “Parking Lot Rage”. Fights have broken out over parking. And now you can add “pepper spray” to the list of things to include in your holiday shopping strategy. Where did all this come from?

When the driver cut me off, I was angry before becoming embarrassed. Here I was getting caught up in the wrong Spirit! Quickly, I looked deep within to release the inappropriate reaction and companion emotion. That’s not what I’m about and I let myself “catch” it from someone else.

More peaceful, I waited until another pump opened. As I pulled to the pump and glanced at the car of the driver who had cut me off, I smiled and chuckled inside. He had a custom license plate saying “Respect Life”. Guess he forgot!

I did too for a moment.

I hope you are filled with the Spirit of delight, amazement, peace, discovery, joy and love this holiday season. Go spread that “Spirit” around to those less fortunate than you!

Happy Holidays!

Gratitude, “being” and a cool video

A friend recently sent this to me. I resonate with the message very strongly. Today is November 29th. I returned to the US from my trip to Indonesia and Malaysia March 15th. The shock of returning was more disruptive than I had imagined.

Everything here in the US is so rushed. People are constantly running about with little time available to “BEING”. The one word I hear most here in the US I never heard in 3 1/2 months of travel: BUSY! It seems that being busy is a reward in itself. But what about living and being joyful?

People in the US seem driven to get somewhere, do something, or achieve something and that driving force interferes with being. A friend in California told me succinctly that she was tired of people blaming “time” for their life and busyness. She explained: people say they don’t have time for things in their life. They don’t have time to eat right, time to meditate and de-stress, time to exercise, time to do many of the things they want to do. TIME doesn’t make people’s decisions for them, they do.

So what is driving the decisions? Often and perhaps in most cases, something beneath full consciousness is driving decisions. Some “should” or deeply ingrained “ought to”, lingering just beyond the clarify of consciousness, is driving decisions. To this day, my father at 89 had an extremely difficult time doing nothing and feels at loss not being busy. He’ll jump up and putz with anything and often for hours rather than settle comfortably into being. Once when I was visiting them at home years ago, lounging on the couch with a good book, he stopped and told me he wishes he could do what I do? Confused, I asked him what he meant. “Sit, relax and read a book” is what he said. He feels anxious doing nothing.

At this moment, he’s doing an admirable job of being because mom is in rehab, he’s 265 miles from home and there is little “doing” available to him. He remains restless. Why? What makes “being” such an uncomfortable state?

When I traveled in Indonesia and Malaysia, I was immersed in being. People had time and were present. If you smiled they smiled with you. Even though we didn’t speak the language, we had a connection. When I stopped somewhere to eat, I could sit and read all day. They would NEVER hurry me out so they could turn the table.

Reflecting on being versus doing, this video showed up yesterday. Here it is for you to enjoy.

One thing I marvel at when I return home: running water. Amazing what we have her in safe, drinkable and hot water that much of the world will never experience!

Have a pleasant experience of being grateful!

Ubud Count Down….

I woke early this morning. My left ear was plugged and I couldn’t near anything from it. Maybe it was the hours in the pool yesterday. Maybe it was seeing Nyoman, the reflexology oriented healer, for two days in a row? Maybe my body is preparing to go home, my ears and sinus’s go through strange adjustments when I first arrive in a tropical country. First, my sinus’s begin to run and drain. Then, my left ear gets sore and often plugged. After a couple weeks, all that disappears. Maybe my body is reversing it’s adaptation for my going back to dry Colorado. Normally, I get a nose bleed on the flight home or soon after, the membrane complaining of suddenly being robbed of moisture!

Having virtually no dairy in my diet with the exception of occasional ice cream bar, my sinus’s are fine. I’m sure the hours snorkeling in salt water removed any thing needing cleansing! With all the lemon juice I’ve been drinking (which cuts mucous in the body), I’m feeling pretty clean. And I’m walking in a green, moist, rain nearly every day tropical humidifier!

I sat on the front porch of my bungalow writing. The internet wasn’t working again so I couldn’t check email or do any surfing. An hour later, I ordered breakfast. It’s so nice having breakfast delivered to me sitting on my front porch by a smiling friendly face. Bayu, Miki and Wayan are the staff here who really know how to serve and love doing it. Wayan it new. Miki has been here nearly 15 years!

If anyone wants to volunteer to serve me breakfast on my porch when I get home, apply here. It would only be for a couple weeks until I can wean myself off that habit! Volunteers….send a sample menu and references assuring me that you can make a great coffee. Well, maybe I can do the coffee part!

Sitting on my porch sipping coffee, I really had to work to get oriented. I’ve got only a few days here before leaving for Kuta and my flight to Singapore. Half my stuff is still in storage at Dewa’s so I’ll have to sort through that. In some manner, I need to weigh my pack and see if it fits within weight restrictions. Air Asia has very inexpensive flights but allows only one carry on and one checked bag. If you pay for your checked bag in advance, it’s cheaper. I paid for 25 kilo’s (55 pounds) when I bought the ticket which is the least expensive way to pay for extra weight. I’m uncertain how much my pack will weigh with shopping and hope that is enough. Now, with the large Buddha, I’ll have to leave many things out of my daypack and put them into my checked luggage.

Pulling my thoughts back to being here now, I sorted through possibilities for what I wanted to experience while still in Ubud. The first thing I was clear about was getting a motor bike so I could be more flexible in my travel options. Then I headed for the laundry.

It seems the entire town is having a sluggish start! On the way to the laundry, I saw that my favorite local restaurant, Artini’s, but it is still closed today. Then, the laundry was closed. I walked back to meet friends in Kafe’, they weren’t there. On my way back to Dewa’s, I found another laundry that was open. Yes, it a sluggish return to “normal life” here after NYEPI.

Wanting to write some more and have access to the internet, I was headed to Moka when I ran into a man on the sidewalk who is staying at Dewa’s. He was so happy with his excellent breakfast, mostly with the delicious croissant! He told me he went to Casa Luna because Moka was closed.

Adjusting again, I went to Casa Luna and the croissant is excellent. The Americano needed emergency assistance but was beyond resuscitating! No amount of milk or sugar was able to remove the strong bitterness which smack the mouth on the first sip and lingers long after swallowing.

My waitress stopped to visit and we talked about coffee a little. She said their barista was sent to Australia for training but was still on break and asked me how my coffee was? I told her the truth. I’ve seen really nice espresso machines all over town including here but they don’t do a very good job. And Casa Luna has a cooking school! The pastries and food are excellent but coffee isn’t all that important to them apparently.

The almond croissant however will linger long in my taste buds and memory as a delicious treat. Maybe I’ll order one next time without the coffee!

Here’s part of my orienting, the internal selection process that’s taking place. After a day of “being” and no doing NYEPI, it is an effort to shift gears. The entire Blainese world was quiet. No airplane passed over Ubud. No motorbikes, no cars, no conversations except for the few conversations at Dewa’s.

I’m realizing that I have looked at so many gorgeous things, I’ve stopped seeing them. I’ve taken some pictures of what I look at but don’t see. Glancing up from my writing, I notice fresh orchids in the vase on my table, a lovely bamboo forest behind the restaurant, frangipani trees bloom just over the railing near me, soft music plays in the background and an eager staff watches for the next opportunity to help someone.

There might be some things I want to add to the color of my home?! So, I’ll visit some markets and this time really concentrate on seeing what is in front of me. In my mind, I’ve censored out some things because I only have so much room to pack. I know the brain can’t handle all the visual input available so censures most of it out. Here, there is a lot of visual input.

However, I’m also remembering that I am here now and if I see something I really like, I can ship it by sea mail. Sea mail is inexpensive but takes two to three months to reach the US.

There are several healers in the area I’d love to see. Wayan asked me to help her get a couple messages out through the internet. I want to go back to the healing waters which I rode by with Dewa but didn’t visit. And I want to sit and enjoy doing nothing in paradise while savoring each moment here.

I’m a bit apprehensive about returning to the US! People live isolated lives there compared to SE Asia. In the US, conversation revolves around stuff: politics, sports, weather, work, being busy, etc. Here, conversation is first person: I’m thinking I want to teach Yoga when I get home; I’m going to change jobs when I get back because I want to experience more….; I don’t know what I’ll do when I get home but it won’t be what I did before because I realize I really didn’t like it; I’m learning that I like….; I’m organizing my life so I can have three vacations a year; My next trip will be to ________ because I really want to experience ________.

A man I met last night, Jojo, told me how much he enjoys the conversation when he travels. For whatever reason, people really connect and look at each other. As he travels, he is also realizing that he lets himself get so busy when he gets back to the US, HE doesn’t have or take the time to connect. Not a good way to go through life!

The pace of life in the US essentially feels like ZOOM! Keep up or get run over! Except for NW Kansas….it’s much quieter there! And, of course, mom and dad are there. I’m not looking forward to leaving all the little individual shops I frequent here and walking into my first King Soopers or Super Target which feels absolutely overwhelming at this moment. I’m not looking forward to the news which I’ve hardly seen here except for occasional headlines but which is dominated by bad news in the US.

What I am looking forward to is seeing friends. I’m going to enjoy sitting on my porch on a nice warm morning listening to my birds. I will enjoy sipping a delicious “Larry’s Latte” made with freshly roasted beans from Stumptown!

I’ll enjoy drinkable water running out of the tap, having my own home over my head, taking a hot shower, doing laundry and getting my clothes really clean. Washing the road film out of my backpack, day pack, computer cover and passport wallet.

I’ll enjoy driving my car again, well, eventually. And camping and hummingbirds and planting my garden and seeing spring bloom and starting a new area of work and meeting new friends and…..that is a long list as well.

Back to now and savoring being here. I’m off on my motor bike to take things back to Dewa’s and then go to the temple on Monkey Forest to see the ceremony. Then I’ll go to the grocery store for some supplies and head out of town to visit a small village that makes batik wall hangings.

I’ll be smelling extra well so absorb all the aromas of blooming trees and flowers as well as the incense of daily prayers offered five times per day. I’ve grown accustomed to the fresh blossoms of Frangipani and may buy some essential oil to bring home with me.

Now, off to experience! The days are dwindling!

Back home in Ubud

I’ve only been in Ubud a few days and time seems to be flying by. Now that I’m here, I’m not traveling anymore. I’ve got no more long bus rides, don’t plan to involve any ferries, no flights to book, lodging it taken care of and my most demanding activity is deciding if to get a motor bike today and where to explore.

Once I arrived here at Dewa’s Bungalows, I felt like I was arriving home! My room was ready, the same room I had last time below the swimming pool. Bayu carried my stored pack to the room for me. After a quick change, I plunged into the pool to relieve the heat on what has been the hottest day of my trip so far. Not the muggiest but the most intense heat. I’ll soak a bit of that for my friends struggling with another cold wave this week in the US.

I’ve found several local warung, small family owned restaurants, that serve tasty and inexpensive food. Now I know where to go for a treat when I want a nice cappuccino or croissant or a simple salad and dinner. The warung closest to Dewa’s, I discovered my last visit, also makes chai tea! It’s a delicious recipe, served in a large cup and half the price of the tourist restaurants. They also have free WiFi which is faster than the connection here at Dewa’s. I hung out there the other night sipping chai or my fresh lemon juice, having a lite dinner and writing for three hours.

My first day here, Sunday morning, I had an 8:00 appointment with Eddy the healer in Sukawati. It was great seeing Eddy once again and as usual, he zoomed right in on what was going on with my body. I felt lighter and more at ease all day after seeing him and will go back this morning in a half an hour or so for my second session. There are several things going on in my body, nothing causing problems, just out of balance. And it turns out all of them are related to the same meridian. This morning, I’m having my first acupuncture session from him to work that whole system.

Yesterday was city day, I drove into Denpasar on my motorbike to pick up the new external hard drive to replace the faulty one I bought in Sulawesi. I called, well, really, Bayu called on his phone. Bernard told me the drive was in and sitting on his desk.

There was no hurry really in going to get it! However, it felt important to complete this “Mission” and have it out of the way. I left feeling a little more confident in knowing where I was headed. As I followed the correct turns and got on the main road heading all the way into Denpasar, a rider pulled up beside me and gave me a thumbs up. Then he slowed and asked me where I was going. When I told him, he confirmed I was on the right road and told me what sign to look for before saying good bye and turning off the road. It seemed I had help before even asking this time!

It didn’t take long reaching Denpasar this time and I didn’t get lost on the way! That quickly changed when I made a wrong turn and eventually had NO idea where I was and began repeating the process I’d learned earlier of asking everyone for directions.

Here’s the cycle: stop ask and get closer; stop, ask, confirm and get a little closer; repeat until arrival. I got to the place and was out 9 minutes later with my new hard drive. I wasn’t at all sure that my communication last time was clear, had send a confirmation email to Bernard and never heard from him. I didn’t know if I was getting an exact replacement or if he understood I wanted the upgraded model.

He grabbed a box that looked just like the one my old drive came in and I decided to be OK with whatever he had gotten for me. Then, I noticed it looked different, smaller and more compact. He brought it to the computer, plugged it in, tested it and handed it to me. I paid him the extra $5.00 US for the drive, a much lower price than if I purchased one retail and left.

Outside, I debated getting on my motor bike and heading straight back for Ubud? Since I was already here and remembering what persistence did for me last time, I decided to head off for the market and to look for glasses. Asking directions, I was lost in a few turns. Asking again, and turning some more, I was more lost. Into a computer store and they turned me around telling me to turn left at the next round about. There were six streets coming into the round about and I wasn’t sure which left to take?! So, I took the next left.

Down a tiny side road knowing this was no where near where I wanted to be, I stopped at a paint shop. One poor lady came out of the office and was completely confused by my question in English. I knew a couple land mark businesses in the area I wanted to go so mentioned those. She got on the phone and called someone. Then someone came out of the back room. Then someone came from the back of the business. Now, I had a team of five people, one of whom talked enough English to help and explain how far I needed to go! I set off once again, clear for at least the next little way until I stopped again. When I left the paint shop, I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what part of town I was in or how to get back to Ubud from here. But, I knew I would know!

Eventually, I managed to drive completely around where I wanted to be until I got a one way street the right way and pulled into the parking lot. Getting off my motor bike, my flip flop blew out! Now, it’s only a flop but not completely. I went into the shopping area looking for glasses and decided I needed lunch first. Great choice!

I did manage to find the ingredients in the supermarket for the Dadar Guling coconut desert I love. No glasses, no flip flops, more directions and more stops. After three more stops for flip flops, I found none my size and realized mine are repairable. Four more stops at “Optiks” shops and I didn’t find any glasses I really liked.

ENOUGH! It was now nearly 4:00 and time to go home. I got on the right road and missed a turn. After a long ride, I got in to unfamiliar territory?! It sort of looked familiar but not really. I stopped and learned I was in Sukawati and that the market was just ahead of me. That meant Eddy was just ahead of that! I stopped, made an appointment for 8:00 the following morning for an acupuncture session and headed back to Ubud!

Once again, the pool was a life saver. A quick plunge, immediately cooled off, floating for a while and then listening to my intuition.

This morning, I said hello to the woman staying in the other portion of my bungalow. Her name is Jude, she’s from Dublin, Ireland and living in Melbourne, Australia after having taught English in South Korea for several years. A quick hello turned into a 90 minute conversation. Another wonderful connection.

After my dip in the pool, while I still had the motor bike (which needed to be back by 6:30 so Bayu could ride home), I kept feeling the urge to go see Wayan. I listened, drove over and walked right into Wayan finishing with Jude! We made arrangements to go see the “Holy Knife” with Wayan this evening for a healing session and my friend Mary will join us.

I took the bike back, met Jude for a coffee at Moka Restaurant and we sat there talking for several hours. I walked Jude back to Dewa’s and continued to Artini’s Restaurant and Market, one of the locally owned restaurants for simple, healthy and inexpensive food. It was nearly 9:00 pm but I needed something. A lemon juice and tuna salad satisfied my craving and I went home to rest up for Eddy.

Soon, I’ll post something I’ve thought about since I was in graduate school. With all the amazing connections recently, the idea has popped back up in my mind so I’ll organize my thoughts and feelings a bit and post it later.


That place, the one where “you know”!

Several days ago, I was struck by a way to describe the flow I’ve often written about. What’s the flow? It’s when I wait until I have the feeling, something clicks into place and my being knows what to do or where to go next!

If I’m struggling with options or feel like I’m putting a lot of energy or effort into making something happen, I stop and listen. I’m forcing something that’s not clear and until it is clear, it’s not!

In looking for, really feeling for the path with the greatest ease and the least resistance, I’ve get a sense of clarity. Something begins to emerge from the fog of possibilities. It literally clears itself up. When I’m in tune with my inner experience and listening, it always guides me. When I’m not, it still guides me by showing how difficult and complicated things can be when I don’t listen.

So, how to I put that into words to give a clearer experience of it to others? It is an experience, not a word or phrase I can easily express here and I’ve found words are a very poor substitute for experience.

While talking to Don and Brit one evening, I couldn’t remember the name of the man we had all met here who organized our great trip to Komodo and Rinca. I asked but they couldn’t remember either. I tried a couple names speaking them out loud but they just didn’t feel right. I’m sure you all know that feeling! “No, that’s not quite right” is something you may have said before or something else like “that just doesn’t feel right”.

Perhaps you’ve been in your car driving when you’ve gotten the urge to “turn left here” and take a different path home? But, you ignored it because “you always drive this way and it’s quicker”. Around the next corner or over the next hill, you stop behind a traffic jam caused by an accident and now must wait before you progress. If only you had listened to that urging. Do you know that feeling?

I awoke the next morning after talking with Don and Brit and, as I was packing, his name came flying into my mind. “FIGO”! I KNEW it was the right name. Something inside felt so comfortable and certain, and that feeling confirmed I had remembered the right name. It was like the tumblers all lined up and the lock immediately opened, easily and effortlessly. Some thundering sense of certainty and knowing rose within me, from my core being and I KNEW!

THAT’S THE FEELING! When that feeling is lacking as I consider travel options, I wait. When I realize I’m working very hard to make something happen that doesn’t seem to be happening or flowing, I let it go and look for that feeling. When an idea pops in, when a travel plan pops into my mind, and it’s accompanied by that feeling, that’s what I do. It’s always there and using it requires me to be “here now” with it. What a great ally. I hope that makes what I’ve written about the “flow” more clear for you.

Now, to remember to live from that place when I get back to the US, that’s crucial. What tips have you found help you operate from there or what experience do you have with it?

“Shantaram”, what’s in store for me

Remember when I went shopping to six different stores in Penang looking for the book “Shantaram”? Many people told me about it in the US before I left, even a man while I was waiting in line to be admitted to The “GoLite” factory sale. Once on my trip, more people mentioned it and even some of you wrote me that you loved that book! Now, moments ago, I pulled it from it’s fresh plastic cover and began reading.

In a few days, I’ll be on the island of Flores and soon on Surya Island, close to Labuan Bajo and without electricity. I knew I was saving the book for the right moment and now that moment has appeared.

I started reading it tonight and was captured by the opening paragraph. For those of you who might be interested, chew on this opening paragraph for a while:

“It took me along time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured. I realised, somehow, through the screaming in my mind, that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, I was still free: free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them. It doesn’t sound like much, I know. But in the flinch and bite of the chain, when it’s all you’ve got, that freedom is a universe of possibility. And the choice you make, between hating and forgiving, can become the story of your life.”

WOW, how’s that for a beginning?! Lovely! Now, I’m back to reading.