Ubud, Bali…..Yogi central, Spiritual Gurus, clean, organic, delicious food. Fresh vegetable and fruit juices, superfood stores, beautiful clothing and jewelery, meditation retreats, spirit dances, soul cleanses, raw foods, Balinese dances, shopping for days, monkeys, rice fields. I could go on. I overate, over shopped, skipped out on meditation and yoga, paid way to much to a “spiritual doctor” or whatever she is. I found myself in a fit of homesick and active addiction through food and shopping. Ubud, I loved it, but it messed with my spirit. Or I had these expectations and then failed to meet them for myself. If that makes sense. I was going to go and cleanse, do yoga, meditate, ya know the whole shabang. Except that was all too expensive so I ate and shopped- a lot. Just like I was home. It sickened me. Ubud has over 400 restaurants, a ton of which are raw vegan, and most are organic. If you know me and my behavior with raw foods, organic foods, and juicing, this was heaven for me! I couldn’t get enough. Literally. I am still pretty disappointed in myself and my experience with Ubud. But here’s what I learned. Food is food. I don’t have to eat everything, everywhere. I got good deals on the yogi clothes I bought and I love them. I will return to Ubud with a plan of action and with the pure intention to experience all the spiritualness it has to offer. The only reason I did not do yoga was because my knee was messed up from surfing. Ubud is a beautiful town, full of tourists, healers, spiritual gurus, yogis, artists, singers, dancers, shamans, crystals, and so much more. You can walk the main town and all the side streets and just fall in love. The sunsets are gorgeous but hard to capture, the rice fields are endless and breathtaking.
My behavior in Ubud only really effects myself, but it did not display my true thoughts and feelings of the town. I just got into this compulsion I could not seem to get out of. This is part of recovery that continues to arise, not just obsession but compulsion. Being alone (physically) gives me leeway to behave in such compulsions, my integrity to myself can often be questioned. My obsession for food to comfort has grown as I have traveled and being here “allowed” me to be compulsive “because it was healthy” haha. Too much of anything is never a good thing. Even though my personal experience here in Ubud sounds intense, I will be back. Sometimes while traveling i ask myself “am I doing this right?” ‘Is there a right way to do this?” Something I have begun to learn and accept is that there is no right way, and sometimes you just have to have regrets. It sparks inspiration to do things different, better, with more passion. There is so much more I wish I did, saw, and experienced. A wish is a dream my heart makes, and my heart knows I will come back for more. Learning to accept regrets, beginning to reflect and determine “how can I do better next time?” Is a lesson to embrace not fear. The phrase or question “will there be a next time?” Need not apply to those that set their intentions and follow their heart. One can make anything possible and doable with passion, motivation, and action. This much I have learned about dreams. Negative toned questions begin to fade, and all becomes possible leaving regret as nothing more than motivation to change.
I now know what I want to do and what I want to avoid, where to eat, and where not too. I loved the city, I loved the energy, I will return with an open heart and some self-control!
On another note:
Speaking of spiritual gurus, I had a small experience myself. I was eating (surprise!) at a well known restaurant called Bali Buda. As I left I was walking and happened to look up at this sign that read Eat, Pray, Love Dr. Wayun. I thought to myself…No Way! I had not gone to Ubud for this reason, nor had I searched this out. I was interested in finding a shaman or simply a spiritual, down to earth person I could talk with and receive some insight. I stopped and stared, I was eyeing around the inside (which is really like a covered patio) trying to see what exactly was in their and must have looked curious because someone called for me to come in. I thought hell, I am here I will check it out. There was an English woman sitting and a local woman wandering looking very distracted. The English woman started asking me some questions and I shared with her what I had heard about Wayun and my interests. I was asking prices and what she offered. The English woman proceeded to tell me here experience, she had been coming to Wayun for 8 years- she helped her loose some excessive weight by guiding her on certain foods to eat, helped her with relationship issues and so forth. Mmm…seemed interesting and worthy of my time (so I thought). Wayun showed me a very poorly done pamphlet (piece of paper with some writing on it) which listed various health issues. I explained that I was healthy and that I had none of these issues but wondered if she offered anything else. She didn’t seem to answer my question and began reading my palm. She said “Poor digestion, low blood pressure, easy to get job, history of smoking” -she had asked the English woman to write as she read. I had a difficult time understanding a lot of what she was saying- she speaks very fast as well as poor English. She then showed me a piece of paper with different categories- life span, health, relationships, love, marriage, career etc. She filled out 3 of them which she had determined by the 5 minute palm reading. Handed me the paper and asked for 200,000 Rupiah (roughly 15$) as well as invited me to a lunch she would prepare and serve at her home with 12 others the following day to celebrate the Indonesian New Year and finish my reading. She had also asked for another 200,00 that I bring with me to lunch. I was hesitant but agreed, ultimately I was not convinced she would bring me much enlightenment due to the experience I had in a matter of 15 minutes. Witnessing how the woman operated and communicated it seemed a bit of a scam honestly. But I couldn’t help but think I found this place for a reason. And I was excited to experience going to a locals house and eating local food. I arrived the next morning at 10am as she had requested. There was another young woman their waiting, Wayun was running around her tiny patio like her head had fallen off. You could feel the stress, there was another traveler/customer helping her in the kitchen and a young boy helping her. She had me lay on a massage table and the boy began wiping me down with what I think was Banana leaves and “holy” water. All the while a contortion was dripping water on my forehead like the Chinese Torture game. He scrubbed my faced and smooshed my cheeks all around, wiped my chest, my arms, my legs, my feet. But this did not feel any sorts of cleansing, more weird and violating. After about 30 minutes of this she told me to leave and come back at 1145…So I did. Confused. When I came back me and the young woman sat and talked, she had waiting for my cleanse and then received her own cleanse which was a similar experience for her as I had. We talked and waited, and waited, and waited. About 1:15 we were debating on just leaving and going about our day as lunch was supposed to be at 12 at her house. The English woman arrived and asked Wayun what was happening, Wayun mumbled some stuff still running around like crazy and we all just sat there confused. Apparently, according to the English woman this how she is. Eventually a van with 12 people from wellness centers in Dubai on a wellness retreat arrive and we all start loading up and head to her house. Her house is beautiful, amongst the rice paddies in Ubud. (I later learned this is the house she purchased with the money she received from the woman who wrote the book Eat, Pray, Love) I may add I have yet to read this book. Lunch is served and its beautiful and delicious, all vegan super foods. She did an excellent job there, and though it was the most expensive meal I had eaten since traveling (being as the services I received were mute) I am glad to have had the experience. While we were there Wayun began doing some readings on the group from Dubai. Interesting enough the things she was telling them were very similar to what she had told me, and the other girl. And every review you read on Trip Advisor. At this point myself, and the young woman who was their in the morning with me decided to leave and forget the rest of our readings or whatever we had left. It was almost 4pm and I was upset with only having 4 days here, one of which spent sitting around Dr. Wayuns patio. It was an experience I will never forget but one I would never return to. This is not to discredit her abilities, maybe it was just the wrong time. Rumor has it the fame has gotten to her and she seem to personalize any one’s experiences because she sees new clients every day. Woman out searching for the same Eat, Pray, Love experience as the book. Maybe my heart wasn’t open enough, I wasn’t patient enough, or I didn’t believe enough. Or it was her luck of the draw the day she told Elizabeth Gilbert that something was blocking her heart and it ended up being breast cancer. (Not that that is a lucky thing to discover by any means). I do know my quest for Ubud was not to eat (even though I did a lot) it was to deepen my spiritual self (though every town I have travelled to has contributed to this) and learning to love myself and the world around me as I discover it (with no expectation of meeting Mr. tall, dark, and handsome in Ubud). I know she ate in Italy, Prayed in India, and fell in Love in Ubud. That’s her story. I am still writing mine.
|Wayun setting up lunch|
|A street in Ubud. They decorate so eclecticly|
Update: It is now October and I am just getting this blog finished and out for you all to read. Funny enough, Eat, Pray, Love was on the one of 2 English channels I get here in Chiang Mai the other night and I caught it right at the beginning. It was a great movie, although I will say it is very much a movie as I compared the movie form of Ubud, to real life, haha. Regardless I was re-inspired, and re-motivated to continue this personal journey, to continue seeking myself and my purpose in life, finding my bliss and exploring the world. I had my heart opened to allowing the signs or the omens to teach me, to speak to me, to guide me. And that’s the purpose of a great story right? To flood one’s heart and soul with excitement, joy, inspiration, and love. This quote at the end spoke to me (and also realizing she traveled for a whole year, I’m only 3 months in):
“I’ve come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest” — a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be withheld from you.” Or so I’ve come to believe.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert,