I’ve been home from my month-long trip to Bali for exactly one week, and I gotta say TIME is so strange when flying halfway around the globe is part of the deal. In some ways I feel like I was just there, but mostly it feels like a distant exotic dream. You know how that goes…
Anyhooo, my trip was lovely. Bali is lovely. My students were awesome and many thresholds were crossed. I know I’ve said it before, but AGAIN, I can hardly believe I get to do this work in the world…and all over the world at that.
Every time a new bunch of bloomers comes together (especially when the backdrop is beautiful Bali), magic happens. This year was no different.
From the minute I met both my groups of students in Bali, I couldn’t help but notice the sameness — the connectedness — that was lurking just below the surface of our collective personalities and distinct life stories.
Sure, we were from many different parts of the world. Some of us called ourselves professional artists, some had never picked up a paintbrush. Some had kids, some did not. Some were shy, some lit up the room. As you can imagine, the list of our differences could go on and on, but that’s not what captured my heart during our opening ceremonies.
Nope. What brought tears to my eyes (it always does), was our collective READINESS to step up and step forward toward new ways of being, both on and off the canvas. To honor this journey, I always begin each workshop with a ceremony.
Sitting together, circled up around an alter, warm Bali air on our skin, candles burning, butterflies in our stomachs, I prompted everyone to share one thing they were ready to let go of and one thing they were ready to welcome in.
One by one, each brave soul, stepped forward to declare out loud what they were ready to let go of by symbolically dropping a rock into a bowl of water. Next, they announced (loud and clear) what they were ready to welcome in. They sealed the deal by intuitively choosing a painting, each containing a little message just for them.
Like a golden thread weaving us together, we ALL seemed to be craving these universal shifts:
More love >< Less fear. More trust >< Less control. More play >< Less worry. More heart >< Less mind. More flow >< Less struggle. More compassion >< Less judgement. More connection >< Less separation…
So, while we spent our days painting and lounging by the pool, we also spent them falling in love with each other, stepping up to (and beyond) our edges, navigating a radically different culture while riding the inevitable roller coaster of emotion that surfaces when nothing is holding you to your familiar life back home.
Hello brave intuitive souls.
To be honest, I went on my own roller coaster ride on this trip. I found myself scrambling up an incredibly steep learning curve that is my life and work these days…maybe you can relate? As I look around, it seems like so many of us are finding ourselves “back in school”— the school of life that is. As we wake up more and more to our deepest longings and truest selves, old stories no longer fit. Transformation beckons. New thresholds await. All we can do is take one more step forward, and TRUST. Are you with me on this journey? Here are a few lessons I’ve been learning at school lately:
Blazing new trails requires new levels of self confidence. Walking my talk requiring a ton of discipline (and is not always easy). Working with new groups of people in far away places requires flexibility, surrender and trust. Facilitating soul work requires…SOUL WORK.
All that. And so much more. Wouldn’t want it any other way. What are YOU learning in school these days?