So far

I stood at the edge of the cliff, at the edge of all I have known, so far, with the all people that had been apart of all I have known, so far

Suitcases were stacked haphazardly all around us, some with their contents spilling out onto the soggy ground, getting drenched by the falling rain

‘I’m done carry you and your baggage. Whether you meant for me to carry it or not, at some point during this journey, so far, I picked it up and helped you carry it

I’ve got my own baggage to carry and unpack and carry and unpack and I can’t carry yours anymore. I won’t carry yours anymore.

It’s heavy and it’s cumbersome and old. You need to carry it on your own or leave it here. It’s up to you.

But from here on out, I only carry my own matching baggage

Case closed

There are new edges to come to, new joys to feel, new radiance’s to shine with, new adventures to seek’

I took an energetic sword and cut through all the connections that have kept me here, held me here.

I cut through and felt them release.

I heard the whisper ‘Come to the edge and fly’

With that, and feeling so much lighter, I leaped off the cliff into new possibilities, new adventures, and joy.

 

 

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Seanna’s travel blog take 1.

While I was traveling, I kept a journal of my travels and had every intention of blogging at least 3 times a week to keep people up to date on where I was, the food and all of that fun travel stuff.  I sat down to write on my blog numerous times. There are drafts of at least 12 blogs that have one or two sentences. What I found is that, despite my love of writing and sharing that writing through the medium of a blog, I have yet reached that place of being able to fully communicate what I experienced in my travels.

Perhaps it would have been easy enough to write and tell you about the meals and the buildings and the architecture, but what wants to come out of me is deeper than meals and restaurants and best place to stay in this neighbourhood kind of posts.

I relied on other bloggers that had come before me to the places I traveled.  Their advice on transportation, recommendations for the best coffee, tea, and tours  helped guide me along my journey through various countries.  At points, I tried to write like those others, and the key word here is try. We can only write like ourselves, no one else. Authenticity translates through the way you write and if you aren’t using your own voice, people will notice and call foul.

Traveling solo is amazing and exhausting and lonely and exciting and joyful. It allows you to travel at your own pace, to where you want to go and to be as introverted as you want to be. You can eat when you want, what you want, get up when you want…the list goes on. Selfie sticks can assist when there isn’t anyone else around to take your photo. Though it’s always helpful to remember to carry said selfie stick with you while out and about for the day. Especially if you have short arms. Like me.

It also confronts you with discomfort and uncertainty and foreign languages that have you realizing that you really did need to pick up that little book of phrases at the airport. Google translate was my friend and Bali became my comfort zone, erupting volcano and all. It was and always will be familiar to me and when I got back, she wrapped me in her cloak of warmth and love and allowed me to come back to myself after traveling in countries that are still recovering from deep pain and sadness.  I carried some of that back to Bali with me, so being surrounded by her rice fields and temples was welcomed and needed.

I will be writing about the places I went to, where I stayed, where I ate and who I met, all the airports I napped in, all the airport hotels I slept in, all of that, in my own way. I tend to feel things deeply so many of the experiences are still embedded deeply within me and are slowly rising to the surface the more I ground into being home. Expect more blogs to come soon.

 

With love,

Seanna

 

Seanna: Hey Universe, thank you for supporting me, guiding me and keeping me safe through all my adventures, especially in the moments of doubt and fear.

Universe: It is my pleasure. I’ve got your back.

 

Home

I’ve been home for a week and I’ve allowed my body to dictate when I am sleeping and eating. I’m usually in bed by 6pm and up around 5:30am, making coffee and getting dressed. That’s about as active as I can get at the moment. More morning activities will be added as the jet lag wears off.

While I know that making the decision to come back when I did, there is some sadness that trickles in when I am tired.

Traveling by yourself is challenging and exhilarating and rewarding and confronts you with limits that you have to push past, especially when you are in countries where English is not the first language.  You will be in train stations that have signs posted and you have no idea what they say. You only hope that you get on the right train or bus and you hope that you are traveling in the right direction, whatever that direction is.

I pushed boundaries and limits and comfort zones and any other analogy that you want to use. I confronted fear and discomfort and I stared them down until they were mere wisps that disappeared in the breeze.

The thing is, pushing past all those comfort zones changes you and expands what you feel is possible in your life. When you return ‘home’ with everything that has changed you, you can’t return to what your life was before you left because it no longer exists.

So you grieve it, and send it gratitude because it got you to the place where you felt brave enough to leap into the adventure that helped expand your view of the world and expand your belief in what you are capable of.

I feel like I am on this amazing path of discovery and I get to keep moving forward into more growth, more discomfort, more expansiveness and more adventure. And it feels so good.

2018, you are going to rock.

Love, Seanna

 

 

Hurry up and wait

In my observation, when travel is involved,  there is quite a bit of hurry up and wait. I am at the airport, you guessed it, waiting for my flight which is now delayed. I slept in this morning, and panicked a bit when I woke up. The driver, Nanong, was coming for me at 10am and I woke up at 9:33. I had worked late the night before and set the time for my alarm but forgot to turn it on. Fortunately, I had trusted my intuition and packed the night before. Everything was ready to go, I just needed to get dressed.

We were on our way at 10:09 am and I still had time to stop and print off my boarding passes at the co-working space that I have been working out of while in Ubud. 9 minutes there and a coconut milk cappuccino in a takeaway cup and we were on our way! Even with this, I felt a bit rushed and worried about traffic.

Traffic in Ubud is notoriously unpredictable. You can go for a couple of miles, clear sailing all the way, and then come upon a cremation ceremony that has taken over the road. Or another type of ceremony.  This morning, Nanong, the amazing driver from Outpost, told me ( I think jokingly) that Bali means ‘many days off’ because there are always ceremonies on Bali and the Balinese take these days off.

As you do, we came upon a ceremony in Bali and fortunately Nanong has sharp eyes and turned off to detour us around the ceremony that was slowing traffic down.

From there on, it was clear all the way to the airport, with a bit of a bottleneck at the round about in front of the airport.

FYI, there is construction going on outside the Ngurah Rai airport and it will take a year to build an underpass from the airport which will hopefully clear up the amount of traffic that builds up from all of the cars picking people up when they arrive on Bali. It sometimes takes 30-40 minutes just to clear the airport!

When I was checking in for my flight, I wasn’t sure how much my backpack weighed, so to be on the safe side, I paid an extra $2 CAD for an extra 5kg taking my checked luggage allowance up to 25 kg. My backpack only weighed 12.8 kg. Oh well, this means plenty of room for souvenirs!

I made my way to security where there very few people in front of me, and then went through to passport control, and wound up in a queue behind a good 40-50 people. There were 3 different queues of people waiting to get through. As I stood inline, I watched new people arrive and they would stand at the back of the queue for a minute or 2 and watch to see which queues were moving faster. They would pick the one that they thought would move the fastest in the hopes of what? Making it though to the other side for duty free and pancakes? There would be more waiting on the other side.

We rush to get places and lose sight of the way there. We think, and I’m included in this we, that once we get ‘there’ everything will be fine. Well I’m here at the airport and my flight is delayed. So more waiting. Bali has this way of sneaking a lesson in when I’m not looking. She’s taught me patience, but my western tendencies tend to creep back in occasionally.

The delay allowed me to write this blog. Take that waiting!!! Ha! Suksma Mama Bali.

The Universe: Nice observation Seanna.

Seanna: You’ve taught me well.

 

Easy buttons and choices

Glennon Doyle Melton said in her Super Soul session talk ‘Quit being afraid of the pain and start being afraid of the easy button.’  Because where’s the challenge and the growth when it’s easy?

There is that part of me that wanted re-entry to Bali to be easy…All the questions, all the answers. The fact that it’s pushed comfort zones has me feeling like I really needed to come back and be here on my own. Outside of week 2 that I was on retreat with amazing women all on their own journeys to healing, I’m doing this on my own and I am mostly quite comfortable with that.

I’m slowing down, relaxing into the pace of the island. It’s starting to feel natural waking up here.  To wander out for breakfast, or have it here, and just feel like I am part of the rhythm of the place.  I had the realization yesterday that, for all intents and purposes, I’m living here! I was sitting in a sweet little cafe on Monkey Forest Road, people watching and feeling like I belonged.

A writing course and watching my Dad stop living long before he died brought me out here the first time. What it gave me in return cannot be bought with money. It gave me a sisterhood that is still connected and a realization that it’s all up to me.  Ultimately I chose this place. No one forced me to come back to Bali…no one forced me to come here the first time either. We get to decide our paths and, for better more than worse, I am choosing this path right now.

Last night I was looking for accommodation for my stay when I come back after my 2 days in Singapore and I thought to myself, “can we just be here right now? Now? Just be here.” And I answered “Yes we can.”

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable

I’ve been uncomfortable since day 3 of being on Bali. Between the bug bites and the low grade heat rash or some form of eczema, and the need to be near a toilet for the first few hours of the morning, it’s like I’m being asked how badly I really want this. And I’ve only been here for 2 weeks! I have another 5.5 months of this? There is that part of me that imagined that all the questions I had would suddenly have answers and I would be immersed in the magic and bliss of Bali.

For the last week, I’ve been on retreat and stuff has been rising to the surface and rushing out verbally.  Memories and feelings that were pushed down for a really long time and won’t be kept down anymore have been rushing to the surface during meditation, yoga, sharing and a water purification ceremony with a Balinese high priest.  Stuff that I had pushed down so deep, I had forgotten all about it.

But that the thing about stuffing something down…it’s eventually bound to pop back up again, just like when you try to hold a ball under water in a pool. Ever tried that?  You hold it down and then all up the sudden it pops up and brings a huge splash of water with it.  Fortunately it’s only words and emotions that are rushing up to the surface and out of my mouth.

My instinct is to turn and run. Back to the known. Back to where I can hide in plain sight. To where stagnancy dwells and change is turned away at the gate.  My intuition tells me to stay and to sit with the discomfort, to just be still, to root into the unknown and to know that I am being held by Mama Bali. I’m going with my intuition on this one.

The energy of this island, to me, is feminine and very powerful. The goddesses that I’ve met before all dwell here…Kali, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Durga, Parvati, and one that I am meeting for the first time, Bhuvaneshwari, the goddess of sacred space.  I’m going to sit with her for a while and just hold space for myself to be present and to feel all the feels.  The gods are present too, just quieter for now.

There is going to be more cracking open, more blooming more cracking, more blooming and it’s going to be painful and beautiful and healing. And all the while, I’m being held in the safe arms of Mama Bali, which is exactly where I need to be, discomfort, bug bites and all.

Watch where you walk

Ubud doesn’t let you drift away into thought while you are walking down the street.  The sidewalk are sometimes a jumble of tree roots and broken tiles or huge gaps that you need to leap over or walk around, lest you wind up in the sewer below. There are offerings to the gods on the ground in front of shops that you need to step over as to not offend the shop keeper or the gods. There is also dog shit left lovingly, or carelessly, by the many Bali dogs that roam the streets.

I’m struggling with jet lag and looking for a place that ticks all the boxes for a longer stay, for the feeling that I made the right choice in coming back. It’s making itself scarce.  At any given moment, we make decisions and choices that affect our comfort zones, boundaries and mindsets about what we believed was possible.  The jumping off for me was relatively easy when deciding to come back to Bali. I have more cracking, more blooming, more growing and I knew intuitively that Bali was the place for me to do it. I haven’t even been here a week yet and that exhausting inner gremlin voice is questioning everything. It’s being loud and obnoxious and devious and tiresome. Oh so tiresome.

I am out of a comfort zone. I hauled myself halfway across the world, by myself, to immerse myself in a culture that focuses on being present when I’m use to thinking 3 or more steps ahead. I’m rushing through meals thinking I have to be somewhere, when I don’t. I’m hurrying along rice field pathways looking for a place rather than seeing what’s around me.  And it’s exhaustive.

The flow will come. I just need to stand in the middle of the river and allow the waters to rush around me while I find my grounding. I just need my roots to sink in a little bit deeper. And if I fall over while rooting myself, I’ll just stand back up.

Life is going to throw things at us that we won’t always catch. That’s okay. We’re not meant to catch every throw. We’re going to fall, we’re going to question every decision or choice we make and that little gremlin voice, that angry roommate in our heads, will be there, ready to judge and say ‘I told you so’ when things don’t go as planned.  Don’t listen to that voice (and it will get louder before it gets quieter). Get back up and listen to your heart. It will always move you forward.

Seanna