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Moments of awakening in Bali

Sep 18, 2013

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In:Health

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What an incredible month it has been.

Last week I returned from 2 weeks in Ubud, Bali after the amazing Awakening the Divine Feminine retreat hosted by the equally amazing Beata Alfoldi of Wild Heart Awakening.

My intention for the retreat was to make a clear path from the old (years of study and other stress) into the new (new business/career/sense of self).

My head and heart are still swirling and processing. 16 fabulous women came together in the spirit of openness and authenticity to share an 8-day journey of the soul. In the tradition of “what goes on tour stays on tour,” (or “there’s no way I can condense 8 days of incredible amazement into one post”) I’ve shared my highlights reel below.

I’ll start by admitting that my body has not kept up very well. Since returning, I’ve been energy-challenged with a head cold (kudos to my friends Echinacea and Zinc lozenges for clearing it quickly). No surprises there! In mind-body principles, head colds are related to mental confusion and with so much being challenged, my head is still trying to hang on for dear life.

But to break it down, here are the 4 things that impacted me the most and reminded me that to start anew, I need to behave anew.

1. Cellular Cleansing (or “A Detox” if you’ were born pre-80s)

As a Naturopath, I should have this detox living down pat right? But I’m also human and love a strong coffee in the morning as much as the next person (as long as the next person isn’t having a half-strength soy decaf latte). So having the daily luxury of choosing between the cleanest of elixirs straight off the all-organic café menus made me one happy girl.

We’re talking bentonite clay (hydrated mud that tastes better than it sounds – brilliant stuff), coconut and lemongrass kefirs (beautiful probiotics) and apple cider vinegar (ACV) with cayenne pepper (C), equalling ACVC (I’m so hip I’ve just created a new acronym).

Goodness in a glass

Goodness in a glass

How fantastic to have these incredible cleansing glasses of goodness as an everyday thing – as normal! Never have I requested an ACVC at my local. Because I can’t. But I can add them to my own, at-home morning routine. So I have.

2. Reconnection with my body

I’m a heady kinda girl. Exercise and body movement have never been my strong point. I only exercise sometimes and usually under duress. And wow, how much shame is there around being a naturopath who doesn’t light up at the suggestion of a spin class?

So, part of my intention for this retreat was to reconnect to my physical body.

Each day started with an hour and a half yoga practice, and finished with dance (the 5-Rhythms or Chakra Dance type, not the bad 80s Flashdance type, though some days that may have been debatable). We even participated in a traditional Balinese dance class! Check us out below (Such naturals).

Balinese Dancing Photography by Lisa Ambrose

Balinese Dancing
Photography by Lisa Ambrose

We were guided to connect with our hips, our areas of tightness, our pain, our moments of release, our emotion. It didn’t matter that when bending, I couldn’t even touch my calves toes, what mattered was what I was feeling in that moment: annoyance? amusement? pain? (when could I make it back to Anomali cafe for some half-decent coffee?). That was the only thing that mattered. Consistent self-enquiry and deepening. And the freedom of movement through dance was not only invigorating and necessary to shift all that emotional energy after they day’s process work, it was fun! And that, my friends, is what exercise should be. Joyful, full body connection. Not dragging your butt to the gym because you have to – how grey.

It was my promise to myself to continue a movement practice daily. And I haven’t. And I miss the presence of being in the moment, stretching myself physically and metaphorically, even in things I wasn’t particularly good at. So I’m recommitting to get back to it this week. That’s the other thing. There is no failure. There is only this moment and a new choice to be made.

3. Compassion

Two words, Robin Lim.

Robin Lim

Robin Lim

If you haven’t yet heard of this astounding woman awarded CNN business-woman of the year, click here stat.

Founder of two Community Health Education and Childbirth Centres in both Bali and Aceh (post-tsunami), her Bumi Sehat clinics focus on medical and natural childbirth services, including acupuncture, cranio-sacral and delayed cord clamping, at no cost for the patients and families, for the most needy women and families across the country. In their words, “Healthcare is a human right – no one is turned away.”

“Research has proven that our children’s first classroom is the womb. Each baby’s capacity to love and trust is built at birth and in the first two hours of life. By protecting pregnancy, birth, postpartum and breastfeeding, we are advocating for optimal humanity, health, intelligence and consciousness.” Wow.

Please, watch her story, buy her books, or donate to her cause. She is truly one of the most impactful, inspiring and on-purpose women I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting.

4. Empowerment

As women we can sometimes be hard on ourselves.

We’re no strangers to feeling unworthy, or shy, or guilty, or on the flipside, over-ballsy and control freaks lest we be perceived as weak, either by others or ourselves.

IMG_2929

Via the beauty and power of a shamanic framework, the divinely feminine aspects of the natural landscape, and the most incredible gift of a water purification ceremony by Bali’s High Priestess, Ida Resi Alit, I learnt to go in, find my core, my passion, my voice, and use it. So I did this week when I learnt this Friday was Bright Pink Lipstick day. In case you missed it, click here to view my post. Your comments are welcome.

Wishing you continuous grounded and connected moments,

Kate


Kate is a qualified naturopath who is passionate about helping women heal from hormonal havoc and inspiring women to know their own power, worth and wisdom.

Kate offers one-on-one Skype consults for irregular cycles, PMS and period pain, endometriosis, PCOS, peri-menopause, mood swings, fatigue and mental and emotional stress.

Simply drop me an email to see how I can help you!

 

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