I shaved my head, I gifted or sold nearly everything I owned. I took this seriously. I set out mid-April on a soul quest, a sojourn, a spiritual journey halfway across the world.
My expedition in Southeast Asia started in Bali in April and is planned to end in Bali in January 2016 - 9 months. I'm birthing a new concept of self in these nine months. That much is clear from my journey thus far.
Eighteen years ago, I had my first taste of international travel and I was hooked. I've spent the last eighteen years daydreaming about making extended travel a reality. It seems like a long time to wait. Had the journey taken place anytime over the last eighteen years, though, I don't think it would have had the spiritual depth this current trip carries with it.
As I awoke one morning while still back in the States, I realized the gravity of the pilgrimage and started referring to it as a spiritual journey. By naming it, the magic started happening.
I created rituals and wove intention into each step of the adventure. Doors opened and abundance and synchronicities abounded. As soon as I quit my day job, client referrals spiked. As I ridded myself of material goods, I felt lighter. The opportunities to say goodbye to friends and family became crystal clear and the timing worked out perfectly.
As I talked with others about my upcoming travel plans, it inspired them to see themselves, and their own lives, in a different way. The question, "what's your Bali?" came to fruition.
The spirit of the question, "what's your Bali?" is rooted in an intuitive sense, living the search for your Bali, rather than grasping at it in an intellectual way. The question spurred travel plans for some people, while others contemplated the nature of their roots, encouraging a home purchase, the pursuit of a promotion at work, validation of the power of existing relationships or a shifting in parenting styles. Others were inspired to downsize and still others thought about the aspects of their lives they wanted to change - career, relationships, finances or health situations.
Nearly two months in, I recognize that living the search for me has a lot to do with major shake ups and dramatic acts like shaving my head or ridding of home, job and nearly everything I own. These acts serve as reminders to myself of the sanctity of the journey, reminders about why I'm doing this - to evolve myself, to learn and grow and to live the search. I'm a seeker. I yearn to recognize the sacred in the everyday, to see the holy in the mundane. Travel provides me with perspective and cultivates opportunities for gratitude, as well as the uprooting I needed to foster a new appreciation for my life.
Your shifts may look very different. Your Bali may have an entirely different flavor, color and shape. Regardless of your path, I encourage you to think about the question, "what is my Bali?"
What is that thing you've been yearning for, that thing you've been putting off, that thing that echoes your very heart song, your soul whisper, the thing you long for, the person you yearn to become, the role you dream about fulfilling - that thing, your thing, your Bali?
As I found through naming my travel "spiritual," intention inherently sparks magic. So, grab your journal and alight your magic!
Take some quiet time to reflect on the following and feel free to share your beautiful revelations in the comments below:
- What have I been dreaming about doing?
- What might be holding me back?
- How can you I live my search to bring me closer to that experience?
- What's my Bali?
Stay tuned for the rest of the series of writings I crafted over the last 8 months of travel through Bali and beyond. ♥