Category Archives: Adventures

Integrating All The Awesome

There was so much awesome packed into my trip to Sedona, AZ that I don’t even really know where to begin. I got back a week ago, but I still need some time to really absorb and integrate all the experiences.

I don’t even really feel ready to be writing about it, but I’m sure there are at least one or two of you out there who are dying to hear some details.  Honestly, I think I’ll be processing all I learned and all it opened up in me for the rest of my days, it was so chock full of awesome.

I started my adventure by flying into Phoenix, making loads of friends at the airport since I was carrying my silver, gold and bronze hoops onto the plane. I wore them across my shoulder, coiled down, and many people stopped to stare, did a double take or just had to ask what they were. There were a surprising number of folks who knew they were hula hoops and thought it was awesome!!!

After renting a car and getting a free upgrade to a Toyota Camry (from a Kia or something), I set off on the open road. I love driving int the desert, and the two hours passed like nothing as I listened to my audio book, Destiny of Souls. While I was getting sleepy towards the end of my drive, the energy of Sedona hit me like a wave of inspiration as soon as I entered the beautiful town.

I checked into my West Sedona motel, The Sugar Loaf Lodge. which was incredible for $77 US a night, with comfy beds and a little fridge and microwave. It really was way better than I expected. Apparently it used to be the crack motel back in the day, but it’s clean, quiet and crack free now!

Anyway, after a light dinner of Kale Ceasar salad and gluten free cheesy bread at the Organic Italian Kitchen called Picazzo across the street, I went to bed at the unbelievable hour of 8:30 pm (which was 9:30 my time, but still seemed ridiculous to me).

I woke up at 6am and made my way to the kitschy Red Planet Diner for BREAKFAST IN SPACE!!!!

Red Planet Diner in Sedona
Red Planet Diner in Sedona

It’s basically a UFO themed diner. As an avid space enthusiast and Sci-Fi geek I really enjoyed my omelet and green tea in this setting. Sadly, the food itself was not space themed.

After breakfast, I wandered around in a natural grocery store marveling and drooling at all the gorgeous, delicious, healthy things we don’t have at home (yet). Then I made my way to Chanda’s house for my life between lives hypnotherapy session (which I explained in this post:

Chanda and I had really hit it off during our phone consultation. What should have been a 20 minute call turned into an hour long chat, so it was no surprise that we started talking like long lost friends the second I sat down. In fact, I was enjoying our conversation so much, I actually forgot why I was there. After about an hour, she mentioned getting started, and I was jolted back to the task at hand with the thrill of excitement and anticipation.

The actual hypnosis session lasted 2-3 hours. It began with deep relaxation, visualization and memory recall exercises. I felt incredibly safe, relaxed and comfortable and I slipped into a hypnotic trance as easily as I’d imagined. Although I’d never been formally hypnotized before, I’m very familiar with a trance state of deep relaxation through all the meditation, shamanic journeying and energy work I’ve done.

We went through my childhood, into my mothers womb and back through a tunnel into a significant past life . We used the death scene from that life as a jumping off point into the spirit realm. I felt myself observing the end of my life from the outside of my body. Turns out I tend to escape just before the final moments of my life whenever I see death coming. No sense in sticking around to feel that kind of pain. Once free of my body, I was eager to head home and I outpaced the instructions Chanda was giving me, arriving there within seconds.  The first beings I met with upon my return greeted me warmly, reassuring me that life ended appropriately and that everything was all good. It took a few minutes for my eyes to adjust to the light and to be able to really focus on the others in my presence. They appeared as luminous, radiant beings made of sparkly light. I recognized my primary guide and another one who worked with me in the past as well as my husband from that last life who  had arrived here a few years ahead of me.

I spend time meeting and talking with some friends and family members from this life, as well as with my council. I also had the opportunity to see some glimpses of the kind of work I do over there (some kind of inter-dimensional energy balancing involving light, color and sound). The overwhelming feeling  I had the whole time was one of overwhelming joy. I felt almost giddy really, and there was so much laughing and joking around. Few of my close companions are very serious, some of them are down right silly. I had such a shit-eating grin on my face the whole time my cheeks ached for hours afterwards.

The longer I was there, the deeper the hypnotic trance became and the more vivid every image, sight, sound and feeling became. It was incredible in every way, and re-affirmed every I knew to be true about myself and the nature of our soul’s eternal existence. It was hard to want to leave that high vibration, but you expend a TON of physical, mental, spiritual and emotional energy reaching that state in your human body, and it can’t be sustained indefinitely. Suddenly, you just become tired, and you know it’s time to come back into your body fully.

Coming back was a snap, once I was ready. I knew that I’d be able to go back in meditation now that I’d been there in my conscious mind. Sitting up was hard, but once I did, I was incredibly grateful to be back in my body, knowing I had chosen it very specifically for my time here on Earth. Honestly, I’d never felt quite so alive and at home in my body, which seems almost ironic.

After debriefing and chatting some more with Chanda, I realized I needed to eat. After showing her a little hoop dance stuff, we reluctantly parted ways.

I fed myself, browsed a few crystal shops, caught the sunset at the Airport Mesa, skyped my sister to share the experience and fell asleep by 9pm again!

Waking with the sun, I stretched, ate and had a spectacular Shamanic Astrology reading with Sedona Jeannie. It was another amazing session that gave me so much awesome information myself. I almost wish it has been before the LBL though, because it’s pretty hard to follow a sojourn actually into the spirit realm.

I felt like I could have headed home after those two days, irrevocably changed for the better, but I had another whole intense week of personal transformation and exploration at the Sacred Circularities hoop Dance and movement mediation retreat at the Mago Retreat center. I’m going to save the details for my next post, but suffice it to say that it was just as chock full incredible awesome as the first two days of my journey.

Taoist wizard staff spinning statue at Mago. Remind you all of anyone we know?
Taoist wizard staff spinning statue at Mago. Remind you all of anyone we know?

The theme for me seemed to be one of deeply connecting to people, which was foreshadowed in my shamanic astrology session. SC in Bali seemed to be more about personal purification, but this was much more inter-connected and grounding. Every class was incredible and I was so honored to witness countless moments of deep transformation and awakening for many people. To quote one of the inspiring facilitators, Shelly White Light, I fell deeply in love with each and every person there.

We were all witness to the purity and greatness in each other. It was incredibly raw and tender, as well as being incredibly powerful. We had so much fun and really honestly raised the vibration of the world through the work we were doing together, dancing a new world into being.

After a glorious week, leaving all my new friends was actually painful, but the blow was softened since I didn’t have to head home right away. I was spending a day and a half with my family in Phoenix, some of whom I hadn’t seen since my last trip to Sedona 4 years prior.

We had a wonderful time reconnecting with each other and I had the time of my life when my uncle took my cousin and I to the Musical Instrument Museum.

Me at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix
Me at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix

My favorite part was the experience gallery where can try many of the awesome instruments displayed elsewhere. It’s also my 2 and 4 year old cousins favorite place in the gallery. I was apparently running around like a kid in a candy store, trying everything I could get my hands on. But haven’t you always wanted to try playing the harp, a giant Chinese xylophone or a theramin (the electronic instrument Sheldon has on Big Bang Theory?)

I’m sure I’m going to have to go  into more detail about all these incredible adventures, but Ill save those for next time!

Arriving In Sedona

I’m sitting on my bed at the Sugar Loaf Lodge in Sedona, battling my twin urges to go out and explore, or to go to sleep right now (it’s only 7pm here). I’m splitting the difference by staying in, and staying up for another hour or two.
Then I’ll be up with the sun so I can perhaps head out for an early morning hike before my life between lives hypnotherapy session tomorow.

“Your what?” You ask, feeling intrigued and perhaps slightly confused.

It’s exactly what it sounds like.

I’m sure you’ve heard of past-life regression. Well, this is the same thing, but also explores the realm in between lives where our spirits plan for  our next incarnation (as well as do some other spirit realm type things.)

I can’t friggin wait. I am so excited I don’t even know how to process it.

The technique is from Dr. Michael Newton, of The Newton Institute. 
He was a very skeptical hypnotherapist who accidently found himself regressing his past life patients into that between lives state, which he calls the spirit world or spirit realm.

He has written several fascinating books about his cases; Journey of Souls, Destiny of Souls and Memories of the Afterlife. All of them are full of fascinating information that sparked a deep remembrance within me.

Most people who go for a session are looking for their life purpose, or perhaps they have an issue in their lives they are really struggling with. I’m just going out of sheer curiosity and a deep desire to bring a deeper connection to spirit into my everyday life.

Through meditation, I’ve had a few spontaneous, direct experiences with this realm and each time I have felt an intense healing of my being and infusion of knowledge and understanding. The beauty of our immortal soul in it’s light body is so spectacularly breathtaking that it’s beyond words, and even beyond my full comprehension.

Needless to say, I’m sure much of it will be beyond words but I’ll try to share as much of the experience as I can with you all.

Much love from the Red Rock country!





Virgo New Moon: Activating Priestess Energy

cc by 3.0 by Traveling the cosmos
cc by 3.0 Traveling the cosmos

Today is the tail end of the 3 day Virgo new moon window. The sun is also in Virgo right now giving us a double dose of this amazing earthy energy. It’s the perfect time to work on organizing the details in your life, which is great timing for everyone back to school, or back to work in September here.

The Virgo archetype is one celebrating dedicated sacred work. This is the priest/ess energy which is serves the world though honoring and understanding the natural rhythms of life, and all the details surrounding it. This energy is dedicated, organized and practical. There is a deep commitment to serving the world through their work.

This is unfamiliar energy to some of us. There has often been a deep separation between the sacred and the mundane in our culture. The Virgo  priest/ess energy imbues a sense of sacred within all those mundane, practical details of life. There is a deep sense reverence for everything that occurs in nature, and in the life cycle and a deep connection to the divine feminine mysteries.

This energy has been somewhat lost and misunderstood over the years, but we’re returning to it now. There is a deep awakening of this energy happening on the planet, and many people are feeling a deep desire to reclaim our connection to it.

For many years now, I’ve identified with this priestess archetype. Everything I’ve read of the priestesses honoring the divine feminine, worshiping and serving the Goddess has resonated with me deeply. I remember flashes of past lives where I served in temples and dedicated my life to this sacred work. I feel a deep connection to this divine feminine energy that leaves me with a sense of longing for more it in my life. I know when I work consciously with this energy I feel whole.

It’s with great excitement that I am choosing to bring more of this energy into my life. I’m activating the Priestess archetype within me by going through a ceremonial initiation called The Priestess Process with my dear teacher Lisa Michaels. Here she has written 10 blessings Received from Becoming  Priestess, to give you some idea of why I’m doing this.

We began the initiation process yesterday during this new moon window, and we will finish on Beltane (May 1st), and emerge as Priestesses. I am so thrilled to begin this journey of actively embodying this archetype within myself. Every woman I have met who has done this ceremonial energetic activation has this amazing energy running through her. It’s powerful and I can’t wait to experience it again (I know I’ve done this before, in many lives). I’m also so thrilled to be living in a time when it’s safe for women connect to their divine feminine power. It’s always been our birthright, but the pendulum of culture had swung far to the other side, celebrating the divine masculine mysteries almost exclusively.  I believe we’re spiritual whole only when we are able to unite our divine feminine and masculine aspects within ourselves, in a sacred marriage. Without both, we are incomplete beings.

If this is something that resonates with you, you still have time to join us (until Sept 27, 2013). We’d love to have you along for the journey for  The Priestess Process


Adventures at Hoop Convergence!

How was Hoop Convergence you ask?


Here in a shiny example of it’s epic nature is our cabin’s awkward family photo:

photo by Carla Snow
photo by Carla Snow

We were given two sets of instructions for this:

One was ‘Stare off into the distance, with dreamy, pondering eyes’. Then someone else said ‘Now pretend you see a Pterodactyl!’ Only a few of us listened to that last instruction, and I think that makes it better!

I wish I had more time to get to know these wonderful, talented ladies, but they were great cabin mates. For some reason they put all the folks from Canada, Wisconsin and Massachusetts together. Perhaps they thought we’d bond over snow and prairies… Turns out we bonded over hula hoops and acro bunk bed yoga. My travel companion Carla Snow from

Speaking of Carla, I couldn’t have asked for a better travel companion. We always have so much fun together, and she’s been my biggest support on my hoop journey. She gave an incredible Hoop Talk on Thursday night (recovering from Laryngitis in the nick of time!) She spoke passionately about feeding the community through intentional business practices and my heart swelled with pride as she had the whole audience nodding and agreeing with her the whole time.

We had the chance to take in loads of workshops from some of the world’s greatest hoopers. My favorite hoop classes were taught by Beth Lavinder, Nick Guzzardo and Kenna Hoops, but they were all amazing. I think the most memorable class for me was a dance/movement class with Khan that involved dancing for 10 minutes for your partner, who was a silent witness, with no music. Then taking 5 minutes each to talk about the experience.  It was a really powerful hour for everyone in the room, and it brought up a lot of interesting feelings to work through. I needed a good cry afterwards, and another  class participant said she wouldn’t need therapy for a year! Healing, transformative movement!

It was really incredible how open and accessible the teachers were, and so many of them were right there in the thick of things, taking workshops with us. Carla captured a moment where Emma, Brecken and I were being a little disruptive during Spiral’s class, after I realized you could do some rebounding crotch thrusting inside a mini hoop (which was definitely off topic). It was ok though, cause we turned it into  a combo working in the class material. Here is our crotch rebound into  a corkscrew!

Photo by Carla Snow
Photo by Carla Snow

As much fun as the classes were, the jams and showcases were the real highlights for me. There was a real showcase (flowcase) where our incredibly, jaw dropping-ly talented instructors performed ridiculous routines. Here’s Nick Guzzardo’s piece, which was second only to his topless fire hooping the night before:

Hoop Convergence also had a renegade showcase the next night, which is a tradition from juggling conventions. This was probably my favorite activity all weekend, and not just because SaFire, Carla and I taught a renegade Finger Flow workshop wearing onsies. Most of the acts were dirty and hilarious and the few that weren’t were downright beautiful, like Caroleena’s piece with her gorgeous cockateil Mulder. There was everything from uni-cycling while hooping, butt jumping with  skipping rope, hooping, dooping, vooping (don’t ask) and a ukelele sing along.

I’m already counting down the days till next year.

Hoop Convergence and North Carolina have stolen my heart.

Photo by Carla Snow
Photo by Carla Snow

On The Road Again

by BRS man cc by 2.0
by BRS man cc by 2.0

I feel like I’m just getting back into the groove here at home but it’s already time to hit the road again. This time, I’m only traveling through a couple time zones, so I think I can handle it.

I’m headed to Hoop Convergence in North Carolina, the original hoop dance retreat just outside Hooper’s Mecca, Carrboro (Where Baxter, Ann, Spiral, Jewels and many more crazy masters hail from). I’m so excited to be heading back into the retreat environment. There is nothing like being around a group of hoop dancers, yogis, circus artists and all around prop enthusiasts. It’s a guaranteed good time since we’re all there to play!

I had a few moments of depression at work last week when I felt really alone. I realized it was because I missed the amazing sense of community that’s found at events like this, where everyone greets you with smiles and it’s so easy to make new friends. Actually, Hoop Convergence will be a bit of a reunion for quite a few people from Bali, yay!  Not to mention this time, I have a travel companion who is also a guaranteed good time, so I’m getting super stocked for everything!

I won’t be blogging throughout (I’m treating this retreat as an actual vacation), but I’ll be sure to give the highlights when I get back!


Integrating Bali’s Beauty


Bali was amazing beyond all words. I will never be able to describe the sense of peace and connection I felt there, and I’m so happy I decided to go. I am however, also very happy to be home!

I know that a big part of the reason Bali called me to her was so that I could soak up her energy and take it back to my side of the world. I had friends asking me to spew some Bali all over them when I returned, and I had the chance to do that when I facilitated two workshops at Spin Milk the day after I landed.

At the Sacred Circularities workshops, we had a lot of opportunities to let go of whatever was no longer serving us to create room for whatever new energy we wanted to call in. My intention was to let go of any fears or negative beliefs holding me back when I’m teaching dance or movement classes, and just allow myself to be as creative and powerful in that aspect of my life as I’m able to be.  Well, the magic definitely worked!

When I was at Spin Milk, I felt myself stay confident and grounded throughout my workshops, even though thanks to jet lag, I hadn’t slept a wink the night before. I was able to be silly and have fun while I created a safe container for people to relax and explore movement, with and without a prop. After the workshops, people said they felt open, relaxed, peaceful yet energized and that their mind and body felt united. Hearing that made my heart sing and dance, cause that was exactly what I was going for! That was the kind of energy I felt when I took workshops there and I know that I held it for people here. Totally winning!

I’m so grateful for all the inspiration I received from all the teachers, space-holders, participants and even from the land itself. I feel that I’m able to connect more deeply with people I interact now, thanks to the depth of the interactions I had when I was there. I also feel I’m more aware of the impact of those heartfelt connections. In Bali, I felt incredibly present the whole time I was there. That’s something I’m also trying to bring home with me. Staying fully engaged and present when interacting with people has lead to so many meaningful exchanges. It’s been enriching my daily life in countless ways already!

The theme at the retreat this year was integration and I feel that’s exactly what I got out of the experience. I was able to  more fully integrate my body, heart and soul  and to integrate my talents and knowledge  more deeply into my being, letting them shine as brightly as they can. Thank you so much Sacred Circularities, Jaguar Mary, everyone who was there and everyone who was here supporting my journey. It was definitely worth it. So much love to you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart!


Five Elements Ecstatic Dance in Bali

We started our journey outside the wantilan, standing on the roots of a giant tree as Malaika smudged us with sage one by one, blessing us and clearing away any energy we no longer needed. As the fragrant smoke wafted over me, I released all the energy holding me back from being completely present in the moment and invited in all my personal power.

I entered the wantilan and took a moment at the altar, bowing to Ganesh, Remover of Obstacles. Then I walked to the back and stared out at the rice fields, stretching and grounding into my body, working out all the kinks from hooping my heart out at Hoop Kirtan the night before.

Once everyone had been smudged and cleared, we gathered in a circle while Malaika explained the path we would take as we journeyed through the five elements together. This shamanic journey came to her through spirit and is focused on breath. We had a different breathing pattern for every element, which we familiarized ourselves with before we began.

We started on the floor, laying down and exploring the feeling of the earth underneath us. It felt comfortable and safe on the beautiful dark wood. As we rose up, we grew roots into the earth to connect us deeply to Her spirit.

Dancing with Air has a beautiful expansive quality and the music was dreamy and ethereal, but drove us forward. We found partners and gently put our third eyes together, inhaling in unison, exhaling Aloha to each other, switching partners many times, connecting deeply with everyone we met.

Moving into Earth we started a powerful Sufi breath pattern where we inhaled twice with a long exhale as we stamped our feet in a primal rhythm to the drums. The energy became primal as we danced with our sister, and brought in the spirits of our mothers and grandmothers. It was intoxicating and liberating as we sent energy down into the Earth and received it in turn.

Awakening the Fire element, we stood in a circle and shook ourselves. We shook and shook and shook for ages. It was intoxicating to completely surrender to the flames by shaking every inch of my body, shimmying and shaking my entire being. There were primal yells, grunts guttural cries and moans in an orgasmic release of everything no longer serving us into the Flame. My entire body is still tingling. Once we stopped shaking, we spun out of the circle and into our goddess power, embodying Shakti, Lakshmi, Svaraswati and all the goddesses in all the realms. Some of us picked up our hoops and danced into our power with their spiraling universal energy.

Finally slowing down, moving into water, we explored our bodies with the reverence reserved for the most sacred of things. Touching each part in turn with sincere gratitude and love, with promises to treat our temples with the utmost respect and love. We then found partners and turned our movements into a contact dance, slowly moving together, feeling each others flesh, blood and breath as our own. We split off into groups and merged into new ones, finding support and safety in each other.

We ended up together in a puddle on the floor, utterly spent, limbs tangled, perfectly content and at peace in meditation. I didn`t want to get up, I just wanted to stay and bliss out in that pile of loving cuddles, but after a few minutes we sat up and closed our journey by passing around the seed of a cacao plant. We spoke two words as we held it. One was how we felt at that moment and the other was our gift to the world. Themes emerged. We all felt peace, clarity, love, bliss and gratitude in the moment, and many of our gifts were similar as well. Light, love, inspiration, passion, sincerity, sensitivity…..

It was such an honor to share this space with such beautiful, powerful and radiant women. The journey was transformative. Our states of consciousness were altered into higher dimensions through movement, breathwork and the loving guidance of Malaika, who is the embodiment of inspiration and joyful earth magic. We re-emerged lighter, stronger and more powerful beings. This was one of the most intensely immersive dance experiences I’ve had. It truly as a shamanic journey and I feel such a strong connection to everyone and everything, and intense gratitude that I am here right now, in Bali at

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

There was a lot of fun action today at the retreat, but my favorite part was definitely Gail O’Brian’s Rolls and Catches class. If you’ve ever seen me hoop, you’ve gotten a glimpse of my love affair with body rolls. I wax on about them and the class here:

In other news, I’ve made some fantastic friends already, and eaten delicious Indonesian food, and just generally had a lot of fun. It’s hard to describe everything, so I’ll just leave you with this baddass stone carving.


Opening The Retreat

Yesterday I woke up about 6am, took my mat out to my front deck and practiced yoga for about an hour.

Here, you can kind of see the view I have, although my face is in the way.


I felt so healthy getting up so early naturally. All it took was a 10 hour time difference to make me a morning person!

When I headed to breakfast, the restaurant was full of hoopers and I had finally met  a few people I only knew through our online community. I was invited to go to the beach with a group, but I felt like heading into Ubud to check it out and do some shopping. A lovely girl from Victoria came with me and we explored and tried to haggle our way across the main strip. I discovered I finally had a knack for it, after embarrassing myself in Greece so many years ago. Managed to get a few things, including an epic painting of Ganesh.

We spontaneously stopped for massages (10 bucks for an hour and a half, with ginger tea and fruit salad.) It was a pretty successful outing, although we didn`t manage to find everything we needed (I always wind up shopping for myself instead). But the company was fantastic!

The reception was around dinner time and was basically a meet and greet with a lovely fresh buffet. The juices and fruits here are to die for. I`m not usually a juice person, but there`s something about fresh squeezed juice in the tropics.

After we finished eating and mingling, we wandered to the main wantalon, a big beautiful covered, yet open air pavillion where most of the classes take place. There was a beautiful opening ceremony which I write more about here  in my official blog post for Sacred Circularities:







Well, it took 29 hours to get here, but it was definitely worth it. Bali is a very special place. I’ve been here for just over a day and I can feel something in me softening… Not only is it a tropical paradise, but the Balinese people have a connection to spirit that’s very tangible. There are shrines and offerings everywhere!
Today was my only full day to myself with the retreat starting tomorrow, but I had no real plans. Fortunately, the staff here at Ananda are incredibly helpful and friendly. I wound up hiring an awesome driver/Guide, Nyoman Sada  at the suggestion of my housekeeper Wayan. He speaks wonderful English and used to be a teacher, so he was a fascinating companion for the day. First  we went to stop by a family woodcarving shop. I had a quick introduction to the process and to the woods they use, then browsed through their shop. My guide there was incredibly warm and lovely. He was a wood-carver as well, and showed me some of his epic crazy pieces. I wish I had taken some photos. Due to suitcase space, I only bought 2 small pieces, for my dad and father in law, but I wanted to bring back all of them. The detail is just insane, and all the pieces are carved from imagination, rather than an image or photo. I especially loved the ones of Shakti and Shiva.
After that, Nyoman  took me to the Elephant Cave temple, Goa Gajah Bedulu, which was built into a jungle ravine. It was breathtaking… He had no idea how old it was, since they only started keeping records like that recently. I could feel the sacred energy pulsating through the jungle there.
Next my guide brought me to a coffee plantation, where a lovely young Balinese lady brought me a sample plate of about 9 different kinds of tea and coffee they make on site, including  Luack, the one where the little animal eats the beans, ferments them in their belly and poops them out. They’re then collected and turned into some of the most delectable and expensive coffee in the world. I haven’t been drinking coffee since about December, but I definitely had sampled these grown on-site blends. This is as local as you could possibly get and everything is hand-picked, and hand roasted. No machines! The sampling site was also overlooking this amazing jungle vista which was their plantation. They also grow herbs, spices and cocoa and some fruits which they turn into teas. It was so idealic and relaxing to sit and sample these drinks, having a lovely conversation and nibbling on dried bananas. It really kicked in that I’m on vacation and some residual travel stress just melted away.
We then went to the Tirta Empul Tampaksiring Water temple, which I am going to see again with the group. I didn’t go in the water since it was actually a cool, overcast and drizzly day, but I want to go and splash about, blessing and purifying myself in the water.
After the temple, we drove to one of their teeny mountains. By the way, I should mention, the roads here take some getting used to. They drive on the left side, like in Europe, and I’m not gonna lie, it seems a little sketchy at times.  Anyway, back up the mountain  where I went in to the Sari restaurant for lunch while Nyoman relaxed with his driver /guide buddies. It was a buffet which was only so-so. Lots of fried food, which was out for me (no gluten), but it was completely worth it for the view! I sat at a bar that overlooked a jungle, a volcano, a mountain and a lake. EPIC!!! For about 3 minutes, then it started pouring, which was almost even more epic! It was so foggy at times I could only see a few meters into the mist, which made it look kind of like a mysterious end of the world scene.


I didn’t eat tons but I savored my ginger tea for at least 45 minutes, staring out into paradise.
I could feel myself relaxing more deeply. It was so interesting to just sit, and drink it all in. So often when I eat alone, I read or watch a show or something. This was just me and the world, with my day-to-day life just melting away.
We checked out a rice terrace on the way home and chatted about life, and religion… Very smart, well read man. He spoke at length about the morality he wants to teach his children, and how important it is to make other happy. We talked a lot about the importance of balance for happiness. I couldn’t agree with him more.
I capped off the day by attending a traditional Balinese dance performance… It was absolutely unreal. The costumes, the music (which was really intense at times, almost a cacophony!), the themes… Very epic tales  of love , death and demons!
My favorite was a trance dance, done  by two women after they had been blessed by a priest representing how the gods and goddesses bring art spirit to earth in their benevolence. Their  movements were the most incredible things I have ever seen. The hands were very Bollywood, but then they were popping and locking moving their heads in this amazing indescribable bird like manner… They looked like they were possessed by the gods. I couldn’t look away.
As much fun as I had touring around, I can’t wait for the retreat to get started. I’ve run into a few participants from week one and they were glowing. I’m ready to get started and make some new friends!