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Thursday, 19 May 2011

On Reflection

It's been several weeks since I've been back from Bali and in reflection I can see that this wasn't just a trip to do an art retreat. Having never been there before and other travelers I spoke to not mentioning it, I had not thought about the people and the land being so connected, quietly and sometimes not so quietly sacred and powerful. Bali is a walking ritual - from the time I awoke in the early morning till the time I fell in to bed late at night, I witnessed so many examples of thoughtful placement, beauty, order and sweet offerings. At the same time I experienced a very real sense of how tenuous life is, that I needed to be ever present with all I was doing, seeing or experiencing. Stepping out of a Holy Temple onto a road full of chaotic traffic and heckling stall holders, residing among multiple types of insects, barking ghecko's and other unidentified critters, walking on narrow,slippery, mountainous paths with a drop into a valley on one side of me or learning salsa dance steps in a Balinese Jazz club with a group of people I had just met, all seemed to require an equal amount of attentiveness. I can now see that in the last 10-12 years I had lost a lot of confidence from being in a body that was quite often ill or immobile. Facing so many fears and daily challenges in Bali and at the same time enjoying myself immensely, I was able to build a new understanding of my inner resources. Celebrating life in all it's many guises ( including some time each day devoted to exploring painting , colour, creativity and our inner journey ) was a nurturing and joyous thing to do for myself. This was facilitated by Dawn Meader and the planning and flexibility that went into the activities of the art retreat was visible daily. Being in Bali I could feel my heart opening to new awareness and possibilities. It is taking some time to integrate all that took place and I am glad that I had time either side of the actual workshop to acclimatise and adjust to both entering that space and leaving it. It added to the richness of my experience and allowed me some breathing time. I feel so grateful on so many levels.

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