My motorbike chauffeur arrives at 7 am to zip me to the Bali Spirit festival. He is wearing a helmet and I wish I was too. All is perfect. I am protected.
I begin the morning with a two hour class with the Aussie teacher. The class reminds me a bit of a Dharma class without the sexy Brazilian accent…challenging asanas yet repetitive sequencing, pranayama, well-worn jokes, heart-centered masculine energy.
It is important to be a dynamic teacher, constantly growing and transforming personally in order to best inspire others.
I head to tend to the booth of this Aussie instructor following the class; I am on post with a local woman who works for the Bali spirit organization. She is a kind soul with a three month year old baby girl and educates me more about Balinese culture. She has no rights or any ability to visit her two other children, both under the age of ten, because she divorced her first husband. I feel her sorrow. Ceremony is constant nonetheless in the childhood of those born in this holy land, there is some form of festival for every occasion of one’s evolution (pre and post birth).
She asks me a bunch of questions about living in the US…“do we eat a lot of rice?” (Balinese eat rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), “do I like to eat durian?”…marriage, religion, ordinary life. We drink a lot of fresh coconut water as we promote the Byron Bay Australia yoga studio, scraping the succulent meat inside, and enjoy countless complimentary samples of raw chocolates, jasmine ice tea in various flavors, and other yogi chow.
The event is truly incredible. Five different areas for workshops, a pool used for swimming and therapy, the vendor booth area where I am assisting which is filled with stands selling yoga wear, jewelry, music, candles, equipment, manuka honey, real estate in newly forming holistic communities, organic everything. There is another area with spa services such as facials, massage, manicures and pedicures, and more intuitive options including reiki, cranial-sacral, tarot (traditional and Balinese), astrological and psychic readings, and on and on. The food court contains fresh smoothies and teas, two all raw restaurants, another organic place with a more Latin vibe, one with Indonesian offerings. All is served on traditional banana leaf weaved platters. The children’s area is buzzing with imaginative activity, flower mandalas grow from guided meditation sessions, colorful bean bags are sprinkled on a wide lawn for lounging, poi and hoops for movement, musicians play freely scattered around the compound. An NGO area presents information and education. There is a station outside the toilets to “paint as you wait” with a large and exciting canvas. Shuttle buses go to and from the center of Ubud frequently, allowing an easy flow of nearly 500 attendees. Evening activities include live music and kirtan at an art museum. Festival FUN all day long.
Two of the studios, mandala flower meditation creations, “paint as you wait” to pee:
I am seeking shamanic ceremony, craving journeying and indigenous drum circles. I mentioned this aspiration briefly to the yogi roommate at the first place I crashed in Ubud and she recommends I connect with a sister named White Star. Alas White Star was present at the spirit carnival and I squeezed my way into the last appointment available for the day for a 30 minute session. We have known each other before I am certain. Sisters and brothers of this glorious Earth, we are coming together again.
Her energy is mighty, I can feel her presence before I sit before her altar. She is a Native American shamanista, a clear channel, gifted psychic, star family. I receive the most accurate reading in my entire life. Holy shit.
She bangs her drum and sings a soul song, seeing my Asian red dragon totem, one of fire and power. I feel the dragon sitting on my right shoulder. Messages continue: I am very connected to the land here and will remain for a long time. I will study with a Balian (a traditional Balinese shaman and further my healing skills). I am very shamanic and will support myself through various means including yoga, cooking, and energy healing. I do not like to be grounded or in one place for too long. I am greatly emerging into a new level of abilities and strength, my intuitive skills growing, the negativity and sadness of my childhood completely gone. I was a sister of my aunt in past-lives, my grandmothers (who have both passed) protect me greatly, one leaves feathers for me to know her presence. Thank you grandma, I love you.
(There is more but best to keep the privacy of some.)
I have said nothing yet and I see her white bear spirit guide. She is a bear no doubt, fierce and resilient. She reads my chakras, my future, tarot cards, and then answers specific questions. I would recommend her to any skeptic with full conviction. My heart chakra has opened more. I am gifted the phone numbers of two Balian. I am grateful sincerely.
The day at the outstanding festival is complete and I head back into the center of Ubud, visiting a visa extension service to gather information. I will purchase a cheap cellphone as well.
There is a feeling of fear to be grounded in any form but in my heart I know it is right. I am where I am supposed to be.