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  • About:Bali has a long tradition of Bali Usada, also known as Balinese traditional healing. The Balinese live equally in two worlds: the seen or conscious world called sekala, and the unseen or psychic world, called niskala. In traditional Balinese healing, both of these elements need to be addressed in order to truly heal.

  • What to expect:The experience will be very public. The healer may make magic, create fire, use mudras, draw patterns on your body, spit wads of chewed herbs on your skin, apply scented oils, poke you with sharp sticks and/or give you a deep tissue massage or manipulation.

  • Journal:Click here

Day 14, 14/11/11: Discovering Spirit - Bali

After breakfast we took a walk down the beach to release a young turtle which had been caught in a Javanese fishing net. As the little nipper was placed on the damp sand he looked dazed, somehow confused... probably thinking he'd already made this journey once before.

With us rallying him from the sidelines he picked up the pace, his awkward waggle generating forward momentum. By the time he hit the water there was no sign of any struggle or awkwardness, nor was there any looking back.

I returned to my room with the intention of catching up on some reading/journal writing however the moment I lay down on the veranda I was out cold. Judging by the creases on my face I must've been asleep for an hour or so. In an attempt to wake myself up I jumped in the shower; if only for a quick butt sizzle before heading down to the pool.

It was great to sit and chat with Paula; we enjoyed an iced cappuccino with a double cherry and talked a little more about our respective journeys and where we were currently. I have a great love for Paula, she's so easy to be around and in her presence I feel I learn so much. I admire the way she relates, the way she listens with her heart and of course I completely recognise in her that desire to learn, explore and to experience.

I'm so grateful to be sharing this adventure with both her and Joanne; the humour definitely helps and their desire to do this for themselves along with their support means an awful lot.

The afternoon was spent driving back across Bali to the retreat centre. Now when I heard the words, 'retreat centre' I had a sense of simplicity, something slightly rough however this retreat centre was a quiet haven, a place of refuge. It was also pretty luxurious.

As the sun set we headed into the family temple for prayer. Here we met Atoo, a delicately built lady who before us called in the Durga energy.

Wow, just when I thought it couldn't go any deeper - bam!

We were each positioned in front of her as the spirit entered. Before I had time to feel nervous she began moving her head in an erratic fashion; her hands flitting back and forth as if painting a masterpiece.

As she spoke Ken translated asking me, 'Are you a writer?' Amazed I said, 'I love to write'.

He proceeded to translate her words as they entered the space between us, "You are interested to know everything; curious about everything. You spend an equal time exploring both the shadow and the light to find your balance".

As she reached forward she took my hands and appeared to be drawing symbols on them. Ken said, "She's putting the energy of Saraswati into your hands. Using fire letters like a tattoo on the inner plains for this will take your writing to a new level. Saraswati is consort to Brahma (creator), the Goddess of philosophy and creativity who rides on a Golden Garuda carrying her forward in the direction of her soul's path".

Smiling she grabbed my neck and pulled me in close Ken translated, "you are on your soul's path; just keep doing what you're doing".

I don't know at what point the transcendence came but as she pulled me towards her and Ken spoke the words of my soul's path I melted. Somewhere deep inside I let go of whatever it was I was hanging onto. Almost like these were the words I've been waiting to hear, these are the words I knew were coming and in hearing them, for a brief moment I simply let go.

Internally I was in a free fall, spinning bottom up, head down. Amidst this state of chaos I connected with the little girl in me. Through a split second of letting go, of dropping my guard I was now falling; crashing through every thing that had previously kept me together. I needed to reach out to that little girl and I needed her to reach out to me; our lives depended on it. As the water was splashed on my head I recomposed myself, the visions of trance had now entered my conscious awareness.

As I sat bearing witness to every one who followed my layers were being peeled back. Through each delivered message I felt more and more exposed, I felt raw. On two occasions tears tumbled softly off my cheeks. I not only felt raw but I felt a physical connection to every word that was now being spoken. It was as if my insides were being singed; the sadness, the anguish, the exhaustion were like tiny droplets of fire rolling off my cheeks.

Sat listening I could feel the suffocation, the entrapment of each word spoken. Without warning I had found myself in the space between the outer person and the inner child. I was seeing before me a group of adults and a group of vulnerable, lost children.

Was this my own reflection... I have no idea but the pain felt real. In seeing people holding on the toxicity rose; in my mouth I was beginning to taste the putridity, the bitterness of it. I could recognise how each word felt in my body, what it looked like surrounded by every ogre and every angel imaginable.

Like being hurled through time I was taken back to that night, that night where out of sheer exhaustion and desperation I turned around to face my image. I remember as if it were yesterday what it felt like to purge toxicity, how the vomit of shame tasted as the wretched heat scolded my insides.

As I sat listening to each word spoken I felt nothing but compassion. I recognised every aspect of humanity as the cauldron was stirred and everything floated to the surface. If anything I didn't feel disconnected by the intensity of tonight but instead I felt a deeper connection to each and every person.

As we sat eating our evening meal a sombre weight filled the air, we had all been moved. The ways in which we each make sense of events is of course as unique as the person themselves but within the group there was a visible divide. The words of spirit it would seem had stirred the pot and now the broth simmered.

Paula courageously raised the presence of an elephant in the living room; thankfully it was received in a positive manner. As I sat listening to the words that followed I was blown away. The courage it must've taken to face and talk about such things, when it was all so fresh and raw was inspirational. If the circumstance was different, could I have shared my unfolding, spoken my truth; I'm not so sure.

I fully recognised the need to collude, the need to get away to shut it all out. If I'm honest I think this was something I needed to witness. As I glanced around it was unnerving, it was like everywhere I looked, every word I heard was a reflection. Without saying anything I saw a connection more potent than I can possibly comprehend.

Though tonight has been at times difficult I have sat in great admiration of the courage shown. I have also sat with the knowledge that out here just as in life we cannot save other people. We each have a path to walk and battles to fight, struggles to face and in those passages we make a solitary transit. Support, love and honesty are all we have to offer.

Courage is not a gift we can give another it's a gift we each already have. How we cultivate, use and own that gift is what we can share; it's called inspiration. As I sit here I think of a candle in the dark and in my heart I know, I believe that we can each light the way for each other. For at times everyones' candle will falter and during those moments what a blessing a warm spark of light would be.

Lying on my bed I needed some time to reflect. Tonight I felt a deep connection, almost like I wasn't in any way shocked or surprised by what was said to anyone, but that in my heart I was hearing what I already knew.

This has undoubtedly taken us the deepest we've gone and although at times the dialogue was difficult, painful; at times visibly nauseating the courage it harvested was nothing short of miraculous. I for one can see visible shifts in people through that one act alone. With palms together I bow in full gratitude for the magnitude of what has unfolded.

As Ken says, "You don't come here lightly" and "no-one returns unchanged". Tonight I not only hear that statement but I have seen it with my own eyes.

This coming alive, this growing is our birth right. As I sit with it all I am committed to move further into it, to dance with it, to explore it more deeply. For me there are no backward steps, a few years ago I made the choice to live and I intend to stay true to that sentiment. My soul depends upon it.

I have no idea when I will return to Bali but after tonight there is no doubt in my mind that I will be returning.