I’m sitting here at the China Air rest area in Taipei on my layover back from Bali…
I thought, how appropriate to write a blog on SpiritVoyage.com about my personal spirit voyage – 5 weeks in Bali…
I have been one of those chronic multi-taskers my whole life. Pressing forward with my to do lists, rarely checking off one thing before adding 3 or 4 to the list. Without yoga and meditation, the stress could be over whelming. For the past 8 years I’ve been working on myself, deep inner exploration and healing, learning the art of doing less and simply BEING more. When I regress back to my old ways, the symptoms show up so boldly, I can’t deny it. Tension, stress, eating junk and all the other signs its time to do a little mind/body cleansing.
I have come to learn there are others like this out there.
That’s when yoga shows up like a knight on a white horse to save the day.
Even 5 minutes of yoga can shift one’s perspective and completely change the energy and mood. Amp that up about 7,000 times by practicing yoga, thai massage, meditation and following a detox diet for 30 days with an amazing group of inspiring yogis from around the world and you can’t help but transform.
I developed this system, the Prasha Method, which has been profoundly effective in transforming lives in a very short period of time. People come from all corners of the Earth to share 30 days with me in Bali each year and it is always a miraculous experience that unfolds.
Each time I lead these programs, I go in with no expectation.
I show up to serve and from the day one welcome ceremony until the graduation party, the miracle of every moment blows my mind again and again. Every day new breakthroughs occur before my eyes, sometimes they are subtle, sometimes very profound.
One Australian yogi with exceptionally tight hips had a life changing realization about the traumatic event that occurred during the birth of her 2 children and the guilt and shame that was associated with that monumental experience. It was during our yin yoga and several breath work sessions that she burst out in sobbing tears and the flood gate was open. She was now ready to begin the healing process and I was so happy to have provided the container and held the space for that door to open in her life. Even by the end of the 30 days, she was just beginning to allow that DNA to release some of those memories and she cried very often, mostly in her own space away from the group. She shared with me that this was the first time she had given herself the time and space to explore those painful memories and now she felt strong and confident enough to go home and continue working on this very worthy healing process. She also vowed to stop drinking, which for her had become a daily medication practice to numb that inner pain that was so deeply embedded within. She said she had never finished anything she started, and if she could make it through this, she would be surprised! I’m proud to say, she made it through and by the end, she was a radiant light of peace and serenity. On many occasions, when her mind and attitude turned negative and her “Dukha” self talk spiraled down, she had to turn herself around with a little nudge from myself and the group. And she did it too! It was beautiful to witness the guru within at work in such a powerful way.
Another woman from UK came with chronic back pain for the past 10 years. Each day she showed up and practiced with us for 7 hours (sometimes it was just lecture or workshops, but 7 hours each day we were in session, 4 of which were physical asana practice) and then one day, after a grueling deep tissue massage with my local Balinese healer friend Tino, she was so bruised on her back and hips that I was shocked to see it! She was so tough and determined though, as she said, she knew she had to breath through that last session with Tino, because she could tell there was a break through waiting for her on the other side of that pain this time.
And it was! She was so ecstatic the last few days of her time with us, as she smiled ear to ear, as for the first time in over 10 years she didn’t experience that same sciatic pain in her back shooting down her legs!
And the breakthrough stories continued on and on all month.
Another European woman from the Isle of Man, UK came with a bag full of prescription pain killers to keep her back pain within tolerable range while she ‘attempted to practice yoga with us’. That was her intention.
Back home she would have had a few cocktails each day to ease her chronic pain as well, but this time, she was going to follow my detox diet and cleanse and practice as much yoga as her body would allow…
By the second week, she was almost pain free. She was off 2 of her pain pills and was getting stronger by the day. By the last week of our program, she was practicing 4 yoga classes per day completely pain free! She was completely off of all pain meds and she was busting out some amazing arm balances even the young men and advanced yogis weren’t able to attempt. It was nothing short of miraculous and inspiring. Although she came only for the 30 day retreat, I gave her an honorary yoga teacher certificate, since she showed up for almost every class and workshop and encouraged her to come back for a future training to earn the stamp of approval and take her test to become a yoga teacher. She will be an amazing yoga teacher one day because to have been through that much pain and come out on the other side is a miracle and a powerful place to be able to teach and heal others from. I know this, as it is also my story…
Many other stories I could share, and I will… in my next blog.
The last week of our training together, I invited anyone who may be interested to read the movie treatment I wrote, called “The Power of Love” which is a autobiographical story about the challenging and dramatic childhood and early part of my life, along with the powerful stories of my 3 sisters and the inspiring ending that we have all turned out pretty darn cool despite all we went through in the early years…
After some of them read that, they mentioned, “you should have had us read that in the first week… perhaps it would help people to know what you have been through so they can see you are not just a sweet girl who got lucky and now lives a very magical adventurous life.” One Canadian woman shared, “no one likes perfect people and it helps for people to know the struggle you’ve been through, it makes it easier to relate.”
So, that is what I intend to do. Break down any walls that may exist, in the perception of my readers and students, that I am anything other then one with you.
I believe we are mirrors for each others’ evolution and at the core of our being – we are all one beautiful soul being expressed through various unique experiences and bodies for the shear pleasure of the Universal Oneness to delight in the divine theater of our lives. We are also here to illuminate for each other our light and darkness so we may break down the old limiting belief systems and become whole again.
Our struggles lead to our growth. Our breakdowns lead to our breakthroughs. And without the darkest of nights, we could not fully appreciate the most radiant beams of light at the first sight of the new dawn.
I had shared a lot of my philosophy and personal story in my book Journey to Joyful and I also write about these challenges and how I over come them in my weekly newsletter…
I love you.
Our time in Bali this year was nothing short of magical.
I discovered new dimensions of my own heart and soul, and in many ways, I feel I became more of a woman during this trip. Being surrounded by 17 amazing souls from around the world made me step up my game. Each of them was a God or Goddess in their own right and I was honored to be their yoga river guide. They all are about to embark upon the magic of teaching yoga in their respective communities and I am so excited for the world to experience their flavor of Pranashama Yoga – the Sacred Life Force energy that calms the mind – unifying all of creation.
The last morning in Bali, at our new destination for 2013 the Bloo Lagoon in Padang Bai, I woke up before the sun and practiced yoga overlooking the gorgeous lagoon and ocean as the golden ball of gas rose up over the mountains across the water. It was different today for some reason. Most special then it had been in quite some time.
And then journeying down the pathway to our private beach, I was blown away by the sunrise over the water.
I’m so happy to share these moments with you.
The following words echoed through my mind and heart while I swam in the waves and practiced yoga on the shore:
STOP LOOKING FOR THE MAGIC.
YOU ARE IT.
THE MIRACLE IS YOU.
THE MIRACLE IS YOU.
THE MIRACLE IS YOU.
And the dance continues…
Blessings and Love,