The holy temple and the irreverent tourist

It is a never ending learning experience here in Ubud. It feels as though I could stay here for another year and soak up so much knowledge and wisdom from the people around me.  However, I still have a deep yearning to continue moving to the next destination. It is my last week here in Bali before I head off to the Philippines. I am quite excited to see what it will be like. A very different scene I think. But it should be fun!

Since my last post I have been working through more thoughts and feelings that have been limiting me from living a full and happy life. I have always known I am a people pleaser, I always want people to like me and at times I go to great lengths to impress people. I change the way I talk, the words I use, my body language, and at this point you are probably thinking.. there is nothing wrong with that, I do that all the time! Yes, there is nothing wrong with that in my mind, how ever I would go so far as to change my morals for other people to be accepted by them. I was too scared to stand up for what I believed, so I would change the very fabric of who I was to impress someone, or to be accepted by them. I came to the realization that it was really starting to harm me and harm others around me. By me giving people a false perception of who I was, it was almost like creating some fake persona that I would have to keep up every time I was with that person or group of people.  And I don’t want that! My biggest fear that started me down this path was that I would be alone. That no one would accept me the way I was, and I would live a pretty lonely life with my weird principles. I was encouraged by people here when they made me realise that if someone doesn’t accept you the way you are, or makes you feel like your principals or morals aren’t cool, then you shouldn’t even give them the time of day. And not give them the power in your life.

Along with my people pleasing comes another predicament. And it is amplified by my large amount of care for other people. I will go out of my way to do things for other people to make them happy. I’ll go to great lengths to get them what they need or what they want, and I enjoy it! I love helping people and doing what I can to make a positive difference. How ever sometimes I don’t feel like helping someone but am afraid of what they will think of me. I’m so used to saying yes when someone asks a favor that I don’t know how to say no! This is a good demonstration of me caring for other people more than I care for myself. This can lead me to feelings of resentment and bitterness. Or feelings of being completely drained because I’m in a situation I don’t truly want to be in. I have learnt if I don’t take care of myself first, if I don’t love myself then I will eventually run out of steam or do things for others with the wrong intentions. I am really learning the importance of taking care of myself and loving myself first. This will make me a more effective giver!

Since my last post I have traveled around the island a bit. Stopping in Ulu watu, Sanur, Amed and Lovina. It was nice experiencing something slightly different to Ubud. The air felt different, more fresh on the coast. The snorkeling was exceptional in Amed. So many fish! Clear water and very close to the beach.
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This could be any west coast beach in New Zealand’s North Island!

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Sunset at a very nice restaurant in Candidasa

This morning I decided to do something spiritual. I headed to the Holy water temple to be blessed by its fresh water and to pray for love and blessings for myself and my family.

Picture a place where everyone is extremely reverent and in a respectful silence to pray. I was the only foreigner when I arrived and I had already broken a bunch of rules by entering the temple without a sarong. After getting the proper attire on, I was put in a humble mood, reminded that this place was sacred. I made my way to the edge of the pool and slowly stepped down into it, when at that moment I slipped on the step in the water and came crashing down at great speed into the Holy water creating a big noise and disturbing the tranquility of the place. After getting out of the water I heard the locals around me trying to hold back their laughter, it was quite a scene but I didn’t get told off. The experience of being washed by the water was humbling. Watching people stand under each fountain in prayer to whichever God they were praying to. It was really nice to watch entire families participating in the celebration.

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I have booked my ticket for the Philippines and am off in a week. I’m excited for the next step in my journey!

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