Becoming properly hippified in Bali

The 2014 Bali Files: On Being Totally Over Hippieville and WANTING AMERICA

I recently pulled this post from the 2014 archives… it made me smile so much tonight. I wrote this during my first ever stint in Bali 5 years ago… after leaving my relationship and facing intense karmic and emotional healing, I was flung headfirst into the full-on spiritual community of Ubud – a wonderful, unforgettable healing journey into every possible spiritual modality you can imagine. 🙂 It changed me – and Bali has called me back nearly every year since this. I look back on the girl I was back then… and smile, knowing she had no idea what was to come….. 

May, 2014. 

Today, I was hit over the head with something like a ton of coconuts: I miss America.

And not only do I miss America, but I literally don’t think I can handle seeing one more dreadlock or mandala tattoo or green smoothie in the next five minutes or I’m going to lose my very dutifully acquired kundalini awakening moment right here all over the crumbling Ubud sidewalk in front of a street dog or Tantric goddess.

I went to a cacao ceremony yesterday, soaked in all the free and open love, the heart-opening properties of the raw cacao bean, danced and sweated and chanted and screamed then made a vortex in the pool with all of these people, went out for raw desserts later and shared beautiful love and hugs all through the day and night.

Then I went to Ecstatic Dance today, where the whole experience just seemed a bit “weird.”

Bali Spirit Festival (which I properly loved) :)
Bali Spirit Festival (which I properly loved) 🙂

First of all, I was told off by one guy for talking, then another lady for taking a photo. I was struck by how different this experience was from the first Ecstatic Dance I came to on my first night in Bali. Then, I was so out of place and uncomfortable, and now…I recognize people everywhere: Clair the clairvoyant, Christabel the alchemy of breath angel, yoga teachers, tattooed friends, the owner of the organic cafe…I have feathers in my ears, I’m grooving and shaking and… oh wait.

Yeah…. This still feels weird. 

I went to the cafe after the dance class, where some friends were doing the vegetarian buffet… I wasn’t feeling it.. waited for a coconut…and waited…. looking around, I just started feeling like, are these really my people? Or am I trying to change myself to be here? 

I am healthy, and organic, and I love yoga and spirituality…but there’s still a separation, somehow. I don’t know why, I’m just not.

I have to stop with the 4-minute hugs and talking about “the energy” and waving my arms around in ecstatic dance if I’m just not feeling it because how are any of you actually in this mood for real all of the freaking time?!

I love nature and yoga and healthy food and believe me I’m over the moon for all the raw, vegan and gluten free shit here… but today, I was so overcome by a desire to march into a Starbucks with my laptop and get shit done and actually feel at home, that I basically had to speed home at full blast so as not to lose my actual shit in front of one more zenned out yogi. (AND I AM A YOGI!!!)

Crystals and chakras and mandalas and shakti and shiva… cacao and downward dog and spirulina cheesecake and hairy armpits and coconuts with bamboo straws…. it’s beautiful and natural and people are so relaxed and chilled and sometimes I just feel fucking nuts and I have no idea why!!!

Fucking nuts.

So today? Take me anywhere, take me to America, take me to a big city where there’s buzzing life and people are a little irritated and the subway is too packed and the line at Starbucks is too long and it’s low vibe and WHATEVER. Take me to a baseball game or out for a burger or to Nordstroms or to happy hour.

Because just for today, I don’t want to do any more fucking yoga.

I don’t want another macca chai or raw avo-cacao mousse, tantric dance class or Kirtan sound healing. I don’t want a wooden bungalow or sauna detox or chakra balancing or a sacred tattoo or reflexology massage.

Becoming properly hippified in Bali
Becoming properly hippified in Bali

Just for one fucking day I could go for a regular grill-out party with some friends on a rooftop in Seattle.

I want to eat sushi downtown then browse the summer shoes at Target with a freaking basic AF Frappuccino. I want to drink a craft beer then go cheer at a sports event, and sing along with my sister in the car to all the cheesiest Top 40 songs with the windows rolled down on our way to a regular old girl’s night. I know it’s considered “low consciousness” and “stepping back into safety”, but today, for the love of God, I want to feel at home again.

I’m a stranger in a strange land, and I don’t know what it means anymore. I’m simultaneously alone, and surrounded by others. I’m constantly questioning the meaning of the universe and feeling things open and emotions flowing out when THEY ARE NOT EXPECTED and these are the times I know I must write. Through my writing, I can at least attempt to make sense of everything around me that I don’t understand.

Why do I feel so strange?

I’m changing, I am slowing down, feeling more, speaking differently, waking up somehow. 

I understand about chakras and shivas and shaktis, I’ve blessed the cacao tree and participated in the day of silence and stripped off my layers and laughed, and cried, and cried some more. Especially in pigeon pose. Every damn day. 

So why do I still find myself craving the low consciousness offerings of home? What is it that I’m missing here?

I am detoxing, this is true. I’m learning to go without the drug that has sustained me for so long. I literally must rebuild who I am and how I function in this world. He was my flotation device, now it’s just me – and this new world I’m entering.

I know it’s where I’m going. Spirituality. Conscious living. Let me be real for a sec: It is INTENSE here in Bali. I know I’m here now for a reason, and I feel this place in my future, somehow.

I feel myself with one foot in each land… a (very uncomfortable) bridge, so to speak.

We wander to discover new lands… only to look back and discover we’ve changed too much to ever truly go back.

Where do we belong, then?

Who am I becoming?

I feel that I’ll always have a foot in both lands. Because my purpose is to be a bridge…somehow.

Right now though, that feels too fucking overwhelming to comprehend.

Just for today. Remind me of home.

Let me play in the safe little bubble where I’ve always been…

Then I’ll be ready for all of this.

With my sage burning in one hand…

And Seattle girl double espresso in the other. 🙂 


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