Saturday, September 26, 2009


“When you learn to quiet your mind, you will hear them too”  (Name that movie and the character who said that and to whom, and you will get, um, nothing, but I’ll know you know too- you can even correct the errors in the quote that I think might be there.)

That quote entered my mind the other day while sitting looking out at a bunch of rice fields in Bali, watching a couple of men chase birds out of the rice that was about ready to be harvested.  

My life generally proceeds at a relatively frenetic pace.  I work long hours, then I try to carve out time to have a social life, to take care of me, to sleep, whatever.  I seem to be always rushing from one place to the next and detesting being late anywhere. A few years ago, I committed to “scheduling” one night off a week.  Literally, when I have weeks that are becoming too full, I’ll make sure that one night stays blocked off for me to not have plans.  I actually calendar my night off. The whole idea of scheduled free time seems hypocritical, but it has made a big difference for me and my state of mental exhaustion.

Yet still, I have been in Bali for 12 days and have rarely found a place so relaxing. I have literally sat and looked at nothing for hours, and I usually don’t sit.  I have actually succeeded in stopping my mind from playing the perpetual what if games.  I can’t ever shut it off, but I’ve turned the volume down at least.  I have found tremendous pleasure in such simple things.  At the beach, I walked along the water every morning and then sat in  a pagoda things and looked out at the ocean and felt the cool breeze blow over me.   I’d think about things important to me, but mostly I’d just be there and look.  When I moved inland, initially I found the same morning ritual in along the edge of rice fields and then when the sun shone again by going for long morning walks (sometimes with people, sometimes alone). I have rarely felt so calm in my adult life.  This new state of calmness prevented me from being able to tolerate shopping in Ubud the other day.  It was too loud, too bustling, too much going on, I had to escape.  (So, if you thought I might bring you home something from Bali- sorry I just couldn’t do it.)  Shopping has always been utilitatrian for me, and I have never been a fan of the whole bargaining game, and well they was nature and sunlight to explore.

Just a few photos from Bali- so many more..

Last night as I started to think about getting ready to begin my 24 hour journey home, some of the trappings of my LA life started to seep back in. I balked.  I know it is inevitable, but it would be nice to live life as we know it with this type of serenity.  An impossibility I fear, but a noble goal.  Let's see how long I can keep that goal in the midst of a 24 hour journey home.

1 comment:

Jodi said...

This is awesome! Quieting the mind is something I really want to work toward. I know you got some sad news while you were away, but it seems like you had an amazing adventure overall!