Written by Ashmi Pathela
I came to Bali 6 months ago.
Like many, I was looking for healing – of the mind, body, and spirit.
Walking through the streets of Ubud, Bali on the first morning, I was overcome with peace. There was a promise of magic to come, as I saw the kindness in the locals’ eyes, abundance of healthy and revitalizing foods, and signs of spiritual tradition infused in daily life. I knew I was right where I needed to be to find the cleansing I craved.
Ubud is like a spiritual candy shop for healing. There’s no shortage of shops and signs pointing to yoga, workshops, meditation, detox cleanses, energy work, retreats, and so much more. There were services I’ve never heard of before – theta healing, shamanic breathwork, and kambo detoxes to name a few.
On top of that, it’s easy to immerse yourself in the community. If you wanted, you could fill your social calendar to the brim with events, workshops, and dances happening daily.
I dove into it all. I was looking for something – inspiration, breakthroughs, and an openness in my heart. I was looking for a freer way to be.
And slowly, I felt my heart opening. I can’t point to one healing session or activity that impacted me most. It was the entire journey.
The Moments In Between
I found the greatest opportunities for transformation were not during the healing sessions but in the moments in between… In the regular moments in between the activities, social gatherings, and yoga classes.
In these moments, I observed myself. Am I slowing down? Am I embodying the peace I feel within? Do I love myself right now? How are my thoughts showing me what I need to heal within? Am I being gentle with my body? Can I smile warmly and converse with the waitresses, the taxi driver, the neighbor next door – without rushing through my day?
That’s where I found the stillness. I found the connection to my core, and along with it, a deeper connection with humanity. Tiny moment by moment, I started embodying the person I wanted to be and the way I wanted to move through life.
I caught myself dancing more freely. The clouds lifted from my eyes, and I couldn’t help but walk down the street and smile at strangers. I anticipated magic every day, which brought me miracles that I will never forget.
Through beautiful friendships, sparkly nights, and quiet walks in nature, I discovered a new awareness that became the serene backdrop of my entire being. I finally started loving myself more fully, and it overflowed to others.
There’s so much healing and activities available here in Bali that you could find yourself flitting from one to the next, only to miss the depth that you were seeking. Many weeks, I distracted myself with a busy schedule because it was too painful (and at the time, boring) to sit with myself and look at the wounds within.
I had to do the work on my own. I had to connect the dots and insights between each friendship, workshop, and healing session. And when I felt called, I withdrew from all of the activity to go deeper into meditation for an entire month.
Stepping Into My Power
I came to Bali for healing, but in the beginning, I was looking for it outside of myself.
Now, I realize we don’t need someone, or something external, to heal us. Of course, many of those sessions and healers are profoundly transformative, and we’ll be intuitively guided to the ones that are right for us.
But we must remember that we are powerful beyond our wildest dreams. We’re not broken, to begin with. Our souls are and have always been, whole. But in forgetting the connection between our hearts and inner child, we experienced incredible pain and separation. We didn’t know how to access the unconditional love that had always been within.
And now, as I sit in my villa in Bali, I look around at the life I’ve created. I’m overwhelmed with awe. Could I have imagined feeling this free 6 months ago? This beautiful life is simply a reflection of the beauty I’ve found within – through my rekindled love for myself.
Every step of my journey led me to this – all of the triumphs, the challenges, and the pain. I remember my carefree childhood years filled with awe for life, followed by the darker adolescent years where I lost my connection to spirit. Climbing the career ladder for years, I stopped trusting my heart and intuition. Bali was where I came back to myself and remembered who I really am. I found the courage to start living my truth.
Finally, everything feels aligned – mind, body, and spirit. At the moment, the masculine and feminine energies within me are balanced. I’m at peace, knowing there’s nothing I need outside of me to make me feel more blissful and alive. And that’s because I know the deeper I go within, the greater my capacity to love myself and others.
This inner bliss is accessible within you, wherever you are. You don’t need to go to Bali for it, though the beautiful environment and community support it immensely. All we need to do is close our eyes, and with time, that ecstatic oneness returns to remind us that we have everything we need at this moment. And from that stillness, we can create everything we desire.
To read more about my spiritual journey, awakening, and new paradigms of abundance, go to my blog Covival.
Ashmi Pathela is the creator of Covival, a blog and global community inspiring new paradigms for living from the heart, intuition, & abundance. She also serves as Chief of Staff and advisor to the founder at Stigma, a venture-backed startup focused on improving the world’s mood. Learn more about Ashmi at www.ashmipathela.com.