What a Coincidence

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Ahhhh, fresh start. I am oddly fascinated by New Year’s Resolutions – I also tend to take them very seriously. One of my resolutions last year was to step out of my comfort zone. Welp, safe to say I succeeded with that resolution! So now we embark on 2018. New Year, New Resolutions. 

Here are my resolutions for this next year…and life (writing them down here will help me commit and hold me accountable):

1. Drink more water.
2. Focus on dreams.
3. Write something every day…even if it’s just a quote in my notebook.
4. No drinking (unless event, limit to 1-2 drinks).
5. Most importantly: Trust the Process.

I may delve deeper into my resolutions another time, but for this entry, I really want to write about coincidences…

I’ve had a series of coincidences happen recently that are making me feel giddy and excited for each day. There are countless books and blogs that discuss the significance of coincidences (also: synchronicity, serendipity, providence, and fate) and when I started digesting the information, coincidences started popping up all over the place. One of the greatest books I’ve read on coincidences is “Sidewalk Oracles” by Robert Moss – it is like candy for the mind. Sure, you can shrug every coincidence off and use the negative connotation: “It’s just a coincidence” (i.e. It doesn’t mean anything). OR, you can look at each little coincidence and smile from it. Another book I’ve read about coincidences is called “When God Winks” by SQuire Rushnell. To sum this book up in one sentence: “If you experience a coincidence, it means you’re moving in the right direction.” Alright coincidences, bring ’em on!

So I have two coincidences that I’m still in awe of that have happened this past week.

1. On Tuesday, I visited Portland, OR and went to one of my all-time happy places: Powell’s – City of Books. My goal was to purchase one book recommended to me by my friend’s Mom, and also purchase another book that I would stumble across. I love to go into bookstores and follow my intuition – I’m usually drawn to a particular section, then I check out about 15-20 different books until I come across ‘the one.’ Usually when I pick out the right book, I just know it – it’s odd, but the same thing can be done picking out an outfit, a meal, or even a partner in life! So once I picked up the book recommended to me, it was time to let my intuition lead me to my second book. I walked immediately to the dream section and I’m pretty sure I looked at about 25 different dream books. “No. No. No. No. No….” None of them were speaking to me – and then I picked up a book called, “The Three ‘Only’ Things.” “YES.” I flipped through the pages and saw chapters on coincidences, dreams, and imagination. “YES YES YES.” Then I looked at the author… Robert Moss. The same man who wrote my favorite book: Sidewalk Oracles. Hmmmmm, what a coincidence! [big grin on my face]

Another minor coincidence regarding Robert Moss – I looked up his website to see if he was doing any speaking engagements anywhere near me. He’s from Australia and lives in New York, so I had a feeling I wouldn’t have much luck. Turns out, he must be very drawn to Washington, because he has several retreats (and Dream Teacher trainings) in DUVALL, WASHINGTON. What. Are. The. Odds?? 


2. Now this second coincidence still gives me chills. On my way back to Seattle from Vancouver, I wanted to do a driving meditation. I quickly searched on Spotify to see if there were any guided meditations on driving. Almost every single guided meditation instructs you to lay down and close your eyes. I wanted something that was specific to being behind the wheel. I happened to find one that is actually intended for use while on the road. It was a 15-minute meditation on the podcast called “10% Happier with Dan Harris.” I didn’t know this at the time, but Dan Harris happens to be an ABC News anchor who discovered meditation after he had a panic attack live on-air.

I’m so happy I listened to that meditation because it completely changed my 3-hour drive. I was driving mindfully, noticing all the rushed people zipping by me, feeling content with driving the speed limit, and relaxing my usually-tense neck muscles. I arrived in Lake Forest Park and realized that those 3 hours flew by.

The next day, I was talking with Kris in the living room and she mentioned that she usually catches up on The Daily Show the day after it airs to see the monologue and any guests she finds interesting. She said that the previous night’s guest was indeed interesting and that I should check out the interview. 

“The guest’s name is Dan Harris and he’s written a book…”

[I know that name. Hmmmm…The DaVinci Code. Maybe he’s written a new book.]

“…and he wrote a book on meditation called ‘10% Happier.'”

[WHOA. Whoa.whoa.whoa. Not Dan Brown, the author of The DaVinci Code…Dan HARRIS, the same guy I listened to a day ago in my car!!]

What a coincidence!

So I, of course, watched the interview and loved what he had to say about meditation. The biggest takeaway: even ONE MINUTE of meditation a day can work its magic. I used to think that meditation can only happen in a dark, quiet room, with my legs crossed and my thumbs touching my pointer fingers. This isn’t necessarily the case. You can meditate anywhere, any time…even for a minute. You can even meditate in your car…

Can’t wait to see what other coincidences will pop up. I’m enjoying 2018 thus far and remembering to Trust the Process. I hope you’re having a great 2018 so far and you hold on to your resolutions. It’s going to be a good year…

Beauty in the Mystery

Friday, December 29th, 2017


I’ve mentioned a few times throughout this blog a service called “Notes from the Universe.” If you’ve never checked it out, I highly encourage you to. I woke up this morning to a message from the Universe that put a smile on my face. Since I’ve returned to the States, I’ve been very happy, but also a bit stressed if I’m being completely honest. What do I do? Where do I want to be? How am I going to make an income? Do I need to find a job that I may be unfulfilled in STAT so I don’t go broke? Where am I going to live?

It is very, very stressful not having a job and having bills to pay. It was easy in Bali because practically everything was cheaper than a white mocha; but now I’m putting off my white mocha addiction and pinching my pennies. While it’s stressful, I’m using this as a fun challenge for myself. I’m channeling McGyver, but instead of making a raft with paper clips, a door, and a balloon, I’m figuring out how to live in America with the resources I have at this moment. I’m reevaluating where I’m driving to save on gas, I’m making my food last longer, and I’m looking at my calendar like a Tetris game. With all the plans I have in January, I’m not overstaying my welcome anywhere, and I’m having fun at the same time. I know this phase won’t last forever, so I’m enjoying this strange period of unemployment. Weird, huh? Although it’s a stressful phase, it’s also very freeing. I can make plans for the middle of the day with friends – I can say yes to all dogsitting or babysitting jobs – I can AVOID TRAFFIC.

Back to the message from the Universe…it was exactly what I needed to read during this phase. Maybe it’s what you need to read, too:

Andrea, soon the new year starts, so now’s a great time to:

1. Wipe the slate clean.
2. Focus upon what you really want.
3. Chart your course.

Or is that a bit old school? Feels tiring! Ugh!

How about an adventurous alternative:

1. Give thanks that your life is exactly as it is.
2. Decide that 2018 will be the happiest year of your life yet.
3. Every day, follow your heart and instincts down new paths.

This will be your year, Andrea –
The Universe

Before I headed to paradise, I purchased a new pair of shoes. I wrote about these shoes and how they would be taking me on adventures that were a mystery to me at the time. That’s part of the fun in life…not knowing. Just being. Accepting the moment for what it is.

I had a fresh pedicure the day before I left for Bali and I intentionally didn’t get a pedicure in Bali (can you believe I turned down a $5 pedicure?!) because my nail polish was a weird kind of timeline. Sure enough, these shoes took me on a plethora of adventures that I’ll never forget. I had no idea at the time of purchase what these shoes would mean to me.

Now I’m back in the Pacific Northwest and my adventure sandals are packed away in my Summer boxes. Back to boots. Where will these shoes take me?? It’s a mystery.


I had a thought this morning about my desire to know. I’m extremely curious about everything – two of my favorite questions are, “Why?” and “How?” I’m constantly wanting to dig deeper and find the root of anything I’m learning about. So, naturally, I’ve been wanting to know what my future holds. Then I thought about how I’ve always been curious about how this world even began in the first place. (My coffee this morning was very strong…) Where did we come from? I grew up learning about the Big Bang Theory as well as the Christian belief that God created the world in 7 days. (Disclaimer: I know these are always controversial topics – this is my personal opinion and I respect everyone’s opinion. This is what I believe and don’t intend to change anyone’s mind…just talking my way through this!). But in my opinion, these are simply theories. No one actually knows 100%. This means anything is possible. We don’t know, and there’s a really good chance we will never know how the Universe was created. I don’t know why I was born a human in this body of mine in this part of the world. Is everything scientific and we are just molecules moving about on a giant rock being held down by gravity? Is everything completely random and nothing has meaning? We. Don’t. Know. So it’s up to us to decide what our truth, our belief, is.

For some reason, I’m always wanting to figure out how it all began. I research theories all the time; I read books on different ideas, and sometimes I go down endless rabbit holes. But why do I need to know? It’s a fascinating topic to contemplate, but it will never end with an answer. So I continued thinking about it this morning and told myself, “It’s okay to not know.” I don’t know the beginning and I also don’t know the end. What’s the fun if I did? Life is meant to be unknown – anything could happen at any moment that could alter the course of our expected life…so go with the flow.

Every day, every second, is a new journey for the soul inside of our body. I want to make sure it’s a positive and fun journey, so even though I am in a stressful point in my life, I know there are lessons to be learned, challenges to be conquered, and adventures to be had.

As I reflect on the most incredible, most life-changing, year of my life, it feels as if 2017 will be impossible to top. But someone very wise told me: 2018 will be the happiest year of my life yet. I believe it.

Where will my feet take me next? I can’t wait to find out…

During Home

Sunday, December 24th, 2017

Merry Christmas Eve! 

This past week has been a complete mix of emotions. I have the urge to write and write and write, but I’ll keep this entry short. Oddly enough, what I want to write about is how I’m going to continue this blog. I’m finding it interesting the tiny things that are making me think so much. So much of my adventure was captured in this blog, and in a lot of ways it is what kept me sane during all of the ups and downs in Bali. My writing has become a consistent part of my journey through this period of life.

Whenever I post a new entry, I include a category. The past 9 months, I’ve used “Before Bali” and “During Bali.” Now I’m selecting the category “After Bali.” I can’t help but wonder, what is my Before category now? What’s coming next? The rest of my life can’t be known as “After Bali.” Even my subtitle, “An American Girl in Amed, Bali” will need to change. But to what? I’m sort of in this limbo place right now where I’m home for the holidays and adjusting back to the Western world – it’s a holiday for everyone. But I don’t have clear direction anymore; I’m feeling a bit lost. So once I get back to Seattle, it’ll be time to focus. I am reminding myself to trust the Universe and know that everything will work out, but it is a bit scary. And that doesn’t mean I can just sit on my ass and see what happens. I need to get out there and discover for myself what my next “During _______”  category is. 

I’ve had people tell me they can’t live vicariously through me anymore and that maybe it’s time to find a new place to live and get another job in the city. A big part of me agrees with all of that. I mean, I’m not in paradise zipping around on my scooter anymore and now I need to find a way to make an income. Will I have anything worth writing about anymore? Well, that little voice of mine is telling me my adventure isn’t over…

So my “plan” is to look into organizations that align with my passions, keep having conversations (so many of my experiences in Bali spurred from random conversations with strangers), keep writing, and keep trusting in the Universe and myself. 

Before I get into hustle mode, I’m going to keep enjoying this incredible time with my family. I am so grateful to be home for my favorite holiday and be able to do a little bit of yoga with Claire Bear. Everything will work out – it always does.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas full of joy and love. 

Life is good.

New Reality

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Back in Seattle…

My tourist visa was up on the 15th, so I had to leave Indonesia once again. I had grappled with what I was going to do – Singapore again? A new country? Back home? And then an image of a face came into my mind…little Claire. I have been watching her grow up the past 4 months over FaceTime and I knew I had to come back to see her in person. So I booked my ticket back to America and enjoyed my last couple of weeks in Amed. 

I ate all my favorite meals (bakso soup and nasi campur), kept volunteering as much as I could, and rode my scooter everywhere. I soaked up the energy until the very last minute. 

I was required to leave Indonesia by December 15th, so I managed to find a flight out at 11:55pm. I was going to stay as long as I humanly could. But the day before I was supposed to leave, I received an e-mail telling me my flight has been changed to 5 hours earlier. This cut my last day in half, but I did my best to not let it get to me. Oddly enough, my very last day was one of the most peaceful days of my entire trip. You know those warm, Summery days when kids are on school break, everyone seems to be outside, birds are chirping, and everyone just seems happy? That’s what this day felt like. Perfect last day. I was terribly sad to leave Amed, but as my driver was exiting the little town, my gut was telling me I’d be back. I don’t know when, but I knew it wouldn’t be the last time I’d be in Amed.

I flew from Bali to Jakarta, then on to Beijing. Beijing was a tough layover – extremely rude people (very hard to transition from the nicest humans ever in Bali to people who just seem angry all the time). Managed to make it through 7 hours without wanting to die, and then it was my 12 hour final flight to Seattle. I barely got sleep, watched 4 movies, and sat next to a really cool 12-year-old who has traveled all over the world. He kept tapping me on my shoulder to ask random questions (“Ummm excuse me, what’s your favorite cola?”) and he actually kept me sane while the baby 4 rows ahead was crying every hour. 

And then finally. Off the plane, through immigrations, and baggage picked up. Mom and Jay picked me up and thankfully my Mom packed a few sweatshirts for me to wear. I was expecting a huge culture shock upon my return, but being back in Seattle was like riding a bike. Got right back into it and it felt like I hadn’t even left. The biggest shock was the coldness.

Of course I had to do a few of my favorite things now that I was back. We enjoyed Starbucks White Mochas at Pike Place Market, eggs Benedict at Pesos, NAP, cheese and crackers, and dinner at Dick’s. Ahhh, Seattle.

So now what? I wasn’t afraid to go to Bali and see where life would take me, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous at all to be back. “Back to reality,” everyone keeps saying. So what’s my new reality? Do I hunt for a full-time, corporate job? I need to make an income if I’m going to travel again. Where will I live? CAN I even live in Seattle anymore? I have a bazillion questions and only one answer: go with the flow. I’ve promised myself to maintain the spirit that I had in Bali. Just because I’m in the Pacific Northwest, doesn’t mean I have to “get back to the grind.” I’m going to still explore, find joy in every day, and follow my intuition. 

I’m at my favorite coffee shop next to Greenlake now (yessss, I’m back at my happy place!), and they’ve since remodeled and renamed it to “The Retreat.” How fitting… It’s seriously odd how it feels like I was only gone a week. Feels like I’ll be waking up tomorrow and getting ready for work. Was Bali just a dream? It was as quick as a blink! When you’re there, time slows down. Everything that happened made it feel as if I was there a lifetime. But now I’m back and cars are driving faster, people seem a bit more agitated, and everything is expensive as hell. The prices are going to be a hard adjustment – I’m going to miss my $1.50 full tank of gas!

But just like my favorite coffee shop has remodeled, so have I. I noticed I was driving slower on I-5 (if you know me, that’s a big deal), and nothing is bothering me. Granted, it’s only been a day… But even though it feels like I was barely gone, my body went through many seasons and emotions. Out of all the times in a lifetime, I happened to be in Bali while Agung was erupting for the first time in 55 years. That volcano shifted everyone that was in Bali whether they realized it or not. It made me look at life in a whole new way. 

In the first week of landing in Bali in August, I found a perfect white sand beach that felt like was meant for me.

Just a few days ago, I went back to the “Stairway to Heaven” beach. It had completely changed. I couldn’t really believe it and I checked my map to make sure I was at the same beach. Within 4 months, a white sand beach had completely been turned into a stone beach. There was clearly a lot of work happening on this beach while not looking. It’s so representative of my time there. I know my brain has shifted and I know my heart has grown. I feel like a whole new person.


While I was in Bali, I was unemployed. But I could play the whole, “I’m traveling” card. But now that I’m back in America, I can’t play that card anymore. Now it’s reality – I’m unemployed and there’s a tinge of embarrassment. Now the pressure of ‘figuring out my life’ is becoming a bit stronger.

I’ve had visions of a few different scenarios. One of those visions has me turning into a lazy, depressed, jobless person… But I REFUSE to let that happen. I could also end up getting back onto the path that I was on before, which seems to be what everyone sort of expects. Or I could keep going with my adventure – see where life takes me… I’m extremely curious to see what I’ll end up doing. If it were up to me, I’d love to dogsit, babysit, keep writing, and not feel the chains of societal expectations again. I want to keep listening to my intuition, follow the signs, and trust that I will end up in the right place. I felt so free in Bali – I intend to keep that sense of freedom. It wasn’t just a vacation like so many people think. It was my new way of life – it was training for a new reality.

So it’s decided, isn’t it? Keep going. Adventure in the Pacific Northwest. No concrete plans…going with the flow like usual. 

Let’s see where this road goes…

Living 

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

I remember as I was announcing I was leaving my job and Seattle to head to Bali, there were a couple people who said the same thing: “You know, living somewhere is very different than vacationing there.” It was usually a cynical tone and it always planted a teeny seed in my mind that maybe I’m making a mistake. That maybe I’m living in some fairytale in my mind and it’s not a good idea to move to Paradise because it’s not actually paradise.

The first few weeks I was in Bali, I was vacationing. Eating delicious food, checking out different beaches, and swimming in all the fancy pools throughout town. I was drinking tropical pineapple cocktails, paying $5 for a massage, and getting a dark tan. But after a while, I must be honest and say that there were times I actually got bored. Since I only knew a couple of people in Bali, my WiFi was nonexistent in my room, it was too hot to go on long walks, and I didn’t want to spend money, I was very limited on what I could do. I can only read and write so much… I became a master at Bejeweled, took many showers and naps to kill time, and had that damn voice, “you know….living is very different than vacationing” running through my mind constantly. Those cynics were right. During vacation, you jam-pack your time with excursions and relaxation because you only have a certain number of days. But living? If I didn’t visit the beach one day, I could just do it the next day. 12-15 hours every day to myself. Thus, boredom struck.

But then…

Friendships started growing, scooter rides became longer, and a sense of community was forming. Then to really create a sense of comraderie with Amed, Agung started talkin’. No more boredom.

These days, it’s hard to even make time to write… 

What has been occupying the majority of my time these days has been helping out in the community. I’ve shared many experiences about kids yoga with my favorite kiddos (loooooooove them!). But there are a couple other organizations I’ve been helping with – one is called Trash Hero Amed. Each week we select a different beach to pick up all of the trash. Unfortunately, the trash situation here is abysmal. There is garbage EVERYWHERE. So it feels really good to clean up a dirty beach with and for the locals. 



Kids Yoga and Trash Hero – happy to contribute my energy to make Amed a little bit better.

But there’s one more…

Amed Bali First Aid P3K. It has been one of the most eye-opening and impactful experiences of my life. With Agung’s ‘imminent eruption,’ thousands of people have been displaced from their homes. Hundreds of families have been evacuated from their villages and moved further away to avoid destruction from the big eruption. Can you imagine having the government tell you to leave your home, sleep on concrete, eat dirty rice, and wait for Agung to erupt?

The government doesn’t really do much to aid the evacuees, so a team has formed to gather supplies, food, water filters, and anything else a village needs to be safer and more comfortable. There are dozens of refugee camps and this group is involved with each of them, bringing them supplies and smiles. In the morning, a small group gathers at a pop-up food bank, sorts food/supplies, and organizes which camps we will be visiting each day. In the afternoon, we deliver. 



I’m getting emotional even writing about it all. I’ve visited so many camps and it tugs at my heart every time we pull up to a new one. These families are literally sleeping on the ground, with no coverage from rain, and many without toilets. What amazes me is how happy everyone is, regardless of their living situations. They’re just happy to be alive and together. We’ve all sort of established our roles when we make deliveries. A couple teach the leaders of the camp how to use the water filter, a couple get data about the camp (how many elderly, children, babies, etc.), a couple check out the surroundings and the toilet situation…and I get to play with the kids! Yay! It’s been so fun teaching the kids new games, dances, or how to cross their eyes. It’s the little things…

This is what many of the refugee camps look like. 


Thanks to some generous donors, the organization has received food and supply donations each day that are making a huge difference. This is about $200 worth of donations. Rice, cooking oil, eggs, coffee and sugar.


This food feeds an entire camp of 120 people. Less than $100.


At one camp, some of the kids showed us the bugs that they catch and eat for meals. 


Hoping to bring better sleep, better meals, and uplift spirits with each visit.


It’s amazing how far a dollar can go. Even $10 can buy a large bag of rice that feeds multiple families. I have been blown away with seeing the donations come in, the purchase of the food and supplies, and then the final delivery. No middle man, all volunteers, all for the refugees.

If you want to make a small donation and check out more information, you can visit this site: https://www.gofundme.com/amed-bali-first-aid-p3k


It’s incredible to see how my adventure in Bali has morphed into something bigger than an “extended vacation.” It used to bother me at first, but now I’m grateful that living in Bali is very, very different than vacationing here… 

Paradise is what you make of it.

Energy

Monday, December 11th, 2017

It’s been a couple of weeks and still no BIG eruption. Agung is such a tease… At the end of November, after we experienced the few cold eruptions, it was a swirl of different energies. Many people posted up at the restaurants on the top of the hill for hours to watch Agung and hope it would erupt while they were watching. There were photographers everywhere. Everyone was convinced it was going to erupt soon. During this period, hotels were covering their pools with tarps, people were stocking up on water and food, and tourists were cancelling their bookings. My friends and I even had a journalist from England ask us a few questions. I almost wish I hadn’t talked with her because after she asked us, “Are you afraid?”, I immediately said, “Nope!” She then went into detail about how I should be afraid and how destructive the eruption was in 1963 and she’s surprised I’m staying. Thank you, Journalist! I’m sure her article only included this quote from me: “Well now I’m scared!”

During the beginning of the Agung Event, I was in a very different place mentally. The earthquakes really threw me for a loop and I was panicking because I thought my “Big Adventure” to Bali was only going to last one short month. I was completely torn over whether or not I should give up and go back to America. I stayed. And this time with the cold eruptions? I’m still staying. I think the earthquakes got all of our fear out of the way. It prepared us, mentally and physically. Everyone is….well, ready

After a week of many false alarms, Amed became a ghost town again. The photographers and journalists gave up on Agung. No more tourists ventured North. Now it feels as if I’m one of the only bulé (white person) in town. 

While Agung has been the focal point of my time, there have been some more extraordinary moments that I would love to share.

I’ve spent a few more days with my favorite kiddos and on this day, my friend Tiffany gave me beads to make my first Mala bead necklace. I’ve always wanted a mala necklace, but it never felt like it was right for me to just buy one from a store. I’ve read that it’s best if they’re gifted to you from a guru. So grateful I was blessed with an epic guru here – thank you, Tiffany, for all of the incredible beads!

Malas are all about energies and they’re used during meditation to bring you peace. There are almost always 108 beads in each necklace and so I organized my beads in a way that every number is significant. Then the Lean kids were curious, watching me place each bead on my string and tying tiny knots. After watching for a few minutes, they decided to help. The rest of my necklace was completed by them. Talk about incredible energy in this necklace!

I absolutely adore this necklace and it will always remind me of my inner child. These kids have taught me so much while I’ve been in Bali, and I love that I can carry their pure energy wherever I go.

Over the next week, we did a couple more crafts and I particularly loved our Wishing Wave. These kids…I tell ya, they are something else

My friend Monika listened to her intuition and felt she needed to leave Bali, so we spent her last dinner at our second home: Blue Earth. Monika has been one of my Guardian Angels here and I love that Amed brought us together. I can’t wait to see where we will be in our lives the next time we are united.

The night was clear during the Super Moon and it was one of the most beautiful full moons I’ve ever seen. Something I love about the moon is that photos don’t do it justice. In order to get the powerful effect of it, you have to see it with your own eyes.

 

If you want to know what Bali is like in one photo, this is it. Chickens, motorbikes, and palm trees. All it needs is a temple.

One afternoon I was hanging out with Tiffany and we decided to go up to the yoga shala at Blue Earth to watch the sunset. We had a feeling it was going to be an epic one. Sure enough, it was. As we were sitting on the ledge, a photographer walked into the shala to take photos…we were about to get up so he could have a clear shot of Agung, but then he asked if he could take a photo of us. Perhaps one of my all-time favorite photos. Sharing this sunset with such a wonderful spirit in one of our favorite places on Earth.

Agung has been stirring a lot of emotions within all of us. Conversations with the locals have been very interesting and everyone is pretty exhausted from the anticipation of the “Main Event.” It’s weird to say, “CAN YOU JUST ERUPT ALREADY?!” It’s affecting tourism and the economy in a big way. The locals here are begging for tourists – it’s heartbreaking. It’s also been tough seeing the news on Agung and how sensationalized it’s become. “Holiday Nightmare!” “Thousands Stranded with No Hope!” “Disaster in the Making!” It was really weird for a lot of us because while many people all over the world thought we were all fleeing and running from lava, it was actually very normal. It wasn’t like what I would have thought (anyone see Dante’s Peak?). People were still diving, snorkeling, and sunbathing – meanwhile plumes of smoke were rising from Agung. Don’t get me wrong, if/when it does erupt, it will be bad…but everyone is tired every day thinking, “Is this the day??”

It could happen any day – it could be months – it could be years. That’s Mother Nature for ya…

Today is another normal, sunny, beautiful day. I’m sitting at my current favorite spot: The Meeting Point…scooters are zipping by and everyone is going about their business like any other day. 

Might be another good day for a long scooter ride… 🙂

The Great Gunung Agung

Monday, November 27th, 2017

Here we go again…

Agung alert level is back at the highest level: 4. For a while, we were at level 2 and things were back to normal. But now, we’re back into that dazed, what-the-hell-is-going-to-happen phase. Agung has erupted twice, but they’ve been called “cold eruptions.” No magma…yet. The plumes of smoke are absolutely beautiful to look at. It’s quite a spectacle to be seen.


I don’t feel in danger, but my heart is aching for the refugees who have to leave their homes yet again and simply…wait. Wait until “The Main Event.” The word is that there will be a larger eruption with lava, a big BOOM, and an earthquake. Could happen at any point – some are even saying tonight. But who really knows?!

The energies around Amed are totally split. There are the people (mostly locals) who are calm and aren’t worried. Then there are the others who are panicking and want to evacuate immediately. 

The people who are afraid? They’re constantly checking their phones for photos, videos, news updates, and reports. It’s good to be informed, but I started going down a bad spiral when I started looking at the news and reading all the details about what could happen and what happened in the last eruption. It scared the shit out of me. I went back into that mental state I had a couple months ago where I was too afraid to even take my shoes off in bed.

Thankfully, I’ve got some great people in my life that nudged me back into positivity. 

“Worry will only damage and burden your mind.”


Detour in my story:

Since I’ve been in Bali, I’ve had a couple dreams with snakes in them. It’s all subjective, but I’ve read that dreaming of snakes could mean that healing and transformation are taking place (sounds about right). I’ve been facing so many fears by moving to Bali. Stepping out of my comfort zone, moving to a place where I know only a couple people, don’t know how to drive a scooter, the list goes on. But I faced my fears and have been embracing every experience 100%. So when I came across a GIANT snake at Tirta Gangga the other day, I screamed and ran away from it. And then I my intuition said, “Don’t be afraid. Face your fear and step closer.”

Snakes have appeared in my dreams, and now here was one right in front of me. I knew I had to ‘pet’ it. So I looked in it’s eyes and pet it. This may sound weird, but the snake was actually really sweet. I tried to imagine what the snake was thinking. What if a snake was like a dog? What if it really likes being pet? But we are told that snakes are scary so everyone runs away from them… I wish I could be like Harry Potter and speak with it. How I overcame my fear was by pretending I could hear him and he had a Goofy-like voice: “Don’t be afraid of me – I promise I won’t bite you. I look a lot scarier than I am! I just like to cuddle!” I know, sort of ridiculous, but it worked. So I pet him and his skin was so incredibly soft and smooth. I was extremely surprised with my experience – and so happy I got over my fear. Now, I’m not about to go buy a snake as a pet, but I’m going to remember that snakes aren’t going to eat me whole like I previously thought. Snakes have feelings too…

Can you believe it? I PET THIS SNAKE AND I LIKED IT!


Back on track:

We are told through millions of messages what to think; through people, social media, news, etc. What is scary – who is good and who is bad – what is going to happen – how to feel. But ultimately, the truth is your own experience. 

Today has been very normal. I woke up to sunshine and it was a beautiful day. Yesterday, I sat on the beach and watched the Apple Cup with my parents on FaceTime (Go Dawgs!!). Sure, there happened to be an erupting volcano in the background, but it felt 100% okay. It was actually very fun! 

So going forward, the eruption(s) could become a lot more serious, but I’m choosing to be happy, calm, and not let worry take over. Who knows what will happen? Right now, I’m sitting in the yoga shala with a couple of my friends after enjoying a nice meal. It sounds weird to say this about an erupting volcano, but it’s very magnificent. We cannot control what Mother Nature does and no matter what happens, we will adapt to the situation. There is no other choice. 

A common theme throughout my blog is “Go with the flow.” So that’s what I’m going to do regarding Gunung Agung. The lava is simply going to go where it’s going to go…we must as well. 

I am safe and I will try to keep everyone posted if/when anything happens! 

Besides, if the cat is relaxing, so should I!