It’s been a quiet several days here in Bali. Ever since the water ceremony on Boxing Day I’ve had a scratchy and then full out sore throat. it could have been the fact that I was standing in frigid water for over an hour, serially submerging my head and upper body under store after stream of cold water; it could have been the spring water I accidentally ingested through my nose that cycled through my windpipes on that last fountain dunk; maybe it’s a cold, maybe it truly was a healing my throat chakra, encouraging me to ‘speak my truth’ this year and this was part of the clearing and healing process. That’s why I went after all, right? In any case, I’ve been laying low the past three days, not venturing out of Ubud and usually not far from the hotel either!
After meeting Bri, a like-minded female entrepreneur on my wanderings on the 27th, she invited me to join a few other female entrepreneurs for an intention setting session on the 28th in the afternoon. A great afternoon with four of us in total, we met early afternoon at the home of one of the women who has been living here since last January. We introduced ourselves and our businesses or business history (Bri coaches female entrepreneurs in LA, Patricia is a sound healer from Ireland, Ali is moving from running her own VC funded company to 1:1 coaching, and my business is moving in a slightly different and authentic direction this year) we meditated, and reflected on the past year and what it means for the upcoming year as it relates to our businesses, relationships and personal goals. It was exactly what I needed to get me into reflection and intention setting mode, and wonderfully smart, dynamic and spiritual women to do it with. Good fortune once again to have stumbled across this opportunity and to have met these fabulous women! (alas, we were so busy chatting and nibbling the healthy treats we didn’t get a photo of the four of us together).
Besides that outing, I’ve stuck by the pool, sometimes venturing out for a meal or juice or smoothie, but otherwise reading, journalling or daydreaming in our little oasis here in Ubud. The hotel staff tell us that the hotel is full, yet we rarely see people and often have the pool area to ourselves.
After three days of relaxation, I was starting to get antsy. After waking at 5am and meditating for an hour, I headed off to the local market around 6:30am. I had been told that the local tourist market area, where there are shops and stalls selling clothing and souvenirs is actually a local food market early each morning, before 7:30 or so. Anyone who follows this blog knows one of my favourite things EVER is local asian street food markets, so camera in tow, I headed that way. It didn’t disappoint. As with most Asian local markets, this one had lots of fruit for sale from lots of vendors. It was also chaotic; loud, bustling with motorbikes racing through the narrow streets while vendors (often women with large parcels balanced on their heads) and buyers alike pushed their way through the narrow walkways between stalls. For the first half of my visit I was the only white person/foreigner there; midway through my visit I saw one other foreign couple.
There were a few differences I noticed with this market and other Asian markets I’ve visited: though there were lots of fruit and vegetable stands, there were very few meat or even fish stalls. Also, of the couple of fish stalls I saw, the fish was dry or dried, unlike others where the fish is kept alive or at least wet before being sold. The other thing I noticed is that the flowers and materials to make the daily offerings seen in front of every home and business (it’s made up and placed anew each day!) is a BIG business. At least a third of the stalls I saw were selling either the offerings already made, or components of them: green leaf square plate, pre-arranged flowers, or even bags of ‘sacred water’. Beauty, ritual, religion and big (or at least steady) business.
A couple of hours wandering through the market either taking pictures or simply taking it all in – the smells, the noise, the jostling, the overall chaos – and I was already ready for pool time again. And since then I haven’t left our little hotel oasis. Jackie and I hit a new level of luxury when we decided we didn’t have the energy to walk the twenty minutes to our favourite raw vegan restaurant for lunch and instead called them to see if they deliver. They don’t, but told us they would make an exception for us. We ordered enough food for both of us for a day and a half. Our luck continues.
Off to bed with another outing planned tomorrow that will keep us around Ubud….unless the pool calls my name….