Ubud was a particularly hard place for me to be. It’s known to be the spiritual hub of Bali so I wasn’t surprised by all of the feelings I was having when I was there this past weekend. I’ve tried to dissect and understand why it brought up so much for me.
It’s hard to explain the energy there. It’s like this profound, intense vibration. People are praying, meditating, practicing yoga, healing physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and having very deep philosophical conversations. It’s a very energetically charged place.
When I arrived on Friday night, I jumped right in and was ready to immerse myself in anything new and different that would activate me, free me, and connect me to my spirituality. I partook in all kinds of experiences that I’ve never done before, stepping way outside my comfort zone to try to free myself from some blocks that I’ve identified that I want to overcome.
The weekend began with attending my first ever Ecstatic Dance. I could feel both excitement and anxiety in my body. Going in with no idea what to expect, I wished myself luck, surrendered, and went for it. The rules of Ecstatic Dance are no talking, no phones, and complete respect for each others space.
The DJ started throwing out beats and everyone began to move in their space. I was kind of freaking out, but just closed my eyes, felt the music and moved too. I moved in any way that my body felt like moving. When thoughts arose, I tuned into my heart, took a breath, and kept going. An hour in a half later and undeniably drenched, I laid on the floor in savasana, completely relaxed and feeling the vibration and the shift within me.
While in Ubud, I also went to a Kirtan, which is an evening chanting experience. I realized that singing and sound really resonated with me more than dance. Tuesday morning I was at it again with another new experience. This time it was a Kundalini yoga class.
In addition to all that I tried at YogaBarn, I also went to see a Balinese healer. It was a full moon plus I left my community and network of friends in Canggu. I came to Ubud alone and I had to feel all the feelings and listen to all the thoughts during this time. No social distractions. I was just with myself.
I learned more about why it can be hard to be a solo traveller. This came to the surface especially in Ubud. Tours didn’t want to just take one person and to arrange transport, it’s more costly than if you were in a group. It’s not like back home where I can get in my car and go where I want when I want.
The taxi company here is sort of nuts! They charge you a ton to go even short distances and basically block the “uber” of Bali so you either pay the amount, rent your own scooter at your own risk or if you are like me you do neither. You dig your heals in, get frustrated and start to walk.
Then you come to the realization that the place you are going is so far that it’d take nearly all day so you start asking for help from the universe. You find a random empty outdoor cafe, start crying, and explain that you need a ride. It was intense all the way around, but I survived.
After one of the days that was filled with discomfort and stress, I went to a cafe that was so peaceful, so beautiful and anxiously waited for it to be 5pm. Persistently looking at the clock knowing that my friend Stefanie, back home, would be awake soon. I sent her a WhatsApp message. She gave me the push, support, and insight I needed. She imparted wisdom about spending time alone and the lessons that would come from that for me. I knew she was 100% right and I knew that I could do it. Soon enough I would be back in Canggu. We ended our conversation, I surrendered to the solitude and went with the flow in Ubud for the next two days.
So, yes, I’m not really sure why exactly I was feeling so much discomfort and stress in Ubud. I’d have to guess that it was a combination of all of these things. The key was to know that I just had to move through it and know that I was going to grow from it.