Amazing things happen when you open your heart.
This past month, I’ve been in awe at the world. The beauty of nature, the kindness of strangers, the magic of sisterhood… we truly live in a wonderful world.
When we first decided to make our dream of moving to Bali come true earlier this year, we were pretty easy-going about the details.
We decided to book a nice place for the first month and use that time to look around and find a place to stay in long-term. We were a little nervous about that, wondering what we would do if we didn’t find a place in time, but we trusted that it would all work out.
I went on Airbnb and searched through the many Ubud house rentals, and found a gorgeous two-story bungalow in our price range. It was in Penestanan, an artist’s village just outside Ubud centre. It sounded perfect, but I didn’t book it straight away, instead deciding to look around a bit more. But it kept popping up in my searches and in my mind, so a week later I booked it for one month.
I kept looking at the photos, imagining myself sitting by the koi pond, working at the desk by the window and reading in the hammock. It seemed like the perfect place to spend our first month in Bali. Little did I know just how perfect it was.
When we arrived, a short Balinese woman with big, beautiful eyes was waiting for us in the house, her two little daughters standing shyly behind her. Her name was Wayan, and she would be our housekeeper for the next 30 days.
As the days went by, we spent every morning chatting and laughing with Wayan, sharing stories and learning about each others’ cultures. We quickly became good friends, and our morning hang-outs became the highlight of our day.
My days were spent sitting by the koi pond, working at the desk on the upstairs balcony or at the dining table, and reading in the hammock. I also became an expert butterfly warrior, rescuing my totem animal from the evil ceiling fan and the dreaded windowsill, and an amateur anthropologist, learning as much as I could about Balinese language, religion and culture.
One morning, we were telling Wayan that we were about to start looking for a place to stay until September. We had seen many signs for villas to rent but hadn’t started checking any out yet. That was when Wayan told us she had a guest house in the back of her compound.
We mentioned that we needed somewhere with two bedrooms, in case any of our family or friends decided to come visit us, and we needed a place from the 17th (the day our first month rental ended). But we also had to keep in mind that we were heading to Singapore in June for about a week.
We were amazed to hear that the guest currently in Wayan’s house would be leaving the day before we needed to move, and she also had another booking for a week in June – the exact week we would be in Singapore. After that, the guest house was free for the rest of the year. And there were not only two bedrooms, but two bathrooms as well.
The idea of living in a real Balinese family compound with our new friend and her family was so exciting, we quickly said yes to having a look at the house and decide if it was right for us.
We walked with Wayan to her village and climbed the steps into her compound, passed the huge family temple in the front courtyard, followed the winding path through the trees and reached the back of the compound, where we walked through a gorgeous wooden gate into a walled off area.
The second I saw it, I knew it was meant for us.
We immediately said yes, and now here we are. I’m writing this while sitting at the dining table, overlooking the koi pond and listening to birds chirp all around me. There are palm trees and lush greenery as far as the eye can see. It’s absolutely perfect – this entire place is like it was made especially for us.
We didn’t know how we would make this Bali dream of ours come true, but we trusted that it would all work out perfectly. And it has, in most cases even more perfectly that we could have ever imagined.
The Universe had it all ready and waiting for us, all we had to do was show up and accept it.
And we also have the immense honour of being a part of this wonderful Balinese family. Wayan lives here with her always-smiling husband, their two giggly daughters, and her husband’s family – his parents, two older aunties, and from what I can tell, his brother and his family.
All Balinese families live like this, many generations living together in one compound. Each family has their own Balé, a little bungalow inside the compound. The compound is like a little village in and of itself.
Our guest house is still very private, walled off from the rest of the compound. We even have our own little temple in the corner of the yard. Today, Wayan came to leave offerings at the temple, at our steps and at the gate, something she will do every day.
Wild Sisters, meet Wayan.
The temple in our garden.
The offering Wayan left at the steps to our bungalow.
The sense of family and community here is iron-clad and amazingly beautiful to witness. I feel very blessed to be here, a part of it in some small way.
I’ve asked Wayan to teach me how to make the offerings, something I’ve wanted to learn since we first came here on our honeymoon in 2011 and saw the beautifully bright offerings lining the streets.
I feel so at home here. So welcome, so free and so connected to myself and the Universe. I can’t wait to explore this gorgeous Island of the Gods even more and immerse myself in this peaceful culture.
Last night, I stood out on the grass by our temple in our little piece of Heaven and looked up at the stars. I breathed in all the magic around me and said,
“I accept this Greatness.”
My heart opened, as though holding the entire world in it’s love. I felt worthy, I felt grateful, and I felt ready to embrace all this awesomeness and use it to serve the world in even bigger, better ways.
I’m feeling pulled towards some amazing things, some that, quite honestly, terrify me. But I know from experience to listen to the whispers of my soul. So I’m going to follow that tugging feeling, as though I’m being led by an invisible rope tied in a bow around my heart.
I’m going to let go, trust, and be guided towards my new, big dreams.
So, wild one, know this:
Whatever you’re dreaming of right now, whatever is calling your soul to come forth and claim it, whatever sets your heart on fire…
Trust that it is all working out perfectly for you.
Trust that you are exactly where you need to be, you are experiencing exactly what you need to experience.
And when everything aligns, trust that it’s meant for you.
Don’t doubt it. Don’t convince yourself that it’s too good to be true. Don’t question your worthiness.
You are always worthy of your dreams.
All you need to do is believe, show up, and accept it.
P.S: I'll be announcing a huge new project in the Wild Sister newsletter on Monday! Are you on the list? Sign up below!