allowing and awakening

Jun 3, 2013 | Life in Progress

(me in Bali on my last day)

We lose ourselves, sometimes, to our daily, smallish worlds. Truthfully, my world is pretty narrow. I wake up and either hang with my family or I go to work. I see my friends when I’m able – usually in small windows of time as we all seem to have such full lives between our families and our work. I rarely travel outside of the US. I see things through the lens of being a mother, a wife, a business owner, an artist. I see lots of possibility, too, but sometimes it’s the very last thing I see in the horizon with sleepy tired eyes at the end of a busy day.

For a long time now, I’ve known that I’ve needed to create some sort of daily practice of centering myself. Since becoming a mom, I’ve mistakenly let go of my daily quiet time, alone time, journaling time, spirit wandering/daydream/lounge time. Although I’ve been working on it, it’s been really hard to reclaim these pieces of myself, for whatever reason. And when I do do self-care or adventure or the things that reclaim those pieces of myself, I’m still heavily tethered to all the things in my world that ground me. So, although there is always play, connection, and transformation, there is rarely a moment when I feel like life has been paused in a way that I can totally unplug and awaken to my inner self. This is a woman’s struggle, a woman’s journey, no? The last time I had that kind of experience was my first time at a creative retreat back in 2006. My world stopped long enough for me to find myself again (in a HUGE way) and my whole life changed after that trip. I had discovered a whole new world. 

That’s how Bali was – like discovering a whole new world. Of self discovery. Of creative expansion. Of creating daily intention behind every day that I live. Like that first creative retreat, Bali was an important pause, an opportunity to totally exit my everyday roles of mother, wife, biz owner, and awaken to all the parts of myself that live outside of those roles. And it was especially nice (and important) not to be “Kelly Rae Roberts” and just be a student, a beginner, an open container for new inspiration and experiences to rush in. I’ve been getting a little confused as I try and grow and cultivate a new voice that doesn’t necessarily belong in the branded “Kelly Rae Roberts” box – a super tricky, complicated thing.

Friends, this is what #bliss looks like: Balinese flower in hair, bathing suit + tunic, painting apron, canvas, Balinese banana pancakes, pure pineapple juice, and a painting palette with an unexpected heart. Hello #renewal. My word for this trip is #allo

During those blissed out long days, my spirit felt the expansion, the breathing room, the long long exhales. The days seemed relaxed, slow, deep, and wide. I felt as if, without the everyday backdrop of my everyday life and roles, I could see really really clearly WHO I WAS at the core. I felt alive, adventurous, spontaneous and even a little bit funny. I’m committed to nurturing those pieces of my spirit while back home and inside my cherished roles. I arrived home lighter, freer and more connected and grateful to my life and the people in it.

This has been my lounge spot while here for reading, resting, and skyping with my boys. #bali #grateful

When I wasn’t in the painting workshop (amazing experience – will share details in another post), I lounged, and read, and woke up to jungle sounds. I LOVED waking up at 6am-ish and falling asleep early in the evenings as my roomie and I talked until our eyes shut. I LOVED eating simple + clean meals (fish and veggies) every day. I LOVED the banana pancakes and fresh fruit. I am so inspired to recreate a love affair with food now that I’m back at home. I want more fish in my life, more simple eating, more early wake ups, more ease with food and sleep.

The current scene. Don't hate me. #bali

I swam in a ridiculously gorgeous pool. In fact, most days I hung around in my bathing suit all day. Friends, this was RADICAL self-care, self-love for me. I floated there on my back, in the day, in the night, literally counting my lucky stars for the moments as they unfolded. I came home inspired to continue the radical self-care, self-love, self-compassion journey. I’m tired of martyring my body to work, family, and apathy.

Heading into an outdoor massage. #bali #crazygrateful
Speaking of self care, lying on the massage tables felt like heaven to me. Pure heaven. I will never forget the quiet, the spaciousness in my thoughts, the comfort. Massages are incredibly affordable in Bali (about $18 for an hour) so they were plentiful.



I was charmed endlessly by the way the people seemed to smile from the inside, their friendliness, and simple living. Families were everywhere together. The children were precious beyond precious. As I was traveling around and having this adventure, I wanted to remember how it felt – to bottle up that feeling of aliveness. I want True to grow up with parents that have come alive, that have awakened. I see travel in our family’s future, for sure.

It's magic. This place. #bali #grateful


I cried when I left #bali. The kind of cry that was glad for the enormity of it, the gift of it ~ for the personal shifts, the creative expansion, the newfound and deepening of friendship and community. My life feels changed and I can't wait to tell you a



While falling in love with Bali, I also fell in love with my new friend Lynx, my roommate while there. More on her later, but she was a big part of me seeing myself more clearly. We gabbed and talked and motorbiked and laughed (hard) and snorkeled and ate and got massages and connected on a deep level. I came home deeply inspired by her – the way she lives, sees the world, parents, and creates. A life changing friendship was born. And lucky for me, she lives just a couple of miles away.

(Lynx, Flora, me)

Another life changing friendship, I can’t wait to share all that I learned during Flora’s daily painting workshop. Nothing short of transformational. Her gift of teaching beyond the scope of painting (because it’s much much bigger + deeper than just painting) is remarkable. Along with all the personal shifts that Bali gifted, I was gifted with a real sense of creative expansion. I have Flora to thank for all that. When I arrived in Bali, Flora told me she had a hunch this trip would be huge for me. She was right.

If you ever have the opportunity to take her workshops, I can’t recommend it enough. Life. Changer. Her book is also brilliant 🙂

Awaken has been my second word while here in #bali. #allow was my first. Have so loved painting and learning from my dear friend @florabowley. So glad I followed the sudden urge to come all of this way.

Thank you, Bali, for being the reset button – for being the soft landing place for all of my recent healing/inner work. I feel shifted and transformed and crossed over. Thank you for helping me teach my son what it looks like to take good care of oneself. Thank you for giving me the gift of allowing myself to bloom up and wide. Turns out all of the allowing led to awakening. I feel deeply inspired and committed to integrating all the bits of what was nurtured in Bali into my everyday life: everyday body care, everyday spirit care, everyday mama/son care, marriage care, play, rest, sleep, writing, and continued work that aligns with my creativity and values.

I cried when I left. What a huge gift it was – majorly grateful. It’s a kind of experience I wish for every dear soul on the planet.

Kelly Rae

ps: You can read all of my Bali posts here.

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (9 comments)
  1. Kim Klassen

    one of my dreams…. beautiful…

    xo, Kim

  2. Anonymous

    Kelly, long time follower of your blog, first time poster. Where did you stay? The pool looks amazing!

  3. Lindy Gaskill

    Thank you for your inspiring writing, photos and art. It looks like an awesome experience and a Bali art adventure I would love to go on. Travel can be life changing and throwing oneself out of one's every day experiences and comfort zone to see the world in new ways is what makes life such a wonderful adventure. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip.

  4. Luckie

    Speechless. Just speechless…

    Last week I reached out with a special request for Flora & was informed she was away Bali for a workshop…

    Today, when I dropped by to check on you Kelly, I quickly realized you too had been in Bali – with Flora!:)

    Why am I not at all surprised?

    I've found healing & inspiration through your shared & beautiful gift — you girls are amazing.

    My goodness… never underestimate the power of your gift & its ability to touch lives…

    I do indeed feel VERY lucky today.

    Peace & ease…

  5. bobt

    Kelly: what a wonderful post and account of your experience. It's that type of writing that captures one's spirit that moves us to our own Bali. I found this through Ashley's comments on FB and am forever glad I did.

  6. curlygirlpress

    Thank you for sharing such an inspiring and fulfilling time, Kelly Rae. I'm starting to struggle with finding me-time in my momma/work/home time and you're making me feel like it's possible (since i know it's essential). Beautiful pics, beautiful words – again, Thank you!!

  7. Sue Allemand

    Such a gorgeous, peaceful, beautiful, inspiring picture of Bali you created! Now I wanna go!!! I wish I could create a similar life setting here — and I think its going to start with shutting out some of the outside "noise" I'm bombarded with everyday! Back to simple! Thanks Kelly Rae! Love to Flora!

  8. Leah Campbell Badertscher

    Gorgeous, Kelly Rae. I so know that experience of the world of routine seeming smallish, even if it's a world of family and life work that you love, especially when you've had a few experiences (you mentioned the art retreat and Bali, of course) where you feel so intensely awake and alive. I want so much to create an everyday life of deep connection, aliveness, and marked by a true and deep falling more in love with myself and life all the time. I want to do it for myself, and also for my children, my family, my clients. Reading this post of yours brought me to tears for reasons I don't totally yet understand, except that I do know you've described something for which my soul thirsts. You and Flora have both been incredible (virtual) teachers for me already as I know a crucial, integral part of my own awakening and aliveness is to continue cultivating my creativity and having the courage to be in the world what I know in my previously unspoken, unshared dreams and whispers that I am – an artist, a poet, a healer. I cannot wait to read more about how you bring the soul magic you discovered in Bali back into your life as a mother, wife, business woman, and artist. Thank you.
    With gratitude,
    Leah Rae


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Hello + welcome!

I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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