Friends, I went to Bali. And it was a life changer.
When I think back on all my best decisions – the ones that have gone on to define a clear path for my life – they are the decisions that came with an intuition, a hunch, a knowing without knowing kind of pull. I like to think of these kinds of intuitive urges as leading me to my True North. They just never fail.
Deciding at the very last minute to take the 40 hour journey to Bali for nine whole days was one of those decisions. A total life changer. A total True North decision.
My friend Flora
had been gearing up to take her annual trip to Bali (a creative painting retreat that she leads) and there was something inside of me that longed to go, too, but I didn’t say anything until just before she was getting ready to leave. I sent her an off the cuff text asking if I could go, totally not expecting her response.
I’ll never forget those moments. John and I and True were on our way home from a quick day adventure to the coast. As we were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, I casually mentioned my longing for Bali to John which led to my texting Flora which (unbelievably) led to there being room for me to go which led to John absolutely insisting that I go. He was driving the car, practically bouncing up and down with excitement for me. I, on the other hand, was trying to talk myself out of it (work! childcare! not enough time to get organized! etc!). Kelly, this is why you’ve worked so hard. This is why you hired Lacy to help with the biz. This is why I’m a stay at home Papa. GO! God, I love this man.
By the time the traffic eased up, I was officially planning my trip. I would board a plane in four days.
I struggled with nerves and gremlins. Having never travelled abroad alone, I was a little scared. I don’t speak the language. What if I get sick? What if True gets hurt while I’m gone? Am I wrong to leave him for so long?
A dear, wise friend suggested that my mantra be something like “he’s watching Mama take care of herself.” Amen to amazing, insightful words of truth. I arrived home more renewed and more in love with my family and life than ever before. Turns out self care is a game changer when it comes to parenting, marriage, and self love. But more on that later.
The trip to Bali, though long, was completely seamless. Very little jetlag. Very little adjustment at all, really. I arrived in Amed
in the evening, and woke up the next morning to a heart soaring view and an orchestra of sounds: rooster, birds, dogs, insects, chickens, frogs. I felt like I was home, like I had been there many many times before. It was full of beauty.
During the opening ceremony on the first day of the retreat, we all gathered, sitting in a large circle on the floor. In the center of our circle was a beautiful altar of rocks and flowers and little 5×5 paintings that Flora had painted – one for each of us. Flora asked each of us to talk about what brought us to Bali and what we wanted to invite in during the experience. When it was my turn, I talked about my last minute urge to travel to Bali, that even though I had all sorts of permission and encouragement to come (from Flora, from my work, from my husband, etc), that I still struggled with allowing myself to come. I said that my hope was that I would allow myself the full breath of the experience, that I would allow myself the gift.
I then reached into the center of our circle and randomly picked one of the 5×5 paintings that Flora created. When I turned the painting over, it read “allow, allow, allow.”
Shivers. Gratitude. And a knowing that I was exactly where I needed to be.
Allow became my word for the trip. I wrote in on my body every single day, as a reminder. Most days, I had to keep re-writing it because it would sweat off a few times (hello Bali heat!).
Bali ushered in all sorts of personal and creative expansion. I can’t wait to share it all.
This trip wouldn’t have happened without the alignment of so many factors – and all at the last minute. I have huge gratitude for Flora for making it possible for me to go. I think of Flora as my older sister spirit guide who has led me toward all sorts of life awakening adventures. Huge gratitude for my husband who, for the entire time I’ve known him, has valued trips and experiences like these as the ones that remind us who we are, and thus are not to be missed. Huge gratitude for Lacy, my awesome assistant, who I had total trust in to run all things biz related with the utmost care. Huge gratitude for my parents who helped support John with childcare while I was gone.
To those of you who have a longing, an intuitive pull toward something – a trip, a conversation, a letting go, an inviting in – whatever it may be, I can’t encourage you enough to consider it an important whisper. It’s your life calling you. Listen and allow. Listen and allow.
XO and more soon,
PS: For those of you who were following along in my Bali adventures via Instagram and/or Facebook, thanks so much! I loved sharing the adventure with you as it unfolded.
Hi, 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 whispers and started playing with paint and everything changed.
Now I’m a full-time artist, author and Possibilitarian, who helps women explore and nourish their creative souls.
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