I don't believe I've ever been blind or naive to things but I definitely have layers of protection like sunglasses from the sun. Over the years I've learned more about life, the paths that have been chosen for me. Some good, some great and some not so great through the eyes of others, but for me, on the other hand, all of my experiences have been life-changing, core strengthening. A communication between heaven an earth between me and my higher power, questions being answered that I didn't even know I was asking.
Just like this image, it was taken at one of the largest Buddhist temples in the world built in the 8th century, I took this photo because at that moment I felt an incredible feeling that I was right where I was supposed to be. In this photo, a cross engraved in the stone looks more like a cross hanging around my neck in the shadow. A symbol that became the answer to a question I didn't even know I was asking.
Am I on the right path? Yes, you are.
Now that I can see, did I find you? Yes, you did.
So what exactly did I find? and can I truly see? Well, I see much better nowadays, a vision that continues to improve over time with my sobriety and my life lessons, and to answer the first question, I found a lot.
I'll just tell you what I've found my first year in Bali. I have found a culture that I instantly understood and believed in. Simple things like offerings to their Gods, my equivalent was being of service to others as often as I could and going to church, the people believe in karma, good faith, do good and receive well in return. This act should be practised in all parts of our lives and I've tried my best to do so all of my life. The belief that your spirit lives on was an easy taking for me. First I wanted to know if I would even like Bali longterm or its people, so I stayed for the last year and learned as much as possible. I didn't learn the language but I'm working on that, but I did learn you have to be accepted. Just like any other culture, there are some ups and downs but for the most part, Bali people are some of the most amazing people I've ever met. No matter where you are or who you are, you will be greeted with a smile, hands in prayer mode, head bowed and greeted appropriately. It's good for me to respect a place that has been home to them all their lives, respect it like it was my own, especially if I decided to make it a long-term home base.
Bali sometimes feels overtaken and disrespected by westerners that complain about paying 15.000 more for a coconut, which is equivalent to 15 cents kills me. The average monthly salary for the Balinese is one night out for an average 20 yr old in New York City poppin' bottles. Now I've met quite a few expats that have integrated with the culture just fine, maybe a little better than I. I'm still getting used to flip flops and casual shorts, maybe I'll learn to not wear black every day. I'm still more fond of the male Balinese traditional clothing than the female, but I'll entertain my friends every once in a while with a lacey top.
What else did I find? I found that The Laws of Attraction really does work, what you put out you receive in return. That every single moment is an opportunity for you to change your life. That the combination of what you think, believe and love will undoubtedly be drawn to you. Speak it and it will be.
I have often said "I just want a loft that is filled with sewing machines, art supplies, tools, anything and everything creative and I just want to create. I want to show the world what I'm capable of, I want to acknowledge my creative self fulltime."
I have eliminated the word "can't" and "won't" or "it's not possible" from my vocabulary and any statement that will ever make me feel that I'll never be good enough. I have many character defects and do my best to recognize them, share them, then find out why they continue to arise. One that I'm working on now is choice, deciding what is best for me. It's a growth moment, an opportunity for me to acknowledge a cycle of behaviour that works for me and remove the ones that don't. Something my AA recovery has given me, bit by bit. Actually, AA has taught me how to live life on life's terms and I wouldn't be here without it, it will always be #1.
I have found Bali is where I want to call home for awhile. Taking the opportunity to continue on this journey and see where it leads me. My current opportunity will have a blog focus of its own in a few months but for now, I'm happy to announce a change is coming and if Bali will have me, I'd like to stay.
I have also found there is no limit to my patience when I have faith, I used to put time limits on things like it needed to happen now. I no longer feel that way. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean I don't send the followup email or wait endlessly for a problem to be fixed. Its that thing you know you just have to wait for, that thing you know will come when its time, that thing you know can't materialize until you learned a few more lessons. You know that God thing.
I've also learned that striving for perfection is not my thing, it has never been. I strive for continuous improvement because that is what has shown me the greatest blessings. That is what has taken me on some amazing adventures. That takes me closer to the kind of person I want to be.
So the answer is yes, I have found you Jamillah. You continue to amaze me, inspire me, love me. I can't imagine ever not believing in you, and I'm so glad you're here.
Mucho Love, Jamillah