Sometimes It Just Hits You, Bali -

Guest Post

Sometimes it just hits you. Out of nowhere. I wouldn't call it a stroke of inspiration... it's not exactly a lightbulb moment. It's more like this thing that sweeps over you in a giant gush, heavy and full and overflowing, and you just can't not do the thing it compels you to do.

It happened that way for me. That tremendous wave touched me, and then it poured all over, into, and around me. And then it happened over and over and over again.

It took shape as the written word. I was on a plane, on my way to Bali, Indonesia.  

Here's the thing about writing. I've never been a writer, a creative writer; whimsical, beautiful, inspirational, fun writing- you know the kind I mean? Writing of that sort has always been stuck, forced, squeezed out and awkwardly patchworked together. Writing just ain't my thing, I've declared ever since ever.

But sometimes... sometimes you thoroughly surprise yourself. You find yourself going through the motions of something you never imagined was possible; never imagined was in you.

Whenever people talk about this kind of phenomenon, where something magical, mystical, slightly spiritual, bigger than thyself, or even a dobby-like creature* takes over -- all of that speak, I've never really believed in it, or at least not for me. And well, that’s kind of what happened. I mean really, it did.  That's where I found myself on that plane, writing like I never have before. Words were flying, pouring out onto pages and pages and pages. And this thing, this something, whatever it was - it absolutely would not let me stop!

There is a magic to the art of writing, a magic that glitters in Flow; the flow of words coming out from inside of you and onto the page or the screen. Sometimes these words come out straight and eloquent and beautiful, and sometimes they come out lumpy, piecemeal and spurt-like. That doesn't really matter. The beauty in the act of writing lies in this direct connection to and from the heart - from the Source, from whatever it is. And then it's about what you choose to make out of it. This is how I've sort of made sense of what happened on that flight.

One last thought, since this blog is all about the ingredients that inspire creativity ... I do believe travel mixes well with creativity. Whether it be many many miles away or closer to home, exploring uncharted territory shapes, molds, and breathes fresh air into the creative process. And with that, my friends, I leave you with some written snippets from that trip I took in Bali.

A giant THANK YOU! to my dear friend and author of this blog Leah Alejandra Steiner, for her wonderful, supportive collaboration. I am forever grateful to her for championing this little story for its first public debut! :D

*reference to Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk on Creativity - a splendid watch!!


Ubud, Bali

Bali, or rather Ubud, already feels like home - not that it should, but it does. I've spent a lot of time walking here - walking, writing, watching, eating, enjoying -- these have become my mantras if you will. I know my way around and find myself quietly smiling to myself as I see backpackers - ahem, tourists - roaming the streets. I smile because the little streets of Ubud feel so familiar to me; even though I know I still have oh so much to learn.

There are no crosswalks here. It's sort of a walk-at-your-own-risk situation, and pray you don't have a bad run-in with a scooter. The yellow and pink petals lining the streets and sidewalks seduce me and I can't help but think everything is going to be alright.

Taxi, taxi! from the men and Massage, massage! from the women are the sounds of the city on foot, alongside the roosters (they roam the streets freely, right next to the homeless dogs), the singing birds, and the rum-tum of the bustling scooters. At night I fall asleep to ceremonial song and dance from the neighboring temple, and the sound of geckos burping loudly. These geckos are quite the character here I might add. They peek their little heads out from behind signs taped on walls, and lightly scurry across the white tiles of my balcony, or right into my room with me. The teeny translucent geckos are my absolute favorites - they're the little kiddos I think.

It's funny having what I call a routine here, in a place I've only just met. Mornings are early, with a giant bowl of papaya and balinese coffee and too many cups of tea. Breakfast is brought to me to my room. Can I just gush for a moment. I LOVE my homestay. I am so taken care of here, you can't even imagine how wonderful the Balinese staff (family? I'm not sure what to call them) are. They call me by my name, and shamefully I can't seem to remember any of theirs.

And now Gush Number Two and Three. Coffee here is out of this world, as is the Raw Chocolate, which as anyone who knows me knows, are the two keys to my heart. My happiness: coffee, raw chocolate. Presto. Dunzo, I'm good for life. These two things ABOUND in Ubud, and Ubud does them oh so freakin’ well. Heaven on heaven.

After breakfast and computer time on my homestay balcony, I adventure the streets of Ubud and find myself at one of the many many made-for-me cafes, typically for a late and lengthy lunch. Bali knows slow living y'all. Cafe-dwellers (basically 99.9% westerners, I've noted) perch up at these restaurant cafes for hours on end, enjoying any combination of vegetarian fare, fish, fruit, dessert, etc. - chatting with fellow foreigners, travelers, freelancers, and the like; or working on laptops, enjoying free wifi, and writing and reading as I do. I've never been much of a writer, but I've gotta tell you, Ubud just beckons it, welcomes it, and embraces it. I can't tell you how or why, but it does; I'll let you know when I've figured it out ;]

love from the land of petals & pranayama xx

author: Juliana Mariia Rose // photos by: Juliana Mariia Rose @jules.m.rose