Sarah Somewhere » http://sarahsomewhere.com Discovering the beauty of an imperfect journey Sun, 19 Apr 2015 15:30:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 At home in Playa del Carmen http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/04/19/at-home-in-playa-del-carmen/ http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/04/19/at-home-in-playa-del-carmen/#comments Sun, 19 Apr 2015 13:52:31 +0000 http://sarahsomewhere.com/?p=11806 Keep reading...]]> A couple of months ago, this photo appeared in my Facebook news feed and I felt a pang of homesickness.

Quinta Margarita staff

It was posted on the facebook page of Quinta Margarita, the place we called home for fifteen months of our lives.

When we decided to go back to Playa, we did look around for another place to stay in the interest of trying somewhere new. But we couldn’t find anything that lived up to Quinta Margarita and we simply had to come back home.

When I emailed our landlord, Offner, about returning, his reply was, “We look forward to welcoming you home.”

Quinta margarita rooftop

Now that we are back, I am reminded of why we can’t seem to go anywhere else in Playa del Carmen.

Quinta margarita Jardin

Firstly, we have the best landlord in Mexico (and believe me, I’ve heard horror stories). Offner is very laid back, yet he runs Quinta Margarita like a well-oiled machine. The staff are extremely friendly, from the hard working ladies in the lavenderia to the bubbly girls on the front desk to Wiburt, the amazing caretaker.

Some things have certainly changed since we have been away. Firstly, Wilbert’s English has improved a lot, so we are having fun practicing our reverse language skills with each other.

Secondly, the place has received a face lift, with new gardens, furniture, artwork and a renovated roof terrace complete with a sparkling pool (a definite upgrade from the plastic pool we used to splash around in on our first stay in 2012).

Playa del carmen roof top

The common areas have been transformed into stylish spaces for working or relaxing (and I like to do a combination of both).

Quinta Margarita terrace

Our simple studio has everything we need, including a simple kitchenette which I am happy to say we have barely used since we arrived.

Quinta Margarita Kitchen

We have absolutely loved getting back to our favourite local restaurants and have been eating like kings while spending very little. A large meal for two rarely exceeds US$10 including drinks and tip and it is SUCH a relief to not be worried about blowing the budget anymore.

ceviche playa del carmen

Tacos Playa del Carmen

Playa itself has certainly grown in the year we have been away and is showing no signs of slowing down. It’s glitzier than it’s ever been in the tourist areas, but it still holds so much beauty.

Playa del Carmen plaza

We have been walking our legs off since we arrived, exploring the different neighbourhoods to see what has changed and what is the same.

We live in the northern end of town, which has easy access to the beach, the pedestrian walkway of Fifth Avenue and the local Colosio neighbourhood with a plethora of restaurants, market stalls, concrete block houses and stores.

Colosio house Playa del Carmen

Just down from the yoga studio where I have been attending Kundalini classes is our favourite fruteria and juice store. For $1.50 you can buy a huge fresh fruit salad and just next door, green juice and coconut water.

Fruteria Playa del Carmen

On our second morning we took a long walk on the beach, heading north past all the hotels and beach clubs. We found ourselves on the most pristine beach we’ve seen on the Playa del Carmen coast and there was barely a tourist in sight.

Playa del carmen Esmerelda

Children played in a lagoon adjacent to the ocean, which I assumed was fed by seawater. Upon closer inspection, I saw that water was flowing out of the ground and didn’t smell or look like salt water. I sat on the edge and plunged my feet in to the natural jacuzzi which was refreshingly cool.

A man came over to rinse off from the sea and I asked him if it was a cenote (a fresh water hole fed by an underground river system).

He confirmed that it was and with a chuckle expressed that it was one of the few left in the area that was still free to the public.

Esmerelda Playa

The local families were certainly making the most of it and I was so thrilled to discover a new place in Playa with so much natural charm.

Playa del Carmen lagoon

Esmerelda cenote

It’s also been good to re-visit our old haunts. Though when we went to our favourite cafe, Ah Cacao, we didn’t recognize any of the new staff.

So when our usual order came out (dos cafe lattes medianos, por favor), complete with a personalized message from our favourite barista, Rene, I could have cried.

Welcomes

‘Welcomes!’

To say we are happy to be back is an understatement. Reconnecting with my friends here has been so good for my soul. It’s felt natural and easy to slip back into life here and yet, I still find it so exciting.

The last year of traveling and exploring new places has given us a renewed perspective. What were once simple pleasures like early morning beach walks and watching the sunrise over the Caribbean now feel like luxuries.

Playa del Carmen sunrise

We are grateful for the life we have here. I can only sum up how we feel with something Tyrhone said the other day on one of our many walks:

“Playa may not be perfect, but right now, it’s perfect for us.”

Sarah Somewhere Playa

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The Road to Queretaro http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/04/12/the-road-to-queretaro/ http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/04/12/the-road-to-queretaro/#comments Sun, 12 Apr 2015 20:20:45 +0000 http://sarahsomewhere.com/?p=11743 Keep reading...]]> Land borders fascinate me. No matter how many I cross, I am always amazed by their peculiarity. I mean, a land mass is divided into ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’ and suddenly an entire way of life comes to a halt at a man-made line.

Hard to wrap your head around, really. Especially at 6AM in the morning. Especially after six months in the US where Mexico seemed to be a distant (recurring) dream.

Laredo Texas mexican border

These days I make the effort to be present and grateful for where I am and what I have. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t long for Mexico in those last few months in the states. I did. Badly.

So when we crossed the border at Laredo, Texas, a town where the lines between Mexico and the US begin to blur, I could hardly believe we were back.

The more-than-twelve hour drive to our first Mexican destination, however, certainly gave me time to process it.

More than enough.

We rolled into the centro historico of the city of Queretaro as darkness fell upon the day, yet this didn’t manage to dull the brightly coloured facades of the buildings, the gleaming cathedral domes, or our spirits.

We were back in Mexico, baby, and it felt better than I ever thought it could.

The site of the quaint colonial hotel Tyrhone had booked us into made me melt into an emotional puddle.

quinta lucca

“Oh it’s so cute! Look at the colours! It has a well!”were among the many gushing comments I made as fatigue and excitement combined to make me feel like I’d been pulled out of anesthesia with a shot of speed.

Queretaro well

It was rather surprising to me how happy each little detail of the simple hotel room made me feel.

Quinta Lucca Queretaro

We asked the hotel receptionist if there was anything special happening in the square for Easter Sunday.

She looked a bit confused (perhaps by my terrible Spanish) and then answered, “Mmm, no. No especial.

We decided to walk down and check it out anyway, if only to grab a bite to eat and stretch our car-cramped legs.

It turned out that ‘no especial’ in downtown Queretaro on a Sunday evening included a heaving food market, public salsa dancing and blaring live music.

Queretaro mercado de comida

This is the face of a man who has been driving for 14 hours and needs a taco…

queretaro salsa

Nothing special…

As the only gringos, you’d think we’d attract a bit of attention crashing the fiesta, but no-one paid us any mention as our eyes bugged out of our heads at the array of gorditas, quesadillas, sopes, tacos and pozole being stuffed, grilled and assembled before our eyes.

We washed down a large sampling of the local offerings with jamaica, a sweet hibiscus tea.

Queretaro tacos

Then, of course, a ginormous brick of flan.

Queretaro flan

Then came the fireworks. We joined the crowd of families under the light of a nearby cathedral, craning our necks to ‘oooh’ and ‘aaah’ at the blasts of color in the night sky.

Queretaro fireworks

It was quite the welcome ceremony.

The evening was cool, but it wasn’t cold and the air was thick with a certain quality which exists in Mexico. A softness I didn’t realise I missed until I felt it again.

Much of my feelings for Mexico are indescribable. I don’t know why I love it as much as I do, because God knows it’s not perfect. It’s a little shadowy in places and downright ruined in others, yet life springs forth from it in a way which feels very natural to me.

As a result, I feel more relaxed here. Though we were only in Queretaro for two nights, I felt my whole self completely exhale with relief.

As we wandered into ancient churches and circled around the quaint squares the following day, I could barely believe that we were a day’s drive from Texas.

Queretaro architecture

Queretaro church

Three days previously, we were having breakfast at a cheap motel in Roswell, New Mexico when we were warned by a couple of well-meaning fellows about the dangers of Mexico.

Queretaro news

sarah somewhere Queretaro

I think the greatest danger of this country is that we may never want to leave again.

Queretaro Picante

Dondesubscribe to sarah somewhereMy next 12 week e-retreat, ‘Journey to Shine,’ begins May 4!

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We’re Going Home http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/04/01/were-going-home/ http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/04/01/were-going-home/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:49:19 +0000 http://sarahsomewhere.com/?p=11713 Keep reading...]]> I should be cleaning the house we are looking after right now. I should be packing. We drive to Denver to pick up the owners of the house tomorrow. Thursday, we begin the journey we have been craving for a while; the drive back ‘home’ to Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

I’ve spent almost seven years living in places other than my home city of Perth, Western Australia.

I have certainly missed my friends and family (which is when I usually ask them to come and see me!), but in all that time I cannot say I’ve ever been homesick. When I would hear people talking and writing about missing home, I could never relate. Never felt that ‘pull’ to return, never felt drawn back to my home.

That was until I found a new home, or I should say, we did.

Tyrhone-glamour-shot

I am still astounded that Tyrhone and I both fell in love with Playa del Carmen, the Yucatan, and the whole of Mexico as we did. We differ in our opinions on a lot of things. So I am so unbelievably thankful we both agree on our love for Playa, a place we visited on a whim and discovered a life beyond our wildest dreams.

We’re still not ready to ‘settle down’ in a permanent way. We have no interest in owning a home and we have no plans of having kids. I don’t know if we ever will. But we miss Playa. We miss the beaches and the food and the cenotes and the food. We miss our friends and our cafe and our whacky acquaintances.

Playa del carmen VW beetle

We miss walking aimlessly through the back streets and we miss our favorite mole place.

I miss the fresh juices, the yoga and my recovery community.

I miss the heat that turns a deliberate walk into a slow cruise.

I miss the Caribbean Sea like a missing limb.

Xpu ha beach Mexico

We both miss the flavor and freedom of Mexico.

We miss the lack of rules and regulations.

We miss our home.

I truly believe that timing is everything. I wasn’t taken with Playa when I first arrived because I was looking at it from the outside. After a few months of living there, however, I began to see it from within, through the people I met and the experiences I was led to. A year later, I saw it as part of me and me as part of it.

I knew I had found somewhere I belonged, which is why, of course, we left.

We aren’t ready to settle down, remember?!

I am so glad we left. I am so glad we had the adventures, mishaps and challenges we did. I am so glad we hit the lowest part of our journey in Guatemala, abandoning our plans for a central American road trip and house sat on Mexico’s west coast instead. I am glad we did this trip through the US to experience so many wonderful places and people.

desert view grand canyon

The Grand Canyon really is as grand as they say…

Glacier NP

Glacier national park is still stunning in the winter…

Colorado Ski Cooper

The Rocky Mountains are really high…

All these experiences have allowed me to grow and change and learn more about myself through the various melt-downs, break downs, epiphanies and moments of wonder they provided.

Tyrhone working hard

There was a lot of stress over Tyrhone’s flying last year. It almost broke us, but instead, it made us stronger, both individually and as a couple.

Watching him make his dream a reality has not only made me immensely proud of him, but has given me more resolve to follow my own.

I want to connect more, heal more and surrender more to who I truly am, more of the person who speaks to me in the stillness. I want to encourage others to do that too.

Tyrhone wants to fly, fly, fly! He hasn’t been able to fly at the altitude we are at, plus he tore a ligament off a bone in his ankle on his second day of snowboarding, so he is absolutely chomping at the bit to get back in the air.

I have never seen him so impassioned about anything in the almost-nine years we’ve been together, so to see him discover his ‘Thing’ has been quite miraculous (that is, if miracles include a lot of blood, sweat and tears!).

I have learned that following your heart always, always pays off and that avoiding difficulty by giving into fear doesn’t.

This journey has been immensely challenging, but the reward is that we both get to wake up every day, in love with the life we have created.

In love.

We will take that love with us wherever we go, but for now I am so glad that we get to take it, home.

Homesubscribe to sarah somewhereThank you, Americans! We have met so many wonderful people during our six month stay and we cannot thank you enough for your kindness, generosity and hospitality. Seriously, thank you for the meals, the coffees and the conversations. There are too many of you to mention but you know who you are xxx

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Are you a Healer? http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/03/29/are-you-a-healer/ http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/03/29/are-you-a-healer/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:34:19 +0000 http://sarahsomewhere.com/?p=11647 Keep reading...]]> I saw this on Caroline Myss’ Facebook page the other day:

Healing Caroline Myss

I thought, yes, yes I would! And I did! And it worked!

It got me thinking about the all the decisions I have made over the last few years, and how at the time I didn’t know it was healing I was seeking, when actually that is EXACTLY what I have received.

This literal journey over the least three years has been amazing. The things we have seen, done and experienced; the people we have met, the projects we have created, the skills we have learned.

But it isn’t just those things which have been the greatest gifts.

It is the internal shift I have received by showing up and doing the work I needed to do in order to heal.

Sarah Journey to Shine

Make no mistake, it takes courage and work to heal.

To face yourself fully and completely and risk having everything you thought you knew about yourself stripped away.

It’s been so rough at times. Painful. But my golly, it is has been so utterly worth it to heal my wounds and connect with who I am and what I am hear for.

Buddhist stupa

I’ve discovered that healing is in fact, exactly what I am here to do.

About five years ago, I attended a Hay House event in my home city of Perth, Western Australia. I was about five minutes sober, which meant I was completely insane.

It was the first event of that kind I had ever been to. I loved it. Like the first time I walked into a recovery meeting, I felt like I had come home.

During a break before Wayne Dyer took to the stage, I got chatting with the woman next to me.

She looked at me squarely and asked, “Are you a healer?”

I got flushed, embarrassed, like I had somehow misled her.

“Oh no,” I replied. “No,” and shrugged my shoulders, not having anything else to say.

“Hmm, not yet, maybe,” she said, giving me a knowing smile as Mr Dyer strolled onto the stage and began to speak in his deep, gravelly voice.

I’ve been thinking about that moment a lot lately.

By sharing my healing journey and connecting with others via my e-retreat, I have become aware that I am, in fact, a healer.

By that I mean that I am healing, and in doing so, I am able to hold space for others to heal.

I don’t believe I hold any special insight or powers except for what my journey has taught me. I believe that each of our journeys holds the power to heal us, if we take the time to connect with it.

There is no better quote to sum it up than this:

Broken

Without even knowing it, through my brokenness, I have become expert at mending. It is now the center of my life and my greatest joy.

I wake up every day and invite that healing power into my life. I know there are unhealed places within me and I love them anyway because they are the spaces which hold the potential for my awakening.

I am so, so grateful to my soul for leading me into this incarnation to have the experience I am having. Every single bit of it.

Five years after that moment at the Hay House event, I can say that, yes, I am a healer. It is a journey I am committed to for the rest of my life, out of sheer gratitude for the gifts I have received.

Sarah Somewhere healing

My next 12 week e-retreat, ‘Journey to Shine,’ begins May 4!

All the details of the e-retreat are here.

Sign up now and don’t pay until May. The cost is US$60 and payment plans are available.

Love and light,

Sarah xxx

 

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Sacred Objects: A Loverope Giveaway http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/03/22/sacred-objects-a-loverope-giveaway/ http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/03/22/sacred-objects-a-loverope-giveaway/#comments Sun, 22 Mar 2015 15:16:58 +0000 http://sarahsomewhere.com/?p=11628 Keep reading...]]> Since shedding all my possessions in search of truth and freedom, I’ve experienced an interesting shift in my relationship to ‘stuff.’

I have, in fact, gathered more possessions since I left for Cambodia three years ago with a 20L backpack. The difference is that these things now serve one of the above purposes, either ‘truth’ or ‘freedom’.

We bought a car in Mexico, which easily falls into the ‘freedom’ category and was one of the best decisions we made on this journey, allowing us to drive across Mexico, Guatemala and the US.

I have bought a few pieces of clothing, most of which are brightly coloured and locally made to reflect a story of a country or place.

I’ve gathered a few pieces of jewellery with great meaning to me. A lotus flower ring I purchased in Bali to symbolize my spiritual journey and a gorgeous Mexican spiral ring given to me by my dear friend, Alison.

Beads made from Beans. Mala beads made from the sacred Rudraksha seed which I infuse with intention every time I meditate. A Guatemalan huipil. Woven blankets from Chiapas. A Montana Amethyst crystal which called to me from a basement ‘rock shop’ in Whitefish.

Creation

Books. LOTSA books to serve, inspire and entertain me on my journey.

To me, these pieces serve ‘truth’, for they are an expression of where I’ve been, who I am and who I am becoming.

So when I received an email from a young guy making simple, meaningful, jewellery, I took notice.

There was something about his email which was different to the others. It was authentic and kind and real. I checked out his website and fell in love with his mission to spread love via his creations.

Loverope is a customized, hand-stamped bracelet, to be worn as a reminder of an intention, person, emotion or thought.

Loverope-journey

I knew straight away that I wanted the Kundalini yoga mantra, ‘Sat Nam’ stamped on my bracelet, which loosely translates to ‘Name of Truth.’

Loverope sat nam

It’s a mantra I often meditate on by chanting it in time with my pulse. Having the words inscribed on a bracelet to wear at all times is a wonderful reminder of who I really am and what my purpose is –

To search for truth, discover truth, surrender to truth and express truth.

Loverope-meditation

Christian from Loverope is giving away a free Loverope bracelet to one of you, to customize with your own sacred message.

The manifesto of the small company, consisting of three guys from Bavaria, Germany, is this:

LOVEROPE is a catalyst for

deep, meaningful conversations and positive energy.

We want people to share more truth, love, peace, beauty with one

another. Because it’s our essence.

We are not a jewellery company – we are movement.

Leave a comment below to go into the draw. The winner will be chosen numerically by our spirit guides.

Feel free to share your desired message and why it is meaningful to you.

If you so desire, share this post with your friends who might like to enter and follow Loverope on Instagram and Facebook which will help this young man spread his message of love to the world.

Blessings,

Sarah xxx

UPDATE: Thank you all so, so much for your thoughtful comments, I love all the words you chose and think humanity is in safe hands with so many loving intentions being sent into the world! The winner of the bracelet, was the  number 1 comment, Andi!!!

Winner

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#DEARME – A message to my younger self http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/03/08/dearme-message-younger-self/ http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/03/08/dearme-message-younger-self/#comments Sun, 08 Mar 2015 19:20:15 +0000 http://sarahsomewhere.com/?p=11602 Keep reading...]]> #DEARME is a YouTube project in honor of International Women’s Day. It is a series of video messages to our younger selves. Here’s mine:

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Broken hearts build bridges http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/03/04/broken-hearts-build-bridges/ http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/03/04/broken-hearts-build-bridges/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 02:29:15 +0000 http://sarahsomewhere.com/?p=11585 Keep reading...]]> Most of the time, I avoid broken hearts. Who wants to be in pain? Not me. My survival instincts want me to flee far, far away from it. And often, for my own mental and emotional health, I do.

But this week it crept in and I simply could not run fast enough to escape. This week, I allowed my heart to break (again) over a situation occurring in my home country. I allowed my heart to crack open for the people seeking asylum who are incarcerated in detention.

For the children and the mothers and the fathers; the sisters and brothers. My sisters and brothers.

I signed a petition to release children from custody and thought, “But what about their parents?” Are we just repeating our dark history again, do we have another stolen generation in our midst? Surely that can’t be the best case scenario.

But I had no solutions for a situation which has become so politicized it makes me want to vomit. I feel like tearing my hair out and screaming that this is not a political issue, but a human one. Those people fleeing persecution, war and violence are human.

Not pawns in a political circus whose polarity prevents any real solutions.

I felt lost, afraid and powerless. Powerless. I think that may be the worst feeling. I wondered how powerless those people in detention must feel. Powerless probably doesn’t come close to describing it.

I’d been sharing a concept in my e-retreat called compassionate abiding, which I learned from the superstar Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron.

The practice is about giving space to uncomfortable feelings. Rather than running from them or distracting ourselves from them, it’s about allowing them the space they crave.

By breathing in and out, allowing the uncomfortable feeling, which was, in my case, powerlessness, I could be with it instead of allowing it to drive me into rage.

The next step of the practice is to realise that whatever we are feeling, there are other people on the planet feeling the same thing. By offering compassion to them, we acknowledge our shared humanness which eases our isolation.

The feeling of powerlessness started to fade as I felt connected to those people who felt it too. I realised that my compassion for them was not in vain. I wasn’t powerless, because compassion is the most powerful energy on the planet.

Every single positive act which has ever occurred on this earth has arisen from compassion. And I could only feel that power when I allowed my heart to break open.

Dali Lama

Then this morning I was reminded of the planned executions of two Australian citizens in Indonesia who were charged with drug trafficking ten years ago.

I have followed the story over the years and have always been heartbroken by it. Having made my fair share of poor decisions in my life, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing great transformation in the recovery community and I simply couldn’t shake my anger at a system which doesn’t advocate second chances.

That icky feeling, powerlessness, reared its head again. When left unattended, powerlessness turns into depression. Luckily I had already learned that when allowed to abide, it transforms into compassion.

So I allowed my heart to break open for these men who made a mistake and paid for it with their lives.

I allowed a place for them in my heart, because I felt that in doing so, I could honor them and the transformational journey they had lived, incarcerated on death row, by finding peace within them and serving their fellow inmates.

They actually transcended in ways that most people would never experience. By overcoming their physical circumstances, they arrived in a realm of calm acceptance, service and love. Ironic that so many people (including me) seem to want to get to that place and can’t find it through all our attachments.

Have everything stripped away from you and see what happens. What really matters.

I couldn’t let them die in vain, and so, I invited their experience to transform me. On facebook, one of my sweet friends posted about her sadness surrounding the event; an expectant mother for whom life has taken on a new meaning.

I wrote that we could honor the men by seeing them and by allowing their life and their experiences to bring more compassion into our hearts. By doing that, their life was not wasted. They brought more love into the world.

I find it rather odd that people will honor a historical figure who was politically persecuted and executed and yet not see that the same thing happens to other children of god every day.

‘What if Jesus was a drug smuggler?’ I thought to myself. ‘Or an asylum seeker?’

I felt a slither of truth emerge within me and that truth was compassion. And I took some comfort in my belief that the energy of compassion does change the world, one broken heart at a time, building bridges of love which will one day, connect us all.

IMG_66627593574126

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I’m Bali Bound. Join Me! http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/03/01/im-bali-bound-join/ http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/03/01/im-bali-bound-join/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 16:11:29 +0000 http://sarahsomewhere.com/?p=11564 Keep reading...]]> From my first visit to the island of Bali at age twelve, I was hooked. The traffic, the noise, the colour and the culture could not have been more exotic compared to my suburban Australian upbringing. I’ve returned many times since and every time has left me changed in some way.

Sarah Bali

There are certain places in the world which feel like home to me and Bali is one of them. While some parts are overdeveloped and chaotic, there are still magical places to discover on the tiny island which I have heard referred to as the ‘heart chakra of the world.’

offering ubud

When I decided to plan my first meditation retreat, it was kind of a no-brainer about where it would be. Having attended two retreats at the ‘Bali Mandala’ on the secluded north coast of the island near the village of Bondalem, I knew it was the place I wanted to introduce a special group of people to.

Bali retreat sunset

I am thrilled that twelve women from four countries, aged from thirty to seventy will be meeting me for this unique experience (including my Mum and one of my best friends) and I want to extend the invitation further in case you were thinking of joining us.

If you are traveling on your own, that is great. Many of the women are. If you have never meditated or stepped foot onto a yoga mat before, excellent, because neither have many of the women who are coming.

This is a retreat in the true sense of the word. We will be leaving behind responsibility, expectations, stress and self-doubt and embracing acceptance, relaxation, stillness and laughter. The retreat is called ‘Return to Wholeness,’ because I believe that when we take the time to slow down and go within, we realise we have everything we need.

Yoga Bali retreat

Then, there is the FOOD. Believe me, we will be eating well. The meals are prepared from fresh, local and mostly organic produce and are absolutely delicious.

The cost of the retreat includes transport from the southern end of the island to the north (about a three hour drive) which takes us through the heart of Bali past small villages and rice fields. Three meals per day, herbal teas, coffee and mineral water are also included, as well as three one-hour massages in the gorgeous on-site spa.

There will be two meditation and yoga sessions per day, which are optional, so if you feel like taking a day off, you can. But you probably won’t want to miss these unique classes designed by our teacher and the owner of the resort, Gisela. She is an amazing woman with an extremely gentle nature and her energy is contagious.

Most of the time will be spent swimming, either in the North Bali Sea or the fresh water pool overlooking it, relaxing in hammocks and sun loungers, or napping in our simple yet elegant bungalows.

BaliMandalacabana

bali retreat room

All bungalows have outdoor bathrooms and fresh flowers arranged in the rooms daily. I really don’t have the words to describe the small touches which make ‘the Mandala’ so special. Don’t even get me started on the beautiful meditation shala with a high pitched thatched roof and doors which open to the sound of the ocean.

We will also have the opportunity to visit the resort’s community school for local children and I have a few more special touches planned to make your experience memorable and transformative.

Bali Kids

I am so excited to return to one of my favourite places on the planet and would love you to join me!

All the details of the retreat, including pricing (which I have kept as low as possible) are here.

I will be in the town of Ubud for four days before the retreat begins and we will depart for the northern coast from a hotel in Seminyak on Sunday August 23. After the retreat concludes on the 29th, I will be in Seminyak with my family for another week, so if you would like any recommendations or tips on where to eat, shop or stay, I will happily help you with your plans.

If you a feeling the pull to join us but are nervous or concerned about something, please drop me an email on sarah.somewhere@hotmail.com and let me know. I am happy to answer any questions and assist you in any way I can.

I hope to see you here in August!

balimandala buddha

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Why you need to do The Thing you need to do http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/02/22/need-thing-need/ http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/02/22/need-thing-need/#comments Sun, 22 Feb 2015 16:17:04 +0000 http://sarahsomewhere.com/?p=11523 Keep reading...]]> You know The Thing. The Thing you day dream about, fantasize about and secretly wish for.

The Thing you are afraid to say out loud.

You need to do it.

Now listen up: We’re All Scared.

We are all afraid of putting ourselves out there, of starting something new, of expressing ourselves truthfully. We are all afraid of judgement and rejection and ridicule.

And selfishly, that is why I need you to do The Thing you need to do, like, now.

Because I need to live in a world where it is okay to try things.

I need to live in a world where showing up is celebrated.

I need to live in a world where success is measured by the passion and sincerity in ones heart.

I need to live in a world that applauds that.

I also need you to do Your Thing so I can do My Thing.

I need you to tell me about your process and I can tell you about mine. And we can laugh about our insecurities and woop it up over our failures because we know that Doing Our Thing is all we are really here for and that every time we try something and fail we are one step closer to The Actual Thing we are here to do which is all part of the crazy, beautiful process.

Start before you're ready

Before we dreamed of long-term travel and before I started my blog I tried to start a local magazine in my home city. I was going to be the over-seer, my journalist friend was going to be the writer and Tyrhone was going to be the designer.

It was going to be a free print magazine.

Print.

We designed covers, priced printing and projected advertising figures.

I thought it might be My Thing.

It wasn’t, but it passed the time until The Next Thing.

Selling it all to travel the world indefinitely and write about it seemed even crazier than a print magazine.

Ask anyone who has ever created a blog or a book or a project of sincerity hitched onto a crazy dream and I guarantee they will tell you that their hands shook and their knees knocked and their mouth turned into the Namibian desert the moment they sent their baby into the world to be rejected or accepted.

Because we do not yet live in a world where ‘trying’ is celebrated past the fifth grade. We do not yet live in a world which measures success in the amount of fear you had to overcome.

We do not yet live in a world in which people are honest about how little faith they really have in themselves because they think they are not talented/special/unique/intelligent enough.

Not Yet.

But soon.

Because as each of us show up and do The thing we need to do, we shine a little brighter. Our eyes clear and our heart opens and we feel a little more peace in our souls.

And even if we ‘fail’ in the eyes of those who measure success by numbers instead of guided, passion-filled moments, we have created proof that trying and failing does not kill us, but merely leads us to The Next Thing we need to do.

Rumi seek

So please, be honest with yourself about The Thing. I know you have one. Everyone does.

It doesn’t have to be A Big Thing and it could simply be The Next Thing.

Your head will tell you Your Thing is silly or unimportant or unoriginal, because you have been conditioned to play small. But Your Thing will find a way into the world with or without you, because it is bigger than you.

It is The Thing which creates worlds and if you do not allow it into being it will find someone who will.

So why not you?

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Reclaiming Spaces http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/02/16/reclaiming-spaces/ http://sarahsomewhere.com/2015/02/16/reclaiming-spaces/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 15:38:38 +0000 http://sarahsomewhere.com/?p=11501 Keep reading...]]> Before we left on this journey three years ago, my life felt fragmented. Like pieces of different jig-saw puzzles which didn’t fit together.

I remember hearing a line in a film which basically summed up how I felt all my life, “Life has a gap in it. It just does. You don’t go crazy trying to fill it like some lunatic.”

My life had been full of gaps. Covering over old, unhealed traumas created gaps, resisting my inner voice created gaps, and looking outside myself for validation created massive gaps.

I think a part of me knew when we boarded that plane to Phnom Penh that I was hoping to find the metaphoric equivalent of  ‘Selleys, No More Gaps,’ or at the very least figure out once and for all if those gaps were in fact, inevitable.

For a while the thrill of the dream and the excitement of adventure covered over the gaps, but very soon they became starkly, painfully, apparent. In fact, without busyness, fashionable clothes, possessions, a job title or old social patterns to disguise them, they seemed (and felt) bigger and gappier than ever.

Tired of allowing them to make me feel separated and different, I decided to surrender to them.

“Okay! I see you! You’re still here. You suck and I don’t like you, but I’m willing to love you because the alternative isn’t working.”

I began to accept and love the gaps and weirdly, their edges began to soften a little.

I still felt fragmented, but decided to own the different pieces of me. That was scarey. I don’t think I will ever have the words to describe how scarey, but I felt like I had to do it.

I’ve owned parts my life publicly and all of them privately. I’ve even owned those negative spaces; the places which used to feel like gaps.

Rather than looking for things outside myself to fill them, I’ve created from within them. New parts of me have expanded into those spaces and I can now see how absolutely vital and necessary they were.

Because the new parts have brought the other parts together.

This journey has given me the opportunity to explore my inner geography and reclaim lost territory, as well as discover new land.

China prayer flags

I finally feel integrated.

That doesn’t mean that there are no more gaps, it means that I now recognize them as fertile spaces that I will eventually grow new life from.

It is that distinction which now makes me feel whole.

In some ways the quote from the movie was true. Life does have a gap in it. But far from being something to fill in, it is actually an invitation to explore and expand.

Reclaiming Spaces

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