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I wrote about the link between trauma and disease in my June 21, 2010 blog, using Dr. Richard Scaer’s The Trauma Spectrum as a reference. So, please refer to the blog if you want more background information.

Many of you know by now that I have experienced a whole bunch of trauma in my life, and while I have been in psychotherapy for many years as well as on a spiritual path, it is only recently with books such as the above that I’ve started to make sense of the flashbacks, nightmares, and illnesses I’ve had over the years.

As many of you know, walking a spiritual path does not give us a free ride from dealing with any of these issues.

A spiritual retreat to Bali does no less. In fact, because I have the time to do my soul work, the clearing out of unresolved issues – including physical, emotional, mental and spiritual – is occurring at lightening speed.

No sooner do I resolve ptsd with the housing situation (as I wrote about in my last two blogs), then something else happens. Read the rest of this entry »


Above is a very common step terraced sawah, rice fields, in Bali. This one is across the waterfall stream.

I think my readers might like to know what has happened with the housing situation. It has taken another two weeks since the “letting go” shifted my entire being, from fear to trust.

I am amazed that during these two weeks, I have not been scared.  When one let’s go of fear, different solutions pop up, seemingly out of the blue. I get to offer to pay Linda’s mortgage, let her stay in her house and I stay in the village. I am hopeful again.

Wayan returns, telling me that she wants $100.00 per month more than what he first quoted me, albeit still reasonable. However, another renter offers to pay her asking price up front in cash for the entire year.

I cannot top that.

The Ancestors affirm that I am to stay until June. My friend, Samo, and my son, Matthew, both assure me that she will come through. Wayan helps me look at other options. I tell him, “Let’s check out everything”.  Even though there is no opening in sight, I blindly move forward with my plans to stay.

I had asked Wayan to check on Singapore flights for me a week earlier.  I must leave the country when my visa expires on February 4th.   I worry that I have no reservation because February 3rd is Chinese New Year, and my cousin who lives there, is concerned I will not get a ticket out. Many people are flying there for the celebration. I ask Wayan to make a reservation for me, and he tells me he already did. Since I hadn’t paid and it is already a week later, I think the ticket is void.  However, it is not the way it works here. Once a reservation is made, evidently, we are given a longer timeframe to pay. I’m used to having only 24 hours to confirm an airline reservation. Wayan thinks I still have two more days, something he failed to share with me. He calls to make sure, “Oh, we have to go into Denpasar tomorrow to pay for the ticket. Already, they are adding on another $5.00 to hold it another day”. There is still much I need to get used to in this country.  We drop everything and plan to make the 2 and ½ hour drive.

Another logistic matter I must deal with is my restricted ticket home. I am told after I buy my airfare to Bali that I have a time sensitive ticket. I must return my March 4th, or I lose the ticket. I am royally “pissed”.  Even though I fully expected to return in a few months, I don’t like not being informed about restrictions after until I finalize a purchase. Not only is it highly unprofessional, it is deceptive. This is the last time I use Sun Travel.

I email my friend, J , to see if he has any suggestions as what to do. He travels back and forth to Indonesia several times a year. He tells me, “Call the airline and see if they’ll extend the ticket for a fee”. I breathe a sigh of relief. The way the travel agent makes it sound, I don’t think an extension is even a remote possibility.

I call EVA Airways in Bali, and the agent there, Apita, is very helpful. She informs me, “I will contact Los Angeles office and see what they are willing to do, but I will not know for another day because of the time difference”. I try calling the next two days but their phone lines are down. On the third morning, I get through, “Yes, Gayook, we can extend your ticket for a year. Would you like me to process it”? She tells me I must process it by tomorrow. I tell her, “I will be coming to Denpasar today, (the day I have to pay for the airfare to Singapore), so may I come to you to process”?

In my western mind, processing means something that I can pay when I am in the office. I show up at Apita’s place, and she informs me, “I will process it now and will let know you when you can come in to pay”.  I forget that the system works differently here. In my mind, it doesn’t feel very efficient, but who am I to question their system. I do make clear to her, “I need the ticket before I leave on February 4th when my visa expires, and I must leave the country. I need a copy of the ticket to apply for a social/cultural visa in Singapore”.  She assures me, “That is not a problem”.

I cross my fingers that 3 weeks is enough time for her to complete the paperwork.

As Wayan and I take the long drive back to the village, I ask him if the deal with the renter is definite. He answers, “No, Linda handled because it’s her house”. I immediately sense that something doesn’t feel right, when Wayan expresses the same his concerns as well, “We don’t really know this guy. He’s from Java and I’ve heard that many Javanese rent places and end up staying for months, not paying”. I ask if Linda has checked out this guy’s credentials. She has not. I strongly suggest that she do so.

Yesterday, 3 weeks after this entire situation began, Linda comes to the village. When I call Wayan about meeting with another place to rent for me, Linda answers the phone, “I am going to the sawah with Wayan, and I will come talk to you later”. I have asked to meet with her several times, and she’s always too busy. So, already, I know that she will accept my proposal to pay her mortgage.

She talked to the other renter’s present landlord and discovers that he’s been living there for 4 months without paying. So, she offers me the deal.

For whatever reason, Spirit says to wait, to look at another place first, then make the necessary arrangements. This morning, I get my answer. I need to talk to Linda directly to agree upon the terms and conditions. After she and I talk the  night before, it is the first time we really get to know each other without Wayan present. I know I need to deal with her and not Wayan. It is her house, her decision. Also, she is very independent, and my sense is that she will appreciate that I deal with her directly. In addition, I want to make sure that the terms are clear between us.

I want to find out exactly what I’m paying for, especially after being quoted two prices. Basically, I am paying not only for her mortgage, but for utilities and other bills. It is because she has no income. I want to negotiate with her to bring the price down. Again, Spirit counters,  “No”. I still don’t know why. I settle for her asking price with the terms that I pay monthly, not one lump sum which she asked for.  In addition, I stay for 4 months, from Feb.11th until June 8th.

Wanting to bargain down comes from my not wanting to feel that I’ve been taken advantage of. I found it very difficult not to barter. Even knowing that a few more dollars would not make a big difference to me, but to them, doesn’t help me feel that I should have asked for a lower price. It comes back to my not liking confrontations, fearful of rocking the boat, not asking for what I want. Yet, Spirit definitely said, “No, accept her terms.  I do.

So, the ordeal is over and I have a place to stay until I leave. I am relieved.

Spirit guides me  to go to the waterfall this morning. They will speak with me there. Their message is that I have passed this test, the letting go before knowing the outcome. This is the final test for the “mystic”. And, I will be tested even further as the months go on, to let go of those things which cause me the most fear. Once I leave this place, all the fears that have plagued me most of my life will be gone.

A tall order!

In return, I receive the gift of faith, as shown by the appearance of three (3) doe grazing in the forest to the left of the dam.

I look up from my writing, thinking that my eyes are deceiving me. A little ways into the forest, I think I see three dogs. They are camouflaged by the trees and high tropical vegetation. I see them grazing grass, and I think to myself, “Dogs don’t eat grass”. Taking a closer look, I see that they are deer. One boldly steps into the foreground, away from the trees and the two others. I catch her nibbling at the leaves, leaning forward towards the precipice.  She spots my movement. I stop, watching quietly, and she continues to graze.

I am grateful for this tangible gift. I understand that the symbolism for the deer is feminine, that when one encounters the deer, it leads you deeper into your soul and the treasures that lie within. It also symbolizes innocence, new adventure, and new life. And, below is the Chinese symbol for the number three (3), both taken from http://www.what’

The first offspring from the union of numbers 1 and 2, number three (san) is forever linked with the sanctity of life, progeny and childbirth. Ironically, three is also associated with endings in the Chinese meaning of numbers. From three, the family of numbers branches out to create diversity and complexity. The Tao tells us of the Great Triad (Heaven-Mankind-Earth) which can be loosely translated to mean the path from obscurity into manifestation. I think this tact is why threes are so pivotal both to the Chinese way of thought and otherwise. Three is the first ripple of metamorphosis . The introduction of a third aspect or ingredient changes the face of energetic lineage (both in numerical and general sense) entirely.

I find both the doe and the number three symbolism infinitely appropriate as I delve deeper into my soul’s journey in Bali.

Don’t ever think that we can get away from unresolved issues. I am learning that loud and clear in the mystical land of  Bali.  It feels like Spirit saying, “O.K., now you’ve had your fun and I’ve given you some unexpected gifts. Now, it’s time to see how much faith you’ve really developed, how much you’ve learned”!

Just when I thought that I had my life in Bali all figured out, Spirit throws a monkey wrench into the mix!

I  am living as a guest in Wayan’s home, busily planning with him to bring retreats and tours into the village, setting up qigong healings and teaching qigong exercises to the villagers.  Wayan’s and my agreement is that I  buy his mom a refrigerator, and I  stay as long as I want.  Because we are developing a business here, my initial 2-3 months is turning into more like 6, but I’m a guest here, so I figure, “No financial worries, I can stay here and we can continue to make our plans.

Naturally, Spirit had other ideas. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy New Year  to  everyone!

The new year always comes with much celebration and hope for the future, that whatever trials we endured the previous year are over. And, we can look at the new year to start a new life. Especially since I am so far from home, I look forward to a future unlike one I have ever known. Read the rest of this entry »

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