A couple of years ago I quit my job and moved to Bali for a year. I didn’t have anything planned and I lived day to day, trusting that the Universe would give me everything I needed. During that year away, I learnt many things about my life, myself and the Balinese. Here are some of my findings…
1. Hati hati
‘Hati’ means ‘heart’ in Indonesian. ‘Hati hati’ literally means ‘watch your heart’ or in other words, take it easy. I heard it used mostly in the context of ‘slow down’.
I once watched a local girl make breakfast and it fascinated me. She took an egg, slowly and gracefully. She looked at it, then broke it into the frying pan. She looked at it again, smiled and meditated for a moment. She took another egg. She looked at it lovingly and broke it into the pan. She repeated this ritual and just sat there smiling, watching the eggs fry until they were done.
2. Rituals are important
The Balinese are innately spiritual – they live in harmony with everything around them and see spiritual meanings behind every small act. Their traditional ceremonies are sacred. Every single house needs to be blessed each morning, so the Balinese will place beautifully-crafted offerings at the break of dawn.
3. Live simply and beautifully
The Balinese do everything with love. When I received a massage, frangipani flowers were placed under my massage table so I had something nice to look at. When I was brought tea, I had a pretty bird made out of banana leaves sitting in it. Whenever my bed was made, it was decorated with flowers. The message is clear – treat others as you wish to be treated, but also take the time to love yourself.
During my first few months in Ubud I was told an unforgettable quote regarding how Balinese people are brought up: “If you make someone smile, then that’s all you needed to have done that day, as you did the most important thing.”
5. Trust in the Universe
The Balinese are so ‘Hati hati’ I think they may never plan anything – they just seem to go with the flow. When I went to Bali I also had no plan. I lived in harmony with everything around me – and it worked!