Every time I sat down to write about Bali, and the following steps of my journey, words seemed to dissipate out of my reach. Days piled up, all united by the common thread of a draft being written and paragraphs copied and pasted, edited, cut down, and then thrown out. As a growing frustration stagnated in my thoughts and threatened to corrupt my very memories of Bali, I gave up. Little did I realize that I was sitting on the edge of the world, and that retreating echoed a shadow of my fear to fall.

Bali changed my life. An unexpected destination, it soon became the birthplace of wings that would sweep me across unprecedented landscapes and experiences. During that quiet month of yoga, meditation, and note-taking, some deep and mysterious part of myself ushered in abandoned fragments of my identity. As the morning sun erupted over the emerald rice paddies and caressed my sequenced movements, I stirred up sparks of myself and danced with them.

It was difficult to tame some of the ghosts that animated themselves from the bones of my practice. Under the rigid schedule of yoga, class, and silence, I often felt like a mirror cracking and crumbling under intense pressure. After the peaceful fluidity of our morning practice, the power of what I moved through suddenly struck a deep chord of fear. Shuddering, I would retreat back into corners of my identity that I gradually sensed to be prisons.

Yet, throughout all of the changes and fears, there remained a calm, glimmering dimension of myself that listened to the growth of new wings without fear. As I left morning practice covered in sweat and walked silently upwards to my room, this ageless, timeless essence of my spirit dawned above me like an invisible crown of radiance. Though I couldn’t recognize this aspect of spirit in the fragmented mirror I called “myself,” she was there, watching with eyes unbroken by the web of cracks running across my life. Only now do I realize that she was, and is, me.

So, what happened in Bali?

I don’t know if I can explain it. I had arrived at a choice – I could splinter myself away in continual fear and ignorance, or I could cross over lost and forgotten boundaries to dance with whatever mystery lay beyond. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I understand the complexities of the choice. I’m not sure which path I decided to take. The only thing I am certain of is this: something changed where the river of the soul meets the rain of the Universe.

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