Why embracing both sides of polarity is the key to opening portals of unity.
In May 2019, I left the USA. My time away was supposed to have been only a six month work-play tour; three months teaching seminars in Europe (including the United Kingdom), followed by three months scuba diving (and working remotely) in Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Even as I packed my bags last year, something told me this trip away from “home” would be much much longer. I needed to leave the USA and be somewhere outside my safety net for reasons I myself did not yet understand.
Since that time, through a series of extenuating circumstances, opportunities and synchronicities, I have never made it back home to America.
My house rented for most of 2019, and in early February 2020 I signed a one-year lease with a tenant who would care for my beautiful home in San Diego, California as much as I do.
For the time being, I traded my ocean view sanctuary for a comfy villa in Bali, returned my convertible BMW and rented a cheap zippy motorbike. (Yes, I drive a scooter in Bali). I swapped out my Italian boots and silk blouses for flip-flops, bikinis, and scuba diving gear. Who knew the mask would be so handy?
To be honest, I have spent more time underwater this past year than on land. Scuba diving is like meditation for me. Breathe In. Breathe Out. No thoughts. Simply observe and appreciate the 70% of the planet that is… One great ocean.
And while I work really weird hours now due to various time zones in America and Europe, working at a distance from Bali has suited my soul well.
Apart from teaching seminars in Europe and the United Kingdom, Bali has been my home base for most of this past year. And it seemed Bali would also be my home base in the year to come. I would still travel overseas to teach every few months, but departure and return would be Bali until further notice.
In the past several weeks, as the Coronavirus pandemic and Infodemic has taken over life as we know it, many people have asked me, “When are you coming home?”
This last weekend my government (US State Department) urged all Americans overseas to travel home immediately, while simultaneously telling all Americans overseas that traveling was unsafe.
I was asked by those close to me to consider that I am technically in a third-world country where health care is considered sub-par at best. This fact, coupled with the rapid decline in tourism (due to recent travel bans) makes the future of Bali a little “uncertain” to say the least.
Would I choose to leave Bali based on what IS actually happening or what MAY happen? As I looked at the chaos and uncertainty begetting the EU, U.K. and USA at this time, including my home state of California being under lockdown in a state of emergency, going home wasn’t very appealing.
If I could even get a flight back to America at this point, I faced the risk of catching “the” virus (a virus I am 99.99% sure I already had last month). I also faced risk of quarantine on transit, and risk of quarantine on arrival. The risk of risk was really risky.
If I stayed out of America, right where I was, I could socially isolate without much adieu. I could ride out the bell curve of contagion that seemed inevitable, but is still just a probability state.
I made the decision to stay put in Bali and stay strong. I am at peace with my choice. I don’t think my immune system can take much more of the 24 hours news cycle, but at least from Bali it’s easier to breathe in peace and exhale fact from hype.
It’s true that Bali currently has very low virus numbers, and it’s also true that Bali has very little testing at all. But what Bali does not have is the fear and panic factor.
Ex-pats and locals alike are calm. There is no panic buying, and the toilet paper is plentifully stacked on the shelves as most Indonesians have a bidet system in their bathrooms. While we are all on requested social isolation, most people are complying.
Following the ban on Chinese tourists in Bali in early February, several countries have been banned from allowing travelers to enter Indonesia. As Chinese and Australians comprise the largest sector of tourism in Bali, without them Bali is mostly empty.
On March 20th the Indonesian government stopped all visas-on-arrival and free visas for tourists for 30 days. This effectively is a ban on tourism in an area where 80% of the GDP is dependent upon tourists. I am concerned it is not just the Coronavirus that will hurt the people in Bali, but the lack of economic sustenance.
So for now I will stay in Bali and watch in shock as the world I used to know is in total panic. The home I left in America will never be the same…for anyone. This is true almost everywhere in the world.
I am not in fear, yet I am proceeding very cautiously. Right where I am. In this moment. I am fine. You are fine. In this moment there is no fear of what may come, unless we allow it into our consciousness.
I am comforted by a dream I had a few nights ago. Every few years I have airplane dreams. (For as much as I fly, you would think I would dream of planes more often). In these dreams, sometimes the plane can’t take off the ground, sometimes the plane can’t land, sometimes the plane has no pilot, and on occasion, the plane totally crashes.
To me, these dreams are always metaphors for personal and collective consciousness; what we individually and universally may be encountering as one humanity.
In my dream the other night the plane was flying at 10,000 feet. Suddenly the pilot determined the plane needed to make an abrupt emergency landing over the ocean.
All members of the plane, including myself, were calm. The plane descended smoothly and made its landing in the middle of a vast sea. The waves braced our landing. We floated in silence over the surface of the water for quite some time. All was ok.
As I looked around the plane, there appeared to be no one else on the plane. I was alone. I looked up at my seat number and noted I was seated…in 3D.
The pilot then spoke over the intercom. She now had my voice. She said I had to isolate, as the plane needed to land on new waves of potential. She said I had to isolate in order to remember true connection.
She went on to say we were all already in social isolation before this whole emergency landing started; that we were more interested in our phones, our devices, our distractions, our things….than we were in being present to one another and flying together.
As a collective, we are in an emergency landing. Where we land will not feel like solid ground. We must settle into ourselves now more than ever, control our fear-based emotions, and our parade of the imagined terribles.
We must be present. It is not the end of the world. It is simply the end of the world as we knew it.
We can focus on what dread may come, or we can focus on what can change for the better. As we find ourselves in the waves of fear, we can remember there are also waves of possibilities; that we don’t need solid ground to be ok. We simply need to be solid within ourselves.We can focus on what dread may come, or we can focus on what can change for the better. As we find ourselves in the waves of fear, we can remember there are also waves of possibilities. Click To Tweet
If we look out to what appears to be happening, we will see virus everywhere. If we turn within, during this time of social isolation, we have an opportunity to reconnect to ourselves (and others) in an entirely new way.
I am not denying this virus is real. It is real. But so too is the grand opportunity we all have to reevaluate, well…everything. We can eradicate the mini-viruses we run as habit in our every day lives.
Take this time not to be addicted to distractions but to get really clear on how you want to fly once this is over. Because it will be over. It will pass. And what happens after this time passes is up to all of us.
No matter where we are. Because borders can’t keep us apart. For we are not separate. And fear is not our natural state. Love is. So find the love inside you and pass it on. Love can go viral too. Stay connected. And stay afloat.