Between battling Bali belly (where I really learned to “let go”) and insatiable mosquitos, I’ve had a refreshing and invigorating three weeks in Bali, TAing the coaching course I took in Sonoma 2.5 years ago. Giving back as a volunteer TA allowed me to appreciate how much I’ve grown since my course and reminded me of the magic of coaching where creative, resourceful, and whole people access their own inner wisdom to thrive in their lives. I also got to jump in as one of the students since there was an odd number, which allowed me to refresh my coaching skills and get free coaching!
The last few months I’ve been feeling really blocked, not able to see a path forward that I’m excited about. I felt stuck between two suboptimal options:
- Freedom and travel without a relationship, or
- Being stuck in one place without freedom for the chance of a relationship
I have been feeling more interested in having a more traditional relationship. Understandably, this has been difficult given my extremely nomadic lifestyle, though I often fear that it’s because I’m not desirable, there’s no potential partner for me that’s a good fit, and it would require me sacrificing my freedom.
Since I wasn’t optimistic about my future happiness given the options, I also wasn’t allowing myself to dream big, or really dream at all. I’m confident I can create the life I want to lead–but only once I know what I want! And I haven’t been able to envision what I want, because I only see two lackluster options and don’t want to find out I’m incapable of happiness.
Through this coaching course, I realized that there is so much potential in the gray area between black and white to explore with curiosity vs. staggering from the pressure to know and control with certainty. I’ve been so consumed with living life to the extreme, guardrail to guardrail, and maybe now I want to explore the expansive middle ground. And if a traditional model doesn’t exist, I can set up life on my own terms!
- Relationships: After the debacle with my ex-BFF, I knew I wanted a healthy relationship configuration, but I haven’t seen good models that fit for me. Since then, my brain has been primed to find good models and I found two new ones in Ubud, a good friend and a new Tinder buddy. If they can find creative set-ups that work for them, then anything is possible–I just have to dream it!
- Ako is based in Bali and has a boyfriend, who splits time between India, Singapore, and the US. They are serious about each other, have committed to traveling in Europe for the summer, and are exploring potential bases in New York and Singapore, though they’re not dropping everything right now to be in the same place and get married
- Krista stays in her office/crash pad three nights out of the week to have a space to work, write, and explore new lovers. She has an open relationship where both people are fully supported to be the best version of themselves and each partner get the oxytocin of a committed domestic partnership and the dopamine of NRE (new relationship energy)
- “Home”: There are many flavors between full nomad and homeowner–perhaps, I might have 3-4 bases where I spend 3-4 months out of year, which gives me time to visit family and friends in between. I’m thinking Austin, somewhere in Europe (Berlin?), and somewhere in Asia (Bali or other digital nomad hub?)
- “Work”: I like to think of this as how I focus my time with intention, whether it generates income or not. A job that earns income doesn’t necessarily have to be a 1-2 year commitment and geographically locked. I could do 6-month projects or have a job with meaningful travel
I realized that I had a limiting belief that “I can’t have love, money, and freedom at the same time.” This belief has served me the last five years allowing me to focus on immersing one authentic self in one world at a time, but now I want more balance.
I came up with a new empowering belief: “I flow like a river.” Like a river, I’m carried by the surprise of my own unfolding, on a meandering journey to the ocean of endless possibilities!
I haven’t seen much of Ubud or the rest of Bali, since this trip was really about supporting coaching training. It has been super fulfilling and exhausting, especially with my path-changing personal revelations. I don’t feel a ton of FOMO, since sometimes trips aren’t about sightseeing as a nomad. I did get to release baby turtles, partake in a traditional Balinese water purification ceremony, and do tons of yoga!
Gede, the Balinese healing man who led our ceremonies (and made me think of Eat, Pray, Love), sagely shared his life philosophy: “Care. Don’t care.” Everything in life fits into those two buckets. Now it’s about figuring out what goes into “Care”… probably very few things!
I’m spending a few days in Seminyak, enjoying resort life before returning to the scary real world with 20 flimsy face masks…!