This week, I’m excited to introduce you to Jennifer Grant. She is a writer and speaker who recently experienced a life changing trip to Bali. I hope her message of personal growth will resonate with you. Enjoy – Tera
I woke to the distant sounds of roosters clucking, the same as the previous 26 days. Today, it was somehow different, though. I knew immediately something had changed and although I couldn’t pinpoint it yet, I was certain it would be revealed. Bali had offered me many surprises since my arrival, and today would add to the list.
Having plans to leave shortly after breakfast with another writer, I padded my way to the breakfast table to enjoy my fresh bowl of watermelon and papaya. As I sat in the stillness of the morning, alone at a table that sat 18 people, I realized I felt deeply connected and centered. I had changed.
I traveled to Bali nearly a month earlier with the specific intention to write my book, yet I knew all along that it was much bigger than that. Sure, I’d write the first draft of my book and that would be amazing and wonderful, but this journey had so much more to offer. When I signed up, I was certain that I was signing up for the most amazing personal growth experience of my life. I was right.
Wrapping up my breakfast, I headed back to my room to get ready for my outing. Liz, a story teller, and I were heading to the holy water temple about 45 minutes away. We had both agreed that after experiencing it within the first few days upon arriving in Bali, we also wanted to experience it again, right before leaving. In the Balinese tradition it is explained that you can go to the holy water temple for any number of reasons – sometimes you go to ask for help and sometimes you go as a way to give thanks.
I had a plan, though. I was going, of course to give thanks but also, and more importantly (so I thought),I wanted to get a really cool photo for my website. I had made a plan with Liz that I would take some great photos of her while she was going through the fountains and she would do the same for me. We would both have amazing photos to share with others and remember the experience.
With the plan in place, we met our driver and kept the conversation going as we traveled the curvy roads that took us through the villages. Upon arrival to the water, we noticed it seemed different than the first time we went. It was a Tuesday morning and we thought for sure it wouldn’t be busy, yet it was extremely busy. One of the things I learned soon after my journey in Bali began is that genuine, kind hearted, and compassionate are natural and easy for the Balinese. Smiling faces greeted us as we walked through the grounds of the sacred space.
Making our way through the crowd, we headed toward the water. As we walked in the open-air, walled space, we saw just how busy it really was. The water was packed and the area surrounding it was filled with people waiting or watching the others in the water. As if there were stanchions showing people were to go, the line zig-zagged back and forth as it made its way to the start of the fountains. Looking around, I quickly realized that we would be in the water for a long time waiting and there would be no way we’d be able to take photos of each other. We asked the driver if he would be willing to capture some photos for us and he agreed.
We climbed inside the cool crisp water and got in line. As Liz and I were moving with the crowd, we were again greeted by smiles and friendly hellos. Although there were only a handful of non-locals in the water, we felt like we belonged. It was as if they honored us for being in their space with them. In that moment, I felt complete love and acceptance like I have never felt before. Over the course of the next couple of hours, we made our way to the front where the row of fountains came out of the wall. Other than a couple of fountains near the end that were specifically reserved for the deceased, I would make my way through the fountains one by one, saying a small prayer before each.
Suddenly and without warning, I felt the shift. About halfway through the fountains, as I put my hands in prayer position to my heart to begin my short prayer, I heard a faint whisper. “You are enough.” Listening further and continuing my prayer, I put my hands to my lips and heard, “You’re divine.” Still listening, I moved my hands to my forehead and as I inhaled deeply I heard, “I love you”.
Bowing forward into the water three times, I kept hearing the word “love” being repeated. As I stepped back out of the fountain I felt peace wash over me so completely and fully. I felt a sense of love and compassion for myself. I felt an incredible sense of calm. As I turned back toward Liz, our gazes caught each other and without a word shared, we reached out and embraced. In that moment I was embracing Liz, and yet I was embracing myself for the first time. I had been talking about love and sharing with others about getting to a space where we can fully and completely love ourselves, ‘just because’, and yet I wasn’t there. Until this moment.
I had changed in Bali in the most profound way and it was revealed clearly to me that morning under the sun in the holy water. Standing shoulder to shoulder with strangers, feeling complete and total love, I had finally allowed myself to experience real love and acceptance. I realized the reason for the change was for the first time in my life, in a big way, I had picked me. I had allowed myself to step big, be in Bali, do the work, write my book, feel the fear (and do it anyway), experience all of the feelings and emotions I needed to express. When I finally stood up and picked me, I was able to love me.
I knew when I woke the day would be different. And it was. It’s called self love.
Author – Jen Grant (formerly Brentano)
Passionate about sharing a message of love and hope, Jen is a writer and speaker inspiring others to lead with love. Her first book, “Dying to be Good Enough” is due out 2014.
Facebook: Inspiring Radiance