Dear Friends,

As many of you know it was a special summer for me. I realized a 20 year dream and visited the gorgeous island of Bali in May. I had always imagined visiting this ancient culture with gorgeous lush green rice terraces (10) its ancient temples and traditions.(11, 12, 13)

(10) Rice terrace

It is hard to summarize such a spiritual, beautiful, sensual culture in a few paragraphs so I will try to show you more via the pictures attached.

To me, the whole country smells of sandalwood incense, which sits on top of braided grass pockets filled with vivid blossoms of scarlet, fuscia and saffron hues picked at their perfection that morning. These offerings are then laid everywhere, at a bend in the stairs, on statues (1), walls, curbside(2) even on the hoods of cars on some truly auspicious days.

(2) Offerings curbside

The observation of gratitude and faith is a daily, sometimes all day ritual. It is universal and therefore understood and accepted.

Beyond that each family lives in a compounds, multigenerational and each with their own temple for daily worship.(14) 

The small staff of 16 at the retreat center (3)came from 3 different villages and faith bases as everyone's first priority is respectful observation of their  faith, which it appears is joyfully, entered into. This is a strategic move as if all the staff were observing the same respects on the same days there would be no one to take care of the guests! The Indonesian people as a whole were open faced, smiling and never seemed jaded. There was a real innocence about them. 

(3) Floating Leaf staff

I stayed at a beautiful, intimate retreat center and met truly interesting, concerned citizens of the world, all so passionate about what they were doing in it and for it. Mikaku and Putu (4) are the owners of the center (. Find them at an EcoRetreat,(5,6,7) take a look at the website which captures many more details and pictures. If you can find any excuse to go there to decompress or to take a group on a retreat I highly recommend you do so. Life travels at a different speed there, and you will be nurtured! One day there is equal to about 4 in America I would guess :) I may be considering taking a group myself in another year or two! Let me know if you have interest!

I met friends from many countries; it is always so wonderful to start a conversation with a new friend and watch it turn in such different directions than you might ever have expected. I am endlessly astonished to learn of all the good work going on and it is wonderful to feel hope on the individual scale about what we can all do. So different than the news on TV would have us believe. 

Glorious sunrise

They encourage simple things like donating a yoga mat to those who don't have one for practice, or donating clothes for the local families. I met a couple involved in worldwide water purification projects in developing countries through the Rotary Club, even a traveling troubadour who moved to Timor a neighboring island to Bali, in its hour of devastation to sing the people back to positivity after the horrors that occurred there 14 years ago (I knew nothing about it either). The efforts of this band of musicians became supported and rewarded over time so that now he and his group live in a castle gifted to them by the government in recognition of their ongoing messages of positivity and reform ! And of course there was the inevitable French surfer, hot on the heels of Kelly Slater, hanging out for the next big wave to take him away. No surprise there. Believe me, you cannot make up the types of stories you hear when a group of travelers come together. It has always been incredibly innervating to me.

It was hard to say goodbye to Bali, but I did leave with my truest, widest smile firmly back in place(15)

It was a revelation to feel completely rested on my return, and to feel so welcomed home by my wonderful family, whose support made the adventure possible, and my patients, who trusted my team in my absence. I received such feelings of wellbeing and on the whole everyone seemed so happy for me that I had been able to go, I was on a cloud for 2 straight weeks on my return, barely a jot of jet lag! 

Its amazing when you start with a dream like Bali but talk it down with thoughts like " well I can't take that time off' or "I can't afford it", "Bali, don't be ridiculous!  Well it did take an incredible amount of support to make it possible, my entire wonderful village, and of course I was putting money away for quite a while before I went. But the truth is this. Given the challenges of the past year in my life and my will to move forward and keep giving of my whole self, to my daughter, my family, friends and clients, I can honestly tell you, that I personally, could not afford not to go to Bali. 

Perfect cloud from terrace

One client asked, " So what did you bring back?" 

When I really thought about it, I had a beautiful time with wonderful people, and probably the memory of the most glorious sunrise I have ever seen! But really I gained the gift of knowing what it felt like to be calm and peaceful, maybe for the first time ever. So now I have that reference point etched on my physiology, I can find my way back " to Bali". We all have our equivalents to these touchstones: places, people and moments in our lives that refuel and ground us at a fundamental level. You don't have to travel so far, travel is just what I have always done at these times, to move through passages in life. I know that I have been incredibly lucky to be able to do so. But maybe a walk in the morning rain when everything becomes so vibrant and green is something that gives you a sense of calm, or maybe there is a cozy chair in your favorite room that the sunlight hits just perfectly in the afternoon, That's perfect.  Just make sure you take the time to go and sit in it! Maybe there is a picture of a favorite person or scene, a piece of music or prayer that is meaningful. Think about what Bali might be for you and bring it into your life more deliberately and more often.

I have posted some pictures that I think best capture my version of Bali, I really hope you enjoy them. 

In Health and Harmony



Lorraine Kingham PT, MTC, MHSC, CMTPT


(1) Young Buddha with offering

(11) Oldest temple

(12) Beautiful family at temple

(13) Today at the temple

(14) Family compound

(4) Mikaku, Putu, and Bodhi

(5) Upstairs atrium

(6) Poolside

(7) Morning colours

Denpasar airport

(15) Beaming on the terrace

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