Coming Home...the journey to Bali and Back

~ writing this in a 777 over the Pacific Ocean ~

Finding Out :: 

On Mother’s Day, Scott and I were drinking coffee, the kids were still asleep. He was making me a beautiful breakfast of omelettes and fruit.

At exactly 10:00 am I received a private Facebook message from Rochelle Schieck. Rochelle is the creator of Qoya, a movement practice using yoga and dance, based on the idea that through movement, we remember…we remember our essence as women is wise, wild and free. I’ve been following her for a few years and love her work. She leads retreats around the world teaching Qoya and creating community.

The message from Rochelle read: Happy Mother’s Day! I look forward to dancing with you in Bali……

{long, long pause….}

I was stunned and thrilled and immediately starting crying.

Scott was sending me to Qoya in Bali. AND, surprised me by having Rochelle tell me herself. The depth of that gift was and is, and probably always will be, overwhelming.

Leaving ::

On September 13th, I boarded a plane in Charleston and headed to the other side of the world — quite literally the farthest possible point away from CHS.

Charleston to Atlanta to LA to Sydney to Denpasar Bali, then a 1 and 1/2 hour car ride to Michael Franti’s Soulshine Resort just outside of Ubud.

It’s impossible to give an account of the details, meaning, connections, beauty, depth, activities and love from this experience. It was something I can’t put into words yet. And, I intentionally wanted to be out of my thinking/writing mind and just

FEEL the experience. 


Without the need to document every word. I did take some notes and did write a few things that needed to come through. Which I’m sure will come out over time and if you are with me, I’ll be happy to recount in person. But mainly I was in my body and felt my way through the days.


Which was the whole point.


Feeling without filtering. All of it. Anything that came up. Without shame, guilt, embarrassment or concern of what others might think. Dancing with abandon. Feeling with abandon. Absolutely FREE. (...a Core Desired Feeling)

And it felt incredible. Breathtaking, actually.

Although odd for me, I didn't journal a lot partly because the days were full. Partly because I, and several others, did come down with Bali Belly (24-36 hr fever and purging), partly because my body was adjusting to massive time travel and was quite tired at the end of the day.

But really, it’s because words just wouldn’t do it justice. And what I learned there will be unfolding for a long time.

The moments too precious to bring out of eternity and into form.

It was the best roller coaster in an emotional amusement park. Filled with dancing and laughter and tears and joy and sorrow and hope and power and strength and love. Deep and wide. Accompanied by a deeply spiritual place, deeply spiritual practice, women who embodied Truth and Love, an incredibly lush and gorgeous environment full of magic.

From the taxi ride in, to smashing our shadows in the form of coconuts, to the temple and holy waters, to the heaven-on-earth-top-floor-open-air yoga studio, to the dancing, to the ceremonies, to the food, to the staff, to the villages, to the mineral hot springs to a life-changing car ride home from the hot springs, to the last class…

Coming Home ::

We said our gratitudes, cut our red strings, hugged many hugs, took many photos, took all of our cards, had our last shares, shed a few tears, smiled many smiles and danced our last danced.

The retreat was complete.

Two days before I had placed my hand-made traditional Balinese offering of palm leaves and flowers (they do this 3 times a day. Every. Day.) on a particular place in the property, as was instructed for all of us to do by Rochelle. We were all to go out alone and find our individual offering location.

I found the word “shine” on the path leading into the resort (my first Angel card of the week said “Let Yourself Shine”), but that wasn’t quite right. My intuition said it needed to be moved.

Ground. Grass. Nature. By the water. I wandered alone quietly, looking for the right spot. I landed on a perfectly acceptable place near where we smashed our coconuts earlier in the week. Just fine.  But as I was lowering my offering to the ground…I Felt something…

Turn Around.

Behind me, on the grass, was a perfect, delicate white feather.


I laughed and cried at the same time and thanked my sweet Guides for showing up. I replaced the feather with my offering and felt wholly complete. Smiling, I rejoined the group, showing them my feather as I walked into the studio. (By the way, I did not see one single white bird on the property the whole time I was there. Not saying there weren’t any…)

As we gathered our things at the end of that last class, I picked up my journal (the one with the feather on it.) The delicate white feather gently, silently, slid from between the pages and drifted down from the third floor, disappearing into the landscape below. This one was supposed to come home with me. I knew exactly where I was going to put my Bali feather so I could see it everyday.

I stood there. Stunned. I turned to my New Zealand friend. She looked at me with concern, “What happened?” (With the most extraordinary New Zealand accent…truly precious.)

“My feather.”

She looked at me and slowly smiled.

We both looked over the rail. "Mmmmm, it was ready to be released." Like so many other things this week.


Turn Around. 

You’re ready. 

It’s time to go home.

It’s time to shine.


*Thank you, Rochelle, for being a gracious, inspiring and flexible leader, incredible healer, wonderful friend and for being in this life, doing your Sacred Work. Blessings. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

*Thank you to the 16 new pieces of my heart. No words. Until next time…