Rest [Bali]

We went to the peace and the noisy silence [seriously at dusk there was a cacophony of natural sounds that would rival the inner city at rush hour] of the Landi Ashram to take a moment to reflect on our first month and perhaps to reflect on our lives more widely.
There were no phones. No photos. No Instagram. Only the space to eat, walk, breath mindfully and to do a little check in on soul and spirit and heart.
There was the space to actually rest.
I know what you may be thinking.
“Hannah, you’ve basically been on holiday for the last 3 months. You haven’t worked a regular job. You keep posting pictures and blogs of you in mind-blowingly beautiful places. Why on earth do you need rest?”
That’s entirely fair.
I know you may be thinking this because that’s actually what I thought about it too.
Despite that I did feel like I needed it.
I was tired at the beginning of each week and at the beginning of each day.
I think it’s because each of those beautiful places represent something new being done in me.
They represent a part of my life that is shifting and changing, sometimes at super sonic speed. Right before my eyes.
Sometimes the change represented the death of something in me. Something painful and exhausting. Something that was once necessary but isn’t anymore.
That’s a lot to take in.
That’s a lot to give out too.
Therefore the opportunity to re-calibrate the new things that I’m learning or to realize how I am changing seemed needed.
As we arrived at the Ashram it was with relief that I handed over my phone. I felt like I was handing all of the responsibility for every message and picture on the device and every relationship that they represented. I had an excuse not to answer a call or a text. I physically couldn’t do it and wouldn’t even know that I would need to.
We sat down to our first entirely vegan (and entirely delicious) meal, not 100% sure what to expect.
I took a deep breath and suddenly felt every part of me relax.
It was particularly surprising given the ominous presence of Mount Agung, still threatening to erupt and very present above our little haven.  I felt I had spent such a long time thinking about the mountain that in some way we had gotten to know each other well. I felt rested in it’s presence which deeply surprised me given my habitual nickname of ‘Health-and-Safety Hannah’.
So, 4 days of quietness and deep breath ensued. We did yoga and meditation. The only music that we heard was created by us. At one point we silently formed a piece of art with the earth, flowers, leaves and ourselves – no talking, just intuiting. There was a oneness to it that I haven’t experienced before. It was incredibly beautiful.
I was also challenged to find the things that I know are truth. To dig in deeply and honestly and reject those things that aren’t the truth I know so that I could authentically be myself. Sometimes that meant rejecting things that felt good, things that could nearly be true.
It’s only in these places of deep rest that we are able to do this. If we pay close attention to the definition listed for rest above there were a couple that stuck out out me:
A character representing such a silence:
It was in the silence that I found true rest. I recommend it to everyone. Just take a moment [or a few] in the silence to rest. You can do it anywhere, you don’t need an Ashram or a mountain. Rest is found in the quiet.
The repose of death:
This is so interesting to me. In the death of the parts of myself that are no longer healthy or right [or were never healthy or right] I wouldn’t say I found rest. But in reality I think it can lead there. In the death of something that is holding you back you find ultimate rest. No more energy going to it. It doesn’t require anything anymore and it takes the repose of death. Amazing.
Something used for support:
As I’ve said a couple of times, I needed this pause in time. I needed the support and the comfort. I needed to remember that all alone I was fine. Not only fine but actually that I could thrive. That me, alone, wasn’t so bad. I found that I’m pretty good company actually. I needed the supported space to find that kind of rest.
Of course the other meanings are as true. For me though it’s phenomenal to realize that one word can hold so much. That one concept can be so life-giving. That we so entirely underestimate its value.
I don’t want to underestimate my need for rest, or to be embarrassed by its necessity in my life. I think it’s a divine need. A deep one. To go into the silence with our creator and figure out our own unique heartbeat.
As we travel on to Chiang Mai from Landi Ashram the peace and the steadiness I’ve found may be unparalleled so far in my life. The joy I’ve found in it is that it was in me all along – I didn’t even need to look too far.

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