Self care should be important to everyone (Self Care – 4 Stages Of Why). Today is my day for self care. Sundays are important to me. They are my days of rest, days to myself and days to recharge my batteries. Sundays are my self care days.
My first few couple of days in Bali have been full on. A lot of sight seeing and not a lot of sleeping so I started my day off with a lie in. When I say lie in I mean I stayed in bed till about 8:30am. There is only so much time I can spend in bed before getting frustrated, but those who know me will know that 8:30 is a pretty good lie in for me. It usually takes up to an hour (or sometimes longer) for my brain to fully wake up, so on my chilled out days I like to rest in bed for 30-60 minutes before actually getting out of bed. It helps reduce any grouchiness, moodiness or extra fatigue throughout my morning/afternoon. Sometimes I chill on my phone, sometimes I read a book or sometimes I just lie there listening to my thoughts. For me it’s a good way to start my day.
My tour yesterday started at 5:00am so I was up pretty early. Thankfully I naturally woke up at 3:00am so I had plenty of time to try and get some more sleep (which wasn’t working) and chill out before my tour began.
My tour started off with a 2.5hour drive to the Gates Of Heaven. This specific tour requires a early start to try and avoid the possible crowds at the temple. I have to say it was 100% worth it. I ended up with these stunning pictures.
Now there isn’t actually any water there. The reflection is caused by the photographer (usually tour guides or staff at the temple). They use what I am guessing is some sort of mirror and place it above your camera which creates this gorgeous mirror effect. The thing is, the people of Bali want you to have an amazing and memorable time. They will do anything to make sure the pictures they take are top quality. They rely on the tourists for income. The better the pictures the more the destinations will stick in peoples heads and possible encourage them to come to Bali. They realise the importance of social media (especially Instagram) and how pictures/stories can influence peoples decisions on where to explore next.
I’ve found it easy to connect with myself even when I am out and about in Bali. The second part of my tour yesterday took me to the water temple. It was lovely and peaceful here. My tour guide bought me some fish food to feed the koi’s and once again he was more than happy to take pictures. You don’t even have to ask them to take pictures. They always offer. After our photo shoot my guide went and patiently waited for me whilst I explored the temple. I made my way around and found inner peace with myself. I’ve always loved water. As a child I loved swimming and had just as much fun in the water than on land. Nowadays I use the sound of rain, waterfalls and storms to help me relax before bed time and fall asleep to. I took a seat at the temple and just listened to the water flows. It was like a meditation without actually trying to meditate.
Reflection is a good form of self care. I like to reflect every few months or so. In this day and age it is easy for us to feel like we are going nowhere or that we are making no improvements to our mental, physical or emotional health, when in fact we make improvements everyday, week, month and year. The changes might not always be noticeable at first but the changes are being made (don’t forget that). May 2017 was the year I had my mental breakdown which resulted in the start of recovery. It was the start of a huge part of my life, something that if I didn’t do, I probably wouldn’t be writing this article and I’m almost sure I would not be on a solo trip in Bali. Another part of my tour took me to a beautiful hidden waterfall which is gaining more interest amongst travellers every day. My body image and confidence has never been great. I go through my phases of being confident but majority of the time I am pretty insecure for numerous reasons. When we arrived at the waterfall I was amazed. It was so naturally beautiful. I knew before we even arrived that I would have pictures taken in my swim wear (yet again) so I was nervous but remained open to the idea. On my first tour I was able to hide some of my thighs and stomach in the water (Bali VS Anxiety) but I couldn’t do that at this waterfall. At first it was pretty daunting. I kind just stood still in one place and smiled at the camera trying not to think about how I look. My tour guide was really getting into the photography and was telling me where to stand and what not. In a way he helped me gain confidence. After a few pictures and poses I just flowed with it. I went and showered in the waterfall (can finally tick that off my bucket list) and a group of people were also taking pictures of me and telling me where to stand. Honestly I think they were more amazed by my tattoos than anything else. Once that part of the photoshoot was over I had another photoshoot on the top of a rock. I walked around, climbed a ladder (and I have a phobia of ladders) and stood the top of this huge fucking rock all in my bikini but with some confidence! I went completely out of my comfort zone with resulted in gaining more confidence and it felt great. I even went and showered in another waterfall in broad day light and walked 10 minutes back to the car wearing just my bikini. This morning was spent reflecting on how far I have come with my relationship with my mind, body and soul. Reflection is a good way to motivate, encourage and reward yourself. Look back at how far you have come and give yourself a bloody big pat on the shoulder. You deserve it.
When I left my bed this morning I washed my face, threw on some comfy clothes and headed off down to breakfast. Food wise I like to eat healthy but I don’t like restrictions. Restrictions lead me to getting cravings, grumpy and all round unhappiness. My breakfast consisted of scrambled egg with chicken sausages, banana pancakes drizzled in a dark chocolate sauce along with a selection of fruits. It was delicious and filling. After my breakfast I read about a chapter and a half of my new book Your Superstar Brain (if you’re curious about how your brain works it’s a easy, informative and great read). As a child I read quite a few books and I enjoyed it. Through my teenage years I lost interest. reading wasn’t something I wanted to spend my time doing (however getting pissed on the park was…). I’d say in the past 18 months I have very slowly gotten back into reading. It started off with a booked called The Universe Has Your Back which I enjoyed and in some ways I related to it but it didn’t really fully grab me. Earlier this year on one of my weekends off I was in Newcastle and decided to buy a book. I wanted something similar to my previous book, something that was talking to me and I could listen to it. This one book caught my eye. The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck. The title had me all over it. It took me a while to start the book. After having it for over a month I had read about 2 out of 9 chapters. It was great, really spoke to me and I loved it. It was just finding the effort to keep reading it. I restarted it whilst making my journey from Australia back to the UK. After about a month and a half I had finished the book. Loved it. Would highly recommend and I found myself wanting something else to read afterwards so one weekend I went shopping in preparation for my travels and came across this new book. I’ve had the book now for about 2/3 weeks and have read just over 5 chapters and I find myself trying to hold back from reading more just so I can keep reading it for longer. Reading is a great way to relax whilst spending time with yourself. It gives you something to do without physically doing anything and you can read a book anywhere! For me I’ve found I need a specific type of book. I can’t do stories (which is kinda what my first reading book was like). I need something I can learn from, is written in a form where it’s like the writer is talking to directly to you, is somewhat related to me and it has to be about a subject I am interested in. I spent about 30 minutes in Waterstones before deciding to purchase Your Superstar Brain and I’m glad I did.
Today is also a new moon! So this afternoon I did a new moon reading of my spirit cards (my last new moon reading can be read here). My reading was pretty interesting. I’ll admit not all cards related to the subject they were supposed to relate to but a few of the cards really related to me, where I am at now and where I am going.
Card number 2 (Bat), 3 (Lion), 4 (Koala), 5 (Chameleon) and 7 (Cat) I found very relatable to me. It has been a good card reading and I’d say it has given me some more understanding, confidence and reassurance that I am and will be okay. I am doing good.
New moons mean the start of new beginnings. Todays new moon is in Taurus which is a sign all about groundedness, indulgence and pleasure. Which means I am also going to indulge in delicious food (which started off with my breakfast), chilling on my balcony/by the pool. I’m going to stick a hair mask on, face mask, massage my feet followed by an evening of yoga/stretches and a early night ready for my sunrise hike tomorrow (which starts at 2am!).
Today is all about you. Do what brings you pleasure, joy and happiness. Spend time with you and enjoy it.
Sending love and light to you all,