Nyepi is the Balinese “Day of Silence” that is dedicated to meditation and introspection. There’s to be no sound, no light, no eating, no leaving the home, and no Internet (they even turn cell towers off!) for one full day. This is strictly enforced by police, which might sound a bit harsh at first, but really, it’s a gift.
Can you imagine? A day of forced introspection for everyone? A united day of meditation and stillness. I can only imagine what amazing things it does for Balinese people who really go deep.
I happened upon this holiday on accident a couple of years ago while passing through Bali just for the day. I had no idea until I was taking off for the flight that I was about to arrive into a silent, dark Bali. What else could I do but surrender and go all in?
I kept silence and stillness all day, and have never slept so much in my life. I’d never seen stars that bright in Bali, without light pollution on the entire island. Though I hadn’t anticipated what I’d be getting into, I left the next day feeling grateful.
In a way, we have been invited to a global Nyepi, but in these isolated times we do have Internet access, light, and sound (thank goodness!). The wild card is how we will communicate and connect throughout this undetermined amount of time.
And yeah, I have scared moments. Half of my business has evaporated overnight and I have employees, but I can’t help but remember that the only constant in life is change, and this too shall pass.
I worry about my boyfriend, who is an ER doctor. That’s probably what hits me the hardest, because isolation isn’t an option for him. In times of stress, uncertainty, and a world we have never experienced before, the only question I try to come back to is, how can we emerge stronger?
Inviting, not Fighting, the Stillness
Funny enough, I was at a tantra and meditation retreat in Egypt the week before most countries sealed their borders. I had taken a vow of silence, which meant staying offline too. When I emerged, the world had changed. Now I’m isolating at home and cry-laughing at how ironic it all is.
How many times have people sought silent meditation retreats, even paying for the experience? For real, the 10 day silent meditation retreat in Joshua Tree that I’ve been interested in for years always books out immediately – I can’t ever get in! Many of us are searching for this kind of time, quiet, and space, and without asking for it, we’ve been served an undetermined-sized chunk of it.
I’ve done a few silent meditation retreats now, and can promise moments of heaven and moments of hell. I always face shadows, becoming acutely aware of ones I hadn’t realized were big problems. It hurts, but then it heals.
When you meditate enough, you know you can always turn inward and reach paradise. It’s not about happiness or fixing anything, but rather a place of peace where you can’t be bored, time doesn’t exist, and anything is possible. The best part is, there’s no wrong way to do it. You can’t fail. Whatever comes up is meant to.
I’m tuning in every day at 8am starting tomorrow. So far over 300 people have signed up to join the group field. It doesn’t matter how experienced, or not, you are. I’ve set up a 7-day journey with the intention of cultivating a feeling of safety, then awakening creativity and offering our greatest gifts. I’m excited to see what changes for me this week, and what changes for you, too. You can join here.
I’ll document it all for YouTube as well. I can’t wait to see where it goes.
I was looking for the right word for this – aggressive, unrestrained, abundant? Whatever the modifier, now is the time to go all in on self-care! For me that means taking the time to do the things that I know are good for me, but that I didn’t feel I had time for before:
- Daily journaling to set the tone including 3 things I’m grateful for. If you’re struggling to find the silver lining, remember you can see, taste, and feel.
- Daily meditation.
- Working out with YouTube videos.
- Hanging out in my backyard and going into the forest nearby (I know those in cities might not be able to do this, but do at least breathe in fresh air daily!)
- Breathwork (I’ll send this out in my meditation emails!)
- Dance therapy – just dance like nobody is watching, because nobody is!
- Allowing for new ideas to percolate, and acting on the artistic endeavors I kept putting off.
5 Minutes of News Only
We need to be the bouncers to our psyche right now. I find it hard to opt out of social media, because as much as I want to, I’m wired to connect with others – we all are. However Facebook is not helpful right now. People get angry, bicker, and share alarmist headlines on there, and I’m only checking in with my groups right now, about 5 minutes per day. I’m doing the same with the news – just checking for a few minutes at a time when I feel I can handle it, only looking at official sources, and resisting checking multiple times per day. Trust me, this feels really good.
Interestingly, I’m loving Instagram again after wanting to break up previously. Since we are all in the same proverbial boat now, I feel like it’s gone back to its roots of sharing and connection in the moment. I’ll be meditating live each day on IG with you.
FaceTime Your Peeps
I miss people, and though I used to hate talking on the phone, now FaceTime is my best friend.
We are united in the experience most of us are having right now of isolation, and it’s incredible how much we are already working together. I want to focus on the positives as much as possible. I know the negatives are there, but a positive attitude strengthens the immune system and allows the brain to think creatively.
And I don’t know what our new world will look like after all this, but I want it to be different. I’m keeping my eyes and ears open, and I’m questioning the powers that be and how they run the world, because the Earth doesn’t need us, that’s clear, but we do need her. How do we want to let this elevate us as a species?
Even if we’re not talking or connecting to each other in person, or even speaking directly online, just a shared action of doing something healthy together can be so powerful. Making a routine of healthy habits can be so powerful as well. I feel that this is the way I can be of service right now, and to stay connected. I will be here every step of the way.
Here’s the meditation week again. There are no strings attached or upsells, you can join me here.
I’d love to hear about any other amazing things people are offering or creating during this time. Feel free to let me know in the comments!