“I want to go to one of those healing events in Ubud.”
I uttered those very words a while ago to my partner.
Little did I know I would soon experience what my heart and soul desired.
“Even the moon looks bigger. Prettier in Bali.” My heart sighs as I noticed the moon during the drive from Ngurah Rai airport towards Ubud.
Coming from a loud, polluted, overcrowded big city like Jakarta to a place where I can close my eyes to the sounds of nature. Crickets…and other nocturnal creatures felt like music that serenaded my weary soul to complete relaxation.
The sound of nature also woke me up on my first day there. Lanna’s Lair is a piece of heaven.
Rice paddies…green and lush. Green everywhere. Beautiful coconut trees and tropical plants.
The air! My lungs inhale it like one hungry traveler. You just don’t get this type of fresh air in big cities.
The villa is gorgeous. Homely. There’s a thick sense of home and comfort surrounding the place. I wander off in the early morning around the property taking it all in with a coffee cup in my hand. Listening to the birds chirping and enjoying the morning sun.
Joyful Living Retreat at Lanna’s Lair
I have never been to this type of retreat ever.
“Just be open. Let your soul guide you. Let the universe do its job.”
During breakfast, I met the other ladies. I had met my roommate before, a very graceful lady. Her gray hair looks like a crown of wisdom her smile, warm and serene. There’s something so lovely about her shining from within.
The first topic we discussed was Harmony in Relationships. A very deep one. We were divided into small groups of 3 for a little workgroup. We were to discuss what we think is needed to nurture a healthy relationship and what kills one. We then went to share our thoughts in front of everyone.
Mbak Diena Haryana then went deeper than what I would’ve guessed.
So deep that it uncovered plenty of relationship issues hidden beneath the surface. The relationship we have with our families, with our friends, with our significant others and most importantly the relationship we have with our very own selves. The objectives were to create more awareness, then we can all create that the harmony we strive for in life.
Different stages of a relationship were revealed and explained in ways that were easy to digest, to understand. Then it suddenly clicked! It was like an AHA moment where a light bulb just turned on and you began to evaluate your relationships. Such a powerful moment.
The second session we discussed Living a Well Balanced Life.
I should add that a few days before I came to Ubud I was down with a cold – or so it felt – but I wasn’t myself for days. Fever, aching feelings, headaches, cold sweats. I thought it was my body just being exhausted from how busy life has been.
Before the second session started, I started feeling unwell again. Fever and cold sweats returned to the point that I excused myself to take some cold meds hoping I would feel better soon.
As the second session rolled in, Mbak Diena introduced us to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as seen below.
Again, we were split into small groups to discuss what we felt met the hierarchy and how they affect us in life.
Mbak Diena’s approach to teaching is very interactive. She will ask you questions, not just easy questions but ones that make you ponder deeply. Seeking the answers from within your soul.
“What do you think from this hierarchy of needs that you lacked from your childhood, Maureen?”
Then all hell broke loose!
That one sentence opened up a Pandora’s box from inside me. It revealed matters that even I wasn’t expecting to deal with. The abuse, the relationship I have with my mother. I vomited tons of feelings, pain, anger, and disappointment. Things I was not aware of turned out to have inhabited me for God knows how long.
It wasn’t pretty.
It was ugly.
I wasn’t the only one.
Mbak Diena gently and ever so lovingly guided us to release these old wounds through a releasing meditation. Releasing of old pain, old anger, bitterness, resentment and all the negative baggage we didn’t realize we had been carrying for years.
I have never cried that much in my whole life. One would think my head would have exploded with a post-crying headache yet when I was done all I felt was peace, a sense of calmness after a huge storm. My headache and fever went away.
What I love the most is Mbak Diena helped us heal not just bringing these old wounds up to the surface for nothing. We dealt with our issues. Slowly making conscious decisions to change for the better.
We ended the day with meditation and gratitude. Sending love to the universe, to those we love, to those near and dear to our hearts. It was beautiful!
We went to Sebatu waterfall in the morning after breakfast. Regarded by the Balinese people as one of the holiest places in Bali, Sebatu is located in Gianyar regency, some 11kilometers away from downtown Ubud. Sebatu is still considered very sacred and compared to the other famous waterfalls in and around Ubud it is still in pristine condition. I truly hope it will remain that way.
Getting down to the waterfall is quite a challenge. One must walk down approximately 150 steps.
Just to be there and to witness the glorious connection local Balinese have with their surroundings brought me pronounced peaceful feelings. I hope you get a chance to notice how spiritual Balinese people are. They give offerings and prayers to just about anything! With their deep spiritual roots; peace is an everyday part of life. Something we all could learn from.
We ran into an older local lady who asked our help to put her bag filled with goods on top of her head. The girls quickly lend a hand and wished the lady well as she quietly made her way back up the stairs. Kindness matters.
The Sebatu waterfall is crystal clear. I was the last person to take a dip in the water and I felt so grateful as I soaked in the sensations; the gushing sounds of water so powerful yet so calming and the freshness of the water. To lean back on the slanted rock with the force of the water on your back feels truly cleansing. I was wishing that the water would cleanse my burdens, my heavy heart. To be able to witness a beautiful creation like that, to experience big profound joy in Ubud. I thanked the Universe for the chance, and I was grateful for the opportunity to just be, to be in the now.
Returning from the waterfall was fun. A lot of us were having difficulties with the climb. 150+ stairs hike can be challenging. Later on, Mbak Diena explained to us that the journey to spiritual awakening is quite similar to that hike we did. It will not be easy but it will be oh, so worth it!
Be Like Water!
Upon returning to Lanna’s Lair, we were once again split into different groups to discuss and write about what can we learn from the water. Metaphorically there are great things to learn from water and our discussion about water went profoundly deep.
Flow like water in this life, give without expectations and adjust like water no matter what the circumstances are.
We discussed the scientific works of Dr. Masaru Emoto, his findings of water and the power of positive affirmations, positive words, and prayers.
Truly eye opening and aligned with what I’ve read about how powerful our thoughts and minds can be. If our words can have that big of an impact, then everyone must learn to use their words more carefully, myself included.
Is this retreat for everyone?
Absolutely! I came with an open mind and no expectations other than I am hoping to learn things that can benefit my soul to live a more joyful life and hopefully I can help my Single Moms Indonesia community to become more joyful.
What I took home with me in return after those amazing 3 days are beyond words. I still struggle how to best describe the experience. I hope I’ve done it justice in this post. The true value that Mbak Diena has gracefully shared with us all shall live on. Blossoming into a more joyful life.
For that, I thank you, Mbak Diena, Mbak Ina and everyone at Lanna’s Lair for not only opening their beautiful place to create magic but for opening their hearts and sharing these precious gifts of knowledge, messages, and understanding to us all. My wish is many people will get the opportunity to have wonderful experiences of their own. I am looking forward to returning to Lanna’s Lair. Diena is currently developing more retreats, ideas, and getaways for the soul.