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Irony of anticipating a desired outcome

Nyepi is a day for the Hindu Balinese to dedicate themselves completely to connect more deeply with God (Hyang Widi Wasa) through prayer, fasting and meditation. Acts of introspection of the Self, to evaluate the personal values they would bring into the new year.

Nyepi is a 6-day long festival, the ‘silent’ day falls on day 3 and is the most important and sacred Hindu holiday in Bali.

This was my first time experiencing this beautiful tradition.

There is a distant dog barking, the sound of food frying, your neighbors talking - their voices lowered, birds chirping, hungry cat mewing.

We can only hear so far, but that knowing that the entire island is shut down, that never-ending motorbike traffic is stopped for a day, businesses are closed, even International airport suspends all flights for 24 hours. Everyone is staying indoors.

That rush of "needing to get things done, getting somewhere" is put on a complete halt.

Your mind slows down as the environment around you gets quite.

A unique tradition unlike anywhere else in the World.

Contrary to other cultures that celebrate New Year with vivacious and loud festivities, the pinnacle of Balinese New Year is a day of complete Silence.

I was so much looking forward to this day of silence, but just before going to bed I could feel my throat getting itchy and temperature rising.

I couldn’t believe it – I was getting sick! Horrible nights sleep and minor panic, knowing I have no medication and no ability to get any, I woke middle of the night scrambling through my bags, knowing somewhere there must be strepsil drops, that would ease the pain.

I woke up several times and finally rolled out of bed around 10am – the first part of the day all I could do was feel miserable, weak, lonely, wishing there would be someone to bring me tea/juice and just make me feel a bit better.

I was feeling so bad going up&down the stairs every 30 minutes to get more liquids (tea,water, juice) and I tried to get back some of those hours of sleep I lost at night.

Why today?

My body had to shut down, because I had been too harsh on it. Not eating enough, not sleeping enough, mentally and physically straining myself too much.

It was inevitable. If you don't maintain a good balance, your body will put a break for you!

There is never a good day to get sick, and perhaps this was the best “option” knowing the life here is on stand-still and I won’t be missing out on anything.

However, I wanted this to be a special day for me, and instead I got sick.

I don’t need a reminded to be grateful for my health.. I always am, but I believe it served me a different reminder.

This lesson of ‘failed expectations’ keeps knocking on my door, and I still always find it unfamiliar. Those days that you most anticipate often will be your biggest disappointments (talk about wedding stress :D).

Life happens in between the moments - places, people, events that you welcome without anticipating a desired outcome are those ones that will leave you most fulfilled.

I wasn’t hoping for this to be “the best day” – I just had a vision for it, and when it completely failed, when I had to give up on it, after being angry at myself,

I could just smile about the irony.

Tomorrow I will wake up hopefully feeling 100% healthy and grateful for having experienced this special day.

The only disappointment would have been in my own expectations..


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