In today’s world we always look for instant gratification, quick fixes, instant happiness. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Happiness and pure joy must be found inside ourselves for it to be lasting. After attending the My Chi Journey retreat in Ubud I started reading ‘The Book of Joy‘ by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama says “The problem is that our world and our education remain focused exclusively on external, materialistic values. We are not concerned enough with our inner values”. 

It is such a beautiful book, I’m not finished yet, but I’m enjoying it

That’s why I loved My Chi Journey so much, founded by Michael Dahdal.

Since the end of 2015, I’ve been working on my self love. I’ve been asking myself what things matter most to me in this world. What are the things that will anchor me regardless of what happens around me; whether that’s a break up, I lose my home, my job or all my friends, what are the things that will always bring me peace and grounding in life. I wrote a post about this at the beginning of 2017, the things that guide and ground me are:

Love, Freedom and Growth.

So, I knew these things. I have these points of guidance, so what was I looking for? I was looking for how I ensure that I continue to live an intentional and progressing life, that continues to bring me love, freedom and growth.

The retreat is based at the Honai Resort in Ubud, Bali. Probably the most stunning and fitting space I could have imagined. All of the rooms are circular (amazing) and all face inward to the pool which is the central point of the resort.

There is a shala (dwelling) where we started each day with 7am White Tiger Qigong, 8:30am vegetarian breakfast, 10am creativity workshop or a flow & intentional living workshop. 12pm free flow time, 5pm creativity or flow & intentional living workshop, 7pm vegetarian dinner and then ending the day at 8:30pm with meditation (which admittedly I fell asleep in every time). 

Shala – Photo credit: My Chi Journey

I loved every workshop, every session, but I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say at times I felt very uncomfortable. The creativity workshop with Kamau Abayomi was challenging. I always say “I’m not a creative person” but Kamau told us that creativity can be anything; art, music, dance, etc. It didn’t come easy, going through imagination exercises of what I see when I close my eyes. I didn’t feel great when I had to go into the middle of a circle and break out moves or vocals on the fly. What it did teach me was to stop editing everything we do in life. Just let what we’re feeling inside flow and come out! As Kamau says “Loving the art of life is key to living the art of love”.

The flow and intention workshops run by Michael were my favourite. It was about uncovering what our values are, what’s important to us and discovering what intentional living is. I think I’ve found what’s important to me. I too value honesty, loyalty, respect, etc. but what means more to me right now, is love, freedom and growth. They are the things that guide my choices everyday. Every choice that I make, they come back to whether or not they serve those values.

Part of living intentionally also comes down to working towards true happiness and joy. Articulating what success means to you and living each day and ensuring that each action leads toward that success. Success is not an outcome. It’s not getting that perfect job, making all that money, it’s being content and truly happy with the person you are and the life that you live. Well, that’s what it is to me.

Qigong was incredible. I had never seen Qigong done before and I don’t really understand the history behind it, but getting an introduction to it from Zoe Nash, our teacher has sparked an interest. Understanding how yin and yang underpin the practice as well as the chi that resides within us and feeling the chi as you practice is an amazing feeling. I am committing to researching more about Qigong and understanding it and continuing my practice.

Going to Tegenungan Waterfall to take in the energy and feeling was absolutely incredible on our final day.

This retreat is not a quick fix, no retreat is. The facilitator doesn’t hold all the answers we’re looking for. We can’t wave a magic wand and expect everything to be different and perfect. What we need to do is wake up. We must want to change. We need to understand that only we have the power to change our world and our reality. External circumstances cannot do this for us.

The Dalai Lama has spent 54 years in exile, yet he is seen as the most joyful man on the planet. In his book he explains that he has found that joy within himself and within his mind.

We are powerful beings. We need to look inside ourselves to see that we have the power to change our universe. Intentional living can help do that. Making conscious decisions that serve us for the better and not live a life guided by external factors.

This is what My Chi Journey taught me and helps other participants see – that we break free from the conforming of life and do what serves us and our happiness. The rest will fall into place, just how it’s supposed to.

 

How will you find your joy and happiness?

 

I am waiting for final edits of the photos and videos of the retreat from our photographer Chase Price, however, in the meantime, we have two snippets. Check it out on my Instagram.