Lessons From Bali: Part 2

Lesson #5: Get Still and Your Higher Self Will Become Louder

I have a post-it note on my bathroom mirror that say “Get Still. What Is the Next RIGHT Move?” I stopped looking at that post-it about 6 months ago. I didn’t want to be still, I wanted to move. I wanted sensation. I wanted distraction. And at the same time, I wanted clarity, direction and my manifestations to show up... yesterday. I was wondering daily, “What am I doing wrong? I’m so versed on the Law of Attraction and Power of Thought, but nothing is going the way I want.” Insert foot stomping here. Stomp Stomp.


Finding that peace...can't you tell?

Finding that peace...can't you tell?

The way I have traditionally found stillness was on my mat. Yoga has saved me in so many other difficult moments of my life that this last year I turned to my old friend to try and find clarity and balance. The issue was that my main problem was almost always in the yoga room with me (literally and figuratively).  I was so upset with myself; why couldn’t I hold my balance or flow with love, advance my practice or meditate during savasana? And then I looked to my left. My main distraction was on the mat next to me. And then I looked within. And my main distraction had oil spilled all over my insides. I couldn’t connect to stillness because I was still looking outward for my peace.

In Bali, I was blessed with individual yoga instruction from the most amazing woman, McKinley (Kin). There were so many moments of divine intervention in Bali, but one of the first was learning that I was the sole student in the yoga cohort at Escape Haven. I had been desiring individual yoga coaching for over a year, and without trying, here it was waiting for me in the form of this petite powerhouse.

Kin and I had an instant connection; I trusted her almost immediately. She was warm, vulnerable and inspiring. Every morning, we would sit together in silence after we had finished the asana part of our practice. We meditated, physically together, yet completely individually. There was no competition, no distraction, only mutually held respect for one another. She helped me remember how sacred and important stillness and silence is in finding clarity.

ahhh...there you are

ahhh...there you are


In yoga, there are 3 components that must be present: Prana (breath), Asana(movement), and Meditation. In America, in mainstream yoga, we pay lip service to the Prana, but focus our efforts on the Asana. In Bali (and all over the world), the Prana is paramount and meditation is not an optional 30 seconds at the end of your practice, but an integral dedicated practice of stillness.

It is here, in that warm, supported stillness, that I began to receive what I had been asking for. Clarity. Calm. Spiritual knowing. Colors and vibrations increased. Inspiration. Release of toxicity. All the promises of meditation. All the gifts of releasing control. It is in these 30 minutes after moving through Kundalini series that I finally heard my voice again. It was only once I stopped stomping my foot and took a humble seat on the ground, shut my mind off and allowed God to show up, that she did.

Thank you Kin for your beautiful reminder that our voices are always with us, sometimes we just have to shut up and sit down to hear them.



Lesson #6: Be Brave, Bold and Clear: When You ASK for Clarity You Will Surely Receive It.

Do you know what it means to play small? It is when we set goals for ourselves within strict limitations of what we think is possible, tangible or reasonable. Our human brains have this habit of scaring us into thinking we only are capable of having the basics; less, we are selfish, dreamers or too big for others to handle. I have been one of these people: I have had moments where I’ve operated out of fear, or limited thinking and beliefs. This is a universal human experience we can all relate to; even in the moments I’ve declared out loud “I’m done playing small; I’m ready to do it BIG!”, I have that little niggling voice in my head that says…”yeah, but are you really ready?”

The fear in asking or naming what we really want is two-fold: 1.) We will then be responsible for going and GETTING it, and 2.). We will realize that our own discontentment is no one else’s responsibility to fix. There is a fallacy of fear as you look your dreams in the eyes; we believe our fear to be legitimate truth-tellers, when they are actually liars that keeps us stuck.

Traveling, for me, has always been a reminder of what the reward is when you play big and lean into the fear, rather than lean away. Leaving the comforts of your daily rituals and relationships and getting on a plane to an unknown land; it reinstills bravery in the heart. I had been sick to death of playing small at home; I knew I needed a jumpstart.

Prior to my departure, I sat in meditation, feeling the anxiety and fear of the unknown come rushing towards me. All the what ifs, all the dangerous possibilities, all the potential outcomes that lay on the other side of this trip; and then I remembered I was in meditation. “Shut it brain,” I said to myself.  That’s the most profound thing I could think of in that moment: Shut it. Shut down the negativity, the fear, the annoying voice that was creating a loud racket. Shut it. I had to make room in my head for CLARITY and POSSIBILITY, rather than fear, which had been the loud, cantankerous bus driver for the last couple years.

A lotus cannot grow without the mud.

A lotus cannot grow without the mud.

Going to Bali was about releasing what was no longer serving me in order to create clarity; it was about taking back control of my thoughts, in order to step into bravery and bold action. I had to remind myself that I was capable of naming and claiming what I desire and what I deserve. In telling my thoughts to shut it, here is what I was able to create space for: my new, brave, bold and clear declarations:

  1. I am ready for my husband; I am ready for love, companionship and adventure with my forever partner.

  2. I am a successful therapist and coach that is creating a financially thriving and service oriented practice that will serve others and be a part of fulfilling my life’s purpose.

  3. I am the creator of my world and experience; I am responsible for my ultimate happiness.

  4. I am an impactful and successful writer.

  5. I get to create my days exactly the way I desire.

  6. I am pure faith and trust in the Universe’s laws.

  7. I am a woman of love, integrity and kindness. I operate from the lens of these values always.

  8. I am authentic and honest in all my interactions with myself and others.

  9. I am humbled by contrast and lessons. I use these as opportunities to grow and strive towards my complete divine alignment.

  10. I honor my self-care practices without apology or defense. I choose to love myself Every. Single. Day. 

I also remind myself that I am a Spirit having a human experience and I am not supposed to be perfect and clear every step of the way. I get to have moments like the ones that led me to Bali. Those experiences of breakdown were necessary and important for the evolution of my soul. These declarations are just a taste of what I was able to walk away from my soul vacation knowing more solidly. I am still in the process of releasing the ghosts of the past and un-shuttering the windows to allow the light in...and I am so grateful.

Thank you brave, bold Nikki for making the choice to shut it.

Lesson #7: Sometimes There Are Volcanoes Threatening You in the Background. Go Anyways.

Not a volcano in sight

Not a volcano in sight

In my haste of booking the trip, I failed to do any peripheral research on what the haps was in Bali. Oops. As soon as word got out that I was going, I was bombarded with texts from the loving people in my life asking if I was still going “...due to the impending eruption of the volcano”? Uhhh….shit, there’s a volcano? I had flashes of being consumed by flowing, hot, liquid magma (Austin Powers ref...anyone?), and my fossilized body being discovered by anthropologists, Vesuvius-style, 500 years from now. #dramaqueen.

I considered for a split second not going (especially given how anxious my dad was...I hate worrying him). Ultimately, I decided that if it was my fate to meet my Maker in a fiery end of lava and ash, I was prepared for that. Dark, I realize; however, when you feel like you are destined for something, you are willing to take the big risks. Was it anymore dangerous or reckless than someone swimming with sharks or skydiving? It was a calculated risk that I was ready and wanting to take. I was all in on Bali and this adventure.

What I began to realize is that there are always “volcanoes” in the background of our life: heartbreak, job loss, death, disappointment, uncertainty. I had been living in the shadowy foothills of a smoldering relationship volcano for 18 months, could the real thing really be anymore frightening? At least the Bali volcano was honest about its’ capabilities and intentions-- “I might kill you if I erupt, but at least you’ll have had a beautiful vacation prior to your untimely end”. I appreciated the transparency, it was refreshing.

One of my favorite quotes is “A woman who fears suffering is already suffering from her fears”. Boom. Yes. That is so beyond true; I can spend my life sitting afraid of what might happen, or I can go live and experience my own bravery, love, and yes, maybe some scary shit. And, ultimately, most likely, God Willing, live to tell about it.

Just think, I could've missed this...

Just think, I could've missed this...

We have all had those moments where you build something up in your head to be incredibly frightening, and then you do it, and you think “Man, I’m so happy I went through with it!” It reinstills a reminder in your heart of what life gets to feel like: exciting, courageous, rewarding, divine...FREE! I’m not saying to be reckless; but be unreasonable sometimes. Ask yourself:

  • What the best case scenario would be, and how would you feel if you missed out on that?
  • How would this experience better you, even if it doesn’t turn out perfect?
  • Why do I keep thinking about it; what keeps drawing me in to this? What would the Superwoman version of me do?

There will always be volcanoes threatening you in the background of life. I’m so glad I went anyways.

Thank you Volcano for reminding me that that sometimes when we conquer our greatest fears we reap the greatest rewards. And also, it’s rarely as bad as it seems.

Lesson #8: We Are Never Done.

As the amazing Abraham Hicks says “You never get it wrong, and you are never done”. Our work as spirits with bodies is not a linear beginning and end. There are no God Monogrammed checklists or ribbons you run through when you are done learning as a soul. We are evolving, incorporating and shifting our perspectives every single moment. You are not the same person you were when you were 5 and you won’t be the same person you are today, next year. That is the blessing of our human experience; we GET to do this. We get to grow and change. We get to be humble and thrive. We get to experience emotions (ALL the emotions) in order to become more complex and thoughtful spirits.

Just normal Bali decor...NBD

Just normal Bali decor...NBD

I went to Bali to complete a God Monogrammed checklist: meditate, connect to higher self, release darkness, make some decisions, get a tan, drink some juice, practice yoga like a mother, make friends, sleep, remember who I am. Check, check, check, check! I laugh reading this, because although I checked off my items, one by one, I forgot that each of these then has a ripple effect in my life. I wasn’t going to be done just because the check was marked.

I wasn’t anticipating the changes and shifts each of these items would create as I ventured home. Just because I stepped off that plane in Minneapolis on December 23rd, didn’t mean that my Bali work was done. My Bali work will never be done, and that is because when you know more, you are then responsible for that information. I don’t get to be complacent or lazy in my life; I don’t get to enter relationships that are toxic and unfulfilling. I am responsible for being kinder and more generous in my relationships with others. I am responsible to myself and my career, demonstrated with integrity and effort. I am responsible to being honest with myself. I am changed forever, and I now get to act in accordance with those commitments.

The chapters behind me are already written and the ones ahead have yet to be scribed. I am excited and divinely trusting of what I will create on the pages to come.

Thank you Universe for re-instilling trust in my heart. Thank you for reminding me that we never get it wrong and are never done. Here’s to a beautiful life :)


Nik <3's Nik

Nik <3's Nik


Bonus Lesson: Even The Magical Island Of Bali Has a Rainy Season.

Let me reiterate, in my haste of booking the trip, I didn’t do a ton of research on Bali. Basically none. Apparently, December is part of their rainy season (basically equivalent to winter). It rained every day. It was overcast and the mosquitos were out in full force, leaving behind little welted reminders that even the smallest action can have a powerful impact. Initially, I was disappointed; I had just come from the freezing tundra and I was craving Vitamin D and balmy breezes. What was this rain business? Didn’t God tell them that I spent a boatload on this trip and wanted some damn sun? Stomp stomp. #bratattack

Stunning and quite damp

Stunning and quite damp

What I quickly realized was that there were also elongated pockets of sunshine and warmth. And even when it was raining, it was still actually quite lovely. I got more time alone in my hot tub because I didn’t feel pressured to hang out at the shared pool with everyone. I read more. I wrote more. I spent QT with me. I didn’t hate on the humidity because my hair was already in vacation mode and I wasn’t stressing a little more frizz than usual. I actually treasured the hours the sun was out; I was so grateful and did not take a minute of it for granted.

Escape Haven in the rain

Escape Haven in the rain

Every beautiful part of the world, or part of our life, has the potential for a proverbial rainy season; and just like Bali, it is not all good or all bad. We cannot continue to live in the all or nothing thinking schematic. Yes, winter is long, and it makes summer so freaking sweet. Yes, that relationship was traumatic, and I’ve taken so many gifts from it. Yes, life and people disappoint us, and we get to appreciate the gifts that those disappointments hold.

It stopped raining for a second, so I ran outside to catch some muted rays.

It stopped raining for a second, so I ran outside to catch some muted rays.

The rain was unexpected yet beautiful; it was a lesson of remembering that everything comes in seasons. Nothing is forever, our current life is temporary. A reminder that things that show up, or don’t show up, are always meant for us (or meant to miss us). If you are reading this blog, these lessons are meant for you. You have called this into your life. You are also ready and prepared for what is next. You are brave and ready. Your Bali is calling you.


Blessings and love my fam,

Xo Nik