As the sun is rising on the small Indonesian reef island of Gili Meno, off the coast of Lombok, I wade over the shallow coral until it is deep enough to submerge myself. Once I do, I am transported into another world. Nemo-esque clown fish with wavy, floaty, fanlike fins, like the most elegant couture. Tiny electric blue schools of moon fusiliers, long nosed silvery needlefish, brain-shaped coral formations, sunfish that swim on their sides, eyeballs facing up! It’s like a candy shop down there, with all these brilliant colors and shapes. It’s also like a meditation—the only sound is the sound of my own breath—in and out, in and out.
But then OUCH! What is that? My arm is burning. Ouch! Again! What is it? I can’t see anything, but the stinging subsides quickly. I pause, still looking for the cause of the pain, but I see nothing. So I keep swimming.
I’m in Bali leading a writing retreat right now, so it’s been strange to navigate this polarizing election from another country, where I am surrounded by not only native Indonesians but by ex-pats from all over the world. Given that we are supposedly the most powerful country on the planet, this election is not just about the United States. It touches everyone, and the shock waves of this divisive election are rippling all the way over here to Bali.
As fellow lovers of truth, science, and consciousness, I need your help, my friends. One of the healers I interviewed and studied for my Sacred Medicine book has had her TEDx talk censored by TED, and we need your help broadcasting this "idea worth spreading." Brandy Gillmore, whom I met two years ago and who has since become one of my best friends, was once a person who suffered from such severe neurological pain after an accident that for six years, she was immobilized by the pain, bound to her bed and a wheelchair to get around. She failed all Western medical treatment—narcotics, epidural blocks, etc. Through the unfolding of realizations about how pain, the mind, and healing work, she was able to heal herself (with prayer and Divine support, as well as the power of her own mind) from years of agonizing, debilitating pain.
On the day after a heartbreaking debate, in the midst of many global crises, when many of us find ourselves feeling fury, helplessness, and grief, drowning in shadow, I wanted to share with you a love letter. This is not meant to bypass the very human emotions many of us feel or to squelch any impulse that might arise in you to serve love through your activism. (You can read about my own fury about last night’s debate on Facebook here). But sometimes, we do need to be reminded that all of this upheaval is part of the Lila, the Divine play. Let this reminder soothe your nervous system and awaken your soul.Dear Human,
I’m in love with this Alanis Morrissette song "You Owe Me Nothing in Return." In fact, I have a girl crush on Alanis in general, especially after I heard her speak with one my spiritual influences Adyashanti. For a long time, I used the lyrics to this song about unconditional love as a sort of sacred contract I proposed between friends, family members, and romantic partners. It was my benchmark, the ideal of perfect love that I strove to achieve.