Bali is the island that heals.
It is an energy in the air, the earth, the ocean.
A spirituality that surrounds you, a warmth in human faces, a deep nourishment in all the local meals.
It is a connection of the body, mind and spirit.
The Balinese do not see the self as separate from the earth.
In the sense that life is lived in the moment. That the spirits when honored bring balance between good and bad. When we care for our body with good food and good action - and trust. we live our best life.
And so, on a recent trip to this magical destination, I was out to do some exploring.
To see the sunrise over the ocean. when most of the population (made of travelers) were still asleep. There is a silence in the air, the warmth seems to fall around you. And, there is peace. Colours and the smells of incense, charcoal and frangipanis awakens parts of you that seemed to have been asleep for years.
Sand between your toes and splatters of dirt up your calves on the walk home. You feel. awake.
I began a daily practice that saw my body and skin begin to change. My mind started foggy as I began to process emotions. reconnect with parts of myself that were scattered across the island from previous journeys and began to heal parts of myself that I had been trying to hide away.
Like those who walked the Island centuries before us. The greatest healing and survival came from the ingredients sourced from the earth, From the paratactic of massage which is taught from birth as a practice of connection between newborn and family. And through each generation, a small few are brought in to this world with an intuition deeper than most. An ability to read the body and bring healing to ailments where others cannot.
Massage and Beauty
At the end of the day, massage moves toxins out of your body Stored in your mind and body. It improves digestion and reduces cortisol which in turn reduces inflammation. Your blood recirculates, your thyroid is stimulated and subsequently, your circulation improves. Your skin becomes clearer and softer as stagnation is removed and your cells replenished with fresh blood and increased ability to absorb nutrients. That's pure science darling.
Massage was significant in my body starting to let go and my mind beginning to clear. The first two weeks was a process of releasing shoulder tension which had held the body in a twist. blocking pathways to the mind. Essentially Anger tension which is a result of emotional upheaval and high stress situations. It’s where you hold your angry and frustration tears.
Then one-day things just shift and you feel somehow lighter.
Calves. worked to the point of bruises.
My Yoga practice has become significant in my understanding of the body and why parts hurt and sometimes massage leaves me shattered or completely vague.
I looked at my legs.
Your legs carry you forward in your life. And there was so much pain in my calves.
The calves are the heart of the matter when it comes to the muscle/emotional connection. If you make a decision and your heart just is not in it, you will likely feel this in the calves.
Physically the calf muscles pump blood back up to the heart. Notice the two lobes of the gastrocs that look like an upside-down heart in the calves. The calves as a group correspond to the heart energy that you carry in everything that you do.
Which made alot of sense. Once I found the chocolate. Once I started playing with ingredients and started leaving my shoes at home the entire day. The pain went away.
I want to tell you about the Chocolate but I have to touch (so to speak) on every point about massage.
The final spot was my stomach. The stomach is our mind centre. There are actually more neurotransmitters in your stomach than anywhere else in your body (heard of the mind body connection) you are what you eat.
So I'm basically a chocolate coconut. Which makes sense that my brand is created around a coconut scrub soon to be made with Balinese cacao
Any unprocessed thoughts, anxious thoughts and feelings of heart break often fall down in to our stomach. Knots in your belly when you feel scared or angry. sadness that falls from your eyes, to your heart and drops in to your belly.
It’s nothing to be ashamed of, this is nature.
I have had stomach issues my entire life ( I was a really anxious and shy kid) and after being sick during my 20s I literally destroyed my stomach on a psychological and somewhat metaphysical level.
The most powerful action afterthought. or perhaps even before is breath. Which is why in massages we are reminded to breathe, that in yoga our movements connect with our in and outbreathe. because inevitably if you stop breathing - you die.
We worked on my stomach for three days and I could see how the days it felt like concrete, where we could not move even 1/4 of the way across. I was holding so much in other parts of my body, my heart and mind.
And as I let go, as did my stomach. Every day hurt and some days I felt shots of pain through to my spine.
But you know what. Like the pain we experience as we walk through life. it is momentary, it goes and there is a space for reflection.
We learn and if we are willing we enquire and we begin to see the changes.
And changes certainly occurred.
It is important that I keep parts of my journey to myself. My purpose in writing is to help you to understand my vision, and share my love of Bali, food, beauty and why this scrub is at the core of what I do.
Natural Beauty in food
It would be fair to say I may have been a coconut in my past life.
I use the oil on my hair and skin every day.
It became the first food to change my Eating disorder phobia of fat and a necessary element in repairing my stomach and thyroid after a decade of illness.
Coconut in Bali becomes a ritual (in a 2020 kind of way)
Walk across to the supermarket, buy about 4 whole coconuts. Chill in the fridge overnight. After first coffee. Take 1 coconut and with a coconut Machete - hack off the outer shell at the bottom to create a flat base. Then hack 4 sides at the top to break into fresh water and enough space to scoop out the flesh.
Add a bamboo straw and spoon and you have an entire meal (and work out - as you stand with coconut on bench and literally dig out the flesh)
This is literally an entire meal and along with a few coffees and perhaps some raw cacao would see me through to mid afternoon.
As a Food
Coconut water is packed with nutrients and electrolytes. Coconut water stands apart from other drinks and juices by providing five essential electrolytes: potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and calcium, as well as being a good source of fibre and Vitamin C
A short chain fatty acid means that coconut oil is burned as energy immediately rather than being stored in those difficult places. Anti bacetieal and antimicrobial it aids digestion, nourishes the thyroid and even helps whiten teeth.
As a natural beautifier
Moisturiser: Hydrating essential fatty acids that deeply absorb into your skin to keep it glowing all day long.
Reducing cellulite: coconut oil increases the metabolism in your cells to help smooth out the texture.
coconut + raw cacao = heaven in a bowl on the skin or in the belly
There is something so warming and nurturing about chocolate. The rich small of cacao in the middle of winter. The instant calm after you bite in to a block of raw cacao. ( There is something about UBUD RAW chocolate, it is as though it melts in to every cell of your body)
Food shifts energy and there is no surprise that there are ceremonies dedicated to this incredible healing food that contains the highest antioxidant percentage of any food.
So with ingredients such as coconut oil, and cacao, we have a scrub pure enough to eat, that in one handful is an entire skin care routine and a fragrance so heavenly you smell and feel good enough to eat
Everything that surrounds us becomes us.
what we think, what we see, what we touch, what we eat.
My life revolves around barefoot on the sand, sunshine on my skin, wholesome food and ocean swims
Pure Natural Beauty
If you wouldn’t eat it, why would you put it on your body?
I had a lot of massage, ate a lot of chocolate and spent alot of time in the water.
So, I thought. Let’s put it all together. Traditionally.
We rode across the Island for an entire day treck and happened to come across UBUD RAW chocolate factory and were able to pick up ingredient supplies of locally grown ingredients.
I had become obsessed with the founder story and values and felt that this was almost a sign to continue with this path and my vision
Rolf Gibbs, who was an international fashion photographer and film director. Rolf moved to Bali in 2014 and created UBUD RAW Chocolate Factory, with the goal of producing Bali’s healthiest and most delicious chocolate.
Their Cacao is sourced directly from local farmers in Tabanan Regency. farmers have been trained to grow, ferment and process cacao beans according to organic and raw standards.
This is literally the gold of raw ingredients
And so on a warm Sunday afternoon I created a scrub. I Mixed it in a shell in an open kitchen. Blessed it with a prayer.
And took a long bath out doors.
It was a lot to take in, to reflect on but also it reminded me what is possible with a clear Vision.
Never doubt the power of a dream.
And always remember to nourish your body … at every level.