I went on David Wolfe’s Bali Adventure and this is what I learnt (part 2)

Zip lining at the Bedugal Botanical Gardens, in Bali.

Zip lining at the Bedugal Botanical Gardens.

There’s a saying that goes something like this: if you think you can or you think you can’t, either way you are right.

That was my mantra for the duration of my time in Bali with David Wolfe and the rest of the crew. I learnt so much about myself in those two weeks (like the fact that a 100% raw vegan diet doesn’t work for my constitution). One of the biggest lessons was that I have control over my fears, not the other way around (oh, that and it’s not a good idea to attempt shoulder stand for the first time when the humidity has made your hands uber slippery – but that’s a story for another time).

One of the biggest lessons was that I have control over my fears, not the other way around.

There were a number of things I thought I couldn’t do prior to the trip, with the main ones being:

  1. I couldn’t book (and therefore actually have to go on) a solo overseas trip
  2. I couldn’t do an hour of yoga per day because I wasn’t strong enough
  3. I couldn’t overcome my fear of falling and participate in the zip lining

In the end, Elsa decided to come on the trip at the last minute but that was kind of irrelevant because the hardest part for me was putting the deposit down and knowing that it meant I would be heading overseas on my own (something I had never done before).

Now that I have overcome the fear, I fully intend on taking a trip by myself. I just have to work out where to go!

My second fear was that I’d make a fool of myself during the yoga sessions. To say that I am no yogi would be the understatement of, well, let’s just say a really long time. It was only in February of this year that I pushed, coaxed and cajoled myself into my first downward dog. In the lead up to the trip, I told myself that I wouldn’t be able to get through daily yoga classes, and I decided I would just do yoga every few days while in Bali.

I walked into the beautiful open-air yoga studio (which overlooked the Tjampuhan Valley) on the first morning and, in that moment, decided I was going to attend every yoga session. I’m not sure how much of that decision had to do with the spectacular views but I’m glad I made it. Over the course of the trip, I mastered so many poses that I had previously thought were out of my reach.

Over the course of the trip, I mastered so many poses that I had previously thought were out of my reach.

The final limiting belief I conquered was that I wouldn’t be able to participate in the zip lining at the Bedugal Botanical Gardens. While I don’t have a fear of heights as such, I have a definite fear of falling that was brought on when I fell off a cliff a few years ago. Needless to say, I was pretty nervous about going zip lining.

I don’t know what I was worried about! After completing one of the easier courses, I quickly decided that I wanted something more challenging and moved on to a longer, higher, and more physically demanding course. There was one moment when I realised the course had taken me away from the main area of the park and I was by myself. A jolt of panic went through me as I realised I didn’t have any option but to get through the rest of the course. I took a couple of deep breaths, pushed the thought away and completed the course without giving my fear a second thought.

I’m so proud that I busted through all of those limiting beliefs – because that’s all they were. Beliefs. They weren’t reality. Not even close. The unsupportive, fearful part of my brain wanted me to fail because then it could say, “See, I told you that you weren’t good enough, that you couldn’t possibly succeed, that you never should have tried!” and keep me firmly in my comfort zone. In the past I have let this part of my brain dominate my decision making, paralysing me with fear but I made a conscious effort to push myself on the trip. I’m so glad that I did.

Thank you to all of my fellow Wolfe pack members for making the trip one that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Laura

The amazing and supportive Wolfe pack, after climbing Mount Batur.

The amazing and supportive Wolfe pack, after climbing Mount Batur.

I went on David Wolfe’s Bali Adventure and this is what I learnt (part 1)

With some of my fellow Wolfe Pack members

With some of my fellow Wolfe Pack members

Nine months ago, while scrolling through my Facebook feed during my lunch break, I saw a link to David Wolfe’s page that said, “We’re headed to Bali, Indonesia for a once-in-a-lifetime journey into the EXOTIC! You can join us! The Balinese are EXTRAORDINARY people.” Intrigued, I clicked on it and, after reading through the itinerary, I knew it was something I had to do.

Seven months later, I was boarding a plane with one of my favourite wellness girls, Elsa, about to embark on our adventure. ‘Excited’ doesn’t even begin to explain how I was feeling.

OK, let me explain. I have been a David Wolfe fan since I saw him speak in 2011. His knowledge about the health world is phenomenal. He helped bring the word ‘superfood’ to the common vernacular. He spread the word that chocolate, in its raw form (otherwise known as cacao), is good for you. For a chocolate-loving girl, this was the best news ever.

I had also never been to Ubud, Bali, so I was looking forward to checking that out too. With its lush green scenery, beautiful people and stunning food, it didn’t disappoint!

I must admit I was nervous about meeting our fellow David Wolfe Adventure buddies (affectionately known as the Wolfe Pack). What if they were all strict raw-vegan, yoga-pro got-this-life-business-sorted people? The kind that never put a (bare) foot wrong and only associate with others who have unlocked the secret to life? What if they thought I wasn’t healthy enough, vegan enough, raw enough to be included?

What if they thought I wasn’t healthy enough, vegan enough, raw enough to be included?

As always, when I worry about this sort of thing, the Universe has a quiet laugh and proves me wrong in more ways than I thought possible. Every member of the group was lovely!

The diversity of beliefs and approaches to health blew me away. Prior to the trip, I had thought I was stepping into an environment where there would be a dogmatic only-raw-vegan food allowed rule. I had images of secretly ordering poached eggs as room service to avoid the judging eyes. I’m very glad to report I was wrong about that too. While we all ate a mostly raw vegan diet (because with such phenomenal food being prepared for us daily why wouldn’t we?), there was absolutely no pressure to eat that way for every meal. And, boy was I glad.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I love my green juices, smoothies and flax crackers as much as the next health nut but an entirely raw diet just doesn’t agree with me. Throw in a slice of bread, some sweet potato or a couple of eggs though and I will thrive. In the Ayurveda system, I am a text-book case of Vata dominance. Amongst other things, this means that I do best when I include heavy grounding foods in my diet, and don’t do so well on too much salad and cold foods. (If you would like to find out more about the three Ayurvedic body types, click here for a simple introduction.)

Sometimes I’m really good at ignoring what my body tells me, in favour of listening to my head (or my fears). The first couple of days of this trip were no exception. For fear of being judged, I ate only raw food meal in meal out and by the end of the second day, I was beginning to feel the effects. I was irritable, lacking energy, and feeling really flighty and anxious.

On the third day of the trip, we woke up at 2am to hike for three hours up Mount Batur (home of the Kintamani Volcano) so that we could watch the sun rise. We got to the first observatory area after about two and a half hours of hiking, which was a massive achievement in itself. I could see that the top of the mountain was tantalisingly close though and, when someone said we had the option of hiking to the very top, I quickly agreed. Heck, I hadn’t come all that way only to stop just short of the peak!

With David Wolfe at the first observatory area of Mount Batur

With David Wolfe at the first observatory area of Mount Batur.

The final climb was certainly intense. The volcanic ash hid sharp rocks and deep holes, making for a treacherous journey but it was worth every tentative, carefully placed step. Even though there was so much cloud cover we didn’t actually see the sun rise, the sense of achievement I felt when I stepped onto the summit was exhilarating. It was so worth it!

After hiking back down the mountain and having a much deserved soak in some hot springs to soothe our abused muscles, we jumped in the bus to make our way back to the hotel. For the entire journey home, my imagination taunted me with images of soft poached eggs, grilled tomatoes and crunchy sour dough. By the time we got to the hotel, I was completely consumed with the idea of a hot protein-rich meal.

As so often happens, Elsa was thinking the same thing as me and when she mentioned, in passing, how much she would love to have some cooked eggs, I grabbed the opportunity (or the kitchen’s phone number, as it were) and called the kitchen to put in a special request for dinner that night.

It was exactly what I needed to replenish my protein levels. Within an hour of eating dinner, I could feel my energy returning and my mood stabilising.

By the time breakfast came around, I was dying to chow down on a raw meal of fruit salad and a green juice. It’s all about balance, baby.

It’s all about balance, baby.

I always knew on a theoretical level that listening to my body was important but the trip really cemented this for me, and this knowledge has definitely changed my approach to food. Before eating anything, I now ask myself whether it will not only nourish me but whether it is what I need in this moment. So far, I have switched from soy lattes to black coffee because I finally listened to my body’s message that soy products are bad for it (that’s a whole other post), and I have started eating more eggs (only from happy chickens, of course).

I am thankful every day that I finally learnt to trust my body’s messages. It makes choosing the right food a much easier process – and, as you will find out, I’m all for anything that makes life easier!

Laura