This may have been my very best retreat even though my dad died, a volcano erupted, and Indonesia is rioting. Go figure.
Every year has its own magic. This year I’m amazed at how even when all of my worst case scenarios come true, things turn out better than my best case scenario plans.
All of my reasons to NOT hold my retreat in Bali this year came to pass, and every thing made the retreat even better, easier, more effective, more magical.
I think that’s a useful discovery in case YOU have been putting off a dream because of what might go wrong. Things do go wrong…
Volcanoes and Riots, oh my!
I’ve been saying for a while that I can feel my retreats in Bali may be coming to an end. Because politics are getting more extreme in Indonesia, and late last year Bali was on high alert for a rare eruption of its volcano Mt Agung.
All my fears came true.
Rioting: Last week in Jakarta, on the island of Java, exploded in protests contesting a close election. We never would have known anything was going on except that social media sites kept going down, and for a couple of days my retreat pictures weren’t posting on Facebook.
Bali is part of Indonesia and worlds apart. Different language, different religion, different culture. No sign of unrest to disturb our happy retreat bubble of beauty and harmony. Just green juices, massage, nature walks, shamanic healings, and deep Money Honey-inspired coaching.
As for the volcano… this morning I discovered that Mt. Agung erupted, for the first time in 50 years while we slept. No one on the island was harmed. Some planes are delayed by smoke… and the eruption happened hours AFTER one of my women safely departed back to Australia. OF COURSE the volcano waited for after Crystal’s departure: that is so Crystal! She was our “weather witch” for cool breezes all week and flattering cloud-cover during our photo shoot.
Years ago my favorite astrologer Carol Allen told me that I am happily protected by the placement of Jupiter and some other key planets on my birth chart. She says if there’s going to be a major earthquake, I’ll be out of town that day. (So far that’s been true–if not out of town I’ve always been accidentally in a safe place instead of where I was planning to be.) She jokingly said she should stay close to me for safety.
My biggest concern this year scheduling a retreat in Bali that my father would pass while I was far away.
Yes, that’s exactly what happened.
A month before my retreat I dreamed of my father’s best friend. It wasn’t until after I woke up that I remembered the friend had died years ago. I took this as a sign to book a plane ASAP and visit my father before my Money Goddess retreat. (We moved my father many thousands of miles away on the opposite coast from me: better end of life care for him and better support for my stepmother.)
The trip was brutal. It was the first time I took away, “my father is dying now.” He felt mostly gone, not present, on his way out. I spent hours with him simply feeding him, playing songs from his favorite musicals, and telling him I love him. He was mostly not responsive. I got to say my good bye.
The Tuesday before my retreat I heard from my stepmother that my father had stopped eating and drinking. This was the truly the end. I knew with almost certainty he would not survive until I returned to the States. That he would probably die during my retreat.
I felt both sadness and relief.
Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. Neither my stepmother nor I have had any wish for him to linger and suffer, as much as we don’t want to say good bye.
I made a decision that this was happening FOR the retreat. How else could the timing be so specific? I know from experience that I’ve done my very best coaching during some of the worst times in my life: Grief can break open our hearts and make us more powerful healers and channels of exactly what our clients need, so I embrace it.
My father passed peacefully with my stepmother present. He simply stopped breathing. No gasping. No struggle. I got the news when I awoke on Day 3 of my Ultimate Money Goddess retreat. In the final days my father was unable to articulate words to my stepmother, but he could speak easily to his dead brother and my cat who left us decades ago.
I felt love, gratitude and relief at the news. And I had the energy to coach FOUR women through my Money Monster –> Money Honey process in one day! And I still had energy. I’ve never done more than three of these super deep, intense coaching sessions in a single day, and even that felt like I was pushing the envelope energetically. Totally different experience this year. Thanks Dad!
I feel like the grief is waiting patiently for me to finish up my business in Bali. I’ll be hosting multiple memorials for Dad–east and west coast–in June. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to honor what a really big deal he is to me.
I haven’t decided on whether I’m done with doing my retreats in Bali. This is my FAVORITE activity in my business, and I’ve done it 9 times. And it does seem to get better every year. I’m craving change. I’m dreaming up something bigger. We’ll see.
The biggest thing is I just love my Bali women so much. I miss them when the retreat ends…
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