My husband and I went to Bali “The Island of the Gods”, Indonesia for our honeymoon. It was a glorious vacation, full of wellness, immense natural beauty, and life lessons. The Balinese people are deeply spiritual. The majority religion is Hindu, and there are about 26,000 temples on the island. They take the time to honor their ancestors, and their Gods in everything they do, every part of their culture harkens back to the love and sovereignty in their religion.
One such amazingly kind, spiritual, and wonderful person that we met was our travel guide, Arta Wayan. He exuded positive, godly energy, he was kind and gentle, meeting our every need, even when we didn’t ask. Our trip wouldn’t have been the same without his guidance, his knowledge, his spirit. We had the opportunity to meet his family — who I noticed all looked young, bright, and had gorgeous skin (leave it up to my western self to notice this of all things, that isn’t lost on me, lol). His father, who’s in his late eighties, in particular looked amazingly youthful, and just plain happy.
I asked Arta, have you ever asked your father after all he’s seen, after all the living he’s done, what the key to a happy life is? He told me these three simple things:
- Stay stress free, stay in the present moment.
- Always keep moving, eat healthy.
- Keep God at the center of your life.
For me, these things sounded so simple, but rang so true. How many times do our minds wander to things that have happened in the past, or try to prepare us for things that may happen in the future? Do these thoughts usually bring us happiness? No, because we can’t change the past, and the future doesn’t actually exist, yet. Staying mindful, trying to keep your mind in the present moment, right there, where you are, is where happiness and peace can be found. We have to deal with life as it is, we don’t need the stress of creating unnecessary anxiety from worrying. That’s how you live a long life, and while I’ve read this in many mindfulness texts, it means something different to see it, and hear it from someone who’s lived it for eighty plus years.
Always keep yourself moving, eat healthy (which I’ve come to realize means having a diet mainly consisting of vegetables, fiber, fruits, meat as a condiment), and keeping God at the center of your life. The last one to me, is the most important. My spirituality, my religion, my God, is the drishti, or focus, of my life. He’s where my light and energy dwell. His reckless love, and faithfulness allow me to live such an abundant life. And I’ll try to eat as mindfully as possible, but, I’m human, and sometimes a sweet, deliciously greasy cheesesteak and crabs (hey! I’m from Bmore) still catches my eye here and there.
If you aren’t spiritual and reading this, that’s okay for you, I’m not here for judgement. You have to find what you can dedicate your own life to, a higher power that can help you focus your energy, your purpose. And, following the first two, doesn’t require religion — although being spiritual can help you power through them. Let me know what you think about Arta’s dad’s advice.
With love and light,