I will miss the morning light streaming through the rice fields just past my doorstep at Ananda Cottages. The lotus pond that received my moments of meditation will always hold a space very dear to my heart. The family that I greeted daily at breakfast with excitement and curiosity of what the action packed day would bring will always be a family I can count on, a family I feel is truly my own. I love my hoop family so much! As I pack my things, many of which I brought and many of which I bought, I realize how at home I had begun to feel. Yet truly, I feel at home all over the world. I am looking forward to unpacking in Austin and not having to repack everything I own for a while. Even though I will be traveling in shorter bursts this summer, I will finally have a home base, and I feel that will serve me well. Until then.....
I spend the next four days posted up in a place called Ani’s Villa which has an amazing pool with my lovely sister from London, Sofia. I stayed there during my Bali Spirit Festival experience. I attended Bali Spirit Festival as a Presenter’s Assistant by day and Fire Dance Performer by Night. Wow, what a powerful and potent time for this festival to be in full swing, with Saturday as the pinnacle, as a Full Blood Moon Total Lunar Eclipse darkened the skies with a rosy hue.
Thursday was a blast as I assisted Mailaka for her 5 Elements Dance Activation. It was really fun and informative to witness this shamanic dance journey being held in the open container of a festival scene. I am used to small, intimate dances in candle lit spaces with women I know, and this was a day time, open air space with many faces I’d never seen. A perfect situation for me to grow! I helped set up the altar, retreat flyers and such, getting the space dialed in. Once we got started and were going strong there were a few folks on the outskirts just watching and wondering what on earth this fun was, and it felt really good to pull them in and say ‘Dance with us! We are currently dancing for ‘the earth element’ (or fire or whatever element they came in on). It was a super delightful experience to dance with all of these beautiful beings, holding space while Malaika facilitated with ease, grace and power. She even received sign ups for her Elemental Embodiment Retreat w/ Deya Dova and for her 5 Elements Dance Activation Teachers Training! I am all about helping others step into their power, and these trainings are certainly one fun and full on way to do just that. I’m really grateful for my continued studies with my Shamanic Dance Mentor, Malaika Darville.
That night I cruised over to the beautiful resort where Bhakti Night was being held. I love devotional music. Being raised in the church I sang hymns of praise, and now the earth is my church and I am still singing praises to the Most High just in different languages and contexts. I will always love music and music will always love me! I was very inspired by tonights music, especially Peia. WOW! Her voice blew my mind and melted my heart. I will be listening to her and picking up on the tones and vibrations, allowing my own voice to mimic this angelic vocalists. She is truly a gift to this planet and the heavenly realms. PachaMantra was also an amazing inspiration to me with their danceable medicine music and multiple musician band. Every time I listen to music that moves my soul I realize this is part of my highest calling. This experience in Bali has led me to an understanding of my higher purposes and gifts, and I really look forward to what they look like when in full bloom. Right now, the little lotus seeds have been planted in the fertile grounds of my humble heart, and with practice and prayer I will nurture them dearly. Another seed that was planted came through the meeting of an old friend, Eugene, who is putting on the first Tantra Festival here in the states this September. We both feel that my hoop dance and breath work offerings would be a perfect match. The Tantric Path has been a study of mine for the last 8 years, so I look forward to deepening my connections in this realm. Thursday was a lovely first day for me at Bali Spirit Festival on every level.
Friday was a very different type of day. I have just come from a full on three week retreat and right into festival mode, and had to be honest with myself and take a day off! There was no assisting or performing scheduled for me that day, so I slept in. Upon waking Sofia informed me that our neighbors had acquired the tiniest little kitten who’s mommy had abandoned it. They were leaving and needed someone to care for it until it found a home or the rescue people could come. Of course Sofia and I said yes and we took this precious little cat, a sweet little calico no bigger than my own tiny hand, under our motherly wing. We fed it every two hours with a syringe and it was so tiny that we even had to help the little critter pee since usually it’s mom would lick it to help it do that. We used a wet cloth and it worked. Talk about bonding! Sofia was the one who really stepped up since I had festival responsibilities and she did an amazing job. We even made a little bed in a bag for it and took it shopping with us and everything. We even took the little thing out to our friend Lenna’s birthday dinner with us and let all of our friends see how cute it was hoping one of them would want it. No one could take it, and eventually Sofia had to give it to the Bali Animal Welfare Association. I hope they care for it properly and find it a good home! It is literally the cutest little cat I have ever seen and it opened my heart up so wide and big. Funny how something so small can make you feel love so big.
Saturday was a massive day at Bali Spirit. That night was the Total Lunar Eclipse, with a Full Blood Moon in Libra, and also the night I performed with one of my favorite down tempo electronic dance musicial duo’s, Desert Dwellers. The day began very early at dawn as I arose with the geckos and lovebirds to catch a taxi to the daytime location of Bali Spirit Fest to assist Malaika with the Shiva Shakti 5 Elements Dance Activation at 8AM. Getting a taxi was a minor nightmare, and then finally the one we did catch was some random man on a bus who said he knew where he was going but stopped his huge bus every five seconds to ask random sidewalk strangers where the place was. He also kept changing the price the entire time. Well, hello eclipse energy! I could tell today was going to be one heck of a ride....and it was, starting on the rickety bus with the nice but odd man who finally got us to Purnati for BSF.
We arrived just in time for the Shiva Shakti activation and wow, what a special and amazing experience. We united our Divine Feminine and Masculine in really sweet exercises, together and apart. Lots of eye gazing and soft touches. Much celebration of the beauty in the other and recognition of uniqueness. It was lovely. Then, to my surprise, Malaika called me into the middle of the circle and blessed me with a red rose and flower petals that Kellen had requested be delivered to me. It was our two year anniversary that day, and since we couldn’t be physically together he had Malaika honor me in front of 50 other people as his Divine Beloved Shakti! I accepted the rose and cried with happy tears and could feel the love all the way from Texas! What a beautiful honor and surprise. Thank you, Kellen! I love you baby.
After the dance, pool time and delicious noms I got super glittered and glam for the evening of music and performance. I felt SO honored to be taking the stage with Desert Dwellers, Tammy FireFly, Dai Zaobob, Forest of Liquid Fire Mantra and the amazing Tribal Fusion Dancer Deb Rubin. What a dream team! We all were dressed and made up and sparkling to the nines and ready for the show. We rocked it solid with fire palms, staves, bugaang, fire hoops, double fire hoops, aerial silks and exquisite stage presence. Truly, I had the time of my life! With it being my Two Year Anniversary, a Full Moon Total Lunar Blood Moon Eclipse, Day 3 of Bali Spirit, and my debut performance with these epic musicians, I felt like my life reached a pinnacle moment of completion. Love, Purpose, Passion, Travel, Artistic Collaboration and FUN...it really all came together for me on this night in Bali. I am feeling so beautifully blessed, and if this is what the first year of my 30’s looks like, then I can hardly wait to see how this precious decade of my life continues to unfold. Giving THANKS!
Sunday was the final day of Bali Spirit and it went out with a bang fo’ sho’! It was a late night for me after Saturday’s performance and a little dancing at the after party, but I still made it to the festival in time for the infamous Sunday Bali Spirit Ecstatic Dance. I can see what all the rage is about! There was an epic DJ who was bouncing the house with trancey-techno-house beats and the crowd was a rolling ocean of sweaty smiling and very ecstatic dancers. I had a moment where I felt so happy that tears popped out of my big brown eyes and I just looked towards the sky, twirling all the while. I had so much fun dancing with this tribe! I danced right on over to the breath work hall to help facilitate the lovely Christabel Zamour’s Breath of Bliss workshop. I was already high on life, and then to help hold space while Christabel facilitated all kinds of heart opening, identity dissolving, mind melting breath work to over 250 people (50 of which were non-english speaking local Balinese) was a rare and wonderful gift. She has such a radiant presence that I aspire to also hold, and it was very educational and inspiring to watch her do her thing and receive the transmission. I would like to study more with Christabel and as a breath work facilitator myself, I am deeply inspired to create my own breath work training so that even more people can be reached and revived through the power of their own breath.
Wow, as if it weren’t already a full on day and weekend, it was time for another night of epic music. I made my way over and had a really amazing time hanging with new friends backstage, and watching the amazing dancers and musicians. A kid named Daniel Sonic BLEW MY MIND with his liquid pop and lock routine, and the feather head dressed Dayak tribe from Kenya blasted the crowd with very unique tribal show dance. Dustin Thomas pierced through our barriers and straight into our hearts with a captivating set featuring the guest voices of the Aloha Family Band (Tubby Love, Amber Lily and Jus Wright). I love hearing Dustin’s songs and storytelling. I want to sing with him on stage one day. I also would like to sing with Nahko. Part of me feels the dreams are far fetched, but with my track record of manifesting exactly what I want and feel aligned with, I know that if I keep training my voice and calling in the songs from spirit that this is a truth and reality I can honestly claim someday. I love the way it feels to watch a musician on stage powerfully stepping into their talents while using the microphone to also deliver messages of timely truth and activation! It is time for our Rainbow Tribe to rise up with words as weapons and hearts of fire, to blaze forth towards a world that no longer tolerates the destruction and desolation of the waters, lands, animals and ecosystems. Dustin speaks on this and so will I. He lit a fire in me that is burning bright and I will fan it with my lungs bellowing the beautiful words that spirit sends. I am open. I am ready.
The night also included amazing music from one of my new favorite bands PachaMantra and also David Block of The Human Experience. All rockin’! I had a really good glow hoop session to PachaMantra and was all geared up for the glory of the after party. Once I got to the after party it was almost 3AM. I realized I needed to be heading to Denpasar to complete my Visa extension by 6AM, so around 4:30 I decided to take a nap before making the hour trek to immigration. The after party was pretty fun, but since I don’t drink alcohol I felt like I couldn’t appreciate it like everyone else. It would have been nice to have some family fun favors around, but that kind of thing is tricky here in Bali, so I walked a straight and narrow path, had some fun dances, and called it a night (or a morning) just before the sun came up. Sunday became Monday and I met my friend to cruise over to Denpasar to make it all good with my Visa (it’s $20 a day if you overstay!) So, I had a super crazy fun blasty blast of a time on the last day of Bali Spirit and STILL made it to my 8AM appointment. Good job, Shellie! I think I might be stepping into some form of actual adulthood, even though I hula hoop, dance, and travel for most of my ‘living’. If this is what being an adult can look like, I think I can finally accept ‘being 30’ :)
All in all, Bali Spirit Festival and all of the beautiful people that came along with it just made my world a wonderful place. I feel so honored to have been a presenter’s assistant this year for Malaika Darville and Christable Zamour, and to perform on stage in front of over 1000 people with Desert Dwellers. This experience, and the climactic moment of the eclipse during it all, has been one of my wildest dreams come true, and I am eternally grateful to Great Spirit and all of the loved ones helping me along the way. Next year, I plan to BE a presenter and continue to perform and play with all of my new and old friends. Bali Spirit will be a Festival of choice for years to come. Thanks for the good times, BSF!
Now, I am decompression and filming some hoop, fire and fauna footage on the lovely grounds of the Tirtagganga Water Palace out East. It is SOOOOO beautiful here, my god! I am blessed to be staying in a villa known as the King’s Quarters, and feel that one day, perhaps this will be one of my many homes. I feel like calling it ‘my writing villa’. Being here really inspires me to write and dance, and since I am outside of Ubud I have less social distractions (even though I have a slight case of FOMO ((fear of missing out)) due to all of the EPIC post Bali Spirit Music happening right now in Ubud). I needed some downtime, though, really really intensely. As much as I want my life to be one continual stream of socializing and connecting, I needed some space to clear my head, my energy and REST. This has been the perfect place. I hope you enjoy the beautiful pictures of Bali Spirit, and check out my facebook page to catch some video clips of Desert Dwellers, Dustin Thomas and The Human Experience!
Blessings to you all from the World of Holy Waters,
Shellie White Light