At a low point during my time here in Bali, I came across a free seminar on “mindset.”
I signed up to this and committed to attending on a Friday morning; it seemed like something that would realign my mind to where I felt it needed to be. I knew my focus was too outward, too extrinsic, whilst ignoring some inner turbulence. I needed to be centered again. I researched the person hosting the event – Mark Copeland – and could see that this talk would be up my alley. How right I was…
Hobbling my way into the seminar room at the beautiful W Resort and Spa in Seminyak, I entered a space full of mostly like-minded individuals, ranging from young travelers such as myself to CEO’s of very successful businesses in Bali. All of us had one thing in common – we were interested in learning more about running your business – and life – more consciously.
A man at my table was attending this seminar for the second time.
He had returned to reinforce what he had learned the first time round and fill in some finer details. Many people at the talk were there for the second time. Due to my keen interest and background in neuropsychology, I luckily already knew a fair amount of the content covered. I was happy about this because I felt that it allowed for me to engage more deeply with the subtler messages being communicated (I definitely would still go back again, and probably would attend the actual two-day workshop to which this was a precursor, if I had the funds!)
One of the messages that stuck with me was the Mark’s perspective on and approach to “resistance.” He said that you need to be mindful of your mental resistance to things, and that instead of letting this keep you back, you rather need to view your initial hostility as an opportunity for growth. He referred to this as having a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset.
On the surface level, reading this might seem “wishy washy.”
“How is this useful for me in practice?” you might ask. For me, by living in the colourful, crazy, cultural fusion island of Bali, in the weeks following this talk I noticed that my limits are often pushed. I have been trying to adopt the perspective I learned during this talk, not putting myself down when any of my own resistance has arisen in situations. Rather, I have acknowledged the resistance, explored why it has happened; then – so simply – just let it go.
Living with locals has pushed my boundaries.
I am so glad that this has happened. I did not arrive in Bali being a “Western princess” and expecting any frills and fancies that accompanied my lifestyle back home. I was not raised in a luxurious household by any means, yet nonetheless I have found that things that I took for granted back home were not necessarily the norm here. Household things include having hot water, a cupboard/clothes rail and bedside table in my room, a flushing toilet, and a fridge. When I took the position of exchanging work for accommodation, without consciously realizing it, I assumed my hard work to be “rewarded” with accommodation by my own standards. Accommodation that I would choose and pay for myself had I instead been working for money.
When I found this to not be the case, I luckily had already been to this seminar. Instead of reacting in a way I might expect others with a similar background to have – something like “Oh my God, I simply cannot survive without x” – I questioned why it was that I felt x was totally necessary for my time here. Each time this has happened, I have concluded that x is not necessary; thus instead of wallowing in my discomfort, I have let it go.
No fridge (or kettle, stove, knives, forks, plates) means absolutely no cooking at home. So what? Food is super cheap and healthy here too. This is not permanent, I will survive.
No cupboard or bedside table. So what? My clothing and possessions won’t get dirty (and if they do, I can clean them). They can stay on the floor.
No dustbin. So what? Get a plastic bag and throw your trash in there.
No hot water. So what? It’s so hot in Bali anyway.
Shower was not working yesterday and again isn’t today; still cannot wash hair. So what? Have a swim in the sea and splash around in the sun, embracing nature’s salty bath.
Need to wear long clothing when around conservative clients, in the blistering heat. So what? Move past this and rather speak to these people with a different culture – everybody in this world knows at least one thing that you don’t – greet them with your open mind and learn (and oh boy did I!).
Told at 11pm when out that you need to wake up at 3am to travel by motorbike and ferry to Lombok. So what? Embrace the experience, plug in some music, and enjoy the stillness of the stolen hours before dusk. (Turned out to be an absolute highlight of the trip).
Getting lunch from the side of the road at a place I’d consider dodgy-looking back home. So what? Locals are eating here, let go and trust the person who has brought you here. (I have been back almost every day to the same spot since).
No idea what your plans are for the day because no-one is speaking English. So what? Live in the present, go with the flow and see what the day brings.
All of these are examples of situations in which I have initially felt discomfort.
I haven’t scolded myself for feeling this, but have rather taken a moment to explore why I am feeling such, and then I have simply dropped the resistance, found something positive in the situation, and moved on! It has been so easy, and I am feeling so relaxed after having adopted this approach.
Often situations are out of our control, but what we can control are our reactions to and interpretations of events.What situations have led to your own resistance recently? Did you approach it with a fixed or growth mindset?
If you are interested in finding out more about SmartMinds, the hosts of that incredible event I attended, click below to find out more.