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  • Katie Hodge

Pages From My Journal: Lessons From Bali

Updated: Aug 2

I have now been living on this beautiful island for 6 weeks – wow where has the time gone! Bali has taught me so much in this time. See below the top 4 things I've learnt whilst living here:

Be Grateful

The name Bali means ‘offering’, its nickname is the island of the gods, as every day offerings are being made to gods. You will see Balinese people creating offerings in many different forms, but one of the most widely seen is the canang sari – little bamboo containers full of offerings such as rice, flowers, money and occasionally cigarettes. These are all offerings to show gratitude. The reasoning behind creating and offering to the gods is an act of selflessness - giving up time and money to create them. When the canang sari is placed often a prayer, chant or act of gratitude takes place, it’s a moment in their everyday to be thankful. Its ingrained in the culture to be grateful, what an incredible way to be brought up.

Community is Everything

Most people in Bali work 6 days a week and school is open for 6 days too, with their day off most choose to spend time with friends & family. The community gets together and teaches the younger generation skills such as dancing, singing and art, they picnic together and enjoy each others company, they don’t need material things for entertainment. Life is much simpler and community is the heart beat. No one in Bali seems super rich or extremely poor, everyone just has enough and this is because the wealth is shared out in the community, when you have a bit more to give you give, and when you need the support its there for you to take. Worlds apart from the Western society of being out to get what you can for yourself. A taxi driver was telling us that when he had Covid, every day his neighbours would bring round meals for him and leave them on his doorstep, making sure he didn’t go without. We can learn so much from this way of life, how many of us don’t even know our neighbours? I'm embarrassed to say I spent a year in a flat in London without even knowing the names of the people living downstairs.


I have never been to a place before where everyone is so smiley. People over here smile through the good and the bad, they always look on the bright side, its so refreshing to the doom and gloom in England where everyone is quick to moan and complain if something doesn’t go their way. Balinese truly find the joy in the everyday, you can tell that they are present and having started their day with gratitude, it sets them up with a positive mindset. People are smiling when they are working in the heat, when they are laughing with friends, when they are just walking down the street. It is truly infectious, I find myself smiling at people all the time – something which rarely happens in the UK. Smiling is an instant mood booster, it releases endorphins, triggering a reduction in stress and improvement in mood.

Go Slow

Pace of life is so much slower over here, it’s ok that things don’t happen in an instant. There is no Amazon Prime, just island time. There is no pressure and expectation, things will happen when things happen. Is bloody marvellous. How many times do you have anxiety about opening your emails because you know that someone is going to ask for something almost immediately. Being here has given me perspective on my pace of life back home in Bath. It was relentless, always something to do, down time felt like it had to earn't rather than a given. It’s a relief to be able to have time to myself – just writing these blogs is something I really enjoy but never gave myself time for at home because it wasn't at the top of my priority list.

So these are my take home lessons from Bali. I have just over 2 weeks left before moving onto my next location and Im ready to embrace all the above and hopefully learn more along the way.

Don’t forget, if you’d like to join me on a Retreat this year I have one bedroom left at the Cotswolds Retreat (end of April) and the Salcombe Retreat (mid October) bookings have just opened. Find out more information here:

I’ll be in touch again next week with more snippets from my journal.

Katie x

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