The Power of Nostalgia: How I Found Myself in Boulder, While Relaxing in Bali
“I am strong because I’ve been weak. I am fearless because I’ve been afraid. I am wise because I’ve been foolish.” – Unknown
Nostalgia can be a powerful healer. When I spoke with neuroscientist, Dr. John Medina, he told me the aging brain is energized by reconnecting with our most powerful memories.
I knew this intellectually, but, I didn’t feel it until a recent trip to the seductive resort village of Desa Seni, in southern Bali. In some ways, my experience at Desa Seni was beyond words, but, I will try to describe it here anyway.
I want to tell you about how my experience filled my heart with technicolor memories and brought me face to face with the conflicting emotions of sadness, positivity and hope.
First, Let Me Set the Scene
Desa Seni is a sustainable property in southern Bali, near Canggu. It showcases the cultures, religious beliefs and traditions of Indonesia in a unique and gorgeous way.
From the second you set foot in Desa Seni, you know that you have arrived in a special place. It is surrounded by tropical gardens.
As a sustainable property, Desa Seni does everything in its power to live in harmony with the environment. They eliminate almost all plastic, conserve water, grow organic foot and maintain a huge permaculture garden.
Just as importantly, they have a special relationship with the local community. They hire local staff and work with a nearby orphanage to offer apprenticeships to young adults. They also hold various events throughout the year to help raise money for charities that help women in Indonesia suffering from HIV.
The buildings at Desa Seni are no less special. The property’s original antique wooden homes are built from recycled, repurposed and sustainable materials. The porches, in particular, were simply amazing!
These Buildings Took Me Spinning Back in Time
As I sat on my porch, cup of tea in hand, I found myself falling back in time. Once again, I was in Boulder Colorado.
These whimsical antique houses reminded me of my college days. I remembered the wind chimes blowing in the breeze. I could imagine walking to an organic restaurant down the street – the one next to the wellness center where I practiced yoga, all those years ago.
As my mind continued to explore, my actual memories merged with the cultural experience of our generation. I could imagine Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young and Joni Mitchell playing guitar on one of the wooden porches.
I also remembered a time when my inner intensity and passion collided with an external tragedy to make me who I am today.
Desa Seni Reminded Me of the Resilience and Harmony that Living Well Requires
Although my time in Boulder was filled with sadness, after my mother’s death, it was a place where I learned resilience.
At Desa Seni, I did something that I rarely allow myself to do. I gave myself permission to step back from my logical mind and embrace my subconscious. In doing so, I reconnected with my inner strength.
Every woman in our community has experienced ups and downs. We have all faced personal challenges and, for the most part, we have found our way through them.
Now, some of us are dealing with loss, health issues or a lack of financial resources. We are all trying to make something positive out of our unique situations.
This morning, my yoga teacher reminded us to embrace tough times. She asked us to remember that everything is possible and that even the hardest times will pass.
Every day, I think about the women in our community who are experiencing pain and hardship. During these moments, I feel deeply connected to all of you.
Our community is connected by empathy and love. Let’s continue to support each other every single day.
If you are interested in finding our more about Desa Seni, I encourage you to read more about them here.
Have you ever visited a place that brought back strong memories? Are you going through a tough time now and need some support from your Sixty and Me sisters? Please join the conversation.