This morning I woke up at 6 AM with a smile on my face, which is quite unusual considering that I’m a creature of the night. I got up, worked on editing my novel (150 more pages to go before I finish my 2nd draft!), had a delicious vegetarian breakfast and caught up with my boyfriend on Facetime. I also had a massive hoop fail when I was hooping on a bridge on the way to the waitian and lost my hoop over the edge. Whoops.

The first workshop I attended today was Hooping from the Inside Out with Anah. This workshop was another back to basics workshop where we worked on how the hoop feels and using that feeling to open up dance and movement. My favorite part was when we found a partner and danced for each other. It was good to have just one person focusing on my hooping and cheering me on. Anah said it was to help encourage people to get comfortable with performing for the showcase on Wednesday. All and all, the class was a good warmup.

The next class was Funky Rolls with Gail O’Brien. Gail has quite a sense of humor that made the class fun (such as her squeeky bra that that she used to get everyone’s attention). We studied how we could use rolls over the back of the hand for a multitude of purposes. We also studied leg rolls, elbow rolls and the proper way to do chest rolls. I felt like I leveled up in the class as I incorporated the new material into my flow. I literally felt my style changing and it was quite phenomenal.

We had lunch at a vegetarian restaurant down the street called The Elephant. I couldn’t tell you exactly what I had but I do know it was delicious. I was thrilled to meet Jacylen, the woman who’s video, “Hooping for the Digestive System, taught me how to hoop on the waist almost exactly four years ago. I’m going to sound like a total fan girl, but it was surreal to have a conversation with Jaclyn and Anah. I never thought that I would be in a space where I could meet some of the key people who inspired my early hoop journey. Best of all, I got to thank them for the wonderful work they do for the community.

I was thinking about going to get a massage but I was led back to the Wainta and ended up helping build the altar for Sonic Alchemy with Sophia Rose. If you’ve been following my blog, you may have picked up on the fact that building altars is a hobby of mine. I was really excited that I was able to contribute to the core of the altar (pictured in the heading of the post). I tried my best to use symbolism from the Tree of Life since I’m really into Qabalah and represent the balance between The Column of Severity (left side, feminine), the Column of Mercy (right side, masculine) and the column of Mildness (middle, spirit). The black skull on the left side represents the Divine Feminine and the rose represents the Hidden Feminine Divine/female sexuality. The crystal skull and the phallic crystal on the right side represents the Divine Masculine and the male sexual energy. The middle column represents our direct connection to the Divine and the star in the middle represents the Sephoriah Tiphareth, the reflection of the beauty of the Divine which shines from the heart of all of us. I arranged the crystals to represent the four quarters and four guardians (Raphael: East, Michael: South, Gabrielle: West and Uriel: North). The ankh at the top of the altar is another tribute to the Goddess mother and how we must bring back honoring the goddess to heal our planet. We sprinkled flowers around the altar to build a circle and then arranged goddess cards around the outside of it. Candles filled in the extra space and it was a beautiful mandala for the ceremony.

The Sonic Alchemy meditation with Sophia rose was really liberating. The intention for the class was to open up the aspect of the Divine Feminine in us as dancers. We focused on connecting the earth and sky to bring the Divine Feminine and Masculine into one. Sophia Rose also uses her voice as a Divine Sound and emphasized that we create through our words. This really resonated with me as a writer. My novel is about the healing power of music and the presence of the Divine in music so I had a lot to meditate on. We spent a good half hour dancing around the altar and moving the way our body wanted us to move. We all started out on the floor but by the end of the 30 minutes, most of us were standing up and dancing with joy. I actually had to take a break from dancing because I became overwhelmed and started to cry. I’ve had a couple of crying fits over the past few days as I’ve released many things that have been bound in my heart. I guess that’s what the three of swords and the 8 of Swords meant when I drew them earlier today. But they were backed up by Temperance and The Sun, which are both cards that personally represent Archangel Michael, who I see as an archtype for the peaceful warrior and finding my strength and personal power by my connection with the Divine Beauty. Michael is the master of chord cutting and I’ve felt so many chords falling away so that reading totally makes sense now.

The second part of Sonic Alchemy involved healing with Sophia’s voice. She and her partner used crystal bowls, didgerido, Shamanic drumming, rattles, and cora to balance frequenecise in our bodies. It was very relaxing.

Skill share with Anah, which was like a question answer session, was next but I decided that I wanted to go write and on the way, I had a hoopsadent. I slipped on a mossy, stone path, fell down and busted my knee. I limped back to the waitan and Jewelz, Arielle and Jaguar Mary all patched me up. I was embarrassed (I guess that comes from the time I spent in Japan where falling down can and having to ask for help can be a very shameful thing) but they comforted me by taking care of me.

Next I limped away to find dinner. I ended up going into Ubud with a big group of gals from the retreat to eat at Seniman. The streets were lively, especially around the palace because the Prince of Ubud’s wedding celebration was drawing to a close. Everyday I find something new and enchanting about this dreamland. It’s interesting because the part of my novel I’m editing now takes place in a tropical paradise and I’m using a lot of Bali’s scenery and energy as inspiration.

I had a great dinner with a lot of great ladies and also read Tarot for a few of my companions to help them pick which healer they want to see. It’s been wonderful to share all of my passions, writing, hooping, tarot and music, with everyone here. If only this could be my career! I feel like I’ve found my path combinding all three of these passions but as to how to make a living doing these things is yet to come …

It’s only Monday and I feel like I’ve grown as a hooper, as a spiritual being and as a person more in the past four days than I have in a year. It’s interesting that I keep drawing the Death card when I read for myself. A lot of negative aspects of myself have died on this journey and Iv’e been able to put them to rest here in Bali.

It surly is a magical time.

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