I have been lucky enough to know a friend Wayan (and there are many Wayans in Bali) who introduced me to the Compassion Family meditation group who are based in Jakarta but run retreats usually twice a year in Bali.
I first went when i was super- stressed with Frey… living alone in Bali with no carer and hadn’t found school for her yet. My head was perpetually spinning, a bit like it is now, and I had organised a local lady to come and stay in my house with Frey so i could go to this retreat for a few days. 2 nights i think it was. But at the last minute she got sick and cancelled.
I called Wayan in the moderate doldrums and he said to me to just come and to bring Freyr with me… I thought he was joking but he was serious… i thought OMG, people will want us gone after 2/3 hours… I kind of laughed… but, what the hell… a ride would do us good and to have a change of scene for a few hours (the retreat was being held in Kintamani a couple of hours drive away).
So i packed a few things and off we went. The road was nice. Frey loves being on a motorbike/scooter. Must be the wind and/or noise or visual stimulation… movement… vestibular… who knows. But usually she’s quiet when she gets on a bike (motorbike).
When we got to the retreat, everyone welcomed Freyr. And me. The peace and serenity of the location was indescribeable. I walked over to the valleys edge and looked out, felt my emotions well up, and then I burst into tears… well, quiet sobbing… relief at being in nature, mixed with slight despair at the avid wandering and relentless care needs of my daughter… the pressure just popped and tears streamed down my face. I had landed somewhere safe finally.
Everyone was so nice and accepting of Freyr. Sometimes volunteers would walk around with her or give her chips or dry noodles so i could sit and listen and participate in the meditation practice and talks by the guru… even she would go behind the stage and start playing instruments but nobody minded. She was just accepted and everyone was so caring towards us. I felt humbled and a sense of peace came over me like we belonged somewhere… a real sense of family pervaded my experience with all these people.
This has definately been one of my most memorable and touching moments in Bali. I hope we can join this retreat again, or enable other parents/families to join and experience the sense of relief I felt at just being able to let Freyr be herself in a public environment.