“I believe learning never stops. Thank goodness!” – Honey Good
Back in 2018, when my Ultimate Concierge asked me if I would like to travel to Bali, Indonesia, my heart went pitter-patter.
“Of course, I would love to,” I replied.
Shelly had a real estate convention. Afterward, he suggested we spend some quality time together, connecting and discovering Bali as a pair.
“Let’s stay a week after and spend alone time together,” he said.
I smiled and went to work with my brilliant, well-traveled, travel agent. I charged her with finding a perfect spot, away from the roaring crowd. She found Shangri-La.
It All Began In Bali
One thinks of Bali as an enchanting island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, a romantic paradise with fragrant flowers, lush foliage, and a community of citizens who have earned the well-deserved reputation of being the kindest human beings on earth. This is all true. That is why my heart will always race with pleasure when I think of Bali. Tomorrow we are leaving this beautiful island. Thankfully, I have captured its essence forever along with some insight from three women I had the pleasure of meeting.
Looking back, I believe these three women were meant to pass through my life, on Bali, because of circumstances beyond our control. I do believe in serendipity, be it in the form of the medicine man with supernatural powers, the good fairy with her magic wand, or some other magical form. We all need a little bit of luck along life’s path. If you will it, if you think it, chances are you will get it. And, I always see my glass as half full.
Instead of enlightening you about the geography and culture of Bali, I prefer to tell you the story of these three women and their effect on me. Hopefully, they will affect your thinking, too.
Three Women, One Sense of Connection
First, I’d like to introduce you to Parmini. She is a 30-year-old Balinese woman, married with a 6-month-old daughter. Parmini works as a private concierge at the resort where we stayed on Bali. Her lessons enhanced my belief in myself.
Sue is an American woman in her 70’s who lived in Tokyo for several years. She was invited by the Prime Minister of Japan to work on his Think Tank. She speaks a multitude of languages and has lived on the island of Bali for 20 years. Why did she move to Bali? Stay tuned, darlings, as I share her story and the impact she had on me.
Maya is from Romania and now resides outside Chicago with her husband and two little ones. She is under 30-years-old, an attorney by degree, and the owner of a company that produces luxurious natural teas. So, what drew me to her? Her purpose and passion.
Each of these women is exceptional. And, I think our good karma, the medicine man, and a good fairy had a hand in our meeting on Bali. Serendipity in some form!
“Hinduism teaches us to be emotionally disciplined.” – Parmini
At the resort where we stayed, in Ubud, Bali, guests are assigned a concierge for their stays. Out of several concierges, Parmini was assigned to be ours. “Now I have two concierges in my life,” I said to my husband. So, I explained to Parmini why I call Shelly my “Ultimate Concierge.” We all laughed good-naturedly at my good luck!
Parmini was the first person to greet us at our hotel. Her wide smile, her twinkling eyes and warm personality put me on an immediate high as she tied the meaningful Balinese string to guard and protect me, around my wrist. Parmini and I bonded instantly. And, I felt that our connection was meant to be.
We spent almost one week together at the resort because she drove for us, made our dinner reservations, and came to our little home in the rice paddy to regulate the air conditioning or adjust the television. Her assistance didn’t end there; Parmini also helped me with my iPhone or arranged for a driver for us to go into the town of Ubud, known for its culture. I was drawn to her and she was drawn to me. She told me several times, “Honey, I feel your strong energy.” I told her how fond I was of her and questioned her about her family and customs. We drew close. When we left one another it was with a hug.
Parmini explained to me that the Balinese people are of the Hindu faith and believe that the sum of their actions in this life and past lives will determine their fate in future lives.
This has a profound effect on their actions. They think twice before they speak once.
“Who knows when you may need that neighbor?” Parmini explained.
They always do unto others as they would want others to do unto them. The Hindu faith has produced a community of people on Bali that I can best describe as having the ability to be emotionally disciplined because they know every action has a reaction. The emotional attitude of a Balinese woman is not simple at all. She is mentally strong and knowing. She is disciplined.
Lessons Upon Lessons
On our last day together, Parmini told me that she had begun following me on Instagram and wanted to email me little stories of Hindu life on Bali.
You see darlings, one can have friendships that are multigenerational. It is healthy. We teach. We learn. They teach. They learn.
On our last day together before we said our good-byes, I felt this young woman of 30 could give me, a grandmother, sound advice. I told her of my three-year ongoing problem. I did not mention how I have been handling the situation, nor did she ask.
She told me that if she were in my shoes she would hold her thoughts private and remain silent. I asked her, “why?”
“Because,” she responded, ” I believe one should not lower themselves to the other person’s level. We believe in the end the truth will be known. It is a person’s karma.”
I told her I have taken the high road, kept my silence for three years but question myself if I should continue to do that. With her laughing eyes and a marvelous big smile, she nodded, yes, and then took my hand and squeezed it. This young woman reinforced my decision. I had no idea I was basing my actions on the Hindu faith… emotional discipline. Our meeting was meant to be. It was our karma. Our fate.
“I moved to Bali because I wanted a community.” – Sue
There are hundreds of towns, cities, and villages on Bali where Sue could have settled twenty years ago. As fate would have it she built her home twenty minutes away from the resort where we were staying. I know our meeting was meant to be. It was our karma.
Our parents had been friends and Sue is the cousin of my best friend, Gail. I met her a few times when we were children. So, I thought it would be very interesting to spend time with an American who made her home on Bali. I had heard over the years she led a very interesting life, outside the box.
We met a few times, at our resort, over dinner, and in a very special shop, Threads of Life, Indonesian Textile Arts Center. Sue had lived all over the world. London. Paris. Chicago. New York, Spain, and Japan. She is fluent in several languages. She still travels and her love for Bali only grows.
Sue moved to Bali because of the need for a community, her community.
Our conversation at our first meeting started with my asking her, “Why did you leave the thriving city of Tokyo for the tiny town of Ubud?“
She answered me with one word, Community. Bali’s culture is based entirely on community; common interest, social values, kindness to its citizens, and responsibility is the backbone of the community.
People Need People
I got it right away. People need people. People thrive where there is common interest and common social values. And, a community made up of multigenerational groups of people who interact and bond with one another. She told me she has Balinese friends, Expat friends, young friends, old friends, and friends in Bali from all parts of the world.
Her happiness is derived from the lifestyle that revolves around the community on Bali. Our quiet talks convinced me further that women need groups that will afford them the opportunity to bond with one another. In my mind, karma led us back to one another. And, that good fairy, of course.
We parted after dinner. I told her when she came to the States I would love her to stay with us in Chicago or California. Hopefully, she will. We were destined to meet.
She reinforced my strong belief that women are happiest when they belong. Good karma came from our meeting.
“I wish you a Zen day.” – Maya
I know meeting Maya was meant to be. Out of the blue our general contractor, Peter, stopped by and asked me a strange question, “Can I bring over some Maya Luxurious Tea for you to sample?”
I would never turn him down, so I said, “Sure.” Peter’s wife reads my musings and Peter is the general contractor and friend of Maya and her husband.
Peter told Maya about HoneyGood.com. Maya liked my site because she felt we were ‘authentic’ women who took pride in our work and believed in what we were doing. She felt our values were similar. And, she saw a connection between my community of women and her luxurious, organic, natural teas. She wanted us to meet with the thought in mind that I might love her tea and give her tea a 5-star rating,
Peter brought over the product. I liked it very much. He wanted to set up a meeting between us.
I told Peter we were leaving for Bali. He texted me when he got home, writing, “Maya will be in Bali when you are there!”
If that isn’t good karma, darlings, and the medicine man, and good fairy, I don’t know what is. Do you?
We met at our hotel. It turns out our hotels were five minutes away from each other, on Bali.
Maya and I bonded. We have a multigenerational friendship. We spoke about her tea. I learned so much. She traveled to China with her husband to see the tea fields where the flowers of tea are grown. Her love for her product is total. And, her story is like my story. We are passionate about what we do. We have purpose and know that ‘purpose takes years of germination.’ Good things take time and that is fine by us.
My young friend and I, along with our husbands, have plans for dinner in Chicago in the Spring. This is one of the quotes she recently sent to me: “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” –Budda
My Life Was Greatly Impacted
Three women impacted my life in Bali and beyond. It is interesting how the twists and turns of life bring different people together and how each of their beliefs and lifestyles influences one another. There have to be reasons. IS IT KARMA? COULD THERE REALLY BE A GOOD FAIRY OR THE MEDICINE MAN? I SAY, YES!
Do you believe in luck, in fate, in karma? Please share your thoughts with me via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest,Instagram or in the comments section below.
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* This story was updated on October 4, 2020