My 39th Year: How the worst bout of Gastro led me to Bali

My 39th Year: How the worst bout of Gastro led me to Bali

I am writing this blog whilst sitting in a cosy Balinese French café with a calm buzz about it.

Drinking a flat white and avo toast that cost me barely what parking would cost me in New Plymouth. Now I don’t write this to be smug about it (Yeah, I see you) but I honestly feel that my last year has been leading up to this moment so I thought I would fill you in on what’s been happening behind the scenes….

I turned 39 on January 26th, 2022 and I bought myself a gift.

I very rarely do this but for some reason, this felt weirdly purposeful. I remember I was with my girls on school holidays and seeking salvation in Public Catering with my 2nd coffee of the day and carbed goods when I saw the popup Moana Ringcraft shop in the Westend Precinct. I purchased a ring called The Wave and I fell in love with it on the spot. I ordered my size and there it has stayed on my right ring finger ever since.

I remember telling myself that I would wear this to remind me to ‘ride the wave’ especially as we had just been through a particularly tough time without family support over the summer.

Skip forwards a month and we had a massive dynamic shift in our family. 

This was needed but also brought with it some tough mental processes.

We held our breath, held hands, and jumped and I have never once regretted this decision. The ring was rubbed A LOT during this time as we tried to ‘ride the wave’. Sometimes coasting with ease as if on a beautiful clear wave and then sometimes being thrown into the water and tumbling not knowing which way was up. We rode that wave as a family with the support and love of our friends and family.

It came to Winter season and in came the bugs.

On the back of the second surge of Covid, these bugs seemed somewhat even more harsh and it involved our girls being sick a lot but thanks to our new dynamic, this became a blessing in disguise and we were able to cope.

However, then came The Gastro. Now if you know me, you will know I CAN NOT DEAL WITH GASTRO. As a family, we have been scarred by this before and that moment came when I was once home alone with both children under 4, holding the hair out of my eldest’s face whilst she proceeded to spew into a bowl and I then promptly shit my pants on the couch as I couldn’t leave her. These were dark times, my friends. Dark. Times.

Indeed. I digress… this Gastro bug had done the rounds and was an extra special doozy as it appeared to have a longer incubation period so just when you think we escaped, it hit one of us. The last one was me almost 3 weeks later. 

Now I understand you may be thinking, what the hell has this got to do with Bali but bear with me here….

This Gastro bug was THE worst thing I had ever experienced and I have had a LOT of gastro. This had me writhing in agony, literally on all fours on the floor as I could not get comfortable in any other way in the bed. I may have grabbed pockets of sleep but that was all.

The best way I can describe it is like a Kambo experience (IYKYK but for those that don’t, Kambo is when you voluntarily take in poisonous frog secretion usually through the skin, and then have an experience. It’s not pretty and often includes no filter of secretions leaving your body but people claim to feel that they have truly detoxed and purged their systems of toxins afterward. I’m not here to judge but it’s not my jam).

So here I was ‘kambo-ing’ through my gastro experience and then I finally fell asleep wearing pj’s, dressing gown and heated blanket on in my bed. I woke at midnight with the fever trying to escape my body like a boiling jug releasing steam. It was at this moment I had an apparition of the word Receive.

I am aware of how bonkers this sounds but nonetheless, this is what happened. It dawned on me that I have spent a large amount of my time and energy giving to others and I appear to be depriving myself of receiving. I almost physically block it out, like I am not worthy or that I have to earn this right to receive.

This is what I believe was a wake-up call from my female lineage. A long line of people-pleasers that this narrative no longer serves.

From then on, I decided to make a conscious shift towards being open to receiving.

Whether this was receiving a compliment and accepting it (not refusing it as women often do or feeling so awkward that they then feel that they have to reciprocate and compliment the other person) or being more open to asking for help and admitting when I’m struggling.

This was NOT easy for me but together with others’ help (if you want to know who then let me know and I can hook you up) I wrote my own positive affirmations and the common thread of these were along the lines of:

“I am open to abundance and receiving love. I am more important than healing others. I am only responsible for my piece of the puzzle. I embrace the Divine Feminine and trust my own intuition.

So, now scroll forwards to December and I receive a text message.

Would you like to teach on a Yoga Teacher Training in Bali? Of course, I thought this was a prank at first but then it was soon revealed that it was in fact a real offer.

I accepted in principle and then was told to wait for the email confirmation.

January came and no email arrived. Self-doubt began and I felt torn between chasing it up and trying to dismiss that this was not meant for me. Eventually, I was getting myself in such a mess that I said (out loud to myself because that’s what I do. I even speak to my dog when I leave the house like she is going to reply) Stop it! You are just going to have to trust the process Emma and if this is meant for you, it will likely arrive as a gift on your birthday.

Roll on 26th January 2023, I kid you not the first email I opened on my 40th birthday read: “Welcome Emma, we would like to extend an invitation to you to teach…..” 

Holy fucking shit.

So that brings me full circle (see what I did there 😉) to why I am now sitting in a Balinese French café now on my second flat white.

Why am I writing this? If anything I find it quite therapeutic to write like this and I literally have nothing else to do on a rainy day in Bali but another reason is that this is one of the main themes I see in clinic on a daily. Women finding it hard to prioritise themselves and open to receiving.

Whether it be asking for help when they are struggling or prioritising themselves as they would do for any of their closest girlfriends if they asked them to. Now, I am just learning and I still find it hard if I’m honest but what I have learned in my 39th year is that if we are open to abundance and receiving, if we lean into this and trust the process, we are then open to opportunities that may otherwise pass us by.

If you’ve made it to the end of this then I congratulate you as it is long but I will leave you with this. 

There is a 420 trillion chance that you are here on this planet at this time (you figure this out if you calculate the amount of sperm in men on the planet.. gross but true) so make it count.

Try to lean into your intuition and ask what YOU want to do today even if it is just what you want to eat and engage with your left side of your body (your feminine energy) and be open to receiving that compliment or asking for help when it is offered. Who knows what opportunities it may bring….. maybe a holiday to Bali???

What if everything you have been through is leading you to experience what you are meant to in this moment.

E x