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I recently returned from a week in Bali. It’s the only time I’ve travelled over seas this year, but I did make this promise to myself 2 years ago that I would travel somewhere new each year.

As always, when ever I do travel somewhere new, my mind is constantly analysing and looking for lessons and ideas.

It’s hard to turn off although sometimes I wish I could!

I spent the week in Ubud, in the centre of the island of Bali. I’d never been to Bali before and there were quite a few things that surprised me.

Hi, I’m Liz Watt from Liz Watt.com and the Business Start Up program.

Temples, Temples Every Where!

The biggest thing that struck me was the amount of temples throughout the entire island. It wasn’t until a few days in that I fully understood that each family compound had their own temple.

Each member of the family would take time each day to pray.

Regularly. Consistently. Daily.

I’ve read a lot of “spiritual” stuff that talks about creating your own altar or space for ritual – for meditation, journaling or whatever it is for you that allows you to connect to something bigger.

But the whole concept of a dedicated temple as a building in your own home took this to a whole different level.

Now, whatever you think about religion and spirituality, put that to the side for a moment.

I am by no means religious (although interested in many religious philosophies) and my spirituality is certainly in it’s infancy.

However, what I loved was the idea that a dedicated temple in the home placed such a high emphasis on stopping, slowing down, contemplating and connecting – both to your self and to something bigger.

This ritual becomes a part of daily life and a non-negotiable.

What’s better for the soul – a dedicated, beautifully ornate temple for one to go inside, contemplate and connect…

Or a dedicated entertainment room with a big-screen TV, for one to shut off and be distracted by action, noise, and nonsense…

Sometimes I think we’ve got out priorities round the wrong way…

The Open House!

I can’t get away from my architectural and design background, because the second thing I noticed was the whole integration of work, life and play in the traditional home.

So often I would wander into a café or a shop or a spa where kids were running round your feet, or the owners were sitting chatting on the back step, or the shop front backed onto the home.

The boundaries between work and life and play were often so blurred.

Guest houses shared kitchens and bathrooms with the families. I stepped into a spa for a foot massage and was seated across the open courtyard from a bunch of teenagers laughing in their open lounge room.

There are very few walls, literally. Sure, there’s privacy…you’re not going to shower naked in the courtyard, or maybe you will…

But there’s few boundaries between rooms, let alone between dedicated “office” or work space and the home.

A toddler running through a shop is gorgeous, not “unprofessional.” And grandma preparing dinner through a doorway is just what it’s supposed to be.

What it means is that you can create your life AND your work in a way that works for you and your family – not based on someone else’s rules.

And there’s nothing really wrong with that.

Every One’s An Entrepreneur

The third thing I noticed is that every one’s an entrepreneur.

Every one.

Every one’s got a deal or something to sell.

Artists. Silver smiths. Farmers. Taxi drivers. Tour guides.

Sure, there’s people working in businesses – hotels, factories, cafes. There’s people working FOR other people.

But, as a general rule, there’s a lot less really big organizations providing ongoing, full-time work. Even when you work for someone else, things get quiet in the low season.

So every one’s got some kind of a side deal.

The taxi-driver who’s building a business for his wife from the front room so she can look after the kids.

The schoolteacher who’s really a painter and sells incredibly detailed paintings from his driveway.

There’s a lot of people who have creating ways of making money AND are endeavoring to turn their passions into a business.

Sometimes a job really is just a means to an end…and that’s okay, as long as you make space for the stuff that counts…

Is all I’m saying.

So What?

I liked Bali. I think I’d go back, given the chance. But then, there’s so many other places to explore.

I guess my biggest take away is that they make space for things that matter.

People are doing what they have to do, but they seem to be having a lot more fun while they do it. They are a lot more relaxed.

It’s important to have a roof over your head and food on the table.

I put to you, where are you placing money and security in your life. How many other things are dropping off and falling by the way side. And what do you need to do to bring them back up and make them a priority in your life?

XXX

Liz Watt

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