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6 Lessons from Nature to Inspire Our Daily Life

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The surf tour at Mermaids’ Beach, Great Ocean Road, Vic, Australia

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery; air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Thinking about what has been going on in my life, I would say that one of the best teachers to encourage me through the life journey, all the circumstances & twist paths is mostly the moment that took place in nature.

Went surfing in many wonderful spots around Bali and a few in Australia, went scuba diving in some spots around Indonesia, strolling the beaches in Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, went trekking with beautiful surroundings in Indonesia and Japan, all of them have left me feeling re-charged, happier, confident, balanced yet humble and tiny.

We all learn by exploring things on our own, reading stuff, receiving formal instructions from some experienced people and observing others. By interacting with others provides experiences that make us think, wonder, ask questions & grow.

But there is another powerful entity that can teach us how to live a more meaningful life. It’s the natural world. Not only to be able to observe and being amazed with what nature can offer to our eyes & soul, but it also can offer lessons for basic living about how to be calm and how to find balance during the life circumstances.

The problem these days is, since we have been occupied a lot with regular jobs that take most of our time and leave us tired & just wanted to do nothing for the rest of the free time, technology & pursuit things in the material world, we have forgotten that the world is out there to teach us.

We apparently don’t spend as much time outdoors as previous generations did. According to one of the surveys that I’ve read from theguardian.com , three-quarters of UK children spend less time outside, lack of green spaces and the lure of digital technology is leading youngsters to lead enclosed lives.

Here are some lessons I have observed from spending a lot of time outdoors;

Lesson #1 : We are very tiny & living in an unpredictable world. So let’s be humble. 

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Location: Rinca Island, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

When we reach the top of the hills or mountains, we notice that we are so tiny on this earth and the world is so big. Knowing that we can not do anything when natural disaster occurs as mother earth is very powerful. I have also learnt that not all questions have an answer. Anything could happen anytime, anywhere to anyone.

There are new challenges awaiting us around every single corner. All we can do is keep moving forward and do our best in every situation that occurs.

Lesson #2: We can’t control the situation but we can control ourselves and pick which ones to allow to get inside us. We learn how patience & persistence lead us to a better life.

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Location: Old Man’s Beach, Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

During surfing, we can not stop the waves from coming, but we can choose which ones to surf. When we are impatient & want everything to happen fast, we decide to surf the random wave which comes first. We might be able to ride it but it won’t be amazing, won’t be that smooth and it may leaves us feel disappointed and get tired at the end.

On the other hand, if we are trying to be patient, keep paddling persistently and wait until one of the best waves come, it will give us a different result. We may wait a little longer and when it finally comes, we paddle hard, catch it and there you go! Ride it out, it’s all yours and leaves you pleased and satisfied at the end. Sounds familiar with the real world? Yes I bet 🙂 We learn to persist, be patient & focus in order to reach our desire and final goal.

Lesson #3: Nothing stays the same/ Nothing is permanent yet embrace the changes.

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Location: Man-made Underwater Temples, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

I can correlate the real life with scuba diving activity. Why I choose to relate it with my scuba diving sesh? Well, I have learnt about unpredictable life during these sessions. Let’s take a look from the simplest case, I have gone diving to the same spots like twice or three times. Yes, it shows the same corals, same situations but different fishes and different look of the sea plants.

I couldn’t predict what fishes I was going to meet, will they be good looking? worth seeing? I might meet my favorite fishes such as clownfish, butterflyfish, sunfish, surgeonfish, lionfish, shark and so on. I also might won’t see them all but I may witness another fishes which offer the better look that I can’t even imagine before. And the worst scenario, I won’t see anything at all but just some regular small fishes.

Same as life, when we want something and putting our mind into it, we hope for the best, do our best and let the universe handle the rest. We nevertheless need to prepare and be ready to accept the worst case that may occurs. And also we often experience things which better than our original plans/ expectations.

So don’t worry that some days in your life might seem all over the place, you’ve tried this and that but nothing concrete to see yet as the result. That you feel uncertain between careers, relationship, future and everything. Nothing is permanent neither problems in your life as you will find the answer along the way. It’s the model given us by nature. Drink it down, gulp it up, ride it out! Things will get better eventually as long you don’t stop trying and keep the faith.

Lesson #4: Sense of direction.

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Island hopping in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

It is very easy to get lost in the beautiful outdoors. Nature will teach you to hold the clear images in your mind & keep track of where you are going. An example, we need to remember the sign, such as plants or building, right at the spot we enter the ocean to surf or to swim so we know where we will head back to the shore. As we know, once we enter the ocean, the strong current may drag us to another spot without we notice it. If that happens, we won’t be worry as we know where we come from.

Same as life, we need to be totally aware about who we are and where we come from. Once the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind or anything that may come near us, we don’t get easily influenced/ changed by the outside force as we know the way back to where we came from.

Lesson #5: There is a season and a right timing in everything.

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Location: Yarra Valley Winery, Victoria, Australia during Autumn

Nature never gives up to teach us there is a season and the right timing in everything. Sometimes in our life we want some certain things to happen fast right now. It is hard to wait a little longer for the outcome of our actions that we’ve been making and we expect results immediately.

But the really good things in life are not like our morning instant coffee! They take time, patience, persistence and efforts. In mother nature’s natural cycles, hot & light summer is followed by the chill & colorful changes autumn and cold of winter is followed by the blossoming beauty of spring. There is a season and a reason for everything in life.

If we did not have the cold winter, the wheat wouldn’t be able to grow strong. The seeds planted beneath the soil lie waiting patiently to flourish in the right season. By following the example of mother nature’s timing, we increase our own capacity to be patient. All good things come with time. There is the right and special time in our own life for every moment and achievement. Start the action and don’t stop believing!

Lesson #6: Love is all around us & every ending can often be beautiful.

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Location: Bingin Beach, Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia

When you wake up in the morning, go outside with a sense of appreciation for all you have been blessed with, take a walk, practice quieting the mind, focusing on your breath and really pausing to smell the ocean, stop by the stunning rice fields, if a bird catches your eyes, stop and enjoy the connection with the animal, experience the depth & the calm of the blue ocean, feel the wind blows the chilling breeze on our face and you will realise there is so much beauty & so much love all around us, even from the simple things in our environment.

By simply taking the time to appreciate nature, we will learn to love the world around us. When we allow ourselves to feel love for life itself, it opens up our heart to loving ourselves and others as well.

Even though the outdoors is not always a comfortable place, but when you can find a deeper comfort that comes from inside you, you’ll be able to feel home even in the rough wilderness. And at the end of the day, when the stunning sunset shows up during golden hours to leave us feeling amazed & grateful, it teaches us that every ending can often be beautiful.

So, the conclusion is, nature is my best teacher of life when I pay attention to it carefully. Just try to do the same and see how it slowly changes your life..

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The Day of Silence (Nyepi) for Land’s Purification

As we familiar with Earth Hour, a worldwide movement for the planet to turn off the lights for one hour which organized by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Balinese also have Nyepi Day (The Balinese New Year) on their Bali land. It is the day when you need to keep minimum lights or turn it off and reminds silent for 24 hours every once a year.

Every culture or religion all over the world has their own way to celebrate their new year. Such as, the Moslems have the Muharam year as their religion new year, The Chinese have Imlek or better known as “Gong Xi Fat Chai” as their new year celebration and most people around the world using the Gregorian calendar, which celebrates the New Year on the 1st of January. The same thing occurs in Bali. Nyepi is Balinese new year celebration, even tho Balinese also use Gregorian calendar as well for business purposes.

Nyepi is a day to keep the balance of nature surroundings. You won’t hear any noise at all, only birds singing and dogs barking. This is my 2nd Nyepi experience in Bali. Last year I was staying at The Breezes Bali Resort & Spa and spent the whole Nyepi there. This year, I stayed at home. It was a silent and dark night last night when I was in my balcony yet we saw the beautiful stars so clearly and we heard nothing but the dogs barked. We turned on the side table lights inside the house which were not exposed to the street and enjoyed my movies and my meals like normal days. What a peaceful evening..

Now, let’s talk about Nyepi celebration stages. Three day before Nyepi, Balinese does Melasti. This activity is to clean the statues as the symbol that help to concentrate the mind to be closer to the God in the water sources such as lake, river, etc.

One day before Nyepi, it called Tawur Kesanga. All Balinese does the ceremony, praying for the safety and also do the Ngerupuk parade and the Ogoh-ogoh (the monsters made by Balinese as the symbol of evil’s spirit) carnival. The Ogoh-ogoh monsters are surrounding our environment which have to be got rid of from our lives. The monsters will be carried around the land after sunset and be buried by the beach at the end. Its the symbol of land’s purification.

The Pajegan for ceremony in the afternoon. It is done oneday before Nyepi.

The Pajegan for ceremony in the afternoon. It is done oneday before Nyepi.

Ogoh-ogoh to be carried around the town.

Ogoh-ogoh to be carried around the town.

Then the next day is Nyepi Day where every street in Bali is very quiet. There are nobody doing their normal daily activities. Pecalangs (the traditional Balinese security man) control and check the street security. The Pecalangs’ job is to control the street and also to stop any activities that disturb Nyepi Day. No traffic is allowed at all, no cars, no people, and everyone has to stay in their own houses. Light is kept to a minimum or not at all, the radio or TV’s volume is turned down and nobody works on this day. Nyepi day starts from 6am until the next 6am (24 hours).

Today (one day after Nyepi Day) called Ngembak Geni. It is the day when the Balinese usually visit the relatives to forgive each other..

Basicly from the religion and the culture’s point of view, Nyepi Day is meant to be a day of self introspection and meditation to purify our heart. Nyepi day is one of the unique celebrations in Bali, most probably the biggest one yet has made Bali as the attractive island with its magnificent culture.

The beautiful young Balinese girls are ready for the ceremony before Nyepi Day.

The beautiful young Balinese girls are ready for the ceremony before Nyepi Day.

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I believe most of you have already known what is happening in Bali’s western shore. For these couple of weeks, monsoonal rains swept back the rubbish (especially indestructible plastic bags) to Bali’s iconic beautiful shores. It is caused by millions of waste thrown illegally by locals and tourists into Bali’s creeks which flow to the ocean. And it is getting worse year by year in rainy season.

Bali’s Governor takes it normally as a natural phenomenon that occurs in Bali every year, which is absolving anyone from guilt. And now, the environmental activists and campaigners have persisted a promise to ban plastic bags on the island if the petition successfully raise its target. The campaign in reduction the plastic usage needs to be taken seriously and aggresively.

This is what I saw last 2 weeks in Batu Bolong Beach, Canggu.

This is what I saw last 2 weeks in Batu Bolong Beach, Canggu.

The Good News Is..

If you notice, the total plastic bags usage is very huge in Indonesia. The supermarkets in Indonesia, mostly the leading ones, have already participated in the campaign which giving plastic groceries to the customers with the description “It can be destroyed by itself” with the type of plastic bag named Oxium. It will decompose by itself after 2 years instead of tousand years.

And also in some cosmetic & beauty shops, restaurants and cafe have started using recycle paper bags. I hope it will continue and spread wider everywhere..

Let’s hope things will be better in the near future. This case really seems have been spreading, awaken the people around and the action has been taken. Even 2 days ago I went to buy some groceries in a mini market nearby my house called Pepito. I was glad that I received the stuff with the destructible plastic bag sign on it. Another example is the spunbond material bag that I received when I bought a bikini from Ripcurl. Now can you imagine if every single shop in Bali using these kind of bags? Either it’s made of oxium plastic, cotton or spunbond..

BIASA Art Space also produced some groceries bags made by cottons written “Stop Using Plastic” and put the plastic bottle on the bag as a decoration. Creative and brilliant, isn’t it?

Let’s bring back Bali beauty, like the old times, together…

Interesting groceries bags by BIASA Art Space

Interesting groceries bags by BIASA Art Space

A prove that plactic bag's case has been taken care seriously.

A prove that indestructible plactic bag’s case has been started to be taken care seriously everywhere.

Environmental friendly spunbond bag by Ripcurl.

Environmental friendly spunbond bag by Ripcurl.

 

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A warning for all of us while scuba diving

“Mostly missing female divers were already found” said a colleague just now during the lunch time who is in charge for Nusa Lembongan activities. *but don’t get it wrong, the company who took those divers is NOT us 🙂 *

Going scuba diving is very fun! As an Advance Diver myself, I would love to advise you a little bit; make sure you check the current condition – you can ask the people around first and Mr. Google is quite informative as well, you should book it in the recognized Dive Center who has some professional guides (based on my own experience, the proper Dive Center will advise you where to dive on that day ‘coz they are always updated with the weather and current condition) and please..always listen to what your guide tell you and the last but not least, keep watching and following where your instructor goes especially when you are not familiar with the area at all, even if you are, remember the current might be coming anytime and you never know another unpredictable circumstances down there. That is why, it is really important to be with a professional guide who knows the area by heart while scuba diving.

Let’s say, this case wasn’t everybody’s fault. This fatal accident is a warning for all of us to be more careful when we go scuba diving. If you are not really sure or getting confused to go diving or not because of the unsupportive weather condition, it’s better to postpone it than to regret about it. However, it’s better to miss a chance than miss all the chance in your life because of the psychological trauma if anything happen, rite? Through this blog, I really hope everyone can be saved.. Let’s pray for them..

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