Kindled Mind: When the amigdala meets the neocortex while on a sabbatical in Paradise
How long can a fidgety entrepreneur-born mind rest still before kindling, when facing a bright new empty page full of exciting opportunities, even when being on a self-indulged sabbatical in paradise?
The answer is crystal clear: no more than 2 weeks in a row, in my case.
So well, I was going to take this easy. Shut down my business-little-stall back home, pack my suitcase with light clothes and some bikinis, load my kindle e-book with all these not too hard to read fiction novels and hit flat on paradise on my rubber flip-flops, for good, until September.
But yeah! As they say, plans are made to be changed and it didn’t take me long to face the fact that my always curious and rambling mind was not ready to go muted for so long.
My first contact with Bali was Seminyak. They say it’s kind of the up-scaled beach place in the island, where you find all these nice resorts and expensive shops, away from the buzz and cheap loud-surf-party-like tourism in Kuta. I’ve to say I wasn’t much impressed. Coming from one of the most exclusive beach-corners on Earth (namely Costa Brava), it’s not that easy to get me fall for coastal sceneries, good food or fancy tourism places.
Anyways, after having met Wendy and Wayne, these super friendly aussies, down the road while asking for directions to the “best Brunch in town” (which we happened to end up having together), I moved to Ubud. I’ve heard so much “magic” about it that I couldn’t wait!
My first impression was disappointment. I found Ubud to be noisy, polluted and with far too much traffic. This could not be the place my dear like-minded friend Cristina had gone head over heels for, a year ago … what was I missing?
Knowing by experience that new places tend to create a fake illusion that fades away with time, as you sink into it, I granted the small-city a second chance to create a positive “first” (or second) impression on me. As days passed and I met new people, one more cool and chilled out than the one that followed, I got Ubud to grow sweet under my skin. Oh My!
One fine day I just knew I wanted to move here and leave behind my crazy-whirlpool-like life back home. Not that I don’t like Girona and my beloved Catalonia, not that I wouldn’t be missing my friends and family bad; only that it’s come to a point where it does not make sense anymore to me, to do what I was doing. But this is no news, I guess, as that is the main reason I am here, in the first place.
So, once I came to that idea, my until-then-relaxed mind switched on abruptly. “Ok girl! So, you say we wanna move here, right?. Sure thing!! Let’s figure out how we are going to make this work out. Guess you need me now and here I am, ready to serve you. And well, you know me, right? So be very careful what you wish for …” ( and “she” gives me this wicked canny smile which, to some extend, makes me uneasy …)
I had been skipping visiting the Hubud-Coworking Space since I arrived, as I somehow guessed such a place would get my neurons triggered. Being an entrepreneur, on your own, is hard enough when planning to silence and quieter your mind. The minute you get your grey matter to synch vibes with fellow entrepreneurs, the noise gets unmanageable and there is only that much you can do as surrendering to your psyched-up sudden mood.
I didn’t even have a piece of paper or a pen on me when lightning stroke me. I was at this my usual breakfast cushy place called Bali Buda, on Jalan Jembawan, 5 minutes walk the lovely place I recognize as home these days. I asked one of the friendly staff people if I could borrow something to write on. “Sure”, she said (with this captivating smile Balinese people master so proficiently), and she brought me two pieces of A4 paper sheets, with children drawings to paint on one side (butterflies, geckos, etc.), together with a weaved little basket, filled with color pencils. I couldn’t have wished for a better option. I loved it, right there!
I sank into my thoughts and let my right hand freely pick up the colors and write whatever idea / thought crossed my mind. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would’ve call what I went into, a pure state of “flow”. By the time I unburied my head (and sight) from the paper, I had two full pages of “projects” I could start working on, in order to make money that allowed me to live in Paradise.
And so I did get hands on on my desire.
First stop, go to a Hubud free event and make do to meet the founders. I got infatuated with the place and the vibes swinging around at second 3 of my arrival. As Steve Munroe puts it in the TEDx Talk he gave in Barcelona just last February (“Put more life into your work”), Ubud thrives with “The most talented crew of unemployed people I’ve ever met”. Also, like he says of himself when arriving in Ubud, “I was almost late to the party”; not being the only CEO fleeting home, taking a sabbatical, in order to think creatively and to find a higher purpose to my talents and expertise.
And it was doomed to happen: my spell neurons shot free tones of neurotransmission chemicals which frantically rushed into a lunatic synapse spree I haven’t got rid of yet.
They say where there is a will there is a way. I will find the way. And for those who don’t believe me, just take a comfortable sit, relax, and watch me 😉