Three and a half years ago, I realized I needed a radical life change. I didn’t have a career I loved, I didn’t have friendships who inspired me, I wasn’t in a relationship that fulfilled me, I didn’t have a true home or community. I knew there was more to life- that you could have all these things- but knew that I needed to make some major shifts to get there. So I bought a one-way ticket to Bali and this is what happened next to bring me where I am today.
Follow my journey to INDIA this month on Instagram @IAmSaharaRose
Stay tuned on my email list iamsahararose.com
5 Elements Shamanic Dance Activation Training: www.inmyelements.com
Balinese Homestay: omunitybali.com
Intro + Outro Music: Silent Ganges- Maneesh de Moor
Discover your Dharma with my free quiz at https://iamsahararose.com/
Episode 041- How Leaving Everything and Moving to Bali Saved My Life
By Sahara Rose
Namaste. It’s Sahara Rose, and welcome back to the “Highest Self” podcast, a place where we discuss what makes you your soul’s highest evolvement. Today I posted a picture of myself on Instagram of me in front of this beautiful waterfall in Bali. And really I was just looking for a picture to post on Instagram today, and I realized I hadn’t posted a picture of me in a long time. So you know, when you go through all your photos to try to find a picture of you, and if you’re anything like me, you take like a new picture of yourself like once a year. So I’m like, “Oh, I have no pictures of me.”
And I found this one of me in Bali, and it was about three and a half years ago. And I looked at it, and it just brought back so many memories of just where I was at that point in time, and you know, behind a picture there’s a thousand words and a thousand stories, and who you were at that person is almost nothing like who you are now. So I posted up that picture on my Instagram, iamsahararose, and I share it a little bit about my story, and what was going on at that time in my life.
And I’ve received an amazing response of so many people saying that my story inspired them, and they want to learn more, and so many of them seek to do a similar thing, and don’t really know how it’s done. And just want to learn a little bit more about my journey of how I got here besides the recent stuff of writing the book, but more on a spiritual sense of how I got to, you know, speaking about these things, and even this point of evolvement, because I obviously was not born enlightened or still am not enlightened. I was not born spiritual, I was not born in a spiritual family. I do not come from a lineage of gurus. I do not come from anything like that. I was just a normal kid. And I wanted to share a little bit about my story about how I got here, and especially at this point in my life, which was really the crossroads, the make or break and the very months that really shattered my identity of who I was and made me who I am now.
So I went to Boston University, and after I graduated, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I majored in international relations, and at the same time, I studied sport science, I got certified in sports nutrition. I did Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and I did a raw nutrition course with David Wolfe. So I was studying nutrition and wellness in my free time, but my degree was in IR because originally when I started to study for university I wanted to be an international human rights lawyer.
So I actually first went to George Washington University in DC because they had the best international affairs school, and I was really excited to be accepted in that. And I shared this in other episodes, but after working in various NGOs and nonprofits, I realized that I wanted to be working more hands on with people. I didn’t want to be just raising money for the next fundraiser, but I wanted to be on the ground helping people because I’ve started volunteering when I was, you know, about 12 years old, but I began going on actual trips overseas to volunteer with nonprofits when I was 15.
So my first trip was I lived in a prison in Costa Rica and I was helping the orphans, the children whose moms were incarcerated, and they had nowhere to go. So I was living in the prison with them, I later went to Nicaragua, I was building preschools in a really rural area where the average income per month is $9. I went to Thailand and Vietnam, I worked with rice farmers, I taught workers rights to victims of agent orange, which is the chemical the used in the Vietnam War. So blind, mute, deformed people, children with special needs. I went to Peru to Cusco and I was working at an orphanage there, which was really traumatic because most of those kids had been severely abused when they were left. So really my whole life I’ve known I wanted to help people, and I want to do it hands on.
So I went to college, I studied international relations, I realized that I didn’t want to be working for a big world big organization or UN, so I didn’t know what I was going to do. And that brought a lot of turmoil into my life because I was kind of graduating with no job, no career path, nothing. So after I graduated, I went to Zimbabwe, Africa, and I was volunteering teaching English at this woman who housed various street children. I was teaching in Zimbabwe for some time, and after Zimbabwe I went back to India, I started going to India, volunteering teaching health and sanitation in the slums while I was in college.
So when I went back to India, I figured this time I would probably move to India. I had spent so much time there, I knew a lot about the culture, and I wanted to see maybe I could just live the rest of my life in India. If I lived in India, then I could, you know, volunteer full time, I could help people, I could really make a huge impact there. You know, there’s so much destitution and need in India. So I head on over to there and I spent my first full year in India.
So while I was in India, I realized that living in India’s a lot harder than I ever could have expected. So I was really isolated in India, I didn’t really have many friends, I you know, even though I knew so much about the community, I just never really felt a part of it. I was living with an Indian family, but it was just hard. I missed like, you know, my freedom. I missed being able to go outside, being able to take a walk in the park. In India I always needed to be with someone, I needed to have a man take me somewhere, I needed someone to drive me somewhere. It was never safe. And I hated that, I really felt like a caged bird trapped in a beautiful, beautiful home, but trapped. And I wanted to explore and enjoy life, and you know, be with the people because that’s always what I’ve been like.
So after that year in India, I knew I really needed to leave. And at this time, I was studying Ayurveda, I was writing this book, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to go anywhere, if it was just kind of a hobby. This is not “The Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda,” this is the “Eat Right For Your Mind Body Type” book, which is the book that I just started writing when I started studying Ayurveda, that was just coming through, but I didn’t have a publisher, I didn’t have an agent. I didn’t know anything about the book-writing process.
So I was spending all my time kind of writing this book, but you know, obviously not making money doing it. I was health coaching online, but it wasn’t really enough for it to be a full-time thing. I was just sort of doing like various jobs that I could find. Whether it’s like selling pants, or you know, working at a festival, or whatever I could. And after some time in India, for the first time I became really sick. And normally in India, I have a very strong stomach, so India you know, I got sick as a raw vegan, but I never really got sick from the Indian food. For the first time I became really, really sick. And for probably two weeks I didn’t leave my bed.
And I was just so miserable, so lonely, and just really like hitting this like rock bottom of like I don’t know what I’m doing in life, I don’t even know why I’m here, I have no friends, no family around me, I don’t even know where I want to be. It’s not like I have a place that I want to go. I just don’t know, I don’t have a home. I was just so used to vagabonding and just living out of my suitcase, but you know when you live that lifestyle you don’t really formulate long term relationships. So you know, like even the friends that I had in college I almost had kept them at an arm’s length distance because I knew I was going to leave again. And I had a dog in college, and I also gave him to my roommate because I knew I was going to go to Africa.
So this traveling, you know you really hit this high, but then you also hit this low when you come back, and it’s just like everyone was going on with their lives, and you’re just kind of starting from scratch and not really sure where to turn. I was in a relationship at this time with an Indian, and it wasn’t fulfilling me at all. I just didn’t feel like we were intellectually at the same place, spiritually at the same place. It just wasn’t, you know, I knew in the core of my heart that this isn’t right, but since it had been going for so many years, I just figured like oh, well whatever, like maybe this is just what relationships are like. Just, you know, okay.
So I realized like this is just not how I want to live my life. Like I’m just kind of in this like lukewarm like okay, this will do in every aspect—career, family, love, relationships, friendships, community. Everything was just like meh, okay. But nothing was really setting my heart on fire. So I knew I needed a drastic change, I knew that there was a life, a possibility that I could be, you know, doing something that I loved, and making money, and being in a committed relationship with someone who, you know, really sets my soul on fire. And I knew this existed, but I wasn’t living that way.
So I decided that the only thing I can do is just strip myself from everything and go somewhere to just clear my head and figure things out, and figure out what I really want. Because I wasn’t even sure what I wanted because I was so confused, so many people were giving me opinions, and advice, but I didn’t even know my own truth, I wasn’t able to differentiate what was other people’s versus what was my own.
So something was calling me to go to Bali. Had never been to Bali, but something about it just seemed so amazing, so magical. Just how lush and green everything is, and I knew it was a Hindu island, very spiritual place, and I really just felt called to go there. So from India I bought a one-way ticket to Bali, and I wasn’t sure how long I would stay. I thought, you know, the worst thing that could happen is I could leave after two weeks and come back, or I can stay longer, but really, nothing’s holding me back. And if I don’t do this now, when am I going to do this?
So I bought my ticket to Bali, and I go over there. And I remember the first day, being by this beach, beautiful beach in South Bali, and I just wanted to run, literally just starting running, running, running. And I just started, and I normally don’t like to run, and I just ran, and I ran, and I ran, and it was this feeling of just being so free of like nothing is holding me back. And then also mixed with this sense of sadness of wow, no one knows me here. Like if I got hurt, if I got injured, if something happened, like no one knows who I am. So it was this amazing high of no one knows who I am, this is incredible, versus I’m kind of scared that no one knows who I am and I could get in trouble, no one’s going to come save me.
So I started traveling in Bali, and my friend came for the first two weeks, which was amazing because I got to go to different places with her, we got to kind of like, you know, see the landmarks and stuff. So I kind of got settled in this Bali way of life, and her two weeks were up, and she was going to head back, and she’s like, “Well, what are you going to do?” I’m like, “I don’t know. I think I’m going to stay.”
So I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t have a plan, and I found this AirBnB, which was in the northern part of Bali by the Gitgit waterfall, which is not on the tourist path at all. This is about three hours drive into the jungle where there’s no cell phone service, there’s no Wi-Fi, there’s none of that. And it was an AirBnB with a local Balinese family. Beautiful family who now have created a gorgeous AirBnB space called OMunity, which you guys should definitely go visit. But at this time, it was just them. And I go and I’m just living with this Balinese family, and there’s no tourists there, there’s no foreigners there, no one there speaks English. Like the host mom could, you know, kind of speak English, but definitely no one else in the community could. And I just stayed there.
And you know, during the day I would teach English to the kids, I would go to the morning markets with them, which were at 4:00 in the morning, and I would teach them how to, you know, use their produce. They had beautiful cacao and avocados and fruits, and I would teach them how to make like healthy recipes. Like oh, did you know you could combine this cacao, and this palm sugar, and this avocado to make a mousse?
And you know, I was teaching them healthy recipes so they really loved that, and I was studying with the grandmother, she was an herbal medicine healer, and I was studying herbal medicine with her. She did not speak any English, and we would just go into the jungle and pick beautiful green leaves, and mash them together on a stone like brick and mortar pestle, and we would just take them. And her daughter-in-law would kind of translate like, “Oh, this is for curing cancer. Like this is for curing Alzheimer’s.”
And it was amazing because actually pharmaceutical companies have come to that exact jungle because these herbs are so potent, and they take extractions of them to create pharmaceutical medications based off of them. So it was insane to see like wow, there are cures to cancer, and Alzheimer’s’, and various diseases. And that’s why these diseases don’t exist in that part of the world, and in these beautiful very farm-to-table communities.
So I was just living there, and one day I was hiking in the waterfall, and I was looking down, and suddenly my phone fell out of my pocket. So my phone fell into the water, and I picked it up, and it was instantly dead, like no chance. I put it in rice, I took the batteries out, I did everything. There’s obviously no Apple store near me. And I’m like, “Shit, like now my phone is dead and I have no way of communicating with the outside world.” And that really brought up a lot of panic to me because you know, traveling is one thing, but traveling with not being able to contact anyone is another.
So I was able to call my parents with their phone and tell them what was happening, and obviously, they freaked out, they were demanding to me to leave, they didn’t even understand what was I doing by myself in a jungle in Bali with a Balinese family. So there was a lot of turmoil going on with my family at that time. They were not even happy with my trip, and just a lot of chaos and just bad energy between us.
But I was able to, if there was any emergency, I could call them if someone happened, but I didn’t have my own phone. At this time Instagram was kind of new, I was Instagramming, so and I was like, “How are people going to remember me if I’m not posting on Instagram? Everyone’s going to forget about me.” And it kind of brought up these like fears of like yeah, if you’re not posting, people will forget about you, and just the ego still being tied to people knowing you.
So losing my phone was the best thing that could have ever happened to me because it took me out of this creating this experience for other people to see, taking pictures, taking a video. It was no longer about that. This was just me going in and no distractions, no texts to answer to, no social media to check. Because really what social media we’re receiving so much feedback, we’re receiving so much outside noise that it really detracts from us from being able to go in.
So there I was alone with my thoughts and no music to listen to. I didn’t have anymore books to read, I had one book with me, it was “Perfect Health” by Deepak Chopra. I read that book a hundred times, I didn’t have anything new to listen to. It was just me alone in my thoughts with no one around me to speak English in a Balinese jungle living out of a bamboo hut, just being literally the most human I had ever been before.
And I felt this incredible sense of freedom and just really like remembering like oh my god, like this is what life is meant to be about. And I ended up spending four months in Bali. I moved eventually from that village, I went down to Ubud, which is a town that has a lot of yoga and spirituality. And then I lived with another Balinese family there. And in Ubud there are yoga classes, and there’s a lot of spiritual and personal development workshops. But really where I truly changed my mindset was in those moments by myself, those months in that rainforest. Because so much of what we think we know is really just other people’s stories that we’ve latched onto.
And I think of it like a file cabinet in my mind, and I literally had so much time to myself and just stillness. With you know, nothing to distract me, whether it’s a song, or a book, or a show, nothing. Even a person to bounce back ideas to. So you sort of would be going through all the thoughts in your head, and you know, I would go back to where was I last year, January, February, March, going to every month of my life. And I did this with every month and every year of my life just going back to what happened to me.
My entire life and reliving these stories, and then thoughts started coming to me of like oh my god, like remember when I was six years old, and you know, I was like walking, I get a tomato, and I fell, and then I thought it wasn’t safe. And all of these memories that I realized I had but had never really thought about again because I’ve just been too busy to think about it, you know. No one’s really thinking about what happened to them when they were six years old on a daily basis. But when you’ve run out of thoughts to think, you’re like, “Hm, what else do I have in this brain of mine?”
So I began rethinking everything. And then in that rethinking process I realized that so much of it was a story that I had attached to it. For example, falling and thinking it’s not safe, or you know, even seeing other people’s relationships. Your family, your parents’ marriage, and reframing your own relationships based off of it. So like a file cabinet, I went through all of the thoughts in my head. And I sort of reorganized them. And you know, it’s like do I really want to think that way? Like is that true or is this just a story that I’m creating about it?
And that was the most immense healing I could have ever done because I didn’t know. I didn’t realize that I was holding onto so many things. I thought like, “Oh, I’m fine. I don’t have any traumas. Like I’m good.” But we all do, every single person. And a trauma doesn’t have to be something like disastrous but it could be something very simple like a kid making fun of you in school and your mind could have registered that as a trauma. So all traumas, you know, are registered in the mind the same way, no matter how strong of a magnitude it was. So the only way you can kind of rewire those thoughts is if you can relive it, and you know, rewrite the story essentially.
So I did that, I was in Bali, I had saved up enough money before from health coaching, and when I went back to Ubud, I had the internet, so I started health coaching again. So that’s basically how I paid for myself. While I was in the rainforest, at first I was paying the AirBnB fees, which weren’t a lot. But then after like a few weeks, I just asked them if I could do a work trade where I taught English to the kids, and I helped them around the house, I helped them like cook, and you know, help with their website and things like that. And in return, I could stay and eat there for free.
So we had that arrangement going, which was amazing. And when I got back to Ubud I paid about $10 a night was my rent. And I had a great—I had my own room in this Balinese host family’s amazing little guest house. And my food probably cost $4 or $5 a day. So it wasn’t that much, like if I could just make $1,000 a month, I was good. Which now, you know, is like just enough to pay for your food maybe. So the living costs in Bali are a lot, a lot, a lot less.
So for those of you who say like, “Oh, I don’t have the money to go to Bali,” you don’t need to stay in nice hotels. Like what I recommend doing is just getting there and then just going and staying in a guest house. Any village that you go to, any city whatever has guest houses at their Indonesian people’s homes. That they’re about, you know, they can go as low as $4 a night, up to you know, maybe $20 a night if you’re a tourist and they can tell. But if you’re paying as I was, month to month, then you can get around $10 a night. So and this is not like a really like shitty place. Like this is a fine clean room. It’s basic, it doesn’t, you know, have AC, or your shower is just like it’s not really a shower, it’s just kind of part of a thing, there’s no hot water, but these things are not necessary.
So I just lived this basic life, and in that I rethought everything who I was, and after a few months, things got really bad with my family that they were just really scared for me. They thought that I had just gone off the deep end, and you know, joined a cult or something. Because I was telling them like, “Oh, I went and did this like waterfall ritual with this shaman, then he like held my head under water as I was like releasing negative energy,” because water rituals are very common in Bali, and I actually loved doing that. But you know, telling my parents this, who didn’t understand what was going on was really alarming for them. Understandably so, you know, it sounds weird when I say it out loud, but when it’s happening to you, you just want to share, you know, with your family. And I’ve always been someone who I don’t hide anything. Like I would rather tell them like yeah, I’m with the shamans in Bali, than hide it. So I was telling them, but at the same time I was really scaring them.
So in Bali, eventually I met this woman Malaika, who I’ve talked about before, who is a full power shaman, lived in Africa, studied in the Amazon, very, very authentic and truly in her power. And I met her and I started taking her African dance classes, I would go to her shamanic dance rituals, I did a cacao shiva shakti balancing ceremony with her. And she became a teacher to me. So I started to kind of like work trade under her as well, so I could learn from her. And I ended up doing her teacher training program, which is called “Five Elements Shamanic Dance Activation.” And I can post the link to that, too.
So I did her facilitator training, which was full power. It’s for shamanic dance activation, which is a sort of like dance meditation connecting with the elements, but very, you know, you’re dancing through a lot of emotions. So that was a lot more releasing of just getting to, you know, where am I holding onto this guilt, this you know, this need. And I realized that my need that was drawing me my whole life was my need for my parents’ approval.
And it’s interesting because before I went to Bali, I visited a shaman here in Los Angeles, James Hyman, and when he put me on his bed, he was like, “You know your parents love you, right?” And I was like, “Yeah?” And he was like, “You already have their approval.” And for some reason, I just started hysterically crying. And he was like doing all this like kind of like activation shamanic work, and I could feel my eyelid just like twitching. And I was just crying, crying, crying like I’ve never cried before. And then I just took a sigh, [inhaling, exhaling] and I just let go. And I felt a lot lighter after that.
But I didn’t realize like that was something that I really was holding onto. So in that Five Elements Dance Activation I realized it was still more of just like, you know, wanting to be the perfect daughter. Like my whole life wanting to get good grades, wanting to satisfy my parents, wanting to them be proud of me. And I think a lot of us, you know, we want to do that. It’s just actually very normal child thing to do. Of you know, the child needs the approval of the parents, or the parents will give him or her love. That’s actually how we were wired, but the thing is to grow and to evolve we have to go through this process which they have engrained in every ancient culture of separating yourself from your family.
So you know, in the aboriginal culture the young boys when they turn 13 they’re sent into the jungle, and they’re like, “You gotta fend for yourself and we’ll see you if you make it back.” But these initiations are part of every culture, and we’ve kind of let go of them now. So it’s interesting because a lot of us, you know, we just keep living to get our parents’ approval, but then we realize that we’re still living our lives for their approval and we’re choosing jobs that they would want. And we’re doing everything based off of what would make them happy instead of living in our own truth.
And our parents, as much as they love us, they don’t always know what is best for us. Because they grew up in a different paradigm, they grew up in a different time. There were different possibilities, a lot of them had to face struggle, whether it’s immigration, or poverty, or whatever else. So they don’t see things the same way as us. There was no internet. The world was a really different place. So we have to understand that when they give advice, they’re coming from where they are at, which is not where we are at. So if we don’t have this initiation, this breaking free form needing their approval. We’re going to be living our lives based off of their truths, which is not the absolute truth. Do you guys understand?
So I realize that, and as this was going on I was feeling more free, feeling more in my power and realizing like yes, it is a possibility for me to publish this book. Yes, it is a possibility for me to make money being an author, because I was always told like being an author is like being a starving artist, it’s one in a million. And it was a thought that I had put on. Like yeah, I’m never going to make it as an author, like who do I think I am, J.K. Rowling? Like no way.
So I was, you know, trying to find other paths, even though what I wanted to do was straight in my face. Of course I want to write, that’s what I’m good at. Of course I want to speak, that’s what I’m good at. But I was told like, oh if you want to write, then you gotta write, you know, marketing copy for a company. If you want to speak, then you gotta go be a lawyer. Like I was put in these frames. I remember I would tell my parents like, “Oh, like I love doing this.” And they’re like, “Oh great, you should go get a job doing that for someone else.” But it was never a possibility of like, “Oh, you could market yourself. You could speak for yourself. Like can be the brand.” That was never a possibility.
So in my head I told myself it was impossible when it’s not, because I’m living it now. So I realized this, but at the same time, things were really, really rocky with my parents, and it was hard for me to you know, like concentrate and be fully in Bali and write my book, and do all these things I wanted to do when like every single day was like the hardest e-mails to read of just like my mom being so sad, and so disappointed, and so scared for me.
And after four months I realized I can’t be here like living my life in peace when I’m causing so much harm for my family. And I just felt sad, and I felt guilty, and guilt is a very low vibration feeling. Looking back on it now, I really shouldn’t have felt those things because I wasn’t doing anything that was selfish or wrong, that was a picture they were painting for me. It’s not selfish to live your own life, it’s not selfish to choose what country you want to live in. But at that time, I still wasn’t there. So I still felt bad, and I still felt like I owed it to them to, you know, be around whereas I didn’t.
So after I finished that training I went back. And when I went back I realized that my life was never going to be the same. So you know when you come back from a long trip, let’s say you studied abroad, or you volunteered somewhere, you come back, and it’s just like, “Oh my god,” like you’re seeing your life with a whole new lens. So think of that to the maximum. I just came back from freaking the jungle, and I’m back in Boston in the winter. And I’m living with my parents because I don’t know where I’m going to go next, and I know I need to heal this relationship with them, and I don’t know how.
And at the same time, I found out that this guy I was dating had been cheating on me. So that was a beautiful wake-up call. So that relationship ended, I came back, I had no friends at all, no community, no job. And was totally isolated on my own from the highest high, living in Bali, going to ecstatic dance, drinking my green smoothies, to living with my parents, broken up with, cheated on, no friends, nothing.
And it was like the highest of high to the lowest of low. And every time I would talk to my parents, it would be a horrible, screaming fight. And they were always like, “What’s your plan? What job are you going to get? No more of this bumming around.” Because of them, you know, writing a book was just like I was singing, you know, “Kumbaya” to a tree. Like they just thought I was wasting time.
So it was so hard to stand in my power when I didn’t even know what direction it was I was going to go in. I was like, “I’m going to write this book, it’s going to get published, you’ll see, it’s going to happen,” but I didn’t really know if it was going to happen. I was just kind of saying it, but still not truly embodying it. And it was every day was just a fight with them.
And you know, it’s one thing to learn about healing techniques, and you know, like this works really well, and there’s Reiki, and there’s shamanic shaking. All of these things I was learning in Bali, and I was like, “Oh, I can teach this to other people.” But when you are in pain, when you’ve just had a break-up, when you have no friends, when you’re depressed, when all of these things are happening to you, all you can think about is how can I heal myself?
So it was a time to really put these tools that I learned in practice. And for that month, that month in October, which was just three years ago, all I could do is just try to heal myself. I remember I would go to the woods behind my house and I would stand in front of the pond and I would just shake. Because in a shamanic shaking, when you shake, you release trauma and tension from your body so you can feel freer in your mind and in your soul. And my mom thought I was batshit crazy because I would stand in front of this pond and I would just shake and like convulse my body. “And she’s like you need to go therapy. Like you’re out of your mind.” I’m not realizing that this is a form of therapy, this is actually probably better than most therapies because you’re actually getting out of your cellular makeup.
So that was really hard. I just had no one to talk to, no one to turn to, so I really understand when people have a hard time with no community because I was really, really totally there. And you know, my only friend that I had before that was my boyfriend, who turned into my ex, who turned into—you know when someone cheats on you, you like hate them. So it was like I didn’t even have anyone to talk to about it.
And at this time, all I wanted to do was leave. And I was just thinking about how can I go on the next trip? How can I go just somewhere else to get me out of where I am right now. So I decided I would go to Ecuador, because in Ecuador I could learn more about shamanism, and I was really interested in the shamanic path. And thinking that maybe I could become a full-time shaman, and go study with the tribes in Ecuador, and you know, maybe live there. There was no chance in my mind that I would stay living in America. Like the shopping malls, the street lights, like everything just overwhelmed me. Just even going to a super market and just seeing the amount of waste would like hurt my soul. You know, when you have spent that past few months picking up rice in a rice field, and you see how much it takes to pick up every little piece of rice, and then you’re seeing all this waste in the super market, it gets your soul.
You know, and even the things that I used to do with my mom is bonding like going shopping. Like I didn’t want to do that anymore. I didn’t want any part in this like capitalistic society. So I was just trying to figure out how can I like save up money to go to Ecuador, and my parents basically told me if I go to Ecuador, they will disown me. Like I am not their daughter anymore.
Like they are already so disappointed in me, and they would always say like, “I don’t know what we did wrong. We gave you everything. And other people’s daughters are doctors, and lawyers, and work in companies, and look at you, you’re no one, you’re nothing.” And constantly getting this negative feedback from them. Which you know, I just learned to block out because I knew that if I fought back it would just turn into something. And constantly just hearing like, “You’ve never amounted to anything. We’re disappointed in you. You’re not even our daughter.” All of these things. Which is, you know, the exact opposite of what a child who seeks the approval of their parents wants to hear.
And I remember one day my parents being like, again, one of these lectures of, “You need to go get a job and make money, X, Y, Z.” And then I remember my dad just screaming at me, and just saying, “You are an absolute failure of a human being.” And I just started crying. I just broke down crying. And I can remember this like yesterday of just going downstairs to the basement of my room, and just like crying one of those cries that you’re just so hurt and feeling so lonely. Like god, anyone, is there anyone here? Is anyone listening? Everything that, you know, in Bali I had left with so much possibility, and I can be whoever I want, and you know, things are so great. And coming back to this like nothingness, and no one loves me, and no one cares about me.
And it really was rock bottom. And just not wanting to be anywhere anymore. I didn’t even know where I wanted to be. I just didn’t even want to be alive. So I remember just sobbing on the floor, convulsing, sobbing on the floor. And when I realized that now, that was the point that I broke the need for my parents’ approval. Because hearing the words come out of my mouth that I was a total failure of a human being that my own dad had wanted nothing to do with me. That was the cord cutting that I needed to be like, you know what? I lost their approval. So I’m going to live life on my terms.
So I didn’t realize this at that time, but you know, I just sort of a part of me kind of just went cold. Of just like I don’t need your approval anymore. I don’t need your love. Actually, I don’t even care what you say. I had become totally just numb. Like okay, scream, yell, I can’t even hear you. If you ever grew up in a home with a lot of yelling, or an angry parent, that’s sort of what you have to become like sometimes. So I just went numb to it.
And in that numbness though inside of me was, okay, I need to get to work. I need to find a way out. Because I can’t keep staying here anymore. It’s going to break me down to a point that I won’t be able to come back up if I stay in this house any longer. So I was like where can I go? I don’t have money to buy a ticket to Ecuador, I wanted to go to Costa Rica, everything is really expensive, I can’t afford to get back to Bali, can’t go to India. You know, just had this break up there, and didn’t know where to turn.
So my grandparents, they lived in Los Angeles, and they had an extra bedroom, and I knew my grandparents would always let me stay there. So I asked them if I could come over and just stay for some time. And they were like of course, we would love that. And I said, you know, well I’ll help them around, I’ll go grocery shopping for them, I’ll cook for them. They’re like okay, great. So I head over to Los Angeles to stay in my grandparents’ extra room, and that’s how I ended up here.
And at this time I had one friend that I knew from GW, so I kind of knew her my freshman year. We weren’t really friends in college, but it was just the only person I knew who lived in L.A., and she was into yoga and stuff, so we started hanging out, and going to yoga classes. And I realized, you know, like I can never live in L.A., I’m moving to the jungle again—some jungle. Ecuador, Bali, definitely not living here, but there’s yoga, and I started, you know, like seeing there’s a conscious community, and there’s you know, meditation events, and things like that do exist here. And I was surprised because I always thought it was like that exists in other parts of the world, but none of that exists in America just because it didn’t exist in Boston.
And this woman that I had met while I was in Bali who did the shamanic training with me, Sarah Jane, she asked me, she said, “Do you want to lead a retreat with me to India?” And she was 34, and I was 23. So I was like lead a retreat? Like I can’t lead a retreat, I’m 23 years old. And she’s like, “Well, like why not? Like you can totally do it. Like you can teach about Ayurveda, you have a lot to share, you can even teach your belly dance classes. You can teach your, you know, shamanic dance training. We just did this training together, we can totally tag team and do it.” And she had led retreats all around the world, so I was like how am I—like I can’t lead a retreat, like I’m so young. I’ve never even properly been on a retreat before, let alone lead one. I don’t know what to do. But she’s like, “I really think you can do it, so if you want to do it, like I’m totally down to do one with you in India.”
So I thought about it. And I realized, well, if I lead this retreat in India, it would pay for my plane ticket back there. And once I have a plane ticket there, I could stay there, and then maybe I could, you know, save up enough there and move to Thailand, and I could just head back to Asia. So I told her I would do it. And I told my parents, I said, “I’m going back to India. I’m going to be leading a retreat there.” And they were like, “What? Absolutely not. Like you can’t go back there, you just came back, and now you want to leave again? You’re such an escapist. Like you don’t want to face real life.”
But the thing is, real life doesn’t exist because real life exists different for every person. So we can’t say real life is only in Boston and it’s not in India, and it’s not in Los Angeles. Because there’s no such thing as one real life. Every life is real, and every life can call another life untrue. So that excuse is out the door. I was like, “You know what, just because it’s not your real life, doesn’t mean it’s not a real life. A lot of people lead retreats full-time, like Sarah Jane, travel around the world, leading these retreats. It would pay for my plane ticket, and I would also make money from it, so it is a job. And it was way more money than I was making before. So I’m going to do it.”
And they were just screaming at me, “No, you can’t,” but this sense of just more strongness of who I was that I had gained from losing their approval was, you know what? I actually am doing this, and there’s like nothing you can do to stop me. So this is what’s happening. Whereas before the way I would come forth was, “Oh, do you think I should do this? Like what do you think?” And like, you know, the way kids do, you ask for your parents’ opinion, you ask for their approval. Like what do you think? Which is now that I’m so secure in who I am, I can come back to Mass for their approval. But when I was at this point of just like uncertainty and a little bit of still like hesitation of who I truly am, like I recommend at this time to not ask for anyone’s opinion. I was like this is what’s happening, and I’m going to India, and I’m going to be leading a retreat, and I’m going to be there for a few months, and I’ll see you when I get back.
And it’s amazing because when you stand in your power, other people take you more seriously. So it went from absolutely not, not at all, to my mom being like so like, “What are you going to do India?” and understanding. And it was so refreshing to not have to fight anymore. And to not have to prove myself, and to just be able to have a conversation. This is the first time that year I had been able to just be like yeah, this is what’s happening, and I can be truthful, and you not fight back. So if you’re a parent and your kid’s trying to do something different from you, just listen to them. Because it’s going to make them open up so much more.
So before I go to India I decide that I would go to Bangladesh. Because two of my best friends in college were from Bangladesh, and I’d always wanted to go. And one of my friends, her parents owned beautiful preschools that teach the kids whose moms work in factories there. Because you know, 80% of Bangladesh works in garments, so they also provide scholarships and education for the people in garments. They provide fair pay, they have great work accommodations, it’s really an amazing place.
So I decide that I’d go to Bangladesh, and then I’d go back to India. So I go to Bangladesh, and it was amazing because I had heard so many stories of like what Bangladesh is like, and I thought like, you know, it’s going to be the worst work environments, and this and that. And trust me, probably most of it is, but it was amazing to see that these factories were so much, you know, cleaner, and better, and providing—you know, if any woman wanted to stop working in the factory and wanted to pursue education at a university, she was given full scholarship to do so. The kids were taught while the moms were working, you got to be at least 18 years old to work.
So I was teaching there for some time, and I was supposed to go to India after spending, you know, about a month in Bangladesh. But something called over me, there was a dance festival in Delhi at this place called Zorba the Buddha, called Natraj Dance Festival, which I so recommend to anyone who likes to dance, especially like shamanic and dance meditations and things like that.
So I decide I’m going to go to this Natraj Dance Festival, but I knew if I told, you know, my parents like oh, I’m like going back to India by myself to like go to this dance festival, it would be another fight. So I just go, and I mean it’s amazing, moms have the most incredible radars. So I buy a ticket to India, and I just don’t tell my parents. And I go over to India, and obviously, my flight got delayed like seven hours, and no one heard me for like, you know, a day. So my mom like texted my friend and was like, “Oh, I can’t reach hold of Sahara, like do you know where she is?” And she’s like, “Oh, she like left for India already.” And my mom was like, “What the hell?”
So I finally got to India, but then again, at that point I was so much more in my power, and I was like, “Look, the reason I didn’t tell you I was going to India because I knew it would be a fight.” And she was just like she couldn’t fight that, because if she fought that I would be like, “Exactly.” So I go, and all of these things, you know the reason I’m sharing these with you is like all of these little like kind face-to-face confrontations are what gave me the strength that I have today.
So I go to India, and I do this beautiful dance. It’s like not a festival, it’s more like classes. So it’s at an OSHO center, Zorba the Buddha’s an OSHO center. So OSHO is this amazing philosopher who came from India, he died in the early ‘90s, and he’s all about that spirituality is really being in pure joy. Spirituality does not mean you have to suffer, it just means that you’re like living in divine alignment with whatever it is that brings you joy. So dancing, singing, laughing, play, all of these things are spiritual practice, according to him. Which is something I really resonate with because I realized a lot in my own spiritual journey I was like, “I must suffer because that’s what spirituality is,” and it doesn’t have to be if you don’t want it to be.
So at this Zorba the Buddha center, during this Natraj Dance Festival, all day at the beginning you’re doing the OSHO dynamic meditation, which I’ve shared this in other podcast episodes, but it’s a five-stage meditation movement series where you’re going through the different human emotions—happiness, anger, stillness, et cetera—and then you’re doing about four dance workshops a day. Whether it’s tarot dance that you’re dancing through the tarot, chakra dance that you’re dancing through your chakras. Like you know, like deep root chakra and just moving your body and like sacral chakra, and more near sensuality and solar plexus, and more in your like powerhouse, and identity, and heart chakra, and it’s really like heart centered, and then throat chakra and it’s like maybe you’re singing along, and third eye chakra, and it’s like very upper body intuitive, like Balinese hands, and then crown chakra, and you’re just meditating.
Beautiful dances, free form dances. You ever done five elements dance or something like that, it’s like that, but inspired by different things. And it was such an incredible experience of just letting myself go and just coming back into my truth and to my own body’s wisdom. Because it had been a lot of fighting and a lot of uncertainty, and just being like, “Yes, this is where I’m supposed to be.” I know I need to be doing this kind of work somewhere. I still didn’t have the exact road map set out. But I remember on that new years, we were setting Thai balloons in the sky, and everyone was setting their intentions, and my intention was to be more in my masculine.
And I remember everyone in my group being like, “What? Why would you want to be more in your masculine?” And I was like, “I feel like I’ve learned, and I’ve grown, and I’ve you know, really tapped into all of these senses, and I felt, and I danced, and I played, and I explored.” But I know that my work is to bring this out into the mainstream world. They were like “Why would you want to do that? You know, you could just live here in this ashram, or you could live in the jungle. Like why would you want to go back to, you know, the chaos and the malls, and you know, the takeout, and all these things?” And I was like, “Because that’s how I’m going to make the most difference. And you know, we all have different roles to play, and for some people, they’re meant to meditate in the Himalayas forever. And other people, they’re supposed to be at the forefront.
And for me, I knew that this experience was to fill up my cup, to allow me to break through my own barriers and my own blocks. But I knew it wasn’t my path to stay there. Because for me to stay there would be just taking all of these great things that I learned and not sharing it with the world. And I call this like mental masturbation, because really, you’re experiencing this high, but it’s not the real thing. You’re just, you know, it’s really easy to feel high when you’re at a dance meditation. But when you get stuck in traffic, when you have to pay bills, like can you keep that spirit up? And I knew that that would be the ultimate, the ultimate lesson in evolvement if I could keep this energy going in that world.
So I held the retreat in India, it was a beautiful retreat. I performed in the tribal belly dance conference, International Tribal Belly Dance in Goa, studied a great deal of tribal fusion belly dancing, which is belly dancing combined with African Balinese temple Odissi Indian dance, as well as pop and lock. And I head back, and this time it wasn’t because I felt guilty, it wasn’t because I felt like I had to, but it was because I realized like I did what I needed to do here, and now it’s time for me to take this out into the real world.
So I’ll share the rest of what happened in another podcast episode, because I know I just shared a lot. But I just shared this with you so you know that, you know, no one just ended where they were without the journey. And if I didn’t detach myself, if I didn’t have my whole life shatter apart, if I didn’t have to question everything that I knew. Whether it was my relationships with men, with money, with purpose, with life, just redefining these things. Cause you know, I was kind of brought up to think that, like you know, you kind of get a job, and then you get married, and your husband pays for you, and then you have kids, and your kids are your life, and that’s life.
Because you know, I come from a Middle Eastern culture, and that isn’t the life that I choose for myself. And it was a lot of breaking through ancestral blocks because you know, I’m the first person in my family to be born in the United States, the first person to really have a job, the person to be independent, to not even be married at my age. I think I’m like the oldest person who’s not been married yet, and I’m 26. My mom had me when she was graduating college, she was like 26. So it’s a lot. Especially when you’re the first generation doing this work, which I think a lot of us listening to it’s a lot. But it’s totally possible, and if we don’t do this lineage healing work, it’s going to perpetuate, and our children are going to hold onto it. So in every family there has to be one person to do this. And I’ll share the rest of what happened in another podcast episode, but I just want to like give you a little bit of like where I am right now so you can just see how much things can change in three years.
So last week was my book launch at Tantris, which is like L.A.’s top yoga studio, Russell Simmons owns it. The only book launches they’ve ever done are Deepak Chopra’s, Marianne Williamson, Russell Simmons, they’re doing Eckhart Tolle’s, and they’re going to be doing Oprah, and they did mine. Which is just freaking insane. And you know, my book is the number one best-selling Ayurveda book in the world, it has been for the past few months, I’m just finishing writing my next book, “Eat Feel Fresh.”
My parents came to my book launch from Boston on Sunday, and saw me talk for the first time ever, guys. I’ve been doing this for three years, and it was the first time they’ve ever seen me speak, and they’re so proud of me. And everyone they meet they’re like, “My daughter wrote a book.” And they give copies of my book as gifts to people. They’re so proud of me. And when I wrote the book I just wanted to put Sahara Rose, I didn’t want to put my last name Ketabi, and they were like, “You have to put our last name. Come on, put our last name.” And I was like, “What? You guys didn’t even want me to write this book, and now you’re like, ‘Oh, you have to have our last name on there.’”
So it’s just amazing how all of your relationships can change when your relationship with yourself changes. Because when you don’t take yourself seriously, other people will immediately sense that. And they’ll say, “You know, she’s not really sure, so there’s a chance that I could talk her out of it, and I’m going to try to.” But when they see like, this is what I’m doing, and I’m going to rock the boat, and you’re either going to come along with me or that’s it. Like I had to get to the point with my parents that I’m like this is who I am, and this is my path. If you want me in your life, you’re going to have to accept that. Otherwise, I guess we won’t talk anymore.
That was the hardest thing that I could ever say for both parties. But it had to get there, it had to get to this point of like the truth, there’s nothing that serves you higher than your truth. And a lot of us, you know, like serving your family is really important, but when it keeps you from living your own path, it’s not actually what’s best for you or your family. Because when you are keeping yourself back from who you truly are, you’re not doing your family a favor. In fact, you’re creating a negative, a negative like connection with your family because you have this sense of resentment of because of you I never got to do what I want to do.
And I see this happen with so many older people. You know, they live their lives as doctors, and their parents die, and they’re like, “Yeah, I actually wanted to, you know, be a painter. But because of my dad, I’m a doctor, and it’s not even what I want to do, and now he’s gone, and I’m not even happy with my life.” Which is just the saddest thing because it’s like you lose that parent, and you have this almost sense of like resentment, which is the worst thing to carry onto someone when your parent dies you just want to be in pure love, and just like, you know, we were so honest and so true with each other, and I just love and respect you and cherish you for raising me. And so much of, you know, the importance of raising a kid is allow them to be independent, and allow them to be who they were meant to be. And just because you’re good at something, just because you think something’s the right way to do it doesn’t mean it’s the truth for your kid.
So if you want to be a good parent, it’s let your kid go. And I was really lucky that my mom was the one who actually let me go when I was a teenager and let me volunteer and travel to all these places. And I think her fear kicked in was when I was older and she was like, “Wait, you want to do this with your life? Like no, this was like for summer vacations, this is not what you’re doing with your life.” But I was like, “But you’re the one who raised me this way. I mean you exposed me to all these cultures and all of these parts of the world, and you know, amount of poverty, and you expect me to not do something? Like what did you think was going to happen when I went to all these trips?”
So it’s amazing, and you know, when I tell this story to other people, they’re like, “Yeah, my parents said the same thing.” So give your kid freedom, but also know that with freedom comes them taking their own path. And when you open someone’s eyes, they don’t get closed again. So where I am now is just having a really beautiful relationship with my parents, and them understanding me, you know, it was amazing that my dad is actually reading Deepak Chopra’s book right now, and he’s never been a spiritual person. He’s like an atheist.
And after my book talk, we went to Deepak Chopra’s meditation, he did one in Beverly Hills, and I told my parents. I’m like, “We need to go.” They’re like, “Okay, fine.” And my dad meditated, and he was like, “You know, it was really interesting because I experienced this dark matter in my mind.” And my dad’s like a scientist who went to M.I.T., and is like the most like scientific academic person. And I was like, “Yeah, that’s what meditation is. And in fact, Deepak Chopra uses that terminology of dark matter in the mind. He wrote a book called ‘You Are the Universe,’ which shows with like astrological science like how we are actually nothingness and dark matter exists within us, and that’s our soul.” And he’s like, “Interesting. I’d like to see this book.” So I gave him the “You Are the Universe Book,” and he started reading it, and he’s like, “Wow, this is actually really interesting. Like I mean it’s a lot, and I don’t really see the ties quite yet, but I’m really curious.”
So he was reading this book, and he was here this week, and after he left, he’s like, “Do you mind if I take this book? Like do you have another copy or something? I mean I don’t want to take your only copy.” I was like of course you can have it. Like literally I just want to cry just seeing this because it just means so much to me that, you know, they’re on their own paths now, and so much of the work that we do is so our parents can get there. Because we are our parents’ teachers, just as much as they are ours. And you know, we spend the first part of our lives them teaching us, them teaching us how to, you know, tie our shoes, and be nice to our friends, and you know, be a good student, and all of these things.
But then the second half of our lives we turn into their teachers, and it’s through this, you know, I’m so grateful for him calling me a failure, I really am, because if that didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be where I am now, and he wouldn’t be where he is now. And now he’s about to open a whole new chapter in his life of experiencing meditation and consciousness. We had hours-long discussion on what is consciousness, like what are vibrations, how can you pick on vibrations of other people. He’s like, “So I don’t get it. Like can you calculate it? Is it like light vibrations or sound vibrations?” And I was like, “No, it’s like intuitive vibrations. It’s like when you just pick up on someone’s energy, and like they have a good energy, and they make you feel like warm, and friendly, and excited. Or they have a bad energy and you can just tell something’s off.” He’s like, “I see, I understand what you mean, I wish we could just find a way to measure it so we can prove it.” I was like, “Yes, like whatever is your way is perfect.”
And I’m so grateful to have him as a father because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have even been able to have the relationship with Deepak Chopra that I have. Because Deepak Chopra comes from such a scientific mind, and I know that my soul chose my dad as my father because Deepak and my dad are so similar, it’s insane. Like they’re both so scientific, and so calculated, and so wise at the same time. Like my dad is like an encyclopedia, as is Deepak. And I know that they’re going to become friends, so I’m just so happy that all of these things happened to me, and share this with you because where you are in your journey right now, just know that this is all part of the process. And you can take that rock bottom, and use that as an opportunity to rebuild those blocks into the exact life that you desire.
So really hitting rock bottom is an invitation for something new. And every break up is an invitation to, you know, I’ll do a whole other podcast episode on that, but just like what do I really want in a relationship? You know, what do I value? Like what kind of partner am I seeking? Because if you were just in the relationship that we’re comfortable in, we’re not going to, you know, really do that self-inquiry because we’re like, well, I can’t really change this about my partner, this is who they are. So this turns into acceptance, and you know, there is a level of acceptance that’s necessary in every relationship. But when you’re young and there’s no kids involved, you don’t have to accept everything when it doesn’t feel right. So you can feel like this is it, or this could be it. I mean what is it, you know? Like I always thought like, you know love is sacrifice, and it’s just kind of like you just find someone and you make it work. And that’s not how it means. The person that you’re with should inspire you and set your soul fire and be your soul flame. And I’m going to write a book about this.
So I just want you to know wherever you are you in your journey, it’s part of the process, and at the same time, don’t sit back and just let it happen. It’s a work in progress. So if I had just sat back when after Bali when I moved back home and I had just said, you know what? It is what it is. Bali was a cool experience, and it’s time for me to get back into the real life things, and I’m just going to apply for a job, and live my life, and the way that, you know, my parents have, and the way that I see my next door neighbors do, et cetera. I wouldn’t be where I am. So sometimes it takes that serious uncertainty, that pulling the Band-Aid and it fucking rips your hairs out, and you scream. And it takes that to be like, okay, this hurts, so since I’m already hurting, how do I want to rebuild my life in the best way possible? Not to just get out of this hurt temporarily, but to really be like okay, I’m at rock bottom, so this is what I’m going to do now. And I think every person who’s successful has had this point because if you didn’t hit that moment of like desperation, of okay, I need to make this work or else there’s no alternative, then you’re not really going to have that like fire under your butt.
So if you’re at this point that you’re just like I have nothing, like really nothing, it’s just like no, this is amazing because you have the perfect open canvas to create. You know how some people, “Well, I have kids, I can’t just go to Bali.” Well, first of all, you don’t need to go to Bali, you don’t need to go anywhere. You can have this process anywhere where you are. What I realized is a lot of you know what Los Angeles has, well a lot of these big cities have especially now more so than ever is huge conscious community. There’s so many events. Like when I moved to L.A., I would go on meetup.com, type in the word “shaman,” and go to every shaman meet up I could. Like everyone was like in their 60s, and I would go and you know, see all these shamans and just do that in my free time. So anywhere you go you can find spiritual gatherings, meditations, et cetera.
And also just because you have a kid doesn’t mean you can’t travel. So many of the people that I met in Bali and in India were families, were mothers with their children, and it was so beautiful because these kids learned so much from being connected with the land, from not being on these tablets all the time, from just being back to like the bare bone basics. And that’s what kids really need, right? To just like walk around in nature and like let the trees and the grass and the butterflies be their entertainment. Like what a more beautiful thing to give your child. And there are amazing schools in Bali, there’s one called The Green School, which is an incredible eco-sustainable school where the kids are taught all about like eco sustainability, as well as given a great English-speaking education. Actually, a lot of big like C.E.Os and stuff move to Bali and send their kids there because it’s such a great education. Something that I might do later on in my life.
So just because you have a kid doesn’t mean you can’t go to Bali, or wherever else. Nothing is stopping you except for the story in your head. And in Bali, I found so many people who are working online, like digital nomads. I was working out of a place called Hubud, which is like a hub for digital nomads. All the people who worked online in Bali and there’s anything you can do online. You can, you know, start your own online retail business. I met so many people in Bali who were selling like they’re making jewelry or clothing in Bali because it’s very inexpensive to, you know, like hire people to create the jewelry based off of your designs or create clothing. And they were selling it out of Bali, and they had global online businesses based off of that. They were selling on Etsy, they had their own websites.
I met people who were working for, you know, different companies if they don’t want to start their own working for companies, and doing that online remotely, living in Bali. I met people from all walks of life, very successful people, people who you know, had nothing, everything in between. And with online working there’s really any possibility. There’s websites like upwork.com where you can find freelance jobs online. Something a place that I use all the time when I’m looking for graphic designers and stuff like that.
So there’s really no excuse. You can make it work, it’s going to take work, it’s going to take creativity. No one with an online job applied to it, no one was just given it, no one’s parents had an online job. I mean most likely not because the internet wasn’t a thing. So there’s no excuse to be like, “Oh, I don’t know, I’m not an internet person. Or it’s too hard, it’s too much to learn,” because everyone had to go through that process, everyone did. There’s no one who just was born knowing how to start an online business, no one. And the thing about online businesses is they’re always changing. So everyone is constantly relearning, everyone’s in the same position.
So you can start, 100%, nothing is holding you back. So no more excuses. If this is calling you, if you’re saying, “I want to leave. Like I know I’m at this point in my life that I need to start from scratch, I need to remove myself from the noise and allow myself to have that clarity,” then do it. You can go to Bali, you can go to India, you can go to Costa Rica, you can go to Nicaragua, you can go to Peru, Ecuador, anywhere, really anywhere and start that life for yourself of just living in pure simplicity, living in connection with nature, you can make it work by staying in AirBnBs, doing work trades. There’s different websites like volunteermatch.org, volunteerabroad.org, there’s something called woofing or something like wolfing, woofing, I think that you like farm trade. So there’s so many things that you can do.
My advice, the way I’ve always done it is I just show up and figure it out, but for some people that might be really crazy. But I always find like the best opportunities are not listings online. But if it makes you feel more comfortable, totally start there wherever you’re at. You can even book a hotel, you know, for the first week or something so you don’t arrive and have nowhere to go, book a hotel the first week and that first week kind of like walk around and find where do the locals stay, where is a cheaper guest house, and do that. That’s a really option, too. So you can for sure do it. And also the place that I stayed was called OMunity, they have a website now, I’m so proud of them. Omunitybali.com. My host father’s name was Zanzan, and the mother was named Putu. They’re so amazing, and you can learn about bone healing, medicine healing, tell them Sahara sent you, they’ll be so happy.
And yeah, and there’s so many places. I’ll do a whole other podcast episode of, you know, my things in India, places I recommend there. Zorba the Buddha I mentioned a lot, Zorba the Buddha is in New Delhi, you can find that. So yeah, maybe I’ll do another retreat in Bali, we’ll see how that feels for 2018. But just for now, I love sharing with you guys on podcast because I want to show that, you know, a spiritual process is a daily practice. It’s not just going one time on a retreat and cutting back and going into, you know, what you were before. It’s integrating into your daily life, which is why I think podcasts and online programs and things like that are really the most important thing to keep it going, creating a community whether it’s online, or in person, or wherever else, all of the above. Because it needs to be part of what w do everyday. We need to know like, okay, I have this podcast I can listen to that I can just Zen out, and it’s just like really reaching this higher part of me. We didn’t have these experiences integrated into our daily lives, otherwise the retreat turns into nothing afterwards.
So I hope this episode inspired you to live your life in perhaps a new way than you ever thought of. Maybe it’s planting a seed for something you want to do in the future, or maybe it’s something that you’re going to do right now and you’re just going to book your ticket, and if so, you go. You go you. So, I love you so much, so proud of all of you for wherever you are in your journey, and I honor you all extensively.
So if you are interested in chatting more, in connecting with other likeminded souls, I created a free Facebook community called “Mindy Body Balancers,” I have the link to it on the show notes. You just go on Facebook, look up “Mindy Body Balancers,” you can find that group, there’s over 2,000 like-minded souls in there. People are meeting up in London, New York, Spain, all around the world through that group. So you can use that group to be that group of friends that you may not have that I didn’t have. I created this group for that exact reason. You can share what’s going on, and it’s just really a support group because it’s just so essential for today’s world.
And I will be leading another “Doshas and Dharma,” program, which is my four-week guided online program, all about finding your truth, finding whatever it is you were meant to do on this planet, really becoming clear on your mission and your purpose. So I’ll be leading that again, either in February or March, so stay tuned for that. You can apply to it on my website, iamsahararose.com, and I’ll be reaching out to you guys closer to the date.
Next week I’ll be leaving to India, so excited. I have not been back to India in three years. The last time I was in India was after I left after leading that retreat. So even just thinking about it is bringing up a lot of memories. You know, a lot of times I had in India, and when I left India it was actually a kind of scary experience. I was sexually harassed there, and that was the last night that I was there. So coming back to India, I mean I’m so happy because now I have my boyfriend, my partner, Steven, and I feel so safe because I’m not going there by myself, which is amazing. But also just like not knowing what it’s going to hold for me.
I’m going to be shooting the photography for my book, I’m going to be shooting some video series. I want to start doing travel videos because it’s something I’m so passionate about, and I want to show you guys like the way I travel, which is like finding the gurus, and going to all of the off the path places. And I want to show you guys that side. So I’ll be filming a lot of great video content in Varanasi and Karala, which is sort of the epicenter of Ayurveda. So I’m so excited, India is always like you never know what India has in store for you.
So we’ll see, and this podcast will still be continuing to go while I’m in India, so you can still keep on tuning in every week. And I look forward to hearing from you guys, you can follow me on my Instagram, iamsahararose, I’m sure I’ll be Instagram storying as much as I can, as much as I have service there to bring you guys on my journey, and we’ll be sharing videos, and pictures all along the way. I love you guys, Namaste, and talk to you guys soon. Bye.
Episode 041- How Leaving Everything and Moving to Bali Saved My Life