Eat Pray Love in Ubud, Bali
Even so many years on, the Eat Pray love movie and book has such a huge impact on people’s expectations when visiting Bali. What an amazing film it was for this gorgeous, spiritual, tropical Island. It certainly impacted my wanting to open up an amazing space for women to retreat to, for their own amazing holiday of self love and connection.
Most of the Eat Pray Love scenes are done in the amazing Ubud where we are just about to open our 3rd sanctuary. I’m feeling so excited and blessed about this sanctuary and the people we have met to lead us to this amazing Villa and location. We even have the option to expand the villa if it is as sought after as I think it will be.
My own personal experience with Wayan the healer and Ketut Liyer from the book, were very interesting to say the least! Ketut Liyer was very very old when I saw him and he passed away only a few years later. Even at that time he was so gorgeous and smiley but not 100% present lol. His son was there listening to each reading to learn how to do them once his father passed away. I wouldn’t say it is the best spiritual experience now with his son doing it, however it is great to see where and how an affluent Bali family live and get a taste of the history of the Movie.
My experience with Wayan was actually really harrowing! Not what I expected at all. As soon as I got there she told me how busy she had been since the movie and it ruined her balance and she fell down her stairs one day as she was so overworked. She took me into a small dirtyish bathroom and told me to strip down to my underwear and sit on a tiny cheap plastic stool like something made for a child. I’m a plus sized woman so I looked at it in trepidation. I did however manage to do what I was told and then two Balinese men came in! Ummmm not what I was expecting and I was feeling very uncomfortable. For about 15 minutes they lightly hit me with leafy branches and water. It was not a pleasant experience. From here Wayan came to get me and whipped me upstairs with a flimsy sarong around me, past everyone in the waiting room including my driver and up the stairs. Here she put me on a bed and started massaging me with a glad bottle filled with hot water.
This massage was excruciating! At the time I didn’t know I had Fibromyalgia a chronic disease (meaning I've had it for a long time) which means I am constantly in a lot of pain. It also means there are excruciating pressure points all over my body. She found them and aggressively rubbed this glass bottle over them and I cried. It was not a positive experience for me.
On the way home my driver started to look like he was falling asleep which was a little scary. I said ‘Putu are you ok?’. ‘Sorry Mrs Zoe Wayan gave me something to drink for my stomach and now I am very tired’. So we turned up the radio, I splashed him with some water and watched him closely and prayed!
Largely due to these experiences I knew I needed to find our own amazing healers for Bliss. I spent months and years handpicking the right people for our guests. Many who come in on The Eat Pray Love Package do choose to change to these. While some still like to see where the movie originated from. The best thing is it’s completely up to you and you can do both.
One of the things I’m most looking forward to in opening Ubud in April 2019 is finding even more amazing Indonesian healers and practitioners who have come a long way in the last 15 years with more of an understanding about Western afflictions and lifestyles. There are some hardcore healers up in Ubud that spray you with chickens blood and do all sorts of confronting rituals in the old traditional ways and for some people they work. But it’s not something we recommend.
That’s the thing with everybodies healing journey, different things work for different people. So we urge our guests to go with what feels right at the time.
Our handpicked healers are not invasive as that’s important to me. Healing is often gradual and doesn’t need to be a big shock to the system. Which is why we love colour puncture so much as it is gentle and relaxing and it really has worked for 95% of guests and has personally worked for me personally and Patma and Shar.
The Elizabeth Gilbert Eat Pray Love experience is not one that can be replicated by any other human, as it was her own personal experience. Which is why the book and movie were so magical. But the great thing is, you can write your own script in a visit to Bali and especially with a visit to Bliss. We hopefully make it easy for you to follow the exact experience you are looking for and we’re so blessed so many guests do find their bliss. But at the end of the day that is up to you. As everyone is different.
Ubud in itself is a magical, beautiful place and we hope you get to experience it one day. From our mid 20’s onwards everyone seems to need healing for something be it emotional, spiritual or health wise. Ubud is an amazing magical place to do this as well as seeing the gorgeous culture and connecting with the beautiful people.
We wanted to share our Bliss experience as far as it can go and so we created Bliss News. Even if you can’t go on a beautiful personalised Women’s Retreat right now, we hope you can take the time to add a bit more bliss to your life in whatever way you choose. Self love comes in all different shapes and sizes but the one thing it has in common is that it starts with you. We hope some of our ideas and laughs and wellness retreat additions are something you can incorporate into your everyday life... love Zoë xxx