Have you ever fantasized about your ‘paradise’? Like where it would be, what the surroundings would look like, what kind of people would be there with you, what kind of activities they would do on a daily basis, what kind of a ‘perfect life’ you would experience there? I came across a paradise last month. It was very close to the paradise I had always imagined: a stretch of beautiful beaches, an island where the sun shines all-year long, a place that is both culturally and spiritually rich, a bunch of wonderful people who radiates positive energy and beams with smile and enthusiasm.
Experiencing ‘paradise’ is fantastic. I could say that it was the most magical thing I have ever experienced in 30 years. But do I want to live there?
That paradise came to me by end of August through an event called Awesomeness Fest. I wouldn’t explain further about the event here, because you could actually go to their site and check it out if you’re interested to know more. To make the long story short: the experience was life-changing.
Imagine this: you are stranded in a beautiful place, surrounded by beautiful people–inside and out. People who are constantly trying to make the world a better place to live. Everyday, you eat delicious healthy meals, work out through a series of wonderful activities (involving mind, body, and soul), hang out by the beach from midnight until dawn, pour your hearts out to the people sitting next to you, write some love-notes to appreciate other people’s kindness. Everyone is genuine, friendly, warm, and open-minded. You dance. You sing. You laugh. You cry.
It’s like a dreamland where you’ll feel so loved and liberated because you can simply be yourself. Because no one will judge you. The positive energy flows so strongly–that even in your down times, you can’t help but feeling much better in an instant because an overflow of wonderful people is always around to hug and comfort you, hold your hands, crack some jokes to make you smile, or simply sit there in silence with you.
Do you know the movie The Beach–from Alex Garland’s novel with the same title? If you’re not familiar with the novel or haven’t watched the movie, you can read the summary (spoiler alert) by clicking here, but in one and other way, Awesomeness Fest feels like The Beach to me. Well, not to that certain extreme, but it felt like I had found my beach. My paradise.
However, just like all the characters in The Beach, we all needed to go back home–wherever that is. It was hard to do so after experiencing such a blissful moment. I had to confess that a part of me wanted to ‘stay’ there forever, but one of the things I learned in paradise made me decided to leave that place with happiness and gratitude.
I have had my fair share there. As tempting as it would be, for me, once is more than enough. I have been lucky to experience something so profound, and now it’s time to share the paradise with others, and it’s time for me to extend that bliss and touch more lives. It doesn’t matter where I am today, because I have carried the paradise inside of me. It is no longer a place. It has manifested into a feeling. I am carrying The Beach around, now, inside my pocket. And I want to share it with you.
Because reality is wonderful, too. And I do want to live there.
And me, I still believe in paradise. But now at least I know it’s not some place you can look for, because it’s not where you go. It’s how you feel for a moment in your life when you’re a part of something, and when you find that moment… it lasts forever.
- Richard, in The Beach
*)written with love and gratitude to my fellow AFesters. you are all wonderful souls. I am honored to have crossed path with all of you. I see you. I am here.
I guessed it was around 9.30 pm. I had just refilled my glass with another dose of gin and tonic, then stood there near the pop-up bar for a while, examining the room while adjusting the green snake around my neck. In front of me, Gods and Goddesses–as well as Devils of all kinds–were dancing happily and conversing loudly, as if that evening Heaven and Hell opened up their gates for each other. That was when I noticed a guy standing alone, fifteen steps away, with a wooden fan. He didn’t seem like a God or a Devil. So I walked into his direction to find out. Turned out, he was a God slash Devil in disguise.
I wasn’t high. I didn’t imagine this thing.
This was exactly how I met Len Branson, in a costume party in Nusa Dua, Bali, during an event called Awesomeness Fest (I know, the name of the event may sounds a little bit odd and peculiar to you, but bear with me for a while on this one, and I’ll write more about Awesomeness Fest in a few days!). That evening, I simply walked up to Len and smiled. “Hey, we haven’t met!” I shouted to beat the thumping music at the background, and introduced myself. This was something I wouldn’t do two years ago. Walk up to a stranger and introduced myself would give me the creeps. I could have done it, but I would have chosen not to. I realized how much I’ve changed since then.
During my conversations with Len, I found out that he had produced a spiritual-experiment documentary called Superwise ME!, where 9 ‘gurus’ from various backgrounds and 9 ‘witnesses’ spent 9 days in a monastery in Andalusia, Spain, in an attempt to answer 9 important questions in life. “Watch it and let me know what you think,” said Len. “I really want to hear your opinion about it.”
I watched the documentary this morning, on my dining table, with a cup of white tea. My eyes welled up with tears at various scenes. It was such a profound way to begin my Sunday. The documentary Superwise ME! posted some questions I should have asked myself more often; questions I wish to discuss more openly with my closest friends when we spend our time together, lazying in a coffee shop:
- Who am I and what is God?
- How do I deal with illness and mortality?
- How do I get rid of my fear and handle the negativity in me and around me?
- How do I know what I really want?
- How do I become happy and stay in balance?
- How do I love myself and others?
- How do I forgive myself and others?
- How do I let go and release?
- How do I get in touch with my inner wisdom?
What if we already know all the answers to these questions, because we are all superwise? :) I can’t remember the last time I asked you to do something for me, but this time, I am asking you to please, take your time to watch this documentary and spread it around to those you think would benefit from watching it*. I believe it will evoke something that has lain dormant inside of you for quite some time. Let’s go back to the times when we were young, when we were still questioning things while enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
*)I know for some of you (especially if you’re in Indonesia), watching this movie in YouTube sounds like a nightmare, considering the Internet connection and all. If you’re in Jakarta and are interested to watch this movie together with a bunch of friends, probably we can arrange a movie night :)
And don’t forget to also check out Superwise Telesummit if you’re craving for more (sign up from that link), where you can listen in to a bunch of great speakers online, for free! Each speaker in this event has traveled the road to self-discovery, been where you are, and have lovingly agreed to join together in creating ripples of awareness, giving you a look, into the world of possibility. This free virtual event is featuring one speaker each day, who will share their own personal experience, tips, tools and techniques that you can begin applying immediately, as you step into your own personal power and discover what has been within you all along.