Monday, April 28, 2008

The Healer Wayan in Ubud, Bali

Welcome to Bali! This one is for you Nadine! The entire stairway is lined with frangiapani (plumeria) and I'm holding a delicious bundle of lychee fruit!

A gorgeous statue on the terrace on top of our hotel amongst the rice paddies!

Beautiful Balinese dancers at the end of a performance at a temple

Bali...oh, my goodness, this is a sweet, sacred land! I was welcomed into Bali by one of my best friends, papaya juice and a 1 hour massage for ... (if you are one of my clients, stop reading!) ...$8! The people here are so open, heart centered, kind and devoted! We awoke this morning amongst the ride paddies and climbed the stairs to a platform by the small pool to greet the day with Sun Salutations. As we sipped tea, a man walked around the Inn with a basket full of red hibiscus, placing offerings and gorgeous decoration all over the carved stone statues and altar boxes. Arlisa had already set up an appointment to see Wayan who is the healer written about in Eat, Pray, Love. As fortune has it, I was able to get an appointment with her at the same time. Several days before I left for this trip, my stomach was getting really bloated and there was diarrhea. Not so fun on the airplanes... I was beginning to ponder if I got parasites in Guatemala.
Wayan seemed quite tired at 1st. She said she didn't sleep well last night and mentioned something about a bad spirit. Ari, the young woman helping Wayan, grated fresh tumeric on a banana leaf board and made us a healing drink with honey and lime juice. After we filled out our intake forms, her young assistant held our paper up to the altar individually, with incense, offering and prayer. She read our bodies by looking into our eyes, palpating our breasts, knocking on our abdomens, feeling our knees and looking at our palms and nails. She diagnosed our ailments, prescribed different Jamu (herbal medicine) and then asked us why we had come or if we had anything she hadn't addressed. She had already recognized my stomach and digestion and I had a slight fever, so she wrapped some plants on my forehead. My temperature was normal in a few minutes. We asked her about vegetarianism, raw food eating and pregnancy. She said raw food is fine, we just have to chew our food really well and she was a vegetarian when she had her babies.
Then her young apprentices took us upstairs to scrub our legs and faces with betel leaves. The heart energy in this place is amazing and we had fun laughing and Ari made fun of Arlisa's laugh! She is a rascally one! We laid on the massage tables for what seemed like a vibrant eternity of various healing hands, warm bottles of water rolled down our backs, fresh garlic held on the moles on my face, fennel oil rubbed on my belly. It was truly a state of loving Bliss topped off with a meal made with love! Luckily, we felt we had no other place to be because we were often sitting around in between the various steps having no concept of what was happening next and when.
Our days have been so amazingly rich with experience...there is so much to share! We are still in Ubud, which is really a fast paced little city, but life is filled with intention and joy. Each business places offering out front (flowers and a little cracker or rice). When the women are blessing the offering, they dip a frangiapani flower in water and splash the water on the offering in prayer...atleast that is my interpretation of what I am seeing. Their attitude of gratitude is incredibly inspiring! To put the icing on the cake, there are raw food restaurants!! We have been savoring organic salads, veggie juice, banana cacao coconut smoothies, raw pumpkin soup, spring is over the top! I have never had the opportunity to go to a raw food restaurant before, so to have this beautiful food prepared for me is such an appreciated delight!

Green juice, coconut water and raw pizza!!

Last night at the Namaste book shop, there was a gathering to watch Oprah and Eckart Tolle discussing chapter 4 of his book A New Earth. It is wonderful to see him while he is sharing his graceful wisdom and one of the tips I liked was to use a common occurrence such as the phone ringing to remind you to be in the present moment. Every time you hear the phone ring, let it ring 2 more times and take that time to simply be in the present moment, then answer the phone with presence! Another was to become transparent. If there is something happening that you think in your conscious mind should not be happening (like a baby crying), instead of trying to stop, resist or change what is happening, see yourself become transparent...see the sound flow through your transparent body. It can actually be fun and perhaps the baby will feel your peace and stop crying! Following the show, 2 people offered Deeksha, which is also known as the Oneness Blessing. (Hi Gia!!) I had heard of, but never experienced it. From what I could gather, there are 2 angels (in their human bodies) in India passing on this blessing and teaching others how to transmit this energy. He said that a lot of our energy is at the back of our brain (which is our primordial, survival, reptilian brain). This energy transmission helps bring the energy more into our frontal lobes to create a deeper opening in the heart. The intention that came into my consciousness before we began is To Live in Truth and See the Truth in Others even when they are not acting out their Truth. This deepened as the energy opened to See My Truth! All donations went to the local orphanage.
I must depart-we are taking a trip today that I'll share about when we return in 4 or 5 days! Warmest Blessings to you...Feeeel the Looove!! xoxo, Kelly Ordway

Friday, April 25, 2008

p.s. I'm going to Bali!!

What an amazing Spring in my life this is! I am leaving this afternoon to go to Bali, the Island of the Goddesses, for 7 weeks!! I haven't talked about it yet because it all came together just a few days before we left for our honeymoon and I've simply been enjoying the present! One of my best amigas in the world is picking me up from the airport and later I will be attending a 4 week Yoga teacher training with Daniel Aaron and many others (check out . Elaina Love is providing all the raw food for the training...super Yum! I am very much looking forward to having the best food in the world prepared for me and being nurtured in this way....aaaah.... I have been watching my emotions during this journey. I am incredibly excited and feel a very strong intuition that I am going right where I need to at exactly the right time. The cards that unfolded to make this a reality have been beautiful! I have also felt a little overwhelmed and even a little shy or embarrassed that I get to go on another amazing travel journey just 6 days after I have returned from our Guatemalan honeymoon. It is the longest time I have been away from my honey since we have been together for 8 years and the longest I have been away from my business since we opened 5 years ago. Having said that, I am also fully embracing with immense gratitude this amazing spiritual journey that has already begun! It feels grandiose!! I am taking my laptop with me, so it will be easier to post pictures and call my family. Peace be with you in each and every moment!!

Here are some more Guatemala pics!

Praying mantis ninja!

My 1st and unfortunately last, but delicious veggie juice in Guatemala.
How do you say beet in Spanish?...remolacha!

XOXO, Kelly Ordway

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Loving What Is and The Work by Byron Katie

Temple V in the Mayan ruins of Tikal

yoga on the dock in San Marcos at Lago Atitlan

the gorgeous limestone pools of Semuc Champey

cacao pods on the tree

me and my new amigo Mojito!!

Hello Lovely Rays of Light! Loving What Is is loving the fact that some of these pictures posted sideways because that's what happened and we are simply not in control...Thank Goodness!

We are back in Montana and back in the snow!! I thought it might be time to put pea seeds in the garden, but the ground is still frozen...patience is a virtue!

Speaking of patience, are you familiar with Byron Katie's work? I highly recommend it. I took her book Loving What Is on our trip with us, but hadn't read any of it yet. I packed it in my carry-on to read on our journey home because it was the smallest book I had brought. It's funny how the universe works...really, it is. After that, I proceeded to get the most frustrated and angry I had on our trip, which was a perfect way to begin reading this book.

Before we left for our honeymoon, one of my best friends sent us on our journey with a belated wedding bamboo silverware wrapped in a beautiful cloth. I packed it in my carry-on so we could eat an avocado before departing. I got pulled over in security, where they declared the fork a dangerous weapon. This was a shock after 3 weeks of few bureaucratic laws. I tried to communicate, but my Spanish was limited. I tried to go back upstairs to check my carry-on bag through when I realized my boarding ticket was with Michael, so I got to go through security again. When I did make it upstairs, Delta was already closed because it was less than 1 hour before departure. The woman at the gate said she could check the bag through if security would let me bring it to her. Security said she would have to come get it. This is the story and I was getting good and frustrated and mad...after all, it was a special gift that I had received just a few days before our trip. In the end, my fork stayed in Guatemala City and I pouted at the gate...until I started reading and remembering that the people who I was blaming my anger on are the very Buddhas who were gifting me with the opportunity to maintain my grace and happiness, no matter what the reality of the situation. My happiness is completely up to me; it is not dependent on the actions of others. I can still do everything in my power to keep my beloved fork and I have the choice to be happy or mad during the process. What a great lesson!

I have continued reading and practicing this wisdom whenever I notice that I am feeling pain, anger, jealousy, sadness. I find again and again that it is my thought about the situation that is causing the pain, rather than the actual situation itself and that there is a deeper truth than my original thought about the situation. Check Byron Katie out-she's got it goin' on and so do you!!

Warm blessings!! Kelly Ordway

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tikal, Finca Ixobel and back to Lago Atitlan!

What a journey! We don't want to leave! Tikal was truly amazing! We arrived in the afternoon and got a room at the overpriced, but amazingly located Jungle Lodge. If you buy your entrance ticket after 3 pm, you can go in the next day without purchasing another ticket. We accidentally walked in from the exit to buy our ticket and the guard with the large rifle got up so quickly, it scared me, but he just wanted to help us and talk us into buying a guidebook to Tikal! Teddybears with rifles... So, we checked in, swam in the heat-busting pool, took a short nap and then walked into the ancient Mayan city. We walked to Temple V and climbed the crazy steep stairs to the top. We chilled, ate a cacao pod in the shade and talked to a man from Florida who is traveling on the Green Tortoise bus. Just when we asked him if he had seen any animals, the monkeys went swinging by! They are so amusing to watch...they use their tails so much, it is really like having a 5th limb. Sometimes, they simply hang from their tail, so they have their hands free to stuff their faces with leaves! They appear so carefree and playful!! We also got to admire ring-tailed lemurs, toucans, green parrots, parrakeets and tons of other birds. We wandered through the main plaza which used to be the center for about 120,000 people! You can just feel it bustling with energy between the 2 main temples! We arrived at the famous Temple IV at the far end of Tikal about 5 minutes before closing. We decided to climb it real quick and there were a few others on the backside. The guard was kind enough to let us watch the rosy sun drop behind the clouds before escorting us and the two remaining Cheech and Chong chillers from California out of the park. It got dark as we walked out and I have a picture of Temple III with the moon rising above it embossed in my mind. The guards said we could stay in until 8 pm if we paid them another 50 quetzales (about $7). We passed, as it was about 7 pm by the time we got out anyway, but we did pay them the 50Q to let us in early in the morning! It usually opens at 6 am, which means you miss sunrise on the temples, but if you go in with a tour guide, they let you in around 5 am. This usually costs $10-20, so we paid the nice guards and went in with another group with our headlamps. It was so gorgeous to be standing under the starry morning skies in this sacred land and we saw a huge scorpion too! The mist rolled in by the time the sun rose, but it was worth it to sit in silence as the birds and monkeys awoke for the day.

We shuttled back to Flores and then took another 2 hour shuttle to Finca Ixobel. The mini-van wasn't full, so they cruised town, picking up mounds of people until we were stuffed to the brim! We got to buy a big bag of mangos for $2 in the process. Littering is a major problema here...they throw their cans and plastic right out the window when they're done, but they seem to balance it with mega-carpooling! Just when you think the van is full, 5 more people pile in! One of the issues with littering is that everything used to be plant based. Instead of plates, they used banana leaves and when they threw those on the ground, it was good for the plants. They keep throwing things out the window, but now it's plastic, styrofoam and batteries.

Finca Ixobel was a welcome rejuvenation point. Everything was easy. Finca means plantation and Finca Ixobel is a chunk of about 400 acres purchased by an American couple in 1972. They grow most of the food they serve and dinner had a salad buffet...glory hallelujah and yum! We were able to pay someone to wash our clothes for the 1st time in 2 weeks (stinky!), walk up the mountain, swim in the pond and they even have a bar by the pond open at night, pumping dance music and bad 80's tunes! We palyed darts, ping pong and chilled deep in the hammocks! Our bed was in an awesome treehouse with no electricity, just candlelight and cool mountain breezes!

We contemplated journeying to the Honduras Bay Islands for the remainder of our journey, but decided to minimize the exhausting travel days and take the overnight bus back to Guatemala City and head back to San Marcos at Lago Atitlan. We really love it here and are happy to know where we are sleeping for several nights in a row. We felt another earthquake this morning, which makes 4 since we've been in the country! Nothing to make me run for the doorway, but enough to wake us up! When in the states, leaving for 3 weeks sounds like such a long time, but it goes by quickly when your days are rich with experience and we are actually hard pressed to find anyone else traveling for under a month! I have gotten to use my Spanish alot and learn new words everyday. We are talking about trying to spend a few months in a Spanish speaking community to finally take it to another level. It seems very silly to me to be limited in speaking's the one goal on my list that is the least fulfilled at the moment, but I am patiently working on it!

Tomorrow, we must check out of this sweet community to sleep in Antigua for a night before shuttling to the airport on Friday. Goodbye to fresh picked mangos, Mayan tongue, women carrying gigantic baskets of fruit balanced on their heads, enormous hummingbirds sipping breakfast out of hibiscus flowers and warm sunshine on the volcanic lake! See you in North America!

Heartfelt blessings! Kelly Ordway

p.s. I can't wait to share pictures when I get back!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pacaya Volcano and Semuc Champey!

Hola amigos! We are in the small, but touristy town of Flores today, on our way to explore the amazing Mayan ruins of Tikal tomorrow. It has been an amazing journey and a lovely honeymoon, atypical as it is! Since I wrote last, we had one more day in San Marcos and I was able to attend a morning yoga class at Las Pyramides Yoga and Meditation Center. All of the bungalows and the studio are pyramids and the practice space was an amazing, sacred wooden pyramid, mostly full of students there for the month-long moon course. The Mayan woman who owns the place teaches metaphysical classes during the day, but I didn´t get to meet her. It was great to move my body consciously after being bed-ridden for a good 24 hours! It was a gentle, spiritually conscious practice that was lovely!

Then, we packed up our bags, ate watermelon by the dock and took a boat back to Panajachel. After a 2 hour wait, easily filled with browsing, we bussed to Antigua. The roads here are as intense as the terrain. Very steep and windy! The next afternoon, we went to the Pacaya Volcano, which was absolutely amazing! The hike was a lovely uphill crawl into the misty mountains with children on horses offering "Taxi!" With a complete lack of concern for lawsuits, they let everyone walk directly up to the flowing lava. We were walking right over it and staring into the mouth of the dragon, barely able to handle the heat and keeping our feet moving so our Keens didn´t melt! I have never seen lava flowing before and it was absolutely magnificent! The mountain has a sweet feminine strength that felt very clean and clear. It is constanly cleansed with a gentle wind and soft mist, yet it is so immensly powerful! We were in awe and so grateful to experience her majesty!

The next day, we embarked upon the long journey north to the sacred pools of Semuc Champey. Again, it was an unbelievable sight! We borrowed a Rough Guide to Guatemala travel book before we left, only to realize on our trip that it was published in 2002...alot has changed! Luckily, one of the things that have changed is the fact that there is a hostel 50 yards from the national park. We hopped off one bus, just in time to be solicited for El Portal Hostel and we are so glad our timing was on. Most people have to come in with a travel group for the day from the neighboring village of Lanquin. They traveled as a herd, got their faces painted like warriors with a local plant and had to leave several hours before dark. We got to watch the young Guatemalans dance after dinner, wake up with the sun, walk into the park just as they opened and enjoy the pools to ourselves for hours before others arrived. We walked out as they all walked in and ended up strolling across the bridge to check out the San Marias Caves. Unbelievable again! We looked at the sign, which listed the daily tours at 8 am and 1 pm, then looked at the clock...1 pm, perfecto! The young Mayan villager gave us each a lit candle and turned on his head lamp as we entered the cave. Stalagmite formations, bats, swimming while holding the candle above water, climbing up ladders and ropes...Indiana Jones style! Michael and I kept smiling at each other and laughing because it was so cool!

We headed back to the crystal blue pools of Semuc Champey for the evening. We were passing everyone coming back out for the day, including a worker who warned us of jaguars and tigers with a smile. We couldn´t tell if he was joking or not! As we climbed the millions of steps up to El Mirador (the lookout at the top of the cliff), we heard an animal scream and I was sure it was a jaguar! I was already headed back down the hill when I realized I was leaving my new hubby in the dust and he was still listening...monkeys! Big, black monkeys, hanging from their tails and stuffing their faces with green leaves. Did you know that we share 99.7% of the same genes as chimpanzees and their diet is 40% greens? We watched them through our binolculars for quite some time and the one remained really vocal. We decided to stay an extra night, as the long travel days are exhausting and this place was really something special. Back at the hostel, we were surrounded by plantations of corn, cardamom, coffee and cacao trees! We had little girls offering us fresh made chocolate morning and night! I recognized the cacao plants on the way in and asked about them. A few minutes later, a young boy returned with his machete and a big cacao pod for sale for 5 quetzales (about 75 cents)! We ate the fresh, raw beans right from the pod and realized we felt slightly a beautiful, present moment sort of way. We had seen signs in San Marcos for Chocolate Journey chocolate, get high, go deep. I have always heard that it was a heart opening plant and definitely experienced that gentle sensation as well. So, we ate a lot of chocolate and bought 2 pods for the road...we´re saving one for the temples of Tikal!

Today was eight hours of careening mini buses topped with slick travel agencies trying to earn their commissions. It can be overwhelming...the heat, the dirty lake, the aggressive vendors, but we have our 1st planned reservation of the trip...we are staying at a hotel at the ruins tomorrow night, have return bus tickets the next day and then a tree house awaiting us at Finca Ixobel the next 2 nights! I guess it is a farm, so they serve an abundance of fresh grown food, bake their own bread and there is swimming in the pond, hammock chilling and cave tours. Nice!

I have not stayed all raw this trip, but I´m not worried about it. I am just trying
to keep my body happy and make the best choices I can given the circumstances. We are eating away at out bag of raw goodies (dehydrated pumpkin seeds, almonds, buckwheat groats) and those are so nice to have with us. There is still an abundance of mangos, pineapple and watermelon, some salads and some beans and homemade corn tortillas. I will continue to eat my alomst completely raw diet when I return, but when diarreah strikes, salad in a 3rd world country doesn´t always sound so good! My tummy is feeling stable and happy again, Hallelujah!

Sending you Peace, Love and Gratitude!! Kelly Ordway

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sick Stomach, but Happy Heart!

Hola Amigos! Well, I got hit with the stomach sickness last night. After having a hard time getting a salad, which is getting sketchier, I ordered a veggie burrito. I think it might have been okay except for the cole slaw next to it and perhaps the oil they use. Last night, it turned into a burning pit in my stomach that led to diarreah and vomiting...doesn´t quite sound like paradise anymore, does it? I felt so much better after puking , but felt pretty weak today, so we super chilled. We laid in the grass down by the lake, swam, ate mango and pineapple. This evening we did the same and played travel scrabble. They have a resident parrot at the hotel named Mojito. He was chillin´ in the trees down by the lake today and kept whistling at us. After talking back and forth for awhile, I went to see if he would walk onto my fingers since he had been giving me googly eyes all day! He climbed right on and we got to hang out for a good while! When I tried to put him back in the tree, he climbed up my arm, so I took him down to our blanket and he played scrabble with us for awhile!

The cove where we are is gorgeous and all the fishermen paddle in their dug out canoes. You actually hear more of their traditional Mayan language than Spanish which is beautiful. Another canoe paddles next to man snorkeling in his undies, throwing crab into the canoe every few minutes. The young men who work at the hotel always take a swim/bath in the afternoon and their playful laughter is refreshing!

I think we are going to head out tomorrow and start Antigua and crawling northeast towards the protected jungles and eventually Tikal. There is horrendous singing over loud speakers every night here. I think they are singing prayers, but it sounds wicked off key and high pitched! Yesterday, a ton of really old video games arrived next to the church and after banging a few boards, hanging sheets and using a lot of extension cords, they now have an arcade for the kids...kung fu fighting and Bart Simpson on a skate board. Life here is an interesting mix of traditional culture mixed with modern technology. Yesterday, we took a boat over to San Pedro to watch the European Soccer Championships in an English pub. There were 21 people stuffed into the boat, most traditionally dressed, but the young man next to me was playing chess on his cell phone. Later, we took a walk down by the water where the women were scrubbing their clothes on brick slabs, but again talking on a cell phone!

Wishing you Love and Light (and wishing me a speedy recovery!) XO, Kelly Ordway