Recently we had the amazing opportunity of having ‘The Circle’ Ch 10 Australian TV show come to do some stories on Bliss.
(You can watch all 3 episodes at the bottom of this post). It was so exciting, but I must admit initially there was some dread of the ‘unknown’ and whether they were going to ‘get’ what we were all about.
As soon as I met with Georgie (George) and Courtney the producer after their long and late flight from Melbourne, my fears were allayed with their warmth and enthusiasm and genuine questions, which were in fact very similar to what most women ask us when they get here.
‘So how did you come to start Bliss?’
I launched into the story of life basically being a big struggle and coming to the point where I finally made a decision to put myself first… In a big way! Only after making the life changing decision to move to Bali for my health (and because waiting around for prince charming to ride up on his big white horse to ‘save’ me wasn’t working J), did I have ideas start flooding in about Bliss Sanctuary For Women and offering women traveling alone, what I could never seem to find! A place where I could follow my own Bliss in a beautiful warm environment, safety, a support network and people around me who understood my needs and wanted to connect through friendship and shared experiences. Oh and an hour and a half of massage everyday … very important! Lol.
As we spoke it struck me that these words weren’t just another ‘story’ this was my life! Just over a year ago I packed up and moved to a new country, started a business, multiple staff and their families rely on me, so many amazing women have shared their lives, I can now find myself on google J and more and more women are feeling comfortable to travel on their own and do something for themselves so they can go back and be more balanced in life!
It only took a full tv crew , shooting for 3 days to help me realize this! As Oprah would say… an AHA moment.
As we went through the next 3 days of shooting and connecting with the amazing crew (the boys stayed at another villa but were allowed in lol) we had a wonderful time. From Brendan and Darius calling Putu our driver ‘rockstar park’ and Putu now changing his email address to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’! To Alit weaving in and out of the camera just dying to be on TV, and then serving the most amazing meals and describing on camera in English what they all are. And Wayan concentrating so hard on the massage being filmed that we had to keep reminding her to smile! And filming Komang doing his nightly ritual lighting incense and praying dressed in his Sarong blessing the villa.
Best of all was connecting with George who was authentically interested in what we were doing and had her own personal experience over the 3 days. And the amazing producer Courtney who directed the whole thing seamlessly understanding exactly what our intentions were and capturing the ‘specialness’ of Bliss.
The first day we shot within Bliss then went to the beautiful Desa Seni who had laid out the most amazing flowers leading up to the Bale where the yoga class took place. We could have stayed there forever filming their wonderful space. We did day and night shoots back at Bliss and had the most wonderful meal of Balinese Spiced Snapper, Gado Gado arguably the most popular vegetable dish in Bali, Coconut prawns (YUM!), Chicken Curry and pumpkin cooked in Banana Leaf.
Can you just imagine how excited our Balinese staff were to have TV cameras, a lighting and sound guy, and famous people from Australia wanting to speak to them, be massaged by them, to cook for them and drive for them! Definitely an experience they would never have imagined growing up in a small Balinese Village.
The 2nd day we headed to South Bali to visit the Orphanage as facilitated by the lovely Marg from Bali Children Foundation. Our whole 2nd segment (they shot 3 in all) is all about these poorer Balinese Communities and the Children we are helping by giving them educational opportunities and supporting their general and health needs also. Very exciting as so many of our guests are interested in our humanitarian work and contribute in different ways.
I was very touched when an amazing boy came and asked to speak to me in English (which was extremely good btw) and told me how he wanted to go to University but his parents want him to go straight to work. His eyes had a desperation to them, he needed someone to see him and give him the chance for a better life. Marg explained to me that his parents don’t want him to go to University as they want him to start working so he can contribute money to the family now. Thank goodness Marg is sending their regional manager to speak to his parents and explain to them that through a scholarship which he is certainly eligible for he will have everything paid for and also have some money to contribute to the family as well as work as an English teacher organized for him to further contribute to the family income. Pretty sure I’ll be sponsoring him and seeing an amazing man emerge in the future!
Apart from the chronic car sickness from the ridiculously windy roads and steep hills (though beautiful from what I could see in glimpses though my fearful squinting eyes lol), it was an amazing day with Balinese dancing, Silat Martial Arts demonstrations and connecting with so many gorgeous kids.
The 3rd day Sami the healer came and worked his magic on George who loved his healing hands and his teachings afterwards. I was amazed when Darius showed me some close up shots and camera angles that looked absolutely beautiful. It’s so amazing to see how things can look when we focus our intention onto them and look for the beauty.
It was then bike riding for George around the rice paddies and off to Tugu Cooking School to learn some Balinese dishes and then to Petitenget Beach and the OneGiantMind Meditation where we all meditated and combined with others at the same time meditating around the world.
All in all it was a fantastic experience, made that way by the people we connected with. I can’t wait to see the finished product on the Circle and will have all 3 videos up on the website within a few weeks.
And the biggest learning during this time was … If you put the hard work in and follow your heart and help meet a need in the world, others will sit up and take notice. But it is connecting with people through personal experiences that creates the magic.
Special thanks To Channel 10 and ‘The Circle’, George, Courtney, Darius and Brendan. Tom and Marco from Desa Seni. Stephanie and Hellen from Tugu. Bali Children Foundation and Bali Kids. OneGiantMind. Sami the healer. All of my beautiful staff and a very special thanks to Gray Management Group who are PR gurus and especially the amazing Maree.