As I was absorbing the vertical farming of the Balinese rice fields, I heard a small voice behind me.
“Will you buy some postcards? It is for my school.”
The tone of the question drew me in. Plaintive, victimized and small, her voice called out for all the compassion I held. But I knew that this child, still dressed in her school uniform, was not a victim. Or small. Or needy.
You could see it in her eyes. Balinese embody the knowledge that they are worthy and loved. They stay in touch with the wisdom to see the truth of life.
We are all expressions of the Divine.
I gently said no to her and shook my head. Her voice followed me down the steps, trying to connect to my tourist spirit. As soon as my head dropped out of sight, I heard her voice return to normal, strong and confident.
As we continued down the stairs and descended into the valley, the terraced rice fields rose above us. Green, vibrant and active, farmers walked along the top of each level tending to their fields. Calm, centered and focused, they moved with the same pace, creating a mindful dance.
The tourists stood out among the farmers. People made their way along the terraces, but their energy was totally different. Hurried, determined and already thinking about the next stop, they took their pictures and asked, “What’s next?”
The farmers kept going, unfazed by the attention they received from foreigners. They were present, aware and awake. Nothing from the outside would disturb their centeredness.
We stopped at a small landing to rest for a moment. Two young girls were waiting to sell their postcards. I listened to their pleading voice and said no gently. Something promoted me to say what was in my heart.
I leaned down to their level and spoke to each one individually. I waited a moment for them to settle, then looked into their lovely, dark brown eyes. We connected. I felt it in my body and my heart opened in appreciation.
“You are beautiful,” I said spontaneously. I kept repeating it. “You are beautiful.” We continued to stay connected and the words flowed out of my heart.
“You are beautiful.”
Suddenly, instead to saying it to these lovely girls, I was saying it to myself.
“You are beautiful.”
Tears came to my eyes as I drank in that message. These beautiful souls reflected that message back to me and I saw it in the depths of their eyes. Time stood still in acknowledgment and I felt whole, healed and complete.
I put my hands in prayer position and bowed to them. They graced me with their beautiful smiles and I felt as if I had touched the heart of Bali.
We finished the climb down and admired the fields. On the way back up, following a line of tourists, I turned the corner and saw them again. They were working the crowd, but when they saw me, the charade immediately dissolved and they became themselves.
“You are beautiful!” Their high voices rang out across the valley as I celebrated with them. “You are beautiful!” Smiling and laughing, we shared the secret of
Every person is a beautiful expression of God. When that knowing becomes your anchor and foundation, your life transforms. You return to your center and your heart opens to the beauty and majesty of life.
It’s just another step in the Heart Dance!