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Have you seen the movie 'Eat, Pray, Love'?  When I first read the book in 2007, it was while I was traveling through Asia on our 'healing journey'.  My family and I had just left Indonesia, where we spent about 5 weeks, living in Bali.  This is probably our favorite time of the trip.  It seems like a humble spirit resides on that island and dwells in the devoted hearts of its inhabitants. The healer the author portrays in the movie is most undoubtedly the one we met there and touched all our hearts.  While it is impossible in words to express everything about our heartening experiences in north Bali and Ubud, I would like to share some memories and inspirations with you.  

I took Amanda and Amira to see this movie this week and it triggered all our memories.  Amira had her 7th birthday on the island of Bali.  We were staying in a village house on the northern tip of the island, where the sand is black volcanic and beaches are very rocky.  When we were first picked up at the airport by our driver Blue, it was a 3 hour circuitous root and we arrived in this hidden village at 3 a.m., exhausted and nauseous from the speed of the ride!  We were met by the tropical fragrance of frangipani flowers, and by Wayan and Nyoman who were our cook and housekeeper for the month.


 In Bali the children are named by birth order, male or female, Wayan (first born) and Nyoman (third born) were from this village that we stayed in.  We were the only tourists in this area, as we had rented the bungalow, very cheaply on line, from an expatriate family.   We had brought the girls bikes with us from Australia (where we had been the two months prior), as we had taught Amira to ride a bike there and she was hooked!  They would ride around the rocky dirt roads and passed by a school where all the children saw them and waved.  Soon the word was out that two girls were visiting and 9 local village girls soon were over to swim in the pool and play each day after school. All these girls came from the village, living in huts, most families in one room. None of them spoke english, and we did not know balinese, but children play together.  For Amira's 7th birthday I threw a party for her and her new friends.  With the assistance of Wayan communicated that no gifts were to be brought please.  But these amazing youthful spirits, in the spirit of the generous Balinese all brought her something.  I cried.  The gifts were homemade or a stuffed animal they had treasured.  All wore full smiles and demonstrated the joy of giving.  It was the best birthday celebration we have ever had!  Amanda and Amira in return gave them presents and their bicycles.

We left the north of Bali shortly after, moving on to the mountain area of Ubud where I was participating in a yoga/writing retreat with Sarah Armstrong.  Somehow creativity is opened on this tropical island.  Ok, so much to tell, but let me move on to the story about the beautiful healer in Ubud.  We learned about him from Blue and travelled into the northern part of Ubud to meet with him.  He is the local spiritual healer and medicine man, as has been his family tradition for generations.  I learned so much from this gentle man.  He showed me how he does physical diagnoses by palpating the head, arms, feet, etc.  He knew that Troy had low back pain by his toes, and when he touched the area between his pinky toe on the left foot, Troy nearly flew off the ground!  It was an exquisitely tender tender point.  When the girls and I stopped laughing, we heard the healer telling Troy what to do about it, as he continued to press on this point.  He said he would heal by walking at least one hour everyday making sure his heels hit the ground first and clearing his mind as he walked smiling.  He also told Troy and I that we should make a baby between 3 and 4 am when the evil spirits are quiet!  This sent the girls (7 and 9) roaring with laughter!  (Thereafter they daily would ask us each morning if we woke up at 3 to make a baby!)  Of course, this made me solemn when he talked about making a baby, because I had been told that I never would again be able to, and I had begun to curse my menses.... more on this at another time....
He then looked at Amanda and said "What is it child that you want to know?"  Amanda was quiet, a question burning on her lips, then said "How can I talk to animals?"  He was silent as they kept looking at each other, even Amira was quiet, my inquisitive one, waiting for an answer.  Then he said, "You look them in the eyes and breathe."  Amanda gently nodded her head in a deeper understanding than I have, and this is what she still does.  My heart is very proud of my children.

What I learned from him, I try to encorporate into my medical practice and contributed to my Mighty Maca Greens.  He is a true healer, knowing that to heal the body, you must heal the spirit....

Wishing you a vida pura,
Anna Cabeca, DO

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