How Bali inspired me to live A more purposeful life & 3 tips to help you do the same.

Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I recently spent what was the best 10 days of my life in the most beautiful place on earth that I have travelled to so far, Bali. I think what brings me to make this huge statement is the rich culture, the feeling of togetherness in the community and how inspirational it is to watch the Balinese maintain the balance of the spiritual and physical worlds.
Since our visit I have been obsessed with bringing the peaceful, Zen vibe I enjoyed in Bali home with me to Australia and so I thought I would focus this post on the Balinese life concept of ‘Tri Hita Karana’ that has the rough literal translation “three causes of well-being” or “three reasons for prosperity.”

1. Harmony among people –There wasn’t a single time where I didn’t feel welcomed in Bali. The sincere, warm energy the Balinese radiate is a feeling that is contagious and not one I have ever felt too many times before. This isn’t just an “act” that the Balinese put on for tourists it is evident in every interaction they have with people. Living in a civil manner like the Balinese can change even the most stressful situations like the chaotic driving most people would have experienced in Bali. 20180505_100724220_iOS (2)I almost felt Bali was somewhat lawless when it came to road rules as no one sticks to their lanes, they pull out in front of each other and there are no road signs, yet not once did I witness any sort of road rage and all the cars were in pristine condition and the beeps were friendly. Instead of laws they drive with care and respect which works better than any road rule I have seen around the world!!  I was in complete awe that not once did I ever see any conflict, arguments or anger in general while in Bali. It was bliss!

TIP – Practice patience, smile at strangers, pay attention to your surroundings, treat others with respect and show genuine care in all that you say and do. You could even go one step further and volunteer to help others who need it   in your community or dig deep to be more forgiving  as this creates an inner peace that enables us to feel a sense of wholeness.

2. Harmony with nature and environment – There is beauty to be found everywhere in Bali and the pure love and respect the Balinese have towards nature is evident in daily life. I adored seeing the colourful offerings you would see scattered across the pathways where people live and work. The temples were captivating, the art is simply stunning, and the intricate sculptures have no detail spared. This is all beauty that the Balinese people have made and maintain with total care and devotion which is on top of the natural sunsets, rice paddocks and breath-taking scenery. 20180504_103123199_iOS

TIP – Slow down and pay attention the detail that is all around you and if you are struggling to find the beauty in your surroundings, then do something about it. I noticed a significant difference in my mood by adding more plants into my home and more colour into the office I work in. If you see rubbish on the ground make it your responsibility to pick it up. Take pride in the place you call home and I don’t just mean the house you live in but the country you are building a life in.

3. Harmony with God – Every morning and night you see beautiful bright offerings that have been carefully placed outside homes and businesses. The Balinese spend hours preparing the baskets which are made daily from banana or palm leaves and are then filled with fresh flowers (each flower represents various gods.) photo-1513437897332-9f3b63dd61c5Rice, sweets, cigarettes and sometimes money are also placed in the basket and topped with a stick of burning incense. Every single part of the offering has significant meaning from the placement of the flowers in the basket to the special hand gestures and prayers involved in placing the offerings. What I admire most about the ritual is that it isn’t considered a chore, the offerings honour a daily ritual of self-sacrifice, a spirit of gratitude, and a time to be truly present.

TIP – You don’t have to set up an alter in your home or pray to a God to experience the same spiritual benefits of the Balinese. You can simply take 5 minutes out of your day to meditate, write a list of 3 things you’re grateful for or sit outside and observe the magic of your surroundings. Being at one (with all relations) opens us to a purposeful life –  a life filled with connection, wholeness, fulfilment, and ever-present joy.

I think the Balinese way of life combined with my “Buddhish” values will truly help me live a more meaningful life.

Thanks for reading! ☮


  1. pslater1972 says:

    Bali looks amazing. It’s a very long way away for me but I’m sure it would be well worth the effort.

  2. Bryan Fagan says:

    Most of us live in the future. There is always something ahead of us and all that matters is getting to it. It sounds like you experienced something that many people simple don’t do: You stopped running. I don’t know if it’s in our DNA or our society, whatever it is it is a problem and it has been for a long time.

    Thank you for this reminder. Lets hope someone who is running will slow down enough to take a look around.

    • I’ll be totally honest, putting my tips into action when you’re surrounded by people who do the total opposite can be difficult. Just like you said most of us live in the future which is a hard habit to break. I hope that by sharing my experiences I will inspire others to see the benefits of changing old habits and prompt some action (even if it is just slowing down) 🙂

  3. What wonderful learnings you have taken away from your trip. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I love that you say to smile at strangers! This is a daily practice for me. Smiling is contagious…

    Smiles from Indiana! 🙂

  5. I love this post! Bali is for sure on my bucket list of places to visit. I really liked all your thoughts about being one with God & nature and being aware of the needs of those around us! Totally agree!

  6. A very inspiring post, especially your bold print thoughts on the commentary. Your three points about harmony with people, nature, and God are outstanding. These not only provide a peaceful life, but one beneficial to all that we come in contact with.

    • Its incredible how 3 very simple points could potentially change the world as we know it. If only we could inspire more people to introduce them into their lives. Thank you for taking the time to comment 🙂

      • It is often the simple things that hold the potential for the greatest change. Thanks for sharing! Your three points are very clarifying and could help many. 🙂

  7. Ben Aqiba says:

    Hello Natalie,

    I read your story in part About me and I am impressed. I hope that you are ok now, but I am sure that you are on the right path. This is one wonderful story, start with great Gandhi, through great messages about people from Bali.You said some very important things and that is “Practice” patience, smile and other things, and I totally agree with you. Nothing comes to us with birth. We are born like Tabula rasa -blank slate and if want to be calm, we must work on it, if we want to be good we must work on it, if we want to be wise we must work on it.People often tell me you are so calm, and I told them, be you also, and they said no, I do not have such a character and I said me neither 🙂

    Thank you for this post and stay on your path

  8. duskalert says:

    Bali is a “must-visit”

    Reminder: I nominated you for The Real Neat Blog Award. I’m waiting for your response.😍

  9. It’s amazing what effect the culture of a given destination can have on you experience there. I had a very similar experience in Bermuda. Bali is on the list for the next year of travel. Great job!

  1. […] to Day 1 which you can follow until the last day of our holiday. I also wrote a post about how Bali inspired me to live a more purposeful life and some tips for others to do the […]

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