IWSG – Sept 2020 – Blooming Lotus Yoga Bliss Retreat

, Just this morning I was saying to myself, “Self, eleven months have passed; you’ve written three posts about your trip to Bali and you’re still not finished. What’s with that?”

There are five reasons why I’m not finished:

1.  All my photographs won’t fit in one post.

2.  It was a huge experience, hard to wrap up in 3000 words or less; at least, for me.

3.  If I’m putting this out in the world, I need to do it justice.

4.  Long posts take time to read .

5.  I’m an author. When I finish a book, I say goodbye to my characters. I don’t want to say goodbye to Bali.

To recap:

  • Oct 1  – I left Canada.
  • Oct 3 – Arrived in Manila and stayed at the historical Luneta Hotel.
  • Oct 5 – Flew to Denpasar and stayed at the beautiful Novotel Hotel.
  • Oct 6 – Traveled north to the Blooming Lotus Yoga Bliss Retreat.

BTW: I did this BY MYSELF!

I returned to Canada on October 17, 2019, looking like the same ole joylene, but I wasn’t. I’d visited heaven on earth and I came away breathing a more joyous, loving, and compassionate life.

Now 11 months later, COVID-19 later, I yearn to go back to that glorious feeling of awareness, peace, and gratitude in Indonesia.

The wise one inside of me, the one who’s always been, even though I don’t always feel her, knows I don’t need to go back. I have the capacity to be aligned with my spirit without having to travel 13000 km. All I need to do is be still and breathe.

Map of Bali


The Blooming Lotus Yoga Bliss Retreat is set in the lush jungle of Bali. The place is magical. There are classes in the sacred wisdom of Yoga, Tantra & Vedanta. My 7 days encompassed the Hatha, vinyasa, & yin styles of yoga asana.

What you’re seeing in the photo below is the compound. The three tiers house private and shared villas, which can have 2 to 6 guests in each. Please forgive the poor quality photos. They didn’t transfer from iPhone to Dropbox to WordPress the way I’d hoped.

I stayed in a single room, (centred in the photo) under the yoga studio, sharing the villa with 4 others. Each villa had its own swimming pool. The community swimming pool near the bottom of the photo is next door to the spa.

The top tier with the rows of lights is the dining room on your right with the large yoga studio on your left.



There were 26 in attendance … from all walks and countries. Five travelled from Canada. The others were from Spain, Australia, Turkey, Sweden, Korean, Denmark, United States, Switzerland, and the UK.

Among these beautiful souls were a nurse, yoga instructor, doctor, teachers, computer coders, designer, government worker, animal rescuer, accountant, banker, lawyer, prosecutor. I was the only author.

Going out on a limb and admitting I was the oldest person in attendance.



My room, behind the glass doors.

The interesting thing is my room was very white, not the colour in the photo at all. I had the room to myself.

I did have a single suite like the one below, but I moved to be closer to the studio.

After morning lessons and before the evening ones, we were left to our own devices. I did a walkabout as often as I could. Camera in hand.


Breakfast was at 7:30 sharp each morning.

Dinner was 7:30 pm sharp…



There was a temple across from us.

Blooming Lotus is strictly vegan so some of us went to town for junk food.




One day we all went to a temple and had our chakras cleansed.

A moving experience.


Our teacher and angel: Bindi

I will conclude my posts on Bali next month, summing up my impressions of the people, the landmarks, and the overall trip. If you are considering a trip to Bali in the future and have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below. I’ll answer next month.

So much happened that I’m left a little overwhelmed, still. I don’t feel as if I’m adequately showcased just how special my trip was. It was life-changing.

“In Yoga everything is centered upon letting go and falling in love with love itself.”

…  Ramananda Mayi

IWSG was created by Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh — because Alex understands we need a safe place to congregate, insecurity is part of our creative nature, and together we’re stronger.

On the first Wednesday of each month, you can write on any subject related to your writing journey or adopt the option of answering the month’s question. Either way, you’re in safe territory.

If this sounds like a good place to be, sign up here.

IWSG’s Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, a question is announced that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Remember, the question is optional!

September 2 question – If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?
The awesome co-hosts for the September 2 posting of the IWSG are PJ Colando, J Lenni Dorner, Deniz Bevan, Kim Lajevardi, Natalie Aguirre, and Louise – Fundy Blue!
When you have a moment, please stop by and thank the hosts for their time. They’re the reason nobody gets left without visitors.
ps. The one thing I did learn even before I visited Bali:
“The secret to happiness is happiness itself. Wherever we are, any time, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, the wonder of our breathing. We don’t have to travel anywhere else to do so. We can be in touch with these things right now.” … Thich Nhat Hanh.

Comments 36

  1. by Alex J. Cavanaugh, J. L. Campbell, Susan Gourley, Joylene Nowell Butler, L. Diane Wolfe, Lynda R. Young, Michelle Wallace Tapping into the expertise of over a hundred talented authors from around the globe, The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond contains something for every writer. Whether you are starting out and need tips on the craft of writing, looking for encouragement as an already established author, taking the plunge into self-publishing, or seeking innovative ways to market and promote your work, this guide is a useful tool. Compiled into three key areas of writing, publishing, and marketing, this valuable resource offers inspirational articles, helpful anecdotes, and excellent advice on dos and don’ts that we all wish we knew when we first started out on this writing journey.

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    @Patsy: I know, but I also think I should stop obsessing. Maybe.
    @Pat: I would love to visit Germany. One of my dearest friends is from there and goes back every year.
    @Tamara: I feel very fortunate that our building has a community pool. We take turns.
    @Jemi: Thanks. Hope your book sales are going well.
    @Suzanne: It’s another reason I’m blogging about my trip; so I don’t forget all the little details.
    @Chrys: It was beyond amazing.
    @Erika: I’m trying for day by day too, or even moment by moment.
    @Lynn: Exploring our minds was partially what Bali taught me.
    @Anna: I can’t imagine not being changed.
    @Sadira: Thank you for visiting.
    @Alex: It was totally awesome.
    @Jennifer: I met some very nice people.
    @Loni: Thanks, it was.
    @Jemima: I had no idea I like Vegan food. LOL.
    @Lynn: There is certain junk food worth the trip. LOL
    @SE: Thanks, because it just may.
    @CG: Thanks.
    @Diane: Yes, there were 4 ladies celebrating their 60th birthdays.
    @Lee: You’re right, there is so much to explore.
    @Martha: True, once was a blessing. Twice would be great too.
    @Olga: Thanks, I took 100s.
    @Carrie-Anne: I never thought I would.
    @Jonnie: I almost researched it to death. LOL
    @Louise: Age is a state of mind, absolutely.
    @Denise: thanks. Next month.
    @Hilary: I’m glad you’re back.
    @Janet: I never thought I’d do it either. Your mind is powerful.
    @Sonia: Namaste.
    @Yvette: thanks, and more.
    @Toi: You’re never too late.

  3. Sorry for my late visit. Thank you for stopping by my blog.
    Thank you for continuing to share your experience with us. I really enjoy and appreciate your words. Despite your Dropbox issues, I think all the images are lovely.

  4. What beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing your amazing trip with us, but not just for the photos. That sense of peace and getting inside yourself is something I wish I could let myself do. So happy for you. Still shaking my head at you traveling alone to Bali! Good for you.
    JQ Rose

  5. Amazing trip … I’ll be back on a more regular basis – not sure where the link when haywire …

    Anyway – I’ll need to read the rest of these … extraordinary and wonderful trip. Love the photos – poof if they’re not perfect!! Take care and I’ll be back shortly … Hilary

  6. I absolutely love your Bali posts, Joylene, and all the gorgeous photos. The photo below the beds and the pools of the two mirror image people on opposite sides of a door radiate calmness and peace, so soothing for someone highly strung like me. They remind me of the apsara dancers that grace so many temples and buildings in Cambodia. Who cares if you were the oldest one there? ~ You were showing everyone that age is a state of mind. There are chronologically old people who will never be “old.” I think I’d like having my own room to retreat to at the end of a long day ~ This introvert would need to recover! Obviously your experiences in Bali had a profound impact on you. I’m so glad that you went for it!

  7. Oh Joylene, it has been some time since we sat pen in hand together. And here you are sharing Bali with us. Somehow I missed this conversation last winter, so pleased to be caught up partially now. I def wish to know more about this place. Imagining you researched heaps to find/ create the best spot. Or maybe the lotus simply released a blossom and you were welcomed with ease. Much, much Love Always, till we return once again to the pen n’ paper, Thank-you so much for all your wkshops this past winter. May you continue being safe, and my oh my, look how many folk responded in one day!

  8. I think going to an exotic retreat is the treat of a lifetime! We don’t need to do it many times, but once or twice gets us thinking far beyond our normal boundaries. Next time I want to go!

  9. This was a true adventure not only to Bali but into yourself, Joylene. I wouldn’t want to stop writing about this experience at all, and perhaps you won’t. There has to be so much to explore.

  10. So beautiful! You might have been the oldest but I saw someone else with grey hair in the lineup.

    Eleven months seems like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it? We took our trip to New Hampshire 11 months ago and I look at the photos and think, “Wow, we had no idea what was about to happen. Thank goodness we took the trip when we did.”

  11. Gosh the pictures of Bali are so beautiful, and calming. I honestly don’t care how long it takes you to get one of the Bali posts up as long as I get to relax with the photos eventually, LOL.

  12. There is a joy and sense calm understanding that comes through with each post. An extraordinary gift to get through these challenging times. When you guys went to town for junk food, did you feel guilty? LOL

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  13. I really enjoyed that trip with you. I’ve been to Indonesia – a very special trip with a friend who lives in the States, having married a US citizen. But that retreat looks very special… and just as I was wondering if they cater for vegetarians, you slipped in ‘vegan’! I might have to break my vow not to fly anywhere ….

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  14. This looks like an incredible adventure for you! I heard a small clip on the CBC today from a philosopher who was talking on the benefit right now of changing our focus to explore more with the mind than with our physical bodies in a different place (since we are grounded). But I can see how the beauty of Bali would still draw you to want to go back sooner than later!

  15. Hi,
    It is wonderful to feel the sereneness in your pictures when I look at them. I plan to enjoy a short wellness long weekend in the northern mountains of Hessen, Germany and I am looking forward to the stillness.
    Long ago, I learned that if you want to find happiness, look within yourself. It’s a scary thing to do because you have to remove all the junk in your mind and open yourself up to change and get to know who you really are.
    I am happy that you got the opportunity to find yourself. Things are not as stressful when we do that.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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