Venting frustration

Last updated on May 5, 2023

Victoria at the lake

I woke up that morning, fed up and tired with this journey. The rats had returned to the ceiling, causing another disrupted night’s sleep while they played gymnastics above our heads, the thin plaster amplifying their patter to the sound of elephants’ hooves. Tonight we’d have to re-plug in the sonic repeller, pushing aside any worries about its effects on our consciousness. Sleep was more important.

Without sleep, everything feels heavier. A glorious day turns bleak and infuriation gives rise to the unreasonable. “Maybe we need to find another house, or maybe it would be easier to just go home earlier?” “Let’s look into it.”

It wasn’t really about the rats. We were both drained for different reasons. Steve is flat out with a film that seems as though it may never end. He is angry at Ubud because he has to work so hard here – a fact that won’t change wherever we go.

Dangers to my mantra

My infuriation with the town is more personal. Through adopting the mantra ‘Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it’, I’ve spent the last few months throwing myself into the town’s alternative health and spiritual healings. It’s a turbulent path, bringing frustration and progress in almost equal measures. Clarity is not forthcoming.

In the time I’ve been here, I’ve been told I’m allergic to gluten, dairy, rice, sugar, red wine, nuts, coffee, eggs, corn, soy, oats and others that I’ve forgotten. I’ve also been told I’m definitely not allergic to all of those things. I’ve been assured there are ways to eliminate these allergies, and also that that’s impossible, and I’ve been given so many different dietary restrictions that if I followed them all, I’d live off mostly red rice and mung beans. My head is swimming in so much conflicting information that it’s hard to find the right way up.

Rice field road

Allergies are only a part of it. Others put it down to energy or mind patterns – stagnant emotional trauma blocking the natural flow and manifesting as every ailment. It’s not even limited to this lifetime. That trauma could go back into the realms of ancestors and previous lives. The variables are immense, and one of the biggest is my own mind. Am I doing this to myself? What even is ‘this’? I am drowning in the possibilities.

I knew this was a danger when I started, and I’ve tried to remain objective, but when so many people tell you so many things, even if you hardly believe them, the words stick around as whispers of doubt that are sometimes hard to silence.

Power of affirmation

Techniques like NLP teach that positive affirmations help you to get what you want, the words becoming truth. What about when those words are negative, bequeathed to you by someone else’s misguided subjectivity dressed in the guise of therapy? It’s a dangerous game to play, and the fight to resist is tiring – an ironic side effect when tiredness is what I’m trying to remedy.

I read this quote from an author who visited Bali:

“Sometimes I get so confused looking for answers in this place that I can’t even remember what the question was.”

It sums up my frustrations exactly.

So that is how I began the day – impatience and anger boiling, desperate to throw all my toys out the pram and declare the whole thing void, perhaps returning to a homeland of pizza, cakes and hot chocolate.

The next 12 hours changed that. By evening time, sunshine had swept in and blown the clouds of frustration away.  A glow replaced the glower.

How so? I’ll tell you next time…

16 thoughts on “Venting frustration”

  1. We’ve all been where you are, or at least I have! Sometimes you just wake up and feel like a grump…

    So interesting to hear about how so many of the processes in Ubud have wound up being so negative. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since if you walked out with them telling you you were fit as a fiddle, they’d probably not be in business for long. But I’m sure the people running these clinics and the like are the ones who most buy into the notion of negative energy and mindsets. To constantly be told ways in which you are lacking or your health/soul/aura is terminal is so incredibly draining, even if you don’t buy into half of it… Can’t wait to hear about how things turn around!

    • That’s one of the things that is puzzling me the most — how/why/if the therapists all believe their own stories. Nearly all of them have been lovely people, but some of their beliefs have bordered on ludicrous. It makes it very difficult to know where to stand. It’s been a fascinating journey though, and in the last few weeks I’ve had some great experiences which I’ll share soon.

    • Yes, that’s totally all it’s about — not friends or family. Ha! Of course not. I am so excited about seeing you, I am fit to burst! Just a few more weeks…

  2. What an embarrassment Ubud has become…where anyone can set up shop as a ‘healer’ or ‘shamen’ or some sort of ‘expert’ full of pseudo-science jargon or ‘spiritual lingo’ . and make a lucrative business from it. Of course there are those who keep them in business….the ‘spiritual tourist’ who comes to Bali on the express EatPrayLove tour…spiritual enlightenment in two weeks…. openness to life such as yours is a gift. Be selective in what surround yourself with… said it yourself…”the words stick around as whispers of doubt that are sometimes hard to silence. ” good luck, I enjoy your blog.-

    • Thank you Barbara. I’m pleased you’re enjoying the blog. I agree that Ubud has a lot of its downsides, but I also love it. I find it’s all about finding the right balance, which is easier said than done!

  3. This hit home today. We literally just arrived in Mexico but after three days we were so frustrated with the heat and house-searching we were ready to call it quits. Luckily that all got flipped on it’s head in about 12 hours when we found a lovely little apartment. Travel is fickle like that.

    • I’m pleased you found somewhere. The heat will lift really soon. I arrived at the end of October and had two weeks of intense heat before it lifted and became beautiful. You have that to look forward to!

  4. I felt this way in the Amazon with Ayahuasca and San Pedro retreats. Eventually I realized that for me, the beauty of my surroundings provided far more healing than the traditional hallucinogenic medicines that so many tourists were there to sample. Just because something provides answers for other people, doesn’t mean you can force them out for yourself. That just gets confusing and inevitably leads to disappointment. Looking forward to the answers you eventually discovered!

    • Ah yes, ayahuasca can be a tricky one. I felt similar to you when I tried it, but others seem to get a lot out of it. Like you say, it really is about finding the path that makes sense to you.

  5. Sometime in my life I have felt the same thing that you did on a remote area as well, but give it time and everything will open up like a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes we just need to see things on a different perspective.

    • Exactly. It’s sometimes hard to remember that in the darkness, but the hard parts are an important part of the journey too.


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