Reflections of our journey so far

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.

Ernest Hemingway

The journey continues and yet, I know it’s not going to end next month when we print Bali Soul Journals and let it out of our care, to hopefully, be loved at least half of how much we have relished working on it.

The last two weeks have seen two women, working side by side with a similar vision and the same work ethic and values. We pride ourselves on authentic work, on hard work, and getting the best from ourselves.

I’ve had the chance to reflect on myself and see what Trish mirrors, and it gives comfort. The ego is a funny thing, we like to see the attributes we have ourselves that we are comfortable with. We often don’t realise that the things we dislike in others are those very things that we are. Last night, Trish and I were laughing that we were a bit like an old married couple. We argue, hug, and get back to doing what we love. But we’ve not once argued about the direction of Bali Soul Journals , which gives me another insight into our journey.

When something is right, really really right, it feels comfortable. Occasionally I  get a little chill of excitement as I think about it, but for the most part, it is a focus that pulls from deep inside. It’s a drive that is impossible to explain, but I’ll give it a shot.

Think back to when you were a child and you were doing the one thing that you loved. You would lose all track of time, until your mum would pierce your focus with an instruction to come to dinner, wash your hands, get your head out of that book. For me, it was reading, writing and drawing. The minutes would dissolve into hours and if not for a mother who could issue instructions,  I am certain day would have passed into night into day.

It’s like walking through a beautiful location and absorbing everything and seeing nothing, just connecting with everything around you and ‘being’. I feel like that pulling this book together and  it is how I know that I am living my purpose, what I was put here on this planet for. For some reason, this whole idea of the book manifested and is becoming a reality at a speed that I find nothing short of miraculous.

Writing a book is no mean feat. Anyone who has even attempted one can tell you the degree of dedication it takes. Not to mention vision, clarity, time and ability. Trish and I embarked on this journey giving little thought to whether we possessed the skills or time or energy. We just did it, put one step forward and began.

You may have read the old analogy of a rose. It doesn’t spend time trying to be a pineapple or donut, though who knows? It might quite like to imagine that from time to time, just to break up the day. No, a rose spends its day being a rose. A dog being a dog. A cat being a cat. Somewhere along the way, we humans through the magic of imagination, began to set limitations on ourselves as we try to be who we think we should be. That’s kind of ironic! By trying to be what we are not, instead of gaining freedom of choice, we shackle ourselves and moving forward becomes harder, not easier. By exercising our incredible imaginations, when we try to be what we are not,  we actually stifle our creativity and, our potential!

Trish and I have known each other since we were 16. There is a lot of history there. We’ve settled back into our friendship and both appreciate the lessons and growth it brings to each of us. We both believe in creating our own reality, which has led to some robust discussions late at night from time to time! And also to a lot of laughs, and a laid-back view of the world for the most part.

But this little story is one I want to share with you. It kind of typifies how this book is coming together with such ease and enjoyment.

One day while clicking through Facebook, I saw that Jack Canfield had recommended a book by Pam Grout call E-Squared. As some of you know, I spent a week with Jack earlier this year and fully credit that week to the manifestation of Bali Soul Journals.

I downloaded it right away. I’ve read a stack of books like this, but this one promised experiments that would prove once and for all that the law of attraction was physics, true and not just a happy coincidence.

That night, I began reading and highlighted a couple of quotes and sent them to my Facebook wall.

The next morning, I continued reading and decided to send Trish a gift of the book via Kindle. This was to the third bedroom, as she was still staying with us. (This makes us laugh, as even though we have been about 20 metres away from each other, we have been sending messages via Facebook for two weeks!)

When I got up, she wandered out and said that she’d seen my post during the night as she couldn’t sleep, and had already downloaded it! Yep, six hours before I sent her the unexpected gift of the book.

Now, experiment one is to set an intention to receive an unexpected gift within 48 hours. I’d set my own intention at 11.50pm for the unexpected gift of proof, the first experiment. But I had no idea Trish had already made her way through that chapter and was as excited as I was to have a gift on the way! (To buy the book, go to or search for it on, I truly recommend it!)

As we’d both read the book, we were pretty excited about getting our gifts! Little things were arriving quickly, but while we graciously accepted them, felt that they were not ‘the’ gift!

The next day I was sitting here at my computer and ‘ping!’ An email arrived in my inbox. I finished what I was doing and opened it. It was from a friend. She had two spare tickets for a sell-out event that night (the who’s who of Bali Award night for top businesses, The Yak Awards), and wondered if I’d already bought my tickets as she would like to give them to me and Bill, my hubby.

I had meant to go buy the tickets ($75 each, which is  expensive for Bali!) but kept getting side tracked. Even the night before, we’d gone to the venue for dinner where we could have bought them, but…yep, I forgot. This was in the time frame of the 48 hours.

It doesn’t stop there. I had to buy one for Trish, but they were now $95. Ouch! So for Bill and me, that would actually have been $190 for a three-hour event. Had I bought them the night before, the unexpected gift wouldn’t have been quite the same, as I would have then had too many tickets. In addition, it was entirely unexpected that my friend had the two spare tickets on the day of the event.

So within 48 hours, I had truly got a completely unexpected gift.

Now, Trish wasn’t going to accept that my gift of a book was enough! As it turns out, she chatted with my friend who had given us the tickets and in exchange for some photography, received the gift of a facial treatment at my friend’s spa that was worth well and above anything Trish expected.

This little story is important for Trish and I, as it exemplifies the gratitude we have for being given the gift of creating this book. That might sound arrogant to some, but trust me, our hearts well up with so much love for what we are creating that if a couple of people were to think that, that’s quite okay! In just a few short months, the lesson of gratitude has sunk in and instead of complaining about this and that, I now try to flip it. Sure, that doesn’t mean living a life of gratitude means not noticing things that make us angry, or having an opinion. It just means taking focus off what we don’t want, and turning it to what we have, or do want.

When I got home from the retreat with Jack Canfield, I sat down and began writing my vision for my publishing. Words flowed onto paper, research was seamless, and then after chatting to Trish on Facebook, we realised the two of us together would not only make it happen, but resonated with where both of us were wanting to head.

The interviews came easily, the right photo opportunities appeared at the right time. The design flew out of my keyboard and every photograph found a home with ease. Writing up the interviews has been a joy, and my only regret (if you can call it that!) is that there is still so much material we want to cover, that we can’t fit in this first edition.

So here we are, in the last month of the creation of Bali Soul Journals, before we set it free to the printer in November. There are so many more stories of happy ‘coincidence’ to share, such as the friend who was once in publishing and is going to help us with distribution. Or the first interview we did, or the friend who knows the owner of Periplus…

All this for another book, another day. But as I close this post, my prevailing thought and feeling that I am wanting to share, is one of gratitude. Great things happen when you give thanks for the blessings in your life. More and more appear the more you hum along with the world, rather than fighting it.

So for now, back to work (if I can call it that…it feels more like going for a run or a bike ride to be honest, something I am doing as much for me as for the bigger picture). I have no idea what the next few months holds, but whatever it is, releasing this book feels right. And for that, I am grateful. It’s a really special place to be right now and whether the book is big, or small, the journey and who we are becoming on the trail is what matters the most.


Trish (left), me (Clare) and Louise Cogan, friend and owner of Cocoon Medical Spa in Bali

(and winner of Best Spa in the Yak Awards 2013…another unexpected gift last Friday!)

A heartfelt thank you

As we write and collate this book, we are amazed at the people who have shown up at the right place and time with their insights and wisdom. Thank you to every single person who agreed to be interviewed and photographed. I won’t name you all here, but your generosity with your time, your thoughts and feelings has blown us away. We are amazed at how much we have learned by sitting and being willing listeners, rather than contributers to a conversation. (Another lesson to take away!)

We asked many people if they would be interviewed and were thrilled that while a few ignored our request, most people were fabulous in their generosity. No interview was less than two hours, and all ended with hugs and laughs. It’s so special to hear the story of their life, their thoughts about the world they live in, particularly when there is no judgement or expectation of anything more than hearing what they have to say.

Thank you to our husbands Bill and Ross, who lovingly accept what we are doing, the money we are spending doing it, and time invested!

Thank you to Babol Warung (Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong, Canggu) for pulling out everything in their kitchen for a photo shoot, teaching us how to make a Balinese paste, and just being so awesomely generous.

For those who have offered to help with proofing or any other way they can (don’t worry, we will be knocking on your door really soon!) simply because they have been inspired by what we are creating…thank you.

To our friends who have taken time to like us and follow our journey on Facebook, and to our family (for me, my mum in particular) who keep sending little shouts of encouragement. While we are responsible for our own feelings and drive, those little shouts mean a bucket load to us. Humbling, but still mean the world.

All these thanks, and we are not even finished! Thank you thank you thank you! I look forward to looking back on this blog in a year’s time, which is why I wanted to write it today, ahead of what is yet to come.

Have a wonderful week everyone, and for those who are following, or Facebook, or Twitter, thank you.


If you would like to pre-order Bali Soul Journals for your gift shop, cafe, book store or for yourself, please contact Clare at and she will send out the eight-page brochure on the book, plus an order form. The book will retail at $39.95 and is expected to arrive mid November.

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2 thoughts on “Reflections of our journey so far

  1. Thank you Isabela! Another aside to this story, following reading the book by Pam Grout, is that I had intended to see red roses the Friday of the Yak Awards. Have a look behind me in the photograph at the top of this blog!


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