This past week was a special week here in Bali. It wasn’t only the start of a new astrological new year, but also the beginning of the Balinese New Year – a day called Nyepi.
If you’ve been following us for a while, you might have heard about Nyepi through our blogposts and stories in the past two years. In our 2021 post we shared the tradition, the ritual, ceremonies and meaning behind this most auspicious day. In last year’s article we offered thoughts on the necessity of silence and what makes this day so special to us. If you haven’t read these entries, we encourage you to do so here and here.
A day in silence
The Day of Silence in Bali is a day reserved for meditation, reflection and fasting with the purpose of returning to one’s self, to instil purity and harmony and to contemplate upon our intentions for the upcoming new year.
We personally look forward to this day every year. It is an opportunity to officially hit the ‘off-switch’ and ground back into what is rather than focus on what distracts and disassociates us.
Silence is like a day of wellness for our nervous systems. We get to use calm, quiet moments to tap into a different part of the nervous system that helps regulate our bodies’ response to stress. When we look internally and delve deeper into our value system and wants and needs, we can communicate at a deeper level. If you crave to live and enjoy deeper connections, feel more joy and pleasure, be more present with what is, then tapping into your nervous system is key to a more connected life.
Inviting silence in can be daunting and terrifying for many. Instead of go-go-go we abruptly stand still. What will be on the other side of all this noise? Truth is, it is so beautiful and special if you dare to lean in.
How to create Nyepi for yourself
Every year we agree on the same thing: we wish there was something like Nyepi for the whole world. We are convinced it would make this world a little bit more of a better place. A day of contemplation offers a myriad of opportunities to come back to ourselves.
Even though you might not be in Bali there might be an opportunity for you to weave some of this Bali magic into your day and carve time out for yourself, or make it a home retreat, even if it is only for a few hours.
With some time in advance pre-schedule a day where you can completely disconnect and switch off and give yourself a similar experience to what is happening in Bali during Nyepi.
A few days before the day arrives, give yourself some time to prepare for it.
Preparations could be:
- Set an intention for this day. What is it that you want to get out of this day in silence?
- Nyepi is all about clearing out the demons of our world to meet the new with freshness and a chance for beginnings. Contemplate on what are the inner demons that obscure your ways of seeing and impede your authentic ways of being in this world?
- Become clear on how this day is supposed to look like for you: What are the parameters for you? What do you want to focus on? How long would you want this day to last/can you make it work? Are you going to keep silence and not speak? Will you disconnect from your devices? Will you fast? Will you read something during the day?
- Communicate to your environment that you are going to be unavailable and why. Let your surroundings be your ally in this (and to also not make them worry if you happen to be off the grid for 24 hours).
- Clear out your place from any greater distractions.
- Finish urgent work, so you won’t get mentally distracted nor your colleagues will be waiting for you.
- Pick books to read, prepare a journal and a pen for some introspective.
- Pre-cook some nourishing food if you choose to eat, so you won’t get distracted with the task of cooking. Get juices, teas, anything you need for hydration and feeling.
When the day arrives
Start your day in meditation, offer yourself and your life a prayer, a mantra to quiet the busy voices of your mind.
Retreat into a calm and soothing corner of your home to rest in stillness whether you take a seat or lie down. Allow stillness to take over your day. Give yourself space to explore all the sensations.
Breathing practices, like pranayama can support you in calming down the nervous system. Take some time after or prior to your meditation to explore different techniques. We have a few insights here.
It is a beautiful opportunity to tend to my inner well and garden by diving into all that was, has become and is through expressing myself through words, scribbles and sketching.
Whether you predefine prompts and questions to answer for yourself or just being writing by emptying out your mind – there are many ways on how to begin contemplation.
Nyepi is a wonderful time to reflect on all the beautiful things in our lives, the ones we tend to forget during the business and hustle and bustle of the every day, or the ones we forget through focusing on the experiences that instil contraction within us. Give yourself space to count your blessings.
Make a list on all the things you are grateful for. How much can you find?
Switch it all off
Take naps, go slow, listen to the sounds that surround you, keep your phone and any other device off or on flight mode.
Embrace the relaxation and retreat without our old friend productivity guilt. You are deserving of this. You work so hard day in and day out. Embrace this time to soothe and tend to our soul. You are allowed to embrace slowness.
Is this something you would consider for yourself?
We are curious. Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below. We hope you gift yourself an extraordinary experience like this. Once a year.