This is a story about the day where everything I planned fell apart, which led to one of the best days of my life.

I woke up with a mixture of excitement and dread at 7am on December 31, 2014. I was in the beautiful town of Ubud in Bali and had a day of adventure planned before attending a big New Years Eve party later that night. For some reason though, a part of me regretted planning so much and really wanted to do my own thing that day.

I planned to hire a scooter after my meditation practice and attend a 9am yoga class in a studio I had yet to try. I then made arrangements after yoga to meet up with an Amercian guy Joe and explore the local area on our scooters. Following that we were going to go on a scenic walk through rice paddy fields. I was then going to spend the afternoon getting a massage and pedicure, before attending a kirtan then going to the big New Years Eve party together, where I also knew a few other people going.

Failed Plan 1 – Scooter Hire

After my daily meditation practice and breakfast, I met one of the hotel staff I prearranged to hire a scooter from. When I inspected the bike he got from his friends shop, I saw it was scratched and dented everywhere and looked like it has been dropped many times. The helmet was also so large it was un-wearable. I didn’t have a very good feeling about the bike so thanked him for finding it for me and decided not to hire it.

Failed Plan 2 – Yoga Class

I had 20 mins before the 9.00am yoga class started and google maps said it was a 15min walk away. So I power walked up a hill into an unfamiliar area and searched for the yoga studio I was so keen to start my day with. After searching the whole street, I could not for the life of me find this yoga studio. It was now 9.10am, I was sweaty, hot, and getting frustrated my day was not starting out how I planned. I was about to start focusing on the fact that things were going wrong when a new thought overtook me – just go with the flow and enjoy the day regardless of what plans you made.

Failed Plan 3 – Rice Paddy Hike with Joe

On the frantic walk to find the yoga studio I noticed the Ibis hotel, which was entrance to the rice paddy hike. I was now about to walk past it again as I headed back into town. Part of the dread I was experiencing that morning was regretting making plans with Joe, an American guy I met a few days back through mutual friends. I really felt I needed to do my own thing that day then meet up with him later. Keeping my word and commitments are important to me so I intended to honor the plans we made. As I still had a few hours before we planned to meet, I decided to start the hike alone then message him later when I could get WIFI at a restaurant.

The beginning of the hike

I followed the path down to the gentle flowing river then walked up some steps and a hill until I reached the main hiking path. For the next two hours, I admired the fluorescent green rice paddy fields on each side of the river and experienced deep feelings of joy.  While I was content with my own company listening to Kundalini mantras, I noticed at least 50 orange and black butterflies flying all around me. I had never seen that many in the wild before and it reminded of me a scene from TV when someone is about to die and becomes reunited with loved ones in green grassy fields with flowers and butterflies flying all around them. It was truly a surreal experience.

Stepping on my path

Failed Plan 4 – Organic Restaurant

After my magnificent walk, I was feeling back to my happy and adventurous self again so I decided to eat lunch at a healthy organic restaurant my friend recommended, called Sari Organik. I heard the food was good there and it was a scenic walk up a path to get there. I looked at my map and saw a path that led to ‘Sari Organik’ and another path that led to ‘Sari Health Resort’. For some reason I started walking to the health resort thinking that was the restaurant I wanted to go to. When I arrived I went in to the small outdoor restaurant and ordered an energy elixir and raw vegan pizza. I then messaged Joe to tell him about how my day changed plans. It turned out he had food poisoning and couldn’t meet me that day anyway. He was resting up and hoped to still make it to the party that night.

There were 4 other people in the restaurant including 2 men and a couple, who all turned out to also be Australian. My ears perked up as I overhead two men speaking about a medicine man in the local area. As I was looking for a medicine man, I joined in their conversation and was giving the details of both a medicine man and a high priestess, which I later went to see. I then got into a conversation with one of the guys called Ben sitting alone on a table near me. Over the next hour and a half we had one of the most interesting, deep and healing conversations I’ve ever had. He was waiting for his taxi driver who was one in a half hours late, as we were talking. As soon as I felt we spoke about all the important things we needed to, his taxi driver showed up.

Upon leaving the restaurant I felt even more fulfilled, balanced and joyful. It also then occurred to me that I wasn’t at the organic restaurant I planned to go to, I was at a spa instead. Yet I knew I was in the right place I was meant to be.

Failed Plan 5 – Kirtan

After taking it easy the rest of the afternoon, I was notified by Joe that he couldn’t make the party and that my other friends that planned to go were now no longer going. Usually it would not even be an option for me to go to a party like this alone especially on NYE. However, as all my plans that day fell apart and I was now in such a happy and good mood from being in the flow, I decided to trust things would continue to work out and see what adventure the kirtan and party had for me.

I made my way to the kirtan, an Indian mantra chanting event, at a local health spa there. I was sitting in the room with 6 other women on cushions formed in a u shape circle around where the musicians would sit. I thought it was interesting there were only women there and the musicians were still not there 15 minutes past the starting time. One of the staff members came into the room to inform us the musicians were not turning up and we could have a refund. We all decided to stay and create own kirtan seeing we were already there. I had some Jai Uttal and Krishna Das mantras on my phone, so I led a few chants with an Indian girl there. It was really amazing hearing all our voices sing. After our DIY kirtan we then walked around the grounds singing and following a small river with our flashlights. I felt so grateful and joyful from the experience of connecting with these beautiful women. I bid them goodbye and made my way to the main bar I knew of in town to grab a drink before going to the party.

Kirtan goddesses

Failed Plan 6 – Bar in town

While walking to the bar in town I noticed a vintage vespa with a sidecar attached to it in the street. As I walked over to have a look, there were five other people standing around the bike trying to work out the brand. I started explaining the vespa characteristics to the group and they invited me to have a drink and watch fireworks with them. We headed to the restaurant across the road and I spent the next hour in a half laughing and sharing stories with an Australian couple, Canadian girl and American girl. All three countries I have lived in. Feeling happy that my flow was continuing, I exchanged FB details with everyone and bid my new friends goodbye.

Failed Plan 7 – NYE party with familiar friends

I made my way on the back of a scooter to the 5 star hotel the party was being held in, which was slightly out of town. While walking to the entrance of the party, I noticed everyone entering was in a group. For a moment I got nervous I was alone, then remembered how in the flow my day had been, so I entered the party excited about who else I was going to meet. As I walked in there was one guy to my left and one to my right. I walked towards the guy on the right who turned out be from Finland. He invited me to have some of the champagne he was carrying in an ice bucket and meet his friends. As I continued to walk in the glamorous party, I noticed there were beautiful bungalows all around me and various swimming pools with white sundeck chairs splayed around them. A DJ was mixing cool house tunes and many people were people dancing happily in the water. I stayed with the group of Finnish people all night and danced and made new friends with people all around me as I welcomed in 2015.

By surrendering, going with the flow, and not letting spoiled plans upset me, I truly had a liberating day of freedom and joy, while meeting many friends along the way. This goes to show we don’t always know what is best for us and if we surrender we can allow greater experiences than we imagined to come to us.

I’d love to hear what you think of my story and if you’ve experienced something similar. Please comment below.

Sat Nam.