Rather belatedly, I am going to round off the story of my fasting-and-colonics retreat in Koh Samui, Thailand. Technical and logistical hassles have kept me offline for a while, but now I am back, at least temporarily, and recognise that the tale needs a conclusion. You will note that I have absolutely abstained from making any ribald jokes about poo and bottoms, and you’ll never know how much self-restraint that took….
I had already decided that for the last 2 days of the retreat I would turn off my laptop. As with most things, I was getting out of the experience what I was putting in – and for the first 5 days my focus had been distracted by a tsunami of emails around the upcoming US speaking tour (of which details will be coming soon).
But even before I had signed off my final email, my laptop decided to take matters into its own hands. The screen went blank, and nothing would coax it back to life. I could still hear the music playing on iTunes, which gave me hope that the innards were okay, but with no visual output the usefulness of the laptop was obviously rather minimal. So I turned it off, sent it to bed with no supper, and hoped that it would come to its senses over its two-day holiday.
With no distractions, the final two days went much better. I relaxed, focused, and was able to enjoy the yoga and meditation sessions without the constant buzz of plans whirring around my head like a particularly irritating mosquito.
And something really odd happened. Up until this point I’d been quite disappointed that I had enjoyed no appreciable weight loss. But when I released all that tension, largely thanks to a wonderful session with a spiritual therapist, a few pounds appeared to melt away overnight. Of course, it could just be that the results of a reduced calorie intake and daily colonics finally kicked in – weight loss is never linear – but there did seem to be something more to it than that.
So, ultimately, it all came good. I achieved what I had hoped to achieve in Koh Samui – I rediscovered a sense of inner peace to draw on when the going gets tough, I rebooted my eating habits from unhealthy to healthy, and dropped the 7 pounds I’d gained eating all that yummy fried food in Malaysia and the Philippines. I left feeling cleansed physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.
(Note: Although I felt rather embarrassed to admit to taking colonics, a couple of friends have come out and admitted that they, too, find them tremendously beneficial. There is apparently no scientific or medical justification for the practice. Just the fact that many people find it makes them feel a lot better, brighter and lighter.)
For the record, I was at Dharma Healing International in Koh Samui, Thailand. The 7-day retreat cost the equivalent of $600, and included around 30 hours of classes on nutrition and yoga, and two massages. I stayed at Soonthorn Bungalows, which cost $18 per night. More luxurious accommodation is available at the nearby Siam Resort for around $100 a night. I would highly recommend Kwan Jai International for a professionally administered colonic. Chalong is a master of his art!
The “fast” was not total starvation. We took various cleansing concoctions, and also two coconut waters a day, and a hot broth in the evenings. I did feel hungry, but there again, I always do!
There is a theory that life never burdens us with more than we can handle. So just as my ability to handle stress goes up, life has upped the ante. The container ship that I am due to take from Hong Kong to Long Beach, California, is running at least a day late. Which is good, in that it gives me more time to sort out the really rather onerous paperwork (Chinese visa today, yellow fever vaccination tomorrow), but also cuts into the very limited “wiggle room” I have between arriving in Long Beach and needing to be on the East Coast for the start of my speaking tour. Tense times in Hong Kong.
My laptop has enjoyed at least a temporary revival. It still refused to work after its 2-day hiatus, but on arrival in Hong Kong spontaneously decided to work again. But for how long, who knows? A San Francisco friend, Ian Jefferson, has very kindly offered to lend me a spare laptop just in case this one goes belly-up in mid-Pacific, so I won’t end up having to write my book in longhand.
The Brocade, shortly to be renamed to her pre-Pacific name of Sedna Solo, has now arrived safely in Fremantle in readiness for next year’s Indian Ocean row. This is good news. The not so good news is that there was an unexpected bill for $4,000 for the freight on the final leg of the trip. We are negotiating….
Much to keep me busy in Hong Kong. Gave a presentation to 150 people at the Hong Kong Royal Geographical Society on Monday night (pictured), and tonight I speak to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.