Chasing Temples

Last week Made and myself have been chasing ancestral temples around the Island of The Gods here in Bali.  

We climbed a mountain (1,175 metres above sea level) trekked, prayed, were blessed, swam, laughed and loved.

Made’s thirst for seeking the ancient Balinese Hindu ancestral traditions have blown my mind.

My new book about Bali will be a real eye opener, even for the Balinese.

The journey turned out to be a spellbinding spiritual quest, at one point we arrived at an ancient temple on the top of a mountain and I was left alone while Made went searching for a priest to unlock the gate.

I couldn’t help but recall the first time I encountered spirits when I was only twelve years old.

gatekeeper

The journey turned out to be a spellbinding spiritual quest, at one point we arrived at an ancient temple on the top of a mountain and I was left alone while Made went searching for a priest to unlock the gate.

Excerpt Scarlett Voices In the Shadows, Chapter 4, Flow of Change

Something very strange and unnerving happened on that summer holiday. It was a rainy afternoon and one of my cousins announced it was time to play a game. There were five of my cousins of various ages huddled around the small caravan table. As my cousin placed the strange-looking board on the table, I began to feel anxious. I couldn’t explain the feeling; however, I felt an overwhelming sense of fear.

The ouija board was shouting at me. The board consisted of marked letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0–9, the words ‘yes’, ‘no’, and ‘goodbye’. My cousin Eric picked up an empty glass placed it on the table and instructed us all to hold hands. He then picked up the empty glass and asked the spirits to fill the glass. It was at this point that I felt like letting go and running as fast as I could.

I was horrified, terrified and overwhelmed with a sense of dread. Just as I was about to run, Eric instructed us to place our forefinger on the glass. At that moment the glass started moving violently towards the letters. I couldn’t believe the force with which the glass was moving. I couldn’t believe how my arm had no control of its own; my finger felt glued to the glass.

Eric was surprised as he had used the board previously and had never seen this happen before. He was also frightened. When he finally spoke, he asked the board a simple question, ‘Is someone there?’

The glass moved with a force of its own violently to the word ‘yes’.

I knew at that moment, as I knew I was breathing, that there was a spirit in the glass. I also knew that it felt completely wrong. We carried on during the next hour asking questions of the ouija board. The entire time, I felt an overwhelming dread. This was my first encounter with a dark spirit, a frightening introduction to the world of spirits.

I felt so scared that night that I confided to Mum what had happened. She was horrified and told me never to play the game again as it was very dangerous. When I pressed her for an explanation, Mum didn’t answer my question, she just danced her words in a confusing manner.

Later, I overheard a conversation Mum had with her best friend Aunty Pen on the pay phone near the camp kiosk. Mum explained how upset she was about the incident with the ouija board and how surprised she was that my aunt and uncle had allowed their children access to such a dangerous game.

Blessings always

Sharon x

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Game of Thrones in Bali

Made and myself have being heading into Ubud Central on a Monday night for that last three seasons of Game of Thrones.

How incredible that a local theatre streams the latest episode for addicted fans like ourselves, this week’s episode was s7e5 Eastwatch. 

It’s interesting to note that over that past three seasons the number of fans have increased significantly as we congregate together in a super cool space.

These days we need to arrive one hour early to secure a good seat. Where on earth do these people come from? Actually it was a question directed to me by two young British tourists sitting next to us this week. I answered as best to my knowledge,

“I believe we have a mixture of local expats and tourists from all over the world, of all ages. It seems the word is getting out, we will have to arrive one and half hours earlier next week”.

Of course this week’s episode was fabulous, was it just me or is the story line of the cult phenomena getting better?

I asked my son what he thought, James is a dedicated fan and listens to podcasts and discussions about the series and in my opinion is an expert on GOT.

James agreed with my thoughts about this week’s episode and was enthusiastic about how much he enjoyed it.

On reflection and searching the net for a run down I came up with my own conclusion. I sat back and thought about why on earth the GOT is so addictive.

gameofthrones

Made and myself at the screening of Game of Thrones in Ubud

Maybe it’s the uncertain times we live in? World leaders appear to be weirder than the fictional characters on the GOT.

Maybe it’s world citizens yearning for simplicity? A fantasy world where our leaders are kind, strong, noble, honest, sincere and of course have the best interests of their people at heart.

Maybe it’s me, being lost in a fantasy world that good will defeat evil.

My mind can’t stop wondering back to the ancient spellbinding Balinese Hindu ceremonies that I participated in only last week.

A spectacular spiritual event which involved Made’s cousin and his wife being initiated as Sulinggih (High Priest and High Priestess).

The epic event left me feeling as though I was living in ancient times. Just like being in an episode of GOT, okay okay, I do sometimes let my imagination take over my sensibilities…

It is truly astonishing though that these ancient Balinese Hindu rituals continue in todays age, what I was intimately involved in.

I will carefully document through my own perception with the collaboration of Made’s scholarly knowledge about an extremely complicated process.

Getting back to Eastwatch and my contemplation at the end of the episode was that I was left with a feeling of hope.

A band of seven heroes who have been enemies in the past seasons, where given a get out of free jail card, with a spirit of comradery to defeat the terrorists.

To venture beyond the wall, a united force to face the terrorist zombies, to oblivorate The Walking Dead.

To victoriously defeat the undefeatable, additionally taking out the evil Queen along the way.

As I scan through the international news television channels streaming from all over the world this morning in Bali, before sitting at my desk to write this blog, I feel slightly off balance.

Before me flicking across the screen are images of Presidents appearing to look like evil Hollywood caricatures.

I turn on my computer and start to type.

Just like the packed house full of International citizens in Ubud on Monday evening…

I live in hope.

Blessings always

Sharon x

 

 

 

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Inspirational Scribes

Sharon Karyasa

Following on from my last post Truth Is Out, I have decided to lighten up my mood by writing an inspirational scribe.

I would like to take a moment to send a note of gratitude to my colleagues who sit down in front of their computer, who like me are on a passionate quest, for their voices to be heard.

The Universe has sent me angels to keep me focused, to keep me motivated to forge ahead, my designer pen close, fingers tap, tap, tapping away on a literary battlefield.

My first encounter with a published author was here in Bali.

Deborah Craylon, author of award winning Mama Kuma: One Woman, Two Cultures was holding a one day tutorial, Deb called her class Writing from the Heart.

That day four years ago in Bali was a pivotal moment in my life long dream to publish my story.

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Am I the Odd One Out

Am I the odd one out?

Do they judge me?

Do they laugh at me?

Do they gossip about me?

Do they abandon me because I’m a different colour?

Do they disown me because my mind gets confused?

Do they shun me because I wasn’t born in their Country?

Do they laugh about me because my retention of their language is blocked?

NO

templebusiness.jpg

Village life equates to many many temple ceremonies.  We visit our family and give offerings to the Gods. We then pray to our ancestors. Gratitude is the key to continual harmony in our Communities.

I am accepted as a community member without judgement.

Love and gratitude to our ancestors is the answer to freedom, after all ….

We are one 🙏

Blessings always

Sharon x

about Sharon Karyasa

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Balinese Magic

I was intimately involved in the process of our cousins becoming Sulinggih (priests)

I have woken this morning and feel different, like a dream, better than a pleasant dream.

I will write about this life changing phenomenon.

I feel privileged that as a writer, I will document the historical significance of last night.

I feel honoured and so very proud of my family, particularly my husband Made and myself for being servants to both the seen and unseen worlds. A rebirth…..literally.

To participate in the celebration of my home Village Sangeh’s newest High Priest and High Priestess.

Ida Pandita Mpu Siwa Daksa Natha Parama Sadhu at Gria Agung Lingua Busan Pemacekan Sangeh

Om Santi Santi Santi Om

about Sharon Karyasa

follow me on  Facebook

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click here for your copy of Scarlett Voices in the Shadows

 

Inspirational Scribes

Following on from my last post Truth Is Out, I have decided to lighten up my mood by writing an inspirational scribe.

I would like to take a moment to send a note of gratitude to my colleagues who sit down in front of their computer, who like me are on a passionate quest, for their voices to be heard.

The Universe has sent me angels to keep me focused, to keep me motivated to forge ahead, my designer pen close, fingers tap, tap, tapping away on a literary battlefield.

My first encounter with a published author was here in Bali.

Deborah Craylon, author of award winning Mama Kuma: One Woman, Two Cultures was holding a one day tutorial, Deb called her class Writing from the Heart.

That day four years ago in Bali was a pivotal moment in my life long dream to publish my story.

It was the day I started believing in myself as a writer, it was also a day I made a new friend.

My next encounter was online.  I was curious about a friend of a friend who was the author of erotic fiction.

I was in awe of anyone who had published a book, however three books in the Lost Woman Series is impressive.

I decided to download the first book titled Awakening the Lost Woman.  I was totally engrossed, Anna’s writing was compelling, I couldn’t get enough.  I was turning page after page wondering what would happen next in the life of the fabulous Aussie Character Christina Maxwell.

After reading all three books, I made contact.  To my utter surprise I knew Anna, I worked with her many years ago when I was married to my first husband and living close to her in inner city Melbourne.

Making contact with Anna was yet another turning point in my life as a writer, we quickly become friends and co-conspirators on the quest for our voices to be heard.  I feel privileged to have reunited with Anna this year sitting on the deck of her fabulous home, overlooking the cosmopolitan Melbourne skyline.

I did wonder though if it was the exact house she described when her character Christina also renovated her trendy Melbourne home.

The next connection came via Tri Sandhya Villa.  When I first met Doroit d’Scarlett she was looking rather sombre.  I actually wondered why anyone would come on holiday to Bali and look so miserable.

I soon discovered that her only son was missing in Nepal, she had just been filmed by Western Australian Television before boarding a flight to Bali.  I was sitting quietly listening to Doroit’s story, then she connected to the wifi and discovered that her son was back online and safe.

Doroit is also a writer and blogger. Besides being a fun, intelligent woman she also has a very interesting surname. The name Scarlett is obviously one of my obsessions… emm?

Doroit has already completed her debut fictional book and is now at the dreaded editing stage.

We became online buddies, encouraging each other whilst we sat for hours and hours tapping away at our computers.

Okay what came next?  Yes it was an old school buddy, Nicole Abbatangelo re entered my world via Facebook.  Nicole’s battle with Cancer is written with a raw and sometimes humorous flare through her blog titled the brutal truth….

I am in love with Nicole’s writing talent, her courage to scribe on such a deep emotional level give’s me goose bumps, even now as I write my own blog.

Nicole’s yearning for Ubud, Bali and her connection through a mutual acquaintance is another divine intervention on the Road that leads to the solidarity of writers.  It was a real compliment when Nicole in boxed me last week advising me that she had read Scarlett Voices In the Shadows in one sitting and that she loved my story.

Okay what came next?  Oh yes it was my investigating and obsessing over all things related to the Oprah Brand.

I discovered through Instagram that the Oprah Magazine’s Style Director, Christine Mulhearne writes a blog titled, Style Me Sassy.  Of course I read the blog and instantly became a fan. Goose bumps again… is that a sign?

Christine is not only The Style Director of O Magazine she is also a blogger and single Mum to a gorgeous boy by the name of…. wait for it… James.

Christine is also a Pisces just like myself, her fun sense of adventure and positive outlook reminds me of me actually. Christine is a dynamic woman reaching for dreams, working hard with a kind and loving outlook.

Okay, while we are on the #Oprah topic another name popped up in my sleuth investigation and quest to meet with the Queen.

I discovered another Aussie author, who like me is obsessed with all things Oprah.  I will say though that Juliette Power has one thing up on me.  She has been on a cruise to Alaska with not only #Oprah and #Gayle, but with an entire ship full of published authors and creative minds including Christine.

I am currently reading Juliette’s memoir titled Juliette’s Angel and enjoing every minute of her self discovery whilst climbing Mount Everest with her daughter Bonnie.  I am particularly enjoying the flashbacks which are so Australian and so very familiar.

Being a member of the Ubud Writers Group has given me the opportunity to meet a talented group of inspirational men and women who are bloggers, journalists and published authors.

I have to pinch myself to believe I have become friends and colleagues with such an accomplished group of writers from a vast range of genres.

Scarlett

I would like to sign off this blog with a quote that Christine posted on her Instagram page recently that motivated me to write this little blog.

Supporting

another’s

success

won’t

ever

dampen

Yours 

Have a great week.

Blessings always

Sharon x

 

Sharon Karyasa © 2017

about Sharon Karyasa

follow me on  Facebook

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click here for your copy of Scarlett Voices in the Shadows

 

 

 

 

 

Truth Is Out

I almost gave in and didn’t publish my memoir.

It was all too hard, the thought of self publishing, promoting, selling and advertising was all too much. I almost gave in. I didn’t though. I pushed on and I succeeded.

At this moment I feel elated. I am on a roll, I won’t stop, I can’t stop.

In fact my friend Bill my who is a New Yorker (I am sure he thinks I am a little funny going on and on about my fascination for all things New York, New York… including the Hearst Tower where the Oprah Magazine is located) and now lives in Ubud made me laugh recently when he said,

“You’re on a roll, you might as well add a bagel”

The best part of becoming a published author and blogger is the fascinating new friends I have made.

I feel as though I have found my place, how perfect that I ended up in Ubud, a Balinese vortex, where misfits seem to congregate.

My friends know what I mean, I use the word misfits as a compliment.

Artistic souls with a craving, an aura of magic, their minds are in a dream state of creativity.

This world of eccentricity suits me. I have found my place in the world.

I self published my memoir last year in my other home Melbourne, Australia.

Publishing Scarlett Voices In The Shadows  was a big project to tackle.

I not only set up Valda Press in memory of my Mum, I also needed to find somewhere to live.

I stayed in 7 different locations during my two months in Melbourne, which included house sitting and looking after an old beagle named Buster.

The exciting day finally arrived, I hired a car to collect my precious books from the printer, it was like a dream, I had actually done it. The next step was distribution.

At one point I was walking along Lygon Street in Melbourne with a huge box of books when I fell over.

I wanted to cry.

I was thinking, what that hell am I doing here? It was then, that I heard Donna Summer’s 1983 disco song go off in my head,

“She works hard for the money, so hard for the money”.

I laughed out loud, the homeless guy on the pavement looked at me with an astonishing gaze.

I am sure he was thinking a Community Service worker would be arriving soon to take me away.

I must admit at that point I was thinking the same, had I finally tipped over the edge into a hysterical delusion, what the hell was I doing anyway?

It was only a few years previous that I was in Melbourne campaigning with the ASU, Australian Services Union, Victorian and Tasmania Authorities and Services Branch on the steps of Parliament House, dancing with a group of Union Comrades to that same tune.

We were protesting for equal pay for women, it was so much fun sneaking into Parliament House and doing a flash dance.

We were quickly ushered outside and continued our dance on the steps of the magnificent Melbourne Parliament House.

I still remember the Police Officers trying not to laugh, I wonder if we tried that now what would happen?

What a bizarre life I have led.

I started this blog with the intention of having a rant.

I wanted to set the record straight after being challenged over a Facebook post. I was challenged about the intention of my post when I reposted a thread congratulating the ASU at a National Conference for being the first in the world to instigate the groundbreaking Family Violence Clause.

The intention of my post was to highlight the success and how far it has come.

It was also my intention to shed a light on the facts. To set the record straight about my involvement, namely it was me who was the first person to pick it up.

The true news about how the phenomena started.

In retrospect Facebook certainly isn’t the forum to have my voice heard.

I was astounded when a friend said that she believed I was shaming the ASU, this kind of confrontation shocked me and ultimately led me to writing this blog.

I don’t need to justify myself. I will do so though because I have nothing to hide.

This is not fake news. This is the truth. I would love someone to check my facts, like an old fashioned Journalist investigating an interesting story.

How exciting would that be? … okay, okay back to the point.

I am grateful for the training and awards I received from the ASU.

I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to speak at Union events about the benefits of the Family Violence Clause I instigated at the Surf Coast Shire in 2010.

I am grateful and proud that I launched my memoir at the ASU State Delegates Conference in October, 2016 in Melbourne to a crowd of over 300 delegates. I have written the truth in my memoir.

Now is the right time for the Australian National Press to acknowledge that it was me who instigated the world changing initiative.

It was me who made the call.

I changed the wording to the Surf Coast Shire in the original document that was written by Ludo McFerran from the University of New South Wales.

It was my idea with the backing of ASU Official Barry Miller to convince my fellow unpaid workplace delegates that we should push hard to have the Family Violence Clause included into our workplace agreement at the Surf Coast Shire.

Let me tell you now, it wasn’t an easy task. However, I was on a mission, I felt as though I would achieve Justice if I succeeded after being assaulted; it became my obsession.

If you listen to my speech at the ASU conference, you will understand the passion behind my conviction in succeeding to get it over the line.

I was thrilled when the Surf Coast Times interviewed me in March this year after meeting with Rosie Batty at the Windsor Hotel in Melbourne.

I was also delighted to be mentioned in the Mayors Column in the Surf Coast Times on 6 April, 2017 and being called a Trailblazer.

Strangely enough that same day Keith Baillie, CEO of the Surf Coast Shire mentioned me on the front page of the Newspaper as a woman (but didn’t name me) who wasn’t treated very well at the time, however I brought the Family Violence Clause to the attention of Council and the rest is history.

Just last week I was featured in a comprehensive and accurate article as a “Person” by the respected National newspaper the Jakarta Post. The article was titled;

Sharon Karyasa, Trailblazer. Sharon Karyasa’s Memoir is one of empowerment and it’s the entire package that will give women hope.

I was excited when freelance Journalist Bill Dalton told me he was hoping the Jakarta Post would accept his submission.

He further explained that he was impressed with my writing and the content of my blog, particularly my work on the Family Violence Clause and an article I had written titled, Shy Girls End Last.

In my Facebook post I suggested that it would be the appropriate time for the Australian National Press to acknowledge my work before I am known in the USA.

I have already met with advisors of Mayor Eric Garcetti from LA City Hall in Los Angeles, California to discuss the phenomenal success of the movement over the last seven years.

My point is that I don’t want to become just another Aussie, who get’s overlooked due to the tall poppy syndrome.

A Journalist by the name of Jenna Price from The Sydney Morning Herald wrote an article about be on the 27 October, 2014 titled

ACTU breaks ground on domestic violence with Fair Work Commission claim.

Jenna called me the unnamed woman who changed the lives of 2 million workers.

Although I was thrilled with the recognition many of the details of the article where incorrect.

I didn’t leave Australia to escape the attention, in fact both the ASU and my workplace insisted I shouldn’t speak to the press.

They warned that if I spoke to the press I could loose my job at the Surf Coast Shire, due to a confidentiality agreement whilst I was working for Council.

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 10.31.47 pm

This is the only photograph taken of me in 2010 with staff from the Surf Coast Shire (Sharon Rowlands was my Maiden name, I use to be blonde).  My name was not mentioned in the article written by the Surf Coast Times. I am holding a life time membership  award which was presented to me by the ASU.

I emailed Jenna in March this year after I met with Rosie Batty to ask her to interview me so I could set the record straight, Jenna did reply that she would get back to me, but didn’t.

Politics doesn’t interest me much these days, I prefer to think of myself as a Humanist. I am bored with the same old, same old rhetoric that goes back and forth.

I would much prefer to imagine a world without Politics, without borders and without rhetoric.

Maybe it’s my creative mind going into overdrive, or living in an idyllic Village Compound where everyone gets on with it.

I’ll sign off for now, I wonder what will happen next?

Have a great week,

Blessings always

Sharon x

 

Sharon Karyasa © 2017

about Sharon Karyasa

follow me on  Facebook

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click here for your copy of Scarlett Voices in the Shadows