Bali Spirit Festival, Ubud Bali 2025 Dates TBD

Yoga Dance Music Healing

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Cat Kabira: Self-care and Superpowers

“I like to think of all of us as superheroes. We all have our own superpowers … and we all have our own kryptonite”.     

After an intensely physical day yesterday, it feels good to sit quietly and absorb what Cat Kabira has to say. To an aspiring teacher, her words are rich with pearls of wisdom. “The only power we have is to remind someone else how powerful they are”, she declares. “I’m the most powerful person I’ll ever know, but you are the most powerful person you’ll ever know”.

Although the class is titled ‘body reading and adjustments’, the first half of it is more of a discourse on what it means to approach another human being with the intention of being in service. Perhaps, like oysters, it’s something of an acquired taste. To my ears, it’s akin to the mellifluous tinkle of a mountain stream dancing over rocks.

“It’s important to remove that need to help someone”, says Cat. “It’s easy to think: “They’re paying me 100 bucks; I hope I do something”. But sometimes we need to have the confidence to wait until their system invites us in. Maybe we’re not in charge of when anything shifts”.

It’s a truth that’s often forgotten in the rush to do yoga. Ultimately, we’re moved by grace. We can create the conditions in which shifts may take place, but the moment we attempt to establish control, we lose touch with what’s most essential. Ask any gardener.

“We’re here to touch one another like they’re The Beloved – not lovers – The Beloved. But we need to be touching ourselves as though we’re The Beloved first. What we all need is to be seen, to be heard, to be accepted. When I make a suggestion to someone, it’s not because I think they need to fix something. It’s because I know they can already do it”.

Consider this. The verb ‘to teach’ originates from an Old English word meaning “to show, to point out”. Reportedly, however, the word commonly used to denote teaching in Old English is more closely related to the modern-day verb ‘to learn’.

Cat describes BaliSpirit, where we’re subjected constantly to new and exciting stimuli, as “a beautiful test”. There’s so much here that can nourish us, and yet there’s also a temptation to be drawn out of our centres and become dissipated. We’re always harmonising with those around us. It’s impossible to do otherwise. We’re like “musical notes”, each playing our part in a larger symphony.

This makes self-care and centredness even more important. “All of us have crazy minds. All of us have minds that are all over the place. Our power is in pulling ourselves back. In making ourselves nearly invisible, so that we can enter a space [or someone else’s energy field] seamlessly”.

I feel a little like a young Jedi, listening attentively as Obi-Wan Kenobi reveals the workings of The Force. “Self-love requires us to open up our spectrum of what beauty really is. To show up exactly as we are. We can’t hide anything, even though we think we can. There’s nothing wrong with you. There was never anything wrong with you. You’re the wisest person you know”.

“To really see ourselves, and one another”, Cat concludes, “we see with the heart, with soft eyes. Allow yourself to interact with reality from this soft place. You’ll see more. You’ll perceive more”.

“What gives you that unstoppable joy that you’ll do anything to honour and nourish and nurture? You have so much energy, but you only have so much energy. What do you want to create?”

“Now, stroke your invisible bunny with the first two fingers of your left hand”. (Photo credit: Ulrike Reinhold)

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Continue the conversation on Twitter – use #balispirit in your posts on festival highlights, photos and shares.

Written by : Robert Wolf Petersen


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