In January 2013 I landed back on these shores after what felt like a few lost years in the UK, where grey clouds had turned to into heavy black thunder storms and life took a nose-dive. But it was over and I was back in the room. And eventually I made it back to Ibiza.
When I saw this painting for sale on FB I couldn’t help but identify with the woman washed up on the beach. I was still carrying the bruises of what my mom called a breakdown, but we now call my awakening. I was no longer actually blue; no longer living in the grip of anxiety but still dealing with the backlash. My adrenal glands were battered and anxiety was only a phone call away.
I spent 2 weeks in Ibiza the previous October with one of my besties and parents, happening to coincide with the closing parties. I was feeling the magic once again; swimming in rock flung coves, drinking coffees with baileys at sunset and listening to the sounds of the cicadas as I drifted into sleep. And listening to some really good music.
I came back for Halloween in a skimpy blood stained outfit, staying with a friend in Sa Carroca, with distant sea views over to Ibiza town. I remember wrapping myself up on sunny November days and taking those views right into my soul. I breathed them in and read my books on the power of the mind and started learning about my chakras. I helped my friend with her PR and marketing and whipped out the yoga mat every morning. I knew I could work here as a writer again, and I kept on visualising it while the winter sun gave me freckles.
In the new year I moved back, waving a snotty goodbye to Ma and Pa. I was super happy to be here but balearic curve balls flew my way, as they do. I got wrapped in red tape, needing this paper for that, but unable to get this paper without that one. Slowly the house of cards stood up, but I was desperate to put roots down. I was having a hard time making decisions about what place to rent, my mind in a muddle and unable to tune into my intuition. I knew I needed to live alone and I wanted a room with a view, but I was starting to feel a little shaky. Only after paying my deposit and setting up my laptop in a beautiful San Miguel apartment did I realise the windows were so high that I couldn’t see out!
Whenever I felt stressed I breathed in the magical views. I couldn’t help but feel better faced with Ibiza’s idyllic scenery; driving through the salt flats at sunset, or the deep red earth of San Mateu. I took the winding valley road to Portinatx until it popped out on the coast, along to the final cove with its staggering rock formations. I went up to the light house to experience that huge expanse of sea and sky, bathed in that special Ibiza light I love so much. Photographer Jordi Gomez loves it, my dad – himself an artist – loves it, and so does Madhalsa who painted The Invisible Caress.
The first time I went back I forgot the way, and I swear to you now that a tiny bird led me through that forest, dancing at my feet, flying off and chirruping as he waited on a branch for me. Then doing the same again. And no, acid had not been consumed. Out on the pinky cliff path I cried at the beauty and brilliance of everything. I was back; I had made it. And Ibiza herself was making me feel better.
When I finally moved into my apartment in Roca Llisa, with a beautiful bedroom view, you can imagine my surprise when I saw that painting for sale. That big blue woman had been wheeled in from the same morgue as me, now being held in Ibiza’s loving embrace. Resting peacefully, cradled by the hills and stroked by the soft blue skies.
“It’s called ‘The Invisible Caress’,” said the artist Madhalsa Manu when I went to visit, smiling in her country casita swathed in sunshine. “For me, Ibiza is like a beautiful goddess who cares for you. She holds you and caresses you. She is beautiful, like a beautiful woman. One thing I love about Ibiza is the nature. It is so special, and you can really feel it. You can feel her energy and she can heal you. I am always inspired by Ibiza; in her colours and the light, in every changing season.”
Ibiza is Mother Nature incarnate in this painting, the ultimate nourishing goddess to hold you in her arms, if you love, respect, honour and understand her (and get through her red tape) whilst you learn to love, respect, honour and understand yourself. It’s the perfect place to start or continue your awakening and follow your heart. There are so many healers and helpers to gently encourage you on your way and I set up this guide-blog to help you find the right ones and share my experiences.
But Ibiza doesn’t just have mystical mountains and forests buzzing with life; she has banging night-clubs, litres of hierbas, beaches stacked with babes and a hedonistic atmosphere of freedom. It may have become the millionaire’s playground of choice, but let’s not forget who stopped here first on their hippy trail from India, who saw Ibiza’s magic as it drew more and more free thinkers and artists. The hippies knew that peace and love were the answers, and that Mother Nature and her animals should be cherished and respected. They enjoyed a spot of meditation, and liked to party til the sun came up.
My mom always said I was a hippy at heart. I rejected that notion until more recent years, as I do still like a 5 star hotel and the odd pair of designer jeans, but I get their drift more and more as I step further down my own little path of self discovery. And I’d rather be doing it here than anywhere else, surrounded by such staggering natural beauty and magic vibes.
Ibiza has attracted all walks of life, including me, searching for something different. Many are on a quest to escape the rules and conditioning imposed on and by society, and some simply to escape. You can get a degree in raving here, with vocational courses running all summer day and night, with a less frequent but still accessible winter timetable. You can lose your mind in excess or you can look deeper, and find so much more. You can tune into nature, look for the non pharmaceutical highs, casually try out some yoga and deepen your knowledge of various teachings, healing modalities and spiritual practises. See what works for you. I would see people literally glaze over if I mentioned the M word in Birmingham, here in Ibiza there are loads of us having a go at meditation, and loving it.
Time seems to pass at a different pace in Ibiza, sometimes losing hours in minutes, or enjoying stretched out lingering moments of loveliness. People experience the highs and the lows associated with late nights and non-stop partying, and those that don’t still experience Ibiza’s special challenges. It’s one place where you truly have to go with the flow and live in the moment. People party all night, plans change and people move on.
You can imagine how I felt when I got the idea to share my experiences of my own awakening on the predecessor to this guide-blog – Awaken In Ibiza – and looked up at my painting which was the perfect illustration. There are actually 2 versions; one reproduced in a different size, so you can imagine my surprise when I looked properly at Madhalsa’s version with the awakening eyes that you see here, as the eyes are closed on mine.
Madhalsa sees and feels the magic and apart from recognising Ibiza’s goddess qualities, she paints the goddess in to everything. You can see more of her amazing, earthy and mystical imagery here https://www.virtualgallery.com/galleries/madhalsa_a143466/madhalsa_s6272?fb_ref=Default . She also works in glass and runs mandala making workshops so like her FB page for updates and info https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008869097621&fref=ts.
It was brilliant to learn that the message I received from her painting was exactly what she put into it. And the fact that it perfectly illustrates my conscious Ibiza guide blog is just too synchronistic for words. Another nudge from the universe that everything is working out perfectly and it’s all meant to be. As Jules of Goddessa Ibiza told me http://www.goddessa-ibiza.com/ you really must trust that Mother Nature constantly loves and supports you. This painting illustrates that perfectly, here in Ibiza, on her flower sprinkled spring time scenery.
Thank you Madhalsa xxx