Creativity Coach - Artist Desiree East

You want to THRIVE and live in the PRESENT MOMENT. You want to CREATE THE REALITY YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED through CREATIVE LIFESTYLE HABITS.You want to tap into that hidden, CREATIVE POTENTIAL that is ready to be UNLEASHED to the world. When your inner voice, your intuitive heart --- YOUR creative genius --- is nourished and pampered, you know you can create profound changes in your LIFE that is the art.

Desiree East is a Soulful Entrepreneur, Certified Master Transformational Coach, Creatively Fit Coach and Visual Artist. Desiree facilitates live creative workshops and retreats, as well as, online art programs focused on personal and professional development. She inspires her clients to create meaningful change in their lives through creative ritual, using art-making as a modality for creative wellness and deep transformation (no art experience required). 

Filtering by Tag: bali

weekly photo challenge: threshold

bali surf and exposed reef by desiree east Threshold - noun

  1. a strip of wood, metal, or stone forming the bottom of a doorway and crossed in entering a house or room.
  2. a point of entry or beginning.
  3. the beginning of an airport runway on which an aircraft is attempting to land.
  4. the magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, phenomenon, result, or condition to occur or be manifested.
  5. he maximum level of radiation or a concentration of a substance considered to be acceptable or safe.
  6. a limit below which a stimulus causes no reaction.


I immediately thought of this photo of How I Brought in the Balinese New Year in 2012.

As surfers, we have this hungry anticipation for playing in the ocean's waves like you wouldn't believe. Our hearts' start to pump, and our eyes start to dilate, as we scan the horizon for energetic lumps of salty goodness forming into the perfect platform for gliding to freedom.


And at this point in my life, it very much reminds me of the anticipation of building my dream business. One of my online colleagues and surfer friend, Srini Rao of The Unmistakable Creative Podcast (formerly BlogcastFM), happens to use surfing as a metaphor for life and business quite often, which I love. In fact, one of his biggest dreams of hosting a live, yet most intimate event is happening, as I type these words. Check it out: The Instigator Experience. Go Srini!

If you've been following me for the last couple of years you already know that I am also at the threshold of bringing my dreams to light as a creative entrepreneur. And it really does feel like I'm about to paddle out into some of the biggest waves I've ever paddled out into. The courage and confidence that I've gained in the last few years, especially in putting myself out there --- no holds barred --- has been incredibly thrilling, scary, exciting, humbling, liberating and freeing.

All while trying to be as focused and grounded as possible.  

Very much like paddling out into the ocean, I feel like I'm on the verge of having the best surf session in my life, with many more waves to come, in all different sizes, shapes, and forms. And I definitely feel like there is more to come on the horizon.

HERE'S THE THING: Experiences like this just don't fall into our laps. It takes knowing and identifying what you really desire in life. And, just like learning how to surf and getting used to an environment you may not be used to, it takes knowledge and practice. AND, more importantly, to cross that threshold, you must surround yourself with support, so that you're not doing it alone.




Is what you are about to do truly in alignment with your higher calling/purpose/soul's work? If yes, then fantastic, you'll be happier knowing you're on the right path. If not, change course.


To cross the threshold, educate yourself and take action by practicing the thing that you want to become. The more knowledge you have, the more comfortable you'll be.


Once you cross the threshold, connect with other people who have the same values and who are doing the same things that you doing, for support, accountability, and sharing challenges and celebrating successes. Having a sense of love, safety and belonging (our three basic human needs) makes a world of a difference.




vision board dreams with desiree east If you feel inclined to join me and other WordPress bloggers for weekly photo challenges, please do. Just follow the prompts for this week’s theme here: WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. You have until the following Friday to share what you’ve come up with…Happy Shooting!

would you visit an active volcano?

I've been to Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawai'i a couple of times, and it was breathtaking. Well, except for the sulfur smell. And the fact that my slippahs felt like they were nearly melting under my foot. I have images of that trip to the volcano from a long, long time ago. Perhaps I'll dig those up someday... bali volcano. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

On clear days, we can see this volcano from the town that we are staying. It makes me smile. I'm not quite sure which volcano this's either, Mount Agung or Mount Batur. We'd like to make plans to see it and hire a driver to take us up there. We figured it might be a trek, so we are going to spend some time in the mountains, and make Ubud our home-base for a few days.

Our initial motivation for making plans to visit Ubud was because we had no running water in the region that we are in right now. Can you imagine? Here's a link to my Trip Advisor forum post, if you want to read about the drama: Does anyone know which Hotels currently have running water?

We've been to Ubud, once, to meet some friends for dinner at a Mexican Restaurant. Yes, I mean tacos and margaritas! We were hesitant at first --- mexican food in Bali? --- but, our friend, Jeff, claimed it. And we were craving mexican like you wouldn't believe (my mouth is watering, at this moment, just thinking about it).

It was really, really good. The Indonesian owner had spent some time working in a Mexican restaurant in (I think) New Mexico --- and he's got some mad skillz in the kitchen. So we are going back.

Not just to eat the food that we miss. But to check out the Balinese art scene (yay, finally) and shopping, of course. Any special requests from home?

Ubud apparently has the best markets of all Bali. It's time to test my ancestral bargaining skills --- my Filipina blood runs thick when it comes to shopping and finding good deals, but I never get to do this in The States: "Half, half...I want half..." 

Or, in Bahasa Indonesia:

"Itu terlalu mahal..." (That's too expensive...)

"Boleh kurang?" (Can you lower the price?)

"Ada yang lebih murah?" (Do you have anything cheaper?)

"Ini tawaran terakhir saya." (This is my final offer).

"Untuk orang Indonesia dijual dengan harga berapa?" (How much would you sell that to an Indonesian for?)

Shoots, that last one is long. I better start practicing.

Because I can easily pass as a local, my Indonesian friends like to joke, "Just pretend you cannot hear and you cannot talk, then you will get good bargain!" 

That would be funny. But, let's face it, I would never be able to pull that off. My PC karma and guilt would follow me wherever I go. And have you ever seen me try to lie? Exactly. I can't do it with a straight face.

BTW, "PC" stands for politically correctness. Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking, "Oh great, another PC snob..." I'm not really, though, if you get to know me. Just buy me a beer or two, and we'll go from there...

Sooooo, unless we find reliable internet service, we might be going off the grid for a few days. A mini digital cleanse sounds mighty fine, right 'bout, until then, I'll catch ya on the flip side --- x to the o

home sweet home in bali: andree's homestay

Many of you have been asking about where we are living...well, here it is. Andree's Homestay. It's a quaint little compound, and so far, the best long-term deal we've seen in the towns that we were interested in staying in. It's not advertised, and most of the guests find this place by word of mouth. We knew about it, because our friends used to live here (Thanks, Ken and Niken!) The family and staff that live here have been wonderful, and now that we have adjusted to Bali living, we happily call this our home away from home... It was challenging, at first, to find a place that fit our needs and our pocket book. We've learned that the stuff you see in travel books and magazines were not as affordable as we expected it to be. If you are vacationing, you can spend as little as $20/night (sometimes less) for a room, backpacker style. Or you can stay at a posh resort for $100/night, and upwards, to $800/night or more for a room.  And then, there is everything in between. A lot of the beautiful villas (that I wished we could live long-term in) are catered mostly to vacationers, and as GORGEOUS as they are, you end up paying western prices...let's say anywhere from $560/week for a small villa to $3,500/week (or more) for something spectacular. Most of the high-end villas include a staff.

Obviously, we can't afford that.

On the other spectrum, you can rent a traditional house for, let's say $3,000/year --- yep, that's approximately $250/month, with a commitment of at least one year --- (at least, that's what we've heard). Or approximately, $400/month for a two-bedroom, two-bath house. Most local houses have open-air living and traditional amenities, or a combination of both. If you go this route, you are usually responsible for setting up utilities, internet, etc. on your own.

Andree's Homestay was the perfect fit for us, because it has a mix of both western and traditional amenities. The rent fit our budget (at $400/month), and all utilities and internet are included...and there's a pool! We also have security and a full-time staff on the grounds, so if there is anything we need, it's nice to know we have help.

There are a lot of things I like about Andree's: it's nice and quiet; it's located near some very nice beaches (where touts are apparently banned) and located near low-pro surf spots; we can easily drive to the West Bukit to surf more popular spots; we have a wide variety of restaurants to choose from; we have met a lot of people from different countries who are also here long term (did I tell you, we met someone from Los Osos?); and although, we are still in a very nomadic state of mind, we have made it our own...

When you travel, what is it that makes a place 'home' for you? Are you planning on visiting Bali anytime soon or are you an expert on Bali living? Feel free to share your thoughts below...

parking at andree homestay. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

view from upstairs. andree homestay. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

big fish. andree homestay. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

plants near the pond. andree homestay. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

our front door. andree homestay. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

view from our studio. andree homestay. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

elephant statue. andree homestay. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

lounging area. andree homestay. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

another lounging area. andree homestay. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

the swimming pool...essential, to cool down. andree homestay. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

well that was fun...

We woke up this morning to find out we had no running what did I do to kill time? desi travels to bali

But I'm not that lazy. I worked, too. Brendon and I have been brewing up some plans for our professional lives (which is why we are in Bali, in the first place), and we are very excited for the things to come. I'm not a psychic or anything, but I see wonderful things for our future. I don't know how or when it will all come together, but we are figuring it out and feel very inspired. More importantly, we hope we can help and inspire others along the way...

it's official...we're in love

I'm gonna keep this one short. But, by all means, please keep the questions and emails coming. Our friends and family have all been asking if we've settled in; if Bali has been what we expected; if it's all that we've hoped for; if it's getting easier... Our two-month anniversary of living in Bali is here, and I can definitely say that we have found our groove.  A routine, if you will, and a very nice one. It almost deserves a Marvin Gaye soundtrack to go with it. Seriously. And I can talk for hours on end about what we did and didn't expect. I think I might save that for another post, because I will just get all philosophical about it, because that's just how I am.

That said, I have a gazillion photos to share, and we haven't even really done any touristy stuff yet. We are just getting I will keep shooting and promise to share more later.

Besides, the truth is, we just bought a bunch of pirated DVD's for super cheap (my apologies to my brother, Kalae, but that's all they have available to sell here, in the malls and everywhere...and somehow, it's completely legal???), and I just want to veg out in front of a movie in our cool, air-conditioned studio...aaaahhhh.

For now, here are some photos. This is a typical day for us: wake up, stretch, eat breakfast, check the surf, paddle out, eat again, and work on business/creative projects at home when the waves aren't good --- maybe go sightseeing, if we feel inclined. And then, Repeat. It's going to be hard to leave, and I don't know how we're going to break it off to beautiful Bali gently when the time comes...

it's official we're in love. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

everyone wants a piece of the action. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

where are we? i think we were supposed to go over there... bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

surf check. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

surf check from the cliff. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

entrance before walking through a tunnel. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

loving the adventure. sea cave at uluwatu, bali. desiree east

yes, it was that big. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

shooting from shade. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

brendon fave empty peak. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

bigger than it looks. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

cute little side-of-the-road calf. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

balinese woman in red. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

diggin the freshly blended fruit juices. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

we like lemon iced tea, too. bali, indonesia. desiree east

 lemon iced tea. photo by desiree east

one of our favorite places to eat. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

balinese seafood satay. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

time for ice cream. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

be careful what you ask for, you might just get it

the biggest wave brendon duck dove. bali indonesia. photo by desiree east For weeks on end - no, wait...months, actually - all I've heard from my darling husband is: "All I want is to get some, barreling lefts... just a nice, clean, hollow left." This statement is almost always accompanied with him posing in a front-side stance, along with sound effects of what it's supposed to sound like when you get barreled.

"Wow, babe, you're good. You'd make an excellent sound-effects dude, too." I always told him that he could go into voice-over acting. You should hear him, he's really good.

As you know, we are blessed with a wide variety of waves in Ventura County. Well, all of California, for that matter. And Mexico. And Hawaii. And we've had our share of travelling to other states and countries, as well, to seek out fun, rippable waves. It's what we do. Mandatory.

But, what we all love (we, meaning regular footers) about California and Baja are the plethora of right-hand point breaks...makes me all giddy inside, just thinking about it. However, being married to a goofy-footer makes me realize, well, how badly I feel for all the people who have to ride back-side on a perfectly, peeling right-hand point break. Like, all the time. (Can you sense the sarcasm?) No, but really, I feel for you...

Brendon has had a taste of the Mentawais, and he's been itching to spend more time in Indo. So, after a series of unfortunate events - coupled with the perfect timing of a down economy - we decided that after all was said and done, time is more valuable than any material wealth. So, we put our rose-colored glasses on and decided to stretch our dollar in Bali...and here we are.

Several weeks ago, the Bukit finally turned on. Seasons are changing, and the trade winds are blowing off-shore on the west coast of Bali. And what perfect timing: a significant swell hit the shores of Bali.

And Brendon lived to tell about it (because it was that big).

I bribed him to write a little blog post for us, just because. So, just grab a beer and pretend like he's all salty-dogged out, and doing his usual hand-gestures and sound effects. I wish I could have gotten his reaction when he came in from the water, but this is the best I can do for now. Hopefully, next time, I'll have the video cam on stand-by...

walking out to paddle out zone. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

Guest Post written by Brendon:

I think that was the biggest wave I’ve ever duck dove.

It was my first time paddling out at this spot, and it was firing. I was watching the other people jump off at the paddle-out zone. Some of them made it out clean, without having to push through too much duck diving drama. Others were getting caught at the wrong time and getting sucked down the break, while having to duck dive, like thirty pretty good size waves in a row.

I must have calculated fairly well before paddling out, because I didn’t have to duck dive a single wave on the way out - except for the one right when I jumped into the water; the current started sucking out so fast, I ended up dry-docking it with my fingers in between the board and the reef. Great.

So, I make it out and try to find my place in the lineup and noticed, along with my now freshly sliced index finger, that there are guys way outside and some on the inside. I know there are bigger sets, but I get antsy and try my luck picking off some of the smaller, head-high ones bowling up nicely on the inside section.

perfect inside balangan. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east.

lonely guy getting barrelled. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

That was a dumb move on my part. Out the back, came one of the biggest sets that I had seen all afternoon. Shit.

I started to paddle out to meet a giant wall of water that seemed to keep getting bigger the closer we came together. At that point, I started to think to myself, "Can I even duck dive this f***ing thing, or should I ditch my board?"

It was at least triple overhead.

Usually, I would just ditch my board and swim down, but I had an old leash on (another smart move), which could easily snap. The last thing I wanted to do at that point is take the rest of the set on the head without my board.

At the very last second I decided to duck dive it.

The wave breaks about ten feet in front of me, and I had about 10-12 feet, like ceiling high or more, of white wash coming toward me. I pushed down into the water super hard and tried to time it to avoid getting annihilated. I got bounced around pretty good, but somehow managed to hold onto my board.

After duck diving the next 15 waves and getting pushed further and further down the reef, it was over.

Out of breath, super hot and exhausted, I manage to make my way back out and sit on the outside corner for a couple. I was clearly under gunned that day but managed to get a couple.

cleaner day for surf. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

simplicity. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

a balinese hindu ceremony...offerings to sea. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

The next day, was a bit cleaner and smaller, but there were still some decent size sets coming through. I paddled out with my buddy, Ken, and he makes his way up the break past the crowd. I went the other way to try and pick off one of those wide, swinging ones.

Just as I get in the line-up, the first wave of a set comes right to me, so I turn around and take it. I don’t know what happened, but I think I caught my rail when I dropped in on the wave.

Snap. There goes my leash.

I started to make the long swim in with the rest of the set breaking on me, but it wasn’t too bad. This is where a pair of reef booties comes in handy, because the reef is sharp with urchins hidden in the cracks. Urchin fest.

Some ladies kicking it in a tide pool grabbed my board.

Oh well, at least I got some exercise from the swim in. I called it a day, went in and got a Bintang and took some video footage from the warung. It's true, be careful what you ask for...

close up from warung. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

view from warung. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

transformational creativity coach desiree east

Desiree East is a Soulful Entrepreneur, Certified Master Transformational Coach, Creativity Coach and Visual Artist. Desiree facilitates live creative workshops and retreats, as well as, online art programs focused on personal and professional development. She inspires her clients to create meaningful change in their lives through creative ritual, using art-making as a modality for creative wellness and deep transformation (no art experience required). 

desiree east - certified creativity coach - master transformational coaching method - creatively fit coaching - creativity coaching association.png

All images, illustrations, and artwork on this site are copyright © Desiree East unless otherwise noted, and may not be edited, reproduced or sold by any party without written permission. You may have permission to distribute and share posted articles and content, although credit would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to purchase or license any images, illustrations, or artwork, please contact Desirée East directly for more info.

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