Bali is an island of beautiful beaches, and one of my favorites is Sanur, southeast of Denpasar.

The white sand extends for miles, palm trees swaying in the sultry wind. When the tide is low, you can walk along a lovely reef, ogling the tiny fish and sea crabs cavorting in the tidepools.
Sounds like paradise, right? Not when this “Wow” place becomes an “Ow” place!

My girlfriend and I walking along Sanur Beach reef when the tide starts coming in. I suggest we swim back directly to shore – big mistake! Within minutes, I’ve stepped on a sea urchin – two of them, in fact!

Plopping myself on the beach, I gasp to my girlfriend, “Go get help!”
Sprinting off towards the nearest hotel, she stops to negotiate with a local t-shirt vendors. Half an hour later, she has returned – triumphant – with a retinue of sarong-clad Balinese locals, all of whom seem vaguely amused that another tourist has experienced the wrath of the “bulu babi” — Indonesian for sea urchin. Eventually, an older woman approaches me with the verdict:

“We are going to hit your feet with rocks.”

“Come again?”

“We are going to hit your feet with rocks.”

“And this is going to help how?”

“We do this, you live.”

Okay, so now she’s got my attention. I had no idea that I was in a life-threatening situation. Fine, fine, bring on the rocks. Pound away. Show me what you got.
Three or four women gather around me and do exactly as promised — working together, they smack the soles of my fee with blunt stones. Needless to say, it’s a striking experience! After an hour of pretty serious discomfort, (my feet now sufficiently tenderized), a boy is sent off for some “medicine”; this turns out to be a bundle of branches which, when squeezed, yield a milky-white sap that is apparently some kind of natural anti-biotic.

“You are okay now. Leave now,” says the older Balinese woman.

“Thank you so much! I will definitely come by later and buy some t-shirts from you,” I assure her as I struggle to my feet and limp away.

When was the last time you were in an alien situation, trying to navigate an emergency? Imagine if you could trust your judgement in all situations, allowing the process to play out without you trying to control it. What might that mean for your life?