In just over a month I will be packing my bags and traveling back to the Amazon jungle for 2.5 months of isolation from the outside world to continue my work with the sacred plant medicine, ayahuasca, and to deepen my knowledge of Shipibo shamanism!
The last 16 months has found me traveling from state to state to do whatever inner or outer work was needing to be done at that particular time, and following my inner guidance each step of the way, trusting that I would be supported in any number of ways throughout the process. When I left Peru in January 2014, I had no plans, very little money, and no idea what the next chapter of my life was going to look like. All I knew was that my work in the jungle was complete for the time being and that I was now being called back to the U.S. after living abroad for over a year and a half.
In my final ayahuasca ceremony before I left the jungle (ceremony #21), I kept asking for guidance about how to move forward with everything I'd learned during my 6 months living in the jungle and I was told again and again simply to trust, to surrender, to let go of my plan, and to listen to my intuition about each step along the way. I was told that I would be coming back to the jungle in time-- that I would actually be called back-- and that my job for the immediate future was to be present, to integrate and process all the work I'd just done, and to share the messages of the plants with those who are ready to listen. So, I did just that and to my pleasant surprise things have turned out better than I could have ever imagined!
Some people ask me, "Why so many ceremonies? Why do you keep going back for more?" Having had 32 ceremonies now, I can say that what I was shown early on in my journey with the medicine is an absolute truth-- that I am being called by the plants to do this work, that this symbiotic relationship is somehow deeply interwoven into my destiny on this planet.
I have no idea what the future holds for me after the 10-week advanced initiation course I will be attending this summer-- I've booked a one way ticket to Peru and am completely open to whatever life offers me on the other side. What I do know is that my personal journey with ayahuasca has been completely transformative and that I will continue to honor the call to move forward in my own work with the plants and to continue sharing about the healing powers of the medicine with those who feel ready to begin their journeys.
When I leave for the jungle in June it will be almost two years since I made my first trek down to the Amazon. I can remember how scared I was to be doing this alone. I can remember how disconnected I felt-- disconnected from my own being and from life itself. I can remember feeling called to go to the jungle but not feeling sure why I was actually going or having any idea what I was going to experience.
I can remember being weary after my first ceremony, unsure if this journey was actually for me..
I've since learned how to surrender into something bigger than myself, knowing that something else (the Universe, Spirit, God-- whatever you want to call it) knows much better than I do about what's going on here.
I've since learned how to let go of the plans I had for myself (even if my ego fights it for awhile) so that I can be open to whatever opportunities life decides to bring me.
I've since learned that the spiritual concepts of oneness and unity are deeper truths than many of us realize, as are connection and separation (they're all the Truth, told from different perspectives of reality).
I've since learned that I can love myself fully and that by being my authentic self, others will either love me as well or take their space from me (and either is ok!).
I've since learned to trust in the perfection of life itself, and that (as bad or wrong as things may seem from my perspective) EVERY SINGLE THING happens for a reason.
I've since learned that there are many things in this life that will forever be outside of our comprehension, but that I don't need to know everything to have certainty and feel safe.
I've since learned to honor my body by treating it with love by eating whole, living foods, drinking plenty of water, and exercising regularly.
I've since learned to trust in the wisdom of my body, knowing that if I take care of it by give it what it needs, it will take care of me in return.
I've since learned to see the soul of others, to release judgement and attachment to the way anyone else is showing up, to see the light in their being, and to love them despite their shadows.
I've since learned that life is precious, and we should enjoy each moment because we never know what's around the corner.
I've since learned many, many other things that I'm not able to put into words at this time..
I don't know what twists or turns lie ahead for me or for our world, but I do know that I am along for the ride, wherever the river of life decides to flow, and that I am so looking forward to being back in the one place on this planet that feels the most like home to me!