“Huuuecckkeghhh-ughhh… HUUUECKKEGHHH!” My whole body shakes as I purge violently into my bucket. There’s nothing in my stomach anymore, the Aya has moved through my system and I’m just emitting bile now. My mouth tastes sour and bitter but I can’t drink water yet… Everytime I open my eyes I feel dizzy and ungrounded by their inability to focus as infinite geometric fractals take over my surroundings. “Thank you mama… thank you.”
With eyes closed, falling back onto my sweat-soaked mattress next to more than 30 other friends (who were just strangers days ago) on the yoga deck in the Costa Rican jungle, I begin to undergo visuals of exponentially greater intensity and depth once more. I’ve been journeying for what seems like days, but really only an hour or two had passed. I am transported beyond the boundaries of my perception, into the space of existence where the overwhelming unity of Source converges and separation completely dissolves. Pachamama revealing the intricacies of her boundless power and love in every variety of expression.
This is our second Ayahuasca ceremony on this retreat and it had been nothing like my first experience last year or my experience during this week’s first ceremony. My intention this time was “expansiveness” and oh did I recieved it fully. Laying there, feeling as though every cell in my body were vibrating, I pondered drinking a second cup of the medicine – though even the thought made me feel as if I might die.
“This,” I thought, “this I how I conquer fear…” Preparing myself to accept the challenge whilst Pachamama soothingly comforted me in the back of my mind, “you can drink if you want, but you don’t have to,” I knew, the answers to my intention laid just beyond this fear. I had to push my limit and drink again.
The second cup was gritty, filled with remnants of the holy vine. I braced myself add I returned to my mattress… But nothing happened. I felt better – actually, I felt amazing.
I would still be journeying for about 4 more hours, and it would remain full of psychedelic wonder and more purging, but I was able to regain some grace. I felt strong. I felt proud.
I would under go a series of “downloads” the rest of the night, receiving divine messages about my life, my purpose and my path. My future became clear. My past, my excuses and my fears now all obsolete.
During the night I would visit my loved ones, both alive and dead, to express my gratitude, love and even my grief. “It is an honor to mourn you,” would become a mantra as I kissed the faces of friends and family who had long gone. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” falling evermore from my tongue.
I kissed monsters and communed with the goddess in her ever-changing forms. My heart was opened to the endless expanses of possibility and I gained new appreciation for the spaces of infinity and creation that are Pachamama’s domain. I experienced true, unbridled and uncontained power, drinking deep of endless glories.
It was so hard.
It was so ugly.
It was so divine.
It was so beautiful.
I wish for a world where everyone understands that discomfort is the price of legendary. And fear is just growth coming to get you.
~ Robin S. Sharma
When I was looking for an app for prompts, I collected a couple others for inspiration as well. One of them is a question diary and the other a gratitude journal. Both have been very stimulating so far.
This morning on the gratitude journal I was given the chance to think back over the past 15, 10 and 5 years and take note of the ways I’ve grown, finishing by offering myself gratitude for those achievements. It was quite encouraging and insightful. I’d like to share the excerpts and expound upon them in this post.
I’m grateful that in the last 15 years I have grown from a scared, unsure and self-conscious 16 year old who lied to get out of travelling to Peru and didn’t want to learn to drive, into a confident, self-assured, solo world traveler who isn’t afraid to face her fears again and again!
15 years ago, my oldest childhood friend died in a motorcycle accident just shy of a month before my 16th birthday. She, myself and my friend Kira had all been planning to go on a missions trip to Peru that summer. When the time came to finally leave – after all the fundraising, getting to the ministry headquarters in Texas and even volunteering at that campus – I couldn’t do it. I was paralyzed with anxiety, grief and depression that even manifested physically in my body as extreme IBS that had me in never ending pain and passing blood in my stool every time I went to the bathroom. The lie came into play when I was on the phone with my father who was insistent on my following through with my plans. I told him that “God had told me” I wasn’t supposed to go to Peru. It wasn’t true, God hadn’t said anything one way or the other, but it worked and I was allowed to return home. I remained physically ill though for another year. I was also self-mutilating at this time. I eventually learned to drive, but only with great resistance and trepidation, getting my license when I was already almost 17. I just didn’t want to do anything; I was afraid of everything.
I would also learn later that same year that I have Primary Ovarian Failure, that my body destroyed my ovaries, that I am completely barren, and that instead of going through puberty I had been thrust into menopause before I was 13. I had osteoporosis already, and I was also still growing too. Everything in my life at that time seemed completely out of control, hostile and torturous.
I’m grateful that in the last 10 years I’ve grown from an insecure, self-centered and self-deprecating young woman who didn’t know what she wanted, didn’t care for or love herself, and put up with abuse and manipulation, into an authentic, aware, mindful and passionate goddess who doesn’t take shit from toxic people and doesn’t put herself in toxic situations or allow toxic behavior from herself!
10 years ago I was 21, living with my sister and my convicted felon boyfriend (soon to be husband and then eventually ex-husband) in what could only be described as a party house. I was waking up with my cup of coffee, a cigarette and a bowl of weed. I was filling my days with drama and distractions. I was fueling my nights with alcohol, ecstacy, cocaine and whatever else I could get my hands on. Before the end of that year, I wound up in jail on a domestic violence charge for having punched my boyfriend in the face a dozen times in an intoxicated rage.
I’m so grateful that in the last 5 years I have grown from being a woman who felt undeserving of love, disgusting and completely burnt out emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually while suffering through a painfully failing marriage, flunking out of school for mental health issues and barely getting out of bed, into a vibrant, engaged, inspired healing healer who knows what she believes with conviction, experiences joy and bliss every day, and is blessed continually through her service and devotion to personal mastery and universal optimization!
5 years ago I was filled with self-loathing because I had flunked out of college my very last semester simply because I stopped going to classes. I had made the Dean’s list twice, I had recieved grants and scholarships, but I had also been working 3 jobs to support myself and my convict husband while he was in prison for 2 and a half years of my college career. I completely burnt myself out physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually; couldn’t even crawl out of bed most days because of my severe depression. I went to a therapist, I was put on SSRIs, but I continually spiraled.
By the time my ex got out of prison, I was a shell of a person, and he was disgusted with me. Subsequently, I was made to feel worse and worse about myself by the person I had loved the most. It didn’t help that before my complete collapse I had become progressively more and more reckless. Binge drinking, abusing prescription drugs and even eventually becoming unfaithful by putting myself in high risk sexual situations. I had been honest with my ex, telling him everything before he came home, giving him an out that he didn’t take – and then I was punished daily through looks of loathing and malice until he finally found another woman to take care of him and left me for good.
And yet, I’m so very grateful for all of it. As expressed by the letter I wrote my current self from my past selves to finish the gratitude exercise:
Future Mayryanna, WOW! Or more appropriately, though I don’t know it yet, WAHE GURU ❤ I am pinching myself, I cannot hardly believe that I am you! That I am capable of so much strength and resilience, that I will do so much, that I will become so impassioned and inspired! I am so grateful for you, for me, and for our never giving up! For our daring and tenacity, for our curiosity and authenticity, for our love and grace! Thank you, thank you, thank you – for learning how beautiful and amazing you truly are – for never giving up on us 🙏 I am honored and blessed to be MAYRYANNA!
I’ve had this feeling lately – daily blogging is getting dull, or uninspired… More and more I don’t know what to post, or I just don’t want to post…Like I’m tapped out or something.
I know I’ve got more gems in me, somewhere… I haven’t even been doing this long enough to be good at it really.
So, perhaps the problem isn’t really me, maybe it’s my approach.
On rare occasions, I know what I want to blog, but most of the time I’m just grasping for something or anything to post last minute. That always makes it stressful. Who wants to feel stressed every day?
So, I’m going to try something new. I’ve found a journal prompt app that I am going to be using for a while and see how that goes. Rather than wonder what to post, I’ll simply reply to a prompt from this app in a blog.
This way, I won’t be pressured to come up with a topic from scratch every day even before I can get to the work of blogging. I hope that this plan will help me to overcome this slub, and ultimately make me a better blogger.
I’m sure I won’t always need the prompts, but I’m glad that I can utilize this option until I’m feeling more confident about my own idea formation… And I’m sure things will become much more diverse and interesting with this outside influence spurring my reflections and perspectives too.
I wanted to start this post with another “it’s been a crazy week,” or “sorry I haven’t had time to write something current lately,” but then I realized – I don’t feel that way. So I’m not going to say it.
The weekend was great. I’m sick and have largely been scraping by the last 3 days, barely cognizant sometimes, but I also still managed to spend mother’s day with my momma bear and that is so special to me.
I’m laying here, with beads of sweat on my forehead, feeling gross and icky, but I’m also feeling proud of the fact that I still woke up at 6am today to workout with my friend before I did my Sadhana (it wasn’t much of a workout but the commitment is what’s been making the real difference anyway). I’m feeling blessed, accomplished and grateful. I’m also wondering when this stupid head cold will finally pass…
And that’s just it…
That’s life. THIS is life! It’s never all good or all bad, there are always ups and downs, things don’t ever remain nice and categorical and reality’s “peaks” and “valleys” often coincide. There’s no destination that escapes the densly diverse experiences of existence.
That’s why perspective, intention and focus matter so much. We all make our own meaning.
I could focus on how “crazy” things feel when I am not accomplishing everything I want to accomplish, but then I’m probably only going to foster more manic energy for myself. I can fixate on all the ways I’ve not been “keeping up” with the make believe standards I’ve set in place for myself, but then I’m really only harvesting dissapointment and discontent.
The truth is, I get to choose
No one’s life is perfect, but I can certainly enjoy mine should I decide to. Sure, being sick isn’t easy to enjoy necessarily, but I can still be grateful that I’m alive and take the extra pause to appreciate my blessings. Instead of worrying about all the things I haven’t gotten to yet, I can be thankful I have so many opportunities, trust and responsibility.
So, this is me basking… I’m drinking it all in and savoring every drop. I love you life! I’m so blessed by the good, the bad and everything in between…