Tag: being

Voluntarily Discomfort in Paradise

“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.”

The House of Masters – Imiloa Institute, Costa Rica

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.

Image Credit: Fuego Brew Co., Dominical Costa Rica

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.

Image Credit: Fuego Brew Co., Dominical Costa Rica

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

A Wild Thing

“Today I saw a…”

Full disclosure, I’m writing this post a week early and scheduling it to publish while I’m on my retreat… But today, or for you all, a week ago, I saw a deer.

Now, this is nothing special “up here” in the Colorado Rockies, yet it stands out in my mind because of something my grandma said… “People coming from the city will see that and think it’s really something…”

We were sitting near the window at a newly opened restaurant a few towns over – the one we traverse about 13 or so miles to get to for our grocery shopping and most other sub-civilization needs. I didn’t take a picture. I didn’t stare. Again, I didn’t think much of it…

I see deer daily. Herds of them mosey through our front yard, dally by the back roads and intermingle with my periphery quite often. S’pose I’m a bit desensitized to the wonder of it all, to the glory of “wildlife.”

I am blessed to have these opportunities to witness nature, untamed and unconstrained. Yet, I don’t really percieve the deer, hawks, raccoons, foxes and the occasional bear or bobcat as that magnificent.

Don’t get me wrong, I am astonished by their beauty, immensely respectful and grateful for their existence, as well as even sensitive to the innate symbolism and resonance of their appearance when it seems out of character or blatantly synchronous with other patterns in my life. It’s just that I’ve never experienced the great chasm of separation from these creatures the way that my grandmother assumes, probably rightly, that people living in urban areas do.

I’ve always been a creature too…

Apart from the blessings of living here now as an adult, I’ve also grown up here. Other than an internship, college and my travel adventures, I’ve always been a “mountain girl.” This is home and the wildlife are my kin.

It makes me sad to think that there are children who grow up without an entire National Forest to explore in their backyard. I marvel at the thought of going to play outside on concrete sidewalks and other manufactured structures rather than climbing trees, making forts on the sides of mountains and having to take the family rotties everywhere because predators roamed along the deer trails we used to navigate the woods…

No wonder the world is the way it is; so fractured, so fake, so surreal…

I’m listening to a book in preparation for my retreat that talks a lot about this separation from nature that humankind has become so obsessed with. The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein. I’ve found it quite fascinating, especially to hear time and time again echos of my own disjointed and “socially unfit” thoughts and convictions.

It talks about the cult of technotopia and how humans are always looking to gain more control over nature. How things like agriculture, language and even art serve to disconnect and fragment our own nature from that of the natural world… And most importantly, how this has essentially robbed us all of our fulfillment, joy and purpose.

I highly recommend getting this book for yourselves as there is truly so much information and the author is extremely thorough in his anthropological excavations of the entirety of human existence. There is no way for me to even hope to summarize and explain its immense value in this post. Still – seeing that deer, hearing my grandma’s words and realizing my own wealth of natural experiences has directly triggered a bit of meditation on the information it contains.

I think, feel, live and experience my being the way I do because of my connection to nature…

I am so grateful. I am so blessed… For every creature, plant and rock – and today especially, for that deer.