When Ayahuasca first started coming to me I quickly felt a few things very strongly. 1) This is the next step in your journey, pay attention! 2) You have a lot of work to do to prepare. 3) You need to be dedicated to following you heart on a whole new level. Two feet in baby! I didn't really realize that I wasn't "two feet in" to a spirit driven life until this came up for me but that voice inside of me was right. I was living in the proverbial spiritual closet, if you will. I really only shared this side of myself with a few people who I knew wouldn't call me crazy and try to commit me. I knew that it was time for that to change.
I quickly had the opportunity to put myself out there (don't you just love how that happens?? ;) As I have mentioned before, I needed money and the first thing that came to me was to create a fundraising site and send it to anyone and everyone I knew and then some. That was challenging and uncomfortable and, because I'm telling people that I am going to work with sacred plant medicines in Peru and not that I'm going to...I don't know...save kittens, people asked me a lot of questions that were hard for me to answer. They were hard because they were personal...and I felt vulnerable...but also because a huge part of living life this way is having faith instead of answers. I still don't know why exactly I am going...I just know that I need to go. That is enough for me but I find it is hard for people to wrap their heads around. However, I have been greeted with kindness, openness and support from everyone I have spoken with about my journey. I am so grateful for that!
The request for dedication didn't stop there though....
As I said before, I felt that I had a lot of work to do to prepare and it wasn't long before that started coming to me. It began with the book "The Presence Process" by Michael Brown. I was in the library one day just browsing for a new book to read and The Presence Process jumped out at me. As it turns out, it is a 10 week guided process to teach present moment awareness. I knew this was something I needed to do so I committed to completing the full process (which I did). I learned a lot about being present, I worked through and released more 'stuff', and I realized the importance of having a daily meditation practice. I started to become more grounded, more centered, and....well, more present. I was more "in my body" which is a new concept for me as this is not my natural state. Being in the body more reminded me of what I had learned about my body during my spiritual retreat in Vermont. I learned how much what I put in and on my body effected me. Every part of me. I learned that so many things that were troubling me were connected to the food and drink that I consumed--aches, pains, fatigue, brain fog, congestion, depression, excess weight, and spiritual disconnect. I had been eating a "healthy" diet (according to dietitians) but it was not a healthy diet for my body. So, starting this January I committed to eliminating the three big no-no's for me (flour/gluten, dairy, and sugar) and since then I have been going through a process of learning from my body, retraining my brain and fine tuning my diet. It has not been easy! Sugar has definitely been the hardest for me. Also, I feel like my body wants me to (again) be two feet in with this diet and follow it to the letter 100% of the time. That is not easy! Not only is it very challenging but it also feels a bit...unbalanced. Perhaps that is an excuse I'm using to cling to old habits. When I am strict on my diet (and I have been about 95+% of the time) I feel amazing! My bothersome symptoms go away, my body releases excess weight, and I have clarity and motivation.When I stray even slightly...whether it is knowingly (hello Trader Joe's GF waffles!) or unknowingly (like preservatives that I am sensitive to that I didn't know accompanied the salad I ordered) I feel sluggish, foggy, and yucky.
It's not easy! I didn't have cake on my birthday this year! I'm human so I get off track and stumble at times but the important thing is that I remain kind and compassionate to myself and hold on to the bigger picture and what is important to me. It's more important to be kind to myself and my body and to do my best to love myself exactly as I am than to stick to a "diet" 100% of the time no matter what. The body is amazing and forgiving and (I'm learning) my friend, not my enemy.
So this is where I am at right now.....which is great since, in the present moment, it's the only place I can be ;)