Almost a year ago, I was navigating deep and intense territories, externally and internally. I can look back and say it was a sort of initiation, but not one that I saw coming. (Not that you ever see those coming!)
It sent me into the dark corners of my psyche - challenging me to see my unconscious beliefs of what it means to be a human being, walking a path here and now, and doing so in relationship with plant teachers that have forever altered my life.
I was struggling (again) to see how the realms that my beloved plants had opened up could possibly fit into my modern life. The realm that so greatly nourished my heart & soul - that of reconnecting to the pulse of life, to the intelligent energy and spirit that moves through everything. That of listening to the wisdom of the land, the wind, the plants, the ancestors, the changing seasons. Everything had wisdom to share.
At the time, I was working with 2 dear plant teachers (bobinsana & ayahuasca). They guided me (along with the very real external challenges of everyday working & living) into yet another round of an ongoing existential crisis.
I made a pilgrimage, which I’d done every year since moving to New Mexico to Gila National Forest. I had my plant guides with me, and hiked many miles with my dog. It took some time to let everything drop away, so I could better hear and feel true SILENCE - away from anyone, any computers, and any semblance of civilization. Just me & my pup on the land, LISTENING.
I’d been tied up in knots “trying to make it all work out” and “doing it right” like I am “supposed to.” “It” being creating a life that had meaning, one that felt in alignment with my truth.
I saw a belief that still lurked in my being very clearly - that I can’t have both. In order to live in this world, I had to give up the connection & the awareness of the greater reality, the world of nature, of plants, of inherent aliveness. That I was being forced to return to being practical, finding a good job, and this other realm was just secondary.
At one of my favorite spots along the Gila River, I dropped in, offered my gratitude to the waters, the land, & the ancestors. And I felt a presence, a masculine being with me. I could feel his empathy & his alignment. He had been on that land a long long time ago. And he whispered, “We want to share through you.”
His words went straight to my heart. My soul knew exactly what he meant. That my path was not mine alone.
In a flash, I saw that these feelings - of being conflicted and separate was my human struggle. That’s it. In truth, the great remembering, the reconnection with ALL THAT IS - living and non-living, seen and unseen - pervaded everywhere. Even in the dark corners of my psyche where I’d forgotten; where I was struggling. I let the “crisis” go in new ways that day. I accepted without a doubt that my path was for something greater, and I simply had to listen, to trust and to continue to open my channel for what wanted to come through.
And it’s on that day that LIVING THE SACRED was born. I had no idea what form it would take, but that this project was a vessel for ancient wisdom of remembering to come through. Of gathering other voices to share and help each other remember. And that was my guiding light- those words whispered to me that day on the river.
I started my journey home from the Gila, and reached out to a mentor & healer of mine, because I wanted to explore and integrate more of this experience into my being. He usually responds within a couple of days, but he never returned my call.
The first person I had thought about I’d love to talk to for this project, was renowned herbalist, author & teacher Stephen Harrod Buhner. I looked him up online, curious if he had an email or anything about being a guest speaker. I quickly learned he was not well. In fact, he was very sick. Within a few quick weeks, I watched on Facebook, as he neared death and eventually crossed over. I was in disbelief, watching the events of the end of his life. His teachings and books touched me so incredibly deeply many years ago when I was starting on this path of learning from the plants.
Then they said that his ashes had been scattered in the Gila National Forest, near the river. Where I HAD JUST BEEN. I had no idea he was that close to me, and that he too loved and walked those incredibly pristine lands so deeply.
Around the same time, a friend called to tell me that my mentor who never called me back had passed away tragically in a car accident. In fact, it was the same day I’d been at the Gila River making my prayer. This was a shock to my entire being. A mentor I’d worked closely with for 4 years, learning from him how to navigate consciousness & shamanic realms with such wisdom and integrity - was gone. Someone I trusted to guide me into territories I could barely sense, but he knew so well. An elder with experience and wisdom that could never be replaced. Grief took it’s journey through me as it does, as I slowly let go of my teacher in his human form. But his presence was and is with me, always nudging me forward with my work with the plants, whom he championed as so “pure.”
So with great gratitude, I dedicate LIVING THE SACRED to not only the many plant teachers who’ve changed my life, but also to these 2 human teachers whose lives ended, and they returned back to the great mystery guiding us from there. My prayer is that whatever form this project continues to take, that their voices and wisdom and the voices and wisdom of many other beings - seen and unseen; human, plant and otherwise - have a place to come through into this world in ways that people can hear, feel and be inspired, guided and supported in truly re-weaving our reality.
I invite you to join me for 3 days of real, inspiring conversations with people deep on the medicine path, each learning to weave the ancient wisdom back into our world. We have 15 healers, visionaries, teachers & change-makers who share their journeys, their insights and what their prayers are for us at this time.
We begin this week! September 20-22, 2023
Register here to be part of the first LIVING THE SACRED: Weaving the Wisdom of Plant Medicines into Our Modern World.
I'm looking forward to sharing with you! And feel free to share with others!
I just returned from dieta, where I had the gift of being able to sit with this beauty everyday. It's not often I get to pray and sing with her in person!
For the last 10 years, she's interwoven her beauty, her pure power and deep wisdom through my life in ways that I could have never imagined.
Over the last 3 years, I've deepened into the practice of bringing her into my life here in the US through a "soft dieta." This has been an incredibly beautiful practice, to invite her spirit in more fully to teach and guide me. Her medicine is potent and necessary, while living in a world that is more often than not lost in the mind, operating from separation & rigidity.
I've been guiding others in a soft dieta with her medicine. Many have dietted her in the past, and are deepening their relationship with her. And some are new to her medicine - she's appeared to them in dreams & ceremonies, but they've not known how they would get to meet her. Often people choose to work with her at home, because they simply cannot travel to the jungle at this time - due to family responsibilities, time, & money.
For anyone who's wanting to bring her medicine home, to learn from her, and invite her into your life, a guided journey begins July 25th! This group is specifically for women on the medicine path. (A co-ed group will be held in the fall.)
The bobinsana herself is ethically-sourced from the riverbanks in the San Martin region. A place my heart knows and loves deeply.
It's an honor to be able to share her medicine. And after my time with her this last dieta, her transmissions are alive and she continues to offer so much to those who meet her.
A few lessons I've learned in the nearly 15 years of working with plant medicines, that come back again and again:
꩜ Be kind to yourself.
꩜ Everyone has their unique path - in healing & in life. Follow yours, and yours alone.
꩜ Discovering who you truly are & living it takes courage & commitment. You have to be willing to be unlike anyone else.
꩜ There is nothing wrong with you.
꩜ You are not in control.
꩜ Your efforts do not go unnoticed.
꩜ The mind-body-spirit we call a human, is an incredible vehicle, that you have to learn how to drive.
꩜ Follow the plants. They are very powerful teachers in their wisdom & purity. Teaching us about what we call reality, what's beyond, what it means to be human and how to walk in integrity.
꩜ All that has been buried & hidden, can be released & made free...All in divine timing.
꩜ Willingness & curiosity are the keys that open new worlds.
꩜ Everything begins with acceptance.
꩜ Surrender means allowing divine intelligence the space to teach you.
꩜ The Earth is Divine Spirit, and honor her as such, always in all ways.
꩜ The interwoven fabric of reality- Life, this Great Mystery - is the greatest GIFT. Explore to delight your heart & nourish your soul.
Beginning July 25th, I'm guiding a journey with a beautiful plant teacher, bobinsana. A spirit who guides us to bring love and truth to all the places we've not yet uncovered. Medicine for those who are ready to see life with new eyes. Read more HERE!
On New Year's Day, I was in the ER, with a blood clot, and a swollen purple arm. It had seemingly appeared suddenly, with no indication that anything was wrong with me.
This mysterious event stopped me in my tracks and sent me on a journey. While the medical doctors didn't have any plausible explanation, after dozens of blood tests and x-rays, it shocked me into an awareness of a deeper layer of healing that was unraveling. The call was an intense life-threatening event. And it had to be one so drastic, that I couldn't possibly ignore it.
I'd been under immense stress all last fall - disastrous contracting work on my house, hosting a retreat, the death of a dear mentor, and an extreme financial distress. I'd also been micro-dosing with plant medicines who I have deep connections with. These plant teachers gave me an immense amount of support, helping me navigate the external and internal challenges with trust in the divine unfolding, and with resolution and commitment to my path.
After the 12-hr trip to the ER, I stopped everything. For 2 weeks, all I did was go to the doctor, sleep, meditate and pray. I started to see how my body was in over-drive, in over-whelm so great, that I was clenching everything so tightly inside my being. So much so that I could barely breathe.
I knew it was time to reach out for more support. First, I attended to my nervous system, to come out of the stress response.
My body-mind-spirit immediately rejoiced at my attention. Working with a network chiropractor, body workers, rolfers, yoga instruction, & daily baths, I opened quickly.
I expanded into a state beyond anything I'd known before. Freedom, aliveness, and creative energy pulsed through me in a way I'd never experienced before.
I had stopped taking the plants into my body. I knew they'd taken me to the edge that I needed to experience. To a place hidden deep within my subconscious that I couldn't release, and I couldn't quite see until now.
More plant medicines were not the answer. I had to slow down, stop, and let everything settle, so that the new awareness could come through. The spirit of the plants were still right there with me, pointing my attention to the place I previously couldn't see. Guiding me to unravel the stress response, so that the magic that was on the other side, could come through.
And it did with ease and grace.
I see all the time in my work with people and plant medicines - the question arise - When do you return for more plant medicines? Or when is it time to slow down and integrate? Most people return over and over to the plants, not wanting to slow down, in fear of missing something.
People often think without taking plants, they won't get anywhere. But this is not true. The time of integration is perhaps the most powerful time to cultivate and deepen your relationship with the spirit of these plants, and to let the expansion and wisdom emerge and be embodied.
Plant medicines cannot and will not do it all for you.
The truth is, without integration of plant medicines, you can lose the potential transformation of very deep healing that is wanting to happen.
Integration is some of the most challenging work when working with plant medicines. It's not easy; it's not comfortable; and it requires that you be willing to meet yourself on the edge. To meet yourself in the deep corners of your consciousness, in places you've never been able to access up until now.
I had an ultrasound yesterday, and it confirmed that my blood clot had disintegrated. The doctor and nurse hypothesized that I'd fallen asleep in a strange position that cut off the blood flow to my arm (which was my hypothesis all along!). I'd been so depleted, exhausted and stressed, that my spirit had to send me a serious wake up call that things had to change.
I am forever grateful for the wisdom that manifested in this mysterious experience. And for being forced into deep listening and deep integration, so that I could embody the wisdom that was waiting for me.
All in reverence and humble gratitude for my plant teachers who guide me to where I most need to bring my attention.
The word "integration" is thrown around in the plant medicine world, yet what does it mean? Even for myself, I'm always up-leveling my integration practices and my listening, so I can know what is needed and in alignment at various phases of my jounrey.
I've put together a 𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗘 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗠𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗚𝘂𝗶𝗱𝗲 for anyone who'd love to up-level in their integration with plant medicines.
May we always be listening for the wisdom in the mystery!
When deep shifts are happening internally, I'm in my sacred space tending to the preciousness of what's unfolding. Listening, allowing, and cultivating space to birth the new.
A theme that's come up in client sessions this week has been how we tend to our sacred space in integrity.
Without pushing ourselves or expecting too much too soon. Without skipping over or bypassing the depths that are calling for our attention. Without distracting ourselves from the right here, right now.
A space where we allow the sensitive, vulnerable pieces of us to come to the surface. A space that is safe. A space where we can feel the plants, ourselves, the Earth, & the greater pulse of the universe all guiding a beautiful transformation.
And how can we engage with our external world when this is all happening inside? It can be scary at times to not know where it's going or how we will be received.
It's a delicate balance of tending to our internal transformation and being in the greater world. A mastery of stepping into our own medicine.
We can go deep into our space of solitude, protection and privacy. Essential at times for our precious transformation. And the gifts of this are unparalleled.
And sometimes, we get too attached to it, and we hide ourselves. Because we don't know how we will be received. We fear the worst - rejection, abandonment, ridicule, judgment.
Our external world - family, friends, community- may or may not be able to meet or recognize us for who we are becoming. Our tender parts who need safety and love need us to look after them in the interface with the external world.
I, too, have been engaging with people from new vulnerable spaces lately, allowing myself to be seen in new ways.
A part of me expected to not be truly seen or accepted. And I was at peace with that. And at the same time, I noticed I opened in new ways to receive and be received.
And I was surprised. I was seen and welcomed in new ways. The result - I let myself receive that feedback...and I felt myself blossom.
Pure magic. Encouraging me to continue to share, to be seen, & to step into my own medicine.
This is true integration.
A life long journey of continually bringing our becoming into the world. Cultivating our internal sacred space. And letting ourselves be received by those who can see us.
I've not been posting as much on social media, and it feels very good.
Instead, I've been immersed in my own integration. Letting everything weave into new patterns.
After a full on fall and winter of deeply working with plants in one way or another, I've been on a break for 6 weeks.
I've been tending to the pieces that have been uprooted, rewiring my nervous system, re-writing my beliefs, and addressing deeply held patterns in the body (through network chiropractic and structural integration).
My mind-body-spirit is thanking me.
I've always been an advocate of integrating the deep work, lessons and shifts from working with the plants in real time. And this is what I teach and guide clients to do. To cultivate their own system, their own practices, their own way of being with themselves, and how they tend to the relationships with the plants that they work with.
And to listen when it is time for a break.
I didn't realize how much I needed one.
Guiding a group of women through micro-dosing this week, I felt the call of the medicine, and my own desire to reconnect. I thought of micro-dosing alongside with them, but the message was clear.
"𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘆 𝗱𝗲𝗲𝗽𝗹𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱 - 𝗮𝗹𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀. 𝗥𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗽𝘂𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂'𝘃𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗱."
I see a lot of people pushing themselves in overload with plant medicines. Not realizing how much of a toll it can take. And not realizing the depth of the integration work that is truly required to make the deep long-lasting shifts that they are desiring in their lives.
I think many get caught in the excitement, the anticipation of what's next, the need for stimulation or a new experience. Running from ceremony to ceremony, medicine to medicine. Is there an unconscious hope of "finally making it" or "finally healing"? What is the grasping all about?
What if instead - we rested in what is already alive?
The plants are eternal, always here for us with their wisdom and teachings. They would never guide us in a rush to the finish line. And instead teach us how to S L O W. D O W N.
To be present. To be aware. To take responsibility for every aspect of our lives.
"𝗡𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗵𝘂𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀: 𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗺 𝗯𝘆 𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗺, 𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗹𝗲 𝗯𝘆 𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗹𝗲, 𝗻𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗲𝘃𝗲𝘀 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Slowing down to listen to the subtlest messages, the deepest guidance, never fails.
Usually this time of year, I'm heading back to my home in the jungle to be with the plants I love so dearly.
This year, I'm taking extra time to integrate, rest, to embody the deeper layers of what they've so generously helped me to transform.
I have the gift to fully allow my integration to nourish all parts of my mind-body-spirit. So that when I do return to the jungle (which I will soon enough), I am even more ready to receive them.
I am forever grateful for the beauty of weaving plant medicine practices into every aspect of my life. And now I am taking the time to honor the deepest shifts.
If you are working with plant medicines and want to get into the depth of their teachings, reach out. I love guiding people to feel, listen and grow with the plants, in the pacing that is truly supportive.
༄ 𝗘𝗡𝗧𝗘𝗥𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗧𝗘𝗠𝗣𝗟𝗘 ༄
The practice of a plant dieta is a sacred time.
It requires us to prepare the temple of our mind, body & spirit.
We prepare by creating sacred space within ourselves.
A place away from the normal busy-ness of our mind and the distractions of our world.
We cleanse and detox our bodies.
We carry with us our prayers, desires and intentions for the deep journey ahead.
Inside the temple, it is quiet, still, and sacred. An otherworldly dimension opens up.
Emotions rise to the surface and move through, all in a beautiful surrender to something greater.
As we invite a plant spirit into the temple that we've cultivated, we open ourselves.
To be guided by the plants on a journey through consciousness, in ways that we would never go on our own.
To be moved, to allow our thoughts, sensations, emotions, and energy to be infused by the spirit of the plants.
To receive their gifts of wisdom, energy, and healing.
We listen. We heal. We learn. And we grow.
We rediscover our truest visions and our deepest longings.
We step into a new way of being. One intimately interwoven with the plants, the Earth and all her wisdom.
Committing to this practice, is an act of love. And of trust.
For oneself, for the beauty of the plants, and the greater mystery.
Today, I'm honoring the commitment and courage of those who are about to enter into their own temples to welcome in the wisdom and magic of bobinsana.
A powerful and beautiful journey is about to begin!
༄ This cohort for 𝗔𝗪𝗔𝗞𝗘𝗡𝗜𝗡𝗚: 𝗦𝗢𝗙𝗧 𝗗𝗜𝗘𝗧𝗔 𝗪𝗜𝗧𝗛 𝗕𝗢𝗕𝗜𝗡𝗦𝗔𝗡𝗔 is full. The next one is planned for June! And there will also be a group forming for micro-dosing with her medicine. Reach out if any of this calls to you!
It's been almost 9 years ago, that I met this gorgeous plant, bobinsana. And I can say that "She found me."
I'd arrived at a medicine retreat center outside Tarapoto, Peru to teach yoga. The invitation to do a traditional plant dieta appeared, and I found myself saying yes. I was unprepared and had no idea what to expect. But I felt something calling me.
For 7 days, I drank 3 times/day a concoction that tasted like the jungle herself- rich, bitter & earthy, but filled with vibrancy, aliveness, & magic.
I started to notice what felt like an infusion of the spirit of water in my body. Fluid energy moved in my tissues and in between my cells. I became buoyant & filled with a lightness that soothed everything.
I shifted into a deep melancholy and grief. I felt like I was being held under water, like I couldn't quite come up for a proper gasp of air, but I had just enough to keep on swimming. My everyday awareness slipped away, and I was in the fluid world of emotions & energy.
My dreams were alive, vivid and very palpable. I felt the spirit of bobinsana looking after me, guiding me on a journey into a place I didn't know, with her incredible love & care.
I learned to surrender and let go. The ocean of emotions below the surface of my consciousness - those that had been buried since childhood or were connected to things beyond my reach - arose with gentleness and ease. All ready to be washed away.
I entered a world that was tender and necessary. It felt like it had been waiting for me. All the while, feeling the infinite love and mysterious presence of a plant. One who was teaching me about love, compassion, & empathy, so that I could return to who I truly was.
One afternoon, I remember lying on a huge rock in the middle of the river under the jungle canopy. Everything in my awareness turned into the flowing river. My awareness WAS the water - my mind, my body, all became one with the rushing water beneath me.
It felt deeply cleansing, and the question arose - where did "I" go? The "I" that I'd known disappeared. I felt at a deep sense of peace, of surrender, of loving comfort. Whatever was happening, it was perfect and right on time.
My grief was turning into a profound love for everything. The pure joy of being alive, the healing of the jungle, the wisdom of the plants, the magnificence of the universe.
My heart was opening to receive the magic all around. I was returning to love as a state of being. A returning to a home that I'd forgotten.
The gifts of bobinsana are plenty. I'm forever grateful for this meeting, and how she continues to support and hold me, pointing me back to the clarity of my heart.
If you feel called to meet bobinsana, I have a small women's group starting February 8. We will open a sacred container to meet her and experience her healing magic in our everyday lives. Read more HERE, and reach out soon, as the group is almost full!
In truth, 2022 was a challenging year. Probably one of the top 3 challenging years of my adult life. A year of taking risks, making big decisions and investments, putting myself out there, and as always, navigating unexpected consequences.
I whole-heartedly trust the internal growth that is ignited within profound challenges ALWAYS has divine intelligence. The beyond is always the grand designer.
I came face to face with big healing this year - betrayal, loss, heartbreak. Uprooting deep old wounds, clearing out the lingering past. Leading me to dig deeper, to land once again in the solidity of all that is. The foundation that holds everything. No matter what is happening internally or externally, this is it; and the journey back each moment is the most profound healer and teacher there is.
The process of letting go of layers of concepts, perceptions, ideas of who I am, how life should look is always at it's core the most enriching and fulfilling path any one person could take. Because this year's shedding, ultimately led me to deeper alignment - with the truth of who I am, what I am here to do, to be, to stand for, to share. Beyond all the bullshit.
Sharing it out in the world into form, is a whole other journey. But one that I'm 1000% committed to embodying, no matter where it takes me, how long it takes, how messy it gets, or what anyone else thinks. The continual realigning to my truth sometimes is a practice of the yoga of disgust (as one of my teachers likes to speak about - sending gratitude to her if she's reading this). Disgust as the teacher for what is not in alignment.
I am welcoming 2023 with confidence and knowing. Connected to the visions; Watering their seeds planted in my heart and soul. They are the precious gifts that I am tasked with bringing into the world, for myself, for others, for this crazy evolutionary roller-coaster ride we are on.
With humble gratitude to spirit, with trust and excitement, I cross the threshold into a new year.
Thank you for reading, and I send blessings for your transition & our transition.
𝗜𝗡𝗧𝗢 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗚𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗧 𝗠𝗬𝗦𝗧𝗘𝗥𝗬
I lost a mentor a few weeks ago in a tragic accident.
I only found out this week and it's hit me very deeply on all levels. I'd spoken to him the day before he died, and he was in unusually high spirits and offering a beautiful transmission.
This teacher I respected very much. I honor his deep wisdom and experience in healing and shamanic traditions from all over the world. He was someone that I could go with to the outer reaches of consciousness. Into other dimensions, into the bizarre, unheard of territories. Into the great mystery. And then bring it all back into the 3D world in the here and now.
We'd go unravel pieces of the mystery that were ready to be alchemized. And then he'd make sure all pieces of me were safely back in my body. Teaching me to continually refine my energetic field, my ability to perceive energies, and to decode the intelligence and the frequencies that I sensed.
He didn't work much with the plants himself, but always encouraged my dedication on this path. He championed the purity of their energies, their spirits and their power for healing this earth.
We had many conversations around the trans-human spaces, and as this popular AI wave rolls through, I half-laugh at what he would say. He was a very strong supporter of keeping all non-organic frequencies out of the human energy field, which is no small task.
I learned much about the fine line of integrity, as he worked in such a way that is unique in these shamanic spaces, never intending harm, but striving for balance. And his skill set was unlike anyone I've encountered.
Releasing grief on his passing, it was made clear to me that he was needed someone else right now. Somewhere else where his energy and wisdom could continue supporting our collective evolution.
Letting myself feel the human emotions, and trusting his return to the great mystery.
Protectress of Mother Earth, Intuitive, Shamanic Energy Medicine, Sacred Plant Medicine Integration, Soul Adventurer