The current hype around plant medicines, frog medicines, and psychedelics is unparalleled. With so much energy going into their promotion - some legally and some not - of these substances as "cure alls" - it's not easy to discern if they are right for you, and when, and what setting.
Most of us don't grow up learning to listen to ourselves, and which way to go in our decision making. We often follow in the well-traveled trail, the paths our friends or family are going, what the government allows, what medical science "proves" or what's the latest hip thing to do. We don't even realize that we are only following those around us in our cultural conditioning, because we haven't learned to truly listen to ourselves - our internal guidance, our spirit, or our own higher wisdom.
I have heard many times the exclamation after a ceremony - "This was the most amazing experience ever. I have to get my mom, dad, bother, sister, grandma and all my friends, to do it." Yes, it may benefit them too, but are they really up for the many years of spiritual awakening, healing and integration that may follow? Or are they so tapped in already to their own path and ways of growing and unfolding that are working for them? I see that the desire to bring our communities into profound healing with medicines is one of care and love. And yet, it also takes awareness that the healing and spiritual journey of us humans can take many many forms. Honoring the decision of others for what is right for them is best support founded in love and understanding that you can offer.
This has been a discussion with a few clients and personally in the recent weeks - how to listen to when is the right time. For myself, after a long (pandemic) time of refraining from community ceremonies (except for Peru), I decided to not partake. It was a long process to feel into whether it was the right thing for me. I came to a clearing that it was not. The inner process I was working with was going well. I was learning new internal tools and releasing old beliefs in my daily life. I was still integrating my dieta from March, and I was closing a bobinsana dieta for others at the same time as the ceremonies. I was aware that integration is a process that happens in it's own timing, and I needed more space for integration of all that's been happening in life. Tapping into the connection with the spirit of the medicine, I felt its wisdom and power, and also the knowing it had something for me, when I was ready. But there was no rush, as I can work in other ways until it's time.
When we truly tap in, we get to know the inner landscape of our being, of our soul. We get to learn to listen to the inner voices, the guidance, the spirit of the medicines - are we feel into the best decision for us at the right time.
If you would like some support in listening - to your spirit and the spirit of the medicines- and navigating relationship with these medicines, please reach out. I have a few openings this summer for 1:1 integration support and mentorship.
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Plant medicines, frog medicines, psychedelics are not a cure all. They can support us miraculously with long holding stuck energies, emotions, physical ailments, thought patterns, and traumas and create profound connection to our spiritual selves. But working with them over and over can clog our energetic systems - they can hit, and actually reinforce something, or strengthen some unwanted part or experience. I see this is when people return over and over - just hoping to get somewhere "better." Sometimes, they can break through again. However, there's always more that will arise. That's what it means to be human! We have layers upon layers of consciousness and energy that can be cleared and healed. We are meant to be evolving beings, continuing to learn at each step of the journey. We are meant to learn how to be with ourselves, reach out to others for support, live a fully human life, connect with spirit on-goingly for guidance. The fully healed human is not a real thing.
We are empowered beings in this journey. These incredible medicines can support and teach us in learning how to be empowered. But they will not do it all for us. By hitting a challenging space, returning to these medicines hoping for an answer over and over, we are giving our power away. The medicines won't give us what we want, as life isn't designed to fit our ego's desires. Often these medicines bring to the surface things that are reflected like a mirror back to us to that we can truly see ourselves. It's up to us to make the shifts we desire.
Instead of pushing ahead for more, if we pause, take a break, integrate, learn tools and practices to support us, and choose to work at a slower pace, we can start to see the true beauty and power of the medicines. They uplift us and support us in much much deeper ways. They are here to bring us fully into the world shift we all feel is coming. Us, in our imperfect human capacities. But we have to go deep. There is no rush to the finish line. There is no finish line, and rushing isn't the vibration of the medicines and their power. The human experience is meant to be a journey, gathering wisdom along the way. Let's honor the work of the medicines, by also doing our own work in our lives.
We put them in our bodies, and we assimilate them physically. Ingesting them is powerful, but the healing works more magnificently on the spiritual level. The wisdom and consciousness of a plant contains a whole universe that can reconnect us to the original place of healing.
We don't have to actually ingest these plants to tap into their wisdom. We can also call on them in spirit - inviting their special gifts to come support, guide and heal. Developing a relationship with a plant is like developing a relationship with a person - it requires a mutual respect, reverence, and communication. The plants won't be able to come support us unless we ask. As we offer our deepest gratitude from our hearts for being reconnected to our wholeness, we take part in reciprocity. The laws of the universe - what goes around comes around. We are in the cycle of life.
All things are connected in spirit, all things are spirit, and yet, we have the incredible opportunity to learn the unique gifts of the spirit of the plants each in our own way.
How are you connected to the spirit of plants?
Hi plant lovers!
I just wanted to share with you a conversation I had with Michael Sung (of Dieta of Teacher Plants and Trees - www.plantdieta.org) and Minna Pyhälä (a facilitator and integration group leader from Finland).
We explore in depth the many challenges of integration in the plant medicine path. As Western students of plant medicine in the traditional Amazonian ways, we are in new territory, exploring the cross-sections of cultures and consciousness, and we don’t have the path all laid out for us.
It's a rich conversation (split into 2 parts) that touches on the differences of cultures, dieta work, shadow work, non-attachment, returning to self for inner guidance, working with projections, black magic, the invaluable experience of integration support and much more.
Hope you enjoy, and I'd love to hear any comments or thoughts!
If video does not appear here, check it out on this link: https://fb.watch/5leH69B7rO/
If video does not appear here, check it out on this link: https://fb.watch/5ldNRIWzBJ/
In that first ceremony, I heard, felt, and experienced the sensation "You are going to be here for a while." I had no idea what that entailed. A few days later, when the the retreat began and there was an option to do a plant diet, I found myself saying yes. I was totally unprepared, but something about the place, the people, and the plants all felt right.
The curandero gave me bobinsana, and I was told it would help me get out of my head, and into my emotions. I drank it 3 times/day. The flavor was unlike anything I'd had before - like drinking the jungle herself - rich, bitter, but filled with vibrancy, aliveness, and a sort of magic.
After the first few days, I started to notice what felt like an infusion of water in my body. My awareness was on the fluidity of energies moving in my tissues, and in between my cells. I became more buoyant, and felt less dense. My emotional state 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 digging deeper. It was a complex experience, one that I'd never had - emotions, energy, and awareness shifting on many levels throughout the day. The nighttime dreams were vibrant, palpable and had a loving, care-taking quality. I felt the energy of the bobinsana was looking after me, guiding me on a journey into a place I didn't know.
With my mental habitual patterns that many of us Westerners have, I thankfully had an adventurous spirit and a deep curiosity leading the way. I surrendered and let go, I felt the ocean of emotions that were arising on the surface of my consciousness - mostly those that had been buried since childhood or were connected to things beyond my reach. Not always knowing the specifics, the emotional imprints were ready to be felt and released. I also released showing up the way I "should" in front of other people - no more composure for the sake of composure. I entered a world that was tender and necessary - it felt like it had been waiting for me. I finally returned to parts of myself that I'd forgotten. All the while, feeling the infinite love and mysterious presence of a plant.
I remember lying on a huge rock in the middle of the river under the jungle canopy in the afternoon of day 5. Everything turned into the flowing river - my awareness was like water, it 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? Was I going to disappear and never return? With the question, also came the awareness of the comfort and perfection - whatever was happening, it felt amazing and right on time.
In the days leading up to the close of the diet, I noticed my heart. It wasn't a place I normally focused attention, but it was pulsating, expanding, and very much alive. The grief was turning into a deep love for everything - not only that which I'd experienced here and in life, but the pure joy of being alive, the intelligence of the jungle, the wonders of the universe. Love just was a state of being. (This was a sweet augmentation to an experience in the 3rd ayahuasca ceremony I ever had, where I'd been floating in a pool of water, of love, and a deep knowing I was completely held.) I was returning home, again.
Closing the diet, this emotional state in my heart only continued to radiate and continue growing. Reconnecting with others who were also in the diet afterwards, was like being reborn. New ways of interacting were fresh and deeply nourishing.
The integration process that followed brought more healing, learning and connection in ways beyond what I thought was possible. I ended up staying for a couple of months, returning to San Francisco and packing up my apartment, to return again. I'd fallen in love with the plants and my heart needed to follow the journey with them. Whatever was in store, my adventurous soul was ready.
If you feel called to meet bobinsana, I have a small intimate group starting next week (read more here). You are also welcome to request privately guided support with this and other plants at any time.
In process of transitioning to a new site. In the meantime, you can read old blog posts here.
𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐦𝐢𝐱𝐭𝐥𝐢 (𝐨𝐫 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐦𝐢𝐱𝐭𝐥𝐞𝐭)
I am in love with this painting. The energy it carries and the wisdom that is channeled through speaks from another world. A world of ancient intelligence, connection to all of creation and manifestation in this realm.
I asked the artist, Miktlan Kouatl, to share about the painting, and I felt the power shudder through my being.
Youalmixtli (or Youalmixtlet) is Nahuatl for Jaguar.
“Youali" means night, circle, or sphere
"Mixtli” means cloud
“Tlet" means fire
"The jaguar is the symbol of the void or of the night. In the Toltec system, it is a circle - “youali", which also means night. If you see light emanating from a point, it always is forming a sphere, while it is traveling. The entire sphere around the light is “youali." It is a container of everything.
In the Toltec system, all the symbols are concepts within ourselves, within the human body. We are always emanating light, and in ourselves it is how we think, how we do things, our rational part, our bright light. The jaguar symbolizes that sometimes you have to turn off that light and be the night. When you turn off that light, you stop emanating it. Then you can see clearly other stars in the night. All those stars are different people you know and how they do things, how they are also light, and how they can guide you. You can learn how to guide yourself by their lights. In a way, the jaguar is the unknown. How you can enter to other people places that you don’t know, or how other people do things and you can learn from them and expand your horizons. So you are enlightening yourself by the light of others.
The jaguar is curiosity and the imagination, how you can integrate other systems into your ways. Of course, the imagination has no limits. It is a way to expand and it is more an intuitive process, more than something rational. It is also feeling and accepting others and their ways of doing things. It is the most important - the acceptance of others. In this, the jaguar is love. To accept everything just because it is. And because it can show you something that you may have ignored.
When I am painting, the symbol develops inside myself. I learned a lot by observing my 3 cats to understand how they behave. They are not like dogs to form a pack, but they care about each other, and they watch out for the others' health and happiness. Sometimes when one cat is inside my house, it wakes me up to open the door for the other cats so they can eat or rest.
Cats define very clearly their territory. In ourselves, you define until where someone can go inside your life and your beliefs and everything that is yourself. You can let them in, but then they are in your home, your space. They have to be very kind with you and vice versa. When you go into the space of others, you have to be kind with them. It makes the relationship strong. They don’t force anything- they don’t need to be together, they just join each other for the things that they enjoy.
In the Toltec system, one of the greatest achievements to accomplish is to be a jaguar - to turn off your light, let others be bright and guide them through their own experience. Just be a container where their energy can flow and you can direct or conduct them to know themselves in a better way. Jaguar warriors weren’t fighters, like the army. If you achieve that place, you are disappearing, and you won’t be noticed- you are silent. Even though you are teaching. The best teachers in the Toltec system are the jaguars. Those who guide you to know yourself by your own experience. They just help guide your actions and let you grow. They are like a container and structure where you can walk and go further.”
~ Miktlan Kouatl