Ok, so I had planned to do some quickie blog posts to cover my vacation in Peru. But after my last post, in which I declared that I was ushering a new era of authenticity and sharing, and your wonderful response to said post, I just couldn’t do that. It would’ve felt like half-assing it. Also, I wasn’t actually able to write anything until just now. I don’t get writer’s block, but I do get “bad timing” blocks, meaning, that the timing is not right, no matter how much I insist that it is. So, I’ve decided or more accurately, surrendered to the idea of writing this month’s blog posts from here in Peru, as I’m inspired to.
I arrived in Peru this past Monday, and stepped straight into an Ayahuasca ceremony on Tuesday evening. This was my 19th Aya ceremony to date, and it was, hands down, the best one yet. It was the culmination of all of my previous work and brought me what I’d been looking for all my life. Yeah… it was effing miraculous.
Now, while I can’t possibly summarize everything that happened in those hours in one blog post, no matter how long and epic it might be, I’ve decided to share one of the biggest “events” of the night. First a little context.
Before going into any kind of ceremony, conscious meditation (active meditation where you shift energy), or deep energy work, it’s important to set an intention. The clearer the intention, the more likely you are to succeed. Setting the proper intention is half the work, really. I find my intention by looking at what is trying to get my attention the most in that moment. What is popping up right now? Then, I step into that feeling and let the emotions take me as far as they can. By doing this, I often shift tons of beliefs already. But at some point, I’ll hit a road block. If I don’t, I pick the issue that pops up next. I usually prepare for weeks before these trips to Peru, shedding oodles of crappy beliefs in order to get down to the core. After all, there’s no point in wasting an Ayahuasca ceremony on something I could’ve easily shifted on my own. These plants are powerful tools, and you don’t bring in the sledge hammer when a butter knife would’ve sufficed.
My intention for the night was to step fully into my power. I’d realized that I’d always had a fear of being arrogant. Not being seen as arrogant, which I dropped years ago, but actually being arrogant. I was keeping myself small in order to not get too big for my britches. Sure, I’d whittled away at this fear for a long time and had stepped into my power more than ever before, but there was this little bit of a reluctance left. I wasn’t taking it as far as I could, and it was clearly time to level up (otherwise, this issue would not have come to my attention). As it turned out, it wasn’t really a fear I needed to release. I’d already done so much work on this that I simply needed to give myself permission. But of course, that was easier said than done.
Now, while I’d love to tell you how it feels to step fully into your power (because I did succeed by the end of the night), this isn’t something I can even begin to convey in words. I can tell you that I feel more stable than I ever have, absolutely rock solid in my energy, and that in the same ceremony I learned to effortlessly hold the energy for the entire planet. I can tell you that I am looking forward to a future that is bigger than what I could’ve ever imagined, without even a smidgen of fear. I can tell you that I feel like a racehorse that’s finally being allowed to run. I can tell you that I feel freer than I ever have in my life, more compassionate, more loving towards everything and everyone (including myself), more humble, more honored (that’s honor without obligation or sacrifice), more privileged and yes, more powerful than I ever could’ve imagined. But that doesn’t even scratch the surface.
I also can’t really tell you how I did it. The night was filled with numerous metaphors, none of which would be meaningful to anyone but me. I was swallowed by a giant snake (don’t worry; this wasn’t scary at all), I became a giantess, I became the sun, danced with skeletons (again, not scary), had conversations with each organ in my body, and was crowned a queen, amongst other scenarios. See? It all sounds pretty bonkers (or, if you want to be kind, abstract).
And that’s why this blog post isn’t about how I stepped into my power, although it will be helpful for you to know that this is what the ceremony was about (this and so much more). As a consequence of this shift, however, or perhaps as a prerequisite, it just happened to transpire that I made total and complete peace with my mind. This is, what many people will call the state of “no-mind”, although I’ve come to understand that the definition of that term can vary widely.
What, exactly, is the mind?
People will use the term “mind” differently, so before we go further, it’s important that we’re all on the same page definition wise. To me, the mind is our automating system. When you repeat an action or a decision or a thought over and over again, the mind automates it. This is an incredibly useful tool. If you didn’t have this function, you’d have to make every decision, from which coffee to drink to which way to go to work and how to say hello to your coworkers, every single damn day. You’d never get anything done. Remember how it felt to drive a car for the first time? You had to pay attention to everything. Imagine if it felt that way all the time. The mind also filters data. Every moment of every day, you are bombarded by gobs of sounds and sights and smells and sensations. The mind helps you to filter out what’s relevant, based on what you’ve told it to pay attention to. This way you don’t get totally overwhelmed. You wouldn’t be able to function without your mind.
There’s only one problem. The mind cannot actually make decisions. It can only go off past decisions and apply them to your NOW situation. It cannot determine what is actually relevant, so when new data gets introduced, it tends to just ignore it. These automated decisions are your beliefs, by the way. When a program becomes outdated and obsolete, the belief becomes limiting. All of this would be just fine and hunky dory, if we hadn’t at some point put the mind in charge. Putting the mind in charge is like asking a little, insecure yippy dog to be the alpha dog in the house. Oh, he’ll try if no one else takes the job (ever see a grown human being controlled by a Chihuahua?), but he won’t be very good at it. If you give power to an insecure being, you’ll get a control freak dictator (often without the “tator”). And that’s what the mind becomes when we ask it to make our decisions for us. It’s not a job it was designed for, it’s not good at it and it’s incredibly stressful for the mind to even try.
One year ago, in January 2014, I was also in Peru. During one my ceremonies then, I saw this little 2 year old girl run past me, inviting me to play. I nearly went after her, when my guides told me “No. Don’t follow her. That’s your mind and she’s trying to distract you. Just ignore her and she’ll settle down.” And you know what? She did. Now, it’s important to note that it helps a lot if you realize that you are not your mind. And discerning the difference between what is you and what is your mind is a major part of this work. You are authentic; you are courageous; you are not afraid of change; you are forward looking; you are willing to face your fears; you trust in goodness; you have faith. Your mind is the complete opposite of that.
Ever since then, I’ve been working to soothe this little 2 year old mind. I’ve been informing her, bringing her into the loop, explaining to her what would happen, but also ignoring her tantrums without guilt, letting her run herself out until she got tired, and not letting her be in charge. At times, she has fought me fiercely, like a toddler throwing a tantrum because she’s not getting what she wants (or what she thinks she wants). But I persevered. And my mind calmed down a lot. It was a lot quieter in my head this past year than it has ever been before.
The mind, all grown up
As I was moving towards full empowerment during ceremony 19, I began to see the geographic patterns that are so common to Ayahuasca ceremonies (they used to scare the crap out of me, but now I really enjoy them). I crouched down next to my little girl mind, hugged her close and encouraged her to watch the light show with me.
“What is that?”, she asked.
“The construct,” I answered. “It’s the code of the game.”
“It’s beautiful” she commented.
Then I began to do something I had never done in quite that way before. I had always soothed my mind and informed it, but now I asked it to be my partner. “Let’s do this together,” I offered. “You and me. Look, neither one of us knows what it feels like to be completely empowered. We have to both learn. So let’s learn together.”
And then something amazing happened. She grew up right in front of me, into this beautiful, adult woman. And she began to tell me that this is all she’d ever wanted – to be my ally, my partner. She had never wanted to be in charge and she was no longer going to fight me. She now understood what it was we were here to do (as I did, in that moment). She stood behind me, supporting me, and vowed to always be there for me. She was no longer going to try and distract me. She had grown up, because I had let her.
She also told me that she was not a mere “tool” as I liked to refer to the mind (I’ve always said that it’s just another tool in our toolbox). She insisted that she was a “Master Tool”, and that certainly makes sense to me. Our minds are powerful. They’re there for a reason. We’ve simply misused them. But when we allow our minds to be Who They Really Are, they will become our most powerful ally.
Don’t try to kill the ego
For me, the mind and the “ego” are the same thing. I’ve long held that any philosophy that tries to get rid of the mind or even kill it (or the ego) is doomed to fail. We need our minds. We literally can’t live without them. We just can’t put them in charge, in fact, they don’t even want to be. They’ll only take the job because 1.) we won’t, and 2.) we delegate it to them. But wrestling control back from our minds doesn’t have to be a fight. It can be a negotiation, a back and forth, like soothing a scared child (who also throws tantrums, which you can and should ignore). The mind will, eventually, come around. Take it from me and my new best friend, my grown up mind.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how this pans out, and I promise to keep you updated. For now, I observe the world around me, experiencing it with no judgment. It all just “is”, and it’s all magnificent. Now, I can’t tell you how much of what I’m currently feeling comes from this peace with mind, and how much of it is from this new state of empowerment and balance. What I can tell you is that my ego has fallen completely silent, unless I ask her to participate. It’s a wonderful feeling of freedom and serenity. But it’s also a feeling of responsibility. It’s all up to me now (of course, it always was…). I figure that the two shifts happened together (empowerment and no-mind) so that I would also lose any remaining fear of that responsibility (Ayahuasca REALLY knows what she’s doing…).
I honestly can’t tell you what will happen during the rest of my stay here. I’m a total blank, intention wise. I’ve gotten everything I’ve ever wanted – I remember Who I Really Am. All I do know is that nothing will ever be the same. Oh, and that it’s going to be fucking awesome. Of course.
Welcome to the other side of the rabbit hole.