From Wednesday 16th to Saturday 19th January.
The morning yoga class was led by Shanti Faiia, a deeply gifted qi-gong yoga teacher who has since (as I write this on Sunday 31st March) been my guest teacher, along with a virtual Luke Sellars, at a recent Yogamojo workshop. She is also a Theta healer, a modality of treatment using theta brain waves to shift stuck energy. I wrote to her after I returned, as follows..Something incredible happened Shanti. It was related to our chat. When I failed to mention that my eyes were actually brown in colour, not green (I was wearing coloured contact lenses) I knew I was heading for trouble, not being real... not showing up authentically, withholding a truth, hiding behind a fake lens. It was the beginning of an unravelling. I was touched that you came to see me, I can be quite insular and detached at times and was spending my free time alone. The intention I set before my trip was to see clearly. In every way, physically.. spiritually.. intuitively. I thought if I'm heading for a miracle then I'll make it a big one. I had heard that Louise Hay had a client who woke up with 20/20 vision after she had healed an emotional trauma, so I knew it could happen. After returning to the UK I went for a routine eye test, was told that I had cataracts in both eyes and needed surgery. The consultant at the eye hospital told me that not only could I get my cataracts removed, I also had the option to correct my eyesight for free, with a long distance left eye and a short distance right eye. For the first time in my life, since the age of 11, I had 20/20 vision. I thank Mother Aya often, for my bionic eyes. It is now the 26th of April and I am in between eye operations, my left eye is phenomenal! My right eye is a bit envious but impressed all the same.
Back to the program. I opted for a deep tissue massage at the Spa, with an easy ride on the hematoma by my right knee. A huge Alsation bit a hole in my leg a few months before. I like to think of it as my animal initiation into shamanic apprenticeship as it happened the day before my first class.
The massage was deep, I cried. It released a lot of tension.
The colonic cleanse appointment meant I missed a lot of Luke's workshop. What I did see, was the Tibetan cleanse to release trauma and the advice to experience life as you were as a child, what you liked to do etc. I struggled with this concept. My first memory was of my grandfather's molestation. I used to like colouring in, but I felt it was more to zone out my step father's violent outbursts when he was drunk. He would spit on my mother and drag her outside by her hair, then he would go back in and start on my brother. I once jumped on his back to try and stop him, I was too small and he flung me off. Another time I ran to the phone box down the road and called the police. They didn't come. He only hit me once. A slap round the face in the middle of the night, when I was asleep. He said it was because I didn't clean out the fire place. It doesn't bring up any emotion when I write this and I don't know why I have to go into so much detail. It has taken me 4 months to round up this experience. I became very 'British' about it...after reading the previous blogs, the committee meeting in my head began its judgement.. 'What on earth do you think you are doing Audrey, this isn't Dr. Phil'
Whatever it is for, it is not to gain sympathy. I am not a victim. It has become commonplace after the 'me too' generation, since Jimmy Saville etc. to speak up about these things. If there is one thing 12 step fellowships have taught me is that secrets keep you sick and to shine a light on the dark stuff is where the healing takes place and the slate gets wiped clean.
As Luke's workshop was finishing, I took pictures of the diagrams and noted the website address.
The evening's ceremony was taken by the 2 shaman women from the first night. I took a bed in the main area this time, next to a man called Guy. An english man I had spoken to earlier. My brother's name was Guy, it was a comfort. This was one of the most intense nights in terms of purging. I understood more now, that what I was bringing up, was definitely not lunch. It was dense and dark. I held my heart. It was coming from there. It was an immense struggle and it was exhausting. Just when I thought I was ready to expel it from my body, I would pass out and drop down, almost landing in the bucket. I looked up and saw Luke standing nearby and it gave me strength to keep going. He was the strength angel that night for sure. When I did finally purge, it felt like the whole room relaxed and breathed a sigh of relief. The expulsion burnt my throat it felt so toxic, like molten tar. I looked in the bucket and asked it what it was. I saw the face of my grandfather.
I did a drawing. I felt very distinctly that I was showing off, for Luke's benefit. I was still very attached to feeling validated by him and wanting attention. I have since been very open about this with him, as I have in these blogs. Its been a huge part of my process and learning. The pen lid clicking onto my pen when drawing, signified the connection I felt with my Higher Power and Mother Ayahausca, and the hairband again was the circle, the whole. My calves were aching so I went outside to stretch, accomplishing yoga poses I hadn't been able to do for years. Back inside, I would put my hands hands on the floor to feel the energy pulsing, and felt that when other participants were struggling, I would put my hands to the floor and send them love.
I remember Raven dancing with white feathers like an angel.
The next day I wanted to talk to Luke, ask him whether it was possible that we could get married and whether it was possible to bring up a childhood memory from before the first one I remember, as it was so shit, also what he thought of 12 step fellowships, and what to do about somebody that is giving you a 'spark'. I sent him an email from my phone, because he looked so busy in my free time, talking with other people, then an empty chair appeared next to him at lunch. He provided some very sound advice, and I fell even more. I was dizzy with it. The next day or 2, reminded me of a Benny Hill sketch, me being Benny Hill. I remember (if you don't know who Benny Hill is) him chasing women around tables in his sketches. I felt like I was chasing Luke and he was running, fast. I felt powerless to stop it at the time.
Next night. I lost my shit. Toys definitely thrown out the pram. My ego was not liking this one little bit. I entered the Miloka in floods of tears. My mind made up that it was about my daughter when it was more about Luke and I not setting a date for the wedding. I had already joked with my room mate about that piece of fantasy. My ego was scheming and swerving me like a good un. Okay, so, It was partly to do with my daughter, she told me was 'fine' over the phone, which was a big red flag. It was the first time I had started to worry about her, I had set an intention on the Labrynth not to.
The shaman for this ceremony was Leonardo, an initiate of Taita's from Columbia. We were to be drinking Yage, pronounced Yahay and you could have as much as you liked. He spoke about women being on their moon or period, not being able to take part in the ceremony as it created holes in his energy. I felt like I was on my moon. I had not had bled for years as I had a mirena coil fitted, and had no idea when my cycles were. Leo certainly looked at me as if I was blowing big holes in his energy. My perception of what was going on was skewed from the beginning.
He asked me what my intention was, when I went up for my first cup. I told him I wanted to see the truth. I made the mistake of drinking and swallowing the water given to me with the brew. It was meant to be swirled around the mouth and spat out, as mixing the two together would cancel out the effects. I lay with my back to the ceremony in a huff, thinking I'd best go to sleep. When the music started however, I began to bed dance. The music was enchanting, it was difficult not to move. I'd done a lot of chair dancing in my time, but bed dancing..this was new to me. There was a live band playing in the Moloka. They were mind blowing. Then a man started running up and down the hall, shouting 'He's coming, He's coming!'..followed by..'He's here! He's here!'..Wow, I thought to myself, these people know how to put on a show! I later discovered that he was referring to God, he was a participant not a Shaman, and that he had a very animated conversation with God outside, there was a lot of swearing. talking in Chinese, (this man did not know a word of Chinese and only spoke English) and ego death bargaining ..as far as I could hear.
I had a second cup, my right leg was now extremely painful and I knew something needed shifting.
At some point I threw up. I am still amazed today, at how compassionate and loving the assistants were. Someone was kneeling beside me rubbing me back, whilst healers shook rattles and fans over me. I felt loved and accepted as I chucked up something awful. I asked it what it was but didn't get an answer.
One of the best parts of that night was going up for group healing, sitting in a semi circle, whilst the Shaman shaked rattles and fans over us, showering us with Florida water and blessing us. It was the most uplifting experiences of my life and I felt like I was floating.
Another part of the night I will never forget, is still very hard to describe in words. I was lying on my mattress, and a beam of light was shot into my heart, it was more like an insertion of a sliver of light, it was fast and it was powerful.
I went outside and started dancing, then came inside and started dancing. I felt euphoric and exhausted.
After closing circle, I practised yoga on the flying deck outside for another hour or so. Everything was flowing, light and connected.
The next day, the day I was leaving, something even more powerful happened, something I had been wishing for since I was 11 years old. (I was 11 when my grandfather died and my eyes sight deteriorated) A conversation with my dead grandfather. It happened after the last morning yoga session. I was lying in svanasana, my attention kept being drawn to the birds on the branches of the pregnant looking tree by reception.
Then, my grandfather appeared out of the tree, wiping tears away from his eyes with a tissue, saying he was sorry for what he did. I embraced him with so much love and compassion. I can still picture it. My father then appeared, with my grandmother, and the three of them beamed and hugged each other. They looked very happy. It still brings tears to my eyes.
I left for the UK soon after, with a bag full of miracles and an out of control crush that I can safely say, today, nearly 5 months and many emails later, is finally subsiding. Luke has taught me so much about myself, he has been the perfect mirror, he has been gracious, kind and patient. I attended his workshop online where his cat Yuki, triggered a happy first memory from childhood, to replace the shit one. Another miracle.
I have so much gratitude, so much love and I feel so alive today.
Thank you Rythmia.
Ps. I also came back with one of these cuffs which I have since lost in TK Maxx. One lucky shopper gets to have a little piece of magic so that's okay by me.