I think I needed to wait until 2015 was over before looking back at the journey that had started just about this time twelve months ago and came to define my entire year—well, life really.
When I came home from Peru, fresh as a newborn from two weeks in the jungle, I was at my absolute best. I was clear and calm and open. I felt absolutely free.
It was as if the Universe was giving me a nice, long look at my best and truest self.
Before the unfortunately necessary dismantling of the life I had left behind in New York began.
It was, at times, awful. I’m not even going to sugarcoat it. If I had any idea when I wrote about the Dark Night of the Soul that, at that point, it was nowhere near done, I don’t think I could have gotten out of bed.
But it was all very necessary.
I couldn’t go through that profound of a transformation in Peru and then come home and expect to just carry on.
And I certainly didn’t want to. As Marianne Williamson says, spiritual progress is like a detoxification, and there was a lot of old stuff I needed to clear out.
I’ve since finally left my day job in digital advertising, which I have dreamed of doing for years.
And I left New York, something I also wanted to do for a very long time. Energetically, it made no sense for me to stay. Every day just felt like an assault on my senses. And while leaving was hard—mostly, leaving all the people I had rediscovered a sense of community with in the last few months—it got significantly easier as soon as I was across the Hudson.
And I feel like Sacramento (where I am now) and I are both going through a similar revitalization. I’ve always been drawn to these “second tier” cities—places that are not NY, LA, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago; not even Seattle or Portland or Austin, cities well on the rise—but like a Pittsburgh.
A city that’s starting over, reinventing itself, doing and being new things no one expected from it.
A city offering to be called home.
I could be here for six months or six years—I’m okay with not knowing that. As a health coach, I can pretty much live and work anywhere.
That openness and sense of adventure is something new to me. I find that I worry less about the future, where I’m going to be or how it’s all going to work out.
I feel that ayahuasca proved to me something about life: there truly is so much more to this experience than just what we can see or explain.
At any given moment, we have a percentage of a percentage of awareness of everything going on around us. Ayahuasca broadened that awareness, permanently increasing my field of vision, so to speak.
There is a simplicity to things, on a really macro level. Every once in a while, especially in meditation, I’m able to rise above all of the stories and drama and noise and chaos that we live in and see how knotty and unworkable it all is.
The trick is to not try to figure out what to do about all of that. The key is to keep coming back to Surrender, again and again and again, because much like in an ayahuasca ceremony, Surrender is one of the most important things you can bring with you on this journey.
And just so I wouldn’t forget that, I got it tattooed on my arm:
I think often about returning to Peru and continuing to work with ayahuasca. I’ve put it out to the Universe that I’d like to go back to the Ayahuasca Foundation for a three week retreat, potentially this year.
It’s scary and exciting to think about going deeper, but as I’ve probably said a few times before in earlier posts, there’s no going back, only forward.
It’s probably my only true “warning” to anyone considering doing serious work with ayahuasca. You have to be willing to hand over your past; your ideals, your identities, everything you used to do gets offered up.
But what you get in return is so much more than you ever could have had before.
So long as you accept that some assembly is required.