Shedding Layers | How I Traumatized Myself To Heal

Hey guys!
Sooooooo, let’s talk about my hair.

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January 8th 2018

January 8th 2018

On January 8th of 2018 I cut my hair. My hair was the longest it had EVER been, and it’s ALL I ever wanted. I use to wear extensions in high school because I wanted long hair so much. I grew up believing your beauty is what made you. Looks & money were what mattered most about you, what validated you as a “worthy” woman.

I cut my hair in January because I was working at the Car Wash Mike & I owned, and it would get so tangled from wearing a hat all winter I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I cut it to manage the discomfort.

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That definitely wasn’t easy, I cried often, I missed my hair and felt weird without it. I couldn’t style it the way I liked and I felt more bare, more vulnerable. Vulnerability is something I didn’t know about most of my life. Other peoples vulnerability would annoy me and make me feel uncomfortable, and I can recognize now that that’s because I didn’t posses the ability to let my walls down, so poking at others (in my head) made the most sense.

I still defined my beauty by physical features; my hair, skin, the way my body was shaped. It was still never enough, I still didn’t know how to love myself or be kinder to myself or to feel gratitude for who I was.

So, on June 17th of 2018 I shaved my head. I was sick, not feeling my best, and did it spur in the moment. Mike shaved it for me (no I did not donate my hair-the idea didn’t come to mind. Don’t judge). If I were feeling my best, I’ll tell you what, I probably wouldn’t have shaved my head. But I didn’t know how to feel my best…so I was lost.

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The first few days were easy. I actually liked the change and the lightness. But that feeling faded Q U I C K L Y.
Every woman who I’ve ever seen shave their head (only via the internet) always talked about how freeing and liberating and enjoyable it is. That was NOT the case for me.

I straight up TRAUMATIZED myself. I spiraled even deeper into my depression. Wondering what the hell I just did!?!?!
What was happening to me?

I’ll tell you. I was doing everything I could to surrender, to let go of what I was holding on to. And that was caring more about what others thought about me, than what I thought about myself. I didn’t know how to love myself when I had “my perfect body” and “perfect long hair”. I prayed every day for a solution, to feel happy, to enjoy life, to like myself, to feel vulnerable and soft..and nothing changed, nothing worked. So, I shaved it off.

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I never thought I would have to experience my hair growing from scratch. I never wanted short hair, never liked short hair, and always wanted it long. It’s been an interesting journey of trying to accept the change I forced upon myself. Mike was a big help and a HUGE support through the whole process. He thought I was even MORE beautiful after I shaved it, he said he could see ME more. Which was the whole goal…to stop hiding.

I am so grateful for such a loving supportive husband. I’ve had many woman come up to me and say they wish they could shave their heads too, but they’re husband/partner/boyfriend would not approve. So, for my sweetheart, I am eternally thankful.

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It’s been just over 4 months now of growing my hair out, and it’s taken me about 3 months to get over the fact that I did it. I’m a slow shifter when it comes to drastic change, it freaks me the hell out and I can’t seem to accept it until a few months pass by.
BUT!!!
I’m finally entering into the realm I wanted. I’m finally appreciating who I am for who I am, and letting myself BE my true self. I didn’t know how to do that when I had “all the things”, but I had to learn, once I let it all go.

I can honestly say, I wake up and feel more energized, I feel more alive and more excited for a new day! I wake up excited for my life, and am more grateful than I’ve ever been. I love my job SO much, I love my work schedule SO much, I love my husband, my animals, my family, our vehicles, our house and EVERYTHING in it! I never knew how to feel this, I never knew how to find contentment in my own mind and freedom from negative outlooks.
I’m finally feeling happy, finally loving my body, finally loving ME.

And I have myself to thank for that. My bravery to FORCE the change upon myself, instead of staying stagnant and living a life for others.

I hope this message inspires you to take action in your life. It may be hard, but i’m here with/for you. Change things up, do something different, help yourself grow. It’s worth it, it’s worth the hardship and the leap. Just try, I believe in you.

Namaste,
I see you.

What I've Learned Since Peru

I figured it would be beneficial to post about my observations, reflections & realizations after my Ayahuasca experience.

Mike has now gone down to Peru 4 different times for Ayahuasca. From the experience I had, he believes I didn’t have too strong of an experience with the medicine, and that it would be beneficial to go down again.

A few of my main struggles/issues are that I think negatively, and I fear so much.
I fear growing, change, being happy, letting go, surrendering, being myself, being seen, being heard. I judge myself constantly and I struggle with self love.

I can recognize how destructive my thoughts are when I let myself listen to negative things. Once I allow myself to fall down this deep hole for too long, the momentum is so strong and I begin to lose myself in a negative downward spiral. When the momentum gets that strong, it’s so difficult to pull myself back up.

Since Peru, I’ve realized how lazy I am. I am lazy in ALL areas of my life, and that causes me a lot of stress. I am lazy when it come to cleaning (although I HAVE been working on this), lazy when it comes to initiating sex, lazy when it comes to studying and growing as a Yoga Teacher, just lazy overall. I’m lazy when it comes to self growth, as much as I want it.

This is a pattern that’s hard to break, but now that I can see it, I can begin to work on it even more.

I’ve learned since Peru that I am constantly comparing myself to EVERYONE around me, thinking I need to be doing what THEY are doing (if they are happy and seem to be thriving). If they’re happy, I should do what they do to be happy too, right? Wrong. They have different goals and intentions than I do. I have to put my blinders up, stay in my lane, and continue to move forward.

I cause myself a lot of stress, because I’m hard on myself. I have a hard time opening up and talking about how I feel.

There have been residual realizations since Peru that keep presenting themselves to me. Right now, I have really bad acne. My cystic acne is flaring up, I have white heads and my scars seem more vibrant. I am internally freaking out, and am still coming to find out why. I believe a part of it is stress, a part of it is not growing. I’ve been holding myself back from growth, because of what? Change? Accepting how I’ve been lazy and forgiving myself for waisting precious time?

It can be really difficult stopping STRONG momentum, and turning the direction around. Right now, I’m just trying to breathe, to notice my thoughts, and to relax a little. Restorative yoga is CALLING my name. This type of yoga allows suppressed emotions to begin to surface, so I’m making it a priority this week to stay focused on my goals:
1. Relax and pamper myself
2. Drink lots of water and eat well
3. Get good sleep and read more books
4. Exercise and stretch daily
5. Stop lying and making excuses
6. Do what I know I need to do

If anyone is interested in going down to Peru, it’s really important its a good center. Aya is becoming a great profit for people, and anyone can get their hands on it. If you're going, be careful, listen to your heart, and trust yourself.

My Peru Experience. Ayahuasca, Toad, & More

Hey everyone.
Until I can clear out some technical issues on eye end, the video about my experience will have to wait. For now, I will write a blog post about my trip for you all to read :)

Let me start off by saying, I have a lot of doubt, fear, and insecurities. I am very self conscious, have a pretty harsh internal critic a lot of the time, and have a hard time trusting the Universe. I grew up atheist, never believing in anything. Unconditional love wasn’t something I knew too well, so my perception of love was a bit off.
I’ve grown up thinking that looks & money are what matters, and without those, you're not important. Ouch, right? Who wants to view life that way?


I am familiar with the plant/psychedelic realm. When I was younger I took LSD for fun, and now I use substances for growing my awareness of myself and life. Have you ever taken mushrooms? If so, have you ever set an INTENTION before consuming them? For example, wanting healing from the medicinal plant? That is my favorite way of utilizing this amazing plant, is for healing. When I take mushrooms, I generally have a lot of release through screaming, tears, and sometimes laughter. I’ve had 2 very powerful, fear releasing mushroom trips, and they’ve cleared out A LOT of baggage…..

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There are some things I can’t heal or work on myself, and that is where the plant realm comes into play.

So, Ayahuasca, toad, frog, lots of crazy names…
I went down to Peru with Mike on July 21st.

Jimmy the Driver

Jimmy the Driver

We flew from Detroit to Dallas (about 3 hours) then from Dallas to Lima, Peru (about 7 flipping hours….the worst plane ride EVER!), then from Lima to Cusco (about 1-2 hours).
The center we stayed at (Journey to Paqarina) arranged a taxi ride for us.

They have someone who works for them named Jimmy, who waits for you at the airport, picks you up and takes you to the center. This was AMAZING, considering I do not speak Spanish, and have no idea where I’m going.

We arrive and meet the staff:
Chris - Facilliator
Kunti - Medicine Woman
Felipe - Chef
Jimmy - Driver
Pepe - Shaman
Simon - Investor




Everyone on this staff is incredibly nice and easy going, a wonderful wonderful team.
That night, we were sitting at the dinner table and Pepe the Shaman came in, and was speaking Spanish with another one of the participants (there were 4 of us total). I started to feel really left out, really isolated and extremely uncomfortable. So I asked Mike to go lay down with me, and eventually when alone cried. We stayed in these little hut’s that had a bed, table, and bathroom in it. It got extremely cold at night, so they layered the beds with thick blankets.

Our beautiful Huts with a GORGEOUS mountain view!!

Our beautiful Huts with a GORGEOUS mountain view!!

The next day was Monday.

Maloca

Maloca


There were 7 days total of our retreat, 3 Aya sessions and 1 Toad (--DMT) session. I asked if I could arrange a Frog ceremony (Kambo), which was not part of the package. Felipe, the chef, contacted someone (Tamara) and arranged for her to come Friday for me to experience the medicine, which I’ll explain more later.

So, it’s Monday, day one of Aya. We do not eat dinner on the evening of Aya so the medicine has a greater affect.
There is a white, individual building they call the Maloca, which is where all the healing ceremonies took place. It was so beautiful, inside and out.

Before we all made our way in for ceremony that night, we met individually with Pepe and Kunti or Felipe so they could translate for us. Pepe only speaks Spanish. We met with him to tell him our intentions, so he could better help us throughout the experience. I told him some childhood stuff, how I never felt good enough, that I have a hard time accepting myself, and loving myself. I have difficulties with my mind… This was the first time Kunti and I got to talk to each other personally, and we instantly connected (she’s amazing).

After setting intentions, we gathered in the Maloca. We each had our own mattress with a bucket, some toilet paper, palo Santo, water, mapacho (tabaco) and any personal items (crystals, etc).
Pepe came around with the glass of Ayahuasca. It was thick and dark, and tasted like black strap molasses. I was told by everyone there that that was the best tasting Aya they have ever had (apparently it’s supposed to be super gross).

Once we all took a swig, the lights went out. Pepe began to whistle & sing us Ikaros from him Shipibo tribe. Ikaros are chants/songs sang by the Shaman, which is often the medicine working through them.

He sang to us for about 30 minutes, cleansed the space again with the mapacho, and asked if anyone would like a second glass of Aya. At this point I was feeling a little off, some energy was moving within me, and I felt nauseas. I felt the medicine could be stronger, so I was the first to say yes and grab another cup. I instantly threw it up when I got back to my bed, and sobered up after that (so it felt). After the second glass, Pepe would come around and sing personal songs to each one of us. He would sit in front of your mattress and begin to sing a special song for you (it was the medicine working through him, to help you in the way you needed). These powerful songs help to draw energy out of you, get energy moving, and helps in the healing process.
I was always the last one to be visited by Pepe, and I quite enjoyed that.

After drinking the second cup and feeling sober, I just laid there in the dark. I was very much battling some thoughts in my mind, trying not to play the victim role of “why is this not working, why am I not feeling anything” and so forth. I tried to be content with what was happening, the energy of the room, and hearing Pepe sing. Maybe that WAS the medicine working, helping me to recognize my thoughts. When he finally sang to me, I noticed afterwards my right nasal cavity cleared up immensely! I was able to FULLY BREATHE through both of my nostrils, and for me, that’s a big deal. I use to snort a lot of drugs in my right nostril, and am unsure if there are now problems from that, or from stuck energy. Either way, I could breathe, and I was content with that.

Tuesday

This was TOAD day….5-MEO-DMT to be exact. It is called ‘Toad’ because the DMT is extracted from the toads glands within the skin (the Sonoran Dessert Toad or Colorado River Toad). How anyone thought to do this, I have no idea.
This is the “god molecule” meaning you could potentially meet God from smoking this medicine. Kunti is the Medicine Woman, and she is the one who works with the Toad. She has a major respect for the medicine and the Toad, as well as has lived in the dessert collecting medicine in a respectful, pure way. She’s the real deal.

I was beyond terrified of smoking the Toad. I am very attached to the physical realm, this is all I’ve know, and the thought of that being ripped away freaked me the hell out. At this point, all of the attendees had smoked it, and had profound experiences. So, Tuesday evening, Mike and I both entered the Maloca. I was going to go first, and then him. Chris was also in the room as a helper and also to make sure everything went okay (not to mention he is in love with watching you heal through this medicine, his energy is very comforting). Kunti takes her time setting up her alter and preparing the medicine while I’m trying to relax my pounding heart.

She explains to me the process and what’s going to happen. She was going to give me a small dose to start, and afterwards give me a larger dose. The medicine is in a glass vial with a rubber stopper sealing it off, and 2 small tubes that run through. She lights the medicine and smoke fills the glass. She lets you know to exhale fully, and then to begin to slowly inhale the medicine. Once you can’t inhale anymore, you are to hold your breath for as long as possible. I was already scared I was going to die from all the fear that had built up about this, that I couldn’t hold my breath. I let it go pretty quickly.

I was in “the waiting room” somewhat out of my body, but not “blasted off” into whatever-land. I felt a huge shift in energy and just felt very different. My vision had gone and I was lying on my mattress. When I came back to ‘consciousness’ I was ready to do my bigger dose. At first I said no, and then I changed my mind and said yes.

I still had difficulty holding my breath (the taste and smell of the DMT is very distinct). My vision went as I held the medicine in, and once I exhaled I laid down on the mattress. I don’t personally remember this, but I was told I kept saying “I’m scared, I’m scared, I’M SCARED, I’M SCARED!!!” In a very child-like voice. They believe I was tapping into some childhood trauma and releasing fear.

Believe it or not, as the days passed, I began to hear “I’m scared” playing through my head in the little innocent voice over and over again.. My experience was definitely intense, but there was no meeting God.

Chris, Me, Mike, Kunti. In the Maloca, after Toad session. This is her beautiful alter, with a Toad statue in the center.

Chris, Me, Mike, Kunti. In the Maloca, after Toad session. This is her beautiful alter, with a Toad statue in the center.

Wednesday

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We went on an amazing hike that day with a man named Raphael. He knew so much about the land, the plants and about energy. Something he said that stuck with me was “When you are walking on the earth, it is an exchange of prana (energy). Everything is always an exchange of energy”. He took us up a mountain and we walked along the edge of it along a channel of water streaming down from the glaciers, it was BEAUTIFUL!

Me & Chris! Truggin’ along

Me & Chris! Truggin’ along

Raphael, and the stream from the glacier.

Raphael, and the stream from the glacier.

Walking on the side of the mountain, over looking Calca, Peru

Walking on the side of the mountain, over looking Calca, Peru

Aya session number 2. Night time comes, and I feel more prepared this time for wanting healing. We all take our first glass, lay in the dark, and await the process. I started to feel some energy moving once again, and after the 30 minutes, I decided I’m going for another glass. I noticed that the first Aya brew ran out after my first glass, so there was now a different brew. This one was way more liquid-y, lighter in color, and pretty gross tasting.

After I drank the second glass I threw up a little bit, and then laid down in fetal position for most of the night. I started to see a continuous pattern of shapes and colors when my eyes were both open and closed. I felt an immense amount of energy and just tried to breathe deeply through it. Then I began to feel an overwhelming feeling in my chest, a fear of death. I then realized that I was connecting with my twin brother, Miller, who at this point has cancer and is going through chemotherapy.

I feel this energy moving around in my chest, fear of uncertainty, fear of death, fear of not knowing, and so on. It felt like it was his energy I was feeling, but I wasn’t 100% sure if any of it was mine. I sat with that for about 4 hours, just trying to breathe through the intense feelings of FEAR. It was powerful. I only threw up that one time, was trying to sit with terribly painful and uncomfortable feelings, and was awaiting the end of the evening. When the ceremony was over, they offer you tea and fresh fruit. I decided to go strait to bed instead, considering Mike and I had a full day planned ahead. Wednesday was my most profound Aya ceremony.

Thursday

Thursday is Machu Picchu day. I wasn’t thrilled about this, I was exhausted and wanted to just rest. Not to mention, I started to feel this feeling of “somethings not right”. The feeling was so uncomfortable, and I didn’t understand it. All day that’s all I kept feeling and hearing in my head, was that something wasn’t right. I could only rationalize it by connecting it to my relationship with Mike, he was the only one I was with so maybe it had to do with us? I really didn't know, but I was panicking inside. I brought up a few times I was feeling off to him, and then mentioned I had the thought that maybe it was about us. He somewhat chuckled and said, whatever you’re feeling, that’s all YOU. There’s nothing going on with us in a negative way, that’s your own stuff.. and that made me feel way better..However, that feeling lingered for DAYS. I never quite understood it, but thought that it could possibly have been that what wasn't right was the way I view things. This trip had taught me that I have a pretty negative outlook on life…

So we spent the day touring, exploring and adventuring, and then finished the evening off with some pizza and potatoes. We had quite the journey getting home. Our cab driver only spoke Spanish. Instead of dropping us off at the arranged place (set up by Felipe) he stopped in the center of a road and started speaking to us in Spanish. I’m panicked, I don’t know where we are, I have no ones phone number from the center, I don't know what to do. Eventually, I somehow manage to get him to understand me asking him to call Felipe, and then he took us exactly where we needed to go. Phew, language barrier at it’s finest.

Friday

Friday! Kambo & Aya day. Kambo is a frog venom, that is placed on an open wound on the body (little burn marks made from incense) to allow the medicine to quickly enter the blood stream. Tamara is the woman Felipe arranged to come to the center. She is AMAZING to work with. She has a passion for helping you heal with this medicine, is extremely respectful to the medicine, and is very nurturing through the whole process. Next time I go down, I want 3 sessions with her.

Originally I was the only one going to do it. I knew about this medicine from Mike, from the 2 other times he had tried it before. He swells really bad when the medicine enters him, so he didn’t want to go through that again. Last minute, he changed his mind and joined me. Kambo is supposed to be really cleansing for the body and the mind. It excretes bile and toxins from your organs and you PURGE it all up. Literally projectile vomiting.

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First we drank a ridiculous amount of water to help with the purge. Then she used the incense to burn 5 dots on my arms. Next she applied the frog venom onto the open wounds, 3 at first, and then all 5 dots. At first my throat glands began to heat up VERY fast, pulsing like a frog does when they ribbit. The intense heat began to travel down my spine all that way to my root chakra, and after that I began to feel nauseas. I started throwing up uncontrollably into the bucket, and then had to go to the BATHROOM because I couldn’t hold in the rear end, ya feel me? So she walked me to the bathroom, left me, and I made my way back after finishing. It wasn’t super horrible for me either, Mike’s however, was. He again swelled up like crazy, his eyes, throat, lips, cheeks, everything began to swell. I enjoyed the heat, and I wanted more healing. She said 3 sessions are recommended, but we only had time and money for one.

We took a shower, napped, and then came night fall. The last session of Aya. This time I drank the first glass and was feeling really nauseas (again this is the different brew than the first one). I decided NOT to drink another glass, A. because I physically didn’t feel good, and B. because I was drained and was tired of the “work”. So, I ended up not having the most profound healing experience, but just laid in discomfort most of the night. I did regret over the next few days not just making myself drink another one, but there was nothing I could do about it but try and let it go.

Saturday

Party day. This was our last day together, so Jimmy brought ALL of us up to this beautiful lake in the mountains where we all drank Wachuma (San Pedro). I personally couldn’t stomach it. It was slimy, goopy, and just didn’t sit well with me. I felt a shift in energy, but all I could feel was the nausea gurgling up. Wachuma is supposed to be an extremely beautiful medicine that connects you with the Earth. I ended up throwing up, napping, and the stretching in the sun. I wish I felt the medicine more.

We saw a Condor flying above the lake, which can be a rarity there. The condor is a spiritual symbol for the Peruvian people.

The Incas considered the condor as the most sacred bird. Its large size and ability to travel long distances – from Lima to the Andes, for example – are some of the reasons why the Incas believed it to be the messenger for the heavens. It was one of the most scared animals in their eyes, because of its connection to the divine. It was considered the connection between the earth and skies and was believed to carry the dead on its wings to the afterlife.

- website linked here

That evening we had a bonfire, watched Felipe make AMAZING sushi, and spent our last night together relaxing. I went to bed early because I was exhausted and just needed to rest, I wish I stayed to hear Richards singing (another member or our group).

Sunday

The final day. Mike and I requested to buy more toad, we wanted another session. We got to meet Simon this trip, the investor and creator of Journey to Paqarina. He is a very, very gentle soul. All 4 of the members wanted to pay for a second toad ceremony, so Simon graciously allowed it to be on the house. Thanks Simon!! (Seriously though, Simon is probably one of the most kind, gentle, pure souls I’ve met, he’s definitely someone to meet!).

So Mike and I enter the Maloca later that evening. Last time I went first, so this time Mike did. He had a very enjoyable experience. I however had a difficult one. I was able to hold my breath WAY longer this time. The medicine was much stronger, and I returned to that place of “I’m scaaaared!!!!”. When I take this medicine I get super confused, so I don’t remember if it was after the first or second round, but Kunti came up behind me with a stone - black obsidian - and placed it on the back of my heart chakra. It was instantly HOT, it was soooo warm and woke me out of where I was. It was amazing! I thought she placed a hot stone on me, but the heat was from my energy. Kunti then recommended me taking another dose (on the house). She felt I wasn’t quite finished with what had begun to open. So I took another big massive one, was rolling around on the ground and repeating the same phrase. I came out of it, and began to cry out of fear of having to go through that again. She reassured me I was safe, and everything was okay. I felt lighter and way better than I had that entire trip. I needed that last dose.


Our trip continued for a few more days, but that was the last day of plant medicinal healing. Mike and I plan to go down to Peru again and partake in toad and Aya once more, for we feel we can get a lot more out of it than we did this previous trip. I recommend this center for anyone looking for healing in all forms (sexual trauma, childhood trauma, verbal abuse, fear of letting go, you name it). The staff is incredible, the food is amazing, the energy is comforting, and the place is magnificent. However, now the toad and Aya are split up. So they are now offering Toad for one week (3 sessions) and Ayahuasca for one week (3 sessions) but not overlapping the medicine. If you want to experience both, you would go down there for two weeks, one week Aya and one week Toad. The Aya is very taxing on the mind and body, and the Toad is not. The day after Aya you feel sluggish and tired. After a toad ceremony all of your energy has returned, you may even feel lighter.

I’ve linked the website for Journey to Paqarina so if you’re interested, please reach out to Chris and mention my name. I wish you all healing, and hope this blog post was helpful in some sort of way. If you have an questions or comments, leave them in the comment box below or contact me personally.

Namaste loves.

Flickers At The Zoo

I had a few things come to my awareness today that I felt pretty good about. One of them being, that I have some sort of fear of looking into peoples eyes. Looking at their faces and their expression. This brought me to another thought....the thought that I'm fearful of seeing peoples reactions to me and what I say or do. Then I realized I am also fearful of my own reactions to things. This has me feeling uncomfortable.

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