I say "within", because the medicine is still with me, and will be for the next four days I am told. Yesterday, my fiancee and I participated in a 12-hour Huachuma Ceremony with a local Bay Area medicine community. The ceremony, which is also called "San Pedro", "Master Teacher" or "El Remedio" is designed to heal, remove blockages to living soulfully and in connection to Spirit and reveal visions of the future. We worked with a brew made from the cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi), as well as water, agua florida, tobacco and coca, administered intentionally in numerous ways and rounds. I won't describe the actual ceremony, as it is sacred, and is best experienced first-hand and with honest intentions. As such, I will only share my intentions, the visions I received and some new perspectives on anger. You can read more about this ancient practice (3,500+ years old) here.
I approached this ceremony with a few intentions. The first was curiosity. I'm a curious person and I wanted to experience this ceremony from which many respected friends and colleagues have received great benefit. I also really like exploring altered states of consciousness.
For this Huachuma ceremony, and beyond mere curiosity, I prepared and entered with a few intentions:
During the water ceremony, I experienced a 50-minute sermon led by a medicine woman who deeply irritated me. I experienced her words as new age pablum, warmed over non-dualist / Landmark philosophy, mixed in with her own angsty, teenage lamentations over not being an initiated adult and attempts at humor. At two minutes in, I wanted to scream. I experienced her as a child trying to say the words a spiritual teacher. Knowing that even this is medicine, I sat with it, opened my heart and mind to receive the gifts of the message. I vacillated between anger, and generating myself as love and understanding, trying to have compassion for this woman and what I judged to be her irresponsible, disempowering sermonizing, encouraging folks to disregard their soul's longings and dwell in the unity of God. I judge this to be a very dangerous spiritual message, especially in these times, one that robs people of a connection to their higher purpose and cause to lead with it, has them surrender their call, powers, craft and mission. I believe this has the effect of neutering people and making them dependent on non-dual spiritual teachers and communities (like hers), upon which they must return and pay dues as an escape from their heartbreak and discontent over the gross dysfunctions of the world.
After 30 minutes, and dozens of attempts to be present, open and loving, I could take no more of her non-dualist drivel, and left the ceremony. I sat outside within earshot of the roundhouse, closed my eyes and continued my prayers for compassion and understanding. After 15 minutes, I re-entered the ceremony and heard the last five minutes of the sermon. I perceived that I was the only one with such a strong reaction, as my fellow participants were riveted or placid, while I boiled with anger. The medicine woman was praised my numerous people for her "medicine TED talk". I take from this that her words are medicine, but they weren't mine. I take from this a deeper emotional connection to my values of wisdom, integrity and embodiment. I take from this the sacred power of discernment. This experience firmly rooted me in my purpose to inspire, liberate and activate purpose-driven leaders, and root out and burn down purveyors of disempowering spiritual bullshit.
I'll post any updates here as they arise. If you are interested in such a ceremony, I recommend working with Ayahuasca first to clear out the main blockages. Then type "San Pedro medicine" and your local city into Google and see what you can find. If you're interested in other approaches to revealing your higher purpose and removing the blocks in the way, please explore our Guides and Programs.
When a breakdown occurs in your life, is there a deeper meaning? I believe there is. If you look hard enough, there is always a lesson for the soul.
Last night, I took a spill. About 6 months ago, our building's repair man put a temporary patch on our steps, telling us he'd be back shortly to fix it permanently. He replaced our rotten wooden planks with reused laminated fiberboard, from some discarded IKEA furniture he found on the street, which as you may imagine can be really slippery in the rain. He never came back to fix it. I mentioned it to him a couple times, and after receiving no response, I gave up, resigning myself, my fiancee and our guests with a warning to just be careful.
So there I went marching outside in the rain with a large load of laundry between my arms. Usually, just the sight of the white laminate is my reminder to approach it carefully and hold the railing. However, I didn't see the laminate over my laundry, took one step onto it which had about a 1/8" of standing water on it, and BOOM, down goes Frazier.
After the shock wore off, the second voice to speak was my Image Consultant. He was like, you're such a bad ass. Good thing you're in shape, that your back, arms and shoulders are so strong that wood is no match for your 235 lbs. frame forged from yoga, high-intensity interval training and pumping iron. I posted a shameless humble brag pic on Facebook inferring as much.
This morning, while I sat on the porch, taking in a the cold, damp, Berkeley mist and reading David Whyte, the immortal words of Landmark, and frequently uttered phrase in my house, came through, "Without integrity, nothing works."
Without integrity, nothing works. As I was trained, whenever there is a breakdown, I have two options,
This is where the purpose of falling down is revealed.
I now get the opportunity to look at where else in my life is integrity out, and it always is. That is just a condition of being human - we're always committed to ideas, values, virtues and outcomes that are larger than our present condition. As such the integrity of my life is always being restored. Being someone committed to leadership, to creating a planet on purpose, to living my purpose, exploring my integrity is not a invitation to unleash my inner Critic and beat myself up, but rather an invitation to live my purpose more fully by looking at every other place in my life where my integrity is out. Here's what I found by doing a quick scan of the key areas of my life, to see where I was out of alignment with my purpose:
It a lifelong process, of course, but this is what is required to have my life work, to have a life that is a progressively larger reflection of my soul's purpose. This also why embodiment and integration are such a large piece of the purpose process, and why I spend 50% of my time with my 1-on-1 clients and in my courses on embodiment. Each key area has to be a match, or else finding purpose is just another leisure activity and not a transformation fulfilled.
If you want to unleash your purpose and embody it, please explore taking one our Programs or working with a Guide.
The ensouled life is purposeful, creative, vulnerable, connected, loving, inclusive, curious, courageous, sustainable, entrepreneurial and fiercely political.
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