Avatar Training in the Amazon
I spent 15 incredible days in the Amazon with Children of the Sun Foundation and am very grateful to Tiara Kumara and Steve Jack for their love, support and expert facilitation. The five Ayahuasca ceremonies we experienced gave me significant spiritual growth through insights, visions, deep healing, and appreciating my multi-dimensional existence. Living with the Shipibo tribe and experiencing their simple existence in harmony with nature reinforced my appreciation for returning to basics with no need for material possessions. We bathed in the sacred waters of the Amazon every day and drank the river water in our tea and plant medicine brews. It was such a blessing and a privilege for me to share the experience with a gorgeous group of souls and special friendships have been formed.
If you are interested in experiencing the sacred plant medicines, Steve and Tiara are co-facilitating a group in April. Check out the two interviews I did with them in the Amazon on our Mastery Path youtube channel or on the Chiodren of the Sun Amazon page. http://childrenofthesun.org/expeditions/
Five Day Trek over the Andes to Machu Picchu
This trek has got to be one of the highlights of my life and a dream come true. I left it too late to book the Inca Trail and found an alternative which I booked two days before leaving the UK – the Moonstone to Sun Temple trek. I did this with three great girls from the USA and it completely exceeded my expectations. We spent three days trekking over the Andes with stunning views, camping in beautiful locations, eating delicious food prepared by the chef and his assistant, sharing great conversation, having fun and our guide David was brilliant! Being at Machu Pichu for sunrise and spending the whole day there soaking up the energies on a beautiful clear sunny day was magical. I climbed Hayunapicchu which was well worth the energy and effort as the views from the top were breath taking. I enjoyed sitting on the terraces and sharing my bananas with the llamas, walking through the archeological site, and exploring some of the footpaths where I had some beautiful, synchronous exchanges with other travellers.
After my time in the Amazon and at Machu Picchu, I felt a strong need to be still for a while and through attending a San Pedro Plant Medicine ceremony wíth Lesley Muburgh, I was given a hostel recommendation where I ended up spending over four wonderful weeks. It gave me integration time and I formed some beautiful friendships whilst in this beautiful city. There’s so much to do in Cusco that I was never stuck for places to visit. You can check out my interview with Lesley Muburgh about San Pedro here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwZNOy8-P78
Arequipa and Colca Canyon Trek
I spent 10 days in Arequipa where the climate is perfect – they have 360 days of beautiful sunshine a year. From here, I did a three day trek to Colca Canyon where we spent two nights at lovely remote lodgings in the canyon. The uphill trek out of the canyon was challenging and we departed at 5 am to get to the top before the sun caught up with us. I passed many people much younger than myself and there were quite a few who found the climb so difficult that they resorted to completing it on the back of donkeys. I maintained a meditative pace, only stopping twice to drink water, and felt a great sense of personal achievement when I reached the summit after 2 hrs 20 mins. Stunning scenery but didn’t see many condors flying about.
Cocacabanna and the Islands of the Sun and Moon
I spent 10 days in these beautiful places in Bolivia. Cocacabanna is a backpackers paradise on the shore of the sacred Lake Titicaca. Through a random conversation, I found a lovely hostel with stunning views of the lake which cost just £2.50 a night. I had a magical time here but had an accident after showering, falling down a flight of stairs due to wearing wet flip flops – ouch! I almost passed out with the pain and managed to get back to my room and back to bed where I slept for hours. I was laid up for two days then decided to go to the Island of the Sun. Had I known there were so many steps and it was hilly there, I”d have waited a few more days but I actually found that trekking from the South of the Island to the North, then back again did my back a lot of good. Even though it was painful I changed my focus and it reinforced what Mark Skipper had shared about his own accident recovery experience when he spoke about the importance of exercising and deep breathing to help us recover from injuries (which is the opposite of what the medical professionals often advise – rest). I spent three days on the Island of the Sun, visiting the Incan ruins and appreciating the beauty – felt like I was in paradise. There were no public boats to the Island of the Moon so I chartered a private boat for £20 to take me for a few hours so I could visit the temple there. There are only 25 families living on the small island and I was fortunate to meet a lovely guy on the hillside who gave me a personal guided tour.
I took an instant dislike to this city, didn’t like the energy there at all. Must have been an omen as I fell for one of the scams and had my external battery pack stolen from a man posing as the ‘Tourist Police’ checking for fake documents. I wasn’t bothered about the battery but had a challenge as the cables to recharge my iPhone and iPad were in the same pouch. I use these two devices for my photos, videos and communicating with my family and the outside world so it posed a challenge. I didn’t realise about the theft until I was on the overnight bus to Uyuni. For me, this was a good test in non attachment and I shrugged the experience off – I should have known better. I asked my angels for help then ceased to give it any head room.
I had booked a 3 day tour of the Uyuni Salt Flats which started 2 hours after me arriving there. There were 5 other girls in my Jeep, one of whom (Layla) was from the UK and had an iPhone 5 so fortunately I was able to share her phone charger. Our tour was fantastic – the landscape was diverse, incredibly beautiful and seeing the geysers at sunrise felt like I was in the surface of the moon. We slept in a salt hotel one night and by one if the lagoons the second night when a few of us saw a UFO in the incredible night sky. I was able to recharge my ipad too as a guy from Ireland had a charger (I thanked my angels for their assistance). I loved climbing huge rocks, seeing volcanos, bathing in hot springs that were 40 degrees, seeing the wildlife in their natural habitat (flamingos, vicuña, llamas, emus). The tour was much better than I imagined it would be and I felt so privileged to have had such a wonderful experience. Upon returning to Uyuni, Layla suggested we had a farewell drink in the Extreme Fun Pub where we met two Australian guys who just happened to have spare cables for an iPhone 5 and iPad so I paid them handsomely and we were all happy. Thank you angels!
I spent five lovely days in Tupiza chilling out at a hotel with a swimming pool, splashing out £7 a night (which included a buffet breakfast). I investigated tours and found a company called Green Planet which offered hikes in the red mountains which supported guides from the local community. I booked a tour with Magdalene and Sonja from Switzerland and on the morning of our trek, it was pouring down with rain. We decided to forge ahead and hadn’t appreciated the dangerous terrain until it was too late. We negotiated slippery slopes with no paths, climbed rocks, squeezed through narrow passageways and eventually reached the summit where we had a great view, although it was still quite misty from the rain which was just clearing up. The route downhill was even more dangerous but also exciting. We reached the bottom of the canyon and had to negotiate our way back and forth across the water, climbing down waterfalls whilst attempting to stay dry, and avoiding breaking our bones in the process! The sun came out for the last 3 hours and it was very hot, so it was actually nice to have experienced both climates. Ours was the first group to have attempted this trek in the rain and only 100 tourists had previously been here as no other tour companies visit this area. Magdalene and Sonja hadn’t done any trekking before and it had been described as an easy trek – which it certainly wasn’t! It was the most challenging one I’ve ever done (the weather conditions contributed to this) but also good fun. I was glad to have a swim in the pool upon my return then a hot shower to ease my muscles.
I arrived as it was going dark and stayed in the worst hostel I’ve ever been in which resembled a prison cell, but it sheltered me from the rain and was only for one night. The following morning, I did a 4 hour tour of the silver mines with The Big Deal Tour Company, a cooperative of ex miners who are now tour guides. It was fascinating and also sad, seeing the conditions that the miners work in. The government owns the mountain and rents out mines to small cooperatives made up of around 5 to 10 miners who choose their own hours of work. Health and safety leaves a lot to be desired – it’s very dangerous and the men work until they die of silicosis, a lung disease caused by breathing in dust. There are over 20,000 miners in Potosi, 10,000 of which work in the mountain we visited. It’s shocking to discover that over 8 million lives have been lost in the mines, leading to the name ‘the mountain that eats men’. Catholicism is the main religion and the men believe that God is in the sky so the devil must be in the earth. They therefore have sculptures of the devil in each mine and make offerings to him of coca leaves, tobacco and alcohol asking that their lives be spared. They regularly make sacrifices of llamas, smearing the blood on the outside of the mines and asking the devil to accept that blood instead of theirs. National minimum wage in Bolivia is just 1500 Bolivianos a month (£150) and miners earn between 2500-4500 Bolivianos, sometimes more depending on productivity and luck hitting a good mineral vein. They are very proud to be miners and know that they are sacrificing their lives for their families. It was an interesting experience for me to experience what it’s like to be in the middle of a mountain and it’s my first experience of visiting a mine. We walked 2-3 km underground, saw beautiful coloured minerals which we were warned not to touch as they were poisonous, banged our heads several times when negotiating low passages (thank God for hard hats), and covered our noses with bandanas in an attempt to protect our noses from breathing in the dust. It was a relief to get out into the fresh air – even if it was raining! In the mines, you have no concept of what it’s doing outside. We were met by two small children selling minerals so I bought a couple of pieces of pyrite to support them.
I spent five days in the beautiful white colonial city of Sucre in a lovely hostel and made some friends there. I watched a film called ‘The Devil’s Miner’ about a 14 year old boy who’d gone to work in the Potosi mines when just 10 years old so that his family could eat. It was very sad and really brought home to me the dangers of working in the mines. Our tour guide assured us that conditions have changed for children working in the mines since the film was made and now most get the opportunity to go to school to get an education. There are so many young children working on the streets in Bolivia – every night in Sucre I saw the same child who looked around 5 years old selling herbs on the stairs to the market and thought of my granddaughter in the UK who is so well cared for. I reflected on how our souls choose such different experiences in each incarnation so we can take these back to the group soul. My friend Philomena is from the UK and has lived in Sucre for 8 years. She started a project publishing a magazine called Inti which street kids sell for 3 Bolivianos. They keep 50% and 50% goes towards printing the next issue. Profit goes to funding trips to the dentist and excursions for the children. There are several community projects in Sucre and many travellers end up staying there longer than planned and volunteering.
So what can you do to help yourselves?
In January of 2013 when I was in Mexico, I read an ebook about the Five Tibetan Rites that Suryah Magda Ray had sent to me. I vowed to myself that I would commit to doing these every day for a year as a spiritual discipline and also for my health so I could see how I felt. Suryah demonstrated these for us at Mastery Path and you can check out the demo on our youtube channel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxRaHDCw8-w
I have mostly stuck to this all year, occasionally forgetting until getting into bed then getting up again to do at least five of each rite, sometimes not doing them because of travel schedules, sometimes being physically unable to due to injury. It has been rare when I’ve missed and I must say how much better I’ve felt, both physically and spiritually. It has also helped me emotionally feel better about myself as I’ve proved that I can stick to my commitment.
I encourage you to make a commitment to do something to improve your health and raise your vibration in 2014. This could be by:
* Reviewing your diet … Eating more living food, drinking filtered water, juicing, reducing or eliminating meat.
* Taking supplements.
* Drinking more water and reducing/eliminating alcohol.
* Replacing mercury fillings and eliminating fluoride from toothpaste.
* Exercising regularly.
* Clearing emotional traumas.
* Living every day in gratitude and love.
* Clear out your clutter – give things away that you no longer need. It’s liberating and creates a vacuum that the universe needs to fill (with stuff you really need).
I know this has been a long update so if you have made it so far, congratulations!
Much love and special heart hugs