This IS now.

I’m laying on a foam mattress in the house of new friend and work for exchange employer, Lara, co-owner of The Garden of Peace, Ayahuasca and Master Plant Center in Peru.

I haven’t written in some time, maybe a year, or so. As it is, I’m typing this out with my index finger, on the smashed screen of my relatively new Android. The last thing I thought I’d feel like doing right now, is this.

The truth is, my openness and transparency experienced a traumatic confrontation with a mentally unstable student last year, and I lost all passion and confidence for sharing a path which could benefit many.

I am slowly regaining my old demeanor and the trust is being rebuilt. I feel strongly, that complete transparency is the key to deep, personal and spiritual growth and wish to continue sharing my journey and support for all of you walking the same path.

I write here today, completely unplanned and unprepared; a purging of thoughts, rather then a factual, researched and well-versed topic of adult discussion and life philosophy. I apologise now, for the crudeness and brutality of such a self absorbed activity; yet I still feel compelled to continue…

I am coming to the end of my first month here, and we have recently wrapped up the centers first 12 day yoga and ayahuasca retreat, The Nature of Yoga, facilitated by Lara, myself, and another dedicated healer, Yogi and artist, fellow Aussie compatriot, Khala.

Despite my dedication to sharing and distributing the transformative ways and path of a Yogi to as many as possible, I fly under the wing of these two strong women as we unified this path with the ancient Peruvian practice of Plant Spirit Shamanism.

The retreat was a first for many, including myself. Yoga AND Ayahuasca. I know there are many levels of depth we may venture, I’m not sure where this one might rate on a scale; but what I do know, is that the transformation was still very real for most of the guests.

In my own limited experience of Ayahuasca, I dare say the Yogic practice allows the healed to process their own internal journey in a grounded, positive and practical manner.

Take me back 3 months earlier and I am living in my yellow, 1983 Mitsubishi L300, endearingly referred to as Billy, and teaching yoga to a community of locals and travellers alike on the luscious east coast known as Mount Maunganui (Mauao) in New Zealand.

Knowing I was leaving, yet still unsure of where, how, or what was coming next; I had started saying my goodbyes to an endless stream of beautiful people I was starting to call my family, in a country I had been calling home for the previous 18 months of this travellers life.

Teaching Yoga in a center for Master Plants and Ayahuasca in the Amazonian Jungle of Peru, was not something I had on my list of to-do’s.

The scenarios may seem dramatic, and even though this has been my life for the last 9 years, I still find myself in situations such as the one I am experiencing now, wondering how I got here and what’s next?

Life is fascinating, deep, unravelling and tiring all at the same time.

I am blessed to teach and share my passion, a spiritual path rooted in such physiological reality, it speaks to and is understood by many. It is simple, yet profound, and has the ability to transform lives, as it has done so for my own.

And yet here I am, in the Amazonian Jungle, allowing my inner Yogi to meet my inner Shaman; something tells me they’ve met before.

Unless you have undergone your own experience with Ayahuasca, it may sound a little loco for me to announce that the Plant Spirits tell me themselves, they approve greatly of the Yogic path and to continue the journey with deep devotion.

In fact, the words I received specifically were, ‘It doesn’t matter how much you think you know, or don’t know, share what you DO know, share the path of Yoga.’

Anyone who’s eyes have awakened to the (un) reality of life, know that once they’re opened, there really is NO going back. The path is constant, you are persistently checking yourself, you are always working; the more layers you peel off, the more work you realise you have before you.

It’s endless, it’s tiresome and the deeper you go, the more you learn, the more you come to understand you don’t know. It requires effort, honesty and discipline. The more work you do on yourself, the more people in need of their own healing come your way, the less time you have for healing thySelf.

I love it. The effort is so earnestly rewarded with a fullness, wholeness and acceptance of mySelf I have never experienced before. Yet to expect it would also be foolish.

It is as it is, I would never have done anything any differently and I am in such gratitude for all the good people, the travel, the great, direct experiences I have had, and still have before me. Its got nothing to do with me, yet it’s completely and totally about me, and only me, at the same time.

So. Here I am. This IS now.

Life changed dramatically some 9 years ago, and it’s been constant, spiritual work ever since. I’ve moved through a lot of my own healing alone and with minimal support, and I find myself now on the other side, offering the support I felt I lacked in my own process.

Although, the more I’m learning, the more I’m coming to realise again, that this too, was an illusion.

Today, I have stopped. I am currently unemployed, the retreat is over, and I am about to enter back into my own personal journey; but we all know it never really stopped, that with every moment of playing ‘teacher’ or ‘healer’, we are still, perpetually playing ‘student’ or ‘patient’.

I am in the midst of complete uncertainty for what the future holds. The only thing I know for sure, is that on August 7, the same day as the next full moon lunar eclipse, I will begin my first 12 day journey with Master Plant Medicine.

I do not see any point in planning beyond, my perception of life now, may very well be different to my perception of life then. Or perhaps not. Either way, I am giving myself permission to stop and BE.

It’s good to be writing and sharing again, even if it is a little self absorbed and erratically articulated.

A lot of why I do what I do, is to reach as many as possible, so we can all realise together, that despite our own individual journeys and experiences, we are still very much One.

The experiences may appear individual, unique and separate; but ultimately, we can all relate, we are not so different, we are humans BEing in a world of uncertain times and deep spiritual or personal growth. It is scary, it is exciting, but mostly, it’s just downright liberating!

The light inside of me bows, honours, respects, encourages, and will always, always, ALWAYS, love, the light inside of you.

Namaste with deep gratitude, love and peace for you all, Annie x

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