Falling in Love With Life Using Iboga & The Bwiti Teachings

falling-in-love-with-life

 

Everything is different.

The first Iboga ceremony I experienced back in August released me from the incessant pain of fibromyalgia and showed me where it was coming from. Despite believing that I had let go of the past, I was still holding on. I’d spent at least two years sitting around waiting for my old life to magically come back. It wasn’t logical, but I couldn’t let go. There was an attachment that was keeping me stuck and trapped, and my body was reflecting that. The fibro that had developed in those two years made me feel like a prisoner in my own body. It’s hard to even write that and believe that it was me when I’ve always been that person who absolutely LOVES her body! But I was holding onto this old version of myself that I wasn’t anymore, and it kept me from moving forward and growing into the version of myself that has an even closer relationship with her true self.

Coming Home By Leaving Home
Once Iboga cleared my attachments, I was standing in my apartment very aware that it was just an apartment, a place of residence. The things around me were just that- things; and they didn’t define me. My home is my body, wherever I go I will always be home and I can’t be defined by anything because I am always changing, learning and doing better when I know better. Yes I have strong morals and principals that I pride myself on but again I ‘have’ them, I am not them. Because sometimes, I fuck up, but this doesn’t change who I am or my value. To define myself creates this prison or matrix that I now have to live by- and you can imagine my aversion to this after just breaking free. It’s like fitting this incredibly huge organically unique soul full of potential and possibility into a square hole. It’s restrictive and controlling. It’s as though once you define yourself and attain everything you want, you let it all go and shed it away because you realize it’s not you at all. We’re all so immeasurably enormously complex that to define is a disservice because it limits us and takes away from all that we are and can be. But we define because it lets us feel more in control, and to be out of control feels dangerous when we don’t have a strong sense of self. Without security, the moment the tide turns, we get knocked over. So we create these prisons to keep ourselves safe. But it’s an illusion and when we finally want more from life than the four walls we put ourselves in, then we need to tear them down and be sure that we’re strong enough within ourselves to venture out into world. Archetypically, it’s the classic hero/heroin’s journey of leaving “home” to come home to ourselves.

Falling In Love with Myself
I fell in love with myself the moment I realized I was the one that’s been there from the very beginning, and every moment in between. I’m the one that always wants the best for me, that helps me to be better, the only one that I can trust without question, and the only one that will be there with me in the very end. Plus I am very agreeable and laugh at all my own jokes. If there’s anyone to attach to it’s myself. I’m the only one that will never leave and that gives me a sense of peace and certainty that I can count on. People drive me crazy because I can never understand their logic lol But with me it’s just so easy. I do my best to act the way I wish others did and that makes me genuinely enjoy my own company.

Life is A Gift To Do Whatever We Want With
Once Iboga opened my eyes to what I was doing, I knew it was time to change. Life is a gift and to enjoy it is the ultimate form of gratitude. I’d been unintentionally taking it for granted, wishing it away because I felt victim to it, powerless to do anything about it and no idea how to get back up after being knocked over so many times. I was done and there was no fight left in me. With the attachments gone, I was finally able to move. I took my power back. I could make choices now that were best for me, that were in alignment with my values and energized what I wanted to create for myself. More than ever before I am embodying my creator energy. I can literally have anything I want, all I need to do is make choices and take actions that get me there.

So I thought to myself, what do I want? What’s an awesome way to spend my life? And I realized I work remotely and don’t need to be in Toronto anymore and what I’d really love is to explore the world and live and work as a digital nomad. And then I met someone who had a place for me to stay where I can save a nice cushion to get me there and also have the space I need to finally transition into the next version of myself. And so here I am, living a strange new life in this strange new town.

Being in Flow Makes Life Eaaasssyyy
And it was all very easy. Falling in love with myself made me want to do what’s best for me. Making the decision to change for my highest good brought up opportunities and all I had to do was act.  We make it so difficult for ourselves when we question, doubt, worry and ‘think’ that we need to figure things out.We don’t have to figure anything out.There’s no way that we can ever come up with a better solution than the universe can. When we know what we want and energize it, the universe conspires to make it happen. This is what it means to be in flow. We surrender to the currents of life and let them take us along. We trust the flow, trust the process, trust ourselves and our ability to surf these waves (act on opportunities), and trust the universe. Trusting is what makes it easy. It’s what lets us relax, let go of the outcome. It’s what gives us patience.

Trusting the Flow of Others
Last week I was assisting at the Iboga Retreat and as I observed people I realized that the awakening process we go through and the problems we all have are all the exactly the same. Having gone through and learned so much on my own journey, I’ll so clearly see the struggle that someone is in, the matrix they’ve created for themselves that they are now trapped in, and I’ll so badly want to tell them exactly what they need to do to get out. But to learn and to grow is about being able to do it for yourself and the best help that I can offer is to lead by example. There is no saving anybody. I’m learning to trust the flow of others just as much as I trust my own, and to have patience that they’ll get it when they’re ready- just like I did. I’m practicing letting go of this need to control and to judge. I see now how often I would let people go because they weren’t at the level that I knew they were capable of being at. And while letting someone go that’s hurting you and violating your boundaries is healthy, judging them for their choices is pretty damn hurtful, even if it was with the best intentions. I take responsibility for that and going forward I’m choosing to do better. I’m focusing on myself now. What do I need to level up?

Prioritizing Myself- Go Big or Go Home
Letting go of taking care of everyone else is liberating. All I need to do is take care of and energize myself and I do believe that doing what’s best for ourselves is what’s best for others as well, even if that’s not always obvious. So often we focus on everyone else because we don’t want to look at ourselves. But when I do take a good hard look, there are areas that need some serious improvement and love. And how beautiful to finally give myself the attention that I’ve been craving for years. There are so many things that I want to do and I’m excited to say that I alas have the energy and focus I’ve been needing. I’ve actually always had it, I was just giving it away by fixating on everyone else. Now I’m fixating on myself, I’m taking my life back, making it mine, and falling in love with it. It feels rich and lush with possibility. I just feel like this is my LIFE, my most prized possession, and it goes by so quick and we don’t get it back- not this one at least, so I really want to make the most out of it. I want to make it as good as possible so then when I meet up with my alien buddies on the other side I’ll have the best stories to tell because I’ll have had the BEST time! I want to feel a sense of peace when I take my last breath that I came, I saw, and I LIVED!

Thank you, thank you, thank you,

Erika

To participate in an Iboga ceremony, contact Michael at

To learn more about Iboga:

How To Create Genuine Relationships

It’s not as black and white as this, but it’s a way to simplify. We have casual friends and best friends. What’s the difference?

Casual friends we see once in a while for short periods of time, catch up, keep it light, update each other, maybe network a little, and celebrate each other’s successes. We could talk about deep, esoteric subjects and even share moments of deeply connected intimacy, but there’s a lack of something that keeps us from contacting the person on a more regular basis.

Best friends are people who share a deeply connected, intimate friendship all the time. They’re like family. They walk alongside you in life. They invest into you. They’re the people you call when something happens. Without making a list of expectations of these kinds of friends, we can agree that they make an effort on a regular basis to show you that they care about you and that you matter. They find out how you need to be loved- your love languages, and then do them because watching your happy reaction makes them happy.

There are several questions we can ask to investigate into why a casual friend isn’t become a best friend. They are:

Connection- Does someone have up walls that can’t be permeated?
Time- Is there time right now to invest into a close friendship?
Other priorities- Does someone already have strong relationships that takes up their time and energy?
Common interests- Do you want to do the same things together?
Common values- Do you want the same things from your life right now?
Common goals and vision for the future- Are you working towards the same things together?
Location- Do you live close enough to spend quality time together?
Spark- Is there a spark that keeps you wanting more of each other? Sometimes we just meet someone and think, “I like this one” and want to spend all of our time with them.

And maybe we’re in complete alignment, but still can’t further our bond. It comes down to vulnerability- being able to show that we love each other. Those that we’re closest to are the people we feel most loved by, the people that show us that they care, and the people we’re able to love in return. Best friends remind us that we’re loved on a regular basis, not just when it’s convenient for them. And this will look differently for everyone. The Five Love Languages is an excellent resource. It speaks to how people give and receive love.

love languages
Balance is important. How are we showing up in our relationships? Are we a giver, a taker or are we balanced? Giving includes things and ourselves- our time and energy. If we’re always taking, then the other person gets depleted and stops giving. It’s not always conscious, but they’ll start to feel unappreciated, taken for granted, drained and maybe even resentful. Are we always the one complaining and needing support, or do we reciprocate and show our appreciation for our friend?

Communication is also important. Ask your friends what they like and do this for them. Nothing extravagant- small gestures go a long way. If you’re the one feeling unloved, notice if you’re over giving and if so, hold back so your friend has the opportunity to give. Also notice how you give to yourself, show the world how you deserve to be treated. And finally, have that conversation. Try not to accuse them of anything or demand they give things to you, but tell your friend that the relationship feels unbalanced and ask them if they notice it. Maybe they’ve never learned the gift of giving. Write down a list of things that make you feel loved so if they ask you what you want you know how to respond. It helps if you look back at things people have done. Remind them that small gestures go a long way and that you care about them so much that you want more of them, not less.

We’re not trying to complete each other or get things that we can’t give to ourselves. And we’re not feeding our anxious attachments here or creating obligations for the other person to meet. We’re simply communicating our needs in relationships that help us to feel loved and fulfilled in this area of life. Expectations lead to disappointments and expectations are just unspoken needs. So let’s communicate our needs! When we’re two whole people coming together, we’re celebrating life by celebrating each other. We’re appreciating our friendships and doing things to see our pal’s reactions because it makes us feel happy and alive and we love experiencing life with them because we adore this beautiful human being! It’s about playing with life and it feels fun showing up in adorable ways for each other.

Can we have friends we don’t love and that don’t love us? No. Those are bullshit friends. They’ll waste your time and sap your energy. They’re most likely opportunists trying to get something from you. Sure, some people are on the path of learning about love, but there needs to be SOME kind of genuine caring feelings with the potential to grow into more. If they don’t care about you based on their actions, not just their words, swipe left.