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:

My Life Changing Iboga Experience & Tips for Aftercare

life changing iboga experience

A couple weeks ago I participated in my first Iboga healing retreat. Iboga is an intensely powerful plant medicine from Africa. I heard about it from a friend who mentioned it casually in conversation. When I couldn’t stop thinking about it weeks post chat, I knew I was getting an intuitive hit that had to follow up with. So I contacted the healer, Michael DancingEagle, felt a strong sense that this was my right next step, and I signed up!

The Ceremony

The Iboga experience is personal, so I won’t go too much into what happened so not to set any expectations. Everyone in ceremony experienced something unique! It began outside on a warm summer’s night with each participant surrounded around a beautiful bonfire under a clear sky and a bed of twinkling stars. It’s a small group of 5 people, plus Michael, the nurse, and a helper. Michael shares the teachings of the Bwiti tradition, and once dark, comes around to give each person medicine based on their own personal needs. What I love about how Michael conduct’s ceremony is the way he continually nurtures each person with a gentle, supportive approach that by the end of the retreat had me feeling like a completely spoiled little baby!

The medicine, though tasting like absolute fucking hell, carries the same vibration of unconditional love. While people were dropping like flies needing to go inside to lay down, my pal and I felt like we drank a bottle of wine each! We felt amazing! So expansive, making jokes, feeling light and open, laughing, having the most incredible time!  Michael and our helper had to reluctantly drag us in to lay down!

Inside the retreat centre, each person is privy to their own air mattress, eye mask, and blanket. And for the first while I was still feeling great, laughing to myself and enjoying a nice body buzz. My body was uncomfortably cold because of the fibromyalgia I had been experiencing the past couple years, so the medicine was specifically working on my body.

Michael came around to guide me through a journey. First he guided me to my studio apartment where I found myself numbed out watching tv. Upon seeing this, I didn’t want to admit it because I was ashamed of this version of myself. So I immediately looked away, hoping to see another version of myself maybe in the kitchen preparing something healthy to eat or maybe doing some yoga! But Michael says, “no, go back, right there over by the bed.” And he was right, and I find it so cool that he knew that! So I went over to her, and said hello.

“Hey”
“What are you doing here?” She asks, full of sass and inconvenienced by my presence. I repeat what she says allowed for Michael to hear.
Repeating after Michael, I responded “oh I just came to ask you some questions! Is that okay?” 
“Alright” She responds, making sure I understood just how much I was troubling her.
Now Michael pulls out my journal with some questions I had prepared ahead of time.
He says, and I repeat, “Who am I?”
“Erika.” Duh. And as I tell Michael her responses I can’t help but laugh at her, our, sass.
Next, “What am I doing here?” 
Which as a question I was assuming a more existential approach, but to which she replied, “I don’t know, you showed up!” 
lol! And Michael and I laughed so much that he had to get a bit stern with me to get me to stop!

The conversation between us went on and when it ended, Michael shot me up into space where he asked me if there was anyone that had passed that I wanted to see. Immediately I replied, “Lucky!” My cat and best friend that had passed a couple years prior. Just as I thought it, I broke down into a hot mess of tears and sobs, that again I couldn’t get myself out of without Michael’s help.

After a visit with a few more late friends, Michael guides me to clean up my body. When I travel up to my heart, I visually saw this old vintage machine that was barely working and was held together with elastic bands and electrical tape. Michael instructs me to clean it up and once complete, it turns into this bright beautiful shining quartz crystal heart. Then I travel up to my brain where I find cobwebs and dust. Once cleaned up, it looks like a minimalist version of a computer room from Star Trek, like something that Apple would design.

As Michael leaves me to bask in my pristine new body, I felt the necessary release of everything that’s been cleared out. After a couple uses of my puke bin and a couple trips to the bathroom, I continued to lay, feeling somewhat uncomfortable and honestly tired of hearing my own thoughts, but surrendering to the intelligence of the medicine.

“The Break Through” or The Ego Death- When Creating The Journey Feels Fake

Some people who take Iboga receive visuals similar to those experienced in Ayahuasca. Michael says this may be a disservice if the person is distracted by the visuals, losing sight of why they’re really there. I did not have any Ayahuasca-type psychedelic visuals, nor did some of the other participants, and because of this, there was a common doubt and concern that they were making up their journeys.

The ego death is a complete loss of subjective self identity. Our ego is how we identify and navigate through our reality as a functioning human being. So the ego is not a bad thing at all, but who we are actually, our Self, is everything. There is no they or no other, it is all one. We’re not a fragment of the universe, we are the universe. And to get to this place, we need to experience the ego death. Psychedelics like Iboga make this possible.

There are four levels to an ego death:

  1. The breaking down of social barriers and conditions that are limiting and take our power away. We realize life isn’t what we thought it was and we aren’t who we thought we were. We’re lead down a path of self-inquiry and deep self examination. We realize we’re apart of something bigger than our body and our identity.
  2. The lines between the body and the environment become blurred. We are guided towards understanding the connectivity between all things. The Self begins to disassociate with the ego. Pettiness, judgements and individual differences fall away and our deepest values and how we are connected and similar to others surface. This brings us into an expansive, amazing feeling of freedom.
  3. The individual consciousness dematerializes into the dimensions of infinite possibilities and the dimensions of creation itself. This is the dimension of thought itself, the Astral Realm, or the plane of the collective consciousness where all things exist simultaneously. We can be whoever we want to be and go wherever we want to go. All possibilities exist here in all dimensions beyond time and space. This new state brings out the limitations and mirage of the old identity, and we can now explore the infinite possibilities that exist within us and our capacity of consciousness that we already have within us right now as a human being. This realm is the connected consciousness of the universe, the place where all knowledge and experience emerges.
  4. The ego death. We are now in a state of pure consciousness. We do not exist in reference to anything external. This is the identity of our Higher Self, our true identity. This is the state that exists beyond thought itself. It is a complete loss of the ego self, personality, and any subjective association. We are pure awareness, pure bliss.

    (Reference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDJIsscCoGE)

What scares many people about psychedelics is the loss of control. Given the description of the ego death, this is valid. However, we’re actually holding on so tightly to the bit of spare change that we can hold in the palm of our hands, when if we were to let go, we would be connected with the wealth of abundance that already exists all around us. We just can’t see it because we’re so afraid to look, to trust, to surrender and let go.

Prior to Iboga, I’ve experienced the ego death through connecting with the guidance of my Higher Self in meditation and visualization. Iboga provides that guidance system for us, it’s a bit like training wheels before we can do it on our own. So because of my experience and understanding that we are the universe, I understand that to visualize something in my mind, makes it true and real- whether I believe I am the one creating it or not. We are all one. We are creators, our mind is our canvas, and the world is how our art comes to life. Thoughts are things. Everything we create in our minds exists, and to manifest these visuals in this reality, it takes receptivity, surrendering, action, gratitude, and total trust in ourselves as creators. I know and trust in what I created and how I collaborated with the medicine. This is considered a breakthrough in an Iboga ceremony, or an ego death, and it’s what people who attend multiple ceremonies are seeking.

My advice to get to this point is to first, trust yourself and learn to play with your imagination. If we are all one, then it doesn’t matter whether we are creating the visuals or if the medicine is creating them for us. It is a collaboration and like life, we need to participate to generate any results. I remember in an ayahuasca ceremony, the visuals were so incredible and I asked myself, as an artist, am I doing this?? Is this what I’m capable of creating?? And the answer was yes, I am creating with the medicine’s influence. What each of us creates is as unique as our individual creative expressions. Trust that! Trust yourself.

Second, learn to let go, hold space for yourself, and listen. When I was asking sassy Erika questions, I held space and listened, paused, waited for a response. And it came. This was me connecting with the collective consciousness, allowing infinite ideas and possibilities to emerge. But if you doubt it, you discount it like a smack in the face. How rude. If you treat a friend or a child with this kind of scepticism, they’ll eventually stop sharing with you. And often, this is what happens- we shut ourselves down and need to repair the relationship. So learn to sit with yourself to just listen. Listen to the kinks in your body, how she wants to move, and the emotions held in all the many cavities.

Integration Day

In the morning we are one at a time assisted up to our beds. Walking was challenging for me as I felt weak, tired, and nauseous. I spent the day resting, taking mini naps, and journalling. While my friend was clearly full of energy, I found myself feeling rather depressed. When Michael checked up on me, he asked me how I am and I told him I couldn’t move. He said it was normal and I objected, “but Kate’s taking a shower! I want to take a shower! I want to brush my teeth!” But he assured me that each person processed differently, and my body had undergone some major healing.

For meals, Michael, challenging the traditional Western doctor-patient hierarchy by bringing us up fruit for breakfast and the most incredible vegan wrap for lunch!! I can’t remember the last time someone brought me breakfast and lunch in bed! I felt so wonderfully spoiled and loved!!!! I was important. I mattered. The days following, while the medicine was still in my body, I could see energetic tracers around the room and was still able to connect with my soul to get answers to every question that I had. I was still connected with the collective, and after my ego death, was integrating my ego and my Higher Self to be in service to each other.

For the Self to be in service to the ego, the ego needs to surrender to receive the universal insights and wisdom available from the collective consciousness. When the ego is in service to the Self, it uses this information to create a life that is in alignment with the true values, principals, and purpose of the Self. Because when ego and Self are aligned, then we are in flow and in a state of freedom and bliss. Celebrating life and playing on this beautifully lush earth becomes possible because through this connection we feel completely secure, supported, and abundant. We begin to appreciate the gift of life the way that a gift is meant to be enjoyed; and this is the ultimate form of gratitude.

The Benefits I Received 

I feel like someone hit the reset button on my entire being. After 4 days and one ceremony, I feel like I’ve taken a five year sabbatical.

Physically

The day after ceremony, I felt that the fibromyalgia in my body was gone, but I didn’t want to get too excited so I wanted to wait and see. Two weeks later, it’s still gone. My body is completely healed of any pain! I feel so free and so amazing in my body. I don’t know when it’s going to rain now! Aside from checking the weather network, but who can rely on that!

I realized that the fibro related to how I was tightly still holding onto my old life. Two years ago, my relationship with my partner ended and my best friend Lucky passed away and I never expected everything to be taken away. It devastated me. So I’ve been unconsciously waiting, numbing out in front of the tv, completely unaware of what I was doing, hoping for my old life to come back. I haven’t been able to move forward or make any changes because I was trapped, and my body was showing me that. Iboga helped me let it all go. Looking through old memories the other day, I saw photos of the family I had created and lost and I felt peaceful, grateful that I had experienced it, and excited and curious for what I was creating now. I felt free for the first time ever.

I received clarity on how I want to create my life going forward. I want to be a digital nomad, live and work all around the world! I want to spend each day celebrating this life that I’ve been gifted. How lucky I am to still be here, to have this most incredibly beautiful planet to play and create in. I feel an excitement for life that I haven’t felt since I was a kid.

Mentally
My mind doesn’t feel all messy, jumbled and noisy like it used to. It’s like the difference between hearing someone mumble, and hearing them speak articulately with precision and intention. Every word is thoughtful and counts. I have control over my thoughts, what I allow myself to think and the direction of my thoughts.

I’ve become aware of how I create my own suffering with the meanings that I attach to things and the perspectives that I wear. It’s my responsibility to choose how I want to see things to create the outcome that I desire.

I’m aware of the power games that people play and I find myself watching them like a science experiment. I’m not taking the bait and getting caught up in their dramas. I feel like an old chrone watching kids play. No judgement, just, “oh that’s where you’re at, you’re doing that again, yea, I know that place.”

I quit TV cold turkey. I noticed what a time waster it was and if I was really going to do things differently and change my life into one I wanted to live, I needed to quit this addiction.

How I Continue To Work With The Medicine & Keeping The Experience Alive

It’s easy to fall back into old patterns, and while Iboga cleared me out and showed me the way to connecting with consciousness, it’s up to me to create new habits and behaviours that will support me being the best version of myself. I am responsible for creating these new neural pathways in my brain. Nobody can do that for me, that’s my work as a free will being and as a creator. I can choose to create what I’ve always done and follow those same pathways that take me down the route that I don’t want to go, or I can stubbornly commit to creating the new pathways that take me in the direction that I do want to go. And it’s like I’m fighting with myself, “No! I will not do that same shit, I’m going this way! Get up! No feeling sorry for yourself! Step up! Let’s go!” Because sometimes we need tough love and tenacity to get through a treacherous phase of our journeys.

What has helped me the most is having a morning and evening routine with myself. This is only possible now that I’ve quit TV. During Iboga, we are hyper connected to our intuitions. To get quiet allows that space to get reacquainted and reconnected. I use a journal to write. I’ll start with clearing- writing everything that’s bothering me and bogging me down, and when that’s clear, there’s a natural elevation that happens. I’ll feel gratitude to bring me up to a higher vibration and then I’ll feel her presence right there waiting for me, and just like in ceremony, I can ask her anything and get a response and have clarity. I’m again entering into a state of integrating my body with full awareness.

One morning when I was journaling, I was inspired to make three posters: Who am I, What is Life, and my big WHY. Having these up offer an incredible vibe that is pulsating off the wall right now. When I started to doubt myself while at work, I look up for a reminder and it instantly pulls me back up. It’s made me productive, driven, inspired, motivated and excited for life! I cannot wait to see what I create!

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Erika

To participate in an Iboga ceremony, contact Michael at
[email protected]

To learn more about Iboga:
http://bwitihealing.com/

10 Dating Tips For The Spiritually Awakened

dating tips photo

Someone I connected with on Tinder did not want to date me because they felt I was too spiritual for them. Had they met me, they would have seen that I don’t actually walk around sporting mala beads and dream catchers (I only hang them on my walls!)

Yes, I went through a deeply profound time of spiritual awakening. To me, spirituality is believing in the unconditional purest form of Love, that it’s where we come from and what we’re made of. So my journey has been coming home to this Love and reflecting it in everything that I do. Who wouldn’t want to partner with somebody like this??

The trouble is when someone has not yet entered into this phase of life, these concepts are unfamiliar to them. What we don’t understand can feel threatening, intimidating, or even just boring because it’s not relatable. But dating kept feeling like an emotional rollercoaster- meeting someone, getting excited, to be disappointed. But it’s all part of the journey that has taught me the life lessons that I present to you today.

  1. Do not take things personally. People come in and out of our lives for reasons sometimes unbeknownst to us. If something doesn’t work out or if we’re rejected, despite what the other person says, it might not have anything to do with us. Sometimes it’s preference, like preferring chocolate ice cream over strawberry, sometimes it’s timing, or maybe they were strategically placed to help us grow. We don’t know, and we don’t even need to know.
  2. Get really good at letting things go and trust the process. If you’re in touch with your soul’s deepest desire, like finding a loving partner, then continue with your daily visualizations and know that you can trust the process because you fully trust in your ability to create your life.
  3. Empathize with where people are on their journeys. As an awakened being, it’s sometimes easy to see where people are stubbornly keeping themselves stuck. It’s easy to judge them or want to do their work for them to speed things along. This never works. You can’t do someone else’s work for them the same way you can’t eat or poop for them. If you feel like you need to lower your standards to be with them, or they don’t inspire you, then we both know there’s someone out there better suited for you. While you don’t need to be exactly the same because it’s wonderful to be learning from your partner, you want to feel like you’re running together at the same speed and can keep up with each other.
  4. Timing is everything! In another time or place, it could have worked, but some people are just in different phases of life and right now, and for this lifetime, it’s may just not be the right match.
  5. Surrender all of our expectations and control. It’s easy to get excited when we meet someone, plan our lives together, name our future children, imagine Christmas together and how perfect we’ll fit into each other lives. I’m a huge romantic and I go hard on the fantasy and the rose coloured glasses. But this is dangerous because it doesn’t allow us to see the reality of the situation, see the relationship naturally unfold, and it sets us up for disappointment. Again, we don’t know why we’ve shown up in each other’s lives. If you’re looking for a partner then yea, make sure you’re both on the same page. But try not to control the outcome.
  6. Be patient. Allow it to unfold. Be curious about it at every step. Cherish every moment that you share together as though it is your last because life is unpredictable and we don’t know what tomorrow brings. It is a practice of delayed gratification and it takes resilience.
  7. Trust the red flags, the messages and your intuition. PAY ATTENTION and believe people when they show you who they really are. I get curious about people and want to stick around just to see how it turns out. Eventually, this gets tired and a waste of time. I also never want to hurt anyone, but if you’re not being honest, then you’re hurting both of you. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. Act on opportunities that feel the most expansive. Acting on our intuitive guidance aligns us with creating the ultimate life that our soul desires to experience.
  8. Never settle for less. Know what you want, which you’ll learn the more people you meet. Keep your standards and boundaries high, and never compromise on your non negotiables. You don’t owe anybody anything! The relationship will become toxic and keep you small.
  9. Keep you independence. A healthy relationship consists of two independent people coming together and becoming interdependent- not two halves creating a whole and being codependent. Practice non attachment and remember to self love and self care throughout this whole process. It’s natural as human beings to want to partner up, but we need to be strong and whole on our own first.
  10. You’re going to get triggered. Relationships are mirrors to help us see ourselves. Remember this when you’re quick to blame, judge and get defensive. Doesn’t matter what they do- what is it teaching you about yourself? Relationships show us where our deepest wounds are. This week I processed trauma around abandonment. It had nothing to do with the guy, he did nothing wrong, but he gave me the gift of letting go of some heavy shit I’ve been carrying around with me.
  11. Bonus: Get a friggin dildo. lol or flesh light. It keeps you physically satisfied so your sexual urges don’t muddle your better judgement. USE DISCERNMENT! (both with the partner and the toy. note: latex allergies)

Stay strong on this journey, awoken one! You have been doing some incredibly transformative work and you WILL be rewarded for this. Every day more and more souls are being awoken and it’s just a matter of time before you and you Love find each other.

Lots of Love to you!
Erika Lucivero
xo

What’s Stopping You From Total Freedom

 

ebb and flow image

The Experience
As I lay imagining my daily visualizations, I noticed how tense my body was and how closed off I was energetically. I questioned, how am I going to receive everything that I’m visualizing while in this tensed up state? I fully let my body relax and opened up my energy field. To do this, I surrendered and let go of everything I was mentally, emotionally, and physically holding onto, and allowed my energy to naturally expand. I felt my heart energy grow and noticed how vulnerable I felt in this state. My energy field almost quivered in uncertainty, until I felt a surge of protection surrounding me. I relaxed into it and felt myself getting filled up with light. Starting from my heart, and filling up my entire body.

The Epiphany
A couple days later I had an epiphany that had related to this experience. I realized how stubborn I had been and how this was responsible for keeping me stuck in a daily routine that wasn’t aligned with the kind of life and experiences I envisioned for myself.

Having experienced disappointment and suffering time and time again, eventually everything in my being just said ENOUGH- I’m not moving. There’s so much that I wanted to do but couldn’t move forward. I was stubborn to a set of beliefs that don’t allow flexibility into a new way of being. My entire body reflected this with tense muscles, shot adrenals, and persistent anxiety. I had lost trust in myself and needed to rebuild this in order to feel secure to move forward.

Rebuilding Trust With Myself – Moving From Insecure to Secure
The people that we trust are those that we can count on. They have integrity. How many times have we showed up late, said we’re going to do something and not followed through, abandoned unfinished projects. In Anatomy of the Spirit, Caroline Myss says that to rebuild trust, which is at the core of our root chakra, we need to have integrity- loyalty and honour with ourselves and with others in our Tribe.

“You have to be able to give your word and keep it-whether it is to another person or to yourself. You have to be able to trust yourself to complete something and honor your commitments. When you don’t trust yourself, everyone and everything around you feels temporary and fragile because that is how you feel within yourself.”

You can start with small challenges that you know you will succeed at. I’m currently on day 17 of 21 of a no sugar commitment. And to succeed, I’m using my stubbornness to my advantage!

Let Stubbornness Work For You, Not Against You
We’ll never be perfect, this is a planet of duality and we’ll forever have our inner gremlins. It’s what we’re unaware of that has power over us. When we practice self awareness and notice when we’re reacting with stubbornness, we can choose to respond differently. And alternatively, when we want to accomplish something, we can activate our stubbornness to help us!

But we do need to be weary of what we’re being stubborn about. Using it to help us finish something we’ve been putting off is probably helpful. But stubbornness is an attempt at control. So if we have a habit of being stubborn, we need to ask, how else are we being controlling?

Expectations Create Disappointments
This is really tricky. Some may say that our expectations in life- our goals- can fuel and drive us. But failed expectations create an emotional rollercoaster of excitement and disappointment.

For example, we meet someone, get excited, start to imagine the future with them, but it ends and we’re heart broken. We have plans to go out, something happens, event is cancelled. We experiment with a new supplement or healing modality with a high success rate, but it doesn’t help us.

The list goes on and in each instance, when we assume a desirable outcome, we’re trying to control the external world. So then how do we create a future we desire without having expectations?

Practicing Non-Attachment & Gratitude Because Everything is Temporary
This attempt at controlling everything around us is futile. Fortunately unfortunately, nothing lasts- everything is temporary. Like the ebb and flow of the ocean, we’re meant to be fluid. This moment right now is beautifully unique to never be re-created in all time and space. It is precious and fleeting. Hold it in your heart and revere it with deep gratitude because sooner or later, people leave, circumstances change, and tomorrow it may not be here.

Stop kidding yourself by thinking that you’re the only person that can beat it by creating expectations of the future and stubbornly trying to hold onto them. You will almost always be disappointed. All suffering comes from a fear of loss and all bitter resentment comes from things not having gone our way. Let it go. Trying to control, to hold on, only creates more suffering.

Let this humble us, let it soften us. By using integrity to develop security within ourselves, we can trust the process and trust ourselves that we can handle absolutely everything that comes our way. We would never be given anything that we can’t handle. Everything will always be okay because when has it not been? To have fun and enjoy ourselves is the ultimate form of gratitude. When we come home to ourselves, we stop attaching to things external to us. We enjoy the moment in full gratitude, and let it freely slip through our fingers.

No Expectations & Non-Attachment Allows a Total Freedom to Create
Creating is our natural state. Every day we use our imaginations to create prototypes of what we want to experience, and then we act in ways that allow them to show up. Life is a playground of creating everything we desire to experience.

Many of us don’t push the boundaries of our lives, living variations of the same day for years because our willingness to create is stunted by this fear of loss. We’ve grown attached to what we know, and stubbornly try to control outcomes that we want. But when we stop exhausting our energy trying to control, then we can focus on our values and act in ways that energize them. This can create experiences and circumstances that go beyond what we could have come up with on our own.

Surrendering Control Aligns Us With What is For Our Highest Good
This is HUGE. Say we’re in a relationship that has past it’s time and no longer supports our growth or is in alignment with our values, but we’re too stubborn to admit this, to let go of the future we’ve committed to. This relationship will only hold us back and bring us down.

Alternatively, we revere the relationship with the deepest gratitude for absolutely everything it has brought us, accept that we’ve had our time together and it’s time to flow in another direction, and to trust ourselves that we’re able to do this. This huge choice, though difficult, is what aligns us with our deepest fulfillment. It gets us unstuck and back into the flow of life. We’re free now to create everything we desire to experience in this lifetime.

This doesn’t mean treat people like they’re disposable. It means Love deeply, but don’t hold on when it’s time to let go. And don’t be resentful of endings because they’re a natural part of life. And to practice non-attachment, gratitude, flexibility instead of control, allows us to relax and Trust ourselves and the process, and really begin to enjoy life and start to play again. It really is about time that we get back on track and start having fun again.

HOW??
Lol. I’m working on this part. I have yet to integrate full flexibility. Body, mind, spirit are all connected and by working on one, the others benefit. So, I like to work on all three.

Body: Notice where you’re holding tension and releasseee. Yoga is great for this. I started singing lessons and use diaphragm & breathing exercises to release the tension in my throat.

Mind: Practice self-awareness and conscious choices in every situation. Notice when you’re being stubborn and ask yourself if it’s serving you. Be honest! Perhaps using your stubbornness in ways that benefit you, like by creating healthy habits, will give it a healthy outlet!

Spirit: In meditation, surrender and let go of the tension stored in your muscles and the walls you’ve built up to energetically block yourself off. Once you’ve let go, notice how this allows your energy to expand. Pay attention to where it stops or gets stuck, hold space for it, and allow it to transform and move again. Yoga Nidra has guided meditations for this!

Good luck and keep me posted on your process!
xo
Erika

Empathize, but Remember Your Standards

freedom with self love

No matter how someone acts, we don’t need to be emotionally triggered by their actions.

But we do get hurt, and one reason for this is that we’re taking their behaviour personally. We let it question our self worth, our lovability. We even complain to others- making it about the other person, when really we’re just masking our own pain of feeling invalidated and unloved.

But when we’re in a healthy relationship with ourselves- we love, trust, respect ourselves- then we don’t need the validation of others because we already have it from the only person who matters. We know what kind of behaviour is acceptable and what is not- not because it’s bad and wrong, but because it’s not supportive or in alignment with where we are and where we’re going. A healthy boundary is effortlessly formed.

Just like if someone talked shit about our best friend. Because we love and believe in our friend, we may defend our friend and question the criticism. Someone acting disrespectfully towards us is an attempt at a boundary violation, sometimes unbeknownst to them. They’re unconscious, in pain, trapped in a pattern, and creating drama.

We can have compassion and empathy for where they’re at- non-judgementally- and, most importantly, recognize that we just don’t want to be in that mess with them. And we don’t have to be, it’s not our responsibility to be. There are professionals that get paid for that.

We need to take care of ourselves first. We need to keep our standards high. Show people how we deserve to be treated, and from a place of love, inspire them to see how they can be treated as well. “Come join us up here!”

Letting people walk all over us isn’t doing anyone any favours- it just enables bad behaviour and keeps us from growing, blocking us from all the good available to us. And by respectfully leaving an unhealthy relationship from a place of love, it’s not an attack on the other, it’s asking them to wake up and meet our standards with their own.

Choose A Side & Love Fiercely

We are at war with ourselves,
reflected by the world around us.
And the only way to win this war,
the only way to peace,
is to choose a side to fight for.
Choose peace. Choose happiness. Choose love.
And then fight fiercely.
Love fiercely.
In every moment,
with every thought, action, word spoken.
Because if we don’t take control of our world,
Then the world will take control of us.
We’ll be victim to our thoughts and emotions.
We’ll feel sad, angry, anxious
because we’re too stubborn, proud, stuck
to choose happiness.
Feel into anger
Tightness in your chest?
Feel into sadness
Pit in your stomach?
Feel into happiness
A lightness surrounding you?
It’s an emotion like the rest
at our disposal.
Easy.
But we need to get out of our own way.
Whatever we choose will impact our quality of life
and that of those around us.
Channel the anger we have with the state of the world towards this solution.
Warriors of the light
it starts with us.
The more we fight for this side,
the stronger it gets.
Miscommunication,
Love yourself.
Unhealthy situation,
Love yourself.
Respect
is a basic human right that doesn’t need to be earned.
Because we’re all in pain,
have compassion.
Our liberation is caught up in each other.
This is a remembering
that at our core we are Love.
A surrendering.
Be vulnerable.
Trust yourself.
This is our work.
No hippie shit here.
It’s the bravest souls that are able to love through the hate.
Love Yourself Photo

How Trusting Ourselves Pulls Us Into the Natural Flow of Life

We can either be pushed or be pulled through life. When we’re pushing ourselves, or are pushed by someone else like a parent or an employer, to accomplish something, it takes motivating, force, and is challenging because we’re trying to be pushed past some internal resistance. When being pulled, it feels like we’re in the natural flow of life. It’s exciting and energizing, and may even feel like something bigger than us is guiding us along.

The experience of being pulled happens when we surrender to the power of will. 

The yin yang symbol is the balance of the sacred feminine energy of surrender, yang, with the sacred masculine energy of will, yin. In every moment, we express these energies. When we are in flow with the universe, acting intuitively from our highest good, these energies are naturally balanced and expressed in harmony. For example, when I write these posts, I surrender to what needs to be said, while my will pulls me to write. I’m also focused on the bigger picture of what I desire to create and I know I am in service, thus contributing to my biggest dreams. In a way the act is effortless because it’s a natural creative expression of myself. I may still fumble over my words as I write, but sitting here feels naturally enjoyable, not forced. There’s a sense that I am supported to act out of my highest good.

yin yang cats

What gets in the way of being in the natural flow of life is resistance. We create petty reasons- excuses, fears, dramas, of why we cannot do something, but at the very root of the resistance, is we don’t trust ourselves. If we don’t believe that what we’re doing is worth the effort, that we can handle what arises, and we will create what we desire or better, then we will drag our feet and make it incredibly difficult to accomplish even the smallest tasks. How can we work hard for a leader that we don’t believe in? We need to trust that if there is something that we want to achieve or obtain, that we can make that happen, and we want to help ourselves do this. Unwavering faith in ourselves. A belief that we can make anything happen. A belief in our mastery. That we can envision what success means to us, and know without a doubt that we will create it, and we have faith that every step we take is a successful step towards getting us there. Trusting ourselves means faith in our abilities as a creator. That everything is meaningful and serves a purpose. This is pure confidence. 

When we trust ourselves, we surrender to the power of will, and we will ourselves to surrender. 

Some of us trust ourselves easier than others. We lose our trust when we begin to doubt both ourselves and the process. We experience disappointments from our failed expectations, thus losing sight of the bigger picture. We’re incredibly self critical with no margin for error. Mistakes are how we learn, and we can trust that we’ll bounce back. It’ll always be okay because it always has been.

To take this a step further, when we acknowledge our divinity- that we are god consciousness experiencing itself in human form, then believing in ourselves and believing in something bigger than us is the same thing. And when we can have faith in the process, we can surrender to it, while our will pulls us to create. We are not victim to our surroundings, we create them. Just like how we have the DNA of our parents, we have the super powers of spirit. It’s an exciting time to be alive because we are only now waking up to this and seeing what we’re truly capable of. When we stop trying to micromanage and control our lives from a place of fear and doubt, we’re able to surrender to ourselves and become willed to create beyond anything we could ever imagine. 

Step One: Let go of everything that isn’t fulfilling you. You’re only holding onto it because you’re afraid. Surrender. Trust yourself. And hold on 😉

“I’m Really Sensitive & People Keep Hurting Me!” Support

Sound familiar? This is my story, one of my deepest wounds and biggest struggles. To offer some support on your journey, here I share the lessons I’ve learned to overcome this.

Have you heard of HSP? Highly Sensitive Person. It’s someone who is extra sensitive to lights, tastes, sounds, emotions, energies, etc, thus causing one to isolate themselves to the beauty of a quiet room where they can retreat in peace. More information is available here: http://hsperson.com/

I relate to being an HSP. My most sensitive eccentricities include loud noises and my sometimes overwhelming emotions. And so I wonder what are the benefits of being highly sensitive? Can it be a super power instead of a hindrance? Totally! Our sensitive emotions can intuitively detect red flags faster than the average person. And this detection system can be used to direct our lives towards creating something that is in line with our highest good and fulfillment.

If we aspire for greatness, then we want to surround ourselves with people that lift us up and inspire us because, as Jim Rohn says, we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Our sensitivity gives us a clear indication of how healthy a relationship is. If you have two people, one highly sensitive and one of average sensitivity, and both are spending time with someone who is incredibly charming, funny, beautiful, but, even unbeknownst to them has poor intentions, the person most likely to pick up on this is the highly sensitive one. The trick is to trust yourself, trust your gut, your intuitive feelings. Listen to your heart, the little voice inside, even if your eyes, mind and even sex organ desire a different outcome.

HSPs tend to be peacekeepers. Because they are sensitive to conflict and violence, they would never want to start it. But it is necessary for you to be brave. Nice isn’t powerful. If you know with your whole being that you need to step away from a potentially harmful situation, despite what the results may be, YOU HAVE TO DO IT. And you WILL continue to make the same mistakes until you finally learn to listen.

Honour yourself. The only way you will get to where you desire to be, to where your most fulfillment and enlightenment is, is by honouring your needs and making sometimes tough decisions to do what’s right for you. You will never regret these choices. I’ve had to let go of many relationships, and not always because the people are bad people, they could potentially be the most beautiful and kind, but they were not right for me at that time. And sometimes the test is just to listen and honour our highest honesty.

Trust in the abundance of life. By letting someone or even something go, it’s never a loss. A new door ALWAYS opens- it’s the universal law of balance. Holding on can be more painful sometimes than just letting go. And we need to consider the longterm. It may be comfortable now, but how comfortable will you be if you keep holding on. Is this worth you being held back? And notice the intention behind why you are are choosing to leave.

If the intention to leave is to get away from someone because they’re bothering you- then you may be running away. Stop making it about them and make it about you. Acknowledge this person as your teacher. There is something to learn here. Be grateful for how they activate your wounds and triggers, breathe deeply, feel deeply, process until the emotions have been transmuted into something else. Work with a healer if you need extra help. This is what it means to be AWAKE. When we can remain awake during these most challenging times is when we grow the most. An excellent exercise is to go through everyone in your life that bothers you and clear away these bothers using the burning method: writing everything down on a piece of paper until there’s nothing left to say and you feel neutral; and then burning the paper outside.

The best intention to have when leaving a relationship, environment, item, is because you are choosing to open up space for someone or something that is in alignment with your highest good. Do you want to grow or do you want to stay the same? Because complaining and judging will keep you stuck.

The archetypes of Victim and Creator are at play here. The Victim is the sad sensitive person that feels sorry for themselves and needs to hide away at home because everyone hurts them.

The Creator is the empowered HSP who chooses who they surround themselves with, and when triggered, uses it as an opportunity to self reflect, clear, and thus level up to an even better version of themselves. The Creator honours their intuition about situations, notices red flags, without judgement, but with confident discernment and chooses to make decisions that are in their highest interest. Because what is good for us, is good for all. Never enable the poor behaviour of others or this world will never change.

As an HSP you have a super power. It’s like x-ray vision into the intentions and motivations of others. The more you acknowledge red flags and act accordingly, the easier it gets to notice them and to trust yourself. Now, with every person I meet and situation I’m in, I go in paying attention and am honest with any red flags I pick up on, even if I’m not sure, I’m honest about how I’m feeling. Again, this doesn’t mean the person or situation is bad- it just means it’s not right for me right now. From this, I’m able to make a decision that is clear, honest, informed, and supports the cultivation of my most beautiful life.

Erika moving out of isolation into her power

Feeling Safe To Be Our Authentic Selves

After being with my partner, Matias for four years, we split when he got a new job and moved to California. It was the most painful decision of my life. With him, I always felt safe in the world. Now I felt I was left to fend for myself. I still always have his support, but it’s different now. I’m here in Toronto alone. He is currently visiting, a few months after our split, and I can see the difference of how I am with him and how I am without him. When I’m with him, I feel safe. I am able to let my guard down, open up completely, relax, laugh, have fun, be my authentic self. When he’s not here, I tense up. As a way to protect myself, I unintentionally, close my heart, build a wall between myself and everyone else. In the process I become numb, depressed and cold. I check out, disassociate because it’s hard to be in the world when you don’t feel safe. I am still functional but I don’t feel like myself. I am not able to take chances and put myself out there, nor am I able to easily connect with others until I know them well enough that I feel safe again.

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 10.18.27 PM

Photo by: Laina Briedis

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