My feet are busted silly. Busted silly means bloated. My toes are Vienna sausages.
I had a specialist examine them after dinner and she said I need to drink a lot more water and to lay off the wine. She also said I should keep my walk short tomorrow. The crazy thing is, I want to walk!
I have two videos that need uploading but it’s taking way too long to do it today.
Damn it’s already 9:30pm. I should hop in my bunk.
I’m worried about my feet. I’m worried about my inability to take care of myself.
I always thought of myself as the perfect traveler. I roll with the punches, don’t complain, and I try to be helpful and outgoing for others and yeah that’s all true (because I’m super awesome), but I’m sliding into the far end of the scale where I’m starting to take risks. I take risks because I have this ridiculous mentality that all is well and will always be well. And on this far end of the spectrum, I don’t feed myself or watch what my feet are doing.
I have the “bring it on” mentality.
Having the “bring it on” mentality alongside the passiveness of “rolling with the punches”, is a dangerous combination for the body. It’s like skiing without health insurance or walking 500 miles without health insurance.
It’s like being 33 and never been to a OBGYN not once. What does OBGYN stand for anyway? It sounds nothing like a gynecologist.
I always thought of this side of me as Devil-May-Care, but maybe it’s devil-may-stupid.
I should sleep.
My foot specialist told me I should raise them up and rest them against the ceiling from my top bunk. I bess get started on that.
Day three sucks monkey balls. I’m a full day behind schedule. I’m supposed to be in Pamplona.
It was snowing and raining all day. I’m Miserable and don’t want to move. I would do a video blog but my roommate is here. He’s a soft-spoken Latvia man with a gentle soul. Earlier while he was napping, a loud Australian woman came into our 6-person dorm room and caused a ruckus. Instead of getting mad, Latvia complimented Australian woman on her Spanish.
“You speak very good Spanish.”
“Thank you, I learned it while living in Peru. I’m so sorry if I disturbed you, I didn’t see you up there ha ha.”
I’ve been opting for the top bunk. At first it was out of consideration for the older people who can’t make it up here, but I’m coming to find out they are in better shape than I am.
All I want to do is sleep, and all they want to do is go to the bar.
I went outside to the vending machines and bought what looked to be pretzels for my dinner (I’m not that hungry and don’t feel like spending $9 on dinner).
I opened up the bag and stunk up the whole dorm room.
“What odd thing is this?”
I pondered as I popped a “pretzel” in my mouth.
Nope not a pretzel. The ingredient is listed as pork shavings. Salty and soft on the underbelly but crunchy on top.
Latvia is so cute. I think he’s going to take another nap. Nope he’s reading his guide book again.
I’m too tired to go to dinner. I can’t eat my pork shavings because they really do smell bad. All I have is my orange from yesterday.
Today was brutal. The small distance that I did walk was cold and wet. My feet are sore and I think I have the beginnings of tendonitis on my Achilles’ tendon. I can feel the adhesions as I flex my foot up and down. It’s said to heal within 3-6 months. I had to pack snow on it today while walking – that’s how bad it got.
I’m in rough shape and its only day 3!
I somehow lost a pair of underwear.
Last night was not what I was expecting from a peyote ceremony. I expected to trip and hallucinate but it wasn’t like that at all. It was more of a bodily cleanse.
I so badly want my laptop instead of typing on my iPhone. I can’t do a video blog because there’s too many people that can over-hear and I’m too lazy to find an isolated place to record myself.
I have so much to say about last night, for starters, it was VERY traditional. I felt like an intruder touristing a sacred ceremony. They laid down rules of conduct that must be abided or else, well, there is no “or else.” They will not kick you out and they will not let you leave. They WILL find you in your tent and pull you out if you leave before sunrise (as they did with one girl).
The ceremony lasted from dusk till dawn. They tell you their customs ahead of time so you know how to show your respects and honor the ceremony.
I find these traditions to have a logical purpose. Such as, sit up straight if seated in the front row of the circle. Don’t fall to sleep. Don’t leave or enter the circle when someone is singing. Be a man and show purpose in your actions.
It shows respect and from what I understand, you can’t learn from a teacher you don’t respect.
Completely contradictory to all this is that the shaman didn’t want us to take the ceremony too seriously – this was important because he mentioned it several times.
It’s both very similar and very different from the ayahuasca ceremony. Ayahuasca is still by far the most potent medicine into the gateway of enlightenment. Both medicines require a purge to cleanse and detoxify the body, both require complete surrender and trust. But peyote didn’t push me into that other realm like ayahuasca.
The shaman said that if you’re sick, eat the peyote and you’ll feel better. This was very true in my experience. I was suffering from extreme jet lag and had a persistent headache all day. I was miserable and just wanted to get the whole thing over with. I felt too tired to purge or have insights or see visions – I was too freaking tired for any of it and plus all the rules to abide by and telling me I was basically stuck there for at least the next 10 hours – it felt like Dante’s inferno to be quite honest. And the dreadful tasting peyote! UGH!
We smoked some tobacco and ate our first peyote button. It was awful. When I say awful, think about eating the stems of dandelions (I tried one as a kid). It’s horribly bitter and nearly impossible to swallow. I felt compelled to shove my uneaten portion in my pocket, which I did, but the shaman then had a new rule:
“Please don’t disrespect us by hiding the button in your pocket or under a blanket. If you do, you’re in for a bad night. I don’t understand why people do this. If you don’t finish it, give back to us what’s left.”
He said this with grace, candor, humor and authority. I felt so small and naive. I needed the medicine more than I thought. Not to mention it felt like he was speaking directly to me.
I felt for the button in my pocket and dusted it off and gobbled it down. Then we ate the powdered peyote again, then we ate peyote filled fudge which was obviously everyone’s favorite.
I sat there feeling more miserable than ever before. I left to go pee in the woods but couldn’t bring myself to go back into the circle when I was done. I felt sick to my stomach and I was fighting it tooth and nail.
Another rule (that is the only bendable rule) is that when you go to purge, you throw up in the center of the circle in front of everyone and you do it next to the fire. The fire eats up and cleanses everything that comes out and the man guarding the gate of the circle takes up his shovel and both humbly and compassionately cleans up our messes.
He thanked us after the ceremony for allowing him to serve us.
My body wouldn’t let me do this in front of everyone. So I waited out my troubles outside, leaning against a tree.
The guardian of our circle – “Are you okay?”
Me – “Yes it’s just that the fire is very intense.”
The guardian of the circle – “That’s okay just don’t stray too far and make sure you stare into the fire okay?”
Me – “Okay.”
I also had my new friend, Ava, looking out for me by asking people if they seen me.
She’s sleeping in her tent as we speak. I find it incredible that she’s here because she reads my blog. And a crazy coincidence that she knows one of the organizers here.
She’s probably one of the most giving, maternal people I have ever met. Buying dinner for us and those styrofoam noodles for the hot spring.
This whole experience is truly a gift.
But honestly, Colombia was better. It was better because people weren’t so spread apart from each other and there’s too many people here making it impossible to connect with all of them like I did in Colombia.
I love that my original roommates are here, and a rad awesome girl who is also a Melanie. Ralph, Simon, Penisa, Catalina are all here from my Colombian retreat. All great people.
I finally succumbed to purging in a bush and 2 minutes later my headache vanished as did my exhaustion.
“Shit works.” I thought.
And so I tried eating another button when they came around for seconds, and I had a big chunky spoonful of peyote fudge. I took a few bites of the button before handing it back over to the shaman.
“Sorry, I tried.”
I still got the desired effect of being nauseous. I wanted more healing done. I was in it to win it at that point. But still, I couldn’t puke in the fire like I was supposed to.
I can’t type on this thing any longer. I’m so hungry, lazy, tired.
I taken a nap after the ceremony and when I woke up, my hands were covered in dirt, vomit, and food. My hair was a ratty tangled mess. My tent became a sauna and I was sweating profusely through my dusty clothes. I had to poop really bad, I had to shower, I had to brush my teeth.
I did my business in a port-o-potty. It was only 9:30am, so the sun hadn’t had time to bake the potty’s into individual ovens. It was only mildly hot and mildly buggy.
That’s when I saw that I got my period.
Next on the list was brush teeth, put in trampon, and then shower. I felt like I was in survival mode. Doing the basic human needs that are found to be much more intense while camping out in the Arizona desert.
The shower is, out-door, cold water and Co-Ed.
I never bathed in public like that, but scrubbed what I could under my bathing suit.
Okay, I’m hungry because I missed breakfast and for some reason they’re not serving us lunch. Ava has apple’s…oh my sweet sweet Ava.
Okay, that’s enough for now. I’ll try my best to record these next few months. I’m already seeing the difficulty in this.
I AM having fun, please don’t get me wrong. I’m peaceful. Although hungry, I am clean and healthy. And plus if I get crazy hungry, I always have my beer, beef jerky and cigarettes. Oh yeah and Ava’s apples!
I’m sitting outside my tent at 2:38 pm on Friday. I’m at a peyote retreat in Arizona.
It’s weird typing a post on my iPhone. I would rather do a video post but I don’t want anyone to see or hear. I’m strangely private like that.
Where’s my cigarettes? Ah yes, here they are.
Hold on i’ll make a little video.
I just want to clarify that the sunrise peyote session was merely an introduction. It’s like sticking my toe in the water before jumping. We are going full force with it tonight at sunset.
Hi I’m Melanie and I’m walking the path of awakening. It ain’t easy. It involves confronting my truest intensions and facing my deepest fears. This is a process that I have to stay diligently aware of. This can be done by reflecting on my actions.
When you embrace your dark side, you accept yourself AS IS. To know your dark side, it transforms itself into light. Love, acceptance and compassion for yourself arrises. Any negative thoughts left-over should be processed and accepted – not fought. The ego merges with the soul and it’s all done through self-compassion.
Layers of understanding start to unfold. You can find the answers inside because you are part of the infinite. When you’re ready for a new layer, it will be shown to you. You feel a shift in perception and in seeing truth. It may not always be the truth you were hoping for, but a truth that sets you free. Know your hopes, and you know your fears.
Empty your beliefs to see truth – no one can tell you what’s true. You have to get there on your own. Memorizing the advice of Guru’s is not the way.
If you are unhappy with your life, you become stagnant. Your soul becomes shrouded in a hard-shelled rigor mortis box. Debris collects on your superficial surface to try and mask whats inside. Your fears hold you back and your comfort zone becomes a crypt.
I feel at this time in my progression, the small negative thoughts are barely noticeable. But I still have fear. I fear my own limitations as a functioning adult. I don’t have enough experience with being an adult, and so I fear it. My fear holds me in my comfort zone of security. Tethering myself to video games, beer and my parents.
A new layer into my awakening is just around the corner. I feel that the only way to break free from my parents is to be honest with them. Any form of lying is in truth, a hidden fear in the liar. The liar can not let go (or confront) something, and so must lie in order to protect it. I’m protecting my comfort zone of being a non-adult.
I lie to myself by saying “it would kill them if they knew the truth. It would hurt them…etc.” It would hurt them because they also need to let go. Letting go feels like dying. Like a part of you is breaking off – a shard from your soul becomes tethered to another. You can see where you’re tethered if you’re able to see your lies.
The lie protects the person lying, not the one being lied to. There is no progress in lies, only anger, confusion and darkness. When you’re working out negative thoughts, I’m certain there is a lie being told to yourself that you’re not seeing. But guess what? It doesn’t matter! Once you see the lie, you come to find out that Holy Crap no, it truly does not matter. It can then be released into the ether.
I can say with forthright conviction that everything I write here in my blog is the authentic truth of a girl piecing the pie together. I lie to my parents, and I know it’s wrong in many ways, but I’m not there yet – but I’m close! I get closer and closer to telling them the full truth and they are getting closer and closer to accepting it. My mother today told me that she feels herself accepting my freedom to own my own life. It has to happen at her own pace, and I keep pushing her forward.
My parents know everything I’m doing in Spain except for the fact I’m doing it alone. They also don’t know about the peyote ceremony. They’re just not ready, and neither am I.
How odd it is to see all this happening. My awakening is my therapist. It’s different for everyone, but this is my personal journey with it. The familiarity of these insights are all congruent with others walking the path.
Everyone’s running from something. This world is shaped by fear, people are fundamentally shaped by fear. I want to embrace it (within reason). I want to confront it.
Every emotion we have, every thought we make, is a choice. I choose my suffering – I don’t hide from it. I’m not running anymore. And from where I’m standing, my strength outweighs my fear and my love for myself makes me shine through any heartache.