When I began my spiritual journey, never did I think it would ever lead me to a place like Rythmia. Five years ago, I had just transitioned successfully into a new career, became a full-fledged partner, finally got that Hollywood office plus the coveted personalized parking spot, traveling internationally for work (while squeezing in pleasure) and making more money than I ever had before. By all accounts, I was living the dream! Yet, despite all this, I felt hopeless and completely lost. I was more like living IN the dream. That is, the dream created by the ego fueled by constructs of the mind that define what is supposed to be success and happiness. But what was that exactly? Because it certainly wasn’t working tirelessly around the clock, barely having personal time, perpetual mental and physical exhaustion with no end in sight, relationships suffering with more deadlines piled on to a heaping pile of responsibilities on all fronts.
My stress levels and anxiety were at an all time high, manifesting into full-blown panic attacks in my physical body. Never in my life had I ever experienced this before. I was drinking daily (& heavily) to alleviate the stress. I would constantly get sick and on top of that, my insomnia was merciless. I could no longer silence the cries of my soul and I knew deep down that something had to change. But what was that something? Of course I did what any sane LA woman would do, I went and got a psychic reading! As I sat down in the hot seat, I tried to give her very little information about me, testing her actual psychic abilities satisfying the skeptic in me. She begins to tell me what she was seeing in my once again, previous failed relationship. I’ll spare you the details but she did confirm a lot of what I was already thinking and feeling. Then suddenly she looks me dead in the face and says, “you’re not spiritual.” Responding defensively I tell her, she was so wrong, but then proceeded to give her excuses as to why I hadn’t meditated in months as if I owed her an explanation. Looking back on that reading now, she couldn’t have been more right. I got home that evening and binge watched all the documentaries I could find on God, transformation and healing. I’ll show that crazy psychic woman that I TRULY AM spiritual dammit! I’m grateful for that reading because that experience became the catalyst to my inevitable unfolding…
It was time to bring on the pros. I began seeing a therapist, not really knowing what I was seeing a therapist for exactly. Don’t most people who go into these things have a precise idea of what their problems are? For years, I blamed my inability to trust men to the point of becoming an avoidant, on my daddy issues. Which according to the many self-help psychology books I read, basically meant fear of abandonment from not having a father present in my life. Then as I got older, I realized, could growing up with a narcissistic mother, who was never the nurturing type, be the culprit? Would this also then explain my overachieving behavior and my incessant need for approval in all my relationships? My strained relationship with my mother? All I knew is that if I didn’t uncover the root of why I was the way I was, I would continue to repeat the same negative patterns that plague me. I needed to not only SEE who I have become, but understand the WHY. I suited up and was ready for battle.
My tendency to overachieve, naturally leads me to over correct after a self diagnosis. I figure, let me try ALL of the healing modalities ALL AT THE SAME DAMN TIME. For sure, ONE of them will work right? From meditation, to self-help workshops and alternative healing summits, hypnosis therapy, to reiki, to energy healing, to committing myself to weekly spiritual teachings of Michael Beckwith at Agape Spiritual Center, different types of yoga, tarot and psychic readings, spiritual guidance, buying crystals, wearing oils, soaking in bath bombs specifically made for “self-love”, writing affirmations, lighting candles (to get candle readings), learning and practicing full moon rituals, drowning in soundbaths, weekend trips alone to ruminate, reading books upon books on spirituality and metaphysics, and everything in between, I found myself even more lost and confused. It was information overload! When I felt I exhausted all my resources, that’s when Rythmia appeared into my life. A good friend of mine, asked me if I had heard of a transformational retreat that Agape is a part of in Costa Rica. I was immediately intrigued. It didn’t take long after that, for me to contact Rythmia to find out more. I felt comfortable knowing that Agape was involved.
When I called, the woman I spoke to on the phone had asked me if I wanted to participate in the “plant ceremonies”. Not really knowing what that was, I instinctively said “Sure, I love ceremonies!”. A little naive I know, but I was already down the rabbit hole at this point. After booking, I learned that it was the plant, “Ayahuasca” and I purposely did not do any research on it, to A. not become afraid and B. be totally open to it free of my own judgment. At the time, I only knew two friends who had taken these journeys to Peru and partake in Ayahuasca in the past. I called upon them to get advice and hear their experiences with Mother Aya. Both had miraculous stories of truths they discovered as well as the unpleasant purging that also comes hand in hand. When the two options of purging is one end or the other, it’s hard to maintain a level of certainty about wanting to participate in this experience. I mean, WHY?! No one is ever excited about the possibility of shitting on his or herself, and in front of other people nonetheless! No one. Yet and still, I was both nervous and excited. I was also happy to learn that I had been following some of the “dieta” already since I made the choice to not drink alcohol in the new year, and cut out red meat and pork as part of a detox for my self-care. These synchronicities in life are by far my favorite moments. It’s an indication that life is working FOR me, that my guides, angels, the universe and GOD have guided me and I actually paid attention.
…And so began my journey to Rythmia, the week my life is changed forever.
(to be continued…)