I've discovered that writing my first blog for The Huffington Post can be a bit daunting in the "choosing a brilliant subject" department. Staring at a blank document with my fingers dead weight on my disco lit keyboard was making me loopy, so being a yoga teacher I did what I do best. I saddled up my puggle, Ashi, went out for a refreshing walk and breathed. I've learned from experience that the best articles are the ones where you keep it simple, keep it honest and speak from the heart. As a wise friend puts it, "Speak your truth. There's nothing sweeter." So, I'd like to share a recent experience that completely rocked my life.
I was invited to partake in an ayahuasca meditation about a month ago. For those of you unfamiliar with ayahuasca, it is a Peruvian root brewed into a drink used in shamanistic ceremonies. They call it the 'Grandmother Spirit' and it is used as a tool/medicine to cure and spiritually awaken the drinker. FYI, it's also one of the strongest hallucinogens on earth. Being a good Kansas girl, that little side note made me shake in my ruby red slippers. I was worried that I was going to have an in-depth conversation with a pink Ganesh elephant on an iPhone accompanied by a mad-hatted Johnny Depp smoking a hookah, but was told it's nothing like that. I was advised to spend time meditating a week before on what question I'd like answered on my journey, so I decided on something simple but incredibly potent.
"What has been keeping me from pulling a love into my life?"
All geared up with absolutely no idea of what to expect, I set up my little cot where I would spend the next eight hours of my journey. I instantly bonded with a beautiful cat who belonged to the owners of the house. The shaman's assistant told me that the cat always latched onto one person during the meditation and it looked like I was the cat nip du jour. Little guy's name was Baby Kitty, and let me tell you--there was nothing small about him. He was a solid bowling ball of white and orange fluff that saw nothing wrong with taking out my knees if it meant a warm place to burrow. I accepted my feline companion and what small space was left of my cot, took my drink and down the rabbit hole I fell.
I'd love to share the entire eight hours (what felt like two years) of my experience with you but will skip to the good stuff. So--I'm thick into the world of ayahuasca and the room is completely dark. I start to hear Baby Kitty kick up his purring motor and am immediately filled with warmth. I could feel the vibrations of his purr through my entire body and the sound was so robust that I was engulfed. An immediate sense of calm surged over me. I reached out to touch Baby Kitty knowing that he had to be right next to me since I was experiencing full purr-ball surround sound. I checked everywhere next to me and no sign of kitty. I started to claw further into the darkness eagerly hoping for a reassuring hand full of orange fluff but to no avail. I became tense, pawing everywhere, even though the sound was so loud it simply had to be next to my head. Then it hit me.
Baby Kitty was love.
I was completely surrounded and engulfed in love and I had absolutely no idea. I had been resisting and franticly searching for proof that this love existed. I wanted to see it, feel it, be given a full-blown Apple Care Guarantee. Through all of my seeking and journeying--it was right there. Not only was it surrounding every ounce of me, it was radiating from within me. I then realized that I don't need to feel, touch or have solid proof of love. I need to trust that love is there and that it wants in. It made me forget the old story, release my preconceived notions of what I thought love should be and trust in the simplicity of love because everything is love.
Following this experience an entire new perspective opened up to me. I started seeing love in places I had never even thought to look. My students were pulling me aside to tell me how much my class had helped them achieve happiness and balance. I received a home-made valentine care package sent in the charming form of snail mail (you know, delivered by the mailman). I even got so much home cooking from different sources one week that I was convinced the world was turning into one big italian mom. The list joyfully goes on...but most importantly it allowed me to really "see" people. To see past the illusion and straight into the source which we all come from--which is love. We are all the same--surrounded and divinely connected and that love is so big it would put HBO out of business.
I can't say that I've since met the man of my dreams or resolved heartaches of years past, but I can say that kind of love doesn't worry me anymore. I have and feel so much love now that I know my heart is in the right place to accept all forms of love exactly when they should arrive. Love may not come from the sources you have dedicated so much energy towards but trust that all is in it's right place and that all is full of love. Everywhere. All around you.
And maybe even in the form a round, purring and all-knowing cat.