Reflections on 35

Yesterday, on the last day of my 35th year, I was very dizzy. I couldn’t put my finger on the odd, buzzing energy flowing around me, but I knew something was up. Maybe it was that I’m living with 28 new people every few weeks at Gaia Sagrada Retreat Center, each coming here with their own traumas and histories to heal with the help of Ayahuasca and San Pedro. Maybe its that I’ve only been here for about a month and am surrounded entirely by new friends and work volunteers. Perhaps I needed some water. 

 

As I lay down in my small yet cozy bed last night in Casa Harmonia, I still felt the spins. To calm my mind-that crazy monkey that constantly seeks control- I decided to reflect on all of the adventures of my 35th year. 

View of the "Jadan" mountains in Ecuador. Jadan means "close to heaven".

View of the "Jadan" mountains in Ecuador. Jadan means "close to heaven".

 

It all started by celebrating 2017 in Portland with two of my closest friends. Wild, bold and intense members of the Rattenkonig. Think the Flossy Possy from the movie "Girl’s Trip" yet darker, weirder and centering around rat tails becoming fused for life.

Think the “Flossy Possy” from Girl’s Trip yet darker, weirder and having to do with rat tails becoming fused for life.
The Rattenkonig back in our college days

The Rattenkonig back in our college days

 

 At the most important parts of my life, I've realized that I always have at least two to three very close friends to celebrate, mourn, laugh and experience life with me. Sometimes there are even 20 friends, acquaintances and travel buddies from all of the world, easily at my disposal though I don’t even have a place to call home. 

The thought buzzed through my whole body.  Some of us go through life without a single close companion. My dizziness started to calm and turn to gratitude.

This spring my best friend and I we’re called to do some healing of our relationship. We were so lucky to have a knowledge of sacred ceremony to aid in these difficult moments. After asking for abundance from the goddess of the ocean in San Diego, we felt it was about time to learn from LDS in Joshua Tree, CA. 

Two Pistol Annies looking in the past and the future at the Integratron in Joshua Tree, CA

Two Pistol Annies looking in the past and the future at the Integratron in Joshua Tree, CA

 

That day for the first time we saw time and space not as linear but in circles and cycles. We understood how healing ourselves helps to heal our ancestors and our future generations. We understood deeply in our hearts why the native americans speak of “Seven generations past and future”. We were shown where our friends needed healing and how to support them. Our mindset and physical setting were perfect. Calm, open spaces filled with ancient tress, massive teacher rocks and a blessed purple sky.  I highly recommend anyone do the same when they're ready. 

When I meet someone new, they inevitably ask those should-be-easy-to-answer questions:

Where are you from? Where do you live? What do you do?

This year has made it much more difficult to answer those questions with any shred of simplicity. 

I’m from California, but I’ve moved a lot. I was in Seattle over the summer after I lived in San Diego a bit. Also Ecuador. Um, just went to Mexico and I’d LIKE to live there, so Mexico? No, maybe Ecuador.

“I’m studying shamanism and traditional plant medicine ceremonies in Ecuador. I’m also a facilitator for other medicine ceremonies including psilocybin mushrooms in Seattle and Jamaica. I run a modern mindfulness podcast with my best friend called Semi-Woo. Sometimes I write online to make some money so I can travel…" You get the idea. 

Keeping the sacred fire for the sweat lodge at Gaia Sagrada

Keeping the sacred fire for the sweat lodge at Gaia Sagrada

 

Maybe I was making myself dizzy with all the details of my life. Usually when someone hears me ramble on about my life, they say something along the lines of, “Wow that sounds so exciting. I’d love to be that free.” It's an honor and privilege to receive this perception of my life in that way. Most of the time, they're not too far off. I do feel very free.  Sometimes so free that the next step is completely obscured. 

 I also warn these kind people that my style of freedom comes with a heap of sacrifice. I don’t have a paycheck coming in every week. No insurance card in my wallet. I don’t know where I’m living past June. My friends and family are scattered like stars across the globe. I don’t own anything other than a grey fluffy dog, some aging clothing, a computer and a camera. To be fair, this is all I’ve ever really needed. 

 

My family doesn’t approve of what I do and honestly doesn’t care to hear about my psychedelic adventures. They don’t get to brag to their friends about my “amazing job at Microsoft with benefits!”  

To a lot of people the biggest sacrifice of living this gypsy life is…

 

“I’m not sure where I live or what I do. I live in the world and do what I’m called to do.”

 

On the magical side of my life, I do know this: I am called to a life of service and healing. My consistent goal in anything I do is to help raise the level of human consciousness around the world.

 I do this by sharing myself fully and without remorse on my podcast. I do this by helping others heal deep wounds and change self-limiting beliefs. Together we drink ancient plant teachers, and utilize beautiful human ceremonial traditions combined with lots of listening and love. 

I do this by letting the world know that psychedelics are not the scary monsters our “leaders” decided to convince us they were back in the 1960’s.  Quite the opposite, they are here to lead us into the next level of human evolution once we decide we’re done with the shackles of this fear-based society. 

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This year, with the help of close friend, LSD, solo travel, getting fired, eating magic mushrooms, moving to Seattle, savoring deep conversations in Mexico and returning to my spiritual home in Ecuador, I’ve truly stepped into myself. 

I am a Psychonaut through and through. I believe in going deep inside yourself to find all of the answers you seek. 

Meditation helps. Plants and fungi help. Friends help. 

 

 

I am a part of the Pistol Annie Tribe of the Wild West. I will continue to explore new frontiers of the land and the mind. If I have to do that alone, I will. 

I am not part of the universe, I AM the universe. And so are you. If that doesn’t make you  feel worthy of a life you truly want, I don’t know what will.  

Laying with this knowledge of my divinity helped me turn dizzy into delighted. And finally rest my 36 year old body.

 

Amanda SchendelComment