February 18, 2018. West Point @ Eno River
Today is the first day I have taken time to be in nature since coming home. This is one of the recommended integration activities post-Ayahuasca. Down in the jungle we were surrounded by nature and immersed in it in a fully sensory way. It’s as much a part of the healing process as the Ayahuasca itself, I’m guessing. Nature helps us relax and feel happier. We’ve shown scientifically that people are better off in multiple ways when they have regular contact with nature. And for me, natural spaces are places I can easily feel respectful, humble, grateful and connected. This is a part of my life I haven’t taken enough time for lately… but today, for a little bit, I am outside and listening to the birds and feeling the sunshine.
Things I’ve noticed since being back. First, and most dishearteningly, I am immediately thrown back into my own personal mental tug-of-war. This is a mode of being that I have engaged in quite often, though not deliberately. It’s mental chatter about life, full of conflicting ideas associated with my different wants and fears, characterized by a sort of internal gridlock wherein I am arguing with myself about what I should be doing and struggling to drop in and be present with anything.
Example: right now. It was really difficult for me to get out here this morning, or decide what to do with myself at all. Last night I had a longer-than-anticipated night at work, and in general it’s been more of a packed week than I wanted it to be. I had things on the schedule for today – a meeting with a friend about a project we are working on, plus work I had to do for the project, plus going in early for work and spending the better part of the day there, plus a friend and I have been trying to schedule hang-out time since both being home after traveling, PLUS I want to be working on coding every day and prepping myself for potential upcoming interviews…. so many things! I was frustrated, cramped, and upset… with work for requiring extra of me this week, but also with myself, maybe? How has over a week passed since being home and I haven’t given myself space to relax like I planned to?
And when exactly can I relax? Where is my unscheduled time? How does that fit into my life when I’m trying to do all these other things that make sense to me – be available to work more on a busy week when they need me, be consistent on projects I am working on, be present as a friend, and show up to do the work of pursuing my own personal goals? I’m so tired of dropping the ball on things, but I also feel so busy and I want to take care of myself! It’s a power struggle, with myself and with life. I know that at the heart of it is a part of me that is trying to control everything and doesn’t know how to let go.
I guess I just have to remind myself that it’s all okay. Learning new things takes time. My old habits will be here to challenge me on their way out and that’s part of growing and earning your own evolution. I know there’s a more peaceful and flowing way of being, and I suspect it has less to do with what exactly I’m doing and more to do with how I am doing it. So I’m just setting my sights and intentions as consciously as I can, and moving forward.
I feel better now. I’m happy I wrote about that internal struggle a little bit. Writing helps me make sense of my life and helps me move things inside of me. I feel lighter, which is the positive theme of my life in the last week of being back. I’ve definitely felt more lightness and peace in myself. My body feels great. The first day I went to do jiu jitsu after being back I felt amazing! I also seem to have released a few pounds down in Peru, which makes sense. The shame that was released in my last Ayahuasca ceremony was worth at least a few pounds, ha ha.
Another positive and kind of random thing since being home: I made some quality purchases this week to replace things that broke, and it felt reeeeeeally good. Like, I often just buy cheap-ish things and justify it. But this time around was different. My blender broke on a day I was thinking about buying a Vitamix, and I went for it. (!!!!!!!) My bike light broke, and I could have bought something off Amazon but I went to the nice bike shop on 9th street and bought a nice one to replace it. It feels really good to bring quality things into my life. And maybe that’s just a metaphor for me from the Universe – it’s okay that things break and die, because it makes space for something new and better. So whatever is in the process of breaking and dying in me, I guess I’ll just try to be graceful about letting it go, and trust that something new and better is being born.
Thanks friends, and I hope you all have a beautiful day!