Sunday, June 26, 2011

So...How was Peru?

"You're so sensitive."

A phrase I've heard many different times in my life when strong feelings arose. It's felt like a flaw and come across as an insult. I've tried to deny it and push it away because its felt more like a curse than a blessing. But it is a blessing.

"How was your trip to Peru?"

A question I've been asked and struggled to put into coherent sentences. I'm still processing what I learned down there. My body has spent the last two weeks trying to catch up to my mind and heart. As such, I've been eating like a ravenous animal and then passing out.

I laugh at this remembering how Tio enjoyed seeing me in this familiar state on one of our excursions in Spain. The infamous "infomercial" trip. He found great pleasure in it.

When I travel I am able to really connect to myself. Part of the reason I love it so much and make it a priority in my life. It opens me up and lets me plug in. This last trip helped me find myself again in so many ways. To finally know that what I am and clarify my intentions which are no mistake.

I got to meet such sensitive beautiful people down there. Instant deep connections with total strangers which felt so right and satisfying. One in particular became a quick friend when he took out his camera in the ride to the compound. We got to talking that day and for some reason, I mentioned something I had been thinking about for weeks. A 4th grade science project I did on solar panels. I built half a house out of cardboard and bendy straws to show how it all worked. I remember not a lot of people being too "wowed" by it but I loved it and desperately wanted a house with one.

My friend's face was shocked. "What? You too?" I asked him. Apparently we had the same ideas and science projects kickin' way back in grade school. I've been obsessed with solar energy since then and so had he. Well, huh, that's kinda kooky and cool.

Another day, after learning some new yoga moves I was just so happy and appreciative to our teacher. A really beautiful, sensitive man who I waited to hug. As we did, I felt my heart reach out to his. To the point of even feeling a little electrical zing. I felt it so strongly and was a little exposed by it. I began to wonder if it was something I imagined. After we broke our embrace, he gave me a knowing glance and a simple but meaningful "thank you" for it.

During this week, we all discussed a lot of things. The big one being why we were here. I had intentions going into this trip and knew what I wanted to work on but the why has never been verbalized. As it came out of my mouth, I realized - this is it.

I can feel a lot. At times, I feel people's pain so strongly, it overwhelms me. I can get lost in other people's suffering and all I want to do is make it stop. For them and for me.

In this feeling, I've tried to help people but always attached to the outcome. I've not been able to let go of the possibility that this is their choice, their chosen pain. It is their process and to let them have it.

I asked my new friend to sit next to me in our second ceremony. As we entered into it, I was frightened and had asked the spirits for what I needed which was calm. They understood and gave it to me. Such a gift.

In that calmness, we began to have a conversation all night. I first spoke to it as a child and then as an adult. I quickly began to understand what has frightened or confused me throughout different points in my life. It showed me how to separate and feel safe.

Voices amplified around me. Calling out my name, calling out in pain. I could do nothing to help but send them love. I did not have to escape, I could be present in it without it consuming me.

At one point, I could feel my friend next to me going into his dark, death place. He was frightened and quickly disappearing in it.

I was conflicted. Do I reach out to help him? Should I let him have his process? The conflict stopped when I felt the strong urge to reach out and grab his arm. We are not supposed to talk in these ceremonies but a scared and tearful "thank you" came out of his mouth when I did.

I grabbed his hand and mentally told him, "You do not have to go to that place. You are not alone. I love you." and after a bit I let go. In that instant, it all became so clear to me. Such a release and relief.

I began sending out love to all my friends on their journey and it felt good. It felt right.

Its been interesting to re-enter from this trip. I see the noise and find myself struggling with going back to that old way but I know the feeling of openness and don't want to deny myself it anymore. Its still all swirling in my head. This is the only part of it I felt needed to be explained.

How was my trip to Peru?

Beautiful and perfect in so many ways.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sacred Valley of the Incas


Abby ran into and old friend on the walk back home. Elliot the dog. He was hanging near Gringo Village.


Flying over the Andes. LAN airline ROCKS!

Greeted with a little Coca Tea. Definitely helps with the altitude.

Backyard at the compound. At different times of the day, I'd see faces in the mountains.

Simba and Nala ruled the yard.

Sacred valley of the Incas, indeed.

First night....

Chauaitiri Village

A visit to the village of Chauaitiri. Their village is situated at the highest point of the mountains and they have a tribal council that makes decisions for everyone. They made the most beautiful woven items.

Rainbow looms with lama bones to weave colorful alpaca thread through.

This baby knows what's up. I loved the hats so much it was the first thing I purchased in Peru. Most people bargained but I couldn't cause thats just some damn fine craftsmanship. I forked over the Soles for those amazing geometric designs.

The yarn making. The colorful blue yarn gets its coloring from men's pee. No, I'm not kidding....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Anarchy in Uniform

On our excursion up to Moray, we had an unexpected stop. Whaa???

School girl ANARCHY! The girls stopped traffic with their sign asking everyone to turn off their motors for 10 minutes. It was all to honor the Earth. Awesome...

I love this door.

Salt Mines

A surreal martian experience. I wanted to go down into the mines but apparently we were not allowed to so I bought some pantalones instead.

Oh and some salt too.


Moray. A great place to wear hats.

Formerly, a place to celebrate Pachamama (Mother Earth). It's a site with really good energy and as you descend into the center, the temperature rises.

It was a place to grow crops and have celebrations. This was my favorite spot of the whole trip.

Getting Down. Getting Up. -- Rock stairs!

Top o the World with best buddies Angie and Abby.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Temple Ruins

Where the Incans at?

Temple Ruins

The Aussie connection. Tony, me and Angie hanging at the sun temple.

Matthew scouting it out.

Gray and Me in our best "holy crap, check that out!" pose. We instantly became friends when he pulled out his awesome camera. I love me some Gray!

Part of ze group. Such amazing peeps.


Pisaq Market Day

The river that flows through the Valley of the Sacred Incas. Walking it into town was awesome. Such a crazy strong current.

On that walk I got to watch a sheep chase a cow all the way down it. That was one angry sheep!

The market had everything you could ever want. A lot of the locals who live up in the mountains and can't make it down everyday come on Sundays to sell their stuff. There were a lot of Rasta peeps from the US too.

Cool blues.

The vegetables taste so different down there. They have a lot more life and flavor. I wanted to eat everything I saw. Last night I made some quinoa soup last night to remind me of how good we ate in Peru. Que bueno!

Friday, June 17, 2011


A birthday present I bought for Abby.

Dried fruit that has been carved with images. The sun is Patchapapa and the moon on the other side is the symbol for Patchamama.

While we chatted she carved out the top lid and sanded the insides.

She has 7 children and one grandchild which she showed me a picture of. Her husband carves the images and she sells them in the square.

Beautiful stained glass at the coffee shop.

Nice view from a coffee shop! The rainbow flag is the symbol of Cusco.

So ok. Working backwards, Cusco was an interesting place but not necessarily my favorite. It's a city for sure and after spending all my time in the Sacred Valley of the Incas it was a bit much for me. It seems to be the jump-off spot for all the cool power places in southern Peru. Mucho turistos.

Crowds can drain me quickly and after walking a bit I chose to stop have a coffee and sit in the square. A lady approached me with a bag full of colorful gourds and asked me if I wanted to buy. I said no and she sat down. She started to ask me some questions and the conversation developed.

My Spanish quickly came back as we chatted for a few. She started to show me all the symbols on the gourds and after that I couldn't resist. I asked her about the drawings and she told me her husband carved them all. So intricate.

We chatted about everything as she carved out the lid and sanded it out.

It was perfect and I got the little travel time experience I like to have outside of the retreat. The best part of traveling is going places and chatting up the locals.

It usually happens just like this did. Such kind people in Peru. Between scouting out the markets and taking in the sites, it was a nice way to end the trip.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Peru, I love you.

An amazing trip.

Crazy unexplainable experiences and some the most beautiful people I have ever met. I have so much love in my heart right now, I never want to forget this feeling.

Got everything I wanted and more. Ah Peru, how I love you.

More pics to come after I recover from the jet lag and sprint across MIA...