Updated: Sep 27, 2021
Part One: A "Yes" is a Sacred "No"
Life has such a mysterious way of bringing us through the various twists and turns and make up the path. Of course, at the times of navigating new routes and choices that may alter the course of our life, our path may manifest in uncertain, shaky steps forward. Regardless, onward we are called. I feel this onward pull as a sort of invisible thread -- one that unravels the ball of yarn containing the mystery of life. It mysteriously connects our heart to everything and everyone, as it seems we are all on this path of discovery together, and we are in constant search of those companions, guides, and friends who have a little bit of experience to share with us, which can help us along the way. And the more we unravel our own ball of yarn, the more we can share, naturally, the results with others. It just happens. As we may have figured out by now, the only way this ball of mystery is unraveled is with patient, intentional, and curious steps forward, right into the abyss of the unknown; beyond the edge of the mind and one’s rational senses. The 'unknown' is what calls us, and here, in the Great Mystery, that we discover things which can be authentically shared.
It takes an open and attentive heart to listen to these calls. Sometimes (for me, oftentimes) we are straining ourselves in an effort to know the final destination. This strain obscures the whispering of the Cosmic Soul that guides us. I'll also add that it is important we become aware for when we are tuning out and making ourselves unavailable to the clear guidance coming from the Universe -- the signs and signals emerging from within all things. And anyone who has been on this journey of self-discovery can attest that we often discover, in the final moments that our path has "ended", where we arrive to the sought after destination, and we slip into that final feeling of completion, wholeness and remembrance -- the "remembering" that begins as a curious whisper and inspires us to begin searching in the first place -- we discover that this sought after place is merely a state of consciousness. The thing we are seeking in all of these healing journeys, our quests to "figure it out", our attempts to "know", is a remembrance of the part of us which is no longer seeking to figure out why, when, or for what.... and when this seeking ends, one can simply rest, as they are, witnessing the beauty of life, our life, the One life that is shared amongst us all, as a gift, pure and simple, in its entirety. When that moment of "finally arriving" sets in, all the sorrow, pain, and tribulation that we went through was merely each individual soul’s attempt to prepare us for our final resting place, which isn’t so much a physical destination as it is a state of consciousness. We arrive into a state of simply being. We come to the threshold of Wholeness, and we finally step through that door instead of turning away and returning to our restless seeking, our anguished search for ‘healing’, and the endless challenge of a life spent looking somewhere else other than within the very home of the Looker.
This process of 'seeking' is like an endless critique of art. It happens to all of us, I think. Instead of simply picking up our brush and starting over fresh on the blank canvas, we spend our time looking at what was created and wishing it would be better/different/ etc. This is me speaking from my own experience in the endless analysis of my own life. “Why this and not that?” “Why couldn’t/ didn’t that relationship work?” “Don’t they understand?!” “I wish they would just know better...” “If this situation was different, I would be in a better place....” blah blah blah. The mind goes and goes and goes. As it does this, we start to pray, naturally. We are (whether it be consciously or unconsciously) asking for answers, for guidance. And, when confronted with the answer to one’s prayers for guidance, for help, for something to take us out of this miserable cycle of rinse-and-repeat, our tendency is to disregard the message. Maybe I speak for myself, but I think it happens to the best of us. We are always receiving answers to our prayers -- but are we truly conscious of what we are praying about? Are we truly conscious of what answers we are seeking? And, furthermore, are we open to receiving the messages when they come? When the shooting star, or the lyrics of that song, or the way the birdsong spoke to you in the morning, or that one conversation with that random person seemed to hit something deep in one’s heart -- when all of these messages come flooding in, and we avoid them, the noise gets louder. Eventually the pressure rises and we just have to... go. Where? We don’t know. But something... something needs to change. We just don’t know what, nor do we often know how, or even why. And the golden thread attached to the heart that pull us slowly towards the edge of the abyss, right into the Great Unknown, begins to tug a little bit more sharply.
The signs and signals -- all too familiar to me by now in my path -- got louder and louder.
I’d been living in Costa Rica for about a year at this point, and had been settling nicely in the delightful mountain village of Chirripo. I was connected and building tribe with a beautiful community of healers, shamans, mystics, musicians and medicine folk. I was surrounded by epic nature; the river just steps from my house, a beautiful woman whom I’d fallen in love living next to me; and, honestly, life couldn’t have been more magical. But the lingering tugs at the soul strings wouldn’t go away. There was something over the horizon that was calling me, and in my routine, the twice daily meditation and yoga practices were amplifying the current. I couldn’t shake it. As much as I wanted - damnit, I really wanted - to stay put, to continue building community, to grow the tribe, to connect with my local brothers and sisters and continue to deepening in my blossoming relationship, when the heart calls on repeat and it is not answered, it starts to affect every area of your life. You start to live a life that is not in full alignment. You compromise your truth for the sake of whatever ideal conditions you are currently accepting. It can be very painful in my experience. We may be confronted with forks in the road which require separating from people, places, situations. Oftentimes the outcome is totally unknown, and we are exchanging the promise of a great life that we’ve projected far into the future for a completely mysterious journey. This behavior can be seen as erratic, disappointing, and even heartbreaking -- not only to ourselves, but sometimes to those around us. It makes it very very difficult to learn how to trust the unknown guidance for we know not where it comes nor where it will lead us, but we do know and feel the consequences. We know and feel the consequences both of not listening to this guidance, and of the aftermath of our choice to listen. Which choice do we make?
I chose Mexico. San José del Pacífico, to be exact. It was an invitation from two dear friends - a brother and sister whom I have had the honor of growing close to since my time in Costa Rica and my own healing journey with plant medicine. The angels spoke through them on one particular night after a ceremony that we all sat in together.
“Grant, you’re coming with us to Mexico.”
Part of me resisted. I was so settled and comfy in my new home on the mountain. I was already looking at land and dreaming up the retreat center I was planning on building. I was falling more and more in love with the woman of my dreams. My plans were solidifying and the fruit of my work and path was beginning to bare major fruit as I received more invitations to share music, offer sound magick and other blessings at various events and experiences around Costa Rica. I felt totally on purpose and aligned with my dharma as my heart opened wider and wider to the beauty of the Spirit. Music poured through my soul - not just through guitar and singing but through the harmony I felt within myself and between me and all my relations. I was living my best life, feeling very much like a King in the most humble of ways, and it was showing. My days were filled with dancing, song, prayer, ceremony, ritual, yoga and meditation practices, love-making, nature, and just a general celebration of life.
I hadn’t left the jungle in about a year. I had worn shoes a handful of times in that period. I had came in as a jungle boy, and now I was a mountain man. But that mountain man heard the call.
“We’re doing a mushroom retreat in San José del Pacífico and we want you to come play music.”
The rational part of me was weighing the pros and cons of this invitation, but I felt like the decision had already been made. My heart was opening and the “yes” in my body felt expansive. So I agreed. Most decisions on my path have been like this - the instinctual and intuitive moving far ahead and before the rational aspects of me.
Of course, after saying yes and for the next weeks leading up to departure I was battling with the decision. For some reason I knew it wasn’t just a trip to Mexico and back. I didn’t know why it felt bigger than it did, but my intuition was picking up on it....