Risking Everything

It is an interesting thing to be “letting it all hang out” here in a blog, chronicling the challenges of my life. As another blogger noted, it is a bit like saying “hey, wanna see my scar”? Sounds a bit narcissistic. I have struggled with this, but continue to write because it is a part of the process of becoming better, even healing.

As part of this exercise, I read the writings of others, many of them related to the same issue I am dealing with …. childhood trauma. I often find my voice in the words of others, and it comforts me in some strange way. Not unlike the ayahuasca community, I find that I am here amongst people wanting to heal. Surrounding myself with people that have the courage and desire and strength to do so is life-affirming, and I gain strength from their efforts.

My professional life is a hollow one. It is not fulfilling whatsoever. And until recently, I had not found the guts to step away. I hadn’t found the strength to leave, but I also couldn’t summon the courage to decide where I did belong.

Where, then do I belong? Where do I want to be?

I want to be alongside and amongst those that risk everything to be healthy. Everything.

They are the gutsy ones, the ones driven by a spirit within that knows that there is better. Despite their personal pain, or maybe because of it, they can sense that the universe has a rhythm that beats in the chests of all beings. To feel this beat is like coming home, and they are determined to complete the trek.

I slogged through the fog of life for years before I stumbled into an ayahuasca ceremony, and in doing so found for the very first time a place of revelation and honesty. I asked and the medicine responded in a language and tone that I understood. As I looked around the room I realized that those beside me were my brethren, my tribe: fellow travellers recalibrating their compasses towards the ever-present beat of the universe.

I have a “no compromise” principle driving me. I have become a zealot and I am headed for home. All good.


9 responses to “Risking Everything

  • feelingmywaybackintolife

    Ghegheghe…. FYI ‘the other blogger’ did note that about the scar thing but had people with 20 years of recovery of addiction in mind who start of with saying ‘Hey, I’ve got 20 years of continuous recovery under my belt’. That just makes me want to say ‘My father is a fire fighter!’ or worse. Yes, yes, I know, childish, and still… :-s. It was not about people ‘letting it all hang out’ in their blog and working on their healing. 😉

    Question: why would you look for people who risk everything to be healthy. What is so ‘attractive’ (lacking another word) about risking it all? As opposed to ‘looking for people who continuously and steadily work on healing’ e.g?

    xx, Feeling


    • photosentinel1953

      Continuous and steady is what I thought I was doing, basically for my entire adult life. But when the real stuff showed up, I found that it was an all or nothing thing. Anything provisional was actually trying to take a short cut, and there are none. So to be around people that display this understanding is fortifying. However, I have to add that my age (62) might be a factor as well. I just don’t want to go to my grave carrying this crap. Cleansed, right?


      • feelingmywaybackintolife

        Huhu, I think I understand now where you are coming from. Not wanting to die with what was is something which is important to me too. Before I ever did ayahuasca (I’ve only been to 5 ceremonies) I read the beginning of the Tibettan book of the death. I thought it would be a good preperation. It is all about dying and then going into the ‘inbetween’ (bardo) where one needs to choose the right road to being newly born. And on this road we meet all our projections…. Which is what I was scared of would happen during the ceremony. I know I have some nastyness in my past and I feared more would ‘pop up’ if I would unscrew the lid in a ceremony/let go of the control I thought I had.
        The ceremony started off with a lot of spinning and naussea and me thinking ‘I’ll never drink again’ which was about alcohol, not about the ayahuasca. 😉 Then my spirit arrived, gently, pointing out that I had ‘all these opinions, all these opinions…. there is no need….’ 🙂 That changed my visions a lot because before that I felt I was drowinging and grappling, hold on to whatever I saw. After that I could look at things passing by. The grappling was not specificially nice; naked men covered in blood raping and simultaneously beheading babies… hmmm 😦 I was exactly where I did not want to go and feared I would. The spirit was informing me about holding on to sadness, choosing to look at and imagine what is bad instead of choosing life, which is my biggest issue I think: putting sadness between me and the world. Giving up on loving before I try. 😦
        You might recognise the horrors land I walked in. I want to make sure that you are aware that I am not saying that I think it is your path to turn a blind eye to the this as I think it is my path. My path is to not imagine more than what is. What happened is that my imagination, my fear blew up my personal story into a horrorland and my ayahuasca told me that I did not need to walk into horrorland and that the way I walk the path of life continued to place me there (drinking and sleeping with the wrong people 😦 ). So now, after 4 or 5 years (?) I am still working on letting go, realising where I choose darkness over light, sadness over joy, hold on to pain while letting go might be easier. For me it is not easy, I feel like a caddis larvae which collects dirt to make a cocoon for its fragile body and now I need to get rid of the dirt, let go of the layers of hurt to find the real me. That is also part of my becoming clear and clean. And yes, I want to do that before I die. If anything from the Tibettan book is correct I don’t want to walk the dark path again. Which means I need to practise in life to walk in the light. 🙂
        I’m 45, so obviously I think I have till eternity. 😉 Not true, I have been aware of the possibility of dying since my 40st birthday. Getting out of my pattern of addiction to alcohol, well anything and to sadness is important to become clean and clear. 🙂 And happy! 🙂
        I love reading your posts. Thank you for that. 🙂 I wish you light and love on your path.
        xx, Feeling


      • photosentinel1953

        Really good stuff. I have read the Tibetan Book of Death and Living, but not the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Going to get a copy today. I am really grateful for your reply, specifically about choosing darkness over light or light over darkness. There is no doubt that I have chosen darkness largely because that is where I was raised. I didn’t even know I was doing that for many many years, but have come to realize otherwise. However, I have to relinquish some more “stuff”, which might sound like choosing darkness. But it is not. It is a choice to cleanse, as I have written here, and I trust my intuition that this is the correct way to go. Motivated by an earlier note from you, I lay motionless on my bed Sunday night with what is, and had another flashback, my third. My body was releasing more of the old energies from some very very nasty times. Imagine having a flashback, body shaking and trembling, and afterwards, smiling! All good, all good.

        Thanks for your blog as well.


        Liked by 1 person

      • feelingmywaybackintolife

        Wow Tom, that is powerfull, that you can just (if I may use the word just?) receive and let go. Wow.
        Yeah, we copy what we have been taught. I am struggling currently with finding my own place in the things that happened. Responsibility, guilt, wish to control, victimising, karma, I don’t know. I’m going to read more on your blog, see how you deal with this. 🙂
        I am happy that you are doing so well. Thank you for walking this road before me and showing the way.
        xx, Feeling


      • photosentinel1953

        Great conversation. Truly, ayahuasca has been the vehicle that taught me so much. I found that whenever the shit came flying at me in ceremony, even as it was so very difficult, it passed through me and left me cleaner than when I entered. Remarkably, there was no anger, no need for revenge, no weight. I was often left shocked at what I was shown, but always, always I was released. All of the ceremonies (47 in all) were valuable, but I found that I was bracing myself and resisting what Madre had to show me because I got to the point where I couldn’t stand the pain. Then it was time to step away for awhile. If you read my blog, you will be able to trace what I am talking about. Especially the blog titled “Intention Means Everything”.

        I am interested in what your response will be.

        This is fun. Take care.

        Liked by 1 person

      • feelingmywaybackintolife

        Intention is everything. 🙂 Yes! My x minutes meditation in the morning is to find out my intent and to adjust it a little if it is not constructive. 🙂
        So glad I met you online! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  • renovatio06

    “As I looked around the room I realized that those beside me were my brethren, my tribe: fellow travellers recalibrating their compasses towards the ever-present beat of the universe.

    I have a “no compromise” principle driving me. I have become a zealot and I am headed for home. All good.”

    Powerful! Kudos, fellow soujourner, nicely said, too! And I couldn’t possibly agree more! There really can’t – and probably shouldn’t – be a “compromise” to wanting to be healthy. After all, it should be everyone’s birth-right, right? (On a side note: In my own quest, I’m beginning to realize how far off most of humanity still is in regards to that birth right. “Press on, we must”… in a manner of saying it … 😉 ) Glad, you stopped by and glad I found your “digital hangout”, here)


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