Yoga???…is life…♡

…the Naked Barista                                                                February/March 2019

Long overdue…this article…as I believe that I write to inspire…more often myself than others…

We are all on a journey, whether we know it/believe it or not…

I have been doing yoga since the age of 38.  I am now 51…and no, I still cannot pretzel…and after all these years, I am still trying ‘to flow graciously into a good peacock pose’.

This is just it…we have so many expectations from ourselves. The spells of expectations we weave around ourselves and then get depressed as we believe that we, (or our circumstances) are not living up to it…we get sick…in our bodies…then we try and cure our bodily ailments, when it is our minds that we need to start with.

I have however, learned how to stand on my head for quite some time – not only a good party trick, but seriously helping me to see situations better from a different ‘point of view’.

When I started yoga and why I started is quite the story…

My husband and I were very involved in church at that point and this ever since we went to live in Sedgefield, which was the year 1996.  We were actually facilitating self improvement courses within our church…mostly because we were the ones in need of these courses.

And, no,…these courses definitely did not encourage me to start with yoga, in fact, because of its Christian based content, it spoke 100% against it.

At that point, I was struggling very much with my health and were in fact told by more than one doctor that I needed an operation – again – to remove painful growths.

Since the age of 19, I have had confirmation of these growths around the area of my womb.  At age 19, I was admitted to hospital with severe pain and a sonar confirmed a tiny growth.  I must admit that at that time I was too scared to have an operation and after some hospital time and pain medication, signed myself out of the hospital.

After that episode, over the years, I suffered with pain more often than not, but relied on self medication.  It really did not help that I have always been very cautious of  trusting doctors opinions.

I have observed that most of the human race are a lot like sheep when it comes to medicine and being diagnosed by a doctor.  The reason for this is how we are raised in this belief that the doctor is always right and we are not taught to think for ourselves.  Our education for most of us, is to follow and not to think.

Yes, off course there are good doctors, but there are definitely more not so good doctors and over the years I have seen a few.

For me, it is still not a normal concept to put a knife to our sacred bodies.  Don’t get me wrong…sometimes it is definitely necessary, but I have come to believe that more often than not our ailments comes from our lifestyles, our beliefs and what we tell ourselves.

Medicine is a huge industry (a business therefore and a very profitable one at that and doctors are human enough to find opportunities to capitalize from this).  In saying this, doctors are not really to blame, if we buy into this very profitable business.  No, we are ultimately the only ones to blame if we just ‘accept a diagnose of a disease’.

I have a recording on my phone made 8 July 2015 – a conversation/contract with myself which states:

“I promise to accept myself, I am going to recognize my own needs, define what is most important and have gratitude for my health and all that is good in my life.  I am going to live more in the present.  I am letting go of my feelings of guilt when I am resting and learn to rest even more.  I do not want to live against myself, but in harmony and peace with myself.  To do this I have to find that which makes me happy and do more of this to gain my happiness. 

Even after that promise to myself nearly five years ago, I am still striving to keep up with it…and I believe this is why the lesson circled again and whispered even louder…

So… now, I firmly believe that we should accept responsibility for ourselves…as I decided to do when I became really ill a year later, in 2016. (hit on the blue link to read more of my illness)

For me it was a wake-up call just as dis-ease is supposed to be.  The word dis-ease really describes being sick…dis ease…meaning we are not at ease.

This is where yoga comes into play… mind, body and soul needs to be in harmony.

Also I have made it my mission in life to get well and be well…but first we have to get to a point where we believe that this is even possible.  Whatever we choose to believe, becomes true for us. This sounds really easy, but, believe me, it will be the most difficult part of your journey to a healthy and happy life.

As I have mentioned, we have not been taught to think for ourselves and to believe that we are the architect of our own lives.

We absolutely create our own reality.  These are definitely not school subjects and I believe this is the direct cause of lives spinning out of control.  We are taught what to become to make money (which is after all only a tool), but we are not taught how to apply/use this ‘tool’ with gratitude. 

I believe that gratitude begets more gratitude, which applied means that being grateful for money or rather what it can do for us will beget more money or what it can buy.  It is as simple as that.

One of my best inspirations in this quest, is the teachings of Louise Hay.

I recently watched her movie and it is well worth watching…

Louise Hay brainwashed herself when she decided that she needed change in her life.  She did this with affirmations.  One of my favorites is:

“I lovingly forgive and release everything in my past. I choose to fill my life with joy…I love and accept myself.”

Whatever we believe, we can achieve…

After many a lesson with teachers like Louise Hay, Oprah, Helen Keller (a blind woman) and other extra-ordinaries, I have come to the conclusion that so many years ago, I was led to yoga…

Why?

Lets begin right at the beginning…examining my entering into this world…

I was born with asthma.  When I came along, my Mother did not want children anymore as she had many a miscarriage before having me.  She had also carried to term and birthed a baby boy who sadly died after living for a day.  One can only imagine that nobody would want to chance going through such a sad loss again…

…but…

…alas, there I was…asthma and all…

I have researched and believe that my asthma actually stems from the fact that I knew even as a fetus in the womb that I was unwanted.

My lungs frequently left me in a bind from day one as research shows that children with asthma experience daily emotional roller coasters in their home environment…

…for me this makes a whole lot of sense only now looking back…as my Mom definitely did not want a baby anymore and that made my Dad my primal caregiver… which would not have been that bad, save for the fact that my Dad were an alcoholic.

…and the penny drops…

Research have found that children with asthma who blamed themselves for family disturbances were at increased risk of asthma attacks…and believe me, we had some ‘disturbances’.  I had asthma nearly every day and mostly at night.  My parents had their hands full as they raced me to the Rooikruis Childrens Hospital more often than not.

Research have also shown that it is not simply conflict or arguments that trigger attacks, but rather an “over-reaction, self-blaming” response in the child that can increase risk.

I am an only child…luckily, but this only made me feel more isolated and even more aware of the feeling that I were to blame for our dysfunctional family.

Louise Hay explains that the emotional cause of asthma is suppressed crying or feeling stifled…

Superblessed am I to have ‘journeyed’ through and past all of that…and now…with so much gratitude.

So…getting back to the topic…

…yoga and what it means to me…

When I went to my first class at age 38, I seriously went with the fear of Godthis because of the Christian courses that we facilitated which warned 100% against such practice.

I remember sitting on the mat and praying that if I were doing something wrong, the good lord would give me a sign and I would just as soon get up and leave.

I also clearly remember the fact that I did not want to go for an operation...again...and somewhere I had heard that yoga were a good practice for the healing of self…

Needless to say…I am so happy I stayed and after all these years I am filled with gratitude as I am healthy without having needed another operation and fully capable of breathing…yes…no asthma.

Yoga benefits the mind, body and spirit. Yoga will help tone your body but while it’s doing that, it also helps you to be truly in the present moment and infuses your spirit and mind with positive energy.

According to prevalent data, walking for 1 hour burns around 242 calories. One hour of power yoga on the other hand burns 340 calories.

Undoubtedly, yoga is a better option than walking when it comes to weight management and diabetes control. … Scientific data reveals that yoga is a better mood elevator than walking.  (I have been a serious speed walker over the years and it is absolutely awesome too.)

If you love to gym, just add a yoga class after.  This will stretch the muscles that have just worked, which lessens worked muscle pain. Best to do the body building part first, as body building will help build the muscles to hold your postures even better in yoga!

The very best time to practice yoga is first thing in the morning before breakfast. Upon waking, empty the bowels, then commence the day with your regime of yoga practices. The second most conducive time is early evening, around sunset.

Yoga builds muscle strength. Strong muscles do more than look good. They also protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain, and help prevent falls in elderly people. And when you build strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility.

Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia.

The researchers found that yoga outperformed aerobic exercise at improving balance, flexibility, strength, pain levels among seniors, menopausal symptoms, daily energy level, and social and occupation functioning, among other health parameters. Yoga most definitely does more than calm you down and make you flexible.

Workout fads come and go, but virtually no other exercise program is as enduring as yoga. It’s been around for more than 5,000 years. Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It’s a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation.

“Regular yoga practice can influence weight loss, but not in the “traditional” sense of how we link physical activity to weight loss. … Many yoga practices burn fewer calories than traditional exercise (e.g., jogging, brisk walking); however, yoga can increase one’s mindfulness and the way one relates to their body.

You don’t have to practice Hot Yoga or be able to bend double in a yoga pose to lose weight. An everyday gentle yoga practice will fuel the metabolic system and will help burn fat, leading to weight loss. Daily yoga can also help restore the hormonal balance in your body, which can normalize your body weight.

Yoga postures, or asanas, work muscles in two ways. … The muscles doing the work get stronger by moving through a range of motion while supporting the weight of the body. Other poses, such as trikonasana — triangle pose — strengthen muscles by engaging them for balance and support.

With all these advantages, I would love to inspire you to give yoga a chance at any age and see what I am on about as with Yoga:

I have learned to breathe down to my core.  What a pleasure after all my challenges with asthma and my other health issues.

My ‘mat’ time is ‘my’ time.  Specially when we are on the road, it is so easy to access any program or class that suit you on ‘youtube’.

There is a false belief that if we enter into yoga practice, we will accept a different religion.  After all these years, I can safely vouch that this is total ‘hogwash’.  I have done a full variety of yoga practices over the years and I have not converted into a religion.  Some words are different, but the meaning it conveys is absolutely beautiful, but only if we take the time to find out, before again just buying into a belief.

Namaste for me is one of the most honorable greetings and humbly means: “I bow to the divine in you” or “the sacred in me recognizes the sacred in you”.

We do travel a lot, but when I am home, I am superblessed to have the best Yoga teacher.  Not only is Katja, at Pure Yoga, the best teacher I have ever had with the most beautiful studio in Sedgefield, but I am privileged to now have her as my daughter as well as she recently married my son, Juan.

…Superblessed with Yoga for life…

…I love my life…

Stoffberg/Tonteldoos and more… – Part 2

The Naked Barista                                                             14 January 2019

We were driving as usual heavily packed to the brim with workmen and trailer. Gratitude once again to be on the road and gratitude for a great vehicle – not only our wheels – but a vehicle for success – an income generated travelling job.

We were well on our way as we needed to stop in Bloemfontein during business hours for B to purchase some tools at Adendorffs.  As it were, our estimated time of arrival that night in Stoffberg were only at ten.  I booked a room for our workmen as well at Die Pers Kombers to make life easier for B.

We have once again accommodation with Rykie (+2782 3383507) on their farm.

In Part 1 I shared about the recent fires on our farm.  This time, it was absolutely fabulous to see – as we went over the Outeniqua pass – how the color green has once again taken over. This view makes for an interesting contrast of black sticks where trees once stood, combined with fresh new greens emerging.

It was still early as we headed out towards Stoffberg.

The clouds and mist still covered the mountains, as the sun tried it’s utmost best to peek through…creating for us a lovely show. Gratitude  for such magnificent eye candy.

Around seven we saw an amazing sunset…amazing as we were driving away from the sunset into a heavy downpour of rain. So the colors ranging from deep grey were growing rapidly darker in front to pink hues disappearing ever so slowly at the back…

It has been a whirlwind December/January and B mentioned that it felt like we were going on holiday rather than off to work.

We left our farm with some friends still visiting and they will stay there for a while. Joe, our friend of many years and Nadine his girlfriend are still relaxing in the tranquility of Lochloerie (farm). Joe works in Lesotho now and it was such a pleasure having a few braais together again.

Adriaan and Blom is also still on the farm. They have been away for three years teaching English in Thailand and Vietnam. We had some really good times before we left.

The busy December started right after I came back from Cape Town.

Yes… we have a brand new handsome grandson, Maddox and I am so proud of my daughter Maryna who handled this new blessing with so much courage and finesse. We are superblessed with such a lovely family.

 

Maddox’s daddy, Rico is such a proud father and it has been so amazing for me to be a part of their journey. He is also a good Dad to Alexia.  (Her daddy died of cancer when she was two)

Alexia…of course is simply over the moon with excitement and I have seen this look before…many years ago when my daughter held my son when he was born. Such a proud big sister.

I landed in Cape Town on the 25th of November and had two amazing weeks with my daughter and her family. What an absolute blessing to have had this spending time together.

Maryna has been through a very tough time and I have so much gratitude for just being available.

It was also a busy time having to take Alexia to school…hair, teeth and lunches… and then up and down in the Cape Town traffic to hospital, just to start all over the next day with more of the same.

 

 

 

 

Superblessed to have been to Alexia’s first ever school concert. Being entertained by my first grandchild while holding my second grandchild…so much gratitude.

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Absolutely loved having a few hours for myself on the last Sunday in Cape Town and spending this valuable time with our friend of many years, Coenie.  He spoiled me as always…taking me to some wine farms nearby…

Durbanville Hills were obviously on the list and we had so much fun.

 

Back at home we got packing for Vortex.

This has been our annual festival since 2012. Every year we have our same camping spot.

This year has seen many changes as most of our friends who usually join us, could not be there. Our camp was filled with only a few old friends, but more new friends and it was an amazing feeling to be part of Vortex once again.

After Vortex a few of us decided to spend some more time together by visiting Caledon Spa. This was exciting for me, as I have always wanted to visit Caledon Spa.  Needless to say, we had an awesome time spend together.

 

We told our granddaughter, Alexia, that we would go and fetch her in Cape Town as it was school holidays. Our daughter, Maryna could do with some alone time with her newborn, Maddox.

We decided to fetch Alexia the next day, but we arranged first for another night at the Caledon Spa. Then only did we drive through to Cape Town. B got to meet his grandson, Maddox,  for the first time.

That afternoon we hurried back to the Spa and needless to say Alexia had the best time. We are so grateful to be able to spend time with our granddaughter.

(photos of before and after)

The next day we drove to our farm in Hoekwil/Wilderness where Alexia had even more fun as Reinhardt and Nadine  were already set up for camping.

We got busy organizing a New Years party on our farm. As there were not much time left, we really had to work hard to get this organised. Our plans changed dramatically, because of the fires. We were going to have the party in the Bluegum forest, but as it were still in ashes and very smelly with smoke, we decided to have it closer to the river. This worked out extremely well. For me it was even better as Maryna and her family could be a part of the festivities. Little Maddox could be well looked after as well. We took turns and we had the most amazing time spend with our children, as well as our grandchildren.


Alexia had the best time on the farm. She is all of four and very strong willed.

Before the festivities could begin, we had weeks of working at building showers and toilets as well as making fire pits where we could cook food to feed around a hundred mouths.


Luckily we had a very good workforce, but maybe not this one in the pic. One of our partners, Reinhard and his family were there to help. Our friends, Willem and Ben were also helping as well as Malcolm (one of our Djs).

They were all camping on the farm way before the party. As we were working, day by day more helpers as well as campers (party goers) arrived.

It was absolutely amazing to be a part of our first New Years on the farm. After such a horrific experience with the fires, this was all such an overwhelming contrast. It felt as if balance to our lives were slowly being restored.

I feel that this farm has been healing in so many ways and especially to me.

David, our friend (and now also a farm partner) who always decorates our camps when we are at festivals, were once again a master at decorating for us. He thought about everything and were running around in the shops, even buying storage bins with lids for our toilet rolls in our open air toilets.

After all the rush to ready ourselves for the party…this is what happened on New Years…

 


I am still getting goosebumps as I am writing this. New Years eve, I stood on the dance floor and soaked in the glorious beauty surrounding me.

By this, I do not mean just the decor or the natural beauty of nature…the indigenous trees surrounding us…the stunning dream catchers,

made by Katja…the tranquility of our river running past…no…it was all of that and so much more…more because we could share all of this with our handpicked friends…the most beautiful souls we share our life with…

This was the epitome of happiness.

Most definitely my best New Year of my life until now and here is wishing for an even happier 2020.

 


We are superblessed to be planning the next exciting gathering on our stunning farm, Lochloerie in March. Our son, Juan and his fiance, Katja, is having their wedding ceremony.

I would like to thank all our friends who volunteered to help with our New Years party as well as all our party goers. Gratitude for such amazing friends. Gratitude for all our gifts…even home made cookies…delicious. Thank you very much beautiful Rhodi-Anne.

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The weather changes very quickly in Stoffberg. One day it was extremely hot, but by midday a very loud crack of thunder could be heard and then a huge downpour of rain fell from the sky which turned immediately to an ominous dark grey. All of a sudden hail rained down. The lightning also took out the electricity. It felt strange to have four seasons in a day.

That evening Rykie told me that the weather were so bad the previous week that the farmers suffered…crops were destroyed as well as roofs of homes.

We are quite used to not having electricity on our own farm, so we were totally prepared with our own headlamp and torch.

Thankful to be able to get back into my morning yoga sessions. So grateful to have time to gift to myself. Such an important message to take time for oneself. I even sneak a ten minute meditation in after. For me it is so much easier to get on my yoga mat in the morning before I talk myself out of it. Afterwards I cannot believe why I would want to talk myself out of feeling so good. Even B is back on the mat and feeling so much better for it.

One day after B took the workmen to site, I went with him to inspect another site near Nebo.


Interesting to see the economy blossoming, with little businesses popping up en route between somewhere and nowhere.

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On a weekend, our friend Jannelie had a 40th birthday party and we drove more than three hours to get to Koedoeskop where it was held on one of their beautiful family farms.

We partied under the most stunning trees and danced on a carpet of lush green grass…

So many of our friends were with, some all the way from Cape Town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The band also came all the way from Cape Town and is called Willem Welsyn. So much fun to meet them and become acquainted.

The weather all through the weekend were stunning and that evening most of us could not resist sleeping under this enchanted canopy of lush green trees.

Earlier Dean, who lives on this beautiful land, drove us up in his vehicle to show us the view from the ‘koppie’.  We could hear the band perfectly from up there and we had a lot of fun…


Back at Stoffberg, we had to check out from Die Pers Kombers  for the next weekend as they had a previous booking for a wedding.

We booked in at The Lighthouse and were very well received by Kobus and Mellinda Botha.  Inside the beautiful cottage scented with fresh flowers, were a personalised welcoming note.

 

The cottage overlooks a most stunning dam and to add to the serenity, horses were grazing and sheep were being herded into camp as we arrived.

All of this and situated in the loveliest garden.  Complete, with cats and dogs making us feel right at home.

 

B had to be on site as I nestled in as the sun were setting…

walking in the garden and getting a few lovely pics.

 

I can definitely recommend staying here and as a bonus, we received a lovely breakfast on the ‘stoep’ the next morning.  After breakfast, we had a tough time leaving as we got to talking with the lovely owners.  As they have had the farm for more than 23 years, everything were neatly in its place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our next stop not too far from there were a little town, (actually  smaller than a town and called a little hamlet) Tonteldoos.  As we found out that a village were supposed to have shops and Tonteldoos has a pub, a tiny shop, a restaurant and The Barn which boasts some books, plants and antiques.  The closest town is Dullstroom some 20 km away.

A storm were expected and we booked The Silver Kudu…a little church which over time were converted into accommodation.  This stone building were perfect for the stormy weather and we were ready armed with all the necessary.

Donkeys welcomed us and surrounded our accommodation over the course of the weekend.

 

 

 

We had such a relaxing time even standing on the biggest rock watching as the storm rolled in.  What a sight to behold as we could see and feel the stormy weather rolling down the mountains towards us until it was so close that we just had to run indoors.  Magazines kept us busy as we chilled under a blanket with a glass of red wine.  It was just perfect…

Sunday we ventured into the town of Tonteldoos for lunch, but we were a little late as everything closed around two.  Luckily, we always have some provisions and I could whip up a quick pasta with red wine.

But first we visited The Barn where the Botha family raised ten children.  We were told that there were some graves on the farm as well, even some dating from the Boereoorlog.

 

The owner told me that her folks bought the farm around forty years ago.  We also had the pleasure of meeting her eldest brother, John.

Tonteldoos has its own registry of births and a published book about the history of Tonteldoos also exists.

While we were visiting The Barn, our friend, Johan, who has a farm close by, also popped in for a quick coffee.  We visited Johan and Karen the previous week and they were the ones who told us about The Silver Kudu and Tonteldoos.

Tonteldoos is known for Arum lilies growing in abundance, especially the yellow one as in the pic.

Superblessed as Tonteldoos were for us such an awesome experience,

more in Part 3…

 

SWEAT!!! WHAT???


1 December 2017

It was a week before my 50th birthday on the 24th of July that this sweat lodge experience came to me.

I am always joking about my birthdate 24/7… because, this is exactly like I used to work…

March 2016 I became very sick and needed to get to grips with it. (read more about sickness clicking on the blue sick)

So, on my healing conquest I became more aware of how emotional and physical health are linked. This made so much sense after not dealing with challenges for a long time. By not dealing with emotional challenges, it will manifest into sickness.

The fact that I would be 50 and have hormones out of whack, also encouraged the disease of course.

After so much time has passed, I now believe firmly that being sick guided me to get to the root of the challenges…

So…on such a note, speaking of this guidance, brings me to Pachamama retreat.

It was Saturday the 8th of July on my Mother in law’s birthday. My son Juan, his girlfriend Katja and I were celebrating with Mom for her birthday with a breakfast at our world famous Saturday Market.

A friend of Juan and Katja, Chris, walked by and we were introduced.  He proceeded to tell us about the Sweat lodge happening the next day. I have always been intriqued with the idea of doing something like this, but have never before felt such an urgency to participate as I did then.  I do believe this was the moment I made my mind up to do it…

Katja and Juan also felt like going the next day and it was settled.

As it turned out, it started to rain lightly in the night which was truly a blessing as this was the first rain after the terrible raging fires in Knysna and surrounds.

The next day found me enjoying lying in bed as it was cold and raining.

Everyone cancelled the trip as it was an apparent 35 minute drive into the forest to get to Pachamama. This does not sound too far, but my vehicle to travel there was a tiny Chevy Spark, left to us by my Mother who died December. Also I have never been there and did not have the faintest idea how to get there.

So, I stayed in bed enjoying watching the light misty rain fall and toying with the abandonement of an idea to get up and go SWEAT…

Once again, I felt an inexplicable urge to do the sweat and made the decision to get up and go.

I had to visit the petrol station before such a drive, as the Chevy these days wanted more oil (5th litre for the week) than petrol. At the petrol station, Petrus, who have been working there since I can remember, was surprised to find me at the wheel. He only found out then that my Mother had died in December.

I do believe that the way in which my Mom died had a huge impact on me and probably this had to do with the urge I felt of going to the sweat.

In her last days, my Mother’s body was in an unceasing spasm. She could not move and had to be turned every two hours. She also had to be changed regularly as she had to wear nappies.

I was blessed to find space with The Living Cornerstone just around the corner from me, a 24 hour care facility. We were super blessed that this state of being lasted only three weeks before she left us. If you knew my Mom, you would know that she was very independent. She would not have wanted this state of being one bit. I was thankful for those last three weeks as I am an only child and we did not have the best relationship. It was healing to be at her side for most of the time.

Here I want to add that just last night, I found the note that came with two handkerchiefs gifted to me, during this time by my Mom’s side. It was gifted by Annemarie and Johan. These are the parents of our friends, Fanie, Christo and Joe Moller. We can always be sure of parental guidance from these two wise humans as they love reading and researching and thus share a wealth of knowledge. I am filled with gratitude to have them on our life journey.

As I believe that I was in perfect flow, the message for directions from Chris came through on my phone…at least now I knew kinda where I had to go.

It was an adventurous drive for sure, driving into the forrest passing farms with cows grazing in the fields. Just that morning, I saw a video about cows and it felt as if everything happening was connecting dots on my journey. At one point I stopped next to the cows and walked over to the fence, locking eyes with them. It was an awesome feeling of connectivity…

It felt as if I was in a foreign country going to a sweat lodge, but here it was offered to me right in my backyard, so to speak…

…superblessed indeed…

Onwards I drove and got there just on time.

There was no time for me to change as it started raining. I stripped down to my lingerie in a dorm and luckily had my scarf to cover up with until we were inside the darkness of the very low hut.  Nothing mattered at all as I felt as if I was absolutely at the right place and at the right time.

We walked pass a fire filled with big glaring red stones which were obviously readied for us for a while.

The hut was small and we had to crawl in through a tiny opening. I counted nine people. We were told to sit in a circle and settled in.

Then the fire glaring red stones were brought and carefully placed in the middle of our circle. As each stone were brought in, a chant was heard …”Welcome Grandmother”…and this chant continued after every fiery hot stone…”Welcome Grandmother”

Nixiwaka said that he wanted nine stones, but only seven were able to fit the small firespace and then…the flap of the hut were closed and we sat in pitch darkness with only the glaring of the fire…water was added and a lot of steam were forming in the small space…

It was the strangest feeling and totally out of my comfort zone as I am claustrophobic.

But alas, it was not my own urgent voice which rang out; it was two of the men that pleaded to leave the hut immediately.

They were told that if they left, they would not be able to join in again. This made my decision clear to suck it up and stick it out.

I have come this far with the adventure…and again I felt an overwhelming sense of being at the right place at the right time.  I had to smile nervously, as I sensed a confirmation because of the two people leaving, as now we were seven and seven has always been a profound number for me. Not only is it widely considered to be the perfect number, but my first relationship as a teenager lasted until it’s seventh year, my first marriage lasted seven years, my first business…yes, seven years when I sold it…my second business exactly the same…

Now I fully believed that I was at the right place…at the right time…

Nixiwaka started a guided meditation with his melodious voice… chackra number one (red) was confronted, cleansed, cleared of any bad energy, surrounding it in soft healing light and then only moving on to the next chackra.

This felt so amazing and I could feel my body and mind responding well…the next chackra (orange) was addressed and lovingly cleansed and healed… all the while the water was poured on the stones…and steam was enveloping us…

I was sweating profusely by this time, but it did not matter at all…I felt giddy with expectation…

Chackra number three (yellow) was up and here was a different story. This is the chackra that has to do with nurturing…
…while writing this article, I figured out that this is probably why I love giving foot treatments… while nurturing others, I am giving out what I most need…

I wrote a book and published it in 2010 – Bury the Past, Unlock the future. I thought that I have dealt with all my issues relating to nurturing.

My Dad was an alcoholic when I was born and because of this I had a very angry Mom. My Mom had also had a few miscarriages before me as well as carrying a baby boy full term who died when he was born and this was two years prior to myself.  So as can be expected…a lot of hurt and anger. To add drama to chaos, I was born with asthma and remained a daily asthmatic until my late teenage years when I “outgrew” it.  So just imagine how much trouble I was to try and keep alive…

Well, clearly chackra no three was communicating to me that it was still out of whack as I started hyperventilating.  I have been battling with panic attacks on a regular basis for the last year and I knew exactly how it felt when it was revealing itself…and it was definitely revealing itself…

I started feeling pins and needles on the sides of my hands…I tried to take big gulps of air and was relieved that it was so dark that no one could see me.  The pins and needles started spreading and my hands began to spasm.  I took some more air and tried to calm my mind, but when the pins and needles reached my face, I knew I had to get out… or I would probably land face down onto the glaring Grandmother stones.

I had calming pills prescribed by my doctor in my bag which was in the car and it worked with immediate effect if I could only get to it fast enough…

Everyone was in deep meditation and a young lady was sitting entranced next to me.  I felt so awful to bother her, but I had to get out as I was seeing grey and knew that I was about to faint.

I motioned that I wanted to get out, but she reprimanded me to stay for awhile longer.  I think I conveyed to her in some more urgent tones as she gave me a little space to meander around her…then I still had to get pass Nixiwaka, our most peaceful guide…

He must have sensed how urgent it was as he opened the flap for me, but as I passed him, he whispered that I would be welcomed back when they open the flap for some more stones, which will happen another three times.

Crawling to get outside, I stood up in a downpour of rain with my bare feet sinking into thick mud.

What now?…

…my car was about a kilometre away, but my carkeys were in the dorm about a kilometre in the opposite direction…and I was contorted in spasm and in no condition to walk anywhere by this time…

This was the point when I knew with certainty that there was nothing I could do and no one to help me… I simply had to let go…

I saw a bench next to the dam and somehow made my way there…

I stumbled onto it and let my head fall back. The downpour of rain felt very cool and cleansing.

My face and mouth were totally scew by now (it looks like you are having a stroke) and I began embracing the fact that I would die here…

It felt as if I could just drink more and more of the pure life-giving water, the more I let go and let the rainwater run into my mouth.  It felt as if the pins and needles and even my sore right kidney were being flushed.

The rain poured over me and I kept drinking, feeling strangely soothed.

I started thinking about my life and a feeling of complete and utter calm began spreading through my body.  It dawned on me that we all knew that we are going to die one day;  in fact this is the only certainty of our life.

I also thought about the recent raging fires and the people who died horrifically in those fires and all the others who lost everything.  This was the first downpour of rain after the raging fires and I felt somehow refreshed and as if all my aches and pains were being exorcised…even my sore neck felt better.

Feeling more calmness and absolutely superblessed with my peaceful setting, I prayed then, giving gratitude for the perfectly serene space and beauty all around for my last breath.

I was extremely grateful that I ended up going alone as I would not have wanted my loved ones to see me like this.

In my prayers, I expressed gratitude for each of my loved ones, my husband, my children and all my amazing friends…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and the most awesome experiences I have had during my lifetime.

Gratitude for having been at the hospital to meet my most beautiful granddaughter, Alexia when she was born…I remember first standing behind the glass window and watching her proud Dad with his newborn. Then he came to us and handed her over to me. As I looked at her, she tried her best to focus and look into my eyes and I could not have imagined that it would happen, but it did…our eyes locked for just a brief encounter, but an eternity…

Yes, I have surely lived a rewarding life!

 

Feeling absolutely relaxed now with feelings of utmost peace, I heard something and when I turned my head, I saw the flap of the hut opening and more stones being fetched.

I realized then that I was actually able to get up and making my way slowly through the mud once again I felt determined to go back in…

Inside I went to sit on the opposite side where the two men that left had sit for more breathing space.

Again the glaring red stones were welcomed as grandmothers and this is when it dawned on me that I too, was a grandmother…

I felt honoured by this realization, as if I was meant to feel welcome and then the flap closed again.

Again the water were poured on the glaring stones…again I started hyperventilating…

…but this time I was determined to stay as now I knew for a fact that I would live to tell this tale. (And this is exactly why I decided to share.)

I was here for a reason, to clear the imbalances which had my Mom in a paralised spasm when she died…and myselfas I was in a spasm and ready to go just now.

Not only was my Mom caught up in this spasm state, but she kept asking me for her daughter.  I tried to comfort her by staying with her and reminding her that I was her only child (as far as I know), but she just said, ‘not you, my other daughter’…

Yes, my nurtering chackra was definitely out of whack…and this I probably handed down through my cell memory to my children and onto my granddaughter.

I was here to do everything possible to stop this downward spiral. To give the gift of forgiveness…This was my quest…I was here to let go for me and my loved ones…

I would be eternally grateful to know for sure that my children never have to wonder if they were good enough for me…I have the most beautiful children and I would be superblessed to get to a point where I know that they definitely know this…that they would know that I love them unconditionally, they do not need to prove themselves, they have already proved themselves by showing up in my life…by bringing me to this point of knowing…and doing…

There were a bottle of water being sent around with the utmost reverance and gratitude and now, (because of the experience on the bench), I could better sense just how important life giving water is and how easy it becomes for us to take it for granted.  Not only water, but how often do we just gulp down our food because we are in a hurry and then we wonder where all our health problems stems from.

When last have you enjoyed the actual taste of a banana or avocado or name it…how do we taste better?

By using all our senses…
seeing – (wanting it because it looks good),
taking it (touch) and then smelling the flavours first and having our brain help by thinking (enticing) how it should taste.  This is conscious/mindful eating and I definitely want to do more of it from now on…which brings us back to gratitude once again.

After these mind blowing revelations, it became tough for me to breathe again and as it was dark and I had so much space around me, I laid down on my tummy.

There was a glimmer of light coming through the bottom of the hut and I put my nose closer for some more oxygen. This actually helped a lot and I could listen once again to the melodious voice of  Nixiwaka.

He proceeded to tell a story which I am not going to share details of, but it was exactly what I needed to hear.  As he told it, I felt my sore kidney being warmed by the fireside.  It also felt like little droplets of water was being sprinkled on it.  I felt completely at ease with being there prostate on the ground.

My message for the longest time and also the strongest to come through at the SWEAT, is to be more still and present.  I have always been a doer (always working or doing something to feel validated).  I had a tough time to relax.

This again, yes, stems from my Mother, as I always had to perform to perfection, to make her happy. I am not saying this as a judgement, but it is just what it is…took me a long time to figure this out as well.  We can use abusive behaviour as an excuse or an opportunity…

When the flap was opened again, I sat upright and ready to receive some more profound messages…which I did…and completed the sweat!

Afterwards I had a shower and we shared a meal together in Nixiwaka’s home.  His son, Adam, were there and I surprised him by knowing his name, before he could say it. (I read up on Pachamama the day before and he was on the website.) Even the cats welcomed me while I ate mindfully.

I had to rush home as it was late afternoon and getting dark fast. With the downfall of rain it was no easy road for the Chevy.

Instead of turning right, I turned left and when I suspected I was on the wrong road, it luckily became too narrow for me to continue driving.  I immediately turned around and hightailed out of there.  It was getting dark super fast and I was still in the forest.

I whizzed past the cows who strangely enough came to the fence when they saw me coming as if they wanted to enhance our earlier experience.

Unfortunately I was in too much of a hurry to get home at this stage. It was cold, wet and dark by now and on I speeded.

Coming around a bend, I saw a huge white horse in the road. I am a card reader and this means huge opportunity…

Upon arriving home safely, drenched as it was raining hard, I made myself not just a cup, but a pot of chamomile and rooibos tea with honey and even took the cinamon spice bottle with as I went up to my room for some ‘well deserved’ relaxation. Even the way this sentence was written, is new to me as it took me a long time to feel like I ‘deserve’ if I did not put in hard work first… I proceeded to spoil myself even more with a candle lit bubble bath to feel absolutely unconditionally superblessed.

I basked in this newfound insight.

It was truly an amazing experience which I felt I could not fully comprehend, so I decided to immediately record my feelings so as to make sense of it all. (and now I am able to write about it)

I shall embrace anything that comes…

In the week after the sweat, my son gifted me a Dorn therapy session with Lisa, which confirmed everything that I found out at the sweat and could be even more released.

…superblessed with gratitude…