Giving up on stability has made me more stable.

Reflecting back on 2018… Giving up on stability has made me more stable.

It was such an experience, such a ride. It was all about exploring.

It started with giving up my “stability”. Finally (after 5 years!), I quit the pharmacy, I gave up the struggle of holding on to something that doesn’t resonate with me.

In February, Wendy and I travelled to Peru. I have an interest in shamanism and medicinal spirit plants. The jungle was calling me. We arrived in Cusco, but didn’t really find what we were looking for. Next we took a flight to Pucallpa and went to a medicinal plant center in the jungle (centro Mayantuyacu with maestro Juan Flores). We travelled deep into the wild. It’s in the jungle, where we had plant ceremonies with the Shipibo shamans. They sing a typical song to guide you, called icaros or “healing songs”. (The Shipibo are one of the indigenous tribes living around the Ucayali river in Peru). These icaros penetrate so deep, in every cell of my body.

There was one ceremony where I went through a deep feeling of fear. I tried to suppress it. The result: my fear only became bigger. I could only see and feel fear. The next day I was afraid of going back. I didn’t want to experience that feeling again. But I decided to be brave and when the fear came up this time, something shifted. I focused on my breathing and let this feeling of fear flow through me, without judgement. I realised that fear is just a feeling, just as happiness is a feeling. By breathing and allowing, surrendering to it… Fear turned into bliss… in a state of neutrality.

I went to Peru because I wanted to know how and why the plants work. I came back, my question was not answered, but they do work in a mysterious way and it has a reason why it is called the vine of the soul. The spirit plant teaches you to see beyond your own conditioning and will bring whatever is unconscious to the surface, so that you can look and deal with it. I experienced a shift inside and have more knowledge about myself. That’s more than enough.

When I think of shamans Lieve De Boeck pops up. From the bottom of my heart I thank her for being herself and creating a supporting space to celebrate the divinity of life. I love her contagious laughter and how she reminds me that life is one big ceremony. Not to forget, for sharing her unconditional love.

And then there is yoga… my daily struggle, it used to be a love-hate relationship. It took me quite a long time to get my ashtanga practice consistent. In the beginning I was lazy and I would always have an excuse not to get up in the morning to practice. Or I would “practice” at home, but that means sometimes I had better things to do, like cleaning.
There is always a little voice in my head saying “snooze a bit more, it’s still dark Carmen, go back to sleep, go tomorrow” I used to give in to my alter ego (she knows all the tricks), but lately instead of giving in… I literally jump out of bed and just go. The little voice is getting more quiet every day. Now I look forward to get up in the morning and go to AYANR (Ashtanga Yoga Antwerpen). Some days there is a lot of noise and chit chat in my head, other days I fully embrace the moment. These moments are the ones that I feel I am dissolving in the energy of the room. Before it was a more physically challenging practice, this has shifted to a mentally challenging one. Nowadays when I am struggling with an asana (posture), I often find myself saying “ok fuck this, it’s doesn’t matter how far in the sequence I am, whatever”. Then my mind relaxes and so my body does as well.

Also yoga makes me feel like coming home…coming home to myself. It gives me a clear vision. I thank Teune and Jenny for creating this space that feels like home and for their support by being present every day in their own unique way!

I also met the Tibetan singing bowls (credits go to yogi D) and some other more traditional instruments (with the soundhealing course from Nestor and Michele). They can take me to a place where there is no time and space. I have no words… this is just magic. Sound made me understand how energy shifts in the body.

All of these “tools” make me remember who I am. Yes, we are all connected and it’s nice to really experience it through the body.

Universe, I bow to you and I thank you for every encounter.
I am looking forward to play the game of co-creation in 2019! I hope we can all play together!