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My Ayahuasca Ceremony in Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica

I recently visited Costa Rica for the sole purpose of partaking in an ayahuasca ceremony for the first time and I had the most beautiful experience.

After much searching throughout Costa Rica for a one night ceremony option instead of a week retreat, I came upon a small family run ceremony in Perez Zeledon. At their wonderful home, they call Sibu Wellness Center. Here, you can oversee the beautiful jungle of the Perez Zeledon region and listen to nature all around you.

I felt at home right away. The Shaman was one of which I felt comfortable with right away. Eric is a local Costa Rican who speaks perfect english and has the spirit of someone who truly sees and understands you in the most gentle way.

My ceremony was with just one other woman from New York, so it was very special and intimate. Because it was my first time, Eric described the many ways the experience could go. Explaining that there is no bad experience, just harder lessons to learn, to surrender to the medicine and to trust it. One thing that stayed with me is how he described surrendering.

“Imagine that you are a leaf on a tree that has just fallen into the river below. You cannot go back up into the tree, it is impossible. You must surrender to the river and allow it to take you downstream and trust it’s direction.”

He described Ayahuasca as being a spirit, an intelligence that is so beautiful and invited us to welcome her into our hearts beforehand, as he believes she starts working within us before the ceremony.

We were first introduced to our home and rooms for the night and getting ourselves comfortable with the space. He gave plenty of time to meditate and prepare our mind and body for the night ahead and recommended we speak to Mother Aya beforehand on our own.

I practiced some light breathwork and meditation in front of the giant windows that overlook the jungle and she spoke to me very clearly. She said that this experience will be exactly what I needed and what I wished for. It will be gentle, it will be nourishing and beautiful and to surrender to it. She told me many things, one thing was very profound for me that came right away. “I’ve been waiting for you. What took you so long?”

I found this refreshing and comforting. I felt very welcomed by her spirit and entered the ceremony with the best intentions.

We began by a fire outside, under a big pergola overlooking the jungle where we discussed how beautiful our journey ahead would be and had our cups of ayahuasca handed to us.

Of course, I was a little shakey, little butterflies in my stomach. But the view was beautiful as was the conversations before we headed to our mats for Mother Aya to enter our bodies. We had beds made up for us under the pergola with water and a puke bucket beside us.

I sat, facing the jungle overlook and welcomed her in as our shaman and his two family members played the most perfect music for the experience.

After a while, the effects started to come and I laid down on my mat. It started subtley, but one of the first things that came to me was trying to fight vivid visions and having a hard time letting go. I rememeber this voice speaking to me, to surrender, let go, let go, let go. And as my mind tried to make sense of some of the visions is when my journey really began.

I was led by the voice of Mother Aya saying, “you cannot analyze this experience, your analyzation is poisoned,” she said as I was guided down multiple visions of life that were totally uncoorelated, but beautiful to me in that moment. “It has been passed down generation after generation, passed down lifetime upon lifetime, everything is rumor. Everything is the opinions and perceptions of other people… not truth. You cannot judge this experience off the perceptions of others, this is all that is true for you right now.”

Without describing every single bit of the experience, I will say that the key takeaways were of that nature. Every time I pushed away the medicine and began to fear it, the experience became more fearful and I began to feel more sick. And one of these times, she told me and guided me on a vision journey, saying, “you want all the answers and all the healing, but you just want it to arrive. You don’t want to truly heal and see it.” For me this was profound.

But every time that I surrendered deeper, I had the most nourishing energy overwhelm me with all the answers that I could ever search for within myself and within the world.

But the voice felt familiar, like I had been here before. And Aya told me that I indeed had. It was as if I knew all these insights already… but she drew them out from deep within me. I felt this deep connection in those moments… that I am Mother Aya and Mother Aya is me. She’s the best parts of me, when the ego, the opinions, the world, the perceptions, the distractions are all stripped away. She’s the depths of me, the wisest of me… at this time I saw visions of me as this Goddess dancing on the beach in Costa Rica, feeling my divine energy with so much confidence, without any doubt… the most beautiful embodiment of a Goddess.

I felt so special, as the woman I was with was throwing up a lot, I felt so special for Mother Aya making home in my body and my body welcoming her so gracefully. But then her voice hit me, saying everyone is this special, everyone has her within them. Every single one of us are connected to this energy but not all of us have surrendered to it. Through this time I had visions of my family, even the littlest sibling of 3 being connected to this beautiful energy and I began to feel a little bit more connected to my family of which I feel seperate at times from.

Our shaman would check on us every hour or so to make sure we were okay and feeling the effects. But for the most part he left us alone throughout the journey, as he said it was important to not influence the experience and that was an internal experience of our own. We were guided to the bathroom if we needed to go and to my surprise, when I opened my eyes… the visions and everything would diminish. It truly is an internal experience. Almost as if opening your eyes is escaping the insights.

I took two cups and towards the end as the effects began to fade, I opened my eyes to the Costa Rican jungle, feeling so at peace and so cradled by this spirit of Ayahuasca. It was pouring down rain and thunder and lightning was going on all around us… it was truly beautiful.

I did throw up right around this time and closed my eyes and let the remains of her take over my body as she faded away… but realizing she is always there… as I am.

I went to bed feeling so whole, so connected and at peace. I felt cradled by her wisdom and love. It was the most nourishing experience of my entire life.

The next morning was spent with some delicious local fruits, transmuting some of the experience with the Shaman and writing about my insights while overlooking the jungle before leaving to Uvita the next day.

I can say that I was able to experience the spirit of Mother Aya and she is so much more amazing than I ever anticipated. You hear stories of scary visions that sound terrifying, but the experience is different for everyone. She truly is a intelligence, or as I would best describe her, a consciousness that takes over you and is also a part of you at the same time. She knows what you need and what your ready for.

After speaking with Eric the next day, he also described how profound surrendering to the medicine is as I was told early in my journey… and that those scary experiences are often because people have a fear within surrendering, within not having control. So the medicine goes deeper to alow them to do so.

I was grateful for having done my own magic mushroom ceremony months beforehand because I was taught this lesson within this plant medicine as well and I was reminded quickly.

Ayahuasca is a sacred medicine meant only for these purposes of a spiritual, internal journey. One of which will call to you when you are ready, it cannot be forced in the wrong mindset. The environment and state of mind is very important. The environment and energy within Sibu Wellness Center was absolutely perfect and I am so grateful that I found this particular ceremony.

To those of you ready for your own journey with Mother Aya, I highly recommend working with Eric in Costa Rica. I will be back in the future without a doubt. πŸ™‚

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My Temezcal Experience – Tulum, MX

The reasons that places from all over the world draw me in is due to their beauty and unique spiritual experiences. That’s what this Travel + Spirit blog is all about! Tulum is full of spiritual experiences, but the one that stood out to me tremendously was a spiritual endeavor called Temezcal.

Temezcal is an experience that takes place in a stone igloo with a small door that you have to crawl into on your knees, symbolizing reentering the womb of Mother Earth. Before you enter, you must be cleansed, using the smoke of copal (a incense like sap, used by the Maya) as well as set an intention for the experience.

Usually these experiences can have up to 15-20 people, but can get as small as a personal or private experience as well. My experience was at Holistika and had 15 people with plenty of space for us all. Everyone sits inside the igloo, including the Shaman as he introduces how the experience will go.

There are four doors of the Temezcal, representing the four elements. Each door is focused on a different type of healing and each door gets hotter than the last. Our Shaman was very calm and light hearted, reassuring us what was normal to feel and what was not, but also letting us all know that we cannot be denied to leave if we want to leave the experience.

After everyone is ready, we started greeting in ancient lava stones from the central Mexico and greeting them as our abuelitas (ancestors). This is tradition for Temezcal in Mexico because the Mexican cultures honors Mother Earth as ancient and wise, having lived through so much, they know so much (just like our ancestors). The water here from cenotes and the ocean is often referred to in this way and I believe it to be so beautiful.

Each lava rock is greeted into the Temezcal, into the fire pit in the middle of the igloo and afterwards our Shaman informed us and comforted us about the experience we are about to have before we declare we are ready for the journey in the first door.

“Abuelito puerto!” we all chanted as the door to the igloo closes and we enter the first door. It is pure darkness, the darkest experience you could ever have. You can’t see your hand in front of your face or know the difference between your eyes open or close.

I didn’t know that this would make my heart race, just the simple darkness, but it did. What I loved about this was that even though there were others in the igloo with me, it was truly an internal experience within your Soul. No one can see you chanting, moving, shaking… and most of all sweating your ass off.

Now every Temezcal is very different, but for this experience, the first door was about expression. Many were shouting, making animalistic noises, yelling or crying. For myself, I was in a very good place in my journey and found myself smiling and laughing. The experience is to let go of trapped emotions within the body through expression and detoxifying it through your pores. I found here that maybe what I needed to express more was pure joy and happiness.

Each door was about 15 minutes long before we opened the door to let the light in and took about five minutes to process the journey with ourselves and/or our Shaman. They brought in more lava rocks and poured more herbs and water onto them before we then entered the next door with “abuelito Puerto” once again.

Each door had a different journey that increased in temperature and difficulty and it was not abnormal for a few people to leave. For me, it felt hard to breathe, it felt like I wasn’t getting oxygen because of the heat, although I was. I also felt a pain in my chest. This was an experience another person had that the Shaman provided insight on.

He asked if we had any heart problems. Answer being no, he then proceeded to ask how our relationship was with certain people in our lives until it was pinpointed. For me, it was much relationship healing to be had with my parents. He described this as a heart chakra blockage, as our bodies are releasing our stuck emotions physically and emotionally and the heart is having a heart time releasing.

This made so much sense to me that afterward provided a whole new perspective within the relationship with my family.

When we put out bodies into uncomfortable situations, such as breath work, ice baths or Temezcal, our mind goes into a place of feeling like it’s unsafe. In this case, that you will die from dehydration (although you drink water beforehand and have water to drink during if you’d like). When this happens, our subconscious mind attaches to stored emotions and traumas in the body to signal to our conscious mind that we are not safe. This is how these experiences can heal trapped subconscious traumas by diving deep into the body and mind and releasing them through expression, sweat, movement and any other way your body decides to release it during this experience.

The last door was focused on new affirmations to bring to life when we are reborn out of the womb of Mother Earth. Out of pure darkness, people took turns saying affirmations that they wanted to bring to life when they are born again and everyone else would repeat them.

It was such a powerful way to end the experience.

When the door opened, we closed our experience by coming out of the igloo one by one. Once again, because the door is low, you have to crawl out. We prayed in front of the door, affirming they we were reborn before leaving the igloo. And man, even the humid heat of Mexico felt nice after that!

Afterwards, we each took a turn speaking about our experience to the group and throwing some copal into the fire to gather and close off the expansive experience.

I must say… I absolutely loved it! I highly recommend anyone looking to challenge their body and minds. You may even think you have nothing to release, but you will find it stored deep in your mind and you truly feel reborn afterwards. It is nothing to enter into lightly, it is a difficult experience but I promise you can do it and it will be worth every drop of sweat.

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A Guide to short term living in Tulum, MX

Amongst many other things, one thing I learned while temporarily living in Tulum for two months is that this place calls many travelers from all over the world to do the same thing! Whether it’s one month or one year, I had met people from every corner of the world that came to Tulum in search of themselves, adventure or healing. And I can say that it is the perfect place for it all!

Tulum is about two hours south of Cancun, MX and has become a very popular Instagram hotspot for the past several years. There are people that are guided here to take photos with the Insta famous hot spots and people that are called there with no reason besides intuition guiding them to go on a journey to heal their Soul.

I was the second option here and I can say that Tulum is an extraordinary place to dive deeper into your spiritual journey as well as experience the sacred beauty of the Riveria Maya. If you are one of the many spiritual travelers, I’d like to give you the ins and outs I learned during my two month stay here.

Where To Stay –

If you plan to temporarily live in Tulum, there are several different areas of the small town you can choose to stay in. The most infamous is of course, the beach road. This is the area of Tulum right on the beach with all the fancy hotels and restaurants and is also the most expensive place to stay. I wouldn’t recommend it to the long term traveler, although if you simply plan to vacation, this area is very beautiful and full of life.

The other neighborhoods of Tulum include Downtown, La Valeta, Aldea Zama and an area that I don’t think has a name that is on the other side of the main downtown road. Make sure to look up the neighborhood before booking your long term stay, but feel free to spend a few weeks in one area and try out another, as they are not too far away from one another, but all have a very different vibe.

I spent my first two weeks in downtown, this was convenient because it’s very close to a lot of restaurants, stores and markets, but it is also very busy. Most of the downtown places to stay will be right along the main downtown road so it can be hard to feel particularly homey unless you are used to such living. Downtown is also closer to the beach road, if you plan on spending a lot of time at the beach.

Aldea Zama is another region in Tulum and this area is known for having a lot of jungle around, luxury villas but not a lot of other things to do around, it is further away from most restaurants, wellness classes and cenotes but also close to the beach. This is a more expensive area of Tulum, right after the beach road.

I spent a month living in the area known as La Valeta and this area was my absolute favorite! Many long term travelers come to this area and it’s easy to make yourself at home fast. This area has much nearby, but isn’t busy. It truly feels like a neighborhood of Mexico but is well spread out. There are plenty of amazing restaurants, wellness classes and other things nearby and you will find yourself running into other travelers often as well as locals!

I stayed at a place called Little Gem and I loved this area, as it was a small hotel with only nine rooms total and a main garden area that felt like your living room. There was also free bike rentals with your stay (which you’ll end up doing all your getting around via bicycle, scooter or motorcycle while staying here long term). The staff was extremely kind and I felt right at home there.

The other neighborhood of Tulum, I don’t believe has a name, but it is on the opposite side of downtown and this region is the least expensive and most filled with the local people, yet also further away from the places that you may find most events or meetups happening in Tulum.

Getting Around –

As I had mentioned before, the best way to get around the small town of Tulum is by bicycle, scooter or motorcycle. Don’t feel obligated to go straight to a motorcycle or feel the need for a scooter either if you do not feel comfortable. I got around by bicycle the entire two months I stayed in Tulum and was perfectly content. Although if you are comfortable with a scooter or motorcycle, it is a lot more convenient to travel further with these options.

There are also taxi’s everywhere you go in Tulum, they are VERY easy to access. You can walk right outside your door and find a taxi in five minutes TOPS. With that being said, taxi’s are not necessarily cheap here. But taxi drivers can charge a variety of pesos for a ride, depending on the season, time of day and traffic. I noticed the cost of a taxi dropping dramatically after the busy season of tourism. From 300 -350 pesos from La Valeta to the beach to 200 pesos, but this is with bartering and getting to know the prices and areas.

It is smart to ask your taxi driver for the cost before you get inside or claim your price beforehand. I will give examples of cost in the next section here.

Tulum Costs –

When I arrived in Tulum, I honestly had no idea how expensive it was there. Tulum is like the L. A of Mexico, so I would recommend to prepare for it being so. Although the currency is different, it’s important to understand it so that you’re not ignorant to how much you are really spending.

My rule of thumb is to consider every 100 pesos to be 5 USD, 1,000 pesos to 50 USD. Some places accept different currency exchange, but this is an average rule of thumb that never did me wrong.

Material things are especially not cheap here, the clothing most definitely. Tulum has a very boho, flow vibe that I love very much but the clothing is extremely expensive, so if you are traveling for a while, don’t depend on not packing fully to buy clothes in Tulum, because you may disappoint yourself. With that being said, the clothing is absolutely beautiful, so if you have some extra money, go ahead and splurge on the gorgeous handmade Mexican fabrics.

Food costs can vary upon where you go. Of course, if you go to a more stylish, fancy place, you will pay more as opposed to a more local spot. There are many stylish, boho restaurants worth visiting. Me personally, I am vegan and the local Mexican cuisine was not very vegan friendly, but Tulum in general has many vegetarian and vegan friendly food. But don’t be afraid to try out other types of foods such as the Italian, Mediterranean and Turkish food in Tulum.

I recommend using a travel credit card here, as well as all places you travel, so you don’t have to pay foreign transaction fees which can add up over time. I personally recommend the United Credit Card or the Venture One Capital One card.

I also found that the best bank to get your pesos from with the least amount of ATM fees was Banco Aztec.

Experiencing the beauty of Tulum –

One of the things I think is most special about Tulum is how close it is to many sacred cenotes in Quintana Roo. There are many beautiful denotes just a bike ride away from the neighborhoods of Tulum. Cenotes are a must do in this region of Mexico, as it is the only place in the world where the rivers run underground (only place you can find cenotes).

You can easily bike to these specific cenotes in Tulum, I will start with the closest to La Valeta and work upwards before going into the cenotes worthwhile for a taxi or motorcycle ride.

Cristol and Esconidos – You pay entry for both cenotes, (about 200 pesos) right across from one another. Not very popular, which makes them special for not having many people.

Mayan Blue – This one is super not well-known, when I went I had this whole place in the jungle to myself. 100 pesos entry (5 dollars)

Corazon – This may be my favorite cenote in Tulum. With crystal blue water, lots of underwater plants, fish and I even caught a little crocodile swimming along the grass lines (they are perfectly harmless). What made this cenote extra special is that it is not super popular either, so you get this place without all the tourists. I think this entry was 150 pesos (7.50 dollars).

Calavera – This cenote is extra special for it’s little holes that you can jump into the cenote through. there is a main giant hole you can climb into through a ladder or jump into, as well as smaller holes above you can step into and fall inside. It has hammocks, some music and sells beers nearby as well. This is a little more touristy, but worthwhile. 200 pesos entry (10 dollars).

Gran Cenote – This is the infamous Tulum cenote, to be honest, the tourism here makes it less enjoyable than it could be otherwise and for that reason it is probably my third favorite. But it is unique and pretty big. There are lots of turtles here to seeand caves to go through with lots of bats. This cenote is also very blue! Entry is 300 pesos (15 dollars).

Tankah Bay and cenote – I would say this is the limit for bike riding, as it was about a 30-35 minute bike ride on the highway. If you wanted you could definitely take a motorcycle or taxi here as well. The cenote is very small but not very popular so is very tranquil. The beach area here has a natural ocean swimming area made my rocks that create a gorgeous, bright blue swimming area!. 300 pesos for entry of it all (15 dollars).

Santa Cruz – This cenote is probably my second favorite. The brightest blue of all the cenotes I had seen, that is what makes this so special. There is also turtles here and a small restaurant that serves. This is about a 30 minute bike ride, I shared a taxi with a friend and was charged about 600 pesos for one way (30 dollars.) I can’t remember the entry for this cenote unfortunately.

Carwash – Another of my top cenotes, this one is about 10 minutes further than Santa Cruz, we also took a taxi here. I find this place unique because of the wildlife, because the people working were so connecting with the nature of this place. We had a guy show us where some birds were nesting and took us to where the crocodile sleeps, where bigger fish were, let us feed them and were just such amazing people. Also cannot remember the entry for this one.

Casa Tortuga – This is another beautiful cenote well known for diving. If you want to book a diving session, this would be the place. If your not diving, you do have to book a tour through the four different cenotes, half under caves and half open. This place is definitely unique for it’s caves but also very busy and a different experience within doing a tour. 450 pesos entry (22.50 dollars).

Dos Ojos – Dos Ojos is a full park of multiple cenotes (not all currently open due to the virus) We were able to visit dos palmas, the first eye and second eye cenote and cenote jaguar. Although there are many more. Cenote Jaguar is fun, with many places to jump off and a zip line to go across the large cenote as well.

Dos Palmas is a quaint little cenote with many lily pads and surrounded by nature, with not many people.

The first eye and second eye are the main cenotes of this park, both under caves and a unique dark blue color, these cenotes are definitely beautiful, although they are required to wear a life jacket in them. You can swim through these caves or you can book a diving experience here. For this park you can pay per cenote or a full pass for all of them for I believe 600 pesos (30 dollars, which I highly recommend.) You would need to taxi to this park.

Muyil Ruins – Muyil is a unique Mayan ruin experience, well preserved in the jungle of Quintana Roo. These ruins are honestly so beautiful, with the main attraction being El Castillo. What makes this place so unique is the surrounding jungle and the lack of tourism. Lots of the ruins in Tulum, such as the Tulum ruins, Coba and Chichen Itza are full of tourists and yet both times I came here there may have only been one family in the whole space. Only 50 pesos for entry (2.50 dollars).

Tulum Ruins – The Tulum ruins are unique to Tulum, right on the cliffs of the Caribbean. These ruins are in the open sun, so if you visit, do so on an overcast day or early in the morning.

Chichen Itza – I had visited these ruins in the past and I can tell you that they are my favorite, although very touristy and in the open sun, these ruins are truly unique, with the main attraction being the physical form of the Mayan calendar built by the Mayans that people today cannot explain. This is a must do, although I recommend VERY early in the morning doing so.

Coba – I never had the chance to visit Coba, about 45 minute drive from Tulum, it is becoming very popular and definitely would be worth while if you are in the area.

Laguna Kaan Luum – This lagoon is absolutely stunning, towards the way to Muyil, this lagoon is shallow most of the way, except for a large deep blue sink hole in the center that you are not allowed to enter. It is a gorgeous blue, with a large deck and area that sells snacks and beers, you may find locals brining coolers and hanging out here for the day. There are also hammocks and swings at this lagoon for your epic Insta shots!

My Favorites –

Now time to tell you the other places that that became my favorite hangout spots while living in Tulum for two months. These vary from restaurants, wellness and hangout spots.

Holistika – I. LOVE. THIS. PLACE. Holistika is at the end of La Valeta and is a restaurant, hotel and wellness center in the jungle of Tulum. It serves vegetarian and vegan cuisine that never disappoints. As well as this, there is a pool that you can hang out nearby in and a wellness schedule with regular meditation, yoga, breath work, sound healing and ceremonies going on daily. If you are staying long term, I recommend following them on Instagram so you can check out and sign up for their daily classes.

Sonido Del Mar – Another restaurant in La Valeta, this place is beautiful with an amazing vibe and also has daily yoga classes.

Ahau – This is a beautiful restaurant on the beach strip, this place is honestly so beautiful and has free salsa lessons on Thursday nights followed by amazing music. I love the vibe of this place.

Ikal – I spent much time at this place, a restaurant, hotel and wellness place on the beach. This place has amazing daily classes and ceremonies by the beach. If you come here to hang out for the day, you can grab a day bed, enjoy their menu and the beach!

Raw Love – If your looking for raw vegan food, this is the perfect place to get your health food fix. There are two Raw Love’s in Tulum, one right on the beach that is famous for it’s Instagrammable entrance and one downtown that is far less busy but just as delicious.

Botanica Garden – Another delicious restaurant, similar to Raw Love located in downtown

Canova – This place was very close to were I was staying, so I may be bias here, but this place is relatively inexpensive and delicious Italian food and wine.

Wrap Up –

Your personal favorites may differ from mine, depending on where you are staying in Tulum as well. But this place has much adventure, delicious food and amazing wellness classes all around. So if you stay open for some adventuring, you will find yourself right at home here quickly.

Don’t be afraid to travel out on your own, as I traveled solo when I came here, it highly challenges what you love and what priorities you have for yourself. Wondering around alone is the best way to discover Tulum and discover yourself. You are surrounded by beauty here, amazing people, food and spiritual growth experiences.

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Crystal and Chakra Balancing

I find there are far too many spiritual explanations for crystals and it can seem overbearing, like there is far too much information to take in to feel like anyone can fully understand crystals and their properties.

I have a rule of thumb for all crystals, there are TONS of them, so it’s hard to expect anyone to know every single one of them. But as long as I know the color, I know the chakra it balances, and therefore I can get a basic understanding of what the crystals spiritual properties are.

That being said, each crystal does have other properties aside from just the simple chakra balancing portion, but this is a good rule of thumb to go by, when you don’t have the handy internet or crystal book around when trying to understand the crystal in your hands.

Sage + Crystal Cleansing Kit (Includes all chakra stones)

Understanding the basics of chakras :

Chakras are energy centers within the body, aligning with the spine, from the tailbone to the top of the head. These energy centers vibrate to a certain frequency that aligns with certain energies within many things on Earth, especially crystals. Each chakra also has a color that represents and therefore balances that chakra.

Let me break this down simply.

Root Chakra (color red) – This chakra is located at the base of the spine and is associated with security and the feeling of being grounded. Crystals with the color red are associated with balancing this chakra.

Red Jasper

Sacral Chakra (color orange) – Located at about the belly button, this chakra has to do with our sexuality, creativity and zest for life. Crystals with this color can balance this chakra. 

Citrine

Solar Plexus Chakra (color yellow) – This chakra is located at the center of the torso and has to do with our overall happiness and confidence. Crystals of this color balance this chakra.

Yellow Citrine

Heart Chakra (color green) – Located at the heart, this chakra is associated with love, love of all forms, within friends, family and within yourself. Green and pink crystals balance this chakra.

Rose Quartz

Throat Chakra (color blue) – Located at the throat, this chakra has to do with communication, including communication with your higher self as well as overall calm and serenity. Blue crystals balance this chakra.

Aqua Aura Quartz

Third Eye Chakra (color purple) – Located between the eyes, this chakra has to do with your intuition, creativity and how you perceive the world. Balanced with crystals of the color purple.

Amethyst

Crown Chakra (color magenta) – This is located at the top of the head, this chakra is associated with your higher being and enlightenment. Crystals of these colors balance this chakra as well as many white/clear crystals.

Clear Quartz

Normally, you want to balance the chakras, starting from the first, as you cannot balance your crown chakra without first feeling secure and balanced and all the balancing in between.

I hope this can help you to better understand the general crystal properties when you don’t have the book of crystals at hand. It has been a great rule of thumb for myself, though afterwards, I do still look up the the descriptions, as each crystal does have it’s own unique properties as well. But as long as you know the basics, you can get an idea of what that crystal can do for you in your life. πŸ™‚

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Exploring Bali – What To See and Do

Monkey Sanctuary, Ubud

You can’t come to Bali and not go to the Monkey Sanctuary! This place is located in Ubud, the center of the island and is COVERED with monkeys. These monkeys do not seem to care how close you get to them and will come right up on you even. They are very laid back animals, even in other places of the island.

They are quiet adorable and fun to go see up close. Be careful to not bring any plastic bags, as they will FOR SURE, go for them. They went for mine and tore my bag.

Also, do not look at a monkey directly in the eye, as it is a sign of aggression. I made that mistake before I knew of this and a monkey chased after me relentlessly, and it was quiet scary. They have large teeth, though they are not usually aggressive to humans unless bothered.

Waterfalls

Bali is abundant in waterfalls. The most popular being Sekumpul, NungNung, Banyumala Twin, Tegenungan, Air Terjun Tibumana and SingSing. I saw two of these…. Now that I think of that alone, all of them are so beautiful I MUST come back! πŸ™‚ They are very scattered throughout the island. These are Air Terjun Tibumana and SingSing.

Rice Terraces

Most of the large, beautiful rice terraces are located near Ubud, in the center of the island. Though, don’t be fooled. You can find some pretty amazing rice terraces literally right off the streets of Bali! There can be an open field somewhere off the road and you’ll find one, or one between a gas station and a food mart. They are quiet unexpected.

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Temples

The temples in Bali are stunning and you do not have to travel far to see them. Though the most popular are Uluwatu Temple, Tirta Empul, Tanah Lot Temple, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Taman Ayun Temple and Goa Lawah Temple.

Unfortunately, I did not see any of these temples (gives me a reason to come back!) I did see a few that I do not remember the names of. But in Bali, you will find temples everywhere!
It is a Bali law that if you build a home, farm or anything in between, you must build a temple for it as well, to pray for and bless the place.

For this reason you will see them right off the streets and they are all beautiful, though private. There are plenty of large temples that are public as well.

To enter a temple, you must wear a sarong and women that are on their periods are unable to enter. There are usually a place where you can use a sarong to enter the temple nearby, but not always.

Nusa Penida

This is an island off the coast of Bali, but still considered Bali. The roads are still undeveloped at this point and are very, very bumpy, but well worth the view points that they lead to! They are in the process of making new roads. There are also hardly any shops and restaurants, unlike the main island. But you can still find a place to eat during your visit.

You have to pay to use the bathroom at most places, unless your in a restaurant, and the bathrooms are NOT CLEANLY!

But above all else, you can see some spectacular view points, some monkeys and beautiful blue waters here. If you go to Bali, you must visit here!

Bali Healing Ritual

We went to Ubud for a Bali healing ritual and it was incredible, truly an experience I will never forget.

A healer will meet with you to do a palm reading then a ceremony with holy water and flowers to cleanse your spirit of negative energies and bring power.

After wards you will learn the prayers that the Hindu participate in every morning and in the temples to bring balance and harmony to your life. To read all about it and see more photos, I have a whole blog dedicated to the amazing experience here.

Coffee Plantation

Bali is home to the best coffee in the world, made when an animal called a Luwak, poops out the best coffee beans that it ate. They are then cleaned thoroughly and roasted to make the world’s best coffee. The Luwak only eats the best coffee beans and it’s digestive tract make the coffee beans germinate.

This is the most expensive coffee in the world, so it is a must see! When you go to the coffee plantation, you can walk the grounds where the coffee beans and other plants are grown. See the luwaks and get the whole explanation of the process.

You then can taste Bali coffee, a number of other coffee’s and teas made from the farm and try the luwak coffee as well. All while being in the quiet jungle with an incredible view. It was one of my favorite spots.

This coffee is hardly exported, as they do not have enough to supply high demand.

Bali is full of so much beautiful destinations and culture, I can’t wait to go back and experience more and tell you all about it. πŸ™‚

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Hindu Cleansing Ceremony Experience – Bali, Indonesia

Bali Healing Ritual

I recently traveled to Bali, Indonesia, which currently is a sought out destination, but it is the religion and culture that most intrigued me about coming to this beautiful island.

About 60 percent of the country of Indonesia is Hindu, a lot of Muslim and a little Buddhist. I had the wonderful opportunity to partake in a traditional Bali Healing Ritual with a healer in Bali and it was a exceptional experience to cleanse the spirit and to learn more about the Hindu religion.

A strong Hindu belief is that water is cleansing, for this reason, I was completely drenched in holy water and flowers by the end of this experience.

Dried Flowers + Herbs

Before the healing experience, we met with the Balinese healer, her name was Desak, to do a palm reading, she sensed our emotions of our past and what we needed to do moving forward in our current life.

After this, we walked to an extended deck over a river, where I sat criss-crossed across a bunch of flowers. Desak poured holy water and flowers over me, to wash away negative energies and let them drop down to the river and flow all the way to the ocean to cleanse my spirit. This ceremony is called a melukat ceremony.

During the holy water being poured, she was saying ancient Hindu mantras in a deep voice, like you would when you meditate and say you’re “OM’s.” These mantras were based around cleansing the spirit, banishing negative energies and for protection.

As soon as the water started to hit me, emotions came to me that I couldn’t even explain. I started to cry and I wasn’t even really sure why, but the healer wanted me to let them out, to yell, to cry, to weep, to express myself and let go of these emotions, to rid them with the water all the way to the ocean.

She hugged me and knew exactly how to help me let my emotions go, she knew exactly what to say, even though I did not tell her why I had these emotions.

She guided my breathing in a way to let energy flow, bad energy out, good energies in.

Something stuck with me this day, she said, “never keep this in again.” It’s strange that even if you don’t have a dramatic experience during the time of this ritual, it brings out feelings you didn’t know you even had, but it may only be because you never truly let it go, just buried it.

After the cleansing was done, it was time to bring the power. Desak then poured more holy water and flowers on me, and each time she did, she blessed me with the power of wisdom, the power of knowledge, the power of love and the power of harmony.

With holy water, she blessed my hands and my knees, she blessed my feet, for everywhere I walk, the Universe supports me.

Mala Beads

This experience was like no other, at one point my whole body was tingling and I almost felt like I was going to pass out, it’s something that I cannot explain.

By the end of this healing session, I was sitting criss-cross for probably over twenty minutes without really feeling it, it took about five more minutes of help to start walking again.

After this, they handed us our offerings for our blessings.

Everywhere in Bali, you’ll see offerings, in front of doorsteps, on the streets, on the counters, literally everywhere! There will be rice, incense, fruit, flowers and a number of other things.

This is an offering to the God’s and is put there every morning for people to pray to the God’s and The Universe. We were able to have our own offerings specific to cleansing.

The purpose of a Bali blessing is to bring more harmony between yourself and the universe, balance the chakras, release karma from past lives that might still plague you, and encourage prime health, happiness, safety, finances and a bright future.

We did this by following Desak’s prayers to the God’s, drinking holy water three times, blessing our offerings with holy water, placing rice on our third eye’s and our throat chakras.

We ended the ritual by Desak putting a small bracelet of black, red and white around our wrists to represent connection to the God’s, connection to nature and connection to the Universe.

Afterwards we ate our foods of our blessing together and were able to share them with people we choose, I shared some with our healer. πŸ™‚

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This was one of my favorite things about coming to Bali and was truly an experience I will never forget.

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Let Us Celebrate The Lives Of The Dead

This October has been such a beautiful one, I’m realizing that it’s one of my favorite months. It carries on the sunshine from the end of summer and still, the color of autumn within the trees.

Halloween continues to be one of my favorite holidays, maybe it’s because during a period of time as a child I was unable to celebrate it because it was “the devil’s holiday.”

I always found the traditions fun, but these traditions go a lot further back than modern day. The day/night of Halloween is known to be the day that releases the barrier between the dead and our world as the world begins to be darker, colder and bounty begins to die, only to begin again.

Originally, people dressed up to convince the dead that they were dead as well, so that they would not be bothered. People also decorated their houses as so and baked sweet goods as a peace offering to the dead to draw them away from their homes.

It is so interesting that this tradition remains nearly the same without the knowledge of it’s meaning.

None of this is necessarily the scary holiday it has turned to be. Halloween is known as a day of celebration to the people who have passed on and the lives that they had; many celebrate it as Samhain, as it was celebrated back in the Celtic age. This wiccan holiday is celebrated on the same day, but as a way to honor the dead in a beautiful way and also to recognize the original day marked as the end of summer and begin the darker days to restart nature’s cycle once more.

Many Pagans and Wiccan’s participate in rituals to honor the dead, if you’d like to participate in any, here are some examples.

The recognition of death is a very important stage within nature and our lives. I believe the more we recognize it, the less grief we would have for people who pass, but instead celebrate the lives that they had. That is what I see within Halloween… but it’s still fun to hand out candy and dress up as something, other than ourselves, under the moonlight.

I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!

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Cape Disappointment, WA

The Washington coast goes a bit unnoticed when put next to the beautiful Oregon and California coast. This coast is unique in so many ways and gives an entirely new moody feel of the ocean. The Washington coast contains lots of rain, wind and fog but it is also what makes it so different and a must-see experience.

Cape Disappointment State Park is located in Ilwaco, WA, very close to Astoria, OR and has many wonders to see within the area full of beautiful temperate rainforests.

When you first enter into the park, each side of the road are covered in greenery, there are a few lookout spots that tell the history of the area, like Beardman’s Hollow. There are many wooden bridges throughout the park as well that work well for photography!

This cape contains two lighthouses, the first you will see is the North Head Lighthouse, which is only a quarter mile, easy hike. Of course it tells you to not go close to edge of the cape, but many people had already crossed the fence so I found no harm in doing the same. The view is gorgeous and you can walk far out onto the grass-covered cape to see the Pacific Ocean.

The next lighthouse is the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, this trail is a half mile and a bit more difficult. There are many hills, but it is a very pretty hike with access to beaches along the way.

Along the way you’ll run into Dead Man’s Cove, one of my favorite views of the coast, especially when the lighting is just right. You have to walk down to the beach if you want the best view, but no matter how you see Dead Man’s Cove, it is a spectacular view.

Once you get to the lighthouse, the view overlooks all of Ilwaco and Astoria, you can see the Astoria bridge and all the boats coming in from the ocean into the bay area. The view is perfect for some photographs.

Within the Cape Disappointment State Park you will also have the chance to see Fort Canby and many of it’s batteries as well as the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

 

Find the Location here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Creating An Aura Of Peace

Everyone has different methods to find they’re own peace. But if you are ready to experiment deeper methods, there are many different herbs, meditations and crystals that are spiritually believed to elevate peaceful vibrations. I use these methods regularly to keep myself at a peaceful, spiritual level and I would love to share some with you.

There are many actions that can promote tranquility, for me, setting a peaceful aura and writing is calming. Meditation is always the most effective in my humble opinion, but whether your reading, writing, meditating or anything in between, the entire atmosphere around you can effective the vibrations of the mind, therefore your aura is very important.

I personally love to turn all my lights off and fill my home with candles, scents and crystals that can better promote calm. Here are some that I recommend:

Herbs:

Dried Herbs + Flowers

Frankincense: An ancient scent known to promote peace and calm and relieve stress and anxiety.

Valerian: An herb strongly known for it’s relaxing effects and even counteracts anxiety.

Gardenia: Believed to attract good spirits and induce peaceful vibrations.

St. Johns Wort: A well known, calming herb, also used to treat anxiety.

Bergamot: Fights anxiety, stress and depression.

Chamomile: A calming herb, I would recommend maybe drinking a cup of chamomile while in your peaceful atmosphere.

Jasmine: Another scent, yet also an herb used in teas, both methods are aura cleansing and calming.

Lavendar: Known to promote purification, calm and to clear negative energies. Can be drank as well, or used as a scent.

Crystals:

Sage + Crystal Cleanse Kit

Ocean Jasper: Eases depression, lifts the spirit of blockages. Known to energize the solar plexus as well as ease stress and exhaustion.

Blue Lace Agate: Promotes peace and tranquility.

Fluorite: Serenity, brings strong positive energy.

Celestite: A stress relieving crystal, gives peace and happy vibrations.

Selenite: A crystal used in meditation often, known to ground energy and bring a sense of calm.

Dragon Stone: Calm, nurturing vibrations.

Petrified Wood: An ancient protector of negative energies. Calming, used to ease anxiety.

Danburite: Cleanses your aura of anxiety and stress, known to give feelings of reassurance and optimism.

Aquamarine: Allows you to let go of worries, stress and anxiety. Fills your aura with relaxation, peace.

I hope you try some of these tools to help ease your mind and remember to be open minded to the power of nature.

I recommend the House of Intuition for purchasing spiritual tools. πŸ™‚

Join the next round of my moon manifestation course!


The next round begins on the new moon… Say yes to your own growth, say yes to new possibilities and the Universe will say yes right back.

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New Moon Bay Leaf Ritual

New Moon Bay Leaf Ritual

New Moon, New Intentions

The New Moon is the ideal time to let go of unwanted energy and bad habits in your life and begin again with new intentions, with the energy of the moon in your favor.

There are many rituals you can partake in to help with these intentions, as I will be leaving soon on my travels, there may be some troubling times when it is important to stay positive and trust my intuition. This new moon falls just days before leaving and so I find a ritual of helping my wishes come true to be perfect for the occasion.

Bay leaves are spiritually known to help grant wishes when you burn them, doing so on a new moon can amplify the energy of that wish. As it is also a time to let go intentions that do not serve you and begin again.

If you would like to participate in this ritual, as the new moon phase lasts approximately three days, these are the steps that me and my fellow travelers have participated in on this night.


What you will need :

Bay Leaves

Dried Bay Leaves and Flowers

Something to write with on the leaves

A candle (the color of the candle is optional, but can also depend on the wish, for each color has a different meaning with it comes to rituals. For ours, we chose a green candle, representing luck, nature, success and growth.)

Incense (optional, for this ritual we chose Frankincense for purification, protection and luck.)

Crystals of your choice (also optional, for this ritual we chose citrine for success and good fortune and also clear quartz to deflect negative energy and amplify our intentions.)

Sage or palo santo to cleanse your space.

Crystal + Cleansing Kit

Stay up to date with all things rituals + spirituality

For this ritual, I recommend being in nature under the new moon to be better connected to Mother Earth’s energy. Surround yourself with your incense and crystals and light your candle. After this you can cleanse your aura of negative energy by burning your sage or palo santo.

If you find yourself distracted with city noises, you can put on some nature sounds, this one here is my current favorite.

Sit down and meditate for a little while, cleansing the mind of negative energies and setting your intentions for this ritual and your future endeavors. Visualize yourself as if these goals are already accomplished in your life and feel the feelings that come along with that.

When you feel fulfilled with your meditation, you can then write your wish on your bay leaf, stay thoughtful about your wish as you set it on fire with your candle and watch it burn. It is important that you feel the energy around you and feel positive about this ritual granting your wish.

You can choose to meditate afterwards, to find peace of mind and good vibes for your future and make sure to trust the Universe with your wish.

I hope you enjoyed this ritual and I have actually created a free Manifesting with the Moon 101 Guide so you can take the energy of the new moon beyond just this phase for aligning your manifestations with the lunar phases. You can get this free workbook here.


This ritual sparks the beginning of my Moon Manifestation Course! a self guided, two week course, following from new moon to full moon and manifesting your desires with the lunar phases. Understanding manifestation and the moon’s impact on our energy.

Join the next round of my moon manifestation course!