How has it been nearly 10 years? In August 2010 I decided to start a blog to document my health journey after surviving Steven Johnson Syndrome and being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease. I first mused about nutrition, then evolved to chat more about exercise and autoimmune disease management. Now, I gravitate to posts about mental health and overall mind and body wellness.
What a journey it’s been.
Along my road to wellness, I’ve tried many natural supplements, prescription medications, types of therapy and dietary changes. I’ve researched, read, interviewed and written about the best ways to care for ourselves.
As a writer, it’s my job to dig into the details and embrace them with balance and curiosity. I’ve shared many of these writings here and in my writing portfolio.
As I move forward into 2020, I can feel another shift coming for my personal blogging focus. I’m ready to niche down and let you in a little deeper on my latest health journey.
It started in 2016 when I signed up for a restorative yoga workshop at Evolve Yoga and Wellness Center in Sioux City. I was grieving the loss of my grandmother and needed something. Anything. I was promised an emotional reset and safe environment to transform.
I cried healing tears through most of the session.
I would later find myself on my mat for therapeutic yoga, gentle yoga, yin yoga, hatha yoga and whatever types of flows I could manage. I was working through so much emotional and physical illness, and the yoga studio became my haven.
I feel a deep level of acceptance, nourishment and love from my yoga sisters and brothers.
Over the years I’ve attended many more workshops to improve my mental clarity, meditation practice, learn more about my breath and simply embrace this beautiful life.
In 2017, I learned that the yoga studio would host visitors from Peru. Two shamans spent a week offering blessing ceremonies and private healing sessions rooted in Shamanism. I wasn’t really sure what I was opening myself up to, but I’ve always enjoyed learning about other cultures, so I was all in. It’s a story for another day, but after my healing session with the shamans, I’m now a believer in these wisdom keepers and healers from the Andes Mountains.
Fast forward to December 2019, and the opportunity to learn more about this culture and Shamanic practices came to Sioux City. I felt drawn to participate in the munay ki, or nine rites of initiation into the Andean spirituality of shamanism. I spent four days receiving the blessings from a Shamanic practitioner who studies directly with shamans from Peru.
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I’ve always felt a natural, nurturing connection to indigenous cultures. I spent a year of college immersed in the Koori culture of the #Aboriginal people in #Australia. I’ve engaged in #drumcircles while photographing #NativeAmerican pow-wows in the #Midwest. And a few years ago I was blessed by a healing ceremony from a Peruvian #shaman. So, of course, I said yes when I was invited to spend three days last weekend learning from Celia Blackwood of @heartstone about the spirituality of the Q’ero people from the Andes Mountains in #Peru. In short, I feel very validated and content. Continue reading here: https://buff.ly/2Yzw55P on the CupcakesAndYogaPants.com blog! #CupcakesAndYogaPants #ChooseHealthy #PiStone #MunayKi #Qero #Shamanism #LevelingUp #spirituality
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For the past four months I’ve been working with the rites to not only transform myself, but create a ripple effect of kindness and self-acceptance into this world. It’s funny because I catch little glimpses of change here and there in the way my friends and strangers talk with me.
And now, I have the opportunity to learn even more.
I’m thrilled to share that I’ll be traveling to Peru this summer to receive additional rites and blessings, begin building a mesa (medicine bundle) and further my physical and emotional healing process direct from the Q’ero people of the Andes Mountains. I’m not sure what to expect on this spiritual pilgrimage, but I’m ready to go. I’m ready to visit some of the most sacred sites on earth and connect with the spirits of the apus (mountains), learn from our ancestors and immerse myself in the local indigenous culture.
As I get ready for this adventure, I’ll share more about my physical, emotional and spiritual preparation to trek into the ancient Inca civilization of Machu Picchu and climb part of Ausangate (it’s a mountain).
Bottom line: I need to get into better shape! I’ve already started walking more and running the steps in my apartment building to prepare for the uphill trails. I’m also trying to clean up my nutrition a bit so I can feel as vibrant and focused as possible heading into this trip. And each day I’m working with the munay ki rites and delving further into their teachings.
Over the next year, expect the majority of my posts to be focused on this experience and how it’s making an impact on my overall wellness. If you have any suggestions for traveling to South America or would like to share a story about a similar journey, I’m all ears. Feel free to comment below or contact me privately.
Here’s to new adventures and an inspiring 2020 ahead!
Until next time,
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