This story shares just one piece of all those transforming lessons that I experienced at the magical Lake Atitlan in Guatemala this year. I lived more or less off the grid for several months in abundant hug of rainforests and dove into secrets of the ancient wisdom of Maya indians homeland. I was a student there and learned more than I ever asked for... remembering again who I really am.
That morning I met Rio in his sister’s house by the lake. His sister was so beautiful, seven months of pregnant. Her skin was glowing and she was full of light. The baby’s energy was shining through all the layers of her being. What a miracle it is, I thought. The sun was rising and Rio and I were about to take off to hike up one of the great ones, Toliman volcano, that was sitting in the belly button of the Earth as Mayas called their ancient homeland.
Rio is my Honduran brother, part of my soul family in its most diverse definition. There is something extremely peaceful and purifying in his presence that is radiating the calming element of water. Spending time with him was beyond doing something – it was simply being and merging into the presence sensing it with every cell. I felt like every particle in me was charged with its fullest potential when we experienced moments together. A slight language barrier that we have never limited understanding one another fully in a deeper level – I always knew what he was trying to say before he even opened his mouth. As windows to deeper wisdom, open and present eyes can tell more than any word.
It was a beautiful day to hike up the volcano. Crispy night in mountains had left the air cool as the Sun was peeking from behind volcanoes knowing that it was about to load us with fire and heat in few hours. We sat on a boat feeling how wild wind was flying on surface of the lake. It would splash on our faces singing its song of freedom. Rio always caught me up right away if my thoughts traveled somewhere else when I was listening to him. He would look me in a certain way and ask “do you understand?” I loved it, a reminder of being in here and now.
And so we started hiking up. Like majority of the people traveling and living around the lake, I also had gotten my share of intestinal bacteria and parasite infection. For me, it had been already 1,5 months of this intestinal abuse that I was treating successfully with natural remedies but got always re-infected in every few weeks. Despite of the illness of my physical body, something in me wanted me to take this challenge and go. It was almost whispering my ear “there is a lesson for you, you've got to go, you are supported”. On all my hikes, I have never struggled as much as I did today surprised of how weak my body had gone. I felt deep compassion to all those people whose physical bodies were continuously ill. As we approached the steeper part of the
mountain, every step seemed to be a big sweaty and hot barrier to jump over. I called upon one of my power animals, Moose, and truly felt like my shape was shifting into this graceful animal doubling up my endurance. In about halfway up we swapped backpacks with Rio and it made me smile to realize of how many times I had been carrying other’s luggage on the trips that I lead for a travel company and now the favor bounced back to me. Whatever I give, I receive.
Hiking up the volcano was literally traveling from one microclimate to another seeing the transformation from dry land, corn and coffee plantation to lush and green old-growth forest, such an ocean of vegetation. We entered to cloud forest where trees and plants absorbed nutrients and water both from the ground and the clouds. It was like organic sacred geometry: I couldn’t tell where a plant started and where it ended. In this old-growth forest there were massive trees one after another, one of them bending over the road like a huge gate. For me, it felt like a gateaway to the higher vibrational world. I pressed my cheek on the trunk of the tree and surrendered for its powerful hug. I felt my heartbeat merging into this living being. It had been standing here for hundreds of years! And not only standing but growing, pulsating life on every second. Tears fell down on my cheeks feeling this awe of beauty and wisdom that flowed in veins of the tree.
We found all sorts of treasures on the way up: colorful flowers, feathers, fruits and animal tracks.
One of the miracles was witnessing a big white flowered Dragon Fruit blooming as it only blooms for one day a year! We also found a leaf that had an outline of the lake’s map on it eaten by insects! We were treated by a cacao fruit that was hiding delicious, heart opening beans within its beautiful yellow peel as well as a pine cone with shape of a heart. The volcano was offering us so many gifts on the way, like inviting and welcoming us into its secrets.
We arrived on top and on the way to volcano crater stopped on a huge cave. My third or inner eye, had been ever more active at the lake and so immediately when I asked a permission from spirits of the magical place to stay there I had a clear image of a tribe of spirits arriving in front of us. I was happy to discover that they were friendly and the chief welcomed us with a smile and a hand movement. Behind him there opened a bright white road and a gate. I felt chills running through my spine when I realized with a clear impression that this was a gateway to non-physical world. I felt that for Mayas, the top of the volcano had served as a sacred place to communicate with the spiritual worlds and hold ceremonies to honor and remember ancestors.
We continued to the bottom of the crater, a huge circle with two caves on the wall, to set up a tent there. I threw myself down on my back and felt ground's warmth underneath my whole body. I could feel it: the ever burning fire inside the rock. This mountain was very much alive even though it was sleeping and I took my time to connect with it, ask permission to rest in his presence for the night. We climbed up to one of the caves and just simply sat quiet basking in the last bit of the sun warming our bodies. Listening silence I felt the true power of this volcano emanating from its rugged walls. I understood that it could wipe off the city below it if it wanted to but in a strange way, here in the very womb of the sleeping volcano, I felt safer than anywhere else.
I felt humbled and small witnessing deep red sunset coloring the tree elders in orange and watching a new moon slowly rising up on the sky followed by the deepest darkness and the brightest belt of stars. We made a fire, sang songs, ate heart opening cacao beans and gave a good share for the fire as offerings. When eating each bean I planted a seed, a manifestation of gratitude, for all the miracles in life. I sent blessings for the magical lake below, our ancestors, all the compassionate spirits, brother and sister animals, healing plants, powerful teachers and everyone who was in need of more light and love in their lives. I felt that the fire was channeling the power of the volcano that was still alive somewhere deep down. I noticed that the smoke would follow us wherever we were sitting making it difficult to breath. “The wind follows the high levels of energy and it must blow the smoke on us.” said Rio and I laughed for his endless ability to be grateful. “We are one with the infinite sun forever and ever and ever. We are in tune with the cycles of the moon forever and ever and ever.”
After freezing night, the sunrise was out of this world. We were sitting there above the clouds and experiencing how the sun colored the two other volcano tops with the colors that I didn’t even know to exist. Every once in a while we could hear deep growl and see how one of them was gently erupting sending a smoky tail up to the heavens. Locals called it El Fuego, The Fire. Up there I felt like we were in a higher vibrational world and the world below the clouds would vibrate different kind of energy, more physical. I even felt it in my body: I had diarrhea and my body was badly dehydrated but for some reason it didn’t bother me at all. I felt only deep gratitude and love in my heart center – there I was aligning with my spirit and highest potential of my being.
I saw two white flower seeds that were stuck on a spider web. They were like us belonging to this web of life around us that was so alive. Rio were observing green leaves that welcomed the
warmth of rising sun and kicked off the photosynthesis process in cooperation with the light. “It is so sophisticated biological machine”, he said staring it fascinated. I smiled and was so proud of him that with his broken English he suddenly knew how to describe this little miracle with so accurate words.
We danced, played flute, sang, meditated and left this powerful place. I spread ash from the sacred fire all over my face and arms for sunblock. I filled my 65 liters backpack with trash that we found around. Every time I picked a trash I whispered silently “I am sorry” for the Mother Earth and “I forgive you” for the humankind. When we took a last look down the crater on the campsite I saw a perfect triangle that a large and odd wooden frame created on the ground with the shadow of the sun. Wow. Someone had made that piece of sacred geometry by purpose.
On the way down we kept on finding all sorts of gifts from Nature, like it would be grateful for us to be there. The lower we went the less we heard the birds and El Fuego erupting and the more we heard loud music and sounds of cars. The closer we came to town the more we saw plastic, rivers of plastic in fact. This was a gift from humans for the Mother Earth who gave all the food and clean water for us… “You offer me nutrition for free, here, take all this plastic and deal with it.”
Yes it was different vibration down here but no one could ever take away that limitless belonging to all that is that I once again had experienced. The silence, purity and deep love in my heart was created by something greater than rational mind so no egoist thinking could ever take it away, no plastic could ever pollute the purity of my soul and no chaos could ever take over my inner peace. It was as simple yet miraculous than ever rising and setting sun, power of flowing water and blowing wind, and the strength of the old-growth trees. By the lake I had understood that the only thing I needed to do is to choose to believe in it and allow myself to experience it wherever I go. The fire of my soul would always remember the belonging if I only gave a chance for it.
Thank you Toliman, the belly button of the Earth, for all of your miracles! <3