This is a word that has spoken to me a lot lately, ‘insular’. I have been asking myself, where in the continuum of connectivity do I feel most natural, most myself, most alive?
I realise I have to be careful with the parameters I place within the lens of my self reflection. If I was to evaluate my contentedness, what am I measuring? Comfort? Safety? This requires self knowledge. I have to ask myself, who am I as a soul and what is my purpose here? If I am here to grow, is comfort conducive for that? How does safety serve me? Am I seeking to stay safe, or am I yearning to leave my safe place in order to taste the wilderness?
So I have come to recognise, while I appreciate comfort and safety, there is something much deeper that drives everything I do. It is the sense of alignment with my core being, it is the fire of purpose roaring within, it is the answer to the calling of my soul to enter into a dance with the mystery of life in all its pain and glory.
The further I walk this path of mine, the more I appreciate everything. Even the pain. The most horrifying fate to me is to be so insular from the raw nature of life, that one no longer feels, no longer grows.
When I was 27, I wanted to become a nun, to devote myself completely to the Divine. I was done with society, done with relationships, done with the modern culture. I had a vision of leaving everything behind and moving to a community of volunteers who were reforesting an ancient rainforest in India. I was living in London at the time, and the pulse of the city was eating me alive.
That is when I met my husband Richard. We met in a pub, in broad daylight, sober. The most unlikely of scenarios. While I was saving up to disappear to India, I was studying expressive arts and working at a jazz pub in Soho, fatefully called The Spice of Life. It was a popular hangout for the creative lot, and although the pub work itself was not exactly my dream come true, I enjoyed the live music and loved talking with all the writers, actors and musicians serving or sitting at the bar.
Before I knew anything about him, I knew him. When he walked in, time seemed to slow down. There was a mystical glow around him and I felt like he was the first Man on Earth I had ever met. It’s as if my soul recognised its counterpart.
He sat at the bar and ordered a cranberry juice. He was wearing a colourful traditional Shipibo glass beaded bracelet and never having locked eyes with a piece of authentic tribal jewellery before, I asked him where the bracelet was from. He told me how he had recently returned from the Amazon rainforest where he had participated in ancient healing ceremonies. It was shamanic jewellery, adorned with the spiritual signature of a sacred teacher plant.
I asked to take my break early, ordered a bowl of edamame beans and sat down next to him at the bar. I heard a whisper in my heart saying, “don’t ever leave”. That was ten years ago now. And he never did.
It turned out I had the wrong rainforest in mind. I was meant to go to Perú instead of India. And I did not become a nun, although my life has striking similarity to someone who has taken their vows. As a part of the training of learning sacred healing arts and Amazonian plant medicine, my husband and I have practised years of celibacy. The Universe has a sense of humour.
A big part of my spiritual vocation has also been isolation.
During our five years of shamanic training, we spent prolonged periods of time in traditional apprenticeship, in complete isolation for the purpose of purification and spiritual communion. I left all social media and only sent the occasional email to a select few of my friends and family. It was through the long days, weeks and months of contemplation, fasting and purging, that the communication with the Divine began to open for me. Nature herself spoke to me in ways I could have never imagined. I felt such levels of peace, joy and belonging within me that I wanted to stay in the forest forever. I truly understood why some souls go into a cave or a mountain to meditate and never come back.
When it was time to leave the tutelage of our maestro and begin leading our own ceremonies, my husband and I began looking for a land in the Sacred Valley. There was a little whisper in me at the time, asking whether it is a bit far from my family and friends in Europe – it’s all the way across the other side of the Earth after all. But my love for that ancient land and the essence of indigenous values which could still be felt in Perú was so strong, that I felt completely at home.
Back then culture was the way I created connection. The idea of leaving Perú and returning to the “God forsaken Europe” felt totally out of the field of possibilities for me. But my spiritual allies were not going to let me stay in the comfort of that land. No. I literally got ordered to return to my people. I was shown over and over again how I had incarnated on this plane of being with a mission, to work. I kept seeing how actually it is exactly in the places where God has become forsaken, where the soul healing ceremonies are needed the most. I heard the timeless words of the Greatest Healer who ever walked the Earth echo in my soul: “They who are well have no need of a physician, but they that are ill”.
There was no way I was going to be able to ignore the truth of this guidance. Yes, I still had agency and the capacity to exercise my free will and choose to stay. But during this period of Divine intervention, I came to realise I actually wanted that very thing myself – to bring the medicine to the ones with the malady.
Was I really going to stay in my happy poncho roaming the Andies forever, while the world was descending into deeper and deeper spiritual poverty? Did I come here to serve myself or serve others? The answer was clear.
And so in 2019 we moved to Andalucía, Southern Spain. The funny thing was, that my husband had known this all along. He had already suggested opening a healing sanctuary somewhere in Europe instead of Perú a while before I had my other worldly reality check delivered, but I was so bull headed that he figured he’d let me discover all of that myself, in due time.
So we found a beautiful land on a secluded mountain overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and built our little healing sanctuary there. I reinstated my social media accounts and started building connections again. Suddenly Europe didn’t feel as dark anymore, as we had created our own piece of paradise, our own oasis outside of the crazy world. Little did we know, this cocoon of ours was going to become a safe haven for many freedom fighters in the coming years, who were seeking solace and healing.
Exactly a year after we were “kicked out” of the Sacred Valley and sent on a mission to create our healing center in Europe, we actually found ourselves there again. This time trapped and held against our will. We had travelled to Sacred Valley in March 2020 to organise a retreat, and we happened to arrive there exactly one day before the lockdowns began. Only God could orchestrate a joke like this.
Overnight, the streets of the little village nestled in the foothills of the Andes were occupied by armed soldiers. All roads were closed and no cars were allowed on the streets, including public transportation. If one needed to go somewhere, one simply had to walk. A strict curfew was put in place between 4pm and 10am. Only one member of the household was allowed outside at a time and different days were allocated for men and for women. All “non-essential” businesses, schools and churches were shut down. Only the banks, gas stations, bakeries, pharmacies, hospitals, markets and grocery stores were allowed to stay open for a few hours every day. A bustling, vibrant community filled with children’s laughter and music was turned into a post-apocalyptic ghost town in a blink of an eye. Not a soul was in sight, apart from the uniformed men patrolling the streets.
It’s as if the entire world went on a secluded shamanic apprenticeship all at once, apart from this isolation was not anyone’s choice, it was forced upon us. Fate so arranged our path, that we had now become stranded on the land of the mighty Inkas, who were once conquered by the very same evil that was now once again attacking what is sacred. I saw that this was not “quarantine”, this was tyranny. And I was not going to stay a mere witness to it.
While the world was descending into darkness, a radiant flame was alit in me. While the streets were growing silent, my internal voice was getting louder.
I had to speak out. I realised that everything I had learnt with my beloved teachers and spiritual allies was under attack – everything. Everything our ancestors had fought for, was in danger of being destroyed.
So I took my shoddy old smartphone and made a video series about Natural Law and the Nature of Evil and posted it on my Facebook with the hope of inspiring some of my friends to see what was actually going on. What happened next felt near impossible. Suddenly, my videos were being shared between tens of thousands of people and my inbox became absolutely flooded with message from people all across the Earth. My call was being answered, my message was being heard.
And the rest of the story you know. I am here today writing to you, because the calling of my soul was stronger than my desire to stay safe. I had been happy with my carefully crafted way of life, my boots on the ground activism and my trusted circle of friends. And yet, I was willing to put all of that on the line the minute the lockdowns began. There was not a question in me whether it would be worth it. Whether I would be willing to pay the price for my words and face whatever consequences were going to come my way for going public.
Truth is, I’m still paying the price today. Many of us activists are. I have been censored, banned and debanked. I have been issued illegal fines and there have been several attempts to arrest me for my stance.
I have also lost some very dear people from my life. Some of my closest friends and immediate family members walked out on me when I began speaking out against the medical tyranny and discrimination of the unmasked and unvaccinated. And yet, even though some of these losses have been painful for me, they are the direct consequence of my own free will choice to stand up for something much larger than myself.
For three years I was on the barricades fighting for the human spirit day and night – writing, creating campaigns, coordinating activist groups, making live streams and videos, giving presentations and speeches, interviewing people, speaking in panel discussions and podcasts, building websites, designing flyers. I was on the streets for 18 months straight, organising street actions every weekend. Speaking out on social media until I literally became so censored that my instagram account was removed. Until anything I posted on Youtube got taken down within minutes. Until the live stream video feature was disabled on my Facebook account.
So I became totally fed up with the corporate social media and decided to terminate my accounts and move my content to uncensored platforms like Telegram. And now, suddenly, I feel a bit insular again. Everything’s a bit silent again – like an invisible lockdown, defined by our stance in the new world.
I am grateful beyond words for the beautiful community I am a part of, and I thank the Creator for all of the freedom loving souls I am so blessed to have met along this path. And yet, I feel how different the world is now. We have created our tribes and moved into our own enclaves – our freedom loving reserves, separated from the rest of the world. That word “insular” keeps coming to me, and I find myself asking: is this what I am choosing?
Some say that the reason we all incarnate on Earth is because this is such a powerful place for growth, as souls from all different levels of maturity come here to learn from one another. That in the higher heavens, we are attracted to our soul tribes, but learning there is very slow, since we do not get challenged the same way that we do here. Is this why only mingling with our own kind starts to feel a bit insular after a while?
There once was a time that I was dreaming to run away from society, to pack my bags and give it all up. I’ve discovered now that I no longer want that. An ashram in India, a tambo in the Amazon, or a house in the Andes no longer calls me.
I have learnt that my own internal peace ceases to mean anything in the face of the collective soul of humanity. My personal peace serves as the foundation from where I draw the strength to face adversity, but it is not an end goal itself. It cannot be. For what is my peace worth in a world riddled with war?
Although Mother Nature has cared for me deeply, cradled me in her healing waters, and opened a direct line to the Divine, I want to come back. I want to come back home to humanity, to the war ridden society.
Is there a way back to belonging? Or is this goodbye? Will we ever feel welcome, normal, connected again to the society surrounding us? Has the trust between us become fundamentally broken? Can these wounds ever be healed? Can these gaping chasms be bridged again?
I will try. There is much work to be done. Many unspoken words, many unwritten stories. I still believe in the human within the uniform, in the genuine expression behind the mask, in the free spirit underneath the confines of our culture. Let us find them and call them back to Life.