Hi, friends. Chrissie here.
I want to share a personal story of something that transformed my life November 2020.
Though it’s been a labor of LOVE, running my start-up, Love Is Project, has meant that I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for too long. You may or may not know this but between my mother, Gladys Lam, and myself, we singlehandedly run this organization full-time. We are the definition of a scrappy, big-hearted start-up always looking to meet the moment and jump in to help where we can.
I’ve been trying to send so much LOVE into the world and haven’t given enough to myself. This has led to physical, emotional and mental health issues. While I’ve struggled with anxiety and negative feedback loops in my head for decades, I hit a tipping point I was exhausted and didn’t want to live like this anymore.
Last year, I visited a friend in Costa Rica who spoke of Iboga, a root bark also known as the Tree of Life. It’s used to cure addictions of all forms, from substances to negative patterns, Iboga creates new neural pathways to remove blockages.
This intrigued me so much that I booked a week-long retreat designed to clear out personal and past ancestral traumas. PTSD and traumas are stored in DNA and can be passed down through generations. It was a profound and transformative experience for me; difficult, yet so rewarding. A new awakening has happened. I am at peace and whole. The only way I can describe this monumental shift is to compare it to an experience I had 20 years ago.I had just gotten LASIK surgery for my eyes, the next day I woke up and I could see clearly for the first time in my life. Iboga is LASIK surgery for your soul. It's been over 2 months since I finished the retreat, the positive effects to my health are game changing.
I’m so thankful to be able to heal through this medicine. That’s why I’m sharing this with you today and excited to introduce my friend & guest writer, Amber Antonelli, who runs Awaken Your Soul Retreat in Costa Rica. I’m passing her the mic so she can share her knowledge about the benefits of plant medicine. Who knows it could inspire you to awaken your soul in a new way, just like it did for me.
Remember to be kind to yourself as well as to others.
Amber, take it away...
LOVE is everywhere, in everything, it is a vital energy that makes the world go around. LOVE is ultimately the glue that holds us together, that keeps us in the light. LOVE equals connection…and connection is the deepest thing that the human spirit craves. This type of LOVE and connection comes in all forms and knows no boundaries. LOVE is always available to support us, to ground us in truth, to move us through any and every challenge we face.
Conversely, the lack of LOVE and connection almost decidedly WILL cause a hollow emptiness from deep within. This disconnect applies to relationships with others and most importantly to our LOVE and connection with our own divine soul.
When presented with the word LOVE, typically we think of LOVE for others or their LOVE for us. Yet fierce and unwavering LOVE of self is truly the most important LOVE we can know.
We enter this life with such a beautiful innocence, a sweet babe in wonder of the world around us. Then little by little, as our environment begins to inform us in different ways, we morph and mould into seeing our reality through the lens of our family constructs, the belief systems of our teachers and peers and of course through the lens of our traumas. We create our identity and beliefs based on what we inherit, not typically from our own unique truths. Little by little we become more and more disconnected to our soul, and this halts the flow of LOVE of self and others.
The quest to heal this disconnect is why most people seek the profound healing of psychedelic plant medicines such as Iboga, the foundational tool of Awaken Your Soul retreats. Iboga is the root of a small shrub from West Africa that when ingested can take the participant on an incredible and transformative journey into the depths of personal discovery. This journey will almost always begin to heal the core wounds of their negative belief systems, traumas and ultimately address the quality of one's relationship to self.
One of the most potent missions of the Iboga medicine is to connect us to our personal power, which is deeply rooted in self LOVE. With attentive integration of this sacred experience the participant will truly begin to transform their life.
Therapies such as this have been used by indigenous cultures for thousands of years as a method of mental, emotional and physical healing. In the last 20 years there has been a surge in awareness and clinical study around the efficacy of a variety of these medicines. They are being used to heal the ailing mind and repair spiritual connection in an increasingly disconnected western world. In addition to Iboga, these plant medicines also include, but are not limited to ayahuasca, cannabis, psilocybin mushrooms, peyote and huachuma (aka san pedro).
Through much of our life we are taught that LOVE is conditional, especially self LOVE. We are graded in school, measured against our peers, punished if we are “bad”, rewarded if we are “good,” told we are pretty/ugly, thin/fat, smart/stupid, athletic/lazy, and on and on and on. Growing up we are programmed to believe that we have to be better, do better. More often than not we begin to believe that we are unlovable if we do not perform appropriately. It is rare that we are held, loved, nurtured and comforted for simply being who we are.
Iboga shows us that not only are these conditions toxic and dangerous, they are completely untrue, that we are unconditionally worthy of LOVE always, in all ways. Iboga unlocks our capacity to LOVE ourselves and others fiercely and unconditionally and to have compassion for this complex journey of the human spirit. Undoubtedly we will cause pain to ourselves and others, yet we learn along this path that we are all only doing the best that we can in every moment, and that we are still lovable.
This type of true forgiveness is powerful medicine, one that is deeply rooted in LOVE. It is a coming home to ourselves.
Working with this medicine is not the only way to unconditional love but it is a very quick and direct path to shedding the blocks in the way of this connection, a connection that can truly heal thyself and the world!
This post was inspired by an incredible guest who visited us in November. Chrissie Lam has spent her last several years devoting her life to this beautiful project, Love Is Project, that first started out as a photo book documenting a global pilgrimage about love. Chrissie and Bogie “aka Iboga” went profoundly deep together during the week that she was here, this woman is truly an inspiration.
Head over to Awaken Your Soul Retreat to learn how you can bring more peace into your life.
Thank you, Amber, for sharing with us!
If you want to share your own LOVE story, head over here .
Founder, Love Is Project
* Disclaimer - I'm not a doctor. Everyone is different and you should assess if plant medicine is the right fit for you.
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