One way to find a sense of peace and joy, and to escape the nonstop, go-go-go noise of every day life is to go on vacation. Another way to hit the reset button is to go on a pilgrimage – a pilgrimage to reclaim one’s life by tuning in to one’s deeper purpose and higher calling.
When I journeyed to Rythmia Life Advancement Center
in Costa Rica, I was both excited and a bit fearful about the week ahead – as most of us who arrive there are. This medically-licensed retreat facility guides people on a journey to new heights of conscious awareness, bringing us in contact with lost parts of the soul. Like the best journeys, it is not easy, but the work is profound and meaningful – the place where you arrive is worth it ten-fold. Through breathwork, movement, live music, yoga, meditation, and four nightly shaman-led ayahuasca ceremonies, I experienced profound shifts of understanding, and came to confront the change that needs to happen in order for me to walk in alignment with my soul’s purpose.
As Rythmia leader John Jacob Mubarak describes it, the journey at Rythmia is about evolving through four “levels of consciousness”. Many of us walk around feeling like is something that happens to us. We get caught up in a what Mubarak calls “victim consciousness.” The workshops and practices at Rythmia guide us to empower a “manifest consciousness”, so we can feel and experience the power we have to change our lives, and then moves us to a state of “flow consciousness.” In this state, we can start receiving wisdom and connection with the world around, preparing us to break through to a new vibrational experience of “ultimate oneness and being consciousness.” In the rooms, working alongside others, you can physically and emotionally feel us all shift from a lower vibrational place to a plane of healing and radiance.
As with the Dance of Liberation
, my own practice and modality, the work is about awakening those parts of you that are sleeping; once awakened, those parts help you move through the world with greater authenticity and fullness. The Dance, offered as a closing ceremony for the weeklong soul pilgrimage at Rythmia, invites us to go into the depths of the darkness that we explored on the medicine – and through the body to remove blockages and fears and anxiety, allowing the body to rewrite the soul’s contract. The “choreography” that comes out through the Dance can become a map for integration for when we return home, helping us to emerge into the world with the change we’ve experienced. It’s as if we keep on journeying inward, until we reach a space of true merging with oneself, and touching into an essence of purity and truth to the guidance we receive, helping us find our way home. As Mubarak says, “once we have reunited with the truth of who we are and are aligned, then all healing takes place.”