I'm going to a Native American sweat lodge.
Cool as shit, huh?
Driving a few hours to sit in a hot ass, dark building, sweating, convening with the spirits.... That sounds like a perfect mini-vacation for me!
For those of you who are new here at Inklings (there have been a lot lately- I've been excited!), I'm envisioning you going, 'This bitch is crazy! A Native American sweat lodge? Fun? She's lost it.' So, let's journey back...
Hubby and I moved to England right after my daughter was born. I was already doing yoga regularly in my home, and continued with that after the move. I met this *amazing* group of people from all walks of life, all belief systems, and spent 3 years learning and sharing anything and everything I could with them.
British life is so different than American life, too. Take this conversation I had one time with a British friend of mine, when she introduced me to the village's local market day:
T: Tomorrow's market day in the village. Fancy going?
Me: Yeah, what time?
T: Well, when the boys go to school in the morning, I'll just walk to your place from mine and we'll walk down to market day. 10 o'clock sound good to you?
Me: T, you live like 4 miles away from me.
T: Yeah? And?
Me: And my house is like a mile to the village. I have a baby. Why don't we drive?
T: You have a stroller, right?
Me: Yeah, but, it's like a mile...
T: You Americans are so lazy. We're changing that about you. Okay?
Me: A mile...
T: Suck it up, I'll be here in the morning.
And from that moment on, T and I went to market day together almost every Friday during the spring and summers for the rest of the time I lived there. She would walk to my house from hers, then we would walk to the village together. (I hope no one thinks I'm saying all British people think Americans are lazy; I'm not trying to start some international war here. But, Americans, think about it. Generally speaking, as a country as a whole, we are lazy. It's true. I admit it, and fully agreed with T that day.)
So, I was getting out, exercising, buying fresh, locally grown foods at the market, and was hanging out with this amazing group of people who taught me whatever they knew about herbs, meditation, different belief systems, natural healing, gemstones, and healthy living.
We even 'rented' Stonehenge for a sunrise ceremony one year. I got to stand in the middle of the circle of stones...
|Yep, me touching Stonehenge|
|Stonehenge at Sunrise|
For those who have wondered, too, Stonehenge was built for ritual ceremonies. By aliens. Had to be...
Anyway, I was making homemade, all natural lotions and skin care products, eating organic, meditating, doing yoga, and was diving into the history of England and of belief systems that pre-dated Christianity. I was becoming me, and apparently, I was a tree-hugging hippie.
|Me, Summer Solstice, 2003 (I think)|
|Me, Summer Solstice 2004, pregnant with The Ginger|
We moved back to the states in 2005 (I threw a massive temper tantrum and refused to leave at one point), and here, you have to pay for organic everything. It was expensive at the time, too. I quickly found that England was way ahead of America when it came to natural living, and I was devastated. Money got tight, and I couldn't be the hippie mom as much as I wanted to be.
So, what does one do in this situation? Apparently, one opens a new age store, in the Bible Belt of South Carolina, as a way to not only further her own internal exploration of herself, but to help open the minds of the closed-minded.
|Pic is blurry, sorry, it was a crazy opening day.|
The store stayed open for about 3 years, which, considering the town I lived in, was a pretty decent accomplishment. I held workshops, meditation classes, played host to reiki healers, and learned so much about myself and whatever my customers could teach me.
For example, did you know if you bury your husband's underwear in the backyard, he'll never cheat on you? I've never tried it, but some of my customers swore by it. Good to know, right?
When the shop finally closed, I realized how much of me went into that shop, and how much that shop was keeping me the hippie I was. I downward spiraled for a while- oh, about 3 years to be exact. No yoga, no meditation, no healthy eating, no hippie mom of yesteryear. I was bitchy, cynical, smoked, drank, cried, and found it hard to even smile most days. I'm not saying it was all due to the shop closing, but the life decisions I made after that part of my life was done were absolutely horrible.
I said at the time that I didn't know who I was and was trying to 'find myself'. Looking back now, I can see that I knew exactly who I was, and I turned my back on her. I was the hippie, tree-hugging, healthy living, yoga-doing, meditating, always optimistic, beautiful on the inside, woman of my years in England, and when I owned my store.
Now, I'm trying to find her again, because I miss her terribly.
For the first time in years, I feel I am ready to embrace her again. I am able, financially, to do the healthy eating thing, and I'm slowly getting my work schedule in a decent routine so I can figure out yoga, family outings, and meditation time for me. And, psychologically speaking, I'm in a position to handle, and help nurture, the spiritual side of me (i.e. I'm not going bat shit crazy anymore).
Which is why I jumped on the opportunity to go to a Native American sweat lodge this weekend. A full body cleansing, getting rid of toxins, speaking to the spirits, being open to whatever messages they want to give me- hells yeah! Hopefully it will help me on the path to quitting smoking (some old habits die hard), and I will pray for help with some major life decisions Hubby and I have coming up.
And maybe shed a few pounds of this Christmas Happiness weight I put on. Yes, it's almost March and I'm still carrying it. Don't judge me.
Hell, if you haven't judged me this far into everything yet, then I think I'm golden.
Time for me to get ready to go hug some trees and sweat my balls off! It's going to be amazing!