When we dive into unintegrated blockages, it may appear that our experience is worsening. But this is a necessary part of the process.

By this we mean blockages are projected onto the screen of the world. Our experience appears to deteriorate into increasing discomfort and strangeness. Conversely, however, these experiences are authentic signs of progress and evolution. We need to trust the process.

Only by going through these uncomfortable experiences can we come to a place of knowing and wisdom – which ultimately resides in the heart, not the head. Our experience then becomes our teacher, and the shadow comes to define the Light.

Trauma often results in splitting and disowning parts of ourselves, which can cause a sudden, or in other cases, more gentle breaking open of our ego. These experiences of breaking open can also be an opportunity for us to encounter profound and significant growth, healing and transformation. Trauma becomes a gateway and our wounds a portal in which our true nature is revealed.

The wound is the place where light enters you – Rumi.

Temple Guest 2

When we explore our wounds, we find spaces within ourselves that are often absent of love, filled with grief, pain or a sense of emptiness. In these spaces, where the cracks emerge, we begin to see what is beyond and behind our pain and trauma. There is often an opening, which we experience as a softening and a movement into surrender.

Authentic growth cannot be achieved without going through this process. It cannot be bypassed. The medicine will often take us to the limits of our ability to resist discomfort. And this pain can sometimes border on too much to bear. However, core or causal healing and authentic growth are achieved when we are out of our comfort zone – that is where the magic happens.

Conscious awareness of our shadow is the precursor to transformation. Consciously engaging with emotional pain and discomfort is the alchemy of transformation.

Consciously dying to old aspects of ourselves is followed by re-birth. It is important to not judge our healing experience by how ‘good’ we feel as we move through it, because it will always be uncomfortable.

The pain and discomforts (shadows) are the dragons or inner demons that guard the gates to liberation. They restrict those who are not ready. They function as an invitation and a deterrent. The storm exists within and is reflected without. Diving into this storm is a rite of passage.

Respectful and experienced administration of plant medicines and ceremonies are tools and allies on the journey of self-awakening. They instigate and accelerate the healing process significantly during ceremony, but they cannot take us through the final gateway.

Their help needs to be combined with a lifelong personal commitment and specific practices that enable us to return to embodying our ‘true self’. We need to be ready, willing and able to face all that is unconscious and unintegrated within ourselves. They key to transformation is within us.