The locals believe that the river represents our own life. There is propulsion towards our destiny, and also an undercurrent that leads us back to our source. And no moment will ever be the same. Wherever we are in our river, we still have access to all. From the airport in Iquitos, we take a bus to the banks of the Nanay River, a tributary to the powerful Amazon River. We take a boat an hour-and-a-half downriver to our destination, the Heliconia lodge. The lodge is named for the beautiful Heliconia flower, one of the many beautiful points of interest in the jungle. After checking in to this hidden treasure in the middle of the lungs of Mother Earth, we enjoy a delicious meal of shredded palm and tomato salad, grilled fresh fish, beans, rice, and grilled veggies. For desert we savor a fruit salad of pineapple, coconut, mango, papaya and other local fruit.It seams surreal to be there and I begin to look at my life with new eyes.
Our guide informs us that we are going up river to meet one of the most skilled healers around, Don Maximo.When we arrive at his humble home, I am struck with awe by how little he has and how comfortable he is living in the equivalent of a treehouse. We are on his porch as he begins to teach us all in Spanish about the local roots, vines and leaves that have healed and transformed so many lives. Our guide Ruben translates for everyone so our minds can understand, but on a soul level, we feel like we are receiving the teachings into our auric field and into every cell of our bodies.
There is something magical about the way Don Maximo speaks. He is filled with passion for his work and it is very clear that he has huge love for humanity stored in his small body. He offers to give each of us a blessing and we gratefully accept.One by one, we each come to the center of the porch and sit with an open heart, waiting to be blessed with his gifts. Don Maximo takes a large leaf rattle and shakes it all around each person. He blows black tobacco around them and then chants and sings.I watch each person closely as the blessing is given, and I witness something beautiful. Each person, one by one experiences their own version of relief and peace.
When it was my turn, I was shocked at what happened! I looked down at my stomach and then closed my eyes. While Don Maximo was singing, I heard an audible voice that seemed to come from the ethers, telling me that what he was doing was pulling out self-hatred! That self-hatred had been stored in my stomach. For years, I have been teaching people the importance of self-love, so I was stunned to see the residue of that non-supportive feeling inside me. I realized that I have had many thoughts of wanting to be thinner, of not accepting my body exactly as it is.Tears were streaming down my cheeks as I felt the compassionate loving arms of the jungle wrapped around me. The cleansing had happened and now the blessings was being infused on a very deep level. The memory of real self-love was coming back to me. Suddenly I felt peaceful and clear.This was day one, and already the entire trip was worth it! I knew that if I remembered to love and accept myself fully, that the divinity of God, Life, and The Universe would flow through and as me, and my dreams would be supported.The next day, we went further down the river to the next tributary and met the wild, pink, freshwater dolphins. Ruben used special sounds and bells in the water to call them to us. He shared with us the legends about the pink dolphins. One of them is that the male pink dolphins have the power to attract the young maidens and carry them off to a secret place in the river. There they transform into gorgeous young men and they fall in love and live happily ever after.
As we watched the pink dolphins swim up and down the river, we docked our boat at a bar in the middle of the river. Delicious black mud brought out the playful child in each of us. I can tell you that I fell in love…with the mud, the jungle, the people, and the whole country of Peru.I invite you to join Spirit Quest Tours and me on one of two upcoming trips to Peru.