In the mid 70’s as the Vietnam war was winding down and the U.S. was at a low point, I was running a skydiving center in the middle of the desert in Arizona. At night rouge airplanes would fly in with no lights, unload drugs and head back out.
It was the wild west . . . I was only 24 years old and already had been married and divorced from a government mafia man working for Jimmy Hoffa.
I had my first child at 17 – a son - who was killed by the time I was 19. Our home was also burned to the ground the same night. Some years later another home was burned to the ground. This is the kind of trauma drama where one ends up with PTSD. But, it was not a word with meaning back then.
Leaving that marriage, I started skydiving and was soon running the whole airport. After a couple of years I decided to try and win a spot on the U.S. Parachute Team.
I sold everything, gave up the parachute center and drove across the country to Ft. Bragg, N.C. where the best of the best and the army competition team trained.
I would be training in a part of the sport called “Style” – think gymnastics at 200 mph. with only 26 seconds of free-fall airtime.
I was also trying to find myself and any kind of meaning I could hang on to. The Carlos Constanada books about his vision quest journeys with Don Juan, the Mazatec shaman in Mexico were especially insightful.
Engrossed in the stories of peyote and magic mushrooms as teacher plants, I was open to the potential of using these medicines.
I had kind of forgotten about mushrooms and the Don Juan stories until some years later when a friend showed up who was a kind of “medicine man.” He said he had some psilocybin mushrooms and we should go into nature and take them. I was in!
We went to a lake up in the mountains – it was warm and sunny and no one else was around. This was my first time . . . I knew nothing.
We took the mushrooms before driving to the lake – as we drove through the mountain roads, the trees turned into incredibly artistic shapes. I remember the cover of a book when I was a child where the branches of the trees were long and vivid – like beautiful art. I was sure Hobbits lived there.
The sand by the lake was like warm butter as we walked barefooted to the shore and laid down.
Soon I was melting into the sand. My eyes turned into water – my whole body was water. I became water. It was beautiful. I’ve never been so relaxed – there was no stress or thought – I was one with everything. It was like the summer sun was warming my soul and had come to heal my pain of past lives - my son being killed, and homes being burned to the ground.
It was as if I were living karmas of lifetimes and becoming an old soul. It was like a rapture with angels showing me a new path.
My body and the sand were one - "I" (as the ego) was no longer there. I had clear awareness of no distinction from myself and any other being or thing.
We eventually came back into the world and drove back to the house. There alone in my bedroom as the mushrooms wore off, my whole body turned into a third eye of knowing . . . I cried gentle tears, none of it was about pain. It was about “knowing”. I started getting answers to life – to “seeing” into the layers of IT all. “IT” meaning the complexities of life. I was graduating onto a different path.
It was one of those “trips” where the experience lasts a life-time – in the most wonderful profound way. Now, 30 years later, this is still a highlight of my life.
When I went back to training – which was a 365 day a year conquest to make the Olympic team, I was a different person. I remember one day walking out to the helicopter across the field. I felt like I could walk on air – I saw each blade of grass distinctly and separately, I’ll never forget this. My ability to focus was never sharper. I was in the Zone of all possibility . . . and I knew how to get there. Over the next 30 years, I’ve never lost this ability to focus.
I did win a spot on the U.S. Team and went to the world meet in Rome, Italy. There I won 3 gold medals and a bronze – the first U.S. woman to do so.
I feel an extreme humbleness with the teacher plants. It’s an attitude of “I know nothing” – which is true.
As these precious plant medicines once again start taking the spot-light worldwide as the best “healing” medicines for PTSD, depression, anxiety, feeling love, feeling positive self-esteem - - I am fully onboard with all possibility and once again have studied these medicines and use them for my own vision quest journey's.
Moving now to Mexico, I’ve formed unique personal retreats here in San Miguel de Allende for those who look to reinvent their lives in the most special ways possible.
We’re also looking at future possibilities of bringing plant medicine therapies to destination retreats that would not normally offer such expanding wellness treatments. As the stigma of psychedelic therapies become mainstream, I believe this will be the future of wellness journey's.