I Am Medicine.

I was supposed to be working on Shamanic breath work. Learning how to use my breath in a way that would facilitate cleansing and meditation.

But that all changed the moment I walked into one of the most cozy and serene places I've ever been.

I'd booked my two-hour session with Anahata nearly a month ago. I'd learned about her on the Aubrey Marcus podcast a few months back, and bookmarked her name into the folds of my brain with a notation of, "For when I'm in Sedona next."

I was reminded of her last month when one of my favorite people in the Universe (Mister Havey) posted pictures on Facebook of a visit he'd had recently to Sedona, and mentioned that he'd visited her. We discussed it briefly when I was a guest on his podcast. And I knew for sure that I needed to visit her.

My sense of being called to visit with her were reiterated again when my friend Honolu-Liu (ayahuasca friend from my first tour two years ago) messaged me about wanting to visit her to learn the breath work as well.

"You have to tell me everything about it," he said. I promised I would.

But as I pulled up to Anahata's house tucked into a cul-de-sac being guarded by red rock formations in the distance, breath work didn't seem to resonate with me any longer.

I parked my car, got out, and stepped through her front area to her door. I could hear meditation music already playing, and could taste incense in the air. I hoped I wouldn't be disturbing her as I rang the doorbell.  She opened right away.

"Hello beautiful!" she said, as she enveloped me with her arms.

I walked into her house after our embrace, and felt more calmness come over me. I was standing in a light, airy and welcoming space. It felt a little familiar. But I'd definitely never been there before, so I deduced it was the inviting warmth that I recognized.

We sat down and I filled out her paperwork, though she already had most of the data about me.

I pointed to her collections of oracle cards - a few of which I had in my own "medicine bag."

"You have Doreen (Virtue's) cards," I said.

She acknowledged them and added, "Yes. And I had a feeling we would be using them today."

We started by talking about what I wanted to work on for the session.

"Well," I began, "I think what I need is a way to clear my head and get some direction."

I had no idea where this was coming from or leading to.  But I continued anyway.

"I am about to enter a 7 year on my next birthday in April," I said, hoping I didn't sound crazy. But then I realized where I was and whom I was talking to, and knew she wouldn't think Iw as crazy.

"The 7 year is a time of meditation and reflection," I said. "And I know I'm going to start that year in April and know by the end of it in which direction I should be going. Lately I've been focused on writing a book and starting a podcast about medicine journeys, like ayahuasca. But I'm not sure what I want to do after I finish both of these things."

Before she responded to anything, she wanted to know when in April my birthday was. I told her.

"Ah," she said with a smile. "You're an Aries. Aries women are very strong and tend to be more masculine in demeanor."

She said it as if it explained a lot about me. Then, she pulled out a chart of chakras.

"We all have deficiencies in our chakras somewhere," she said.

She explained that I needed to be careful when writing this book and sharing the messages about the plant medicines, as it has the potential to lure people in who are already not grounded (in the Root - or red - chakra) and already spending too much time in the Crown (purple) chakra.

"You have to make sure you prioritize the message of 'integration' of what is learned in the medicine space," she emphasized.

I agreed completely. And that very thing was something that had been holding me back on fully moving forward with both the book and the podcast.

It's absolutely critical to know if the medicine world experience is truly calling you, or if you are being lured into it for false reasons. If you're looking to just get high and trip balls, it's not going to be for you... And it can very much do you more harm than good.

She pointed all of this out, though I knew it very well.

"Yes," I said. "Absolutely. Ayahuasca in particular strips layers from you. And you need shamanic healers to guide you and keep you safe. Otherwise you are susceptible to all kinds of things floating around."

She agreed. And pointed out that the psyche is a very fragile thing. Brain chemistry is a very fragile thing. And most shamanic healers do not know how to properly hold a space.

She is correct. It's one of the reasons I have only gone with Blue Morpho to try plant medicines. I trust completely that they are trained and know what they are doing. It frightens the shit out of me when I hear of people doing ayahuasca in the desert outside of Vegas. Or in a "church" in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.

The icaros, the shamans, the energy... All of it is needed to keep a space clear before, during and after a ceremony. Once a plant medicine like ayahuasca starts burning layers of your psyche, you unleash all kinds of things. You want people who know how to move that energy along once you release it... So that it doesn't reattach to you and doesn't attach to anyone else. 

It sounds "out there." But really, it isn't. Think about how the moods of others affect you everyday. And that's just people purging their feelings at a slow rate that is mixed in with the distractions of everyday life. Go to a plant medicine retreat, where distractions are gone and the only thing you have to focus on is dealing with your shit... And you will see the moods accelerate out of someone faster than anything you've ever seen. And you will feel them.

Anahata's insights and the conversation were incredible. They were exactly what I needed to hear in order to feel like I had some direction to proceed with the journey that has been ticking around in my brain.

We spent the rest of the time talking about how to use additional healing tools (crystals, sounds, vibrations, incense, sacred geometry, etc.) to clear a space and to hold a space. And eventually it came time to have some healing work done.

She asked me to choose an oracle deck to work with for the remained of the session. I chose the sacred geometry deck. I closed my eyes, felt through the deck... And pulled out the DNA card.

A double helix that wound up and down. It reminded me of a snake. I told Anahata this. She pulled out a chakra chart and pointed out that the motion of the double helix was similar to how energy moves throughout the chakras.

Looking at me, she could tell that while I am grounded in my Root chakra when it comes to career and money, I was not grounded in feminine ways.

"You're an Aries," she reminded me. "You have male tendencies. You need to focus on grounding yourself in feminine ways."

She also mentioned that I appeared to be blocked in the Solar Plexus (yellow) chakra and the Heart (green) chakra. I didn't deny this. I've known it for a while.

"Emotionally," she said, "You're very in tune. You're well-adjusted and seem to deal with anything that comes your way. You're aware."

What I needed, apparently, was to balance myself. The feminine and the masculine.  And that ability is contained in my Solar Plexus.

"You have the male traits," she said again. I was starting to wonder where my penis was.  "You are a person who takes action. But what you need to learn to do is flex the feminine power... Learn to see the big picture rather than rushing in to take action."

"You need to be better about self love," she added.

Which led us into the Heart chakra deficiency. She seemed to think I was cutting myself off from love.

Not entirely true, I noted internally. While I have "loved" others... My ex-husband, my ex-boyfriend... I have yet to really in my life experience a sense of live where I feel like it is equal. I've felt as though in both of these recent "love" situations that I was not going to receive back what I could give. I was in these relationships because I wanted to take care of someone... But struggled to allow them to nourish and take care of me.

"Love has meant weakness. And no freedom."

That was my internal voice.

Anahata took me to her healing room in the house... A cim and cozy room with a massage table in it. Underneath the blankets on the table was an amethyst bio mat. She placed the double helix card and the chakra chart under the table while I laid upon it. She used reiki and words to treat me.

"You're in a cave. It's womb-like. There is a fire. The medicine woman who resides in the cave is sitting close to the fire, as she always is. You sit next to her. How does she make you feel?"

"I feel warm. And calm," I said.

"What medicine does she say you need?"

"She says my voice," I said.

"She says I am medicine."

Soon after that, we finished.

I thanks Anahata, and left in my car.

I had a 7 hour drive back to San Diego. And all the time to process everything that had happened.

I need to be more meditative, and less reactionary. I need to take better care of myself, and not rush around so fast like a tornado.