Temazcal we meat again

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Survived the Temazcal!

This past weekend, there was a “Festival of the Spirit” event happening in the park across the street from our casa; how handy was this? Incredibly handy!

It made for a really lovely weekend in the neighborhood; the sounds of pan flutes, conch shells, drums and kirtan came softly wafting through the house, as opposed to super-loud Mexican music. I enjoy the weekend mariachi sounds, but why-oh-why can’t a country the size of Mexico have one set of speakers that work correctly? Maybe they all go to ELEVEN and then some, but the sounds of this weekend were quite pleasant and I of course spent a bit of time in the park chatting with the healers, dancers and merchants. This was a delicious weekend!

I signed up for the temazcal and it turns out it was being hosted by Gustavo, the same man who ran the temazcal I participated in at el Charco del Ingenio (the botanical gardens) last year. Gustavo was looking much leaner and his muscles were more strongly defined; I mentioned he looked thinner and he excitedly told me his girl friend had helped him change his diet. Ahhh I am gluten free now too, save for a few cheats I’ve had since arriving in SMA.

Reading my post from last year’s temazcal reminded me of how fearful I was about recovering my health; my fears have quieted a bit, but there’s always more to do. Being diagnosed with a low thyroid condition BEFORE I needed to go on medication was a Godsend and pushed me to make the changes I had been entertaining; getting off wheat and sugar. Faced with the idea of daily medication, I jumped in with both feet. I started asking around and was absolutely floored at the number of women I met with auto-immune conditions and/or diseases, and the challenge to discover a new way of eating.

I don’t like being the weirdo at the party, the one who has to take five minutes to discover what’s in the food and then how to change it to my specifications, is there anything more annoying then THAT person? The world of living gluten-free is alive and kicking and the ideas are swirling all around me; thankfully it’s a lively community!

I successfully survived my 30-days of no wheat, no sugar, no grains, no caffeine on The Myers Way program, and came out on the other side a lighter and brighter person; I no longer cry at the drop of a hat either, which is a good thing for all those considered. I like this lifestyle; it works well for working with my energy and the energy around me because I no longer feel fuzzy from sugar, nor wheat. I’ve lost about 10 pounds and can run, skip and jump so much better. However, the challenges of maintaining this lifestyle are a bit challenging in Mexico, however, San Miguel de Allende is probably one of the more advanced cities in the country, even rivaling Mexico City for the access to gluten-free, organic and grass-fed options. People are moving here from all over because it is a forward-thinking community.

Reed has had a cattle ranch outside of San Miguel de Allende in Dolores Hidalgo for a number of years. I told him I needed a cow because I need to eat grass-fed beef and it’s hard to come by on a consistent basis. He then told me if I could find someone to process the beef, the project is MINE. I had a meeting the next day with Via Organic, the local organic shop that has far-reaching tentacles around the world, as they have initiated and are involved in many projects and educational efforts to reverse the effects of global climate and provide a more organic and clean way of living in Mexico and beyond.

We struck a deal and currently have gone to market and soon you will find our Rancho Santo Nino grass-fed beef at Via Organica. I am excited to be a part of this project, which is leading us to be involved in other projects in the community and elsewhere. Stay tuned for more information!

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Reiki on the cows:))

“The word Temazcal originates from the Aztec, “calli”, meaning house, and “temas”, meaning vapor or steam. The structure, made from mortar and stone, is symbolic of Mother Nature’s womb. Through the use of steam and healing herbs, the Temazcal ceremony purifies the body and the spirit.”

Amongst eighteen strangers, I once again was the only American and now felt very much at ease as I crawled into the ceremonial hot hut, while wearing barely nothing. It should be noted that I believe the Mexican woman is the strongest and hardiest of all the creatures there ever existed; this sweat lodge becomes unbearably hot and we are in there for over three hours, yet the Mexican woman remains unswayed and fully-clothed. Jewelry too. I am in awe of their ability to endure while the rest of us fall all over each other from the sweltering heat and pitch darkness.

I now understand and appreciate the community aspect of a temazcal, to be so close to each other, respect each other and to quiet the fears if you think you or your neighbor is going to freak out — and believe me, the idea is right there.

It’s an amazing feeling to crawl out of the hut after I’ve sang songs, cried and prayed to my Gods. I have been walking on clouds ever since and feel incredibly grateful for the experience and how it makes me feel. I am getting involved in some exciting projects in the community and am excited to move them forward.

Jump in that temazcal if you get the chance, it’s a wonderful opportunity to shed some unwanted skin!

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And then there’s the #PicTweetArt, exploring even more deeply the energy between people. I am learning anatomy and how to draw emotions. My first set of balls ever!! :DD

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#PicTweetArt going deeper! xx

Drift Out of Driftwood

dirty meag

This week I am closing up life at the ranch and joining Reed in San Miguel de Allende for the next few weeks. It’s hot as a witch’s breath here in Austin; everything’s gone and dried up and blowing in the dust. I hear cackles in the wind, it’s that hot.

I’m so very happy to be heading down south; when the news sank in, my spirit shot up about three stories high. My time in Central Texas has not been easy, oh but it has been highly educational.

It’s been challenging to find work in and around Austin, THE hottest, hippest city in America. Countless interviews later, I was probably giving off a much bigger vibe of “no, I really don’t want to work for your company” than their vibe of “now wait, who are you?” After years of working for companies I could not be more opposed to, I find it difficult to pretend to be excited about someone else’s company. Throughout many of the interviews, I could see exactly why I would leave, or more specifically, why they wouldn’t ask me to join. I have had small project work here and there, but mostly I have spent a heck of a lot of time expanding my repertoire of energy, energy, energy, gimme more of that arty-energy-jui-jui-jui.

My fear of failing after being fired a handful of times a few short years ago has had a fierce grip on me, almost smothering at times, but my backbone has returned and I’m ready to get forward move ahead. I failed at being able to succeed in a corporate job; I never liked it, but that’s what I was supposed to do, right? My mom’s voice still haunts me, “for crying out loud Meag, why can’t you just keep your mouth shut?”. This internal struggle has led me to work for some terrible people at some awful companies and guess what? I could not keep my mouth shut and was eventually shown the door.

My inner conflicts reflected as all my outer struggles. I have been in my way forever.

Another challenge to finding work was “being so far away from Austin” in Driftwood, Texas, a small po-dunk Texas Hill Country town, about 22 miles southwest of Austin. Yes, TWENTY-TWO miles, not TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-TWO miles. Driftwood truly has a gritty feel of the wild, wild West; it’s rugged and quiet, hot and empty — for now, the real estate wars are heating up all across Hays County. The Salt Lick BBQ is here and that’s a huge claim to fame for Texas BBQ fans, but there is little else besides ranching, cowboying, and stealing water. Reed’s family has had property here for a number of years, so I have had the privilege of living on a gorgeous National Park, in a state with very little national parks. I have tremendously enjoyed my ranch explorations with Dito Bandito at my side, Henry in the car; I will always think fondly of this little internet-providerless town, ideally from afar.

You get dirty when you live in Driftwood, it comes with the territory and the terrifying shower I avoid like the plague. Here, I have lived precariously close to scorpions, spiders, snakes, fire ants, lobsters, chiggers, kissing bugs, cows, wasps, mean donkeys, mean HORSES, oh and an angry Reed Burns, but the latter has started to mellow as he ages like a fine wine, errr rather a full-bodied, potent, añejo tequila. We have had a rough road together, Reed and I, but we’ve also made great strides as we break down our walls — huge graffiti-filled walls from the early days of our spontaneous, mostly reckless, tequila-fueled, rowdy marriage. I am excited to meet Reed; he’s in his element in Mexico and it is something to behold, when he holds his court.

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In early 2001, I moved to San Miguel de Allende to teach Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms dance class and develop my artistic talent. However, in reality, after 10+ years of sobriety, I decided to drink the vino tintos and life took a turn towards a very different path than I had envisioned. It wasn’t awful, but sometimes it was painfully awful. I certainly had some glorious times, but many of my demons came back to haunt, they took a hold and directed my life for a number of years and through a number of scenarios. I eventually made my way back to Chicago after our divorce and I spent the next few years directionless and heart broken.

I am not these things anymore; my heart is alive and looking straight ahead. I take my dedication to all-things-energy very seriously and have experienced some tremendous healing as of late. I was recently attuned in Reiki Level II in Wimberly with Melissa Kleen; I am very aware of the strengthening eyeballs in the palms of my hands. An intensely powerful shamanic surgery with a clairaudient shaman healer has created new pathways in and around my heart during a mind-expanding experience. A traditional cacao ceremony has elevated my heart and I can’t stop giggling, nor crying tears of joy, for that matter — it has also changed my approach to my art and how I see the world. An autoimmune friendly approach to eating has relieved some long-time anxieties and discomfort, in addition to helping me drop some weight I had been struggling with. Curious to see how I will fare when face-to-face with the delicious street tacos of Guanajuato olé!

—> I am totally ready to get to work — I need to get to work.

ANDALE! Nos vemos!! Saying adios to my NIA Dance pals, until next time xx

Cries from the Buddha Belly

This past week was my second week of an intense daily qi gong practice called “Jingui Golden Shield,” and this was also the week that the levy broke. The beginner instruction for this ancient form of qi gong involved slapping my bare stomach in key meridian points for several minutes in succession, in order to awaken the chi (qi, prana, holy spirit, life force energy, call it what you will) to quickly develop the human energy body for improved health.

Yes, it hurts to slap the belly with the bare hands. So what, I said.

On about the 12th day, tears started to fall as I reached the end of my lesson, right before I was to hit the floor and apply the ancient Chinese tincture to my red-hot pink belly. My instructor suggested I stay ahead of the slapping; in fact it should be a hit and not a slap, and don’t take it too far — but don’t be numb to it. It should keep me awake. I tried to find that spot that kept me awake; I could not. The tears continued as I made my way home. I kept on crying; the tears fell throughout the day and night, when I was alone and when I was with others. ugh.

You know that crying that comes from super-deep within the lungs and goes on forever with the mouth agape, yet no sound is produced? I had time to wonder if I would ever breathe again, or if it would ever stop. That kinda crying. Buddha Belly tears, but fuck that, I was not in search of a zen-like state-of-being, I was cracking some buried egg wide open all over the place, and the oozing seemed to have no end in sight. It was the most exhausting cry I ever cried.

In some recent blood tests, I learned I have a borderline thyroid condition that does not yet warrant medication, but now is the time to repair current damage and prevent future injury. My research into the world of autoimmune disorders and conditions has begun. Whoa Nelly I had no idea!

I read a new book written by Austin doctor, Dr. Amy Myers, called “The Autoimmune Solution” and could not believe how much sense this book made to me. I have been denying symptoms of my autoimmune disorder for years, but did not even realize it; I just thought I lacked the discipline and motivation to achieve my goals in life, although I have always remained busy. In the past six month, my symptoms have worsened; weight gain, chronic fatigue, digestive disorders, muscle soreness and brain fog.

I continue to exercise quite a bit and assumed I was always sore because of it, but now I wonder. I exercise because I worry I’m getting fat and old, although I do really enjoy being active and continue to have ambitious future goals. The worry makes my stomach upset after eating a very small amount. I sometimes forget what I am doing. The movie “Still Alice” was scary to watch. We all forget, right? I cry A LOT. My Chinese doctor gets a little uncomfortable when he sees me. I have to lay down after each meal I eat, even if I just slept 9 hours and this “laziness” drives me bat-shit crazy. It’s all a vicious cycle and this book goes into great detail about our current state of gluten and how it’s newly-mass-manufactured evil properties are wiping the human race right off the planet. Well she doesn’t exactly say that, but it does not look good for the world and all it’s millions of highly-processed gluten-filled products we find ourselves surrounded by.

I have been tremendously stressed over the past few years and my life has yet to settle down, but I never considered any lasting physical effect from any of this…. until now. Now it’s staring right at me in the mirror and I need to make some enormous changes.

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I have stopped working out every day; I stepped away from the qi gong classes. I have cried a river of tears and I’m not even sure why, except it sure does feel good when it’s over. I am going to do the Myers Way Program because I want to feel as good as I can for the rest of my days. I have suspected sugar and bread and whatnot for months and months and now my exhausted self is ready to take this leap of faith.

Pass the hankies xx