We’ve learned to romanticize the rainforest thanks to the movies, media, tourist brochures, and of late, ayahuasca trips. It’s gorgeous, it’s mystical, it’s inducive to powerful transformations and it’s teeming with wildlife, wonder and magic.
Of course, there is truth to all of this. Just being in a power vortex like the rainforest can make feel like you are finally plugged into Source and exhale a sigh of relief and wellbeing. It can make you wonder how you went through life “half-full,” unaware of your battery’s and vessel’s full potential and potency.
Even though I was born and raised in Suriname, a country almost entirely covered by tropical Amazon rainforest, there wasn’t a day that went by when I didn’t feel enchanted and enthralled by its majestic and alluring aura, interacting with me through a flirtatious butterfly, a weird-looking insect, larger-than-life plants, mesmerizing flowers, and delectable fruit.
On a lucky day, you could be courted by fleeting sounds and sights of exotic and shy wildlife—crocodilians, snakes, monkeys, piranhas, iguanas and more—not only continuously reminding you where you fit within this intricate web but that you were an intrinsic part of it.
This feeling of being high on life truly never got old.
While all these experiences provided me unforgettable experiences and lessons, the most important lesson I learned is this: nature has the last word. And nature is neutral when dishing out “natural consequences.”
Seriously. Parenting gurus stole it from mama rainforest. She is of course THE BEST at it.
I remember stepping on something sharp while swimming in a creek during a field trip with my mother’s school. She was a principal of a junior high school, and cutting school for a special occasion like this wasn’t a big deal. I must have been around eight or nine.
As soon as my mother heard what had happened to me, she dropped what she was doing, grabbed a big knife and called me to her. She held me in a strong-hold with her arms and legs while sitting on a large rock, and with her free hands, she beat the bottom of my foot with the handle of the knife so that the bacteria in the wound would “bleed out” (to reduce the risk of a tetanus infection, should I have stepped on a nail. The excruciatingly painful, stinging orange iodine was applied later.)
Even at that age, I knew when my mother hurt or hit me out of anger and frustration (and that this was abusive and wrong), and when she was doing it with the best of intentions and with the necessary urgency and fierceness to keep me safe. I probably would already have been “adult-enough” at that age to do the same should she not have been around.
There were pests, roaches, bugs, mosquitos, mites and lice of all kinds—sand, grass, and bofroe losoes––all around. If you weren’t cautious and a tiny mite bit you in between your toes or near the crevices around your groin, “ben je niet jarig.” (It wouldn’t be your birthday). You’d itch for days and nights on end, and quickly learn never to make that mistake again. Bug, pest, or bacterial infestations in your home or body could literally take over in days. With pinched noses, we watched dead wildlife or street animals getting consumed by nature’s scavengers within a week.
I’ve observed friends, and loved ones in my inner circles get very ill and even die from all kinds of disease, including something as awful as flesh-eating bacteria due to flood and sewage waters mixing.
Needless to say, my sixth sense developed right along with language and other cognitive functions, which is the case for most of us living close to nature and in these precarious circumstances.
You have tons of lived experience already as a child that a tropical climate is extremely fertile and EVERYTHING––the good and the bad, the healthy and harmful––grows with explosive voracity.
Any seeds you spit out or throw on the ground will become a plant or tree, and you learn from grown-ups to be aware at all times of what you’re sowing in life. Prevention is a big deal because it’s very hard to roll a snowball back up the hill (more likely a mud ball, but you know what I mean). You can’t weed and pull out what you don’t want and have enough time and energy at the same time to also grow and harvest what you do want.
While this may seem like an exhausting way to live, higher consciousness and awareness about our choices in life, the seeds we sow, and the patterns we are status quo-ing or not, are essential to living in integrity and alignment with nature and our best selves.
Especially those of us living in a modern-day matrix need to make time and space to upgrade to a more spiritually-aligned and abundantly-resourced way of life by humbly accepting that nature has the last word and informs our body's innate wisdom and illness patterns.
The current coronavirus outbreak is reminding me a lot of what it was like living on the edges of the rainforest (just in case you are entertaining fantasies of escaping there to get away from it all : ).
It makes me wonder (in spite of all the ways in which politicians and oligarchs are manipulating markets behind the scenes, boosting fear and economic instability, and contaminating this process with more imbalance) if we as a modern-day global family could once again fully surrender to and trust Gaia’s guidance and final say during this total reset, instead of point fingers, alienate, shrink in fear or denature ourselves even more.
Grounding with GAIA Meditation:
This is my sanctuary in the heart of the Surinamese Amazon rainforest (image on top). There is a massive grounding tree nearby.
It instantly merged with me when I did a journey to harmonize and neutralize erratic energy related to the current turmoil that’s making it difficult for all to ground. The tree felt constricted as if suffocating and strangled. It was much thinner, not the usual mother queen of the jungle.
It appeared like a mangrove tree as if stuck in a swamp and on tippy toes on its roots, very uncomfortable and not solidly grounded. A crystal appeared in my core, boldly took up space and weight, and began to absorb the constrictions and swampy toxins, which was caused by fear and pain and led to protective aggression and separation.
Then my tree merged with a rainbow eucalyptus and rays of light started to stream through the trunk of the tree, also clearing the constrictions and obstructions and helping the tree to take on its usual shape and solid self.
It felt like a relief and easier to breathe. I was firmly rooted, and became aware of the powerful vibrant river flowing nearby clearing the stagnant energy, pain, fear and frustration. It provided lots of pristine and clear nourishment and vitality. You can still safely drink the water that flows through and the life that it holds overflows with abundance.
Spaciousness and elemental harmony were restored and healing radiated within and around.
End of my journey.
May it help you remember to take out some time for yourself during these uncertain times, settle in and ground in your dynamic wholeness, and tap into your creative and natural resilience and brilliance to not only divine sacred solutions for you and your loved ones, but also solutions for our shared Pachamama and all of her children.