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Hiking with the Shaman

I’ve known Linda for over 30 years. We’ve journeyed together through many life challenges and joys. This past fall when I mentioned to Linda that I was offered a position by Alberto Villoldo to come to Chile in January and train his chefs at his new retreat center, Linda said without hesitation, “ I’m coming with you. “

Linda is someone who always follows her intuition, and I’ve watched the magic of her life unfold over the years. I always welcome her peaceful presence; plus, it would be fun to have her there. I knew, as always, Linda would make it happen.

Linda made her flight from Vermont to arrive around the same time as mine, (I was coming from Mexico), but we made no definite plans to meet, since neither of us knew the layout of the Chilean airport. Linda simply said we’ll find each other, and I trusted her. I knew we were in for a magical experience, when we met in the bathroom line minutes after departing our respective planes.

We arrived at Alberto’s beautiful new retreat center. We were there in January and it was summer- warm and luscious. There was an abundance of fruit dripping off the trees – ripe apricots, plums, lemons, and avocados. There was beauty everywhere we looked.

We had a profound New Year’s celebration and ritual, as people starting arriving from around the globe for the upcoming retreat called ” Growing a New Body”. I was getting familiar with the kitchen and started developing recipes for the detox program while miming with the chef I was training who didn’t speak English.

As happens with life, things were not going the way I envisioned. I was resisting what was, and I was suffering along with everyone around me. I was exhausted and getting grumpy. When the tension became palatable, Linda stepped in.

Linda coached me to navigate the murky waters. Along with some energy work from her, I lost my story, lost my excuses and joyfully gained a new way of being in the world capable of sustaining me through long days with energy to spare. I saw that being right wasn’t going to get me what I wanted.

Linda is a gifted intuitive and is the most present person I know. She could see the situation clearly and guide me through it with practical solutions. I felt transformed, fearless, as deep patterns dissolved.

Linda spent a lot of time with the shaman from Peru while I was in the kitchen, deepening her knowledge of his healing techniques. The spiral walk and fire ceremony we participated in deepened both our experiences.

Linda and I sat in our room on the day before we were leaving. We looked at each other and had the same thought at the same time. We have to lead a retreat together. What we have to offer with our combined skills is unique.

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