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Chapter 6: The time in Brazil ended, and I returned back to the Netherlands, to my life, to my relationship, and my job in the classical music world. The weeks alone in Brazil had given me...
The time in Brazil ended, and I returned back to the Netherlands, to my life, to my relationship, and my job in the classical music world. The time alone in Brazil had given me so much clarity around my relationship with my girlfriend, that the moment I walked into our apartment in Amsterdam, we sat down on the sofa and in a conversation closed it. In one of my last ceremonies in Brazil, I received a vision of a center in Peru, so I told her that I was moving to Peru in the next year and that I would move out of the apartment as soon as I found another place to stay.
Within two weeks I was sharing another house in Amsterdam with a stranger, was back playing in the Radio Orchestra, and had five litres of Santo Daime in my fridge. Things had shifted quickly. Many of my closest relationships—my family, my colleagues, and my friends—did not understand what was happening to me. When I shared some of my experiences in Brazil and the plans I had to move to Peru, I could feel the judgement and doubt in people, quite a few people took their distance from me.
That unfolding reminded me of the time when I was young and people had told me that Ada was not real. That judgement of people had been really difficult, since for me she was one the truest things in my life. I had felt really lonely at that time, and now I felt a similar loneliness. I had hoped for understanding and excitement from the people around me, hoped for support and encouragement, but instead, people distanced themselves, and I could feel my old life falling apart. I started to doubt all the visions I had received, and all the things that were to come. The breakup made me feel heavy and insecure. The confidence and trust I had felt in Brazil were disappearing quickly. Unsure what my next steps ought to be, I decided to hold onto all that had happened in Brazil. I had to keep my focus on trusting, and not get lost in fear and insecurity.
I looked on the internet for venues where I could hold ceremonies, and quickly found pictures of a country house in the east of the Netherlands that strongly resembled the place I had seen in my visions. Was I going to hold my first ceremonies there, exactly as the medicine had shown me? My body was tingling with excitement upon seeing those pictures. I called the owner, and we spoke on the phone for a while. “Normally I wouldn’t allow ceremony to happen here,” she told me, “but with you, I feel a clear yes. Why don’t you come here in the autumn?” Her trust was such a beautiful sign in a time full of turmoil and insecurity.
I started to reach out to people, and naturally, a group of six formed itself. At the same time, I learned that Padrinho Alfredo was coming to the Netherlands. Hearing that did gave me a boost. It would be great to connect with him again. In full synchronicity, he was holding a Santo Daime work in Amsterdam right before my first ceremony, and a few other ones two days after my ceremonies in Belgium.
I attended his Amsterdam ceremony and told him I had planned two ceremonies of my own, had prepared everything as well as I could, had found a venue and a small group of people had opted to come and join. He gave me his blessing for the upcoming ceremonies. That night in Amsterdam, I took my bassoon into the Santo Daime work for the first time. It felt so good to play along with everybody singing and dancing. There was so much joy and celebration. While I was playing, the medicine kept teaching me, preparing me for the ceremonies to come.
Prem, a dear friend whom I had met during my time with Norberto, came to assist in my first ceremonies. My mother, my sister, and my cousin attended the weekend, just as I had seen in my vision, and some other people had signed up as well. We arrived at the venue and started setting things up. Even though I had no experience holding ceremonies, things seemed to flow, and the communication with Prem was beautiful. The people arrived, and finally, it was time to open the first ceremony. My heart was beating quickly, but I focused on my breath and kept it deep and slow.
The first weekend unfolded beautifully, and everything went well. I learned that when I stayed open and listened to my intuition and to the medicine, I could easily tune into the people and the ceremony. When my mind started to kick in, I lost track a bit. I knew I had a lot to learn in the realm of ceremony, still, it felt like a familiar place to me, almost as if I had done this many times before.
When the two ceremonies were over and we sat in a circle with all the participants, my mother shared something very special. She said that she had been a bit worried over the last year, with me going into ceremony, and seeing all the changes that came with it. “But now,” she continued, “having seen you lead a ceremony and having felt the medicine, I have to say that now I completely understand what you are doing. I have never seen you so in your element. I think this is the reason why you were born; this is what you came to share this life.” Those words touched me deeply, coming from my mother. I stored those words deep in my heart. I knew that there were still many steps to follow, but her testimony gave me a lot of courage and trust to keep walking.
After completing those ceremonies, I attended the ceremony with Padrinho Alfredo in Belgium. I reported on all that had happened and communicated many details with him. He listened with full attention and told me he was happy to hear about it. I could continue holding the ceremonies, and whenever I needed more medicine, I could let him know, and the church would help me. Everything was unfolding naturally, and although it was also a challenging time in my life, it felt so good. That night I drank a good cup of medicine, and the sounds of the bassoon were singing my songs of gratitude to the medicine. It felt so good to be playing again with all the other musicians. Those moments really helped me to feel that it was all worth it.
The weeks after, I felt great and felt a lot of trust. I played in the orchestra, and although I could still feel the tension from some of my colleagues, it felt good to play music again, confident in all that was unfolding. I enjoyed those concerts tremendously. I could see that my inner state greatly affected whatever I was doing. When I felt insecure and feared the future, things started crumbling down; when I felt trust, confidence, and surrender, things unfolded in full synchronicity. The waves between the trust and the insecurity were tiring, and I was not sure what do to about them. I went from feeling great and full of confidence after the ceremonies to feeling weak and insecure a couple of weeks later.
I had some extra concerts planned at the opera in Valencia that winter. I was looking forward to being out of the Netherlands for a while and enjoying a few weeks of great people, good food, and sunshine. Unexpectedly, I received a message that my participation in those concerts had been cancelled. It was very unusual in the classical music world for an orchestra to cancel a contract. My trust and confidence started to crumble again.
Within a few days, I felt lost. I remembered my very first ceremonies in Peru, and how they had felt. I longed to go back to that place, to be in ceremony again, receiving the medicine as a participant. Feeling that, and seeing the open period in my calendar, I shifted my perspective. What if this all happened for a reason? What if that period opened up in my calendar so that I could go to Peru again and receive? With those questions coming in, I jumped onto my computer and in no time found that a retreat was happening in the same place where it had all started a year and a half before in the Sacred Valley. I signed up, and within a week I sat on a plane to Peru.
It felt so good to be back in those stunning mountains. The first ceremony was gentle, allowing me into the space and to go back to the trust I felt in the medicine. In the second ceremony, very strong medicine was served, and people went into deep processes. Some were crying, others shouting, and others were moving uncontrollably. It was the wildest ceremony I had ever attended. I was lying on the floor under a blanket, my body shaking. At one point I felt that I needed some assistance, but all the assistants were busy helping other people. It was pure chaos in the temple. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
At that moment, Madre Ayahuasca appeared again very clearly. When I saw her, I breathed a sigh of relief. I was so grateful to see her; immediately I felt safe. I closed my eyes to receive some of her gentle words of encouragement, but instead of feeling my body relax, I felt a bolt of energy moving through. I opened my eyes and looked straight at her; her eyes were penetrating my being. “What are you doing?” she asked fiercely. “Why are you lying on the ground shaking? Didn’t you say you wanted to be of service? Didn’t you say you wanted to help people, to serve humanity?”
Her words took me by surprise, and it took me a while to find my focus. “Yes,” I thought, nodding my head. “Yes, I want to be of service.”
“Then why are you lying on your side, under a blanket, shaking like a baby? Get up and help people. Don’t you see there is help needed right here and now?”
I sat up, still deep on the force of the medicine, a bit shaken up by her words. But then I saw the truth of them and started to giggle. I got my act together, stood up, and started to move around in that pitch-black darkness.
One of the people I assisted that night was a German man, named Mike, who was in his late thirties and new to the medicine. I took him outside; he was in a deep state of fear and anxiety. As I was one of the only people who could speak German, I stayed with him for several hours and helped him as much as I could. I sat next to him, holding him, making sure he had water, reassuring him with my words. At the end of the night, when the ceremony was closed, I helped him back to his room, tucked him in, and stayed with him until he was calmer and ready to fall sleep. The next morning at breakfast, we had a long conversation. Mike thanked me for my help and said that it had been a very rough night. “Thank you so much for staying with me. I am not sure if I’d have made it through without you. Your presence was so grounding and reassuring.”
Our conversation continued, and I learned that he had just travelled around the world and written a book. Together with his wife, he had plans to open a center for healing in Germany. He and his wife were still debating the final steps. He shared that something was holding them back from making the final decisions and that he hoped to receive more clarity while being in Peru.
He showed me their business plan, which looked very professional and well thought out. Seeing such a well-organized plan for the first time, brought a lot of clarity to the vision I had received of a center in Peru. I hadn’t really thought about all the steps it would take to open such a place. Mike walked me through their plan step by step, giving me many insights into what such a venture would entail. I was soaking it all up and felt much gratitude and admiration. While he explained details about their plan, I felt the Peru healing center shaping up in my head. I stayed silent and just listened. I felt it was not the time to share my vision just yet.
Later that night we sat in a circle around the fire in the living room. It was very cosy, with delicious food and everyone laughing and talking. I just sat back and enjoyed listening to all the stories and things that were shared. Could I imagine living here in Peru? Could I imagine having a center here in Peru? Was I ready to share that vision with the people here? My heart felt warm and cozy, but I decided to stay silent and enjoy the night.
The next morning Mike and I sat outside in the sun, overlooking the dramatic mountain range. Hummingbirds were flying around. Mike and I had gotten quite close, and feeling our connection, I felt I was ready to share a bit of the vision I had received just a few months earlier in Brazil. I told him about a yellow house I had seen in my visions, and how it felt to me like a healing center in the Sacred Valley. I voiced that I had a feeling to move to Peru the following summer to open that center.
Mike listened attentively, and when I finished sharing, he was silent. “Interesting,” he said, after a while. “I came to Peru to find guidance around the next step in my life, and with the center in Germany. These days have made me feel that a German center might not be in my future. What you are sharing here touches me, and having seen your work with me in the ceremony here gives me a lot of confidence in who you are and what you are capable of. Let me speak to my wife. Maybe we can support you in creating your vision.”
I received those words feeling my whole body tingle, and waves of warmth moved through. When Mike returned home, he and his wife made the decision to make a generous donation toward the opening of my center in Peru.
All the uncertainty I had felt in Amsterdam was lifted, and I was granted a renewed trust. As money was involved this time, it made all my ideas more real and tangible. I had asked that all the funds necessary for that vision to be manifested would be available, and Madre had said yes to me. This first donation coming in was an incredible confirmation of my intuition and my visions. That gesture by Mike and his wife gave me a lot of strength to keep walking and to keep following my dream. Strength was coming in. The insecurity was going out.