Several years back, one of my mentors, Mandaza Kandemwa, a healer from Zimbabwe, invited me to go on a vision quest to the desert. He said I would find something there that would help a lot of people and would transform my life.
I had already had some incredible life transforming journeys following his invitations, so I knew I was going to go to the desert!
It took a year for an opportunity to arise for me to get near a desert. I went to Los Angeles for a Business Training and from there I went to Joshua Tree for three days!
I had brought my tent as I planned to camp at the Joshua Tree Retreat Centre.
When I was driving to the retreat centre I missed the turn off and ended up driving to the opposite end of the National park on the Colarado desert side. Before entering the park, I stopped my rental car to make an offering to the land to give thanks to the Spirits of the land and introduce myself. I made a small offering of water.
Once inside the park, I began playing Jennifer Berezan’s gorgeous CD, Praises for the World, which became the theme for my journey.
It was incredible to drive from one end of the park to the other where the Colarado Desert meets the Mojave desert. I was enthralled by the expansive and sparse landscape.
I drove through and arrived at the Retreat centre later in the day. It was an absolute mess there!! It was post Bhakti Fest (A Yoga festival) and they had not cleaned up yet! I was not happy, and It was late, so I camped one night.
During the night there was a deluge of rain and later the next morning, I found out that part of the road I had driven through was closed due to flash flooding!
I wondered about that water offering and about how my taking a wrong turn the day before, allowed me to see that side of the park that had been flooded.
I began exploring different areas of Joshua Tree and decided to camp in the park instead of at the retreat centre. I had met another camper in the park who was also staying at the retreat centre and so we decided to share a campsite. It was incredible to camp on the land there at Hidden Valley surrounded by small barren mountains, giant stones, Joshua Trees, and oh that night sky! I was in a state of awe, wonder and gratitude.
I spent my days alone in ceremony on the land. My process was walking the land, listening deeply, sounding when called and receiving messages through writing. I followed my inner guidance step by step. Each time I was driving I found myself weeping from being so deeply moved by this expansive land.The soundtrack of Praises went so beautifully with my experience.
On my last day I was guided to be among the Joshua Trees and I received this message:
” Getting down to the bare bones of Life is the heart.
That is all that counts. That these bones that lie in the ground loved well and were loved. What it means to be alive on this planet is to Love.
That is right relationship. Right relationship with your Self.
Fill yourself with Self Love and radiate this love out to all…
Loving truly is living from the heart and knowing you are Love. There is no worthiness to get. You are that which creates all things. That which creates all things does not feel unworthy. Its nature is Love. Nature is Love. You find True Love in the present moment….
Study the Joshua Tree and how it has thrived in this harsh condition. Look at all of the life here that thrives. There is an abundance of Love everywhere…..
There is a gift waiting for you beyond the 2 Joshua Trees ahead. It is a heart stone to remind you of the Love you are….”
I consciously crossed through the gateway of the 2 Joshua Trees, leaving behind layers of unworthiness and stepped into Love.
I recognized the beautiful stone relative, which was in the shape of a large heart. I knew it was the gift that Mandaza had spoken about. My heart was cracked open and I was brought down to my knees, prostrating to Mother Earth in reverence and weeping. I made a heartfelt offering of tobacco in thanks for this wondrous gift.
The message from Joshua Tree was a deep healing for me as I had suffered a lot from layers of not feeling of not feeling worthy of love most of my life in spite of all of the personal and healing work I had done up until then. I felt held in Love’s embrace. I received more of my Self and left with a sacred stone that has continued to remind me of the Love that I am and to teach me. In fact, my Radical Self Nourishment work was inspired and born out of this journey. I am forever grateful to Mandaza and to the desert Spirits of Joshua Tree and that I answered the call.