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The Trip of a Lifetime

If you’ve read my earlier posts, you may remember that one of my intentions going into my first mushroom trip was that I want my family to know who I am. Looking back now, almost three years later, I can see how that little wish has become a reality, far beyond my wildest dreams.

When I wrote that intention down I thought I had about six months to live, maybe a year, and I wanted my kids to know who I am. Not just as their Mom, but as a whole person, so that they could tell their kids and grandkids about me. I didn't think I would ever be able to meet them, and it was painful to think about.

But here I am, almost three years later, still living top-side. As my friend Ken said to me a while ago, I’m choosing the grass, not the dirt. No grandkids yet, but who knows? For now, four grand-dogs, a cat and a horse are going to have to do (no pressure, kids).

After a while, my intention expanded to include my extended family too. I felt like I had been living a double life for a long time, not allowing anyone to see who I really was, just staying quiet and keeping to the background. It’s not like I was a bad person with all kinds of skeletons in my closet, but I had rejected the faith tradition that I had been raised in and felt like if anyone knew that I would face a lot of judgement and ultimately be rejected. Thanks to the mushroom trip and some therapy though, it became impossible to stay hidden.

Now there’s a documentary coming out about my journey through cancer and my use of plant medicines. It’s been almost two years in the making, but I just got to see it this week, and it’s awesome! The filmmakers - Nick Meyers & Tyler Chandler of Golden Teacher Films, have taken care of my story and told it well, and I’m so thankful to them for that. And over the two years of filming, they became friends and let me win A LOT of Skip-Bo games (that one is just for them). There’s no way that anyone can watch the movie and not know who I am. So mission accomplished!

It struck me a week or so ago how much that intention has been answered, and in crazy ways that I would never have thought of. A documentary? It’s ridiculous to even think about, and sometimes makes me giggle, but here it comes! Screenings in Melbourne, Australia at the end of July, and here in Vancouver on August 3rd, with more to come I’m sure. To be honest, it’s a little overwhelming to think about, but I’m also enjoying every minute.

There’s a line in the book The Alchemist, by Paul Coelho, that I’ve been pondering lately. It says “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Wow! Think about that - the whole universe is conspiring FOR you, not against you. Pretty amazing stuff. I don’t think it means that if I ask to win the lottery that it’s going to happen, but it’s something deeper. Full disclosure - I haven’t finished reading the book. I’ve just been ruminating on that one sentence for about six months, and that’s only on page twenty-four, so it may take me a while to get through it.

That brings me to another part of my journey. I truly believe that my cancer is a result of me not slowing down long enough to pay attention to what was going on inside. I was full of anger, sadness, regret over roads not taken, and stressed out trying to keep everything together. I kept pushing things down and keeping them inside, but finally got the hint after cancer returned for the third time that perhaps it was time to start working through some of that. It wasn’t easy or pleasant, in fact, cancer treatments may have been easier, but I’m glad that I finally did the work of taking care of my emotional baggage and letting it go because now I feel like my eyes have been opened to new possibilities and a new life that I never saw before.

I’ll share some of that over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, I want to give one more plug for the film. There is a screening at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver on August third and tickets are available to purchase online. I’ve included the trailer below as well so you can take a look. I’d love to see you on August third if you’re in the area - it’s going to be a great evening!

This journey that I’ve been on for the last four and a half years has taken me to some crazy places, and I can honestly say now that I’m thankful for it. Cancer still sucks, but there’s a richness and a new depth to life that wasn’t there before.

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