Rythmia Life Advancement Center is an all-inclusive luxurious resort located in Guancaste, Costa Rica. The intention of the space is to provide the opportunity to heal, transform consciousness, and evolve mental, spiritual and emotional wellness through alternative therapies in a medically supervised, safe, and accomodating environment. What makes Rythmia so unique, is not just the fact that it is the first medically licensed plant medicine facility of its kind, but also the fact that this space was made manifest from a miracle, and has been able to provide miracles for almost 90% of all of its guests.
presented an opportunity for me to go down to Costa Rica (from April 30th - May 6th) to experience Rythmia, so I could write a story for E&A, to experience my own miracle.
The all inclusive stay included colonic hydrotherapy, massage, holotropic breathwork, and plant medicine.
The facilitator of the plant medicine during my visit was Taita Juanito, a well-known and respected teacher-shaman, with a world-wide following and reputation for having a compassionate heart and great wisdom of the sacred medicines. He has been a student of Grandfather Taita Laureano for over 15 years, at 109-years-0ld Taita Laureano is the eldest Taita of Colombia, as well as the eldest of the indigenous Siona people. *The Sionas are traditionally very strong and powerful healers that have been utilizing the amazing blessings of plant medicine for centuries.*
This opportunity was not only a great gift from the universe, but also arrived at a divine time when I felt so called to experience this medicine again in a profound way, to clear the energetic debris left-over from the challenging few years prior...to repair the fractures.
I went into the experience humble, and not really sure what to expect, but ready for whatever work was necessary - first and foremost, I was there to write a story.
When I arrived in Costa Rica, Rythmia had a driver waiting for me and the other guests, immediately allowing us to feel at-ease and completely taken care of. The at-ease/taken care of energy rippled out through every encounter with the Rythmia staff during the entire course of my stay.
Being able to begin the healing process through massage, breathwork and hydrotherapy leading up to the plant medicine provided a solid foundation to truly be able to process what would be received from nature's wisdom.
The Miracle of Rythmia"Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. They are performed by those who temporarily have more for those who temporarily have less." - A Course in Miracles
The story of how Rythmia came to be reads like the screenplay of a blockbuster movie. The founder of Rythmia, Gerard A. Powell, had it all. At just 41-years-old he sold his company (the world's largest plastic surgery company) for $94 million, and had six houses, two airplanes, 27 cars, a boat, and pretty much anything he could ever dream of. Yet, he was living in a nightmare - feeling suicidal and unhappy, abusing drugs and alcohol, addicted to sex, lost... Through a series of synchronicities and serendipity, Gerard was guided to go down to Costa Rica and try plant medicine to help with his issues, to find an answer to what he was missing. He describes the experience by saying:
"It was a night that changed my life, I spent the evening with God who reaffirmed the metaphysical lessons I learned.
I got to see firsthand that love was holding the universe together, that we were all connected, and witnessed other universal truths directly from source. The next morning, I was a different person. A miracle occurred in my life. I swore that day that I would do the right thing with my wealth and share the secret with as many people as I could. I realized that it wasn’t the alternative medicine alone but it was the combination of good food, metaphysical teachings, colonic cleanses, meditation, yoga, breath work and alternative medicine that brought around this miraculous change in my life."From that point forward Gerard put his all into creating Rythmia, and his heart/intention is palpable in the energy this miraculous space radiates.
My Own Miracle“All healing is essentially the release from fear.” - A Course in Miracles I first heard of ayahuasca years ago, when a classmate I went to highschool with experimented with this alternative medicine and had miraculous healing from her spinal chord injury. ***Read Teresa's story here.*** I personally experienced the medicine for the first time in 2013, when my own synchronicities (and a break up) lead me to treat myself to my very own Entheogenic "Eat, Pray, Love" down in Costa Rica. Ayahuasca helped me realize my path and purpose, let go of my fear of death, and remember my creativity/love of expression and passion for asking deep questions. It felt like I had a fresh start, and that the universe wanted to support me to follow my dreams. From that miracle, Evolve and Ascend was born, and my journey into being - really began. I put my all into Evolve and Ascend, and accepted my mission from the universe. At that point I was doing well financially, because I had been trading a digital currency called Bitcoin, and put all of my money into a platform called Mt.Gox. I decided to allocate all the funds from Mt.Gox into E&A, and pretty much put all of my eggs in one basket. And then... Overnight, I lost everything I had. Mt.Gox was "hacked" due to some type of "malleability" and all of my Bitcoins were gone. Every cent I had, gone. I had no "Plan B", and I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Everything that could possibily go wrong, went wrong. I was broke, and then proceeded to get my heart broken by a series of unfortunate events. But I never gave up (God knows I wanted to). Despite all of my rational mind saying I was ridiculous for pursuing my dreams, that I was insane for thinking I could create something from nothing, I never gave up. Four years later, Evolve and Ascend now reaches 10-12 million per month, and our platform is continuing to grow and soar at an unprecidented rate - but no matter how strong I had become from my journey, there were still fractured parts of my spirit that were never fully healed.
How Rythmia Changed My LifeLess than a month ago, a blessed/generous synchronicity
Before ceremony with Taita, he had each of us meet with him to discuss our intentions, to share what we would like to heal. When I met Taita, and looked into his eyes - I immediately became overwhelmed with emotion, I felt like I had sacred permission to be honest about what I would like to address, and tears began pouring out of my eyes uncontrollably. Until I arrived at Rythmia, I didn't fully comprehend just how much pain I had still been carrying with me, how much I still struggled with my own fears, and feelings of self-worth and confidence, how much I still needed to forgive and love.
Taita offered me Rapé, a ceremonial shamanic snuff, and I agreed. The Rapé worked its way through my entire system, rendering me unable to walk and incredibly nauseous. In my mind I kept repeating the "Litany Against Fear" from Dune, as I suffered for almost 4-hours with the uncomfortableness of the experience, the nausea, the purge, the paralysis, the fear. Seeking to find the lesson, the revelation was a reconnection to my body, my presence...to find grounding in an unexpected, albeit humbling way.
As a preliminary measure the next evening, Taita and his team offered a plant medicine integration discussion before our first ceremony - where the discourse revolved around what to prepare for, and what you can expect (*video content to follow*). In Taita's tradition, it is believed that when a female is on her menstrual cycle, she is vibrating at such a high frequency that it effects the ceremony space, and medicine. As fate would have it, I had just gotten my period that day - and when I told Taita's assistant that I was on my cycle, I was told I couldn't participate in the ceremony.
I lost it.
I felt like I was the butt of a cosmic joke, that I would never be able to get past my demons, and that my destiny was to be in the 10% that didn't get a miracle at Rythmia. I went to my room, and had a type of catharsis through tears that can best be described as a tantric orgasm of the eyes. An hysterical release of pain, memories, hurt, expectations all flooded out of me. I crawled into the fetal position and wailed about my broken heart, unfulfilled expectations, and anger. I cursed my cycle, and I felt everything I had never forgiven myself for. Without realizing it, this too was a purge that needed to happen. A thorough cleansing of the windows to my soul, honestly feeling the authentic sadness - fully and wholly.
A knock at the door.
Brandee Alessandra (co-founder of Rythmia), Taita and his team were outside. I was offered the chance to participate in ceremony after 1am, outside of the space, and this was the first time in Taita's tradition that he allowed this to happen. My miracle. The punchline of the "cosmic joke" being to let go and allow, and stop holding on to expectation and attachment - the universe has a way of working its magic exactly as it intends.
The first night of plant medicine ceremony with Taita felt like being in a lucid dream. Fractal patterns, cosmic serpents and colors unlike anything I could fully comprehend penetrated my consciousness. Gentle whispers from nature reminded me that experience is to strengthen - not weaken, that adversity is a powerful teacher, contrast gives your life color, and the only way past your fear is through. The nausea was unpleasant, but the purge was (yet again) therapeutic. With every purge, I felt as though I was releasing the ugliness of emotions like sadness, jealousy, insecurity, resentment and anger. The uncomfortableness of vomiting paled in comparison to the dischord of harboring such low-vibe feelings. Every release, was a release of the fetters that were binding me to a less than ideal version of myself. When morning came, I felt a type of clarity that I hadn't experienced in so long.
My heart felt lighter.
The day of the second ceremony, I received news that a classmate from my highschool had passed away - this person was a beautiful soul, with an infectious laugh, but struggled with addiction. I spent the day thinking about her, so sad about the fact that she was unable to experience the type of profound healing this medicine can provide. My heart felt heavy for her, her family, her son.
The second night of ceremony began later than anticipated (around 2am), I had fasted all day, so my empty stomach was ready for the medicine, and although my heart had been heavy from the news of the day, I prepared for the next revelation.
No amount of preparation could have prepared me for the hours ahead, language does not do the experience justice, there are simply no words to describe it. This evening was as though I had a consultation with all-that-is, and received a perspective-shifting-
reprimanding that put my ego (and emotions) in its place. A lesson on life, death, and non-linear time, the importance of now, and the power of love & forgiveness, revelations of presence and participating in a universe that was designed for creation. It was not easy, but it was beautiful. My heart felt awakened - fully and wholly.
That next morning, I kid you not, I felt like Scrooge on Christmas morning after meeting with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. I have never felt so much love, gratitude, understanding, appreciation, and pure positive emotion for every single person (and moment) in my life, FOR LIFE and all of it's weirdness, wonder and beauty!
I have never felt so connected to this moment now. Nature spoke to me, and through me, and I listened.
Nature is working through us all, and as more and more people find this medicine - it is to answer a call for universal healing. As we heal our hearts, we heal the hearts of those we love (or have loved), as we heal our minds, we are better able to navigate any adversity, and as we heal our spirit, we heal our relationship to the world. Every ripple creates a wave of change, and now (more than ever) it is time for great change in both physical and metaphysical realities.