I go to the University of the Universe and study the Curriculum of Life

In November 2012, I dropped out of college.  

Now I'm about to turn 24, and I decided that this summer, I'm saying YES to myself and everything my heart calls for (all thanks to a little scorpion medicine that stung me in the spring, but that's a story for another time).  I'm getting the education I've always dreamed of. 

So far, I've been to the jungles of Peru, where I attended a Healing Art Retreat with Amazonian Master Plants.  Then, I returned to the Andes and Lake Titicaca, Bolivia, with my Q'ero and Aymara elders on a pilgrimage of prayer and healing.  

Healing Art Retreat. Pucallpa, Peru Photo: Juan Carlos Taminchi

Healing Art Retreat. Pucallpa, Peru

Photo: Juan Carlos Taminchi

See more photos from Peru and Bolivia

Now, I'm back in California, enjoying the summer fruit, and in a couple of days, I fly to Hawaii to take part in a retreat for water therapy and dolphin swimming.  

In August, I take off for a month in Europe, where I will assist a Birth Into Being 16 day training with my teacher, Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova, and then I'll head to Scotland for a conference on birth at the famous Findhorn community

I'm turning my dreams into reality: return to Peru and Bolivia, swim with dolphins, and dive deeper into the role of birthkeeper.  

It's so easy.  I'm just saying yes.  And living on credit for the time being. 

Part of me is scared shitless.  I don't have a degree.  But that's never scared me, and it doesn't now.  This is the first time I've taken on debt.  I'm challenging myself to do everything I want to do, and I'm taking a leap of faith, testing my belief that the universe supports me to be me, and that it will show up with financial support soon. That's a scary bet. 

But, going back to Peru, where I was living when I decided to start following my heart and stop attending university, I felt such a validation for my choices and my path.  

In the past four years, there have been times when I have felt completely isolated, crazy, and alone.   That nobody understands me, nor is it even possible that they could understand me, because they haven't been through what I've been through.  I can't pretend that the ceremonies I've participated in and the workshops I've been leading haven't radically altered how I see the world. 

June Solstice Ceremony 2016, Isla del Sol, Lago Titicaca, Bolivia

June Solstice Ceremony 2016, Isla del Sol, Lago Titicaca, Bolivia

Sitting in ceremony with plant masters and indigenous elders in Peru and Bolivia brought me back into the feeling I had when I decided to drop out of school.  It's a feeling of certainty, of clarity, and of simplicity.  

It's a feeling I've been searching for...trying to learn about...trying to discover and recover. 

It's a feeling that everything is already okay.  That no matter what I do, there is already a path, there is already a light guiding me, and there is already someone waiting to receive me when I'm finished.  It's a feeling that the earth has got my back, and I just need to stand up and start walking towards my destiny.  No more drama, no more conflict, no more struggle, no more worries.  Everything is already okay.  None of this "it's going to be okay" bullshit--feel it, now, that in this moment, everything is already okay. 

"Collective, Tribe, Support."  Birth Into Being Course I co-facilitated in San Marcos la Laguna, Guatemala. March 2016

"Collective, Tribe, Support."  Birth Into Being Course I co-facilitated in San Marcos la Laguna, Guatemala. March 2016

That's the feeling that I've been studying in my new Curriculum of Life at the University of the Universe, ever since dropping out of college.  

When I dropped out of college, I dropped the belief that I needed to go through the game, the system, the hoops--in order to achieve my dreams.   In 2012, I had a feeling that I didn't need to keep going with formal education, and I followed that feeling all the way to where I am now.  My family wants me to go back to school, and maybe one day I will. But if I do, it will not be because I feel the need to complete my obligatory duty as a white middle-class woman from the United States, which is how I felt when I was in school.

In order to keep going on my path, I need my courage.  I need my strength. I need my wits, my critical thinking, and my logic.  I need my body--healthy, vibrant, dancing, and singing.  I need my self-respect.  I need my creativity and passion.  I need my roots, strong and well nourished.  I need my vision and my dreams.  I need to stay focused and clear and dedicated to myself.  I need to listen, always, to where my heart calls, and go directly to that place of origin, of calling.

The school of life has a completely different set of requirements than the university I attended previously.  I thought my college application essays were tough...little did I know that a real life exam from the universe would require all of my strength!  The University of the Universe and the Curriculum of Life have taught me the lessons I need to know, in exactly the time I needed to learn them.  I am forever a student, forever learning, forever growing and evolving.  

Truth be told -- I have not a clue what I'm doing with my life.   Yes, certain things excite me (actually many many many things), and I love exploring them all.  Right now, I'm giving myself full permission to head out and have the adventure of a lifetime.  I feel so free inside.  I feel happy when I wake up in the morning.  I feel like I'm on a grand mission of self-discovery and awakening my true inner self.  Every day I'm getting to know a new bit of information, I'm digesting and integrating my experiences at my own pace, and I'm getting tested on everything I'm learning exactly when I'm ready (even if I don't think so).  

I know the universe has got my back.  I know that I'm opening myself to something greater, to something that is already all planned out for me.  There's no need for me to worry about the future, about credit card debt, or try to control and plan out my life.  My only task is to be present in this moment. To appreciate and give gratitude to all the blessings in my life.  And I am doing my best, always.  I am learning to admit my mistakes and be accountable to my actions.  There is such beauty unfolding, revealing itself in the softness inside me.

I struggle to stay tender and soft and open.  Sometimes I want to delete my whole blog, my Facebook, my Instagram, and go get a job somewhere, rent an apartment, and try living a life where I'm not putting my heart out in it.  But I know, deep inside, that that life would be more difficult, and my heart would harden... I cannot bring myself to put more energy towards going in that direction than simply to entertain the silly thought for a moment, then shoo it out of my head with a deep breath.

And that breath brings me back -- deep inside the earth, where everything is already alright.  I am connected.  I am on my way.  We all are.  And I am happily becoming the woman I am meant to be. 

With wide wings, 

Lily