This weekend I experienced my first sweat lodge, something I’ve been wanting to do for years, and I sweat it out hard. “What’s a sweat lodge?” may be your first question, followed by, “What did you sweat out?”.
Think of a sweat lodge as a natural sauna out in nature, that you enter into through a ceremony led by a shaman as your guide. The purpose of the sweat lodge is much more than going into a sauna to relax and burn sweat, it is to connect with nature, our ancestors and to go deep within ourselves. It is a sort of healing medicine practised by many indigenous tribes. The shaman led us to set intentions and offer gifts onto the fire where the stones for the lodge were burning all day. Around 30 of us sat inside this handmade structure, women on the north side, men on the left and the centre was a pit for the stones. This was the most emotional part of the ceremony for me. As I looked around the lodge at all my brothers and sisters a sense of familiarity came over me and I knew that I had been here before. I was remembering what it meant to come together as a community in ceremony.
They placed the red hot stones that were burning all day into the fire pit then brought down the tarp and closed the entrance leaving us in pitch darkness. It’s amazing the amount of light a few embers of cedar on the stones can emit when you are in total darkness. During the sweat, the Shaman led us through prayers, song, drumming, and we were invited to ask for guidance and or offer our gratitude. We went through three rounds inside the lodge where the Shaman offered different medicines and herbs as gifts to the hot stones as he splashed them with water building the heat.
The first 2 rounds (each round felt like around 15 mins) were easy for me and I found myself saying “This is nothing, I got this!” kinda cocky-like, but in the third round we went into full heat and it was like the medicine heard me and wanted to show me; “You got this yeh?” and took me on a journey. Throughout the 3 rounds I found myself reflecting on my intentions which were to release fear and better communicate. I was receiving downloads, showing me the possibilities that await if I open up, speak my truth and release my fears. That everything will work out best case scenario, because my fears are not real, they are just stories in my head. That final round was a real testament to those intentions. It was the most intense and I almost went into a full ‘melt’ down. The last 2-3 minutes were like my own personal internal hell and I all wanted was to scream “LET ME THE FUCK OUT” but I knew the work was to move past the fear and overcome the mind. To not quit now. As I write this, I realize that overcoming those last few minute was the whole point. Those feelings and that anxiety was the fear coming out of me and by not giving in, it was being released.
And I can’t end this without, a huge THANK YOU to Tribe Wire Nosara from Costa Rica for hosting this beautiful event. For taking us out of the city and into nature on such a beautiful property, first getting us into our bodies through Qi Gong with Karina, Move & Play with Alex, and breathwork, music and rapé with Chris Hawk before the sweat. And of course thank you to our Native Fire Chief Stacey Clinton Nadhee Red Feather, who led us through the ceremony. Also another massive THANKS to my hubby, Andrew, for gifting me this experience as an anniversary celebration. I am forever grateful for all the amazing new experiences we share together. I can’t wait to do this one again!
One Love, Stacy Irie Soul xx