Let me share a story about a profound revelation that happened for me and all of us at the Tropical Transformation Wellness Retreat in May. One evening we offered a special sacred Ceremony of Rebirth and Purification by The Mamo, a Colombian spiritual leader from the indigenous Colombian Indian Wiwa tribe. The Mamo and his tribe live deep in the Sierra Nevada mountains…a 3 hour trek into the tropical forests. We didn’t make the trek, instead the hotelier at Playa Koralia arranged for The Mamo to visit us. None of us knew what to expect.

We were supposed to have the sacred ceremony at a bonfire on the beach, but the weather did not cooperate and so we all met in the lovely Bambu room, a beautiful open thatched roof space, where we were hosting all of our other workshops. I didn't know one thing about the Wiwa tribe, but this evening was life changing for all. The Mamo is the Wiwa’s spiritual leader, he began talking and our fabulous hotel event producer Paula translated for us. He told us stories about how he came to be, their tribal beliefs on the beginning of evolution and man —- completely different from Western views and any science book you have ever studied.

The Mamo, from the Wiwa tribe in Colombia

The Mamo, from the Wiwa tribe in Colombia

To explain The Mamo’s prominence, I will compare him to the Dalai Lama. Just like the Tibetan traditions, where the monks know and discover who the chosen Dalai Lama is when he is born. The Mamo’s story reminded me of that. The elders already knew which couple was going to give birth to the next Mamo, so when he was born, he was already the chosen one and lived his life on the trajectory of being a spiritual leader.

The Mamo was talking all about the power of Mother Earth and how his tribe and the other Mamos from the other three tribes that live in the Sierra Nevadas consider themselves the Big Brother and we, westerners and everyone else on earth, are the Little Brothers. It is the Big Brothers responsibility to teach and warn all of us to take care of Mother Earth. Give back to the earth what we use. All the Mamos’ spiritually sent out prayers and messages from the Sierra Nevada mountains to inspire us to wake up and see if we don't make lifestyle changes fast our Earth will eventually no longer be able to support us. They are subconsciously warning us and praying for us that we will not destroy but care for and protect Mother Earth.

We then learned that The Mamo has a special skill. He can read rocks. Rocks are so important and vital to his tribe that he developed the ability to hear the stories rocks have to tell. (Never knew this special trait even existed.) He then asked if any of us had a rock from our country? I looked around and everyone brought their shiny crystals….maybe thinking they would be used for whatever ceremony The Mamo had planned. Nope. He was talking about a real rock from the earth, not something that was polished and manipulated by man. I remembered that I actually had a rock in one of my makeup cases!! I ran back to my hotel room to get it. I was trying to think of where it was from…upstate New York or LA? I realized it must’ve been from Los Angeles since that was the most recent time I was in nature since we did a family trip there a few months back.

I handed Mamo the rock. He looked at it for a while. He played with it in his hands. Then he said…”The message this rock is sending to me is….PRIVILEGE.” Silence. Like a fool, I said, maybe it’s because it’s from Los Angeles and it’s the center of the entertainment world, with Hollywood and all the privilege in that area. Nope. I was initially way off. I was thinking about this for the next few days. When we were talking with Paula, who translated and happens to be an anthropologist who has spent a lot of time with indigenous tribes, she shared that she initially thought I was way off too. The word PRIVILEGE wasn’t about LA, it was meant for me! It was meant for all of us in the room! I needed to hear that I was privileged. We both agreed. This is the truth. I am privileged and it’s time I recognize it. You see, the word privilege is the absolute last word I would EVER use to describe myself. I have always thought of myself as someone that suffers and struggles. It may be strange to hear that since basically only my immediate family knows these inner thoughts and feelings. I remember even asking my brother a few years ago, “ Why do I always feel like I live a life of struggle?” He said he didn't know, but he felt the same way. I know most of it has to do with our upbringing and life experiences, plus I learned it’s also some past life stuff creeping in. I personally have spent a lot of time and energy healing these old mindsets and patterns and the fruits of my labor have been really bearing fruit. This experience with The Mamo really sealed the deal.

La Poza Encantada…the sacred pools where my little rock of privilege was given back to Mother Earth. :)

La Poza Encantada…the sacred pools where my little rock of privilege was given back to Mother Earth. :)

That night The Mamo did some special prayers and meditations…everyone in the room could feel all kinds of magic and energetic shifts. Yes there was some lifting of the old baggage being let go. It was quite profound. He told me I must bring that rock back to Mother Earth…and so I did. When we went to the sacred pools, I said a little prayer to my Privilege Rock and placed in back where it belonged. With the other rocks in the purest sacred water.

Since that moment the word PRIVILEGE is front and center in my life. I’m accepting it more and finding lots of gratitude for the privileges I experience every day of my life. The more I think about it, the deeper it gets. This is the power of our retreats. All our guests left feeling the same way that us facilitators Rashia and I felt. It’s not only about relaxing in beautiful, tropical surroundings, it’s about healing, about revelations and transformations. I now have a newfound gratitude for my life and deeper understandings. I think everyone that night walked away with those same feelings and insights too.

Are you ready to let some baggage that is weighing you down go? If you happen to be intrigued with how coaching can transform your life, I’m offering special Summer Spark Session, which is a 60-minute complimentary enlightening coaching conversation. I’m no where near The Mamo, but I know for a fact that coaching work I do changes lives for the better. Feel free to schedule your Spark session here at this link.

Stay tuned for the updates for our next wellness retreats. We are in the planning stages and if you want to get on our waiting list for the next Tropical Transformation Wellness Retreat, simply email info@hopemcgrath.com.

Wishing you a Happy Summer!!!