Sitting at Cusco Airport on my way back to Copenhagen, I reflect on these last weeks in thejungle. I know I feel like a very different person to who I was when I first came out here. I am amazed every time I come to the Amazon and by the immense effect the jungle has on my sense of self and spirit. I was very fortunate to be part of a team taking a group of 14 people in the heart of the Amazon Jungle, 4 hours from the Madre de Dios River (mother of god). The retreat was centred around yoga, shamanic practices, medicine plants and Reiki. The retreat was at a Conservation Center called Hoja Neuva – new leaf.

The end of 2019 was a very tough time for me emotionally; there was so much suddenchange and turbulence that my heart felt so closed and sore. I knew that the jungle would be able to help me process and let go of the old stories and the hurts. This is also made possible because in the jungle there is no Wi-Fi or connection to the outside world so it’s a pure space to go within and have the possibility to switch off and let the jungle undress you ,  even without her medicinal healing plants,  she holds such a strong container for self-healing and reflection. 

Group photo of retreat participants in the Amazon

The last 10 days in the jungle have reminded me of the potency and power of the jungle herself. For many it can feel like a hard place: no modern comforts, cold showers, high humidity, mosquitoes, sand-flies, dormitory-style sleeping and no technology. Yet, for myself it feels like the great love affair of my life – like falling into the green heart chakra of love and expansion. The jungle has a way of cracking open the heart. Pulling out the debris and sowing seeds of new life from within.

I feel such a strong current of possibility and freedom that has unfolded from this trip.

After leaving the jungle, I made my way to Machu Picchu to connect with the energy of this sacred site. In all my journeys to Peru, I always kept to the jungle so it’s been really special to connect to the sacred valley that has brought me peace and to reconnect with new and old friends. I am reminded of the timeless connection and magic that this plant medicine path has aligned for me.

Kambo is a poisonous substance that the giant monkey frog secretes. People sometimes refer to this animal as the giant leaf frog. Its scientific name is Phyllomedusa bicolor.  It is applied with superficial burns on the skin and creates a purgative effect on the body as it gets rid of any physical and emotional toxins. Many indigenous tribes and urban populations use the cleanse for a number of reasons. Traditionally, hunters would participate in the ritual to heighten their senses and stamina before a hunt. 

It has been a year since I sat with the Kambo, but I knew I had to reconnect with the spirit of the frog. I was very fortunate to have the chance to try the medicine that was cultivated on the land by a wonderful medicine man. That morning, sitting in the cacao plantation under the tree with the medicine, I wept tears of sorrow and joy.  Kambo helped me remove the splinter in my heart and return it to the forest floor, where mother nature is able to hold it all.  One is reminded of this potent cycle of life and death; everything is a symbiosis of the other – a dead tree has the new roots of another tree surging out of its trunk, plants and animals all weaving together to create this mystical ecosystem of such intelligence.

Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything.
– Albert Einstein

Another profound experience that provided profound insight was having no Wi-Fi for our technological devices. It was wonderful to witness the group drop deeper into themselves with each day that passed without the constant distraction of a WhatsApp message or Facebook notification. It’s amazing to feel the space open within my chest cavity when the influence of technology is removed. My anxiety leaves and I feel more able within myself to be present, still and to listen. The quality of sleep that occurs for me in the jungle is like no other; I have this coma-like state of rest that nourishes my cells on such an intricate level. The sounds of the jungle etch themselves into my dreams, which create surreal tales that have yet revealed.  The feeling that runs through my pounding heart is such gratitude for the opportunity to have these moments in my life to sleep inside the arms of mother nature – her wildlife and musical symphonies that no humans can possibly replicate.

collage of photos from samantha's trip to the Amazon rainforest

After leaving the jungle, I made my way to Machu Picchu to connect with the energy of this sacred site. In all my journeys to Peru, I always kept to the jungle so it’s been really special to connect to the sacred valley that has brought me peace and to reconnect with new and old friends. I am reminded of the timeless connection and magic that this plant medicine path has aligned for me.

Love is like the jungle, wild, mysterious and simply breathtaking.

I finish writing this piece while waiting for my delayed flight to Lima. I feel such a strong current of possibility and freedom that has unfolded from this trip. Patience is another incredible tool along my way – being patient for the timing of certain events and knowing that everything in life is divinely orchestrated. No matter how much pain is endured through life’s lessons, it equally opens the vast container of bliss and connection to nature and self-inquiry. 

My times in the jungle continue to activate a powerful catalyst for change and transformation. The medicines continue to dissolve the illusion. The plants and vibrant green jungle talk to me in ways that are difficult to translate into words that one can understand. It feels like such a private world. I feel tremendous shifts within and look forward to the ripples of this new time and chapter ahead. And that for me, is sacred.