photo: Anni Vasquez

I’ve always heard that shamans can help you find yourself. But I never thought in a million years I was going to hire one to help me get over my ex on top of a mountain in the middle of the Arizona desert.

Two weeks ago, that’s exactly what happened.

After seven months of seeking all sorts of remedies to get over my heartache like yoga, journaling, meditation, reiki, body-talk, prayer and even therapy, memories of my ex still haunted me.

I’m a spiritual person and I was tired of being sad. I wanted to let go and erase everything that anchored my heart to his. It was the longest grieving I had ever experienced over a breakup and we were only together for eight months, if that. Then one day, I had a really strange dream that started my quest to get a shaman to heal myself. My parents were in the dream and I was asking them to help me get to Arizona to find vortexes over and over.

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I woke up confused so I googled vortexes. I didn’t even know that it’s a place in nature where the energy is so strong you can manifest things and heal. A few days later my best friend was over and she told me she wanted to go to Sedona, Arizona in search of vortexes, too. My mouth fell open. I hadn’t even told her a thing about my dream. Talk about signs!

A couple of months later we were in Arizona driving to a shaman’s house in Sedona which is supposedly the city one of the highest concentration of vortexes in the world. Our shaman was a woman named was Anahata. She greeted us at her home and we walked in and sat on her couch.

She asked us why we were there. I burst into tears and couldn’t stop as I explained it all to her. She literally reached out with her bare hands and wiped away my tears. After interviewing us she took us on a hike up the mountain right outside of her house to a place called Peace Park Stupa. Up we went lugging our bottles of water.

When we came across a stupa with a giant Buddha she told us to sit and pray for what we wanted to heal. Once we were done asking for what we wanted, we were to continue praying and walk around the Buddha clockwise till we felt a peace. I felt like I walked around it forever. I kept praying for everyone in my life. Then, she had us follow her down the mountain to a giant medicine wheel made out of stones. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I felt like I was in a movie.

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Medicine wheels are part of the Native American culture and they all point to 4 different directions each associated with an earth element and a purpose. She had us enter to face our pain and rise from it. First, I faced the north to hear a divine message, then I faced the west to release what was blocking me, followed with the south where I was to acknowledge what I was grateful for and then I finished with the east to plant new seeds. She talked to nature all around us — the mountains, the birds, and the insects. They all seemed to be speaking their own language and at the end of the ceremony, I felt happiness. I didn’t know if I was cured, but I did feel peace.

Fast forward to today, and I am like a new person. Whatever I let go of on that mountaintop truly healed me. Yes, it took me a plane ride miles away to see a shaman, but hey it was worth the adventure.