Lessons from my first Vision Quest.

Lessons from my first Vision Quest.

My first vision quest took me on a wild ride - three days alone in the wilderness, ending with a night-long vigil. 

Questing for a new vision means leaving something behind and gaining something new. So, what did I want to ditch? Everything familiar. I was ready to step into a new consciousness.

Now, let me tell you, I was extremely scared about this adventure, but I decided to make fear my buddy. It all started near Cappadocia, Turkey in 2021. I didn't know a soul around the area. I left my phone in my Airbnb with the rest of my belongings and embarked on my quest. Intrusive thoughts about the risks kept creeping in, but I felt this calling from God to dive into the wild, trusting that I'd be protected. Why does God even bother with my little life? I don’t know, but I am trusting. 

Friday, August 20, 2021. As I settled into my chosen spot, boredom hit—a weird feeling. Loneliness kicked in, and I craved human company. Nature and new learning felt meh. I even thought about quitting and heading back to civilization. Food was on my mind - big time. It was only day one, and I had three long days and nights ahead. What was I in for, and why was I even doing this?

Nature buzzes with noise – birds, insects, and even the wind add to the symphony. I never realized the wind had its sound. But here I am, surrounded by this singing creation, and I can't find a reason to sing along. Loneliness and depression hit me, a weird feeling since I usually enjoy being alone. Missing people? That's new.

I thought I'd embrace this solo journey, but I hate it. Doubts creep in; maybe I won't make it through. I stare at a tree, standing all alone, and it hits me—it needs soil, rain, and sunlight to thrive. If nature needs connections, maybe I do too. Loneliness is worse than fear, and I hate feeling lonely. Why do clingy people annoy me? Is it because they are reflecting to me that I want to be clingy myself, but I am in denial? Fear pushes me to meet my needs before I even feel them, that way I wouldn’t need help or a human companion. I worry that if I don't control everything, my needs won't be met. 

This day feels endless, and though 90 hours have passed in my head, the sun says it's not even noon yet. My mind struggles until it finally clicks – nature connects everything without getting clingy. There is nothing wrong with craving connection, but attaching myself and clinging to others is a problem. I'm bathing in a beautiful river, if I decided to cling to it, I'd need a bucket to carry some of it with me. I would be separating the river from itself. And those cool bees buzzing around me? If I tried to cling to them, I'd have to throw them in a cage. 

But here's the real deal: If I get clingy with people, it's like dimming their light. I'd be pulling them away from their inner roots, making them think they can't do life without me. What a selfish act! It’s time to let everyone shine in their unique way!

Guilt takes over me, I am no longer hungry. I can’t stop thinking about all the people whom I ever attached myself to, so deeply. I mean, I was married for seven years, and ten years total in a relationship with my ex-husband. We got divorced in 2020, and I am now finally becoming aware of how my attachment to him kept cutting his wings, and slowly killing his dreams. I can’t help but feel so grateful for our divorce. We set each other free, so we can both shine our light into the world. What a beautiful act of love, it no longer feels painful. It feels blissful. 

Desperation takes over me. I am very hungry again and I feel weak. Usually, my days are busy and end fast, why is today going so slowly? As the night approaches, my loneliness and fear expand. I was afraid to sleep here alone, but then I looked over my right shoulder and saw hundreds of ants. I’ve never really been alone. It is so inspiring to see them working together so precisely towards one mission. How do they communicate with one another? They are fully surrendered following their instinct, and focused on collaborating, with a deep knowing of why they exist. Why can’t humans be like this and how can I embody the wisdom of a group of ants? It’s funny how God has orchestrated this entire experience for me. I am finally learning to be fully present and my fear is slowly going away. 

The night is here, the moonlight feels like magic, and the sky full of stars keeps taking me back to my childhood. I wish I had my phone to capture this moment. How can I even explain everything I am feeling? I grew up in Christianity, and in places where my religion taught that things were either right or wrong, I am discovering a wonderful mystery. The old and narrow ways of understanding can't fully capture the incredible and loving spirit I've encountered. How can we learn everything God has to teach us if we let fear limit us? Fear of thinking differently, fear of considering other spiritual perspectives, and fear of new insights about God that challenge our existing ideas.

I am finally understanding God. I’ve encountered God in both masculine and feminine forms, speaking boldly and in stillness. I see holiness in everyday life and recognize the sacredness in all creation. 

That night, truth kept surprising me in unexpected ways, often bringing me to tears with its beauty. The love of God overwhelmed me, and I struggled to comprehend its depth and vastness. Yet, despite all I witnessed, I knew I was only seeing a small part of the whole picture—a mere glimpse through a darkened glass.

Saturday morning is here – I feel really tired, yet grateful. I stop and think how animals and plants give up their lives, so we can live on. What do we offer? At this moment I am fasting as an offering, but how does it benefit anyone other than myself? Wow, we humans need to do better. Why don’t I step up and do more, what is stopping me? Oh, my fear, the core of everything is always my fear. Dedicating my life to service would mean disappointing everyone around me. My family expects me to be “successful” based on societal definitions of success. My friends believe I am capable of doing unimaginable things. I can’t disappoint them. I have to keep my reputation. But at what cost? Does nature worry about pleasing others? Is the river worried about disappointing a tree? No! Nature mutates, evolves, and blossoms at any given moment without ever asking permission. Why is it that as humans, we feel constricted and afraid to embrace the true essence of our nature? 

It seems like this day will be a long wild ride. I am craving orange juice and music. I would do anything to read a good book, but instead, I am stepping into today with curiosity. Open and ready to learn everything I came here for. 

This summer of 2021 marks four years of my digital nomad lifestyle. I’ve always longed for a home. My ex-husband was in the military, and the last three years of our marriage were long-distance. As he was stationed in a place where I couldn't be, I decided to travel and explore the world. Where is my home? What have I truly been looking for? Am I hungry for food or am I hungry for God? 

As I close my eyes, a group of birds fly over my head, allowing me to feel a deep sense of love and support. They teach me, that home is not a structure; home is all around me and inside me. A constant dance of creation, change, and movement. For years, I have been traveling looking for my home not knowing my home has always been inside of me. At the core of me is God, but why did it take me so long to realize this? I technically had my “spiritual awakening” in the summer of 2020. Why am I still struggling to comprehend who I truly am, or the purpose of my existence?  

I am covered in mosquito bites, it is a hot summer afternoon. I am shivering, I think I have a fever. I just vomited and I feel physically weak, yet spiritually and mentally strong. The weather is hot, but my body is very cold. I miss my mother, but I breathe deeply and I know I am safe. I hug myself, and I fall asleep before the night arrives.

Sunday is here. From what I can tell, it is probably already noon. I slept for many hours, and I still feel very sick. It is interesting how quiet nature is today. I can’t hear the insects, birds, or wind. I can barely hear the river running. Why is nature not singing as usual? Is it reflecting my energy? What am I purging with this fever? I have to prepare myself for tonight’s ceremony, my long-anticipated vigil. Nature is protecting me and instructing me. Thank you, Mother Earth, for your love, and for your beauty. It is laughable how humans believe we can own pieces of earth. It is like wanting to own God. 

Sadness takes over me today. I guess my soul knows part of me will die soon. My fever is not allowing me to pay attention to the messages of nature. I am too focused on how much my body aches. But I continue to explore my heart, trying to listen to the sounds of creation. 

It is funny how the familiar can be the biggest barrier to our evolution. Knowing so much can keep us stuck, but when we decide to forget everything we know, we step into a world of possibilities. We are all reflections of a great mystery, and my religion convinced me to believe I would know my soul in the heavens, but that is a lie! The soul is discovered here on earth. 

I am witnessing the most beautiful sunset. It almost feels as if it was created just for me, as a celebration of my quest ending. Turkey has amazing sunsets and the symphony is back, accompanying me as I transition into the night and start my vigil. As I sit with my thoughts in the middle of the night, I realize, I don’t have to let go of my old self. I only have to let go of her dreams, attachments, and who she thought she was. I am keeping my innocent and wild spirit, but I am letting go of the beliefs that kept my spirit caged. Embracing all stages of my life is setting me free. Every experience was here to support me and to guide me into this moment. Alchemizing my pain into love, tears into wisdom, attachments into liberation and freedom. Something in me has truly changed. I am accepting, surrendering, trusting, and letting go of control, and my need to be loved and accepted. 

It is funny how I have been trying my entire life to be the best leader I can be. But I am now realizing my strength shines not in how I lead, but in how I follow, letting God lead my life. 

I can tell the sunrise will arrive soon, and I can go back to Cappadocia and enjoy my apartment. I have been living in a luxury cave for the past month, and although I love the comfort of it, it would never compare to everything I have experienced here. I am grateful, yet sad. The feeling of loneliness that took over me when I arrived is nothing compared to how I feel now. I will soon leave this place that completely changed my life. How will I live away from here? I no longer want to leave, but I know my body needs food and rest. How will I explain to the world all the messages the insects, animals, plants, trees, rocks, weeds, and the river gave me? They will believe I am crazy, and the truth is I am. But I finally know love, I experienced it in a magical form that now will allow me to share it with those who are open to it. 

Thank you for reading, I love you and I believe in you.