Go! Live, While you are Alive

Posted on April 3rd, 2009 by Mark in Peru

Buenas noches from Peru!

As you may have read in my forum post, I am in the midst of a life-changing healing process. I have been suffering from a horrendous skin condition for the last 4 years that drove me to the brink of suicide. Out of sheer desperation I moved to the Amazon jungle in Peru to work with some shamans.

YouTube Preview Image

I have been drinking ayahuasca with them for 2 1/2 years now and am much better , though there is still some way to go. Ayahuasca has shown me that the root cause of the illness is based in fear, which I am slowly working through. I have spent the vast majority of the last 4 years scared out of my mind.

I am at a place now where I have come to realise just how scared I am of living life at a very deep, fundamental level. And my life has been this way for as long as I can remember. Ayahuasca keeps asking me to relax, to surrender to the process and I know intellectually if I could do this, it would remove the fear quickly and easily and I would be healed much sooner. However, I hold on so tightly to my fear, and my rational mind is no match for this primordial reaction. I guess a lifetime of habitually reacting in this way takes some undoing.

Fear can do nothing to you but make you scared. It cannot actually harm you and if you have the courage to look it full in the face it dissolves into nothing. Life is scary. That will never change. But do not let it prevent you from living. Not only does it feel horrible and prevents you from achieving your dreams, it can actually cause physical disease if allowed to penetrate too deeply.

 As Ben Okri says in his beautiful poem To an English Friend in Africa, “Death is not the real terror, but life – magically - is”. You only get one chance (unless you’re a Buddhist!), so Go! Live, while you are alive.

Everything in your life has been designed perfectly for you, and no matter what your situation, it is possible for everybody to find peace and happiness. But you have really got to look hard for it. You have to want it more than anything in life.

While I would never have wished the unbelievable pain and suffering that I have lived through on anybody, I can honestly say that it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It took a wake-up call this big to force me to change my life. It may be hard and it may be scary, but the thought of having to have lived my old life until I died is truly horrendous.

On Monday I go back to the jungle for 5 more ceremonies over 8 days and am as ever terrified, but also excited by the positive changes that I experience when I come through to the other side, which is inevitable.

When suffering comes your way, look for the hidden message. Watch for how it changes you and makes you a better person. Be thankful.

There is nothing to fear in life because all there is is love. One day I will actually believe this and will be able to go home finally. Until then I take it one day at a time. Cheers, Mark.

Have you had an experience that you considered bad at the time, but were able to look back on positively and with gratitude? Please share …

18 Responses to “Go! Live, While you are Alive”

  1. Jim says:

    Hi Peru!

    Cheers for this and a fetching post title, that’s for sure….what a journey you’ve been on.

    A bad experience turned to a positive? A recent skin cancer scare where the moles turned out to be benign – I apply suncream all the time now here in Doo-bye and look after my pet moles….

    I was grateful for my health and my skin – which I’ve generally taken for granted….

  2. vyzion360 says:

    My goodness, that was an exceptionally powerful video clip. I am drinking to your health and strength as we speak!

  3. Emma says:

    Hi Mark,

    I have to admit that while watching the clip, I was asking myself ‘why would anyone,knowingly, put themselves through that pain and mental anguish?’

    What you say about a fear based life is very moving. We have limiting beliefs that keep us small and everyone has their own way of working through them. Some people don’t want to live a deep and fulfilling life and are content to stay in their comfort zone.

    Some people say there are only two emotions in life: love and fear. If we look fear in the face it does dissolve and wouldn’t it be great to only be left with love?

    Congratulations and hats off to you for wanting to live a deep and fulfilling life.

    Good luck on your trip Mark.

  4. Jim says:

    Thanks for this Mark…

    Well put together and reminded me of my 6 day amazon canoe experience, minus the mozzies!

    Does it get deeper, get darker, the more you do this – the ceremony, not the canoeing?

    • Mark in Peru says:

      It certainly does go deeper all the time, and for the time being darker too. Though I am hopeful that I will finally make a big breakthrough this week, I feel a lot of stuff surfacing, ready to bust out and cannot wait to be on the other side of it!

  5. Hi Mark,

    The video reminds me of some intense therapy and Christian healing prayer times that I have been through. They were both really helpful. I can see the benefit of going through what you are doing and wish you the best as you go for more.

    Fear…is almost the direct opposite of feeling safe. The feeling of true safety can only come from inside yourself. I struggle with this and I pray that you find safety from within. BTW, it isn’t easy and it takes much courage and work which you seem up for.

    I have numerous times when bad times have turned into gratitude especially my whole life, losing a job and quitting one that I really didn’t want to do.

  6. Hilary says:

    Hi Mark .. I’m sure I’ve seen similar rituals (very recently) on the Amazon programme on tv here in the UK .. I sure hope they help you .. it’s a tough journey ..

    My thoughts to your skin condition healing soon ..

    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

  7. Hey Mark,

    Thanks for sharing. It’s inspirational.


  8. I have had the privilege of sitting in on 50+ ceremonies with Mark, so I have seen first hand what he endures. I have also seen over the past few years his slow recovery due to working with the shamans and drinking Ayahuasca.
    Mark may be dealing with fear, but I have seen firsthand how courageous he is, sitting in that many ceremonies can be a very difficult thing to do. But the beautiful part in all of this (besides his recovery) are the realizations and understanding he has gained (as have I) by staying the course.
    Great post Mark, I look forward to the day when we can sit down for a meal in a city not named Iquitos.



  9. Lib says:

    Hi Mark,

    Isn’t it funny how each individuals perspective of fear is completely different because to me you are incredibly brave ie fearless.

    It obviously takes a lot to do what you do.

    If you don’t take ayahuasca for a while, do you go backwards and then have to catch up in the healing process again?

  10. Mark in Peru says:

    Hi Lib,

    I am certainly not fearless. If I was I would not require bravery. Courage is the decision to go on in the face of all the fear rather than an absence of fear.

    My healing doesn’t go backwards if I don’t drink ayahuasca, but remains at the same place.

  11. Hey Mark great post!!! One in which I can totally identify with as well. I believe that many of us suffer from living in fear and at the same time as soooooo unaware of the ramifications it has upon our lives. For me I lived like a lunatic for years risking this precious life I have on a daily basis, completely unaware that the fear of living that I carried deep within my subconscious was manifesting as the life I lived..I thank the powers that be for the moment of clarity that came about almost four years ago that allowed me to realize for the first time that I didn’t want to die, I just had no idea how to live. I like many other people had my share of self inflicted insanity lashed upon my life…but am so, so, so grateful that it all led me to a place of pain where I could no longer ignore the reality that what I knew about living like wasn’t offering me a life! Good luck on your journey and please keep us posted on your progress and new found insights!!!

  12. uncle cyril says:

    I really don’t fear anything. although many fear me. women want to be with me men want to be me. sorry but its true

  13. Marcio says:

    Hi Mark,
    Very profound post and cheers to your experience. It sounds like you are fiding your true self and coming in contact with THE most powerful medicine plant that has ever existed. I have been working with Ayahuasca for over 18 years now and I really happy for you. Good luck on your journeys there. I’d like to leave this small note here for others who would like to experience the medicine in a more tame way, i’m hosting a meditation and cleansing retreat in Brazil in July of 09. You can see more info at http://www.visionaryhealingretreats.com

    • Jim says:

      Welcome to GSTF Marcio and Mark started a thread over in forums at GSTF – feel free to share more there and your website looks very interesting!

      Hope you join in here at GSTF and help inspire others all over the world!

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