One year ago today my life was falling apart. I had ended the relationship I was in suddenly, and the course I was leading was imploding. I was walking around in disbelief and shock most days, my heart was breaking and I was not sleeping much. Little did I know that this was the universe acting in my favor. ? My path was being redirected, but I was still clinging to the old ways of doing things, so I felt like I was being ripped apart. Sometimes you have to loose it all to be open enough to receive the one thing that will change everything.
When @tarahsalome said she was visiting Maui and invited me on a snorkeling trip to the sunken island of Molokini, I said yes right away. I met her and her partner Rob at the boat landing at 6am. Bleary eyed from about 3 hours of sleep, coffee in hand, we hugged for the first time.
Once the boat arrived to Molokini, we started to put on our gear. Just as I was about to jump in the water, a butterfly came out of nowhere and danced inches above my head for a few minutes. This was the first sign.
As we were snorkeling, I noticed one of the guides had on extra long fans and was able to stay underwater close to the bottom for long periods of time. I didn’t even know what free diving was, but I asked him how he was doing it. He gave me a few tips and I started to practice diving deeper.
Rob had chosen this tour company because they were one of the few groups that would take us around to the backside of Molokini. As the boat rounded the corner the waves got bigger. When we pulled up to the backside they were EVEN bigger.
We were several feet from the rock face, the crater sloping down into the water below. In front of us was a giant crack that they called The Elevator. When the waves would come into this area, instead of crashing into the land, the water would surge, rising and falling about 11 feet each time. One of our guides jumped in the water.
We all watched as he swam up to the crack stopping about 3 feet in front of the rock wall. The waves were pitching the boat so violently I thought for sure something real bad was about to happen.
A wave came in and the water lifted him above our heads. Almost as immediately as it happened the wave pulled back and he dropped below us, somehow still remaining above water. The captain turned around and looked at us and said, “We normally don’t do this, but you guys seem like you’re all pretty advanced swimmers, so if you’re feeling it, get in. But do it quick, we really shouldn’t be out here.” I looked at Tarah. I am usually really comfortable in the water, but I was not feeling this. She was grabbing her mask. Fuck, I said to myself, if she’s going to do it, then I’m going to do it. I grabbed my mask and jumped in after her. Moments later we were in a small group treading water a few feet in front of the wall. We were waiting for a big wave to come. Before I even had a chance to think about turning back, the wave was coming. “Turn to face the wall, and don’t move!” yelled our guide. The next thing I knew we were being lifted up on the tip of a huge wave. And then in an instant I was watching the water pull away in front of me, dropping us several feet below the pink water line and some renegade coral below. It was terrifying and exhilarating all at once. I couldn’t wait to do it again.
A few more waves came and went as we all marveled at this other worldly experience. Then the captain called us back. The waves were getting too big. Back in the boat my head was spinning and I felt unusually nauseous. I never get seasick. We cruised back around the crater and went to the outer rim that had sunken underwater. I got back in, thinking that being back in the water would help stop the spinning & throbbing in my head and the queasy feeling in my stomach. As I swam out over the coral and countless fish, I marveled at this real life example of a sunken island, and wondered how it could relate to the stories of Lemuria. Molokini is said to have erupted 230,000 years ago, and was a popular fishing destination for early Hawaiians as early as 500 AD/CE. The weird feelings inside my body didn’t go away. I decided to sit out the next snorkeling spot just off the coast of Maui. I needed to be present and process that was happening inside me.
Back on land, Tarah suggested we go hang out at a beach for a while. I was grateful for her suggestion and followed them to the beach in my car. As I spread out my towel, Tarah offered me a drink. “Beer, water, or coffee?” She asked, holding out a can of Kona coffee espresso. YES. Caffeine. As we sat on the beach going over our adventures and catching up (we had just been friends through Instagram before this), I heard the sound of something falling from the tree over head and landing on my bag. I looked over to find a tiny inch worm! I showed him to Tarah and we looked up inchworm spirit medicine. Transformation and small steps towards a big goal came up. I shared with her that my mom used to tell me that if you find an inch worm on you, it means you’re going to be getting new clothes! (Or a whole new life!) As it began to get later and later, I finally said my goodbyes. I had an appointment for an important phone call that evening.
Driving home, I began reflecting on the activities of the day, processing the energy that was still moving through me. And intense wave of fatigue rushed over me. The caffeine wasn’t strong enough, and the intensity of the activation on the back side of the crater was pulling me into meditation. But I couldn’t really pull over to the side of the road and meditate right now! I needed to get home. I began toning. Quietly at first and then louder and louder. Earlier that week I had been at a singing workshop lead by @maryastark and @carmencrowmusic. We had been doing partner exercises and I told @sarineinnadream that I knew I was supposed to channel these extra terrestrial tones, vibrating my voice, but I wasn’t sure how. Now I was going to find out. Without even thinking about it, I brought my finger up to my throat and started wiggling it up and down across my throat as I sang. After several tones like that, I took my finger away and tried it on my own. The Remembering was instant. Somehow I just knew how do it.
Over the next few weeks I would continue to practice these vibrating tones in the car, still navigating through the shock and rubble of my old life. At the winter solstice I felt totally raw, like my whole being was fresh, new, tender, pink skin. I had NO idea where my life was going, how I would make money, and what the hell was going on. I was afraid to post on Instagram or open Facebook. I had become so traumatized I felt numb. The next day I had my birthday party at the beach. I wondered if anyone would come. There was a rainbow for almost 4 solid hours, and new and old friends came and Co-created a beautiful flower mandala and played Sound Healing instruments on my body. I could finally exhale. For the two days before Christmas (including my actual birthday) I sat in Medicine Ceremony. On the first night, the time came when they open the space for others to sing sacred songs that they carry. I had never sang for others, but I leaned forward silently in the darkness. “Go ahead Rachael” the shaman called out from across the room. Dizzy with fear and excitement I opened my mouth and began to tone. It was like being in front of the crack on the backside of Molokini all over again. And I loved it.
Later, I would synchronistically run into @mikaya.live in a random Walgreens parking lot on the other side of the island. As we stood there, I noticed some kind of Galactic transmission happening between our eyes. I knew I had to keep talking. I told him a heard he was a sound healer, and that I had had these tones coming to me, and since I wasn’t a singer or a musician, I hoped that I could share them with him so perhaps he could help me figure them out. A few weeks passed and I shared the tones with him. He couldn’t believe that I had just started singing, and asked me to guest for his weekly sound bath. And the rest is, as they say, history. I began to join him for other sound baths, covering for him when he traveled. I was gifted Crystal singing bowls and other sound healing instruments out of the blue. Mikaya asked me to sing on his sound Bath album, which then turned into our Sound Bath album (and its being released next month!). Now we lead Sound Healing ceremonies every week, and are looking for larger venues, and to start traveling off island to share Sound.
All of this, from that one snorkeling trip, and one year later EVERYTHING is different. All of the pain, confusion, doubt, uncertainty, and emotional trauma has brought me to this moment. Right now my life is so incredibly different than it was just one year ago. And so I say to you – even if your world is falling apart, and you are burning in the fires of self doubt and fear – there is a way out. The universe really IS working things in your favor, even though it might not feel like it. And sometimes, just maybe, there is something you are meant to discover that has been hiding within yourself. A special gift from another time, that can change your entire life in an instant. ???? Thank you for reading my story. ??????