Today, the 11th May, at 11 o’clock I will go and meet with the other 11 women who I am about to spend 11 days with on retreat with the sacred medicine ayahuasca and a powerful shaman, a Shipibo woman from Pulcalpa, a place far away in the hills of Peru.
Yes, I am nervous. Im not sure if its nervousness about the medicine itself and what it will reveal to me, or simply a sudden anxiety about spending 11 days with 11 women whilst drinking medicine. In any case, I have chosen this path by investing a significant amount of money to participate. The choice was mine, and now - here i am. No turning back.
Its been an eventful couple of weeks (months, years..!) leading up to this point. Having recently posted a Bored Panda article (online media of 'interesting people doing interesting things' publication with 20-30M reach/day) , relatively absent minded to the consequences of putting my images out to the masses, I have been inundated with media requests and invitations. Totally amazing! I even got picked up by channel 7 and starred on Sunrise one early morning last week in the Blue Mountains! (Check it out here). It's been fun to be a superstar but overwhelming considering I needed to prepare to jump on a plane to Peru 2 days later. The logistics of living without a home, preparing to leave without a return date whilst receiving the biggest exposure possible via National TV in the country that I was leaving, has been altogether - insane.
I left Australia at 12:30pm on the 8.5 and arrived 12 hours later in Santiago, at 12:10pm on the 8.5. Longest day of my life. But that wasn’t the end… I had another 6 hours to wait for another 4 hour flight to Lima. Grateful to see the little Peruvian grandmama waiting for me at the airport with a sign that read, “Welcome to Peru Orly”, we trundled ‘home’ and I slept for the next 24 hours - enough time to recoup before my next flight to Cuzco.
Now sitting here in The Sacred Valley of Peru, I feel somewhat displaced, that familiar feeling of having ‘just moved’. The hills, the apus, are familiar - but I have changed. Truthfully I didn’t feel ready to leave Australia, projects have been going well and so has my work Painting People into the World. I am relieved to think that I can return on my pre purchased return ticket in September to honour Spring bookings and hopefully receive the government grant to support Merging with the Earth: First People project. On the other hand, I know this moment with transform and Peru will warm again as time goes on - last time I was here, I wanted to stay forever!
This is it. I am about to go offline and enter a very intense session of healing work. I have chosen to go deep into this experience to get clarity about the direction I am to take with my work from here on in, to clear old 'stuff' that holds me back from expansion and to heal and understand some health issues that have been plaguing me since I arrived back in Australia. Ready or not, this is it. Spirit I trust you! Hold me and protect me as I grow.
To all my friend, family and fans around the world, I feel you with me always. See you on the other side.
Love Orly Faya
16 years world traveller, internationally recognised award winning body painter with a background in Anthropology, Orly delves deep into the enquiry of what it means to be a human being and ceaselessly expresses her art whilst following her heart. Nowadays, specialising in mimitism (camouflage), Orly's current expressions are a moving living creative and expansive entity that represents her passion for re-merging humanity with the earth from which we came, sustainable conscious living, healing the sacred feminine as we learn to respect our mother earth and advocacy for balancing commercial gain with global and local contributions.