inipi kaga

Last week I took a spontaneous trip to New York for a festival where I met some amazing people, was introduced to an array of new ideologies and spiritualities, and experienced many firsts–including a native american sweat lodge!

A while back, I watched a documentary called, Our Fires Still Burn, and was super inspired by the native ways of healing. Ever since, I’ve been dying to experience what the Lakota Indians call an “Inipi Kaga”.

Everything about the sweat lodge revolves around healing that comes from letting go and new life that comes from returning to our roots, which is why one has to enter the darkness of the lodge on their hands and knees; it is a physical representation of returning to the mother’s womb.

Typically, when we are ill or unwell, whether it be physically, mentally, or emotionally, we think that we need to take something to feel better. The sweat lodge offers an alternative approach and asks us to let go of the things that are no longer serving us. Instead of a taking something in for temporary relief, it is a pouring out for deep purification.

I was even more intrigued (and surprised!) when I found out that the most common diseases or ailments that the native’s help others let go of in the sweat lodge are shame and seriousness! During my own sweat lodge experience, I will never forget how the pourer (facilitator) asked us if we had any good jokes after an intense period of time.

How do you spot Ronald McDonald at a nude beach?, someone asked.

He’s the one with the sesame seed buns!!!

I hope to move forward, during this period of possibility and unknowing, like the Chelsea I was in the lodge–able to let go and laugh at the very same time. What an amazing place to linger!

In other news, I’m taking on the task to help simplify the family flower shop in an attempt to earn some money for the adventures that lay ahead. So far, so good!

And, the business continues as I begin to narrow down my list of to-do’s for travelling. There’s lots to be done around organizing banking info, researching insurance policies, and guestimating the cost of a bum on a budget.


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