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Hitting The Pause Button by Dana Damara

Hitting The Pause Button by Dana Damara

June 06, 2019

Hitting The Pause Button by Dana Damara


I’m sharing this story with you in the hopes that you hit the pause button. That you realize how powerful and potent a pause really is. Not only is it potent, but it’s also necessary. Please, grab a cup of tea and re-live this story with me. 

In 2015 I took off for Mexico because I was overwhelmed and overworked. It was a last minute decision. I spent most of those 7 days, staring at the ocean, drinking from a coconut, and turning over so I wouldn’t get burned.  That is after I arrived in a whoosh of a tropical storm; a real one, representing my life at the time.

After a day or two of doing nothing, the magic began.  It started out as a chance meeting of two Priestesses in Tulum. I walked into a Moon Circle at a random place on the ocean.  And my dear sister, Ebyan from San Francisco was leading it.  What are the chances right?  Well, when you’re in the flow, the chances are epic actually. I was asked to smudge everyone before they walked into the temple and at the time, was just the sign I needed. You see, I had been asking what is next for me? What is my highest calling?  And this magical encounter pointed at me with such clarity that I could only step into it gracefully. Now, I lead Moon circles on a regular basis, call myself a Priestess, and yes, just enrolled in a Shaman training, of sorts. It was in moments like these chance meetings, symbolic circumstances, miraculous encounters, and countless visits by spirit animals, that I knew I had to take heed to what was happening in this magical place of Tulum.

The ritual ceremony on the Moon Circle was amazing, powerful, and healing. In the past, I may have cried, felt less than whole and/or felt like I “needed” something from this circle. This time, that was not the case. I was so in my body, in my breath and so very present to it all. I felt like a Priestess, holding space for these souls. At the end of the ceremony, when the participants left, we all sat around the altar, likewise women and old friends, loving on each other. Grateful our paths had crossed and we shared such a sacred circle.

My last full day there, my dear friend Ebyan asked me to go to a Cenote with her.  I have no idea what it is but I agree. She has no idea where she is going, but we will figure it out.  A new sister, named Summer, joins us and as we are leaving she says, “Hang on, let’s grab Lo”, another dear Priestess sister living here in Mexico.

zpJS3KmQWhen she steps into the car with us, I can’t help but laugh because really, it’s like I’m in a movie. A really, really, great movie that I could never have choreographed myself.  We drive for what seems like forever because well, we’re looking fora white, hand-painted sign on the left side of the road.  We drive past miles of lush, green trees and all we’re looking for is a white, hand-painted sign. After many chants and songs later, the sign shows up.  We are so excited but when we pull up, there is a barbed wire fence telling us it’s closed. This is after about an hour in the car that was supposed to be 30 minutes.

We stand there in awe of this sign, potentially halting our adventure.  But not one of us hesitates. We’re going anyway. I get out of the car and realize that somewhere along the line I lost a flip-flop.

Either at the gas station or the fruit stand, I’m not sure which, but it’s certainly gone. So the Universe decides that if I am to go at all, I will be walking barefoot.  

The Priestesses decide to walk barefoot with me.  We are on a pilgrimage, each of us from different places on the planet, each with a different story and each of us at different points on our journey.  All brought together for some magical reason to be revealed at some point.  Some of us will meet later, for some of us, this will be our only experience together.

2015-06-17 16.02.15We cut a banana leaf from the nearby tree for our offerings: an avocado and a bit of fruit and off we go. Each of us takes turns holding the barbed wire up for someone else, so we can get through this barrier, and we begin walking. With no shoes. On a gravel road. It starts hurting, so we tell stories.  We talk about all the ancestors before us who must have done something just like this but under much harsher conditions. We each take a turn chanting from our own lineage, teaching each other songs to connect, but mainly to stop thinking about how bad our feet hurt. Suddenly, we hear a car coming up. This lovely, smiling face pulls over to us and in a blend of Mayan and Spanish, he begins to tell us that he and his brother are working on the Cenote and that is why it’s closed. Lo speaks to him in Spanish and tells him that we are on a pilgrimage, she tells him about our path, and why we’re there. He offers us a ride, as we are still fairly far away especially on bare feet. Now his brother pulls up on his motorcycle and smiles at us. So we get in, Summer gets on the back of the cycle and off we go to the Cenote.

2015-06-17 16.19.55-1I hadn’t felt that alive, that connected to Source, to the Now, then I was in those moments. It reminded me of some 20 years ago when I went backpacking in the Southern Hemisphere – free, open, alive.  He parks at a hand-painted sign that says, Entrada Al Cenote.  We walk along this path that is soft to the feet, followed by Julio, his brother, and a three-legged dog, barking at us, showing us the way as if to say, “I’m so glad you are here!”  This is no lie … this is a true story.

We come upon the Cenote and I peer over the edge. I am in awe, my heart in a state of knowing that this is It.  We arrive at the steps to get down and my jaw drops. I want to get down on my knees and bow to this magnificent, phenomenal, miracle, this Cenote, this hole in the ground that is unexplainable.

IMG_4474I had never seen anything like this in my life.  It was as if Mother Gaia was reminding me just how precious She is.  As if she was revealing herself, naked and raw as if to say, "Please, please remember how special I am and please, please educate the people and the next generation so we all may experience healing. See into my womb, into my being, into the depths of me and remember who I am.  Examine and know that seeing me is a blessing and a privilege.  Feel into me and connect with my vibration.  Please take this with you … know that you are whole and share this story with others.  Bring them here so they may remember."

It felt as if I was in the womb of the Great Mother Herself.  As if I was swimming inside the water of her womb and bathing myself in the most cleansing waters accessible.  I looked up from the descent into her vastness and was more in love.  Was this really happening?  The roots from these trees, still being fed by her, the rocks taking on different patterns now that they were exposed to the elements outside the womb.  Her imperfect, perfections glistening in the sun.

2015-06-17 16.39.22We swam, we sang, we meditated, we offered her our gifts and we laughed so loud.  We saved a bird that had fallen out of the nest and sang one hundred Oms to bring her back to life.  The brothers, who we lovingly named Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, were 100% Mayan we found out after sharing food with them.  They showed us the crystals in the walls of this amazing place; explained to us where the offering table was and that we had actually sat just above it to sing.  They told us stories, took selfies with us, and swam and tried to speak our language.  Then they called the owner of the Cenote to tell him about us. The brothers told the owner that they had never seen anything like this and that he had to come right away. Four Goddesses had shown up to bless this space. Pedro showed up to thank us, to bless us and sing with us.  

I still to this day, am in awe of the magic from that afternoon. The gathering, the knowing, the blessing, the trust, and the grace. This was such an example of the Sacred Masculine supporting the Divine Feminine in her work to connect with Mother Gaia. We had to go through a few initiations to get there but when we did, we were blessed beyond words. We had all hoped for a Cenote experience that was free from tourists. We didn’t expect a private viewing, a personal escort, or the magic that we encountered.  

And as I continue to vacillate between a gypsy and grounded momma, my path became very clear in that afternoon.

I am a teacher of teachers, a guide for young girls, and a Priestess that holds space for women.  And I do this by consciously collaborating with other amazing women around the globe.

We align with each other and remind each other of our magical powers, not by competing or trying to do it all ourselves.  But instead, by uplifting each other and accompanying the beauty in each other.  By supporting each other in growth and expansion. We perceive Mother Earth as sacred and witness the truth of what is happening on this planet and we offer our services to help heal. And we do this together, now.

That day, in the Womb of the Mother, I recognized my wholeness.  I left behind a part of me, knowing that She would transmute the old through rebirth and regeneration.  Words cannot begin to describe the feeling, the connection or the emotion that imprinted my heart, mind, and soul that day.  In storytelling, I hope to convey the deep meaning of being in the now, loving what is, and paying attention to every single connection we are offered in one day.

It’s amazing what can happen when you look up from your phone, get off the ride, stop thinking about what everyone else is doing and press the pause button.

Written by Dana Damara

Dana's next retreat New Year, New Moon, New You