It´s been some months without you in my life, dear Blastocystis SP.

We met in the beginning of October 2015 during our trip to the amazing Amazon rainforest in Peru together with, what per today is, World Cultures United Org and some other friends. Memories of days in a home paradise together with Luis and his family from the Huitoto-Muroy tribe. I still remember falling in tears of joy when my feet landed on the Amazon, the smile of the tribe children, the blue morpho butterflies, the Icaros songs during our Ayahuasca ceremonies, the night orchestra of the jungle, the adventure during our mini trip to the Chulachakis temple with a local, the most beautiful birthday celebration I ever had (with traditional dances, songs, yuca bread and pineapple drink)… and, of course, the food.

It´s been 2 and half years since I got to experience the lack of water resources and access to clean water or good food hygiene in this land. All these “developed” countries in the world with access to clean water are so fortunate, so lucky! There is so much trouble about clean water and drinkable water going out in these regions of the world, among many others. I wish I can help them to obtain better resources for clean water access, specially after listening and witnessing episodes like the one of Andrés Llalla and his community in Cusco.

My first episode with diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, constipation, and excess gas started then. What I thought could be a simple diarrhea or typical intestinal infection for many persons, became a whole journey of self discovery towards a healthier lifestyle. These are the common symptoms, which, after a long time, got worse and worse. How much do we give for granted and how an “insignificant organism” can change your life.

The biggest learning of it all has been to ACCEPT, in all aspects that this word can cover. Within acceptation is the courage to change and do better every time, with no intention to win anything from it but to heal and learn from the process. I have been able to start practicing a constant transformation of the pain and discomfort into love and appreciation, both physically and mentally.

I have been saying thanks to you even without recognizing that you were in my life, dear Blastocystis SP. I got to see you for first time during my very first Ayahuasca experience, which was truly beautiful and revealing. I simply avoided to visit a doctor until last summer, trying out all kind of remedies and cleansing methods, which really helped but were not enough. I knew you were there and this is what the blood sample verified: Blastocystosis. You were already in expansion living in my guts and enjoying all my crabs for sweets, giving me so much “fun” in life. It was time for antibiotics. It has been difficult during these years, I have been totally empty for energy, exhausted, sometimes super high, with pain, migraines, hormonal unbalances, months with lack of menstruation and constant diarrheas, changes of humor and character, crab for sugars and many questions in my head.

The closed ones around me saw me down, with zero energy, carrying a heavy body and trying to comfort my strange moods sometimes. It´s been quite an isolation. I was trying to understand what was happening, what is my body telling me, what is my mind saying…

Back in 2006, when I discovered yoga asana, I was not aware about the lifestyle and never thought of food as medicine. It has taken many years with some sort of discipline, tons of curiosity about natural pain relief due to a chronic symptom and my love for food and food making. This has been a constant help during these last years. As time passed by, thinking about how to love myself best from the very basics, opened a new universe for me. Not only about raw and plant based diet, which is the one I continue using, but about how to deal with the everyday experiences that comes from the Maya world, the reality and the illusion.

Living with this parasite inside me made be more aware about the millions of bacterias living in our bodies that I never paid attention to. I had to deal with heavy diarrhea episodes while taking part on a QiYo Yoga 200hr TT in Lima, where I learned to cultivate and balance the Chi energy aka vital force or Prana (among many other grateful lessons) thanks to Agung and Lora. I continued attending accupuncture treatments at Klinikk Askim with Olav Ramstad. I have been introduced to flower oils and tested the essences and treatments of my dearest friend Pepe Barea Caballero and his wife, Inma. I received treatment from the professional and caring Frank Solomo from CIMI among other massage therapists. I learned to ferment food and many curiosities about bacteria thanks to Paleoterapeuten Andreas Dønåsen. I attended a permaculture course by Jan Bang and Stephen Barstow where I learned many aspects about permaculture that I keep developing and discovering in my daily life. I learned about stomach massage and the “art of touching” during a Thai-massage course at Om Shanti Barcelona with the great teacher Pau Castellsagué (thanks to Juan Carlos Russo). And the list goes on and on and continue growing.

By today, after a second antibiotic cure which ended in January this year, the immune system has been very wicked, I have been sick and getting some migraine episodes again. Now that blood is clean for antibiotics and the body awareness is more balanced, my body has developed a high sensitivity towards natural factors and it has been very interesting to observe how does body and mind react to it. From simple things like tab water to light, sound, etc. Spending more time in nature and silence keeps the whole system much more calm.

This Art of listening in this love letter is worth sharing. It goes to all of you around me and in my life. Because this has also affected communication and relationships. It is also a short reflection about the simple things in life, about appreciation and observation. About accepting and letting go, about digesting what happens in our life and how to deal with circumstances as they are or come. It is a true Art which has no mastering technique. Is an Art that needs constant attention and goes beyond any canvas. In this journey, Art has been reflected in all forms for communication, as a mixture of all methods for self-expression and therapy. I got engaged in more community projects doing volunteering of many different kind, became an art-ivist, participate in many projects with sustainable purposes, keep discovering nature related subjects and attending different trainings, etc…

We shared so many stories and travels together. You came with me to Spain, Italy, Norway, Peru, Russia, Sweden…

Today I celebrate the negative results in the latest blood samples, while I keep alert about the whole situation. The chapter living actively with you inside me is now closed. You taught me to be much more aware about so many things that I will be always grateful to your presence in the deepest of my guts. You helped me to listen to emotions from inside out, to discover so many new tools for communication. You forced me to say “no” and “enough” to many situations during these years. You pushed me to sleep and cultivate a new patience for recovering. You brought amazing people into my life, new knowledge, new experiences and new tasty experiments in the kitchen.

There are many others that are and have been in relationship with you, dear living organism. I wish them all the best. In my case, medicine has been a helpful resource to get ride of you. But the best has been to learn and discover about all natural resources out there. Because I can continue using them and learning from them, so that you can stay away from the path.

(Photos: From our trip to Amazon jungle. Flowers and leaf from Peru)

There are still many travels ahead and many memories to create.

To the parasite: thanks for all you gave me, you will always be remembered. And I will, definitely, continue telling others about you.

To all of you reading this: thanks for your time. For your patience, your understanding, your caring and sharing; and for continue forming part of this organic living experience.

Special thanks to Nicolas Prassinos, Luis and his family and all those amazing persons that I met during my trips to the land of the Incas. I will be back! To dearest Aleka Angeletaki for being part of my life, in so many different ways! I love you!

Sincerely,

Irene