Mindfullness is key – Living in nature off grid requires one to be present and aware. Staying present helps keep us safe. If we lose our focus we could end up chopping off a finger, nearly getting hit by an arrow while walking absentmindedly, burning ourselves or falling off a cliff. Nature has a funny way of reminding us to be present as well. I have had lightening strike near-by to bring me out of my head. A major burn that took weeks to heal when I lost focus building fire. I've had a hummingbird dive me and stop inches from my face when I was on my phone looking at YouTube videos and I've also had a pack of wolf-doggies knock me down when I didn't pay attention to the sound of them crashing through the forest towards me. Mindfullness is a way to stay connected to ourselves and everything around us.
You can't make fire quickly – Living off-grid and arriving in the forest with a foot of snow on the ground I learned that one needs fire in order to stay warm and cook food. Therefore it was essential for me to make friends with the element of fire. You can read more about my powerful experience with healing and dancing with fire in my book which will be coming out late 2020 or early 2021. Listed below are tips to building and tending fire. Take your time. Fire building takes patience and just the right amount of fuel and oxygen.
First - Lay your kindling as a fire starter. Birch bark, newspaper, dried leaves & sticks, cardboard, anything that burns works well. Stay away from gas fuel as it burns out quickly & is just a waste. You can then add small sticks chopped from larger pieces of wood or found in nature. Make sure there is enough space between your kindling and small wood pieces for the oxygen to circulate.
Second - Once you have the kindling going slowly add larger pieces of wood onto the fire taking care not to smother your flames.
Third - Talk to the fire. Show gratitude to the fire. Thank the fire, sing to the fire, drum or rattle for the fire. Fire is an energetic being (elemental) and I excitedly found out that fire feeds off of our energy as well. Our energy is also it's fuel. Fire is a master transmuter of negative energy. Each evening I would say a prayer for healing for the world reeling from a global pandemic and the fire and I (with my drum) would work together to release fear. Fire has a consciousness of it’s own. Fire can be an extremely powerful ally in self-healing if you know how to work with it.
Cooperative Living – It is important to be one with the land and with those who live in the area. I have met many wonderful people along our dirt road and for the most part, everyone checks in on each other and helps each other. However, don't get on anyone's bad side, unless you want to be isolated.
Gratitude - It is easy to take for granted the simple things that we consume every day without a thought. Since I have to carry in my water I am way more conscious of how much I use. I live in a small spot with two solar panels which feed through a small inverter to a small battery. This gives me about an hour of power, two if I am lucky and get a super sunny day. My small refrigerator and the stove in the 5th wheel run on propane which is expensive if you use too much. Firewood needs to be chopped from whatever dead trees are on the land. Everything needs to be used sparingly. It is amazing to discover how much you can really cut back. I remember my first morning in my space, I didn't have propane set up for another three weeks and had to cook by the fire. It took me an hour to make coffee as I had to build fire but I didn't have any kindling so I had to go out and cut kindling then start the fire (see above on starting fire) then boil the water. I swear, I cried when I finally finished making the coffee and took a sip. It was the greatest coffee I ever had!
Plant Speak - the plants will speak to you if you are connected and listen. If you'd like to know more I will be creating an on-line shamanism course dedicated to the Drum Journey, Ceremony and connecting to mother earth wisdom and plant healing. Or schedule a class with me when I return to Vegas.
"Phew! What's that Smell?" - Earth as a detoxifier and healer. I was incredibly sore one day from yoga, dance and tons of earth work. I was in so much pain I could barely move and was almost in tears. I had to go work in the garden and didn't think I would be able to do it. When I got in the garden I sat on the ground and grabbed the chunks of grass/soil and started to bang them together. My job was to break up the soil chunks and throw the grass in a mulch pile. The smell of the earth drifted up to my nose and it felt like I was breathing in cool healing air. I eventually stuck my feet in the earth and let the soil cover them as I worked. An hour later I had completed the whole patch and now it was ready for the tomato plants. When I stood up I realized that my body was COMPLETELY pain free! It's proven that the earth gives off positive ions which decreases inflammation. Nature itself is an anti-inflammatory.
My name is Melissa Ameika and I am a Reiki Master Teacher, Shaman & Metaphysical Counselor living in the desert southwest.