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In these troubled times, it is easy to feel fear in the face of an uncertain future. Yet it is these same unstable energies that can help us now, to create the healthy changes we have always dreamed of. Of course, this takes courage, as well as a willingness to understand each other better and to heal our past wounds. But now is the time to question ourselves deeply, on a global level.
Twelve years ago, my life was very different from the one I live today. I was living in Paris, and was a stressed-out executive working in a large press group. I was the IT manager of a very famous women's magazine and its websites in several countries. I was then 35 years old and, at least in theory, I imagine I had succeeded in my professional life: a good job with a comfortable salary, responsibilities, a prestigious and glamorous work environment... On the personal side, I also had a stable marriage and a loving relationship with my wife. In short, I had the impression I had ticked all the boxes that should normally guarantee my happiness - at least that's what I had been promised since I was a child.
And yet I was not happy. I felt deep down that I was useless, and that I was putting my energy into a totally superficial cause. I was also under a lot of stress and often felt uncomfortable in society. I had spent my life building what seemed to be a solid situation, but it was actually sitting on a very fragile foundation. But at that time, I wouldn’t change anything, for fear of losing everything I had created.
As I was prisoner of this social character, life decided to give me a little push - or rather a big kick in the butt! In 2008, everything I had built collapsed in a matter of months, both personally and professionally. After this brutal and painful crisis, my wife and I found ourselves in a complete field of ruins. We were totally lost, unable to find alternatives to an approach that would obviously no longer work.
Faced with such distress, we made a decision that we would have never made under any other circumstances: we decided to go to the Amazon, to work with Ayahuasca. Today, this medicine is more widely known to the general public. But in 2009, it was not the case, and we didn't know what to expect. We were just so desperate that we didn't know what else to do. Needless to say, meeting this plant was an incredible adventure!
This trip, which would be the first of many, gave me the essential elements to start afresh:
- the conviction that my vision of life was extremely limited, and that there was much more to discover,
- the realization that there is a form of unconditional love that I had never experienced before,
- the courage to make radical changes in my life, thanks to a renewed confidence,
- and the intuition that I had the ability to help others, and that it would be my greatest joy.
With such gifts, I knew I could not continue on the path that my upbringing and education had set for me. I quit my job and jumped into the unknown. I had no idea what to do, and I understood that this work of reinventing myself would take time. But I was confident, and I couldn't go back, anyway.
I regularly returned to Peru to continue my work with plants. First for my personal healing, then to follow an apprenticeship and to put myself at the service of others. It would take too long to describe all these experiences here, which I recount in detail in my book "Free as a Wolf - A quest for happiness through shamanism." But after several challenging years of exploration and questioning, I understood at least one fundamental thing: I was the creator of my reality, and my joy was my guide.
I regularly used tarot and oracle cards to connect with my inner guidance. When in 2012, I suddenly had the idea of creating a mobile oracle cards application, the excitement I felt left no doubt that this was the right path for me. I was able to combine all my passions into one project: my search for meaning, my desire to bring a more positive energy to the world, my computer skills and my creativity.
So I spent several months creating my first oracle deck with the amazing author John Cali, whom I respect a lot, and whom I thank for trusting me. The app finally came out. At first, it generated very little revenue, though. If I had listened to my mind at the time, I would have quickly given up, as it didn’t seem sustainable. But as I was still passionate about this project, I knew I had to persevere.
And what my mind hadn't anticipated, of course, was that another author would see the app and contact me to get one too. Then another, and another, and I would start building a collection of oracle cards apps.
I concluded that I wanted to put my energy at the service of all these independent authors, who had so much to offer, and who needed a technical ally to bring their projects to life. So I decided to create Indie Goes in 2013 (www.indie-goes.com), a collective of authors united under the same banner, publishing their oracle cards and guided meditations on mobile platforms.
At the time, I already had this powerful intuition that there is strength in numbers, and that this collective would offer great opportunities to those who would like to join it. But I didn't suspect that this idea would be so relevant today.
I admit it, I had always been a lone wolf myself. I always assumed that one is never better served than by oneself. If I wanted something, it was up to me to build it, because I wouldn't get anything on a silver plate. I was convinced that this individualistic approach was also a guarantee of freedom: if I remained alone, no one could force me to make choices that would not suit me. So at the beginning, I was very happy to have created Indie Goes, because even though it involved collaborating with other authors, I was still autonomous and free to make my own choices. In short, I was in control.
In seven years, Indie Goes has become a reference in oracle card applications. This project allowed me to meet wonderful people. It also inspired me to create my own "Spirit Animal" oracle deck, based on animal totems and my shamanic training.
But as the years went by, the weight of responsibility gradually became heavier and heavier. So did weariness. Because carrying the world alone on your back is simply exhausting. In 2019, I went back to Peru, and once again, I received a magnificent gift: for the first time, I could really see the beauty of the Tribe. I deeply understood that I had reached the limits of what I could accomplish on my own, and that I too had the right to ask for help.
During a ceremony, I had a vision of myself as a child walking alone in the snow. I felt this long lonely path and this feeling of abandonment I had experienced all these years. This vision was very sad, and I cried a lot that day. All my life I had condemned myself to be alone, out of fear of others, and in the name of a freedom I had paid a high price for. At that time, the Medicine told me: "If you want to keep growing, you are going to need others. You can accomplish greater things together.” Even though I had started this change of mentality with Indie Goes years earlier, I had never realized the beauty of cooperation so well.
By a beautiful synchronicity, when I came back from Peru, I had the opportunity to sign a collaboration with Beyond Words Publishing, to publish a physical version of my “Spirit Animal” oracle deck. I would also adapt some decks published by Beyond Words to mobile platforms. It was the right time to associate myself with like-minded people, so that they help me to grow. I am very grateful for this precious support.
I have also combined all the oracle decks from the Indie Goes collection into a single application to further enhance the benefits of this collaboration. And for me, everything tends to prove that this is the right way to go, because the time for individualism is over. When we join forces, we quickly realize the extremely powerful effect it creates.
Even today, I still meet authors wanting to have their oracle deck published in a mobile application, but who change their mind after discovering the Indie Goes community model. They are afraid to share the space with other authors, afraid of not being visible enough, afraid of competition. This says a lot, because even in so-called "spiritual" circles, this individualistic energy is still very present. Keeping saying that we are "One" is no longer enough: we must now really live according to this concept, and walk our talk.
Today, the world seems more divided than ever. Individualism has become king, far removed from the ancestral concepts of the tribe. Competition and domination are synonymous with success. You just have to be the best, the number one! And what is mine is mine, and not yours.
As a Westerner myself, I realized how much I didn't understand this concept of the tribe: I was just thinking about bringing people together for utilitarian purposes. But the real tribe is not that: it is about living together, solidarity, mutual aid, respect for each other's talents, fraternity, and above all, a total acceptance of the other. In short, so far away from the rejection, judgment and intolerance that we experience on a daily basis.
Even if these concepts may seem utopian, I believe today they are our only way out. If we do not fundamentally revise our way of living together in the face of the challenges that await us at the global level, I remain pessimistic about humanity's chances. In any case, this has given me a clear direction for the work I want to do in this world, and the values I want to associate with it. Another approach is still possible, it is up to us to make the right choices. If we change ourselves, we will change the world.
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