Sarah Negus, feeling dissatisfied with life, decided to embark upon a spiritual journey deep in the Amazon with the guidance of shamans who changed her life forever…
Has spirituality always played a part in your life?
“The answer to this has many layers, as we all lead a spiritual life, whether we know it or not. When I was a small child, my world was full of fairies, angels and magical places, but I soon hid all of that away as I learned that it wasn’t ‘normal’. After that, I always knew I was intuitive, as my family labelled me ‘so sensitive’. I was, but I thought it was because I was ‘thin skinned’. Parts of my life have been lived completely divorced of any spirituality. I worked in the City of London from the age of 17 to 20, and in my 20s and early 30s it was ignored as I was so stressed out that I manifested chronic pain, disease and depression. However, in my 20s I realised I had ‘magic hands’ and in my early 30s I began to explore Reiki and started to live a spiritual life as best as I could. It’s been a journey that is still evolving. Living spiritually for me means living authentically, understanding that I am part of the universe and knowing that the well-being of my inner world shapes the outside world around me.”
When would you say you had your spiritual awakening?
“That was when I met Vivien, who became my spiritual teacher, aged 32. In the space of 30 minutes, she told me more than I dared to admit to myself about my own life and how I felt – even though we’d never met before. After that, I cried for two days and went back and asked her to help me.”
What was life like before that moment?
“Before then, my life was lived how I thought it should be. I was married to an accountant and had a son. We built a home, I worked part time and we had a social circle of friends based around work and school. I had a lot of what I now realise were dysfunctional relationships with family and friends. I drank a lot of wine in the evenings along with my husband back then and we holidayed several times a year. So on the surface, this was a lovely life. But during that time I never lived in the moment. I wasn’t present and I was full of negative mind chatter. I had a revolving mantra in my head of ‘there’s not enough time’, and I was always waiting for the next party, the next holiday, or for tomorrow. I was ill as well, managing chronic pain from a number of car crashes, ulcerative colitis, migraines and depression.”
What inspired you to take the leap and travel to Peru?
“Vivien actually took me there. I had decided to divorce my husband and he was keen that I had time away to find myself, and Vivien had wanted me to experience shamanic energy away from the Western world.”
How did you find the experience with the Amazonian shamans?
“The Amazon shamans were so interesting. They didn’t speak English, so we communicated through a translator, but I had a feeling of knowing them, their ways and that I had come home. The shamans had to work on me with herbs and manipulation as, according to Mateo (the shaman I connected with most), my spiritual life force was far from my body and needed to come back and be anchored here. The difference in me was huge once he had called my energy back − it is something I always do with my clients the first time I work with them. I also experienced the Ayahuasca ceremony while in the jungle, and I have to say that this was life-changing. It showed me my spiritual truth and the journey I’d taken so far. I came away from the jungle having found myself and understanding my purpose: to share this ancient knowledge and to give it a modern, relatable twist to those in my world so that it can help others find themselves.”
What did you learn on your journey and what was the biggest challenge you faced?
“I found out who I was, why I was here and that waiting to do anything about it would only make my well-being even worse. Besides the altitude, the biggest hurdle to overcome was facing myself and taking responsibility for my part in all of the emotional woundings I’d experienced in my life, as I was stepping away from ‘victim mode’.”
How do you feel your time in Peru changed you as a person and your outlook on life?
“I feel that I went to Peru as a little girl, or a ‘spiritual adolescent’, and came back as a woman full of spiritual wisdom. When I got home, everything changed. When you decide you are enough, everything you have built up around you that doesn’t underpin that energy has to fall away, which it did. I spent several years moving through challenge after challenge. I metamorphosed into a woman in charge of her own destiny, fully responsible for her own life. During that time, I got divorced, set up my own business, moved nine times in seven years, healed my physical body, let go of friendships, finally bought my home and educated myself both spiritually and academically as much as possible.”
How has your life been since your transformative journey?
“Life since that time hasn’t been smooth by any means. Everything had to change, and that took time and was often uncomfortable. Now though, since I’ve been settled in my own home since 2011, I have forged out a life that I love. My work, relationship and family are all happy. My work brings me such joy − I am absolutely fulfilled when I connect with my clients, seeing their transformations and how their lives change. It is such an honour to be able to help others.”
What does the future hold for you and your journey through life?
“The future for me, whatever it is, will be bright and rosy because that is what I intend to make it. Every challenge will be my next opportunity for growth and my intention is to touch as many people that I can with my message, which is ‘be the change you want to see in the world.’ With one person at a time, we can build a better way of living and being, and that all of this comes from within. So by understanding who you are in your inner private world, knowing, understanding and loving yourself you can then from a place of ‘fullness’ share this understanding and love with those around you, and then they can go on and share further. It’s a ripple effect. My hope is that I can bring more awareness to the general population that the life around you is created from within you, and how you feel about yourself will ignite a movement of self-responsibility and offer people a different way to live. My life is all about experience. The more I can experience everything − from joy, love, and excitement to anger, sadness, loss and fear, too − the more I will evolve. For me to overcome the difficult emotions, feel them, understand where they came from and then move past them is to find the gold within them. This is what I mean by turning challenge to opportunity. I get out of bed with a spring in my step that pushes me to be the best I can be in any given moment. I am always striving to live up to my vision of my future self − and she is pretty amazing!”
Sarah Negus is a modern day shaman, spiritual life coach and mentor. She is running a new course called The Ten Day Shift at sarahnegus.com