Peru Part 2: New Relationship Standards

Nadia Hrynkiw
4 min readFeb 16, 2024

You have already heard about the great magic that occurred for me in Peru around Plant Medicine and the Inner Awakening Retreat, but today I want to talk about something that is quite possibly even more impactful on a day-to-day level.

The woman who designed and held the container for our retreat is one of my best friends. She and I met almost five years ago when she attended one of my ceremonies. She tells me it was a big experience for her, but for me, I suspect it was just as impactful. Over the years we have become unexpected sisters, sharing endless voice notes and stories multiple days a week. She is the one I call when I need to process something heavy and I need someone to hold a non-judgmental and deep space for my inner healing to occur. When I need a reflection of what’s going on for me that is based in love and kindness.

The first time I invited Kristen to facilitate with me, I had no idea what I was getting into — only that I was called to have her there. Through working alongside her in the summer of 23, I began to see her magic very clearly. She is like a pure-hearted child who spreads heart-opening magic wherever she goes. She is deeply connected to her emotions, to the magic of the astral realm, and to the heart space in ways I have never seen in another person. A true sign of a gifted Medicine Woman.

When we first facilitated Medicine together, I watched her heart pour open for everyone to see. The level of unbridled vulnerability made my head spin. I kept thinking “You can’t be that open! You are exposed!” and yet I was able to witness her in a way that made my own heart begin to crack. In a way that made me see how closed that space has been for me in my life and my work. It was the beginning of the healing that I would end up getting in Peru.

As we began to work side-by-side, I saw that my heart was safe with this woman. I saw that I could expose even the “ugliest” parts of myself, my history, and my process without fear of being judged or harmed. Since I had been in a relationship for so long with someone who has a deep wounded inner child, I became used to daggers that were thrown at every turn. If I revealed my hurt or my concerns, those pieces of information would be stored for ammunition later. They would be thrown back at me when I tried to address a relationship concern or when I was down on myself and my self esteem was low. This is the relationship that comes with the narcissist/empath dynamic, and one that I feel has taken up too much space in my life. After so many years of this, my inner spark had become fragile and scared to face the next attack. The real Nadia often hides and refuses to be seen for fear of further damage.

What Kristen has taught me is what is possible when you open yourself to a relationship with someone who is genuinely doing their own inner work. Someone who is living from their heart and not from their wounding. What it’s like to communicate openly without fear of attack, even if it is the most incredibly uncomfortable conversation you could imagine.

She taught me that it was possible to have conversations that sound like this:

“I am super triggered right now. I know this isn’t about you, it’s clearly about something deeper within me, but I need to express my feelings right now and just get them out”

“You said this to me and it felt super hurtful. This is how it made me feel. Do you know where that attack or snarky remark came from within you?”

“I am sorry I said ______. I was feeling this wound come up for me and I took it out on you. That wasn’t ok.”

“When you said this it made me feel like ______. I don’t know if this was your intention, but can we talk about it so we clear this between us?”

This relationship feels like a direct gift from God. I have never had someone trigger me in such an intense way and then be able to express my feelings and talk it out in a healthy and productive manner. I have never felt safe enough to express deep concerns and hurts with a person who brings out my wounded child. I have never been able to speak without fear of having it taken out on me later.

I consider this experience to be the most valuable one that I am taking home with me from Peru. If these kinds of relationships are possible, why would I ever settle for anything less? Why do any of us?



Nadia Hrynkiw

Medicine Woman specializing in Shamanic Healing & Ceremony, Teaching, Community Building, and Founder of