You can now listen to the Audio Blog version, narrated by yours truly, by clicking the play button below. Enjoy!
Sitting in a dark room with men and women, on their single serving mats around the perimeter of a rectangle shaped room, a Shaman sitting against the wall across from me illuminated only by the moonlight coming through a few small windows, many thoughts start racing through my mind. The biggest and loudest of them being "what are you even fucking doing here Anna?", "do you really want to face your deepest darkest thoughts?", "are you even ready for this?", "what am I going to hallucinate visions of?" "am I in over my head?", "am I really expected to puke into this bucket?".
I had never taken anything, or enough of anything, at that point in my life to hallucinate or see anything that wasn't there to begin with. I was scared shitless. I tried to seem cool, calm and collected but I couldn't be further from those emotions.
I had just scratched the surface of my self development journey at that time, with a few books, audios and videos, but nothing that could prepare me for a night like this.
Alright the show has begun. One by one, each person would go up to the shaman and drink a dark black liquid from a shot glass. Ayahuasca. Definitely a far cry from my preferred choice of shooter.
My turn. Takes shot. Thinks to self, "well that doesn't taste very good." Returns to spot.
Forty five minutes later shit starts to get real. The kaleidoscope of colours I started seeing was mesmerizing, and to be honest a little petrifying. What the hell am I seeing? I shoot up from laying down as if to say "oh no, I don't think so. This is too much for me."
I recalled the advice given from a stranger I met downstairs as we sat around waiting for the ceremony to start. "Anytime you feel scared, feel something that is overwhelming, or see something you have resistance towards, say thank you and know that it is exactly what you are meant to experience." Okay let's give that a go. I say my internal thank you, and lay back down.
As soon as I surrender and lay back down, I feel as though I have sank through the floor and into some alternate dimension. The colours and ever changing geometric shapes rush back in and my senses are heightened. Coming through the psychedelic wall I see two vine like hands luring me to come through to the other side, but the voice clearly states that I need to purge first. "Fuck." I was actually pretty worried about purging as I had a sensitive stomach, so since it was on my mind it was as if Ayahuasca was telling me to just get it over with so I can shift into my journey. So I grabbed my bucket and what I thought would be a brutal upchuck, was a beautiful and gentle release. Like I was breathing out air into a black hole. Now it was game time!
I blasted right through the psychedelic wall and it was as if I was watching a movie reel of certain parts of my life on a big screen behind my closed eye lids. My intention going into the ceremony was "I want inner peace" and the film running through my mind showed me all of the times in my life that contributed to my debilitating anxiety and secret self loathing. Basically it took me on a scenic tour of the back to back relationships over the last 5 years that, to be frank, fucked me up. They made me feel like I wasn't lovable, I wasn't worth receiving kindness and that I wasn't enough.
I cried like a little bitch for, what seemed to be, hours. I had my sleeves pulled up over my hands, clutching them in my fist that were pressed up against my face which was half buried into my pillow. As I cried I knew that I was having a truly powerful release of all of the things that made me feel so horrible for so long. I let it all out. I let it all go. After going through and letting out years of pain, sadness, guilt, unworthiness, upset, anger and self hate that was caused by each individual person I gave my time and heart to, I felt as if a huge weight was lifted from me. I felt like I could breathe again and a sense of calm, peace and serenity washed over me like a warm blanket.
After that I was shown certain images, places and people that intuitively guided and reminded me to reconnect to my spirituality and know that I was so loved by my family and needed to better my relationship with them.
I came to and the first thing I realized was that my sleeves and pillow case were so wet it was as if they were put in the laundry. I apparently cried out every ounce of liquid that was in my body. Total emotional cleansing. I had surrendered to Mother Ayahuasca and was given one of the most beautiful and profound gifts of my life. Immense gratitude and a sense of extreme humility radiated from my heart. What a ride.
This sacred plant, Ayahuasca, is a vine that grows in Central and South America, is harvested and with great love and intention, is boiled into a liquid that is used in ceremony. It is a psychedelic that contains DMT, that takes users on an introspective journey allowing them to open up and activate parts of the brain that aren't regularly visited and helps you tap into parts of your subconscious mind so that you can heal emotional wounds, gain clarity and reconnect to your truer and higher nature. It has been known to help those who are suffering with addiction, depression and even cancer. This is of course subject to each person, but there have been studies done and evidence that is readily available in published scientific research papers. It also helps clear the body of parasites through purging and sometimes through bowel movements. Purging, aka puking into your bucket, is not only reserved for removing parasites. Ayahuasca goes through your body and removes unwanted energy, blockages, pain and emotions that are having a negative affect on your body and overall well-being.
Each person, unique as they are, will have a completely different intention going into each ceremony and the journey is always different and profound. The ceremony starts at sun down and goes throughout the night until the sun rises. There are different ways that the ceremony can go depending on what Shaman is holding space. The first time for me was a Shaman and his helper, he had a hand drum, a rattle and some tobacco smoke. Basic but extremely powerful.
It took me 5 years after that first experience before I had the call to journey with Ayahuasca again, but it all aligned so synchronistically that I couldn't deny it. My second journey was in June of 2017 with a new group and Shaman. Totally different experience. This time there were beautiful medicine songs played throughout the night from the Shaman, Nicole. Her guitar and angelic voice hit me so