"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
- Marianne Williamson -
Plant medicine and shamanism was a big part of our trip from the beginning . I didn’t have much clue about both terms but one of the intention behind this trip for me was to unleash my fullest potential and seeing my shadows as well as my lights.
At this point down in this path, I feel that there is a part of me that brings limitation. Yet I can’t reach it with my current level of consciousness. It’s covered with fears and I feel I need help. And I had the intuition that the plant medicine could be my guide.
So what is Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca is commonly known in the Amazon basin as “La purga”, the Purge. The strong vomit-inducing properties of this medicine make it a well-deserved title.
But the purgative effects of ayahuasca do not end here. Under the ego-dissolving effects of this medicine we become once again aware that the separation between body, mind and sprit is only in our heads, i.e. a trick of the mind. And so the cleansing action of ayahuasca is one that encompasses the entirety of our being: in our physical body, in the emotional body, the mind, the soul, and the sprit. This is a reality experienced by almost every person that has taken this medicine.
Due to its cleansing properties, drinking ayahuasca involves first and foremost the openness of one’s heart and mind to letting go of all those things that we carry within that may have been important or even necessary to our physical and emotional survival but no longer serve us in the present time and that have become obstacles to our very own development and evolution.
-Extracted from Ayahuasca: Soul Medicine of the Amazon Jungle by Javier Regueiro-
My first Ayahuasca experience was on Monday 2nd of January 2017.
The ceremony was held by Marni. A kind of woman that I connect and resonate well with. There were four assistants and we were 14 participants.
Before the ceremony began, one of the assistants, Nacho was offering rapé, a mix of tabacco and some other ingredients, blown into the nose, helpful for grounding and focusing.
Nacho had very kind, vulnerable eyes. He seemed sincere in what he was doing and it was very easy to trust him and follow his guidance into this short rapé ritual. I felt grateful for the medicine and for his kindness and openness.
Another assistant, Shey, was singing with an amazing otherworldly voice… It was magical when he sang…It felt coming directly from his heart and it touched me deeply even though I didn’t follow the lyrics.
After an introduction, we had a round of presentation, each participants saying their name and their intention, their prayer for this ceremony. Everyone’s intention was beautiful. It was beautiful because they allowed themselves to be vulnerable.
Before I drank my cup, I prayed:
“Allow me to see my lights and shadows. The ones that I have seen and the ones I couldn’t see. Allow me to feel that I’m part of this universe. That we are one. That we are connected. Allow me to reconnect with my femininity. Finding the source of my power as a woman ”
After everybody drink their medicine, candle lights went off and we were left in complete darkness with our purging basket.
‘Wish you a blissful journey’ Marni said.
First few hours, I felt a growing discomfort in my stomach. I tried to meditate but I was too disturbed. At one point, Marni asked if anyone wanted to have a second drink. I went to get it without hesitation.
The discomfort grew even bigger. It felt a bit like being drunk. I didn’t see any vision nor felt any extraordinary sensations nor did I purged. It was just a mix of growing anxiety, impatience and nauseating sensations…
I wondered if I needed to take a third glass , so I went to speak to Marni. She told me to not to worry and that it was all normal. She then encouraged me to see where that takes me.
So I went back to my seat, kind of disappointed. I sat back in my place, putting the blanket around me and doing my grumpy gesture, suffering from discomfort in my body, unclarity, and still this nauseating feeling.
Soon after, Marni came to sing for me.
‘Breath in love, breath out fear
Breath in light, breath out darkness
Breath in joy, breath out pain
Breath in truth, breath out ignorance
Breath into your heart…’
Those lyrics inspired me. I might be trying too hard. Trying too hard to feel something, to make this medicine works for me. Once I heard that thought, I started burping. The discomfort in my stomach and my body grew immensely. I felt sick and it was unbearable to be there. I was falling deeper and deeper into darkness…
I was thinking this is too painful. Why am I doing this to me? I felt helpless and hopeless. I felt I reached a point where everything was becoming too much and I was giving up by losing consciousness or falling a sleet. And at that point, I had this monstrous burp and started to purge.
I didn’t ate anything since 11am according to the instruction of Marni, so my stomach was empty. There were nothing to purge except some water. It felt painful to vomit and it felt embarrassing and humiliating to do it in a circle of 20 people. I was holding my bucket, not being able to move, my face so close to the bucket, the smell was strong. I found me disgusting. So out of control! There is nothing there that resembled how I see myself or how I would like to be seen.
After the purge, my body started to shake uncontrollably. In the beginning, I was annoyed at the same time helpless as my body shaked and I couldn’t really do anything about it. My mind was so awake yet my body was completely out of my reach. I had vicious spasm in my stomach that made me hunch my back. The spasms were repetitive, so I was moving like a possessed person. I saw a part of me that really didn’t wanted to acknowledge that this was me. So I covered a blanket over my head and kept shaking and pitying myself in the dark. I felt like this bitten dog, thrown away on the street under the rain.
I felt myself disgusting, embarrassed and pitiful…
This lasted several hours till a point I felt bored about myself and questioning ‘why am I putting myself to be this bitten dog when I feel completely aware of what’s happening? Why am I victimising myself and complaining?
I sat up and uncovered my head. I checked if I could stop shaking, and the moment that the thought came, I started to shake even more.
A voice in my head was telling me, ‘accept myself fully, even the ugliest, even the most devilish side of me. Make a space for them and dance with it’
That moment the song Marni and her assistants were singing was reaching me and made me to move my body. I started to move and when the shaking came, I danced with the shaking.
I was smiling. I felt joy and lightness.
Soon after that, the candle light came back. Around that moment, effect of the medicine was fading as well.
I felt good. I felt light and joyful.
I definitely felt that I had only scratched the very surface of something that’s inside of me and I wanted to spend more time with this medicine.
I didn’t reach at all what I was looking for. I rather felt that the medicine didn’t speak to me because my protection was too heavy and strong. It showed me how I close my self in the name of protection. It showed me how I’m so proud of myself and cage myself in a certain image and personality. I felt that I has been beaten to pieces by this medicine to the point I realised that I was not who I thought I was. I am so much bigger than that and my powers will only unleash when I accept that I’m not this personality i am clinging on, this person that I think I am.
My ego was well crushed thank to grandmother Ayahuasca. I felt extremely humbled and had huge gratitude for this wisdom plant.
“Healing means, “becoming whole”, not finding a quick fix to one’s problems. It involves a process of reawakening to all that we are, including our pains.”
To be continued ...