This year, I went on the most profound journey of my life. It was a journey unlike any other I’ve ever taken, because although we traveled all the way to beautiful Ecuador, the journey mostly took place inside of myself. And in a way, it was truly the start of my journey inward…
What is Ayahuasca?
But first of all, many people haven’t heard of Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca, or “Mother Aya” has been used for over 5000 years via “healing ceremonies” in the Amazon. It involves drinking a blend of a plant and a vine (that includes DMT and MAOI) brewed into a tea, all while under the guidance of a shaman with the goal of self-discovery and enlightenment. It often involves hallucinations and various purging to make way for deep spiritual healing. Ayahuasca has also been found as a natural remedy to help those who struggle with depression, anxiety, grief, and addiction. As someone who deeply values personal development, and who has tried various pharmaceuticals and therapies for years, I was immediately intrigued by this powerful plant medicine.
Why did I embark on this journey?
My spiritual journey really started over the last year and a half for two different reasons. Firstly, some really difficult personal things took place that really triggered up almost ALL of my old wounds from being bullied and abused throughout my childhood, including feeling unfairly targeted, labeled and alienated. Wounds that I thought were mostly healed via intense EMDR therapy. Secondly, I had also spent a lot of time and energy working on physical, emotional and mental self-care. I felt like I had established a really solid routine and was doing all of the things I “should” be doing: I was working out regularly, going to yoga, going to therapy, had an amazing partner, was spending time with family and friends, had hobbies, got good sleep, ate fairly healthy and took time to rest and play. But for some reason, I didn’t feel as good as I thought I’d feel. I felt like something was missing. My anxiety and depression were improved, and even though I’d greatly reduced my stress levels, they’d still creep up. Anxiety felt like a lifestyle and I was exhausted. As I reflected on my own self-care, something I constantly preach about via Therapy Threads,Self Care Club and to my then-clients. I evaluated that western / conventional medicine wasn’t cutting it for me. And although I was practicing yoga, I wasn’t nourishing my spiritual self-care nearly enough. I needed more. Something deeper. Like most people, I constantly strived to search for things that would fill me up outside of myself. Everything from food, relationships, pets, material possessions, alcohol, shopping, reassurance from others, numbing myself, and other distractions. Those things were not the answer. I needed to start reaching inward for comfort and connection. And I was finally ready. I needed to work on my relationship with myself. To wholeheartedly love and accept myself. To have self-compassion as deep as the ocean. To get rid of fear and scarcity, and my anxiety. I wanted to work on my relationship with my higher power. Spirituality was what I needed, and I knew it all along!
I started to create a plan.
A plan to work on myself and my self-care in a new way. I’d focus more on being instead of doing. Of course, I’d continue my yoga practice. But I’d also add some other things to help with this new concept of being and spirituality. I’d start daily meditations; I’d start listening to more spiritual podcasts; I’d read more spiritual books and books about Buddhism; I’d start attending Buddhist temple at least once a month; I’d be more open, vulnerable, and less judgemental; I’d use personal development in a new way; I’d start having more conversations with others about spirituality and the soul; about life and death and connection and what really matters. I’d hop on Gaia TV (which I love, by the way) to watch shows and documentaries about spirituality. I’d engage in more philanthropy, volunteering, and giving back to the world (in more ways than I was already doing). I’d work on improving my mindset: clearing out my scarcity / fear based mindset and replace it with an abundance / love based mindset. I’d work on true forgiveness and compassion (for myself and others). I’d continue therapy, but with a heavier focus on loving myself and clearing away all the bullshit and negative beliefs that were preventing that. I’d start working on healing my attachment wounds in couples therapy with my partner (which I knew would help me feel more safe and move away from fear towards love). And.. biggest of all, my partner and I planned on attending our first plant medicine retreat to participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony. And I’ll tell you… it was a HUGE game changer. Check out my video for a look into my experience. Learn more about why this video is such a big deal – and more about my experience with Ayahuasca in my next blog posts.
I want everyone to understand that I KNOW this is an uncomfortable, controversial topic for many. I’m talking about something you may fear, may not understand, and may not support. But I encourage you to try to open your mind just a bit that there may be another side to plant medicine that you’ve never heard. There isn’t just one side of things – if you buy into the propaganda then you’re not thinking for yourself. I’m advocating for it and speaking out about my experience because silence is what breeds fear. Secrecy, silence and judgement breed shame. And fear and shame are hurting us as a species and separating us to the extremes of war, famine, suicide, pollution, murder, racism, and genocide. I’m also supporting Ayahuasca because I absolutely hate stigma, especially around something that is proven to be healing and therapeutic. It’s not the monster everyone makes it out to be. It’s actually the solution to so much… including Big Pharma. And who better and more exciting to be its creator than Mother Earth, herself?! Now I would love to hear from you. Have you felt like something was missing in western, conventional medicine? Have you ever heard of the plant medicine Ayahuasca? What do you know about it? Is it something you’d consider? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments below and I look forward to going deeper with you. Much love, self-care, and gratitude. Namaste,