My Journey with Ayahausca: Surrendering to Darkness, Awakening The Light

It was early 2014 when feelings of emptiness, anxiety, and confusion crept into my life, I was forced to look within. Externally I was following the script. I lived in a beautiful city, I had great friends, a loving partner, and an apartment with a view of the ocean. My holistic skin clinic was successful, and I had successfully launched my own product line.  I worked hard to make all this happen and now realize I had an expectation of what life would feel like when I reached these goals.  I was more than a little confused when reaching these goals resulted in emptiness and anxiety.   

Struggling to understand my feelings,  I booked an Akashic records reading (Akashic records are a body of knowledge including all human events, thoughts, words and emotions for all of time). The reader told me that my soul was separating from my personality and was ready to rock and roll!  “You have a choice to open the door and take this journey or keep it closed, but regardless the knocking is getting increasingly louder,” he said.   At the time I didn’t really know what the meant. Fast forward almost 4 years and I now realize that it was time for me to awaken a dormant, powerful peace within.  I was about to embark on the journey of remembering who I am—a message that is now inked on my arm.

I left this session, went home and started Googling. I call Google my spirit guide because on this journey it led me to incredible healers, retreats, teachers and practices that I am so grateful for. Google led me to a place called Nimea Kaya, an ayahuasca healing centre in Pucullapa, Peru.  I’d never heard of ayahasuca, a plant medicine made from Peruvian vines and leaves. I did some quick research and within a week had booked my flight and ordered every book I could get my hands on. That’s one of my gifts: I don’t hesitate to act when the call comes to my door. My partner was a little shocked when I told him I booked a flight to Peru to drink jungle medicine with a shaman but he soon realized I would be safe and that it was something I needed to do. Plus, he knows me well enough to know that there’s no stopping me.  

It’s a massive understatement to say I didn’t know what I was getting myself into; my first ceremony was a difficult, painful experience that transformed my life in the most beautiful way.  The transformation was not immediate but it changed the trajectory of my life in profound ways.  When I sit and look back at the past three and half years of my life, I well up with every emotion possible.  This was only the beginning of my journey and many more journeys to South and Central America. For me, the journey of studying healing practices under the guidance of amazing shamanic teachers is a process that will never end.  My most recent journey to Posada Natura in Costa Rica has allowed me to release lifetimes of fear and suffering that has awakened a powerful new level of courage to walk my path.  

My personal thoughts on healing with plant medicines 
Deep healing takes hella courage. It plunges us to the depths of our pain, to the roots that we didn’t know existed. When we surrender fully, we fall into the arms of the divine begging her to take it all. You may be surprised at how attached you are to some of your pain and suffering. Who are you without it?  You are an incredible, powerful being.  I have since continued to allow Grandmother Ayahausuca to wash me clean, scrub me down to the depths of my soul. It’s a cleaning so deep that you can’t help but begin to emerge in your power.  Perhaps you will meet yourself for the very first time.  You may scream, cry, kick, fight, wail, mourn, shake, and purge. Oh the beauty of suffering! You will awaken gratitude at depths you did not even know you had. This is the sweet spot, the place where we meet the light and emerge from the self-inflicted suffering we have buried ourselves in hoping to stay safe, and invisible. The light is always waiting to emerge.  There is no pain greater than living life small. I encourage you to be willing to surrender to feel, to release and to remember who you are.  

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”Rumi

Is Grandmother Ayahuasca calling you? 
It is said and I deeply believe it to be true that Grandmother Ayahausca calls you.  If she keeps appearing on your path in articles, or you keep hearing people talk about her,  these may be the first signs of her calling you.  You’re the only person who can know for sure.  Close your eyes and place your hands on your womb space (even if you’re a man) and ask. “Is it in my highest good to sit in ceremony with Grandmother Ayahuasca?” The answer will come in the form of a feeling, a vision, or you may hear a voice.  Trust the message you receive and if the message is “No,” please honour it.

If you receive an emphatic “Yes!”, where should you begin?
First and foremost, do your research to find a retreat that holds a safe and powerful space. This is critical on any plant medicine journey.  I will not allow anyone to  facilitate my healing if they have not yet had the courage to meet their darkness or are living from a place of ego.  Next, make sure you have supportive, growth-minded people around you. Finding a community to support you and hold space for you is essential on this journey.  Understand that you are not alone. The healing path is never ending and is filled with joy, heartbreak, and love. Have gratitude for each moment for each one is a teaching. I wish you growth and transformation on your journey.  

Retreats I have attended and highly recommend: