Before I share journal entries on my travels to Peru to work with Shamans and plant medicines, I wanted to explain why I felt so drawn to Ayahuasca. At 41 years of age I had had enough of the medically and socially acceptable, traditional and alternative methods to relieving chronic pain, depression and anxiety – many of which didn’t work for me or made me worse through side effects. I was being offered band-aids when I needed help deciphering the root cause of my issues.
Situations from my past kept nudging me toward healing what all of the self help books, talk therapy, physical therapy, diet changes and prescribed antidepressants couldn’t touch. I continued to feel stuck, extremely frustrated and angry. It was necessary to start a true process of healing all of the pain I had buried such as abandonment, rejection, emotional neglect, addiction and a growing disconnect to the spiritual world. I had reached a point where the only way out was to trust the wisdom of the plants and the Shamans who would aide me in working with them. They in tandem would help me get back to my roots – to revisit that pain I had buried as a coping mechanism but which no longer served me.
I didn’t feel safe at times when I was young – more than likely due to my alcoholic stepfather. I can remember being plagued by nightmares because of this. I dreaded going to bed for fear something or someone wanted to hurt me and my mom. Sleep paralysis occurred often, leaving me completely immobile, unable to speak. The harder I tried to scream for help, the less any sound escaped my lips. And with sleep disturbances came mental exhaustion. And fatigue did nothing to help my brain function in school.
Despite what I had been through growing up I always felt a sense of connection to the spirit world. It was as if I had guides I couldn’t see but were looking out for me, and not letting me give up on life no matter how dark things got. I attribute a lot of my resilience to them. Unfortunately as I got older I pushed them aside.
Fast forward a few decades and although sleep paralysis occurs less often, the dreams can be just as traumatic. One recurring dream I haven’t been able to escape comes twice a month with hormonal fluctuations. Basically I’m desperately trying to find or talk to my husband but he wants nothing to do with me. Sometimes in the dream he’s flaunting other women in front of me to really drive the message home that he doesn’t love me. I believe this dream reveals my inability to accept love, probably due to my father being completely absent for 35 years (and would have continued to be had a cousin not found me online).
I continued to live my life behind a mask of normalcy, and that lack of authenticity kept me from truly connecting with others. On the outside I appeared fine, but internally I was aching for something more, but what I didn’t know. This constant curiosity had me researching health, diet, childhood development and addiction, which led me to Dr. Gabor Maté’s work and books. Since I was in the Paleo / Primal scene I was hearing more about Shamanism – there was even a panel at the 2015 Paleo f(x) symposium I attended where people like Aubrey Marcus and Nora Gedgaudas shared their journeys with plant medicines. From there my mind was set on what I had to do to get unstuck and move forward authentically.
Ayahuasca helped reunite me with my guides, and for that alone I’m forever grateful. But as you’ll read in upcoming posts there’s so much more to be thankful for (one example would be my perspective on death and where we go when we die). Regarding my dreams, I’ll continue to listen to what they reveal about my internal world and I’ll integrate what I learn from them along with my work with plant medicines.
Have you been called to plant medicines? I’d love to hear your story or if you have any links to share.
The video below is a fantastic interview with Maestro don Howard (Choque Chinchay) of SpiritQuest Sanctuary. I decided on this facility in Iquitos, Peru thanks to Aubrey Marcus. I cannot recommend this Sanctuary or its people enough. My thanks to don Howard, don Rober, donia Eliana and don Carlos for helping plant medicines reset me and start me on a journey to true healing. And special thanks to don Howard’s staff for pampering all of us through this process.
Please do your own research when it comes to putting any substance in your body.