My Journey with Plant Medicine – Ayahuasca

Hi my loves,

I write to you today to tell you about a very special experience I recently had – my journey with ayahuasca!

If you’re like wtf is that, then let me explain. Ayahuasca in spiritual terms is an ancient medicine from the Amazon that people have been taking for thousands of years to help them connect more with the spiritual world and heal ailments such as addictions, past life and ancestral traumas, and any shit you’re trying to heal in this current life. In plain terms it’s a hallucinogenic drug made out of a vine from the Amazon that floods your system with DMT and makes you go on a psychedelic trip. LOL.

They say if Mother Ayahuasca calls you, then you have to answer her call. I’ve been hearing her call for the past two years. I’m deeply interested in plant medicine and anything that will help me connect more to the spiritual, natural world. It is currently illegal in the USA so it was really hard to find any facilities that offered the medicine. I found a few in Peru but didn’t want to travel that far yet and so I just kept thinking about it and meanwhile was researching different people’s experiences from podcasts to blogs to documentaries to articles in the New York Times.

That being said, the only “drug” I’ve ever experienced is recreational marijuana so I was worried that jumping from weed to Ayahuasca was a big jump and I didn’t know if I should have experimented with other hallucinogenic drugs first because I HAD NO IDEA WHAT TO EXPECT. In the end it really didn’t matter that I had never had a hallucinogenic experience which I will explain later…

Trust that she will find you when the timing is right

If you’re looking for a facility, since it is difficult to find in the USA, just trust and be patient that if ayahuasca is meant for you, she will find you exactly when the time is right. I remember feeling frustrated two years ago when I really wanted to “make the experience happen” and then I just had to let go of the idea and trust that it would come into my experience at the perfect time – and it did!

HOW she CAME TO ME

In November when I was on my solo trip in Bali, I saw someone posting on Instagram about an ayahuasca experience they had with a couple based in California. I immediately emailed this couple inquiring about the experience and since I didn’t have any plans to come to California anytime soon I let them know I would keep them in mind, but again let the idea go.

Fast forward to JUNE, 2020 and after 3.5 months of quarantine, I was itching to visit California to see my mom. As soon as it was safe to do so, I booked a ticket and started thinking about how I could incorporate this journey into my trip.

After reaching out to the couple and speaking to them again, I decided it was time for me to go on this experience. I felt A LOT of resistance coming up at first like – is it really safe for me to do this? What if i have a terrible time and I’m changed forever? What if i’m messed up after this? WILL I BE OKAY???

I didn’t tell a lot of people that I was doing this – partly because I didn’t want them to judge me for going into the woods with a bunch of strangers to do hallucinogenic drugs and secondly I knew I was doing it for personal, spiritual reasons so I trusted in that and only confided with a couple of close friends who were (mostly) supportive. I think I was holding a lot of shame because I’ve grown up thinking drugs were “bad” and only “bad people” did drugs. In reality, this “drug” is a sacred plant that people have been using for THOUSANDS of years and because the medicine is natural and comes directly from the earth, I felt okay in my decision.

They say the medicine starts working with you as soon as you decide to go and making this decision felt like I was coming out of a shift after being really stuck in my own energy during quarantine and really questioning my life purpose and seeking answers outside of myself instead of within.

The ayahuasca experience

FAST FORWARD to the beautiful weekend …

The retreat was held at a beautiful cabin in the middle of the redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains. I could not have picked a better place to have my first experience with this medicine.

As soon as we arrived, we were welcomed by the beautiful hosts & facilitators (there were three of them and seven of us) and we immediately gathered to share our intentions for the weekend.

I did a lot of research before the journey and the biggest thing I learned is that is is IMPERATIVE that you set an intention for the journey. They say the medicine will show you what you need and give you what you ask for, so it’s super important to set an intention and then go into it with an open mind and just surrender to the journey.

As we were going around the circle and people were naming their intentions, I started to worry that I hadn’t prepared enough because I truly didn’t know what my intention was. I basically felt the call to ayahuasca for a long time and answered it, but I wasn’t sure specifically what I wanted to get out of it. The other people at the retreat had come in with very specific intentions such as healing their addiction to alcohol, healing childhood traumas, learning to be okay with being alone, etc. I noticed my mind really going into this mental loophole of “I didn’t prepare enough” which is a constant thing in my life that I always feel like I’m not doing enough…

When it came to my turn, I just started talking and met the moment with where I was at. I explained that I felt the call and answered it even though I didn’t know exactly what I wanted out of the experience and I realized I constantly find myself saying things like “I don’t know” when I’m talking to other people when in fact I DO know and I need to learn to trust myself more and trust that when I need the answers, the answers will come.

Then, I suddenly found myself saying “I want to heal my voice and speak my truth”. I realized as I was talking that I’ve always had a block in my throat chakra and have been told by multiple healers that there is something blocking my throat and I need to learn to truly step into my power and speak my truth unapologetically. In the past, I have felt a little held back and wanted to feel what it was like to be truly free and in total alignment with my highest self.

MAGICAL LESSONS

This experience in the intention circle was already a big lesson for me – that I don’t need to worry about if I’ve “done enough” because all I need to do is trust and know that the answers will come when they need to come and I can stay in the present moment trusting that all my answers are within.

Also, when we arrived we all received animal cards and the card I got was the Albatross – all about faith, trust, endurance, and hope, which felt very significant for me because I had been waiting for a message from the birds and the albatross is a sea bird and y’all know i’m a sea human/aka MERM 🙂

The rest of the day, we were in silence since they wanted to keep the weekend really sacred and personal – a deep dive into our inner being if you will, and they explained that we would connect so much deeper after going on the journeys instead of meeting each other with fluff conversations like “how are you, what do you do for work, where do you live, etc”.

I was very grateful for the silence part because I love just being in myself and noticing my surroundings without having the social pressure of making conversation.

The rest of the day we did breathwork, meditation, and vocal toning, and a rapé ceremony to prepare ourselves for the medicine.

In between all of that, I spent time drinking copious amounts of tulsi rose herbal tea, journaling, and just sitting and watching the trees dance, savoring the moments of being one with nature and having my phone completely OFF for the entire weekend.

THE FIRST CEREMONY

Finally, it was time for the first ceremony. We all wore white and shared our intentions again in the circle, pulled tarot cards, and got saged to drink our first glass of the medicine.

I was the first one to drink and I had heard that it tastes terrible, so I drank it so fast like a shot that everyone laughed at me. It didn’t actually taste too bad – kind of just like an earthy, sour tea (except now when I think about the taste, I shudder in disgust and want to throw up because after all the purging we did you’re reminded of it, but I’ll get to the purging later hehe)

Afterwards, I sat down and started to wait for the medicine to take affect. Again, I had no idea what to expect and they say it can take about an hour to hit you, so I just laid down on my mat and waited. Before I was even feeling anything, I stared to cry. I was releasing stored emotions of fear for what might happen, and crying for my child self that was free and unapologetic and wondered what happened to the carefree little girl? What was holding her back from being that free again?

As I lay there, i started to feel like my inner vision was going all technicolor. You know the feeling when you rub your eyes and you see kaleidoscopic colors? It felt like that and I had the thought of “oh, the portal is always available to us”.

The next thing I know I’m overwhelmed with this sense of remembrance. A feeling of “oh, I’ve been here before”. It felt like the veil was lifted and I was tapped into the magical, spirit world. I kept thinking – “oh my god I’ve been here before. What was I so afraid of? I remember. I remember. Is this what everyone was talking about?”

There were candles all around the room and I just felt like I was in a rainbow, magical heaven and was having so much fun remembering where my soul comes from.

I felt deeply connected to my mother on the whole journey and a few of my siblings and I realized that our souls have been connected for lifetimes. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and emotion that we chose to come into this life together and learn from each other. I kept whispering thank you, I love you, thank you, I love you.

I kept thinking of other teachers in my lifetime who were always trying to tell me that MAGIC IS REAL and trying to remind us of where we come from and I was repeating the quote by Ram Dass “We’re all just walking each other home” and finally truly UNDERSTOOD what it meant. It was really beautiful.

I also came to the realization that through messages and signs the spirit world is always trying to speak to us. During the whole journey, there was beautiful medicine music playing and I was like wait I can’t believe people make SONGS and MOVIES about this magical world and us humans just think it’s all made up?! Like no, this is where our souls come from.

There was one specific moment where we were listening to the song “Returning” by Yogawoman and the lyrics kept repeating “Returning, returning to the mother of us all” and I just felt like my soul was coming back home in the most sacred and beautiful way.

My 6 hour journey felt like 10 minutes and the first night was really all about remembering who I really am and where we all come from.

The Purging

A major part of ayahuasca that makes it unpleasant for most is that it makes you PURGE. Purging can come in the form of vomiting, diarrhea, laughing, crying, and sweating. They say purging is GOOD and it’s actually emotional/spiritual blocks getting out of your system (which is true) but in reality, the medicine just makes you sick.

I got sick a few times but you’re so deeply in the medicine that it doesn’t really bother you too much. I did find it unpleasant to hear people around me throwing up because I usually hate that and would cover my ears, but the second night I was more present and awake and was instead present to other people’s journeys and was able to feel compassion and joy for them as I was supporting them energetically in releasing what no longer served them.

After the first night, we ended the ceremony with some fresh fruit and then went to bed. I felt super hungover and tired and the next day mostly drank tea and rested and thinking about how the magical, spiritual world was revealed to me and how beautiful it was but was also really nervous that because I had such a good first night that the second night was going to be really rough for me. I was really scared of the “darkness” and didn’t want to have a dark experience and so I felt super, super nervous for the second night but was also excited to play with the magical world now that I knew what it felt like.

THE SECOND CEREMONY

We gathered again for the second night, set our intentions, and drank the medicine. Soon after, I started feeling the effects much earlier than the first night and I again was overwhelmed with the familiar sense of remembering. That night, I felt like I was in a deep, sacred prayer. I kept repeating the words “my life is a moving prayer” and “it is so sacred to be here”.

I was realizing that everything we do in life is a chance for communing with the sacred prayer that is living, an offering to our souls, the souls around us, to the earth, and to the universe. I was realizing my creative practices are part of my prayer practice and it just all felt really, really sacred.

Because I was so scared of having a “bad night” I decided that I only wanted to drink one glass of medicine (the first night I drank two and some people even had three). They kept coming around and offering me a second glass but I decided that I felt good and I didn’t want to go any deeper.

And then… it got weird. I suddenly woke up and felt back in my body so I was all – oh, the journey is over! Hooray I’m back! But that wasn’t the case. As I looked around the room I realized people were still deep in it, and I looked into one of the facilitator’s faces and she looked like an old grandmother. I looked down at my arms and it looked like the hair on my arms was wiggling and I was like shit…it’s not over yet.

I felt stuck in some weird sort of limbo. I was awake and back in my body but the medicine was still working through me. I realized that I had “woken” up because I didn’t take a second glass of medicine and I kept thinking that I had done it wrong and was berating myself for coming all the way to the experience and wasn’t getting the full affect and was just having to wait it out until the ceremony was over.

One of the facilitators came around and told me it was going to be a long night if I didn’t take another glass because there were about 3 hours left in the ceremony but I didn’t want to take another one and so was instead super present to the experience of those around me. I heard people purging, sobbing deep guttural sobs, and at one point one of our attendees started having a JOY orgasm and was shouting things like “I can speak the language of mermaids!” which I thought was hilarious and beautiful.

UMM AS I’M WRITING THIS I’M LISTENING TO THE SPOTIFY PLAYLIST OF THE MEDICINE MUSIC THAT WAS PLAYED DURING THE CEREMONY and the song that JUST came on keeps repeating:

“serenita de los rios, danza danza con el viento” which translates to “little mermaid of the rivers, dance, dance with the wind”

Thank you mermaid guides 🙂 See – another proof that the spirit world is always communicating with us when we have the ears to listen. Pay attention and listen deeply.

Anyways back to it – after about an hour of just feeling super weird and like I wasn’t supposed to be awake but I was, the feeling eventually passed and I spent the rest of the night in deep contentment with a smile on my face just feeling really grateful to have experienced this medicine and be around all of these beautiful people.

ON Sharing my voice

Towards the end of the ceremony, the facilitator asked me if I wanted to sing and so I started vocalizing with the drums they were playing and truly let myself sing from my heart. I think it was the first time I felt like I was singing from my heart & soul and after I was done, I just broke down in tears. I sat there with my hands in prayer position, eyes closed, and let the tears run down my face. I hadn’t cried yet that second night and I just felt all the shame and fear around letting people hear me and see me since my voice is such a vulnerable part of myself, that I felt finally freed of that and just realized how I can use my voice as a prayer to the universe.

We danced and sang more and it just felt like we were in sacred community together and felt so fun and beautiful and an ode of joy and celebration.

I sang again in silence to the group and let myself fill space and I realized how much power I have and how I really can fill a space with my voice which just felt special and felt like I was finally stepping into my light and my magic and sharing it with others.

THE INTEGRATION

The most important part of ayahuasca is not the preparation or the journey itself, but actually the integration of the lessons learned.

I’ll list a few major ones I learned and am carrying with me from this experience:

Lessons learned from ayahuasca:

We are all just walking each other home

Magic is real. We all come from the same place. We are not our bodies or our minds. They are simply temporary homes for our souls. We all come from a beautiful and sacred place and we are here on Earth to learn certain lessons and then move on when the time is right. There is absolutely nothing to fear from death. We are all so connected. We are all members of the same family.

WE ARE ALL reflections of EACH OTHER

We are all here to help each other remember. We serve as reflections of each other to help each other learn & remember. Anytime someone is triggering you, how can you reflect that back on yourself? If someone is making you angry, can you see how maybe there are some things you need to heal about yourself? When the state of the world is in chaos & disarray (as it feels now) how can you turn that back on yourself and reflect how you participate in the system? What things can you heal in yourself to help heal the world? If we all took the responsibility to heal ourselves first before pointing fingers at other people, this world would be a much better place.

In this way it is actually SELFLESS to be SELFISH and focus on yourself first. We all have a part to play in changing the world.

mAY WE SPREAD THE LIGHT BY EMBODYING THE LIGHT

I’ve felt for a long time but now it is confirmed within me that I am a lightworker who CHOSE to come back to earth to help others be reminded of the light.

My human mind automatically jumps to – well what does that mean? What do I do? How do I help? And I realized that I can help others wake up to the magic of their soul and be reminded of the light by embodying the light. That means I focus on my sacred practices to connect me to the divine on the daily and shine my light so fiercely that it inspires and gives them permission to shine theirs as well. I am here to help inspire.

In other words, I get to be so authentically ME that it will inspire and impact others to be so authentically THEM. We all have a role to play. We all have a purpose. We all have a reason for being here.

The biggest way you can help and serve this planet and your fellow human beings is by aligning with YOUR best self and fulfill the role that YOU came here to do. This is a lifelong journey for most and that is okay.

As long as you are walking the path, then you are doing the work. 

Follow your highest joy/excitement

How do you walk the path? You follow the things that lights you up. The things that you desire, that inspire you, that make you feel good and joyful are not accidental.

They are the guideposts on the roadmap to your highest self.

Pay attention to what stirs something in your heart and soul. You are meant for it, no questions about it. If that means spending time in nature, then do it. If that means writing poetry, then do it. If that means watching the sunset, then do it. Life is about learning to tune into your intuition and doing what feels right for YOU, no matter what anyone else is doing.

That is how you walk your own unique path.

And with that, I’ll leave it here. If you’ve had experience with plant medicine or are feeling the call, I’d love to hear about it! I hope you enjoyed reading mine.

Sending lots of love & gratitude,

Leya

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I got a new deck after my journey called “The Lightworkers Oracle” and this is the card I pulled – it’s actually the PERFECT depiction of how I felt that first night ❤ I think she kinda looks like me too?!

 

6 thoughts on “My Journey with Plant Medicine – Ayahuasca

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