My journey with Ayahuasca – It was like being shown the secret handshake for a society I always knew I belonged with.

I recently had the pleasure of journeying with Ayahuasca.  My experience was so profound that I decided it was time to rekindle the blog and share my story with the world – or at least with the internet.

As I arrived at the retreat center, I was thrown in the mix with people from all over the country (and a few from Europe!).  And I am not exaggerating when I say that many of these folks were the nicest people I have ever met.  There were lawyers, massage therapists, medicine men and women, bartenders and a pastor.   I even had the distinct suspicion that some of them would become lifelong friends of mine.   After having the chance to mingle for a few hours and ask the many burning questions I held in my mind, we had introductions and a group prayer before laying down on our individual mats and consuming the medicine known as Ayahuasca.  Before I go further I would like to add that if you don’t know anything about Ayahusca, please take a moment to look it up.  You can even click the above link to the church I attended and read about it there.  If you are aware of this plant medicine, please, I encourage you to read on.

The first night was the hardest.   I journeyed to the deepest points of my soul and tore out parts of myself I no longer needed.  As the medicine began to kick in I saw colors and movement every time my eyes fell closed.  When it felt like too much,  I was able to open my eyes and ground myself momentarily before carrying on.  I first felt anger and then terror as I descended into the depths of my soul.   This journey was the scariest thing I have ever experienced in my life – I would liken it to be the terror one may experience before a brutally painful death.   All I could think was “I can’t do this.  Why did I sign up for this? I want to go home!”  As I began to purge, with the assistance of the most amazing ceremony facilitators, that terror and anger was released into the small white trashcan placed in front of me.   If I didn’t have that supportive touch and a beautiful woman’s voice telling me “you can do this, you are strong enough”, I am not sure I would have ever made it through that part of the night (Thank you Colleen!).  After only an hour of that fear and release, I was able to move to a spot next to the bonfire, where I silently communed with other participants.  We gazed into the fire and up at the stars for several hours as the music continued and others around us pursued their own journey.  I was glad mine was over – I felt mellow and raw.

The next morning I was done.   I felt like I had looked death in the face and been shit on by him.  I was not sure I could ever face such horrific fear and pain again!  I did call my husband, cried a little and he attempted to encourage me to stay.  After talking with many other group members and facilitators, I decided  to try again.  After all, people kept telling me that no two journeys were ever the same and I liked those odds.  Instead of attending the next night ceremony, I signed up for the day ceremony instead.  It was in the middle of the woods and during daylight hours.  There was less music and I was permitted to gaze up into the trees as I journeyed.   I knew this environment would be better for me and I was not wrong!

This journey was different.  My intention for the day was to be more “connected”..  to others, myself, animals and nature.   I am a budding massage therapist and I was having trouble feeling that connection, as well as love in general.  Ayahuasca ensured that I experienced that connection and took me through both the good and the bad.  First, I saw how synchronicity works… and the connection between people (energetically and via what we know as quantum physics).  I was taken through the universe, a different dimension and even witnessed a far off planet that was inhabited completely by trees.  I felt and watched them communicate with one another via an underground network of roots.   I saw our own energy/universal field, which resembles a giant grid.  There is no time or spacial distance between anything in (and out) of our awareness.  Then there was the love.  I felt so much love – which I continue to feel here 7 days later.  It is nearly equal to the amount of love I felt when seeing my children for the first time – multiply that by one million.  Then, I experienced the other end of “connection”.  I went through the pain of a man lying near to me, felt him purge and then felt his relief – continually for nearly 4 hours.  This happened with three other participants as well – we were literally connected.  At the end of this journey, I let go of grief and guilt surrounding decisions I have made in the past concerning my husband.  I saw a universal and karmic connection that I have with him and all that guilt was uprooted and discarded instantaneously.  There was so much relief in that moment and tears of joy just kept flowing!

So here we are, 7 days later, and I am still reeling from last weekend.  I was in a complete state of bliss and love on Monday and Tuesday, unable to shake the grin that was glued to my face.  I danced and I sang around the house as I bathed in that intense love.   I also had this uncanny ability to make decisions left and right – decisions I hadn’t known I was sitting on!  My depression and anxiety has disappeared entirely, along with OCD symptoms that have been popping up over the last year.  Food tastes differently, music sounds differently, my emotions are stable and my head feels clear and grounded.  On Wednesday, I decided that my massage therapy business needed to morph into a full blown intuitive healing service.  This would mean I was to begin offering massage, Reiki, Intuitive Life Coaching and various forms of energy and talk therapy.  I also hope to work with plant medicine and Ayahuasca integration in the very near future, but I am trying to take this one step at a time!   This was a big deal, accepting yourself to be a healer is a great responsibility and it can also mean making a bit of a sacrifice as well.  I have been fighting it for several years, but  I am officially ready to accept that calling!

Additionally, my daughters have been telling me that they have been hearing spirits and seeing figures in the kitchen for the last two nights.   It is safe to say that something is going on in my energy field and it is affecting everybody.

So, that’s it for now!  After seeing the incredible changes in my own life, I hope to return for another retreat in the coming months.  I look forward to sharing that experience with you as well.

 

The best artistic depiction of a piece of my journey on day 2.

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Starting with Maui

So I had a realization last week about the blog, Hawaii, and my website. I came to the conclusion that I had not recapped on my vacation because I was too scared to do so. I knew that if I went back and replayed my time in Maui and on the Big Island, it would make me sad because my heart is very much still there. This hit me after I went out that night to see an old co-worker (and friend) of mine who had just left the law firm we worked for. He left his great paying job with benefits to start his own firm, with no clients, minimal savings, and just took on a part-time bartending job to make up the difference.  It was probably the most inspiring thing I have ever seen.  I saw him that night as a radiant and happy man I had never before met!  And then it hit me.

On my way home, I called my husband and said, “why are we waiting?  Why don’t we just go to Hawaii now?” Not only did he agree, but he then suggested cashing out his retirement in just picking up and going immediately. The next day I gave notice at my job.

I will post more about my upcoming adventure and cross-country drive to California, which I am taking alone with my two dogs, but right now I need to relive my time in Hawaii lol…

We were scheduled to fly out June 18th, the day after my birthday, and decided to spend that night in Manhattan so my best friend could celebrate with me.  We had some amazing Italian food and visited some of the coolest bars I have ever seen. I was having severe flight anxiety weeks before this trip and tiring myself out before the plane ride really helped to alleviate that.

I hate to leave out the details of Manhattan, but I am just too excited to dive into the best part of the story.

The airport and Honolulu was beyond words beautiful.  There were no windows anywhere and the entire terminal was open, with just a roof.  I immediately knew that I was in the right place. We hopped on a commuter flight to Maui, where we shared the cabin with just four other passengers. They were all middle-aged men who are professional golfers, and they had us cracking up the thirty minute flight.

Once we got to Maui we picked up our Jeep Wrangler, something that has always been a dream of mine.  Now we were ready to find our cottage rental!  [Side Note: For this trip I decided that I did not want stay at any hotels, so we went on this website and rented personal dwellings for the entire time on both islands.  By the way, I fully promote and endorse http://www.VRBO.com and suggest that everyone use it]  I will tell you more about our rental later, as it was so breathtaking that it truly deserves it’s own post.

We attempted to explore the island a little bit, but by that time it was dark and starting to rain.  Not to mention that many of the roads were unpaved and a little tricky in my first time driving a jeep!  With minimal energy to explore the unfamiliar roads, we surrendered for a nap and decided we were instead going to get up early to visit the summit of Mount Haleakala at 4 am.  Since our biological clocks were already turned around, it seems like the perfect time to do that!

It was on our way to the summit and roughly 4:30 in the morning when I encountered the most significant part of the trip, the true first synchronicity of my life. My best friend – who has a name, by the way, it is Dan-  was on his phone arguing with one of his employees after having something go wrong at the office.  I was trying to navigate unfamiliar roads in the dark, with no cell phone service, and trying to tune him out. lol.  I stopped at a small stand called Crater Coffee for my morning dose of caffeine and came across the most pleasant man I have ever met in my life.  I stood there and talked to him for about 20 minutes about the beauty of the island.  Several tourists drove by hastily or stopping to ask “how much further is it?”, but he didn’t seem to mind.  I bought a muffin and a souvenir mug of coffee, which I still keep on my desk at work, but felt compelled to ask him what HIS favorite places were in Maui.  I didn’t want tourist spots; I wanted to see the real beauty and heart of the island.  He took out one of his free souvenir maps and began circling, making notes, and crossing out locations around this cutesy map of Maui.  He even wrote in a few places that weren’t labeled!

I expressed my gratitude and we went on our way to find the most breathtaking sunrise of my life.

–See a picture here! This is the real deal, my friends, and taken with my iPhone camera lol– Image

Shortly after descending the mountain, we looked to this handwritten map provided to me by the man at Crater Coffee, which led to some of the most incredible and unmistakably magical experiences of my life.

 

 

Crater Coffee

Creation of “The Blog”

I had never thought myself to be a “blogger”.  In fact, I did not enjoy the stigma attached to such a person!  My reasons for initially creating this page were quite ironically not in line with the current nature of my thoughts.  However, the story happens to be an excellent foundation and back-story to my recent self realization.

It was Christmas of 2012 and my husband was taking our two children to Texas for the holiday, where his parents reside.  At this point in our marriage, we had two beautiful little girls and a marriage that I had already prepared to end.   The stresses of our home going into foreclosure, completing my college degree while working and volunteering full time, and still fresh decision to put down our recently adopted dog had sent me into a downward spiral of devastation.  During the ten days he was gone, a series of my own terrible decisions regarding alcohol consumption and several “unforeseeable events”, including the demise of our brand new oil furnace, had sent my emotional state to an ultimate low.  I swung violently from missing him to wanting to replace him immediately.  In this miserable and cynical state, I created this blog- with the original purpose of exposing my disgust with the US legal system and government (this will probably never make sense).

By mid January, I felt myself to be in an “unsafe” position, or rather I had a strong feeling that I would take my own life in the coming weeks.  I have been in this position previously, mostly in my adolescent years, but it was difficult for me to admit those thoughts and reach out.  I was ready to end this 15 year struggle with depression, borderline personality, addiction, and all other ailments I had been diagnosed with by some doctor or professional throughout my life.

My husband, being the compassionate and caring man that he is, urged me to call my best friend who could always manage to pull me out of my funk.  I was even urged to fly down to see him in Florida for a weekend off from my life.  After several hours on the phone, contemplating the next flight to Orlando, my best friend tells me, “Nadia, you have always been the type of person who can walk into a room and change the energy of everyone in it.  When you are low, you are bringing down the world around you.  When you are in a positive place, everyone knows it because they can feel it radiating from you”. Or something along those lines….

I am hesitant to share this turning point, but mostly because there is a lot you must understand in order to grasp the significance here.  My best friend and I are very close, despite the physical distance.  He has always told me “how it is” and he never sugar-coats anything.  This is the same type of communicator I am and it is something I respect and find very useful in life.  Also, this observation of his had struck me in an odd way because he was never the type of person to consider energy or “vibes” of a person.

Anyway, he soothed me some more and I decided I could stay at home and suck it up a little while longer.  I was in my last semester of undergrad and was eager to wrap it up and take myself on vacation to Hawaii in celebration of my graduation.   I sat at home that night with a bottle of wine and a family I felt a strong distaste for… Only now, I was starting to change the way I viewed myself.

And so it began.