Ayahuasca is a psychedelic brew which has been used as a healing medicine by the Amazonians for thousands of years. Even though it is illegal in most parts of the world, Ayahuasca is completely legal in countries like Peru, Venezuela and Brasil. It is a combination of Chacruna (a plant enriched with DMT) and the Ayahuascan vine (Banisteriopsis caapi). DMT ( N, N- Dimethyltrytamine) is an endogenous chemical that we produce at birth and death. There are also many theories about DMT being responsible for dreaming, but I don’t think it has been scientifically proven yet.
DMT is naturally produced by practically every plant and mammal; some just have higher amounts of DMT than others. The only reason why we don’t absorb DMT and travel to other dimensions every time we eat food is because of a stomach enzyme we produce called monoamine oxidase. This breaks down the DMT and prevents it crossing the blood brain barrier. The ayahuasca vine has a monoamine oxidase inhibiter which allows our body to absorb DMT.
My legs were shaking like Bambi’s and my stomach was violently churning as I raced towards the solace of the bathroom. But I was too late – I projectile vomited up the door and along the tiled floor. I was soon snow angel-ing in my own puke begging for mercy.
Back on my mat I was confronted by unforgiving concrete walls. They shunted up from the earth and marched towards me in a menacing, military form. The only escape was to shed my skin like an obese reptile giving birth to its own true self. That night, my ego died a long and painful death.
It was the worst 8 hours of my life and I swore to never do it again. But here I am. I’ve drunk ayahuasca a dozen times and have entered into a lifelong relationship with ‘her’ – ‘Mother Ayahuasca’.
They say that ayahuasca, this foul psychedelic brew from the Amazon rainforest, is a lifetime of therapy in one night. I was as cynical as the rest of you, but I have to say, it’s true!
They also say that it’s one thing to know with your mind, and quite another to KNOW with your heart. It is one thing, reading inspirational poems and listening to great speakers, it is quite another to come face to face with your confusion and bullshit first hand, hashtag no filter.
It is like waking up to the matrix and having x-ray vision so you can suss out social politics and power struggles. You become immune to the games that people play and you transcend the stories we tell ourselves. You find forgiveness and compassion incredibly easy. Patience, trust and humility become ingrained in your daily routines.
They call it ‘La Medicina’, and after imbibing your medicine, you are transported deep within your consciousness. I’ve felt my anxieties evaporate into the stars and learned that it is OK to be weak, OK to surrender and OK to recognise the hurt within. I’ve travelled through the 4th dimension and met with my 8 year old self. I put my hands on her shoulders and told her: stay humble, be patient and always radiate love.
I envisioned myself wearing a suit of armour with metal spikes that went outwards to defend myself. But the spikes also pointed inwards to demonstrate how I harm myself by ostracising myself. I’ve weeped over the pain of my estranged, mentally ill and opium riddled sister, and am moving towards the first steps to reawaken our troubled relationship.
I’ve recalled supressed memories of childhood abuse and forgave my father for his sins. I saw that he was a victim of circumstance who didn’t have the strength to break the cycle. I know he will go to his grave soaked in remorse. I am sorry for withholding my love as a daughter, and I forgive him. My sister who committed suicide 15 years ago played a nightmare-sh practical joke on me by manifesting herself as the exorcist child – by the way, I saw this with my eyes open. She taught me to not fear my shadow side. And through her playful presence, I learned to not fear death.
I’ve felt the confusion of the foetuses I terminated as they find their feet in a new life. And I realised my potential as a mother. After years of denouncing motherhood and feeling apathy for children, I connected with my inner sacred feminine that I put into an induced coma many years ago. I saw how all those years of school bullying dimmed my shine, oh how I cried. I flooded the world with my stress-laced tears. I was Alice in Wonderland.
I saw all of my behaviours that were self-harming: comfort eating, partying too hard, sleeping around, being reckless with money, being antagonistic. I was blocking myself from health and true happiness by satiating my ego. I attended my own funeral and heard the insults of my enemies while my black stone coffin lowered into the ground. I realised how much I loathed myself…then learned to love myself.
I’ve felt Ayahuasca flush through every cell and capillary in my body. It’s scary being in the grip of the medicine but you know you are being helped. I’ve seen ceremony rooms as hospital wards, spirit entities as doctors, and myself as a new born baby with a second shot at life.
I now nourish myself, surround myself with true friends, exercise regularly, do yoga, see food as medicine and walk in nature. I have learned to respect this meatsuit that is transporting me through life. I have completely relinquished my ambitions. No longer do I feel the need to climb up the greasy career pole or prove myself to my competition. No longer do I feel the need to humiliate others with the power of my knowledge. I now find joy in the simple things and look to help others. I’ve developed a new appreciation for those I love the most. My best friend, who I admire for her relenting selflessness. My loving and exceptionally precious partner, for being the most gentle and caring human being I have ever known. And my resilient mother with her childlike spirit for going through all the hardship she did and still having the energy to slap a smile on her face.
They say Ayahuasca is the teacher, but you gotta do the homework. There is nothing more terrifying than coming home from a cosy retreat and realising that you are now walking a different path to everyone around you. You’ve gotta walk hand in hand with Ayahuasca and keep up the good work. It’s not for the faint hearted. It’s for the brave.
After a year of journeying with Ayahuasca I feel alive and SO grateful. Ayahuasca make you wanna shout from the rooftops, and sign up for public talks!
I highly recommend…no, I urge you to drink ayahuasca and study her teachings. It won’t be easy or pretty. Yes, you’ll puke; yes, you’ll have explosive diarrhoea; yes, you’ll trip your fucking balls off; yes, you’ll violently sob. You might even laugh like a maniac and dance like nobody’s watching.
But, none of that really matters because you may just rediscover your true essence, find your calling, shake off the clutches of society, heal deep trauma, surrender to universal love and permanently change your life.
They say that before you come to ayahuasca, you need to hear her call. So, let this be your calling.