Facing Fear with Plant Medicine
Fear is a funny thing. It can both motivate us and hold us back. It’s the driving force behind why we do so much in life. Fear of not being accepted, not having financial security, not being good enough, not living up to the incredibly high ideals we hold ourselves to.
I’ve always had the tendency to jump into things that I am afraid of. Do that which I am most afraid of. This has helped me in many ways to change careers, travel to foreign countries by myself, move to new cities and just push myself out of my comfort zone. But there has always been one area, I haven’t been so willing to face. The fear of facing my darkness aka the underlying feelings of pain, anger, hurt and trauma. This is an area that we generally will do anything to avoid. What ends up happening is those unresolved feelings manifest into compulsions, addictions and even depression.
This past weekend, I finally faced that dark place within me and it was quite the journey. I have been researching Ayahuasca, a tropical vine native to the Amazon that is known for it’s hallucinogenic properties, for quite some time. It’s a heart medicine, known to bring clarity, healing, insight, and release to those who drink it. It’s one of those things that will call you when the time is right to bring it into your life. With all of the change and uprooting, it finally was the right time for me to do a ceremony. One of the key things you do is set your intention before ceremony on what you would like assistance with. My intention was, “Show me the darkness.” I clearly had no clue what was about to come at me.
After the third cup and still not feeling much of a difference, I asked the facilitator for one more. He looked at me and questioned whether that was really a good idea. Everyone around me was very deep into the medicine, some purging while others were moving around experiencing incredible visions. I said yes and gulped the fourth one down. No sooner had I sat back in my spot, did it hit me like a bolt of lightning. Suddenly, everything around me was vibrantly colored and dream-like. I saw energy and auras and beings around people and the room. It was unlike anything I have ever seen before.
Then, everything started to fade. Sound, colors, movements, people in the room. Everything kept flashing in and out of my awareness as if I were taking my last breath. I literally felt myself dying and I was so incredibly scared. I jumped up and ran to the bathroom and began purging everything. All of the toxic thoughts, emotions, fears, traumas…it was as if everything was erupting from my body. Fearing that I had taken too much, I jumped up and grabbed my phone to call 911, yelling out to the facilitator that I needed help. He came out and asked me to tell him what was going on. I told him I was dying and that I needed to call someone for help. He took my pulse and felt all of my vital signs and informed me that physically I was OK. He said, “I know you think you are dying, but I feel it’s all in your mind. Can we go back inside and lay on the mat to do some healing work?” I agreed and came back inside to lay on the mat.
As he did energy work on me, I began to see what was really happening. It was in my mind. I was so afraid of letting go of control and being vulnerable that I felt as if I were going to die. But it is the control and the mask that has been sucking the life out of me, blocking the ability to feel pain, sadness, anger, and guilt. This also blocks me from feeling true love and joy. That’s where I have reached for things like sugar or caffeine or stimulants to try and feel life and joy and love. But those things don’t take bring true love and joy. In fact, they only bring me back to control and feeling blocked. This is how the vicious cycle perpetuates. And this information is so incredibly useful, because it teaches us that facing darkness is where TRUE HEALING begins. It is only when you have experienced the shadow, that you can see the light.
Thank you Mother Ayahuasca for a life-changing lesson that will undoubtedly have a profound impact on my life and others <3