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โœˆ Chicago, IL, US

(Next: Cuba)

My First Ayahuasca Experience

My First Ayahuasca Experience

Intense, spiritual, profound - my first ayahuasca experience was beyond anything imaginable. As much as I read about other people's experiences, nothing compared to actually ingesting and fully embracing the natural drug. I have never been a spiritual person nor believed in such things but from my first ayahuasca ceremony, I have a change of heart. I had no idea what to expect because this was described as a drug not like any other. It has been used to heal souls and chase away demons for thousands of years. I first wanted to try aya for the trip and hallucinations but I gain so much more than that. It is recommended to take aya more than once to fully be connected with oneself and feel the power of the plants with your whole heart, body, and soul. Although I don't fully feel that I have truly connected with my soul and found myself during my first experience, I did feel those doors opening and myself digging deeper into things I wanted to work on. I confronted the issues I had within and the things I wanted to improve about myself and my life. 


Hallucinations:

These were the most intense, full body hallucinations I have ever experienced. At some points I wanted it to end and get out of whatever dimension I was in. My mind just sped at 100mph and I had no way of controlling it. The first things I saw were these crazy animals coming at me - snakes, pumas, everything. I couldn't see anything fully because they were all traveling so fast. My mind felt like it was trapped in a kaleidoscope with different geometric shapes and things spinning and twisting from all angles. I kept seeing myself running up and down escalators and coming in and out of different doors but never being able to escape whatever was chasing me, like I was forever trapped in a fun (not really fun) house. As my mind was racing, my entire body shook and vibrated uncontrollably. At that point, I thought I was not going to be able to handle the drug if this kept up the entire time. It terrified me. 

Probably an hour in, when things were the most intense, I heard the shaman's music instruct me to purge. With the loud blow of his horn, I threw up. Instantly I felt better and I was able to focus and slow things down. Once I did, I ended up at Machu Picchu where it was beyond peaceful and calm. The crazy fast hallucinations were gone and I was just wandering around the ancient ruins. Maybe I was an Incan in my past life - maybe even an Incan Princess. I walked through the terraces and different parts of Machu Picchu like it was my own safe place and I was free to roam with my mind and spirit. I kept running into my close friends and family, having normal everyday conversations. That was when I started to dig deeper into my thoughts and confront the issues I set forth for the ceremony. 

Once I made the connections of why I was seeing everyone near and dear to me at Machu Picchu, I was exported to different world wonders - from the Taj Mahal in India to the icy peaks of Antarctica and everywhere in between. But there was a catch, there was someone else by my side the entire time. Someone I was romantically connected with. I couldn't see his face or make out who he was but it gave me a weird tingly feeling I have not felt in a long time. 


My realizations:

I had two main intentions for this ceremony:

  1. Learn to be more affectionate and compassionate to those around me

  2. Learn to accept myself for all my flaws and to not be so hard on myself

My first realization occurred when I was having conversations with everyone I knew: I truly missed those near and dear to me. Although I never felt like I had neglected them, it did occur to me that I have not been showing them enough appreciation. I am an extremely independent person and have always been proud of that trait because I don't feel any attachment to anything or anyone I leave behind while I keep moving forward in my life. I have never reflected on how that would hinder my past, current, and future relationships. I saw how their faces lit up when I expressed my gratitude and appreciation for them. Something as simple as "thank you for always been here for me" completely altered their mood and mine. It will still be hard to remember to constantly do this, but I want to make a conscious effort to stay connected with my close friends and family. With this extra effort, it means those that don't have any real impact in my life will not get my attention. I want to push them aside and not waste my time on them. I truly believe this will give more meaning and depth to my life. 

Another aspect of my life that I realized was missing and has a huge role with my independence was having someone else to share these experiences with. I have never been the type to ever need anyone else there with me because I enjoy doing things on my own terms but I kept picturing myself traveling the world and sharing these once-in-a-lifetime experiences with another person. I'm not sure if I'm exactly ready for that at this moment, but it's definitely something I want to work towards and not have my independence push that person away. It is still a very strange concept for me because I cannot picture myself that romantically connected with someone but the images I saw of me and him opened a door that has been covered with years of cobwebs. I'm still a bit scared to open it but it will be something to work towards.

The shaman kept telling me that I needed to accept myself and be confident in myself before I can accept other and welcome them into my life and heart. The reason why I mentioned earlier that I did not find myself during this first ceremony was because I do not believe I have found an answer on how to accept myself. Every time I wanted to think about how to better accept myself, I would bump into another person at Machu Picchu, this happened again and again. My mind would not let me go there. This was my key intention but I have to dig deeper and really open my heart and soul to connect with who I truly am inside. Although I was not able to achieve this this time around, I am still beyond satisfied that I was able to touch on issues I have been dealing with. As intense and scary as some moments of the ceremony was, I want to return and continue my spiritual journey. 


The most important moments are the reflections that I did after the ceremony. Sitting on the balcony of the treehouse I was staying in that night overlooking the sacred valley and showering as the sun was setting, I was able to connect everything that was happening in my brain during those hours of the ceremony. I never take the time out to reflect but I found it to be so powerful. This was the time to figure out how to use what ayahuasca brought forth and implement it into my life, to connect the dots and bring fulfillment into my life and those around me. 

Colca Canyon (Arequipa, Peru) - Day 1

Colca Canyon (Arequipa, Peru) - Day 1

Time to Leave Bolivia

Time to Leave Bolivia