This series is an open and transparent way of sharing some of my personal experiences with the plant medicine.
I understand that I share a lot of tips, tricks, do’s and dont’s, some philosophical reflections.
But some people still wonder: “How does it work, how does a plant, a liquid brew, after going through my body, help me heal trauma?”
“What is the experience like, what do you see, do you hallucinate, do you just think about it, maybe just your mind, is it another spirit?”
My intention is that you get an insight or a glimpse into how Ayahuasca works.
Today, I’m going to share about the very first time that I felt the medicine, and it was a very subtle ceremony, it wasn’t the strongest but it paved the road to many more to come.
What had happened – and you may already know this, was that my journey started after a very difficult breakup.
I was dating this girl, it spiraled out of control into toxicity, there were lies from both ends, there were abuses of trust, betrayal.
At the end of the day, we tried to stay together in something that was a little too… past its expired date.
What happens when you try to force a relationship like that is that it bleeds out a long death.
Instead of having an honorable ending where there’s a friendship that can be kept.
There was apathy, resentment, hatred, and a lot of judgement, that was the case for me.
So, in simple words, after that breakup I was left really questioning who I was, what’s the point of life? Am I a bad person?
I was working at the time as a dating and relationship coach, and I thought that I knew what relationships were all about.
So I thought my relationship was perfect at one point, and when it crashed like this i was confronted with the fact that I don’t really understand women. I don’t really understand myself.
I thought I was doing the right thing but I realized that, actually, maybe I wasn’t.
However, the breakup was so painful that my first go-to reaction was drugs, alcohol, parties, other women.
It was a very unconscious way of trying to cope with the pain that I felt, I didn’t really have any guidance or healthy role models that held my hand and said:
“Hey, this is an alternative, this is how you can transform that pain.”
So, as I started to spiral out of control, into drug abuse and too much partying, living a life that was full of chaos.
One day I woke up and I realized this couldn’t continue like it had.
So I grabbed a ticket and flew back to Colombia (I was in Toronto at the time), and I thought, in Colombia with my family, my grandma’s going to cook for me.
I can watch movies with them, cry on their lap, I’ve my sisters, my dad.
I was a mess, I just wanted to heal, I knew that drugs, parties and women were not the answer and I felt shame and guilt for everything that I was doing.
So I felt like I needed to get myself straight.
When i was in Colombia, a friend of a friend had invited me to an Ayahuasca ceremony, and I thought:
“Oh, I’ve heard about this, now would be a good moment.”
So I went to the ceremony with the main intention of wanting to release whatever I may be holding on to from my relationship that just ended.
In my mind I thought:
“It’s okay, she left, I’m better without her, my life is better, I’m on my own.”
I was very close enough to the pain and I felt that I don’t want her in my life, but I’m fine.
Deep inside I knew that if I was fine I wouldn’t be trying to cope with life in the way that I was.
So I felt like maybe there’s something there.
The most important thing for me was that I really wanted to fall in love again, I knew that whatever I didn’t process about this previous relationship would show up in my next one.
Whatever grudges I kept against my ex or against women in general will show up, I won’t prevent me from having a beautiful love story with a new person, and I really wanna fall in love again.
I knew it was a little too soon but I thought:
“I want to do the work, so that the next partner I invite is someone with whom a beautiful sacred relationship is created, hopefully not with someone with whom I repeat this cycle of toxicity.
It’s a long context story but bear with me.
I arrived to the ceremony, and it was with one of the elder Colombian taitas, Hipolito Michavisoy.
So I was sitting there, when it was time, I drank my first cup, nothing happened.
I looked next to me and there’s women foaming, shaking, people screaming.
The whole thing looks like it’s out of a horror movie, some people being exorcised and the whole thing was like a psychiatric hospital.
Just want to let you know this isn’t a normal Ayahuasca ceremony, this specific Shaman, who has now passed away recently…
His medicine was known to be really rough, he was known to be like a warrior, an indigenous spiritual teacher, and his approach was like “No-BS” approach.
Like, I’m gonna give you a cup and you’re gonna poop your pants and vomit, but tomorrow you’re gonna be a different person, and we’re gonna get the demons out of you.
That was his way of dealing with the healing of people and his way of coming out of the jungle was really strong and powerful.
But he had to dilute it a little bit and tame it down because a lot of people would come drink medicine once and never come back.
The process was so intense that they thought: “This was really healthy, I’m a different person, but I never want to have a night like this in my whole life.
I didn’t know about this at the time.
I went to him – there’s people screaming everywhere, and I’m here, just sitting, looking at the clock, thinking:
“Okay, maybe I should get another one” so I stood up, drank another cup, nothing,
I just felt nauseous, I’m vomiting sometimes, then again, another cup.
At this moment, I started feeling something, I felt a little nauseous, and as I started feeling a little dizzy, I started sensing and seeing with my eyes closed the spirit of Ayahuasca.
And there was this young woman, and this older women, like a grandma.
She was like an ancient indigenous grandma, they came and started pouring water on top of my head.
I take this as a symbolism of starting to clean my energies, and as soon as this started, I started to feel a lot of pain in my throat, in my stomach, like a burning sensation.
I got scared and thought:
“Oh my god, what’s happening, I’m really, really sick.”
And as I start feeling that, I get flashes from the last big fight that I had with my ex, I saw how in the past she had been physically violent.
But this one time we got into an argument, and she was about to rush away from home, and there was a point…
Where just the way that she was standing right in front of me, the way she was grabbing me, I was afraid.
I felt like she was about to hit me once again, I felt scared but also powerless.
Because I wanted to just tell her to “eff” off and to never see her again.
But I felt that I was so attached and codependent that I didn’t know how to have boundaries, and I felt shame, resentment and anger at that situation.
Because – and I will share in future videos, it was a deep reflection of my relationship with my mother, of powerlessness, of violence, of a lot of unhealthy things, and this image started coming up.
I started feeling all the resentment, hate and anger I had towards her and for what she did, and the lies that she exercised or created towards the end of our relationship.
I felt this desire for revenge, to punish back, I saw how in a very unconscious way a lot of what I was doing in Toronto was a subtle desire to get back at her.
Even though she was already out of my life.
Then I started feeling that anger, and the medicine showed me…
I heard this voice saying:
“Look what you’re carrying.”
“-Yes, but it wasn’t right what she did to me, it wasn’t good it was painful”
And the medicine said, “Yes, but you gotta let it go.”
“-No, if I forgive her then it’ll mean that what she did was right.”
“It was not about whether she did something that was right or wrong, just look at it, look at what you’re doing to yourself” I was really attached to my pain, to my righteousness, to my hatred of her, I thought:
“-No, no, i’m not gonna let it go because it wasn’t right, it broke my heart.” The more that I resisted the more that the sickness built up in my body.
The medicine showed me, it made me more conscious.
I felt like I wanted to vomit but I couldn’t, it was stuck there.
I felt anger and hatred, like wanting to punch something.
And I kept saying: “-No, no, it wasn’t okay, I’m not gonna let it go.”
Then at one point, the medicine said:
“She punished you, or you feel like she punished you and hurt you once in that moment, but look at what you have been doing to yourself ever since.”
“You have been doing the exact same thing that you feel so angry at her for, you’re angry at the pain that she caused you…
And because of that, you have been causing so much pain to yourself through the drugs, through the parties, to the women that you’ve been dating…
Because your heart is not involved, and directing pain to your body because of how that resentment has been consuming”
In that moment I understood that to forgive her, to accept what had happened, was a gift for myself, not for her.
Although it also liberated her from that bitterness that I carried, I realized:
“I’m okay with having suffered once, I don’t want to be the one that perpetuates my own suffering, I don’t wanna carry this with me.”
So I reached in the bottom of my heart, and I forgave her, I said it’s okay, it is what it is, this is what it was.
The moment that I did that, like half a bucket of vomit started coming out of my system.
I vomited more and more, and as I vomited I could feel like a big weight was lifted off my back.
In that moment, when I thought of her, I also started noticing the sweetness, the love, the care that she had for me.
Which was a lot bigger and a lot more consistent than the isolated, ugly moments that we had.
I also started feeling and noticing what I had done and how I thought that I had been a good guy.
The medicine showed me:
“Hey, look, in this moment you took advantage of her trust, in this moment you objectified her for your own pleasure, in this moment you lied to her, in this moment you caused pain…
And you knew it in this moment, you broke her heart and you ignored it.”
I was in tears, because I went from resentment to awareness and compassion.
Now, I could understand exactly why she had done what she did, exactly why the relationship had turned so ugly.
Most importantly, and the most difficult part, I knew the role that I played in it.
I saw that I was not a victim of what she did, but I co-created what happened.
We both played a role in how the relationship turned out and I saw that I was not an angel, I was not right and she was wrong, we both put seeds and nourished them.
They were seeds of something ugly, that’s what we eventually collected.
I could see that everything unfolded in a perfect way, doesn’t mean that what she did was right, but it was the inevitable consequence of everything that went into that relationship.
And that was liberating.
Because I was not a victim of anybody, I wasn’t powerless, because if I created such ugliness in my previous relationship, it was also up to me to create beauty in my next, current one, the women that i married.
There have been so many more insights that I have had.
I ended up eventually gathering the courage to send an apology to my previous partner for things that I did and all the pain that I inflicted.
More than whatever response I received from her apologies and forgiveness, it’s a gift that we give to ourselves.
The gift of accepting what happened and learning to see the perfection in it.
I know this may be or sound very difficult, if you’ve gone through abuse, if the abuse came from your parents or someone who was meant to protect you.
In our center, we have worked with many women, especially that have been sexually abused by relatives, one woman by her father.
And in those cases it’s very difficult to understand the perfection or to accept what happened.
Because it’s so inhumane and ugly that it’s very bad to conceive that if there’s a god he would allow such things to happen.
This is the experience of all these people that have healed, learning to accept what is doesn’t mean that you condone the wrongdoings of somebody else.
It doesn’t mean that you cheer for the ugliness of the pain that someone inflicted on you, no.
It just means that you love yourself enough to not keep punishing yourself for the punishment that somebody else inflicted upon you.
Life is already challenging and difficult, there’s a lot of beauty, ugliness, chaos, order and harmony for us to be using our mind, our body, our memory, to punish ourselves.
So, forgiveness is the gift that frees you from that, and it is the choice of ultimate love.
Because you love yourself enough to not torture yourself.
It’s okay you went through the torture once, it was ugly enough that you suffered what you had to suffer.
There’s no need to make your life revolve around that pain and repeat it, drag yourself throughout it back and forth.
Ayahuasca in this way allowed me to forgive my ex-girlfriend, but more than that, to come home to myself.
To open my heart, to take responsibility for the role that I played in my specific situation and to let go of all that was holding me from living a beautiful and healthy relationship.
More than that, as I was sharing future videos, it allowed me to understand how the roots of what I lived were far deeper than that relationship.
There were childhood traumas with my mother and for her very deep roots into an absent codependency, to create an unhealthy way of relating.
Ayahuasca allowed me to feel that I was not a victim of life nor of god nor of her.
The pain that I carried was only hurting me, the resentment was only destroying my own life and my own heart.
if you feel the calling to sit with Ayahuasca, in a container held by Colombian shamans at a sacred temple in the middle of the mountain forests, please check: