2 weeks after I self administered Iboga and experienced death, I was happy to hear that a couple who opened a healing Temple in Iquitos, Peru and were trained shaman were coming to town for a 2 day ayahuasca retreat. It was going to be an intimate setting with just a handful of people in a beautiful home, just the type of style and situation I prefer. I immediately signed up.
The first night of this journey was the one of the most difficult nights of my life (I've had a lot of those now). Within 5 minutes of drinking the tea I was puking it up. I thought that meant I wouldn't feel it very much, and I was very wrong. The medicine hit me like a train wreck hitting hard and intense. All thoughts became emotionalized so everything she showed me had so much energy behind it. I saw and faced some of my demons and biggest fears, just what I've been asking for. One of the images that sticks out is of a finger rubbing a nipple, for some reason I was repulsed by it. I then was shown when I was 4. I started master-bating at a very young age. One night I was downstairs watching TV alone and started rubbing myself with my blankie. My dad walked in on me and I know he had seen what I was doing but he wasn't equipped to know what to say or do. so he said "What are you doing?" in an accusation tone. I said nothing and acted like I was just watching TV. From this experience, I learned that sexuality was something bad that I had to hide. Neither my dad or my mom knew how to talk about the topic with us, so I never learned that I was doing was perfectly normal. Aya helped me rewrite that scene with me and my dad, this time he came in to the room and sat down on the floor with me. He picked me up into his arms and told me he loved me and that I am perfect just the way I am. He also said that rubbing myself to give myself pleasure was okay and that I had a choice to control that urge whenever I wanted with my mind.
All of my demons and shadows came to the forefront of my mind, the darkest images from my life were displayed in front of me. My body was so weak it felt like it was dying and I was either collapsed in fetal position or writhing in discomfort for the greater part of the journey. Within my body and in the upper realms, there was a struggle for my soul. The spirit of Ayahuasca, or perhaps it was my higher self, was asking me if I wanted to live or die. I was so fatigued and overwhelmed with sadness at that point that honestly, I didn’t really know whether I wanted to continue my existence in this body. I would rather have died than continued to live in the emptiness that pervaded my life.
During the journey, I would have just enough energy to grab the bucket at the end of my mat and puke and cry and wail all of my sorrow into the bucket. I puked 7 times (the Shaman later said this was highly unusual and saw it as the result of the Iboga still being in my system). I felt like such a drama queen, I was definitely the loudest one of the bunch, but I couldn’t hold myself back. For once in my life, I just let myself fall apart.
I was shown myself as a child, innocently taking in the suffering of others and working hard to make everyone around me feel good (Open Emotional center). I took on my parent's pain for the loss of their first child, and when I was born shortly after my presence was their lighthouse through a dark period of life. Not understanding my father's frustration, I blamed myself for his anger and this was the beginning of a lifetime of building a whole library full of blame and anger of my own.
Through all of the drama of my journey, the sounds of the jungle being played on the speakers in the background would lure me back to the present moment, a lullaby reminding me that this was all just a dream passing. For a moment of relief, I would be able to sink into the silence of reality, realizing that it was all passing phenomenon being watched by something all knowing. But this would be a brief relief before the mind became so loud and body so uncomfortable I couldn't ignore it.
I was happy to survive that night and spent the entire next day resting outside on a couch just breathing through waves of sadness. That day while waiting for the 2nd ceremony, I sat alone outside on the couch, fatigued and still heavy with emotion. There was a beautiful garden in front of me with birds and butterflies fluttering about. A hummingbird flew right up in front of me, about a foot in front of my face and hovered for about 20 seconds. We looked each other directly in the eye. It reminded me that this was all worth it for the joy and lightness I would someday be enjoying. A little shiver of sweetness went through me and I knew it was a nice omen from mother nature that everything was going to be okay.
I had a nice conversation with the man who had the mat next. I opened up to him and he helped me to see that the patterns in me were set from day 1, actually they were set in the womb. Right before my mom got pregnant with me, my parents had just suffered such an incredible trauma with their baby boy dying a horrible death. They hadn't released their grief about it. So when I came into the world they didn't know how to experience true joy and so they held in their suffering and pretended to be happy. As a child I knew no one was telling the truth but when I was shown the opposite over and over again, I ended up thinking there was something wrong with me. My little soul, so gentle open and sweet took on my parent's suffering bringing as much light to their world as I could. Oh sweet sweet Trista, how could you be any different, it isn't possible, you and everyone else were doing the best you could. This toxic environment was your fate, it was your destiny. You can't change it, it's your blessing and you can accept it, accept yourself, love yourself as that child and love your parents for their own journey's. Your sensitivity is your gift, you can learn how to work with it.
The 2nd night I took a smaller dose and had a much lighter yet still pretty dark journey. I didn’t have the post ayahuasca glow that some speak of in those following weeks, in fact I felt really shitty. I was still weak, tired, and very depressed. However, I did quit smoking pot and haven’t smoked it since nor have I desired it.
The following weeks I cried more than I’ve cried in my entire life. I sat in my apartment and played healing music and just cried my heart out. The medicine had released this pain in me that was finally getting an outlet. I cried for all the unmet expectations I had for myself, for all the disappointment I'd caused people, for the person I imagined I was going to be, for all the suffering my parents went through and for all the suffering in the world, for the pathetic sadness of my situation, for all the mistakes I had made and the people I had hurt. And I prayed for guidance from my spirit guides, I prayed with all my heart to know God and be in contact with source and my spirit guides. It felt like I had been cut off from anything divine for so long and my hopes of connecting were fading. In those dark days, I was secretly hoping I was like an Eckhart Tolle and would go to bed wanting to die and the next morning I’d wake up enlightened and in bliss. However this wasn’t the case, the divine never gave me a clear signal. I never received a download or heard a voice or saw a vision telling me it was going to be okay and I never woke up fully enlightened. Every time I prayed for a sign, nothing was shown to me, at least nothing obvious that I could see or hear. So all I could do was just cry it out and practice saying Yes to whatever was in front of me no matter how painful, Yes yes I am crying, and YES I feel like hell and YES this may never end, okay YES, YES I surrender to this darkness fine take me! And after I started to really surrender to this darkness, ironically that's when more light began to enter my life.