More and more research is highlighting the benefits of psychedelics and plant medicines for all sorts of healing.
Many friends have drunk the sacred plant medicine that is Ayahuasca, and all have had incredibly profound experiences. And not necessarily from just a mental health standpoint, but overall wellbeing, and gaining a better life perspective.
I had to experience it for myself. I've wanted to try it for years.
Now I have...
With Ayahuasca, there's a lot to be nervous about. The plant can guide you on a journey into your darkest past to clean up your shit. A terrifying thought for most, compounded if you have a history of anxiety or depression.
Two weeks prior, I entered a strict detox program which included no alcohol or red meat. And eventually no meat — just plants.
Note: I felt great from this mini-detox alone.
On the day of the ceremony, I was definitely nervous. My mind has a history of being a prick while sober, so you know, there's no telling what it could do after I drank a cup of one of the strongest hallucinogenics on the planet!!
Shortly after the ceremony kicked off, the Shaman invites you up to drink your first cup. Then you sit in silence and wait for whatever is going to happen—to happen.
After I drank the cup, I immediately felt relaxed—because there was no going back. I had sent it as the kids say! And I was ready for whatever would happen next.
Most purge because this shit is rough, so that's what I was waiting to do because I'm a puker. But nothing happened. I was playing the waiting game.
After an hour, anyone who wanted a second cup was invited up...
This was the very position I did not want to find myself in. I was still sober. And it's not like I was drinking Dr. Pepper...
I feared I had a stick of dynamite in me about to explode. The last thing I wanted to do was drink another cup and light another fuse minutes before the first explosion.
I've made mistakes like that back in the day. So I decided to play it safe and wait to see how it all played out.
Thirty minutes later, I was still sober. And I was beginning to curse myself...
"I f*cked up. I'm the only person in the world that could drink Ayahuasca and actually f*ck it up," I kept telling myself...
"Why the f*ck didn't you just man up and drink that second cup? You half committing little prick, this is the same shit you've been doing your entire life."
I spent about an hour or two being the biggest asshole on the planet to myself. All the while desperately wanting to puke but not quite being able to. And drifting in and out of sleep.
It definitely had some effect. I felt a little trippy and dazed, but nowhere near what I was expecting. It took me some time to surrender and accept that maybe this was good enough for my first experience.
I could go on and on and on, but honestly, nothing profound happened. It was all very mild.
One of the biggest takeaways for me was that it confirmed my belief that expectations can fuck everything up. It also highlighted to me just how big an asshole I am to myself—how we're all such assholes to ourselves. And it got me asking why? Why are so many so cruel to themselves?
And, of course, I have a theory...
A theory which brings in judgments and values and insecurities and how we project them all onto others with little regard for how different we all are. Because we lack perspective and awareness. All to be tackled in a future article.
You have to set an intention so I went with forgiveness...
I didn't get what I was looking for because, expectations, but I didn't NOT get what I was looking for either because, ACCEPTANCE. If that makes sense?
This stuff continues to work. The following week was probably one of the most introspective weeks of my life. And I'm a thinker. It's what I love and hate the most about myself.
I'd be lying if I said that week was a blast. But I'd also argue that's a good thing.
If it doesn't suck enough, you won't do anything about it. Because doing something requires a level of discomfort most of us want nothing to do with. It's the very reason many can't find the fight to go up against anxiety or depression because as miserable as it is, it's still comfortable.
You can expect a big bombastic article on this entire experience one day, but I'm not finished yet. I'll be doing it again soon. And next time I'll be sure to drink the second serving.