Two months ago as the beginnings of the pandemic started to spread across the globe like wildfire, a realization slowly started to dawn on me. The human side of me was scared; restrictions were coming down, uncertainties were blossoming left, right, and center, the feeling of being totally unprepared started to spread through me. But my spiritual side, my higher self, knew what this really was. Myself and the entire world were being initiated into a global medicine ceremony.
There are dozens of different medicine ceremonies for different sacred practices (breathwork, kambo, psilocybin, ayahuasca, etc.), all conducted with the intention of bringing healing to the participants. Each medicine comes with its own signature and to my lived experience, none have quite the flair nor the beautiful grandiosity as Mother Ayahuasca.
We each get called to a medicine ceremony for unique reasons but the thread that connects us all is that we’re trying to work through something. We’re trying to transcend, ascend, strip away, break through. We lay ourselves at the holy feet of the medicine, willing to give whatever is asked of us. We drink in ayahuasca’s thick and bitter divinity and wait as she works her way through our cells, into our consciousness, past our ego, and straight into our heart. And then the ride truly begins.
My ride began with copious amounts of tears, flooding from me, loosening my constraints. I felt such deep sadness that I thought I would be suffocated by its crushing weight. But after just a few minutes, I had cried all the tears necessary to honor the grievances of my personal existence and began crying for the collective. I mourned for them, I swam in their grief, I wailed in agony for what they had endured. I knew to let this pour out of me, for sadness is a dear friend that has followed me for much of my life, and in some ways was grateful for its familiarity as I was embarking on a medicine journey that was entirely novel to me.
And just like that, things switched. There was no gentle crescendo, no seamless transition, just a sudden realization that I was on a ride that I couldn’t get off of, no matter how much I begged and no matter what I bargained with. The dread turned to fear, and the fear turned to terror. I was in a process that I had to see out to the very end; there was only one way out and it was through. Reality as I knew it began to fray at the edges and morph into something newfangled.
“It’s okay. You’re okay. Just breathe. Just keep breathing. It’s okay. You’re gonna be okay. It’s fine.” I repeated this over and over again, sewing it to the parts of myself that I was still connected to, branding it as my anthem. And then the purging began. My body was ready to evacuate this foreign entity that had stirred up way too much within. But with each violent purge, it wasn’t just my cells rejecting a substance that didn’t belong, it was my spirit expelling all the energetic atrocities that it had accumulated. I purged the deceit and violations, the second-guessing and willful silencing. Ayahuasca tore from me those things that cast shadows upon my light. She forced me to stare at the internal systems that I had co-created unconsciously, that were combative with my true nature and my divine life purpose. She held me suspended in that tormented state until I acknowledged my own responsibility, reclaimed my power, and had a vision for what to create next.
And then she embraced me with such ecstatic grace and insurmountable love, that all the brutality that I had endured was soothed with a sweet balm of unabashed pleasure. The thin veil that separates all things slowly was lifted and I felt connected with every human being, every creature, object, element, and wavelength. We each hummed to the same frequency. We were all beings of love. We were all creators of love. Protectors of love. Projectors of love.
This is the ceremony that all of creature-kind are in right now. We’re all in a medicine ceremony together. It took us some time to realize what was going on, to acclimate to this initiation that we’ve embarked upon. We’ve each experienced the existential torture and internalized cruelty. We’re on a ride that we can’t get off of. But we can hold the truth that much of the medicine is in being able to ride out this process. We’re stumbling upon lighthouses of strength and groundedness within ourselves that wouldn’t have been found if not for such a world-rocking encounter.
We’re learning the most sacred lesson of surrender. If I can’t change what’s happening to me right now, then I will try surrendering to it and see what happens. I will embrace all that’s coming up within me. I will release what I’ve outgrown and those things that are now too small to contain to me. I will absorb all the teachings of this time and help to create a new system. One that serves all beings. One that no longer see’s any beings as separate from one another. A system that serves in the name of love.