Hello Ayahuasca Part 1
It was July 2017 when I embarked on one of the most memorable adventures that I’ve undertaken so far in this lifetime. Over a 3 week period, I was looking forward to experiencing some of the most amazing sacred sites in Peru with the highlight being what some are now calling the 8th wonder of the world, Machu Picchu. And while I could write extensively about how peaceful and yet fascinating I found each and every day to be on that trip, it wasn’t Machu Picchu that blew my mind, although that’s not to say it didn’t live up to the hype. No. Instead it was the peacefulness of the indigenous people, the medicine of their Shamans and most importantly, the wisdom of the plants that I discovered in Peru that actually forever changed my path in this lifetime. And now that I know what I know, I understand that Mother Nature has a secret sauce for healing our emotional trauma, and it’s her plants (and sometimes insects). And I was about to meet one of her most powerful healers, the plant Ayahuasca.
All My Fears Show Up
Growing up in a small Midwestern town, I had very little exposure to illegal drugs and quite honestly, I had a seriously deep-rooted fear of mental illness including the possibility of losing my mind in my old age to some disease like Alzheimer’s so recreational mind altering drugs simply didn’t intrigue me at all for as long as I can remember. Now couple that fear with numerous amazing emotional healing stories I was hearing about a plant utilized by the Shamans of Peru for healing emotional traumas such as PSTD, grief and more, a vine that grows deep in the Amazon jungles of Peru called Ayahuasca, and you can appreciate the set up as this is where the conflict began.
What To Do
For on this trip there would be an opportunity to experience the plant medicine of Ayahuasca under the guidance of a highly recommended Shaman. And clearly, I had all the necessary prerequisites with all the junk in my trunk that I carried from the death of my son Todd, and yet…I wasn’t quite sure if this was a good fit for me. So I did what I do. I prayed to my Angels. I prayed to God. I prayed to Todd. I even prayed to the plant Ayahuasca because I had Googled enough to know that the plant was said to have a living wisdom all its own and if it wasn’t respected, many people who consumed identical dosages would not only have completely different experiences, some would have no effect at all if the intention was not healing or the if they weren’t ready.
Was it right for me? Was I ready for this plant? I didn’t know but I asked the only question I need to know these days, “Is this [fill in the blank with the word “Ayahuasca” at this particular crossroads] in my highest and best good at this time?” Each time I posed that question, which I did many times over the weeks leading up to the trip, I felt a reassuring affirmation wash over my entire body.
Act One: The Surrender
Ayahuasca brew in glass with shamanic drum and medicinal herbs. Eventually I surrendered to the idea that I would do this thing called Ayahuasca while in Peru. This thing I heard so many wonderful and a few scary stories about. But the story that actually drew me in was the one where someone experienced what they described as an “end of life review” where they actually felt that they had died and met their Angels or Guides on the Other Side. Since none of us are getting out of here alive, I definitely had a burning desire to better understand the dying process and what I might reasonably expect when I got to wherever we all go when we hit the eject button. In fact I had even envisioned on numerous occasions a Time Out Corner on the Other Side, where I intended to find Todd and set him squarely in upon my arrival because his departure from this realm left me feeling so broken for so long that I thought that would be a very fitting initial act exercising my parental authority when I saw him again.
Here We Go
And so the build-up began. The Ayahuasca plant called to me. I dreamed about it. I felt Todd say, “It’s a good idea Mom.” I saw signs every time I asked. And I thought it might be cool to meet some Angels or even Todd in a new way if that was possible. So I signed up. I knew what I wanted and with any luck, maybe I would get it. But I had no idea what was in store for me. I had no idea what I needed to experience, but the Ayahuasca plant knew. It had waited patiently nearly 25 years for me to arrive at this moment. Now the secret sauce was brewing. Mother Nature was smiling. It was time. And the mountains of Peru was the place. Here we go!
This blog post is a part of a series. Continue reading here: Hello Ayahuasca Part 2
Disclaimer: Sherri Sengsouvanna does not promote the use of “Ayahuasca” or any other hallucinogenic. This blog post is merely to share her experiences with the plant.