I was that kid who was afraid of everything. It took me about 3 years to build up the courage to climb the jungle jim and throughout my childhood, I had proudly earned the “scaredy cat” title.
Strangely enough, this led me to become determined to overcome my fear. I would spend a lot of my life partaking in activities I was afraid of just to prove that the feeling itself did not have the ability to control me. Now although I am proud that I managed to overcome my fear in those moments, I did not realize at the time that I had the choice to actually feel it or not.
I remember walking into my first Ayahuasca ceremony, heart beating out of my chest and hands clenched to my bucket. I would spend the rest of that night in the middle of what I can only describe as complete terror; resisting everything that came along.
Of course, after this experience, I was even more scared to drink Ayahuasca, but after diddy-daddling on the surface of my issues throughout my second ceremony, I decided that avoiding what I was afraid of, which was at the core, fear itself, was not helping.
I remember taking the first cup of Ayahuasca and feeling it quite quickly compared to before. ‘This is enough’ I kept telling the Medicine, but it was as if Mother Ayahuasca kept nudging me to take more. Not wanting to disrespect her, I went up to take a second cup.
A few minutes after this, I found myself bawling my eyes out. Apologizing to myself and feeling heartbroken for all the people in the world and in the room around me: I was astounded by the amount of hate we spew at ourselves on a daily basis.
When I had finally let this out, I felt a resurgence of the intense fear that was extremely prevalent in my first ceremony but, instead of reaching out to the facilitators to reassure me that everything’s okay, as I had done before, I decided to stay within myself. This led to what I can only call a wrestling match with the one feeling that had plagued me my entire life. Eventually, it was as if looked fear in the face and said ” Thank you so much for everything you have taught me but it is time to part ways. I am done now”. At this, we shook hands and merrily went along our own paths.
From that point on, as if rewarding me, which I have personally found that plant medicines love to do, I entered into an almost Dr-Seuss like land where psychedelic-cartoon characters and creatures I could honestly not even begin to describe, played around and morphed into a million different caricatures. Of course, this was time for play, not questions, as all my serious inquiries were met with giggles. Mother Ayahuasca herself made herself present in the mixture, morphing out of the shrubbery for a moment or two to give me a look of loving recognition.
There were times when, for a moment, fear came creeping back into my story but I instinctively kept reminding myself that we had said bye to fear already and there was no need to repeat what I had already dealt with. At these times I saw a sleeping fox of whom I intuitively perceived as fear and who I realized I could reawaken at any time if I so chose to: In the Ayahuasca ceremony or in the ceremony of life.