The Medicine of Self-Realization

I've spent this week "processing"... the lessons, insights and new levels of love remembered in my last 2-night Ayahuasca ceremony.  This ceremony, I would say, was one of my deepest- not because of the incredible bliss-states experienced that always feel strangely familiar like returning "home" or like a fog has been lifted, a veil moved aside to and all things crought into focus.  This ceremony was special to me, but not because of any dazzling sacred symbols, sounds, beings or other realms I may have contacted.  This ceremony was deeper than others because of the particular brand of self-love that was brought into focus- the other side of the coin to Self-Love that involved getting CALLED OUT on my ego-stuff, getting held accountable for my nonsense and BS.  Ooooh, BAM!

I never felt like a beginner in the art of Journeying, but I was a natural at it from the beginning. Lacking the fear of my fellow psychonauts, I would bounce into the ceremony circle with a "Hi, I'm here for the exorcism!"  The truth is, I had hit rock bottom many times with depression and anxiety and the depths of my personal hell-realms had already to been sufficiently explored- and I was mostly correct in thinking there was nowhere to go but up.  My first several ceremonies were pure healing, unwinding, remembering my sacred nature, finding worth, value and connection to myself and the all in ways I had never known before.  Harder was the "integration" period- the weeks and months after ceremonies were often very challenging, but that's another story... eventually, those challenges get worked out and I've been able to integrate these love-lessons into my daily life in incrementally bigger ways.  Gratitude, gratitude bigger than the sun to this medicine path of healing! But back to this ceremony and the stern teaching I received.

This ceremony began in a similar way as my others; the first night broke me open and filled me with awe-inspiring peace.  My cells lit up with physical healing as my chakras were vibrated back into alignment.  A sweetness pervaded my tears, which seemed endless.  The vibrations of the icaros (ceremonial healing songs) and of the chacapa (a traditional shaker-type percussive instrument made of dried leaves) drew me into a trance that I knew and trusted... the "I" disappeared... melted into a place I can't recall, details ineffable and therefore unimportant... then the "I" reappeared, reborn completely new, curious, shaky and "I" began to teach itself (I mean... myself...} new programs and new ways of being in the body and being called Steph. 

Overall, pretty standard really (;  Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude to my friend and teacher.

The next morning I felt restless, uncomfortable.  My behavior reflected that- efforts to distract myself with books, conversation, even flirtations and fantasies (insert face-palm eye-roll barf-face emojis here).  This should have been a red flag... I should have known, Night 1 was purifying and preparing me, Night 2 will have a teaching and it will be something having to do with this feeling crawling through me, this headache, these Ego Efforts to find escape.  

But I didn't catch the hint until that evening as I returned to the circle, I noticed I was making ridiculou suggestions to my psyche and to the medicine. "Maybe we could play with shape-shifting, or astral projection, visit some etheric spiritual places that other people talk about, commune with loved ones on the other side?"  Oh Lordy, I thought... this might be a doozy.

Night 2 was an evening of humility, of realizing less is more... an evening of opening to the hard fact of my own sense of entitlement, what Pema Chodran self importance:

"That we take ourselves so seriously, that we are so absurdly important in our own minds, is a problem for us. We feel justified in being annoyed with everything. We feel justified in denigrating ourselves or in feeling that we are more clever than other people. Self-importance hurts us, limiting us to the narrow world of our likes and dislikes. We end up bored to death with ourselves and our world. "

Night 2 was beautiful, I mean f*ck, of course it was.  Take responsibility for the energy you bring she told me, again and again.

Take responsibility for the energy you bring Take responsibility for the thought-daggers you toss around when you leave the house in a funk, and brush off the strangers smile in traffic.  

Take responsibility for the energy you bring when you date someone, leading them on or making them wrong for your hurt feelings.

Take responsibility for the energy you bring in your work place, in your relationships, in your homespace- it matters.  As you say you would like to vibrate higher, clean up your mental energy.  As you say you would like ease and flow, make simple choices leading to a healthier mind, body and lifestyle. Let go of self-importance and lighten the f*ck up.  Life owes you nothing, you are blessed to be here and to be playing the game.  Create ease for yourself and others by taking responsibility for the energy you bring- this is true mindfulness.  Check yo'self before you wreck yourself, basically.


Stephanie Rayburn