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Plant Medicine: Ayahuasca

Visionary Art By Amanda Sage

I've only sat in ceremony with ayahuasca twice. My first time overlooked Santa Monica Bay on 1/1/17 and again this last week on 11/1/18. After my first experience, which was very pleasant and mild, I was perfectly satisfied to call it my first and last time. But after the trauma of my birth experience, seeing the date with a "1/1/1" sequence again was a sign to take a deep dive into my healing process. This post isn't so much about my journey drinking plant medicine, which is far too fresh. I need some time to sit with what I went through to gain some insight and perspective, before sharing with you. I will tell you that this ayahuasca journey was intense, painful, and cleansing. This post is actually about friendship and how plant medicine brings people closer together.

For those who are not familiar with this transformative medicine, the ayahuasca vine was first used by the indigenous cultures of the Amazons who would drink a brew of the vines and other leaves and shrubs during ceremonies. Recently, there has been an enormous surge of people sitting with shamans to drink ayahuasca for its benefits. These include physical and emotional healing, treating depression and addiction, as well as expanding awareness and consciousness.

A couple weeks ago, I receive a text from my friend April. We have known each other for a while but it was only until we camped together for Lighting In A Bottle did I really get to know her and all her goddess magic. I felt deeply honored that a gifted intuitive, Reiki master, spiritual entrepreneur and boss babe extraordinaire would ask me to sit with her during an ayahuasca ceremony. As a person who leads by example through living authentically, I trust her with my whole being. It was a no-brainer that it was time to take our relationship to another level and journey with her.

I tried not to think too much of it until the day came. I knew my shadow was going to come up. I was ready to surrender even though in the back of my mind I was terrified of what I was going to be shown. I would advise anyone interested in healing with plant medicine is doing it with people you can trust and feel safe with. These journeys are unpredictable and in some instances do more harm than good.

Fast forward to the moment we arrived at the ceremony, which turned out to be a bit awkward. The logistics and directions were messy while the host was guarded and standoffish. There was something off about the energy of the room. The people there felt cold and there was a moment where we both wanted to turn the car around, but we were in too deep and decided to go forward together.

We were further put off when the facilitators didn't want us to sit together, but April handled the situation like a champ, gracefully setting boundaries with them. If I was in that situation alone, I would have just submitted and let myself be uncomfortable.

Everything eventually settled as we drank the medicine and I felt the effects almost immediately as I experienced my birth story all over again. I felt the loss of my opportunity to give birth naturally and was in agony. There was no suppressing it while I fully surrender to my grief.

With April by my side, I let myself go in a way I've never expressed myself before. I could feel her even though she never physically touched me. I later learned as she saw me distressed, she sent me Reiki and held space for me as I let it out.

Friendship has always been tough for me to navigate, especially when it comes to sisterhood, but the progress of my spirituality combined with motherhood has opened me up to the meaning of true friendship. April and this plant medicine journey taught me that sisters stick together. Sisters let you feel all your feelings and not just the happy ones. Sisters communicate openly, lovingly, and with compassion. They are there for you when you need an "ugly cry" and most importantly a true sister allows you to live your true authentic self.

Take a moment to show your friends how much you appreciate them. Your ride or die homies need to know how much they mean to you!

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