This article originally appeared on AZmarijuana.com
Ayahuasca Tripping & Learning About EVERYTHING
Going into the trip, I was nervous and excited. At their house, the Urban Icaros facilitators, Demi and Brian introduced everyone who would be journeying together that night and waited on a few late arrivals. Everyone except my boyfriend and I had traveled with Aya before.
After the opening ceremony, one by one we approached the alter and drank our Ayahuasca brew. It was not something I would want to drink a lot of, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I anticipated. As Demi sang her songs, I laid on my mat on the floor, waiting for the Ayahuasca to kick in. The first song was in Spanish. I translated the lyrics in my head as best I could. I liked the song, and I really liked her voice. It’s difficult to know how much time really went by, but if I had to guess, I would say it was about 15 minutes.
I wondered if anyone else was experiencing anything yet. I worried that ingesting MJ about 7 days prior would mean that jealous Aya wouldn’t appear to me. I feared that I had done something terribly wrong. And then I remembered: all you have to do is surrender. Surrender your fears, your worries, your doubts, and surrender to the medicine that you helped enter your system. So I just let go…
I entered a dance with what appeared to me as rainforesty-celestial beings. I say “rainforesty” because although they were abstract, they were tall and deep green with some purple and other colors that I don’t think I could name. They asked me, in a language that needed no words: “Do you see now? What were you so afraid of? You are one of us, and you knew it all along. You are where you belong, doing what you are supposed to be doing. Let go of that fear and just be yourself. Who cares about what anyone else thinks? That’s all just an illusion anyway, and you know it.” I did see now. And then came my first purge of the night.
I was the first to throw up into my bucket, and I did so violently. There was not much in my stomach because I had been fasting for about 12 hours and hadn’t drunk water since 7pm, but it felt as though I let go of a lot. As I hurled and let go, I felt an emotional release. The purge is more than your body letting go of whatever makes you physically ill, it’s also your soul releasing the things in your life that no longer serve you. For me I think that meant releasing a lot of ideas that other people held about me that I had internalized and taken into myself. I didn’t have to worry about what other people thought anymore. Every time I would finish one purge and think I was ready to lay back down, another one came. Finally, it stopped. I went to the bathroom to rinse my mouth, and I filled up my water bottle in the kitchen. Brian told me not to drink again for at least an hour.
I laid back down and felt nothing again but pure unconditional love. The message now was “be kinder, be more patient. Be more loving, more forgiving… to others, but most of all to yourself.”
I was humbled and relaxed. The weight I usually carry in my chest was lifted for the moment. As I lay there in a relaxed and hyperaware state, there was one message that was slightly dark. It said: “This is so much easier to do in spaces like this where no one is judging, and you are not judging others. But this isn’t news to you Nicole. You know this always, and you can always choose to be in this state, but sometimes YOU chose not to… It’s okay that you chose not to, everyone has their own reasons for doing the things they do. That’s why judgement against others is so unbecoming. You can always come back without fear of punishment or that anyone will be mad at you for taking so long. And this is how you really love someone else too.”
The music stopped and the lights faded on, just a little bit. Second call to drink. I knew the second call was supposed to be very impactful, so even though I felt as though I didn’t really NEED anymore, I went to drink again. My boyfriend was the only other person to answer the call to drink, and he did so even faster than I could. He essentially ran to the altar, I knew he hadn’t felt anything yet. I hoped he would allow himself to surrender enough to feel something. I knew that was unlikely.
The messages Aya had for me were clear. You should write A LOT more, especially when you’re high. The world you live in is an illusion, as are money, fame, success, and the idea that we are individuals. You do not need to take Ayahuasca, Marijuana, Adderall, or any other substance to access this information. It is all contained within you, within every being… but it’s totally okay if you chose to seek help, from whichever avenues you chose. Your brother is not dead, only his pain is. He lives in you and in the others whose lives he touched. You can talk to him anytime you want. All of the things you think that people tell you are crazy are not. You are right! It might not make sense to other people, but you actually do know where you’re going, and you’re following your path to get there. Don’t listen to the naysayers… and above all, judgement is a killer. You don’t know what’s going on with anybody else or what they’ve been through. Others are on their paths like you are on yours. It is not your place to judge anyone, ever. This is easier said than done. Love, forgive, and be gentle with others, and with yourself. That which you see in others reflects that which you see in yourself. If you want gentleness and kindness from others, you better start practicing it first.
After Affects of an Aya Journey
Three months after my journey, I continue to receive revelations from MJ, Aya, or myself (depending on which philosophical bend you favor). The latest one came in the form of a poem and hurled out of me while I was completely sober. I had to race to find a pen before the words were lost.
“It can be really hard to just be yourself
When you are so different from everyone else.
Just continue to try and if you work hard,
Someday you’ll discover who YOU really are.
The weight of that all might crush you at first
When suddenly you realize you are the jerk.
But take a deep breath.
Step back and you’ll see:
To every degree
The only thing standing in your way is you.
Get out of the way! You’re blocking the view.”Ayahuasca, Marijuana, & Nicole Grinstead
I’m trying to do just that!
I have a long road in front of me. I’m still sorting out my feelings, thoughts and emotions about my brother’s passing and a variety of other life events that left their marks on me. The journey of healing is one that continues throughout one’s life, and I know I will never be “done”. Sometimes I’m still very sad about my brother even though I know he’s not gone. Sometimes I think I still really need Adderall to get things done even though I know that’s just my insecurity talking. And I’m definitely still dealing with the trauma that surrounded me becoming a single-mother. But I’m taking strides to overcome the hurdles that lay in front of me. The biggest difference is that today I don’t hate myself anymore. And I’m no longer afraid of what’s to come.