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My Ayahuasca Ceremony in Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica

I recently visited Costa Rica for the sole purpose of partaking in an ayahuasca ceremony for the first time and I had the most beautiful experience.

After much searching throughout Costa Rica for a one night ceremony option instead of a week retreat, I came upon a small family run ceremony in Perez Zeledon. At their wonderful home, they call Sibu Wellness Center. Here, you can oversee the beautiful jungle of the Perez Zeledon region and listen to nature all around you.

I felt at home right away. The Shaman was one of which I felt comfortable with right away. Eric is a local Costa Rican who speaks perfect english and has the spirit of someone who truly sees and understands you in the most gentle way.

My ceremony was with just one other woman from New York, so it was very special and intimate. Because it was my first time, Eric described the many ways the experience could go. Explaining that there is no bad experience, just harder lessons to learn, to surrender to the medicine and to trust it. One thing that stayed with me is how he described surrendering.

“Imagine that you are a leaf on a tree that has just fallen into the river below. You cannot go back up into the tree, it is impossible. You must surrender to the river and allow it to take you downstream and trust it’s direction.”

He described Ayahuasca as being a spirit, an intelligence that is so beautiful and invited us to welcome her into our hearts beforehand, as he believes she starts working within us before the ceremony.

We were first introduced to our home and rooms for the night and getting ourselves comfortable with the space. He gave plenty of time to meditate and prepare our mind and body for the night ahead and recommended we speak to Mother Aya beforehand on our own.

I practiced some light breathwork and meditation in front of the giant windows that overlook the jungle and she spoke to me very clearly. She said that this experience will be exactly what I needed and what I wished for. It will be gentle, it will be nourishing and beautiful and to surrender to it. She told me many things, one thing was very profound for me that came right away. “I’ve been waiting for you. What took you so long?”

I found this refreshing and comforting. I felt very welcomed by her spirit and entered the ceremony with the best intentions.

We began by a fire outside, under a big pergola overlooking the jungle where we discussed how beautiful our journey ahead would be and had our cups of ayahuasca handed to us.

Of course, I was a little shakey, little butterflies in my stomach. But the view was beautiful as was the conversations before we headed to our mats for Mother Aya to enter our bodies. We had beds made up for us under the pergola with water and a puke bucket beside us.

I sat, facing the jungle overlook and welcomed her in as our shaman and his two family members played the most perfect music for the experience.

After a while, the effects started to come and I laid down on my mat. It started subtley, but one of the first things that came to me was trying to fight vivid visions and having a hard time letting go. I rememeber this voice speaking to me, to surrender, let go, let go, let go. And as my mind tried to make sense of some of the visions is when my journey really began.

I was led by the voice of Mother Aya saying, “you cannot analyze this experience, your analyzation is poisoned,” she said as I was guided down multiple visions of life that were totally uncoorelated, but beautiful to me in that moment. “It has been passed down generation after generation, passed down lifetime upon lifetime, everything is rumor. Everything is the opinions and perceptions of other people… not truth. You cannot judge this experience off the perceptions of others, this is all that is true for you right now.”

Without describing every single bit of the experience, I will say that the key takeaways were of that nature. Every time I pushed away the medicine and began to fear it, the experience became more fearful and I began to feel more sick. And one of these times, she told me and guided me on a vision journey, saying, “you want all the answers and all the healing, but you just want it to arrive. You don’t want to truly heal and see it.” For me this was profound.

But every time that I surrendered deeper, I had the most nourishing energy overwhelm me with all the answers that I could ever search for within myself and within the world.

But the voice felt familiar, like I had been here before. And Aya told me that I indeed had. It was as if I knew all these insights already… but she drew them out from deep within me. I felt this deep connection in those moments… that I am Mother Aya and Mother Aya is me. She’s the best parts of me, when the ego, the opinions, the world, the perceptions, the distractions are all stripped away. She’s the depths of me, the wisest of me… at this time I saw visions of me as this Goddess dancing on the beach in Costa Rica, feeling my divine energy with so much confidence, without any doubt… the most beautiful embodiment of a Goddess.

I felt so special, as the woman I was with was throwing up a lot, I felt so special for Mother Aya making home in my body and my body welcoming her so gracefully. But then her voice hit me, saying everyone is this special, everyone has her within them. Every single one of us are connected to this energy but not all of us have surrendered to it. Through this time I had visions of my family, even the littlest sibling of 3 being connected to this beautiful energy and I began to feel a little bit more connected to my family of which I feel seperate at times from.

Our shaman would check on us every hour or so to make sure we were okay and feeling the effects. But for the most part he left us alone throughout the journey, as he said it was important to not influence the experience and that was an internal experience of our own. We were guided to the bathroom if we needed to go and to my surprise, when I opened my eyes… the visions and everything would diminish. It truly is an internal experience. Almost as if opening your eyes is escaping the insights.

I took two cups and towards the end as the effects began to fade, I opened my eyes to the Costa Rican jungle, feeling so at peace and so cradled by this spirit of Ayahuasca. It was pouring down rain and thunder and lightning was going on all around us… it was truly beautiful.

I did throw up right around this time and closed my eyes and let the remains of her take over my body as she faded away… but realizing she is always there… as I am.

I went to bed feeling so whole, so connected and at peace. I felt cradled by her wisdom and love. It was the most nourishing experience of my entire life.

The next morning was spent with some delicious local fruits, transmuting some of the experience with the Shaman and writing about my insights while overlooking the jungle before leaving to Uvita the next day.

I can say that I was able to experience the spirit of Mother Aya and she is so much more amazing than I ever anticipated. You hear stories of scary visions that sound terrifying, but the experience is different for everyone. She truly is a intelligence, or as I would best describe her, a consciousness that takes over you and is also a part of you at the same time. She knows what you need and what your ready for.

After speaking with Eric the next day, he also described how profound surrendering to the medicine is as I was told early in my journey… and that those scary experiences are often because people have a fear within surrendering, within not having control. So the medicine goes deeper to alow them to do so.

I was grateful for having done my own magic mushroom ceremony months beforehand because I was taught this lesson within this plant medicine as well and I was reminded quickly.

Ayahuasca is a sacred medicine meant only for these purposes of a spiritual, internal journey. One of which will call to you when you are ready, it cannot be forced in the wrong mindset. The environment and state of mind is very important. The environment and energy within Sibu Wellness Center was absolutely perfect and I am so grateful that I found this particular ceremony.

To those of you ready for your own journey with Mother Aya, I highly recommend working with Eric in Costa Rica. I will be back in the future without a doubt. 🙂

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My Temezcal Experience – Tulum, MX

The reasons that places from all over the world draw me in is due to their beauty and unique spiritual experiences. That’s what this Travel + Spirit blog is all about! Tulum is full of spiritual experiences, but the one that stood out to me tremendously was a spiritual endeavor called Temezcal.

Temezcal is an experience that takes place in a stone igloo with a small door that you have to crawl into on your knees, symbolizing reentering the womb of Mother Earth. Before you enter, you must be cleansed, using the smoke of copal (a incense like sap, used by the Maya) as well as set an intention for the experience.

Usually these experiences can have up to 15-20 people, but can get as small as a personal or private experience as well. My experience was at Holistika and had 15 people with plenty of space for us all. Everyone sits inside the igloo, including the Shaman as he introduces how the experience will go.

There are four doors of the Temezcal, representing the four elements. Each door is focused on a different type of healing and each door gets hotter than the last. Our Shaman was very calm and light hearted, reassuring us what was normal to feel and what was not, but also letting us all know that we cannot be denied to leave if we want to leave the experience.

After everyone is ready, we started greeting in ancient lava stones from the central Mexico and greeting them as our abuelitas (ancestors). This is tradition for Temezcal in Mexico because the Mexican cultures honors Mother Earth as ancient and wise, having lived through so much, they know so much (just like our ancestors). The water here from cenotes and the ocean is often referred to in this way and I believe it to be so beautiful.

Each lava rock is greeted into the Temezcal, into the fire pit in the middle of the igloo and afterwards our Shaman informed us and comforted us about the experience we are about to have before we declare we are ready for the journey in the first door.

“Abuelito puerto!” we all chanted as the door to the igloo closes and we enter the first door. It is pure darkness, the darkest experience you could ever have. You can’t see your hand in front of your face or know the difference between your eyes open or close.

I didn’t know that this would make my heart race, just the simple darkness, but it did. What I loved about this was that even though there were others in the igloo with me, it was truly an internal experience within your Soul. No one can see you chanting, moving, shaking… and most of all sweating your ass off.

Now every Temezcal is very different, but for this experience, the first door was about expression. Many were shouting, making animalistic noises, yelling or crying. For myself, I was in a very good place in my journey and found myself smiling and laughing. The experience is to let go of trapped emotions within the body through expression and detoxifying it through your pores. I found here that maybe what I needed to express more was pure joy and happiness.

Each door was about 15 minutes long before we opened the door to let the light in and took about five minutes to process the journey with ourselves and/or our Shaman. They brought in more lava rocks and poured more herbs and water onto them before we then entered the next door with “abuelito Puerto” once again.

Each door had a different journey that increased in temperature and difficulty and it was not abnormal for a few people to leave. For me, it felt hard to breathe, it felt like I wasn’t getting oxygen because of the heat, although I was. I also felt a pain in my chest. This was an experience another person had that the Shaman provided insight on.

He asked if we had any heart problems. Answer being no, he then proceeded to ask how our relationship was with certain people in our lives until it was pinpointed. For me, it was much relationship healing to be had with my parents. He described this as a heart chakra blockage, as our bodies are releasing our stuck emotions physically and emotionally and the heart is having a heart time releasing.

This made so much sense to me that afterward provided a whole new perspective within the relationship with my family.

When we put out bodies into uncomfortable situations, such as breath work, ice baths or Temezcal, our mind goes into a place of feeling like it’s unsafe. In this case, that you will die from dehydration (although you drink water beforehand and have water to drink during if you’d like). When this happens, our subconscious mind attaches to stored emotions and traumas in the body to signal to our conscious mind that we are not safe. This is how these experiences can heal trapped subconscious traumas by diving deep into the body and mind and releasing them through expression, sweat, movement and any other way your body decides to release it during this experience.

The last door was focused on new affirmations to bring to life when we are reborn out of the womb of Mother Earth. Out of pure darkness, people took turns saying affirmations that they wanted to bring to life when they are born again and everyone else would repeat them.

It was such a powerful way to end the experience.

When the door opened, we closed our experience by coming out of the igloo one by one. Once again, because the door is low, you have to crawl out. We prayed in front of the door, affirming they we were reborn before leaving the igloo. And man, even the humid heat of Mexico felt nice after that!

Afterwards, we each took a turn speaking about our experience to the group and throwing some copal into the fire to gather and close off the expansive experience.

I must say… I absolutely loved it! I highly recommend anyone looking to challenge their body and minds. You may even think you have nothing to release, but you will find it stored deep in your mind and you truly feel reborn afterwards. It is nothing to enter into lightly, it is a difficult experience but I promise you can do it and it will be worth every drop of sweat.

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Emotional Release New Moon Ritual

Happy New Moon beautiful souls! The new moon is a time that calls for renewal and new intentions. As the moon retracts its energy inward, our energy turns inward as well. It allows us to ask the most important questions, “what do I desire and what is in my way?”

When we are in alignment with the lunar phases, we feel this inward energy and spend time for reflection to set an intention for the lunar phases ahead. Yet, I’ve found if we are not in tune with the lunar cycles, we can find ourselves lost during this phase. Feeling extra emotional and like our lives are falling apart. This is why it’s very important to stay connected and ground during this time.

The moon is the connector of our energy, it grounds us to Earth, to ourselves and to the Universal energy beyond. The new moon is the perfect time to set an intention as to how to what we desire, what we are releasing and it allows us to manifest these desires with flow and with the energetic pulse of the moon.

I’ve found a ceremony or ritual is the best way to ground this energy and set strong intentions for the phases ahead and today I’m going to guide you through an emotion release new moon ritual.

What you will need for this ritual :

A comfortable place where you can be undisturbed

Sage and a flame

A Journal + pencil

Spiritual tools to set the aura such as incense, candles, sound frequencies are not necessary but can help create a positive auric field

First, sage your space with sage smoke. I recommend saying the entire home to release negative energies to begin anew on this new moon. Negative energy likes to linger in spaces that go unnoticed, with low air flow and dark spaces.

THE MEDITATION –

Sit down somewhere where you can be undisturbed and take some time to center your mind and release it from anything that has come across your day. Focus on your breathing and center your attention on the space between your two eyebrows (the third eye chakra), as this gets you into a meditative state faster. 

Once you feel you’ve released your racing thoughts, now start to visualize the life that you desire. For this, you can get as detailed as you’d like or as simple as you’d like, as long as you feel emotion behind the vision and a drive to accomplish it. Have fun with this and take your time, remembering to stay in a meditative state and keeping your mind focused on this vision.

THE JOURNALING –

Once you feel happy with this vision. Open your eyes and journal all the things that you must accomplish in order to achieve this vision. You can be strategic and creative, these should be actionable steps. 

After this, on a seperate piece of paper, write out all the things that you must RELEASE in order to achieve your vision. Whether it be bad habits, toxic relationships, ect.

When you are finished, you may burn this paper, tear it in a million pieces or whatever suits your emotional needs to destroy these negative habits in the way of your vision.

CLOSING MEDITATION –

Now, close your eyes, focus on the center of the forehead and focus on your breath. As you breathe in, imagine breathing in all of the positive aspects of your vision, all the things that light you up about your dreams.

As you breathe out, imagine your body is releasing the negative aspects you wrote down that are in the way of that vision.

Continue to do this until you feel completely restored with positive energy and have released the toxic behaviors that were previously in your way. 

I hope you enjoyed this ritual and I have actually created a free Manifesting with the Moon 101 Guide so you can take the energy of the new moon beyond just this phase for aligning your manifestations with the lunar phases. You can get this free workbook here.

You can also dive deeper inside my Moon Manifestation Course and learn to manifest your desires with flow in the lunar phases. Check out MMC here!

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Hindu Cleansing Ceremony Experience – Bali, Indonesia

Bali Healing Ritual

I recently traveled to Bali, Indonesia, which currently is a sought out destination, but it is the religion and culture that most intrigued me about coming to this beautiful island.

About 60 percent of the country of Indonesia is Hindu, a lot of Muslim and a little Buddhist. I had the wonderful opportunity to partake in a traditional Bali Healing Ritual with a healer in Bali and it was a exceptional experience to cleanse the spirit and to learn more about the Hindu religion.

A strong Hindu belief is that water is cleansing, for this reason, I was completely drenched in holy water and flowers by the end of this experience.

Dried Flowers + Herbs

Before the healing experience, we met with the Balinese healer, her name was Desak, to do a palm reading, she sensed our emotions of our past and what we needed to do moving forward in our current life.

After this, we walked to an extended deck over a river, where I sat criss-crossed across a bunch of flowers. Desak poured holy water and flowers over me, to wash away negative energies and let them drop down to the river and flow all the way to the ocean to cleanse my spirit. This ceremony is called a melukat ceremony.

During the holy water being poured, she was saying ancient Hindu mantras in a deep voice, like you would when you meditate and say you’re “OM’s.” These mantras were based around cleansing the spirit, banishing negative energies and for protection.

As soon as the water started to hit me, emotions came to me that I couldn’t even explain. I started to cry and I wasn’t even really sure why, but the healer wanted me to let them out, to yell, to cry, to weep, to express myself and let go of these emotions, to rid them with the water all the way to the ocean.

She hugged me and knew exactly how to help me let my emotions go, she knew exactly what to say, even though I did not tell her why I had these emotions.

She guided my breathing in a way to let energy flow, bad energy out, good energies in.

Something stuck with me this day, she said, “never keep this in again.” It’s strange that even if you don’t have a dramatic experience during the time of this ritual, it brings out feelings you didn’t know you even had, but it may only be because you never truly let it go, just buried it.

After the cleansing was done, it was time to bring the power. Desak then poured more holy water and flowers on me, and each time she did, she blessed me with the power of wisdom, the power of knowledge, the power of love and the power of harmony.

With holy water, she blessed my hands and my knees, she blessed my feet, for everywhere I walk, the Universe supports me.

Mala Beads

This experience was like no other, at one point my whole body was tingling and I almost felt like I was going to pass out, it’s something that I cannot explain.

By the end of this healing session, I was sitting criss-cross for probably over twenty minutes without really feeling it, it took about five more minutes of help to start walking again.

After this, they handed us our offerings for our blessings.

Everywhere in Bali, you’ll see offerings, in front of doorsteps, on the streets, on the counters, literally everywhere! There will be rice, incense, fruit, flowers and a number of other things.

This is an offering to the God’s and is put there every morning for people to pray to the God’s and The Universe. We were able to have our own offerings specific to cleansing.

The purpose of a Bali blessing is to bring more harmony between yourself and the universe, balance the chakras, release karma from past lives that might still plague you, and encourage prime health, happiness, safety, finances and a bright future.

We did this by following Desak’s prayers to the God’s, drinking holy water three times, blessing our offerings with holy water, placing rice on our third eye’s and our throat chakras.

We ended the ritual by Desak putting a small bracelet of black, red and white around our wrists to represent connection to the God’s, connection to nature and connection to the Universe.

Afterwards we ate our foods of our blessing together and were able to share them with people we choose, I shared some with our healer. 🙂

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This was one of my favorite things about coming to Bali and was truly an experience I will never forget.