Preface #1 :

This is an experience that happened to me, at this point, over 2 years ago. I wrote most of this immediately after my experience, but after that it just sat on my computer 3/4 of the way finished. Recently I’ve been feeling the nagging call of needing to get this out to the world. The call that I have been resisting.

In general so far this year I have been procrastinating and avoiding writing and releasing new articles. Now with CoVID staring me in the face, the time has come to use this time in isolation productively to churn out one monster piece of writing.

Also the messages and insights from this story are more important than ever. In times like these many of us are reconnecting with our families and friends, understanding new things about ourselves as we sit in solitude and have time and space to think. So many of the messages of this tale are around love, family, connection, mutual understanding. I hope that these themes resonate with you in a time where we’re all physically separated but more emotionally connected than ever before.

Naturally, it’s only fitting that I finally release this out into the world as the first article of 2020.

It’s a long (I reiterate, very long), beautiful tale of love and family and understanding. I hope you enjoy 🙂

Preface #2 : 

The first time I tried Ayahuasca I was 20 years old. I ventured into the depths of the Peruvian Amazon and took it with a shaman. I felt nothing.

Then, 8 years later, I ended up in Rio de Janeiro and another opportunity to drink the tea was presented to me. I jumped at the opportunity, and the experience blew my mind

When my friend asked me to go again my initial reply was “No way, definitely don’t want to do that again so soon. No chance.”

Then I realized that the ceremony was to be held on Saturday – the same day as the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur. Although I’m not very religious, it’s a holiday I like to use as a time of reflection.

It is known as the holiday of repentance. A holiday to look back on where you went wrong the previous year.

I thought back to all those times as a child when I didn’t want to go to temple, and my parents made me go anyway. Although I didn’t want to go, it was for my best interests.

I felt like this was the case with Ayahuasca. Although I didn’t want to go, I felt an obligation to. It felt like begrudgingly going to temple.

I decided that I wanted to go.

I was a bit worried though. Normally I like to have a good clean diet going in. I like to eat vegetarian for the week leading up. Avoid pot and alcohol. No sex or masturbation.

At this point it was already Tuesday. I had been drunk the night before. I had a tinder date planned for the next day. I wanted to smoke weed this week for some creative projects.

I discussed this with my friend and he expressed how it’s not 100% necessary to follow these guidelines beforehand. It’s just recommended. The “Dieta”, while recommended across the board, is not essential, but does enhance the experience. It’s also not recommended to avoid the dieta, so if I puke and shit my brains out, well, that’s why. 

Ayahuasca is a cleaning process. It’s why you throw up, have diharrea, and feel sick throughout your time on it. If you live an unclean life going in, your cleaning process will probably be a bit more difficult. That’s the risk you run if you decide not to take a clean path going in.

But he also stressed that sometimes he was completely clean going in and got very sick. Other times he drank the night before and didn’t throw up or get sick at all. It varies from time to time. There’s no way to really tell.

So with that in mind, I said I would continue to live life as I pleased and go into Ayahuasca without the proper diet beforehand.

In general I will say I live a pretty healthy lifestyle, so I wasn’t too worried. I smoke pot and drink alcohol, but I don’t do it addictively, and I eat healthy on a day to day basis. I eat a lot of veggies and only eat meat 1x/day (if that), so I wasn’t terribly concerned that I would have a tough cleansing process.

With that I lived a normal lifestyle for the week leading up. I drank wine the Wednesday night before, and had beer the night before as well. I smoked a joint Saturday morning before the ceremony.

Because of this, I felt like I went in with a calm and prepared mind. I wasn’t overthinking it. Wasn’t stressing myself out in any way. Just calm and ready.

The previous time I was completely clean for the week leading up. I meditated for 2 hours/day leading up to it. I was anxious. It was my first time taking it, so I didn’t know what to expect.

In retrospect, I felt that this had an impact on my experience. I carried a lot of thoughts, ideas, and philosophies into my experience with me. As many readers rightly pointed out, my experience only reaffirmed what I already believed. I took it as a “message” from the “Ayahuasca gods” when in reality I was just fleshing out my own thoughts and ideas while tripping out.

Either way, there WERE good takeaways. Since that ceremony I carry around many of those lessons with me, Ayahuasca gods or not. I have remained connected with my breath and body, and I’ve lived a balanced life since.

I’ve also been a creative monster. The last post was 40,000 words and a 45 minute read. I then went on to write 200 page mini ebook. I’ve been averaging a blog post a day (that I am planning on releasing at a later time). I’ve made more videos than ever before in my life.

Accidental byproduct or completely unrelated? Who knows. Either way, I’ve felt great since the last Ayahuasca journey.

I was excited, calm, and ready for the next ceremony. I was taking the mindset of Yom Kippur in with me. I was ready to reflect and introspect on where I may have went wrong throughout the year. Figure out ways to become a better version of myself and prioritize the right things in life.

Preparations and getting ready:

I woke up the day of the ceremony (Saturday morning) and it was raining outside.

The previous time we were outdoors, so I quickly became a bit worried about if it would be cancelled. If it was moved inside, I was also worried it might be crowded/congested as there’s usually around 20-30 people there.

My nerves were quickly quelled when I found out that the ceremony would be held inside, in a buddhist cave/hobbit like house, and there would be plenty of room for everyone.

I spent the day relaxing. Writing a bit, smoked a joint, and read a book. Eventually I took a nap to get some rest. Or tried to…I couldn’t really sleep.

Feeling restless I got out of bed and decided to do some yoga. My body felt tight and I wanted to release some tension. I went upstairs and did yoga for about 30 minutes and got in a quick meditation session.

After this I felt ready to go. Felt calm and easy. Clear headed. The time had come to leave and get a cab to the place we would be participating in the ceremony.

Before I left I texted my mother. I always like to text her before I go to something like this. Partly because I just want to check in before I fall off the face of the earth for a bit. Partly because she hasn’t been feeling well lately and I wanted to see how she was feeling.

By the time we had left I could see she had read my message but not replied yet. By the time I got in the car I realized I had no credits left in my phone, so even if she replied I wouldn’t see it. I wouldn’t be able to talk to my mom before I got started.

This made me feel a bit uneasy, but I brushed it aside. It was already 10pm at night, and it was unlikely she would be texting me this time of night (or in the middle of the night) regardless. I didn’t want to let my anxiety get in the way.

And so we continued to make our way to the center where we would be having the retreat.

We arrived safely in good time. Got to the temple and settled our things. Everything was ready to begin.

There was a full band setup at the front of the cave. Live music throughout the entire ceremony 🙂 

Dose #1

Flash forward to an hour or two later and I have now ingested my first dose of Ayahuasca.

I lie down. The music begins. I begin to see some colorful patterns and I zone out.

The first dose was somewhat of a dreamlike state. I laid down on my back/side and listened to the music while I saw some slight visions of geometrical patterns. I drifted in and out of what felt like a dream like state.

Similar to the previous time, I didn’t really feel anything too strong after the first dose. Mild thought alterations and some light visuals but that was all. Honestly it just felt like I took a trippy nap for an hour or two.

By the time the second dose was announced, I was ready to go.

Dose #2:

Remembering my previous lessons, I knew to ask to go “fundo” (deep), this time around. So, I said this. I told them with a very serious tone and a gentle smile, MAS FUNDO. They understood.

They poured me a full cup. Normally its about 1/3-1/2 full. I could tell this was a big dose. Took me two gulps to get down.

After this dose I walked outside to smoke a hand rolled cigarette. I always like to smoke a cigarette while I wait for it to kick in. This has been a tradition of mine since the first time that I took Ayahuasca in Peru.  (*I’ll add that I do’t normally smoke cigarettes in my daily life, and this was a hand rolled one with organic tobacco…for those who like the specifics 😉)

I smoked and then went back into the cave.

Immediately after sitting down I felt nauseous. I walked outside again to throw up.

But once I walked outside I didn’t need to throw up any longer.

I walked down to the end of the stairs before I came to a giant collection of bamboo trees in front of me. This seemed like a great place to sit.

At this point I was already beginning to feel heavy. Like I couldn’t walk or see quite right.

I sat down in front of the trees and slowly melted into the concrete stairs.

I looked above and the canopy of leaves started to morph and take shape above me. Patterns emerged. I felt like the canopy was swallowing me whole.

I closed my eyes and laid down. Swirling geometrical patterns were beginning to emerge. I felt as if I was traveling down geometrical highways. Swallowed into kaleidoscope tunnels as I flew through the universe.

I became nauseous.

I sat up and began to dry heave. Nothing came up.

I dry heaved about three or four more times, but nothing came up. Violent dry heaves. I could feel the Ayahuasca beginning to hit me. Hard.

Having cleared the first few dry heaves, I stood up and made my way back into the cave.

Before I could however, I was hit with another wave of nausea.

I turned back around and dry heaved some more. Despite the nausea nothing was coming up.

After a few minutes I felt calm again (other than the jungle feeling like it was beginning to swallow me).

I walked back inside and laid down.

I wrapped myself in my blanket and cuddled into the fetal position….

I immediately fell into an abyss of warmth and comfort. I felt secure. I felt calm. I felt like I was in a giant leaf, floating down a peaceful lazy river.

I was wrapped in what felt like a cocoon of love and happiness.

I was a baby again – in my mothers womb.

As this realization hit me I was flooded with warmth and relaxation. It felt as if the floor no longer existed and I was literally wrapped in a cocoon of love, warmth, and relaxation.

I felt the security of the womb. The comfort. How the womb is the safest place for a baby to be.

I was a vulnerable baby who just craved love. I craved the warmth and love of my mother.

I suddenly became immensely grateful for my mother. I began thinking about how much I appreciate the woman who gave birth to me.

MOM! This beautiful woman who brought me into existence. Who nurtured me for 9 months while I was given the opportunity to grow.

THANK YOU MOM!!! Holy shit. Without you I would be nothing.

The words “I LOVE YOU MOMMA!!!!!” filled every nook and cranny of my being. All I could think and feel was love and appreciation for my wonderful mother. It was like these words were vibrating throughout my entire body flooding me with what I can only describe as limitless love.

I imagined my mother in her perfect state. Her incredible beauty. I saw my mother as the most beautiful woman in the world (and she is!!!!)

I saw her as the perfect embodiment of love and kindness. Infinite understanding and unconditional love. 

Now, instead of being in the womb, I was in my mothers arms instead. She was holding me in her arms rocking me back and forth.

I had a vision of her sitting in a rocking chair with me in her arms while she sang to me. The window was open and I could hear the sound of birds.

It was visceral. I could feel the love pouring out from my mother. I could feel myself absorbing the love. I could hear the birds chirping. I could feel us rocking back and forth.

I thought about how my mom showered me with love from the moment I was born. I thought about how she did such an amazing job of raising me and teaching me about love.

But really, my mom was an amazing mom.

She was a stay at home mom who put all of her love and energy into raising me and protecting me from my crazy family (we’ll get to that part). She was very active in my life in every way she could. As a kid in school she always helped me with spelling tests and dioramas and all sorts of crazy shit I’d like to build. Always supportive of any new hobby I wanted to try. Drove me back and forth to all my sports games of all kinds. She was always there for me when I needed her.

You really can’t ask for a better mother than her 🙂 

As a child I would go on spring break every year with my mother to beaches all around the Caribbean. Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, Aruba. This was our routine every year. It’s a special part of our bond together that my other two brothers don’t have with her in the same way. Something I don’t share with my father either.

Visions and memories of all of these experiences came flying back to me in a rapid succession. I had visions of us studying together, traveling together, eating shared meals and thinking about our favorite foods like buffalo wings and caesar salad and Alaskan King Crab Legs – all of this and how it contributed to my special relationship with my mother.

When I say I had visions of these memories, they were VIVID memories. Like I was in the body of myself going back through time watching my life like a movie. I was traveling down a highway of past experiences, re-living small memories and moments I had long forgotten. It’s like I opened up a door to my childhood that I completely forgotten.

It made me appreciate my mother and the relationship we have built together in ways that can’t be expressed in words. I was flooded with waves of love and gratitude, my body literally vibrating with love. Overwhelming emotion of love and gratitude for my mother. It was like all of the emotion I have ever felt for my mother all mixed into one hitting me at the same time. I laughed. I cried. Awestruck love and appreciation and respect for the woman who brought me into existence.

I had visions of her in her perfect, most beautiful form. My mom driving in a convertible with the top down hair blowing in the breeze in the sunshine with palm trees  and she’s laughing and dancing and smiling.

Then suddenly the visions turned on me. Things became dark. I saw her become mishappen and misfigured. Old, ugly, fat, disheveled. I watched my mom morph from beautiful and dancing into fat wrinkly old and debilitated. I saw her rotting of disease with sores all over her body. I saw her dying. I saw her crumble into a pile of bones and then blow away like sand in the wind.

Then I watched that sand turn into a butterfly which turned into my beautiful mother in her perfect form once again.

Over and over I had varying forms of this vision. My mother shapeshifting from her most beautiful into varying forms of death and decomposition. Never solid, always transient. Moving and shaping and morphing into a cascade of shapes and sizes.

It was a roller coasted of emotion as well. One second I would be filled with waves of happiness and joy to see her alive and healthy, the next I would be filled with anguish and physical pain (and crying) as I watched my mother repeatedly die in front of my eyes.

I had visions from that Black Mirror episode “Playtest” where the guy gets trapped in a virtual reality game after his mother repeatedly tries to call him. I had visions of my mother trying to get a hold of me while I was traveling and not being able to answer the phone, and then that being followed by a vision of my mother shrivelling up and withering away into death. It was agonizing and painful.

All I wanted to do in that moment was call my mother and tell her how much I love her. I felt like screaming out in agony how much I love her. I wanted to say fuck the Ayahuasca ceremony, get my phone out of my bag, walk outside and call my mother. It felt like all I wanted to do was see if she is ok, to hear her voice, and the fact that I couldn’t was ripping me apart inside.

But it was almost as if each time that I went through that cycle of life>death>repeat, a wave of understanding flooded over me. A wave of knowing that one day, inevitably, her time will come. This is what it’s going to feel like.

That’s why I need to appreciate the time that I have with her NOW. Love her NOW. Be loved by her NOW. Don’t take the time that I have with her for granted. Anchor myself to those positive feelings of knowing that she is alive and well, kicking ass and always sending waves of love. Make the most of the time we have together and don’t take a single moment for granted. Pick up the phone and talk to her everyday. Don’t be like the guy from Playtest who can’t pick up the phone, be the one to make the call and send the text message everyday that you love her.

I LOVE YOU MOMMAAAAA!!!!!!

I remember at one point she turned into a giant tarantula, and then that tarantula transformed into a giant black woman that looked like Aunt Jemima with huge welcoming breasts. A face that said to me “come here sugar baby let me feed you and take care of you.” It was the embodiment of love and nurturing.

In that moment I felt like I was looking at god. I thought to myself, “holy shit god is a big titty black woman that looks like aunt Jemima! God is the embodiment of loving nurturing infinite love that just wants to take care of you and see you grow and feed you waffles and pancakes!!!” (please don’t consider this racist, I’m just trying to tell the story as it happened, if anything I hope you can see the humor in it 😉 )

It was a force. A feeling. The most nurturing and loving and compassionate feminine power I can imagine, embodied in that form.

Then again I could see that form shape back into my mom. I could see that same force inside of my mother. That same loving compassionate quality. I could see how she was an extension of that divine feminine loving energy. How all women are extensions of that same loving compassionate energy.

At some point shortly after this experience with the tarantula/aunt jemima/divine feminine/mom/women, I thought back to a day when I asked my mom “What was I like as a baby?”

She said to me “you were so peaceful. So calm. You weren’t needy. You just had a delightful smile on your face and were always happy with whatever you had. You were a joy compared to your two other brothers”(haha!!)

I saw this version of myself. I saw the calm baby within me. My “inner buddha nature” so to speak. My angelic uncorrupted calm and relaxed self.

Then I began to reflect on my current state. Filled with anxious energy. Filled with a need to constantly be doing something. Uncomfortable sitting still. Always trying to be more productive and optimize every small area of my life.

How did I get to this point? I was such a content baby. My nature as a baby was to be peaceful – what went wrong along the way?

Then I thought about my father.

Instantly the visions flipped. A giant force of masculine energy came and ripped me out of my mothers arms. I could hear her screaming as a tidal wave swept me up and away.

I wasn’t seeing my father, but it was like I could feel a fatherly force carrying me.

I was afraid of it. I could feel the fear. I desperately felt like I wanted to return to the loving warmth of my mother….but that was no longer an option.

Then, just like with my mother, I was suddenly hurled down a highway of memories with my father.

For some context, my father is an anxious dude. He always needs to be doing something. Future thinker. Always worrying about what might go wrong in the future and what he can do to prevent it. He is someone who is driven by fear. Fear of what might happen is always on his mind.

That was the first image that came to mind for me when I thought of him in that moment. This anxious, fearful state. It matched with how I felt when being swept up by the masculine energy. It felt like a moment of understanding of his state of existence on a day to day basis.

But then I thought about the reason’s WHY he is anxious. Why he is fearful.

His fear is ironically what made him very successful. So much of his stress and anxiety comes from a need to provide security for other people and make sure that they are ok. To be the provider.

He’s an incredible entrepreneur and business man and a very sharp thinker. Efficient and effective at what he does. Best memory and mental mathematician of anyone I know. He also has a great sense of duty and responsibility. Amazing work ethic. Very giving.

From a young age he instilled in me that I have to work. As a child I would often work in his warehouse stuffing boxes with merchandise and as I got older I helped with small things on the computer here and there. He always encouraged me to get jobs. Work hard. Make my own money.

Taught me how to be an entrepreneur too. As a kid I sold Pokemon cards and toys from his warehouse to my friends. Later on in life this knowledge of wholesale and retail came in handy when I became your friendly neighborhood pot dealer.

Always the best person to go to if you need advice as well. Very pragmatic thinker. Clear decision maker. Was always there to help me out or give advice if and when I needed it.

Again, I was filled with visions of all of these memories. Remembering all these aspects of my father. Seeing him as an entrepreneur and remembering working with him and remembering visions of us together and the feelings of responsibility he instilled within me.

Once again as all of these memories flooded me I was filled with gratitude and love for my amazing father. I appreciated the influence that he has on me. This time the love was different though, instead of the warm fuzzy love, this was like love with a subtle undertone of force. Of respect and admiration.

And then just like the visions with my mother, the visions quickly flipped into the dark and demonic side.

My father is no perfect man by any means. He is quick to yell and get angry. Was verbally abusive to my mother and the two of them would have more or less nightly battles (she maybe wouldn’t scream, but equally as verbally abusive in her own way). In general my family is a house of screaming and yelling and fighting. So much of my childhood was characterized by sitting in the background watching my parents scream and yell at each other or watch my brothers scream at them or vice versa.

I had visions of childhood me just staring and watching everything happen. Watching my family scream at each other. Remembering all the times I would just shut my door, lock myself in my room, and dive into some form of distraction to get away from the chaos of it all.

It made me realize the state I carried around with myself as a kid. Calm enough to immerse myself in the activity at hand, but with some strange sense of anxiety of something going wrong in the background. It oddly reflected my current anxious state as well. Still diving into tasks with enthusiasm but with a general feeling of needing to do more all the time.

It felt like the balance of my mother and father. The focus and creativity of being able to dive into something but while also being slightly anxious if what i’m doing is a waste of time or not. It felt like I came full circle in my understanding of how my mother and father influenced my personality.

Shortly therafter I started to think about that Oprah Quote, “there are only two emotions in life – fear and love”, and how that applied to the dynamic of my mother and father. I thought about the balance of fear and love that I received as a child. 

In that moment I realized that we learn love from our mothers. We learn fear from our fathers. This is the divine feminine and the divine masculine.

Our mothers teach us how to love, how to be loved, how to accept love and receive it. How to give love.

Our fathers teach us the fear of survival. The fear of needing to do things in order to see tomorrow. The forward thinking and prioritization mind. The protective mind. 

Don’t want it to be misconstrued about fathers/masculine energy either – fathers aren’t only fear – fathers teach us a lot about love as well. The love of protecting ones family. Providing safety and security. The need to be the leader and love people differently. But it’s a different form of love based on the fear of losing what we love. Holding what we love dear to us and doing everything in our power to protect that love. 

And similarly mothers can teach us about fear as well. The fear of your mother cracking the whip. Of disappointing her. Not following through on or compromising your values. How empathy is a double edged sword that also allows us to feel more pain.

I had visions of the balance of masculine and feminine energy. Intense fractals of yin/yang like balance, light and dark energies, polar opposites intertwining with each other constantly shifting and turning and morphing.

Visions of men intertwining with women, men and women of all shapes and sizes and colors. Big, small, weak, strong, you name it. Blending in and out of each other and then based on the composition of the two that came together a third would come out as a result.

It felt like I was downloading understanding of the inter-dependent relationship of love and fear, feminine and masculine. How the two are both necessary to create a whole person. How you must cultivate both. How, if you are unbalanced in one or the other, it can create problems.

Too much love and not enough fear and you’ll never get anything meaningful done in life. Too much fear and not enough love and you will get a lot accomplished but become cold and hardened to the world. We need the proper balances of fear and love. Masculine and feminine.

I thought about my parents – what were their balances like?

First I thought about my dad. He seems to be very dominated by fear. Why is he so heavy on the fear side? What were HIS parents like?

Then I thought about my grandma – Did she love him in the same way? How did he become this way?

I don’t honestly know much about my grandma and the relationship with my father, but it’s never come across as warm and loving and nurturing to me. That’s not quite the vibe I get. My grandma was a hyper feminine beautiful woman who was at her time your quintessential trophy wife from a wealthy family. Beautiful and fun yes, loving and nurturing, not quite so sure.

My grandfather on the other hand (may he rest in peace) from what I was told (as I don’t remember him very much) was an anxious lunatic. Always needing to do things. A firm man with a lot of addictive habits.

Another man gripped by fear, with a wife who didn’t provide a sufficient foundation for love.

Suddenly I had a new understanding of my father.

I saw him as a baby who just needs a hug. A baby who was never properly loved and nurtured. A baby who received more fear than he did love.

No wonder he is the way he is today!!!

Growing up, his balance of fear and love was heavily tipped in the direction of fear. He grew up in a household of fear. He never properly learned how to give or receive love.

In that moment all I wanted to do was hug my father. Cuddle and console him, the way that a mother would. I felt so sad for him, knowing that he has lived his life without sufficient love.

I thought about how he did a great job of raising me. He was hands off in the right way. Gave me enough guidance and direction, but allowed me to do my own thing.

He wasn’t overwhelming on me like he was in my other two brothers. Wasn’t as involved in my sports life. He was tired after my previous two brothers.

At this point in his life he also had a big business to run. When I came to work with him, he was too busy to show me around, so I mostly explored. I talked to people. I played with the toys I would find in his warehouse.

He was very effective with me, with little effort. Very contrary to his style and his way of life.

Less is more. That was the lesson he should have learned when raising me. It’s funny to say that is also the lesson I try to teach him most often.

I laughed at how ironic it was. He was actually most effective when he was the least hands on. All of his life is driven by being hands on, but when it comes to me he just has faith that I’ll do the right thing, and that’s worked out better. I’m more independent, and he can provide the real advice when it matters most, rather than bailing me out all the time.

So here on one hand we have my father – a man dominated by fear. A man who needed more hugs growing up and is anxious and tense because of it. A man made this way because of his relationship with his parents.

What about my mother’s relationship with HER parents?

My mother’s father passed away at a very young age. While she had a loving mother, her family life was a bit complicated as she was much younger, and she mostly got love from her older sister. Either way, she never had a strong father figure in her life. 

How did that affect my mothers life? Well, my mother lives a very sedentary lifestyle. She isn’t very active. She eats well and generally has a good diet but rarely exercises. She’s also a stay at home mom who hasn’t had a job in years, so being an active person pretty much stopped for her once I was old enough to do things on my own. Since then, she’s slowly become less and less productive and active over the years.

Causation or correlation you decide, but she’s also had a variety of illnesses over the last few years. Diabetes, skin rashes, a variety of physical injures…trips to the doctor are a normal part of her routine.

I’ve always worried about her health. Always been concerned with the lack of hobbies. The lack of purpose in her life. I’ve always wanted her to be able to do more in her day to day life and find something that gets her out of bed in the morning.

The fact that her father passed away at an early age could be the root of why she doesn’t have that drive to be productive and motivated. In the balance of fear and love, she didn’t have the fatherly energy to give her the survival based mindset. The see-saw of fear and love was tipped heavily in the direction of love for my mom. 

It helped me to understand my mom in a new light. It gave me a deeper insight into why she is the way that she is. Maybe not a direct solution, but at least perspective and empathy into her situation. Allowing me to put myself in her shoes and see things from her point of view.

It also helped me to understand the dynamic of my two parents, and how it was that they came together. In the same way that my dad just needed a loving mother, all my mother needed was a loving father.

My mother was in need of a strong father figure and discovered my dad, who is a loud successful alpha type.

My father was in need of a loving motherly figure, and discovered my mother, the most loving and supportive woman on the planet.

In each of them they sought a partner that illustrated what was missing from what their parents gave them.

I appreciated the balance of the two of them…

It was a perfect match between my mom and dad. My dad wanted someone who wouldn’t challenge his power, and my mom wanted someone who gave security and safety. A match made in heaven.

I was very grateful for the balance of my two parents. My mom taught me how to be good, caring, loving, understanding. My dad taught me how to get shit done, start businesses, and hustle with strong work ethic.

I felt strong. I felt like I was built on the foundation of two kickass parents. Two parents who raised me well. Gave me every opportunity to succeed. Did everything they could to make sure that I would have the best life I possibly could.

I felt like I have made them proud. I felt like a good son. A son who, while I spend a LOT of time away from home and internationally, they love what I do. They love my experiences and who I have become just as much as I do. I felt very connected to my parents in that moment.

I saw an image of the two of them happily loving each other. Happily embraced in each others arms, with me wrapped in between them. It felt incredible. Like my body was vibrating with positive loving energy.

Brotherly Dynamic –

With this newfound knowledge about their unique dispositions and balances of fear and love, what does this mean about my other two brothers and how they were raised?

I thought about how, in general, my father has a very powerful energy. In the dynamic of my family, his technique is to overwhelm.

I thought about my oldest brother, and how he got more of my fathers energy. He is a person who would define himself as “competitive”. As a child he was aggressive and would often get angry and yell.

This was my father’s influence. When I examined the balance for my oldest brother, he was more dad than he was mom. In my fathers need for control he most likely took my brother from my mother too soon, and put too much pressure on him via sports and activities.

At this point, my mother also didn’t know how to properly LOVE yet. This was her first child, and my dad was probably over aggressive, not allowing my mom to have the freedom she needed to LOVE truly. There was still perhaps a piece of reservation. A piece of unease of the shock of having your first child and not wanting to make a mistake.  

By the time she got to me, she had 2 other boys to experiment with. She had to learn how to get a boy/man to accept love. She knew how to shower me with love and affection in a way that she couldn’t with my other two brothers. This is why I probably have more of my mothers energy than my oldest brother (or the two of them in general).

So while I was probably 60/40 Love:Fear tilted in the direction of my mom, my oldest brother was probably 70/30 Fear:Love, tipped in the direction of my dad.

Then I had visions of the two of my brothers interacting with each other. I had visions of their early interactions with each other. 

I experienced my middle brothers desire for attention. I experienced how that desire for attention made my brother jealous – maybe not jealous though – perhaps envious, as is natural for any older brother. Imagine you have everything for yourself and then someone comes in and starts making a ruckus, it’s hard to adapt to!

Again, it felt like I was downloading understanding of what that must be like to be an older brother, which is something I’ve obviously never experienced as a younger sibling. 

As I mentioned before, my oldest brother is very competitive. I could see the competitive nature of fighting for attention as babies.

But I wont sugar coat shit here as well – my parents always described my middle brother as a nightmare from the time he came out of the womb. He was the quintessential “problem child”.

Here’s one brother who is naturally competitive, and then another brother comes along who does nothing but demand attention. I could feel the frustration of my oldest brother in how all of the attention was going to my middle brother, and always for bad reasons.

I could see how this created resentment between the two of them from an early age. I could see how it affected their relationship at a subconscious way.

Around this time I also had visions of my parents fighting with each other. Screaming at each other. Physical and verbal abuse.

Stressed with a baby for the first time in a strained relationship, I could see them angry with each other. Fighting and stressed out as being newly born parents. All of this influencing my, yet to be, 2nd brother.

Then I switched gears fully to my middle brother – the “problem child”

I had visions of love, quite literally, bouncing off of him. It was like my parents were trying to give him love but he couldn’t receive it. 

It brought me back to that first lesson I learned from my mother. The lesson of receiving love.

From this stable sense of love we develop a sense of identity. A sense of me, myself, and mine. We develop an understanding of ownership. This is MINE.

After MY comes YOURS. I have MY things, and you have YOUR things. Then we learn how to GIVE. I can give MY things to YOU, and then they become YOUR things. Then we can learn OUR things. We can learn how to SHARE.

If you have never learned how to receive, you won’t be able to share. If you can’t share, then you don’t know how to give.

My brother is someone who, for reasons I don’t fully understand, struggled to properly receive love. This then influenced his ability to properly give love. By not learning how to properly give, he didn’t properly learn how to share.

I had a vision of him as a child – a child in a nursery who didn’t know how to share with the other children. A child who wanted to force others into playing games with him even if they didn’t voluntarily ask for it.

Instead of sharing his toy with someone else, his mentality is to force his toy on the other person.

“TAKE MY TOY!!!!” “I DON’T CARE IF YOU DON’T WANT MY TOY, TAKE IT! 

His method, in all areas of life, is to force things on you. He doesn’t care if he hurts your feelings as long as he gets to express his point of view. If he says something that hurts your feelings, it’s your fault

I always think of Rick and Morty. Rick drags Morty along regardless of how unpleasant the experience is for Morty. It’s like while Morty is running away from an intergalactic being that can kill him, Morty is screaming at him, “this is fun right!?! You’re having a good time right?!!?”

This is my brother. He’s the guy who will torture you and yell at you until your head spins and then turn around and say, “this is SO FUN!!!”

In reality he just has problems sharing. He just doesn’t know how to receive love from others. Doesn’t know how to express his love to others. Doesn’t know how to share experiences with others.

Like all of us, all he wants is love. All he wants is to know that my parents love and care about him. That they don’t think he’s a fuckup. That they want to talk to him. That they genuinely think he IS fun! He just wants love, and thats at the root of all of his behaviors.

But he struggles innately with love. He struggles to share. In forcing his sharing upon others, he hurts people’s feelings, struggles to maintain close relationships, and is often quite unpleasant to be around.

Seeing him in this light helped me to better understand him. I felt softened about him. I felt like I just wanted to give him a hug.

I remembered all of the positive memories we had together. The freestyle rapping. Dancing around like lunatics. Speaking in gibberish languages. Tupac and Biggie and all of the rap he introduced me to.

We really had a lot of fun together throughout my life. I reconnected with those memories and saw him in the moments when he was at his best, rather than at his worst (which is so often the predominant memory).

I saw the loving, caring, compassionate person he is capable of becoming. I saw that, at his essence, he truly is a good person – He just struggles to express himself.

I saw the best version of himself that he could be, and that person is truly a wonderful person to be around.

It also helped me to realize all of the ways he has influenced my personality, both good and bad.

On the positive, all of the ways he has helped me to embrace the lunatic within. To let my creative expression take over and rant at the world. To create and debate and introspect into the depths of one’s mind with all the enthusiasm you can muster.

On the negative side, many of the same problems my brother has, I have as well.

I too, struggle to properly share with other people. Instead of asking people. I also have the same “TAKE MY TOY” approach sometimes. I force my ideas on others. I always think I’m right. My intensity is overwhelming to a lot of people. Sometimes my words and intensity hurt other people’s feelings.

I’m guilty for many of the same things that I criticize my brother for. In the same way that he needed to become more gentle, more soft, I needed to become softer and more gentle as well.

Moreover, as all of us men in the Erstling family, I don’t think we know how to properly accept love.

That thought smacked me in the face. I struggle to accept love. To open myself up to love. To receive it. My mother showered me with it, but I don’t feel like I let in the love of others

Relationship dynamics: 

In that moment I thought back to my previous relationship. I thought about how she utterly LOVED me. Instead of fully immersing myself in the experience, I was always a bit reserved and anxious. Always not fully living in the present moment. Always thinking about something else instead of cherishing my time with the most beautiful girl I had ever been with.

I was transported back to the last time that I saw her. She drove me to the airport and we said goodbye to each other before I went into my gate.

I remember that when we said goodbye, I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t cry although part of me felt like I should be crying. I didn’t feel much despite in my head thinking that I should probably be feeling something.

At the time I took that as a sign that I didn’t have strong feelings for her. I took it as validation that we weren’t right for each other. That it wasn’t meant to be.

But while on this Ayahuasca journey and reliving this experience, all of the emotion I never allowed myself to feel came flooding back to me. I began to cry like a baby. I felt painful pangs of regret for what I had done. For how wrong I was and how good I was at convincing myself to block off my feelings and emotions.

I felt cold, shivery, shaky.

In this moment it dawned on me that I never allowed myself to love her. I never allowed myself to fall in love with her. To let go and enjoy the experience of love with her.

I was afraid of hurting her. I was afraid of being hurt. I was afraid to feel the love because my rational mind didn’t know or understand how our relationship was ever going to work. I allowed my rational mind to get in the way of my loving mind.

I was still somewhat fresh out of a relationship before that where I had another difficult breakup. That breakup was painful, and I think part of me didn’t want to feel that pain again. Didn’t want to hurt someone else again. I was afraid of both being hurt or hurting her.

The words “you didn’t allow yourself to fall in love” echoed through my mind over and over again.

I had visions of all my previous ex girlfriends come back to me. I was flooded with all of the emotions I never felt (or allowed myself to feel) for all of them. I saw how beautiful they all are, I felt the love and affection they all showered me with. I had visions of the great experiences we shared together.

I felt the remorse of having passed through these experiences without being present within them.

In that moment I vowed to myself I would never let that happen again. If there was any lesson to be taken from all of this, it was to allow love into my life. Allow myself to fall in love. Allow myself to be loved. To be present with the other person. Truly LIVE the experience of love. FEEL everything that comes along with it.

From that point on I lay there on my back repeating to myself “allow love into your life, feel the love, surrender to love’s embrace.” I focused on all of the feelings and sensations in my body. I tried to feel it all at once. Take it all in. Feel every vibrating and tingling part of my body. Really FEEL my body. And in that feeling, allow myself to love. Allow the love into my body and spirit. Open myself up to the love of the universe.

As I did this my body was flooded with waves of calming and relaxing energies. Waves of soothing comfort. It felt like I was falling into the floor. Or moreso that the floor no longer existed. I was floating in a bed of calm relaxation.

After an indeterminate amount of time lying on the floor they made an announcement that dose #3 was about to be served….

__________

Dose #3 

I collected my sense of awareness, brought myself back to reality and sat up. I could see that my buddy was already waiting on line. We looked into each others faces and smiled. Gave each other a big hug. He had waves of rainbows streaking off of him. It’s like his face and body had a moving smoke-like white-rainbow aura all around him. He’s never looked more beautiful. The shaman had the same look on him as he served me. I also take note that it looks like he has a wolf on his shoulders looking over him. He looks aztec and not quite human.

After I took dose #3 I laid back down and continued to do my body scans, continued to feel and absorb all of the sensations, while I waited for the next dose to kick in.

Around 30 minutes or so later, it started to hit me. Again I was hit with a wave of nausea, but I didn’t really want to puke. It was a subtle feeling of nausea in my chest. I decided instead to get up and walk around outside for a while.

As I walked around the forest, it came alive. Plants started to take on a human or being like quality to them. It seemed like the forest was alive. Watching me in a detached awareness of my presence.

I walked around and took deep breaths trying to fight the nausea and connect with my breathing.

Many of the thoughts from the previous dose were still swirling around my head. Trying to connect the bits of data and information together. Process all of the new learnings and what this means for my life.

At some point while walking around, the thought popped into my head, “My mother is starving of love”

Pulling on the thread of earlier, my mom is mostly love and not much fear. So this means that she thrives off of love. It’s her energy and source of vitality. But when I thought about her current life, and I thought about how much love she’s getting, I realized that she’s not nearly getting enough of it! 

I don’t talk to her as much as I could. Especially given that I live around the world, I need to make more of an effort to talk to her. Building on the Black Mirror Playtest vision from earlier, if she is starving of love, I need to tell her I love her everyday. If she is deficient in love, I need to do my best to give her all the love I can.

I thought about how I could include my mom in my love life more. Talk to her about the girls I’ve been dating and if I like them or have any doubts. Just keep her in the loop and make her feel included and informed about the women I am dating. She loves to be included, be a part of the process, feel like her opinion matters and she is providing insights. I thought about how my brothers could do the same. How all three of us are single, and how all three of us could do a better job of including her in that love process. It’s a healthy way for us to all provide our mother with the love she needs.

At some point the insight hit me that the relationships I have with other women are a reflection of the relationship I have with my mother. I can’t be in a loving relationship until I have a genuine loving relationship with my mother. The closer I am to my mother, the more success I will have in loving relationships. The more I help my mom and give her the love and support that she needs, the more progress I will make in finding a loving relationship. The more I open up to my mother about the process, the more progress I will make in finding my life partner.

As I walked around the forest I vowed to myself that from this point on, I am going to talk to my mother as much as I can. Tell her I love her as much as I can. Include her in who I am dating and keep her in the loop. Help her get healthy and strong and live a happy and healthy life. Build the best relationship that I possibly can with her.

And as I thought about this, I was filled with visceral waves of love and calm. Soothing vibrations is the only way I can describe it. I knew that what I was thinking was the right thing to do. My emotions were aligned to it. It felt good. Felt like I had reached the conclusions that I needed.

I have no idea how long I was walking around in the forest like this. I remember parts of sitting. Standing. Walking. Pacing back and forth. It was like understanding was coming to me in bits and pieces and only now that I look back on it can I piece it into a coherent narrative.

I also eventually realized that the nausea had passed. I felt sleepy. I walked back into the cave and lied down.

Again I returned to the body scans. Focused on the feeling. Opening myself up to love. I felt my body melt into the floor once again as I was filled with calmness. Eventually I drifted off to sleep…

End….????!

At some point someone woke me up and I realized that the ceremony was over. We gathered around in a circle, told our individual stories, and then wrapped up everything with a final prayer together. After that we all got together and ate breakfast.

At this point the only thought on my mind was that I was excited to call my mother when I got home. Ceremony complete. Filled with gratitude and love and new perspectives on my life and family. I left there floating in happiness and gratitude. Tired, but refreshed and reinvigorated all the same.

Now here is where the story takes a crazy fucking twist….

When I get out of the ceremony naturally the first thing I want to do is call my mom. I turn on my phone, and first thing I see is a text from my dad. “Call me tomorrow.”

Immediately I call my father. I find out that my mom has been in the hospital due to a kidney infection of some kind. The result of an infection she got when she was previously in the hospital for something else a week or so earlier. Craziest part is it’s something that could have killed her. Luckily we caught it quickly, but she was in bad shape for a minute.

Now, it was one thing to have a crazy experience like that and leave with an appreciation for a connection with my mother, but to have that experience on the same night that she was in the hospital?! When I was having those visions of her dying, was she in her worst state of suffering? Was my experience somehow connected to this? Is there a divine connection of some kind to your mother, and was I having a genuine premonition or vision?

Or was it that I merely didn’t get a chance to talk to her before the ceremony and this was a thought I had in the back of my mind that influenced the whole journey?

Either way, I find it crazy that my mom had a freak one night trip to the hospital on the same night I have an ayahuasca trip entirely about my connection to my mother and seeing her dying and suffering. One of those things I gotta shrug and just say, “shit I have no fucking clue but that is quite the coincidence!”

Ending Notes and Reflections –

This ayahuasca experience was something that happened to me around 2 years ago. Since that day I am happy to say that my relationship with my mother has never been better. I talk to her on the phone at least once a week and we constantly text each other. I frequently text her “LOVE YOU MOMMA!!!! <3” just for the fuck of it.

She’s kicking ass too. She’s really started to find her voice and take charge of her own life. She is taking the dog on long walks for exercise. Meeting up with old friends and keeping herself occupied. Making decisions for herself and standing up for what she wants. She’s making huge strides in her life and is feeling all the better for it. I don’t like to take credit for it, but my mom always tells me that my encouragement is a big reason behind her feeling like she can do it, behind feeling that she is supported and has someone backing her up and helping her out. It makes me happy to know we have built change together, and that Ayahuasca was in many ways the catalyst behind that.

Overall with the understanding of my family many of those relationships have improved too. I look at my dad in a new light. I look at my brothers with new understanding and perspective. I can see the family as a collective whole and appreciate the dynamics that have made everyone this way. I can feel grateful for those circumstances that have led to our perfect imperfections.

And my relationships with women? Never been better.

Directly after this experience I met a girl who swept me off my feet and gave me feelings I never experienced before. Raw, visceral feelings of mutual attraction that sent tingles and chills up my spine and hers alike. I was never previously swept off my feet like that before in my entire life. Never did I felt so comfortable, so at ease, so free to fully be myself in all of my strangeness.

Alas, it didn’t eventually work out. But I was more open. I allowed myself to feel. To be vulnerable. It ended up being a very painful relationship. One that had a lot of crazy things happen. But it was a beautiful learning experience. I learned a lot from the pain and know what I need to do for the future. And most importantly, I felt it all and I included my mom every step of the way. 

I’ve had other shorter relationships too, and overall I feel that the level of connection is stronger. More genuine. Again, I’m not guarded and closed. I’m allowing myself to be vulnerable and feel and be honest about what I am feeling.

Coincidence that this all happened directly after Ayahuasca where I thought about my mom, love and relationships? Eh, fuck it, I don’t really care about the connection/correlation. I can say that my relationship with my mom and my family has been transformed and my love life is moving in a positive direction. I’ll take those as some great wins from an 8 hour experience with Ayahuasca.

So I guess that’s the whole story in it’s totality. Everything that happened in the Ayahuasca journey where I connected with my mother and saw my family in a new light. Transformation at it’s finest.

I hope you enjoyed reading, and I hope that this has provided you with some good insights into your own life as well. If nothing else, when finished with reading this, please go call your mother and tell her how much you love her 🙂

Thoughts? Similar experiences? Let me know in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “An Ayahuasca Experience of Motherly Love and Family Dynamics

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. Its beautiful. Definitely insightful.
    My mother calls me everyday when im at college.She lost both her parents at a young age.Sometimes i see it as overbearing but now i understand where she is coming from.She is lovely.
    Thank you again.I always look forward to your articles.

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