It all started when I landed in beautiful, lush, humid, Costa Rica! My headache was unbearable, due to the lack of sleep and the intense change. I could really feel the difference between Canada and Costa Rica. After experiencing the scenery and walking around in the city it was a nice reminder to see how connected people are in other countries. I do not speak Spanish but non the less people here made me feel connected and welcome, more so then in Toronto. The people here are very relaxed and laid back. I could feel my anxiety just melt away and I was able to open up more here. The food was great too, especially the fruit! I wanted to eat my body weight in papayas and coconuts!
Arriving at Philia retreat centre where my training was taking place, was totally magical! It is build on land that was used for shamanic practices and you could really feel it. Its like entering a bubble of utopia in a country that already feels like utopia. It was incredible and a lot to take in. I found myself releasing a lot hurt and pain that I had stuffed down within the first hour of being there. I could feel myself changing here, everything from my thought patterns, to my habits and even my body felt better. It was such an enriching experience being able to meet lots of like-minded people and learning from world famous spiritual teacher Teal Swan. Being here was the closest I have ever felt to belonging.
I was able to fine tune my skills in being able to feel into people, while learning the completion process to help integrate trauma. Lots of friendships were made at Philia and lots was learned. It was nice being in an environment where your emotions are a priority and where people respected that. When someone asked you here “How are you?” They actually meant it, and not just looking for a generic “I'm fine, how are you” response. The caring and validating of people's emotions was the heart of this connection. I got to experience the rich, calming environment and let myself just be. It was nice not to feel the pressure to get everything done, be productive, rush to get ahead and have to figure everything out. I was really able to use this time to let myself be as I am and work through things as they come. The support of the people around me made this time truly unforgettable. When the training came to an end it was very painful to feel the separation from the people I connected with. I was leaving with a group of people that I would be staying with for the following days, however it was still one of the most difficult places I ever had to leave.
The next few days was spent; exploring, processing and dealing with a few conflict and triggers that arose after leaving Philia. I could definitely feel myself being challenged and had to work through some issues. So it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies in Costa Rica, though it was a lot of the time! Everyone were playing a part in this journey and even though it had it's challenges I was grateful for the amazing and generous people who would help me along the way.
In the next chapter of my journey, A few of us went to a healing centre, where we spent the next 3 days working with a shaman. This is where I experienced my next level of transformation. The first day started off with a sweat lodge where we sat in a tent/hut that had a hole in the ground filled with volcano rocks. We sat there for a while setting our intentions of what we want and what we want to let go of in our lives. I felt I was sweating out everything that wasn't serving me, It was very clearing. After that we were taken down a path in the jungle to a waterfall. Standing under this waterfall felt incredible! My whole body and mind felt instantly clear, super energized and felt like a rebirth! This all set the stage to what was to come next. The first night of my Ayahuasca experience.
Ayahuasca is a plant medicine used by indigenous people of south America for spiritual practices. I felt the pull towards it for some time now. We drove up to the ceremony site, heavy rain started as the ceremony began. I was feeling really sleepy and was able to squeeze in a nap before it was my turn to drink the tea. I drank the tea as fast as I can to avoid the bitter taste, though I find the honey we were given after soothed it quite well. As I laid there, I could feel it moving around in my stomach. The song “unstoppable” by Sia got stuck in my head for a bit. After that I felt a bit nausea and hunger come up since I didn't have anything but water and 1 shake for the whole day, as part of the preparation. At first I envisioned my stomach filling up as to give me something to focus on and to help keep the nausea down. After some time I could feel my whole body very intensely, as if electricity was flowing through it. I also felt very cold and was shaking. I was feeling the energetic sensations in my body so intensely that I couldn't feel anything outside of me, including the clothes I was wearing. I had to pull on my sleeve to confirm I was even wearing a sweater. Outside I could hear and feel the heavy rain storm and some of the thunder in the distance. It really set the mood. I could feel the sensations moving into different parts of my body. It was mostly in my stomach but at one point I could feel a swelling in my face lips throat and gums, but as I would breath into it. It would fade in and out. I started to feel that my body was being moved, like I was floating around. There was spinning in my head, it felt like I was floating through a theme park ride, like a tunnel with many levels. With my eyes closed, in my mind's eye, I started to see lots of colours and patterns.
As my floating spinning body was being led through a colourful pattern tunnel, it started to make me feel nauseous. I was able to control the speed and movement with my breath. The music playing contributed to the experience too. This tunnel I was floating through felt like a fun house. I could feel and see the vibration of the sounds and music from around me. At this point I could feel the presence of some beings standing near me. Though I didn't see them, I just felt a heavy vibration sound coming from where I felt they were. They were kind of part of the colours and patterns. I could feel them standing over me as my body was moving around and I could feel more of that electric energy being moved around from inside my body. I felt like I was having psychic surgery. I could feel these beings attention on me. I could feel energy in my stomach mostly but it also moved around and tingeing feelings coming back up to my chest, throat, mouth, gums and teeth even. I just felt everything so intensely. It got to the point where the spinning and sensations got too much and I had to stop it. Opening my eyes at that point made me feel more nauseous, I had to sit up and throw up.
The music changed after that and so did the experience. After settling in, I got a vision of the planet and animals and monkeys who were looking at insects and other parts of nature. I got the message that this pattern repeats itself in the universe. That just as those animals are looking at other animals and insects and humans are looking at them. That there are other spices looking at the humans. And that nature repeats itself throughout the universe not just limited to earth. I was able to go into the perspective of other living things and I found it odd and very limiting to live in only one perspective. I was then showed a picture that started fading away. It was of a young looking blond woman with blue eyes and a round face. I stared at it for sometime as the image started turning away from me. I had no idea who that was and didn't understand why I was shown this woman. Until I realized that its a picture of me. But it didn't feel like me. I was completely dis-identified from this person and didn't know why she was being shown to me.
From this point on I refereed to me in 2nd /3rd person. I felt that who I was, was the consciousness floating in the universe observing this person and not the person I was being shown. I go the message "I am not me" I saw her standing in a room that was made of glass floating in the universe. I was trying to figure her out. Like a scientist, studying and feeling into who she is. There were no emotions, judgment, or attachment present, just curiosity. I looked at some pink shapes that were near me and I placed them near her to see what colour fits her. I tried a blue dress on her too. I was feeling into her and wanted to see what made her happy. I surrounded her with money and more materials. I even looked at her name EWELINA and saw that it resonated with her. I felt this person was created for a reason. The more I would focus on her, the more information I received. When I tuned into her more I instantly saw that she didn't feel successful. I got lots of flash backs of her struggling and trying hard to move forward but wasn't, she felt constantly behind. That's when the insight came. She was living in the shadows of others. I kept getting the message to stop living in the shadow. I kept being shown this dynamic of living in the shadow of her childhood friends, who were perceived as more important then her. I saw how this has affected her life. In fact that visually appeared on her body from childhood like a spear that stabbed her through the stomach, taking away her power. This is why no matter how hard she would work, things just wouldn't work out for her. She was operating from the shadow when the spotlight was always on someone else. I was shown a person from her life who had their part in this dynamic. When the situation was explained to that person who she had this dynamic with, they felt really bad and were deeply sorry. At this point I was able to be in both perspectives at the same time. I was able to be the one observing who had all the insights, no emotional attachment or judgment of this situation, and the me that was being observed and becoming aware of this. From both perspectives, I started to clear the cord that was stabbed through my stomach. After it was cleared up, I pulled a lot of guilt that was present in the person who created this dynamic. I hugged them and took them to be cleansed under the waterfall where we let ourselves be cleared and have everything weighing us down wash away. I kept getting the message repeated “You cannot live in anyone's shadow anymore” and the scene faded.
With this new lightness and clearing coming over me. I was taken to another scene where I saw the back of my head as I was talking to an older woman in a centre. I was helping her in some way. I had a fancy hair clip in my hair that I don't own. I intuitively got the message that this is the Ewelina that does not live in anyone's shadow. This is my future self. I saw another scene of her walking down a hallway with bushiness men and talking to a group of people. Then another one with her writing on a board, I saw her face as she was looking on the board, writing and explaining things to a group of people. I was observing her, kind of like from a camera view of a video game character. It felt like observing a memory or a memory of something to come, everything was so detailed it felt so real. She looked more mature then I do currently, she had a longer face, and was thinner. She had her blond hair clipped back, was wearing a tight dark shirt, a floral print long elegant shirt with black heels. Non of the clothes I currently own. She looked very important, and busy at the centre she happily worked at. I had an image of a birds eye view of the building she was in and it was creamy and brown in colour with burgundy roof, it was really big and surrounded by nature. I tuned more into her and as I did more information came to me. The future self looked like she was in her 30-40s maybe, she was very relaxed with a playful nature. She balanced it out with intense focus and lots of structure and stability in her life, career and finances. She was respected around the people she works with. She was able to tune into people and know exactly what they need to help them. She does this a lot in her work, she is very ethereal, out-worldly and yet also grounded and connected with herself and others. She knows who she is and owns it.
At one point I walked into an office where she was working and got to meet her. She was happy to see me and expected it too. I asked her for advice and she said that to just be me. I hugged here and wanted to integrate as much of her as I can into this life. I saw the comparison of how different we felt. My current energy was very mixed, unclear, constantly changing, with lots to work on, heal and develop. Hers was more powerful, focused, direct, stable, developed and owned. I got he message that I was in the cocoon stage of my life and she was already a butterfly. To be easy on myself for I am transforming and to trust the process.
At this point the music the shaman was playing was more upbeat. And I saw myself dancing to it, I saw my current self, child and future self all dancing in a hut together in harmony. I got the message life is just a dance and we are all in it together. I felt intense joy, I felt that everything is right and going to be OK and according to plan. That was the end of my first trip. The next morning when I looked in the mirror it took a while for me to recognize myself. I felt like such a different person and I felt that there was something different about my appearance too. In fact everyone told me I looked different, more mature, more balanced, more clear, with different eyes and a glow. It was an intense feeling, one I am still settling into.
On the night of my second Ayahuasca experience, it started off with a rain storm like the first night. I was quite tired and actually did another medicine called kambo earlier that day. No Ayahuasca trips are the same and that was exactly the case with this one. When the ceremony started and I drank my first tea. I laid there not experiencing anything, waiting for the medicine to take effect. Then when the shaman came with the second tea I drank it and laid back down. Still nothing. I could hear the people around me engaging in there journeys but yet I still felt nothing. I waited till my stomach was ready for a 3rd tea and I drank it.
Instantly it hit me. I could feel my left arm moving on its own in a wavy motions. I felt as if something slippery got a hold of it and turning my arm into a wavy tentacle. It felt like my arm had no bone or muscle. I felt there was something around me that was very excited to pull me in and connect with me. Felt kind of like a super friendly dog running up and jumping on you. This being felt intelligent to to me. I felt it more then I could see it, but from my minds eye it looked like a small thin person with wavy tentacle like arms and long wavy figures. It had big eyes, was excited and super friendly. I'm gonna call them jelly fish people since that is the best way I can describe them.( I'm planning on making an illustration of one) Anyways so these beings, I could feel them all around me and I could connect with them. The moment they touched me I could feel them going through my skin and inside my body bringing a swirly and wavy sensation reaching my veins and organs. Almost like if the waves of an ocean can enter your body or fish swimming around inside. It was a feeling I have never experienced before. All I could see were constantly changing patterns and colours. Just like in the first trip, I could see and feel sounds. Every time the music changed or the shaman played an instrument or when it rained outside it all effected what I saw and felt. I let myself breath into these new sensations and let it carry me away. I felt more and more of these beings connecting with me, I felt like I was floating somewhere in the universe in a cluster of them. I felt like I became one of them.
The sensations of that wavy water-like feeling in my body got very intense at one point and I had to throw up. It felt odd to open my eyes and reach for my bucket. In fact putting pressure on my arm felt weird. A part of me was convinced that I was one of those jellyfish people. These beings spoke in a language I couldn't understand. It was lots of broken down words with “S” sounds. So I couldn't really communicate with them unless it was intuitively. At this point my whole body was laying there wiggling and moving my arms in wavy motions. The feeling intensified again and I could feel it reach my head. At this point, I could not form concrete thoughts and everything I tried to picture in my mind got broken down into swirly patterns and colours. Even the words I was thinking got broken down into the language of the jelly fish people that I could not understand. The only tangible thing I could experience were my emotions. I fully embodied one of these beings. I was again dis-identified with my body again, I had no care in the world and no sense of time. I'm pretty sure if you tried talking to me at that point I would be speaking in their language which would of been gibberish combined with dolphin and “S” sounds.
I was in a different world of constant movement, patterns and colours. At one point the music was very up beat and it felt like these beings and I were having a party. There were so connected and integrated with each other that when one of them had a thought, the rest of them would react to it and it would change the patterns and colours the created. These beings lived with no stress or worries in a constantly changing state. Kind of like a bunch of fish swimming around harmoniously in a pond together. It felt good to be one of them. They had no sense of worry, obligation, stress or sadness. For a while I had no concept of any other identity other then of being these being. I had no concept of who I was and it didn't matter. I just was consciousness in the form of one of these beings. Where there was no identity or purpose, where nothing really mattered it just was in perfect harmony. It felt like a nice simple existence absent of suffering and I wanted to stay in it forever. I had no concept of time but I felt like I spend a lifetime in that state.
After I don't know how long, I started to feel the need to move on. I could feel my mind fighting the mindless state and trying to think thoughts again only to have them questioned and broken down into patterns and colours. I felt in my body that I cant stay in this state forever and that there are other things I must do and see. So I set the intention that I must move on. As my consciousness started to move away, more of these beings where following and connecting onto me. At this moment I felt someone helped pull me out and the further I got, the more I could use my mind again. I was then shown glimpses of events in my life and how alone and disconnected I felt. I felt that these beings were trying to help me with connection. I was shown myself walking down the street and how rigid and blocked off from people I was. I could feel the disconnection with my family and people around me. It felt very painful and I started cry intensely. It felt like such a release to cry this much. I cried for the lonely isolated person I was being shown. I cried for the people it was hurting. I cried for I don't know how long. After some time I got to the point where seeing these visions weren't bringing up emotions anymore. I got the intuitive message that these beings are here to teach me connection by showing me what it feels like and how absent it is in my life. I felt the need to move forward. I was shown people in my life. I hugged each one of them and connected to them, I apologized for my part in their pain and while hugging them I started pulling unhealthy parts out of them that looked like dark muck. I had a quick vision of my grandma laying in a bed and I hugged her too.
After moving on with my trip. I noticed that the wavy feeling of the jelly fish people was still present. I noticed that one of them was still with me. It felt very feminine, as I tuned into her I got the message that she wants to stay with me. I was surprised and didn't know why. I got the message intuitively that things don't need a reason to want to connect with you. I had an emotional reaction to that. I was then taken to a memory from earlier that day. Where a butterfly landed on me and wouldn't leave. This felt similar to that butterfly. In fact I was able to go into the perspective of the butterfly and I could feel it's pull toward me. It was a new sensation for me that something wanted to connect to me that badly and I found my self processing this since its a concept I have trouble accepting. A part of me felt I wanted more to know about ways to move forward and how to do better in my career and business. I wanted that kind of knowledge and not what I was experiencing. I was also weary that I would get pulled back into the cluster of there beings that I experienced before and lose control of myself. I then got the message that this is what I need. I was shown how big that walls I put between myself and others are. And that I am not even aware of the people that want to connect with me. This being was showing me what connection feels like. It felt odd but I started to sink into it and just let her connect since I wasn't able to make her go. I could feel her moving around my body and inside. She was the opposite of anything rigid and isolating. I stated to trust the process and I felt like she was loosening up and relaxing my body through all that movement. Her moving around in and around me kinda felt like a energetic massage. I let this being stay with me and could feel the sensations in my body for a few days after.
The next day was a lot of processing, we also had to leave the shamans place which was also very difficult. We went to Jaco beach to relax, process and explore. I stayed pretty much all day at the beach and got to experience surfing for the first time. It took some time to ground myself and to get back into the world after the shamanic journeying and nothing really felt quite the same. The rest of the trip was a lot of processing and reflecting. I felt satisfied and knew there was much to work on when I got back to Canada. Integrating the reality and shifts I experienced in Costa Rica to my life her and the changes I'm making. Even now I sill find myself working through all the lessons and insights from my trip. Everything looks and feels different to me now, when I dove deep into my self and saw some of the truths, I don't look at my self the same anymore and as a result my perception of everything around me has changed too. I came back a new person and I'm excited where this is going to take me next.